The Minority Rule Explained | Nassim Taleb

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Making Complexity Simple | The Minority Rule By Nassim Taleb

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What Is The Minority Rule?

The minority rule is the notion that the will of a small but immovable minority, say 3-4%, can in fact be strong enough to dominate an entire population, the remaining 96%, ultimatly having them submit to their preferences.

For example…

  • Most soft drinks are kosher, despite a less than 3-4% minority insisting on it.
  • Aeroplanes and schools are mostly peanut-free, despite the majority being completely non-allergenic.
  • The majority of meat in the UK is halal, despite only the minority of the population insisting it is so.
  • The spread of automatic transmission over manual cars.
  • The extreme right and left political minorities outperformed their actual base.
  • And even, why English is spoken in a boardroom where typically it is the extreme minority who only speak English (I feel this to my benefit especially so in Europe).

Riddles With Asymmetry | The Minority Rule

There is asymmetry inherent to the minority rule.

The minority rule explains these events where the small minority is inflexible while the large majority, those that are left, are indifferently flexible. Given this dichotomy, it is so that the typical common denominator is to submit to the minorities’ will.

To directly quote Taleb from Skin In The Game

A Kosher (or halal) eater will never eat nonkosher (or nonhalal) food, but a nonkosher eater isn’t banned from eating kosher.

A disabled person will not use the regular bathroom but a nondisabled person will use the bathroom for disabled people.

Another case of Taleb diluting into simplicity, something which otherwise would have been explained through complexity.

Cheers Taleb – keep up the unreal work. Check out my podcast dear reader.

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