Friday, October 30, 2015

The Most Intolerant, Wins.

N. N. Taleb likes outliers and minorities. He wrote an interesting book called 'Black Swan: The impact of the highly improbable', which was a fascinating read that I highly recommend.

Recently, I read an article by him called "The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dominance of the Stubborn Minority". It's a fascinating study of the counterpoint to the majority rules rule, and shows how minority populations end up making decisions for the vast majority of the population, even changing the majority population's makeup.  Mr. Taleb gives the example of the Muslims and Christians, the examples of Rome and the Christians, the example of Kosher everything, the removal of peanuts from public life, and a current event in the general acceptance or rejection of GMO foods. I won't go into the details, the article is linked above, give it a look.

But it does provide an interesting formula: The population which requires x, will inevitably overcome the population that can accept x.

Think about that: The population which REQUIRES x will inevitably overcome the population that can accept x.

So, the population that REQUIRES gay marriage (gay folks) will inevitably overcome the population that can accept x (the majority of americans), because the activists will accept nothing less than total legal gay marriage, and the majority doesn't care that much.

The population that says #BlackLivesMatter will inevitably overcome the populations that says #alllivesmatter. For black populations, it's a matter of survival. For the rest of the population, it's an internet meme.

The population that says #gamergate is about corruption in journalism will inevitably overcome the population that doesn't care. For the gamergaters, it's a matter of journalistic integrity. For everyone else, it's a sideshow.

The apathetic majority always loses to the committed minority. It's how the bolsheviks and the Nazis took over. It's how we have codes of conduct, we have lax gun laws, it's how we have environmental controls, how we have kosher food. The one who doesn't give up, doesn't turn back, who cannot accept another outcome, who doesn't compromise: wins.

This has interesting implications. When two minority populations are equally committed and in conflict, what's the outcome?

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