|Beasts and their young in travel cages.|
It suffices for an intransigent minority –a certain type of 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.
-- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, "The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority"
|Note that the lion is not shown pouncing upon the zebra. |
Although the zebra warily keeps the elephant between them.
This change came about at the behest of PETA, which apparently believed the old retro circus art was somehow double-plus ungood and possessed the causal power to entail extinctions. It did not come about because of a groundswell of grassroots demand. This illustrates a curious point:
Change comes about from instransigant minorities within societies, not from the majority or the "consenseus." This is not because the minority convinces the majority, but because there is frequently an asymmetry in choices.
|Ratchets permit motion in only one direction.|
One example of the Ratchet is kosher soft drinks. Almost all beverages are kosher. The reason is that those who keep kosher will drink nothing else, while those who do not don't care one way or the other. Since the cost differential in minimal and those who insist on kosher are scattered throughout the population, bottlers find it much cheaper to just make everything kosher than to keep two inventories. (That is not always true for other rules; or for intransigant minorities who are concentrated in a few areas, or if the cost differential is large.)
|National Helium Reserve|
|Some folks don't trust GMO foods|
Islam prevailed in the heartland of Christianity because of a Ratchet. If a Christian [or other non-muslim] man married a muslim woman, he had to convert. (Christian woman could be kept by muslims without converting.) But any children would have to be raised muslim, and no convert could revert under pain of death. This ensured that all changes in religion were one-way; and even if the original converts had done so cynically to avoid taxes or some other burden, their grandchildren were likely to be sincere.
In the US, the "minority rule" is still largely compartmentalized. On most issues, the several states must decide for themselves. If, as some wish, the country became a unitary state rather that a federation (often expressed by "reforming" the Electoral College) then tarachódocracy would preveil acoss the nation and a stubborn minority could impose their desire on the whole country rather than on say Texas alone.
Nicholas Rashevsky, the "father" of mathematical biophysics, also wrote a book applying mathematics to historical processes, including what later became "tipping point" theory and incorporated the idea of "partisan" groups who could never be won over. But Warren Weaver, in his discussion of complexity in science, wrote that "organized complexity" consisted not only of many individual units but also the interrelationships among them. Readers my recognize thia as matter and form. Such systems were beyond the organizing power of mathematics or statistics or even human intuition and had to be grasped through models. But "all models are wrong," and the outputs of them are likely to be Wrong. Taleb points out that "in complex systems the ensemble behaves in way not predicted by the components." These are called emergent behaviours, or formal causes. That's because the connections among the units matter more than the units themselves. [See Warren Weaver, "Science and Complexity," American Scientist, 36:536 (1948)]
All good ideas originate with some small initial group that will not take No for an answer. The trouble is, all bad ideas start the same way.
All of this bodes ill for the long-term survival of the Republic. Tolerance of free speech means tolerating even those calling for the banning of some speech, and tarachódocracy means their views will come to dominate. Such minorities cannot or will not ever concede.
Rashevsky, Nicholas. Looking at History through Mathematics, The MIT Press (1968)
Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. "The Most Intolerant Wins: The Dictatorship of the Small Minority,"
Weaver, Warren. "Science .and Complexity," American Scientist, 36:536 (1948)