Going to extremes



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It suffices for an intransigent minority [...] to reach a minutely small level, say three or four percent of the total population, for the entire population to have to submit to their preferences. 

[...] If the people following the minority rule lived in Ghettos, with their separate small economy, then the minority rule would not apply. But, when a population has an even spatial distribution, say the ratio of such a minority in a neighborhood is the same as that in the village, that in the village is the same as in the county, that in the county is the same as that in the state, and that in the state is the same as nationwide, then the (flexible) majority will have to submit to the minority rule.

[...] How do books get banned? Certainly not because they offend the average person - most persons are passive and don’t really care, or don’t care enough to request the banning. 

It looks like, from past episodes, that all it takes is a few (motivated) activists for the banning of some books, or the black-listing of some people.

[...] Let us conjecture that the formation of moral values in society doesn’t come from the evolution of the consensus. No, it is the most intolerant person who imposes virtue on others precisely because of that intolerance. The same can apply to civil rights.

[...] once a moral rule is established, it would suffice to have a small intransigent minority of geographically distributed followers to dictate the norm in society. The sad news [...] is that one person looking at mankind as an aggregate may mistakenly believe that humans are spontaneously becoming more moral, better, more gentle, have better breath, when it applies to only a small proportion of mankind.

[...] The entire growth of society, whether economic or moral, comes from a small number of people.

[...] Society doesn’t evolve by consensus, voting, majority, committees, verbose meeting, academic conferences, and polling; only a few people suffice to disproportionately move the needle. All one needs is an asymmetric rule somewhere. And asymmetry is present in about everything.

[Nassim Taleb]
'The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority'


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The Nymph and the Oak
Walk a straight line

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