why Shashi Tharoor cannot become a PM, Why Jammu demographics have changed in last 10 years, Why I like Moneylife foundation. how Arvind kejriwal fooled the exit polls
I came across the concept of ‘Minority rule’ via reading Taleb’s blog on medium. I am amazed and intrigued by the way he sees the world.
As I understood it, what it essentially means is that the MOST intolerant wins. In a group, a person who can create the maximum nuisance is the one who would have his way. The fact that he is in the minority has no bearing on the result.
To test this hypothesis, I went out to the ‘pacific mall’ in tagore garden/Rajouri Garden, a predominantly Punjabi area. To my amazement, baba Taleb is spot on.
All the branded restaurants in the foodcourt told me (in hush hush tone) that the meat is halal certified. Muslim population is not more than 2–5% in the area however the entire population submit to their food habit.
I noticed another form of it in ladakh on my recent visit. There was a wedding of a hindu boy with a muslim girl (love marriage, ofcourse) The girl’s parents refused the alliance (although it was a BIG catch for the dame, social, economic status difference etc etc) unless the Boy converts.
Boy did convert and when I confronted him, he gave me a logic that religion is not a big deal for him, it is just a charade they are doing to keep “everyone happy”
It seems alright, doesn't it!! Except it Will almost NEVER HAPPEN THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
The asymmetric rules are taught in madaras only. Rule 01
“if a non Muslim man under the rule of Islam marries a Muslim woman, he needs to convert to Islam –and if either parents of a child happens to be Muslim, the child will be Muslim Rule # 2, becoming Muslim is irreversible, sanctioned by the death penalty. The famous Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, born Mikhael Demetri Shalhoub, was of Lebanese Christian origins. He converted to Islam to marry a famous Egyptian actress and had to change his name to an Arabic one. He later divorced, but did not revert to the faith of his ancestors”.
Under these two asymmetric rules, one can do simple simulations and see how a small Islamic group over a period of time can multiply into a dominant force.
Jammu of 10 years ago is a different state demographically to Jammu of Now.
Let us move this RULE to more interesting areas
Taleb gives the example of automatic cars
“do not think that the spread of automatic shifting cars is necessarily due to the majority of drivers initially preferring automatic; it can just be because those who can drive manual shifts can always drive automatic, but the reciprocal is not true”
And so, to accommodate that minority, more and more automatic cars are being manufactured.
I have a theory(which like any other theory can be totally wrong), that arvind kejriwal win which the exit polls couldn't pick can also be attributed to the “Minority rule’
The exit polls showed a small %age of people who were fanatic Aaptards. What they missed was the simple rule that you
“think that because some extreme right or left wing party has, say, the support of ten percent of the population that their candidate would get ten percent of the votes. No: these baseline voters should be classified as “inflexible” and will always vote for their faction. But some of the flexible voters can also vote for that extreme faction, just as nonhalal people can eat halal, and these people are the ones to watch out for as they may swell the numbers of votes for the extreme party”
So, all the fanatics voted for kejriwal and all the people who were “Not sure” which was the flexible majority voted for kejriwal.
(The French physicist Serge Galam describes this political trap in his book)
Taleb then explains the concept of VETO he says,
“Rory Sutherland suggested that this explains why some fast-food chains, such as McDonald thrive, not because they offer a great product, but because they are not vetoed in a certain socio-economic group –and by a small proportions of people in that group at that. To put it in technical terms, it was a best worse-case divergence from expectations: a lower variance and lower mean”. making them a safe bet
This same principle by the way explains why Narisma Rao and manmohan singh became the prime ministers. To be a prime minister of a country while being in congress and being non gandhi, you don’t have to be excellent, you have to irrelevant. The line of least resistance, a person with least enemies, with least strong opinions
This is the same reason, why Shashi tharoor would never become country’s prime minister.
Now lets move to Popper’s paradox.
So as we have seen so far, the more fanatic, intolerant the person/community, more the chances that his will be forced on majority.
And not just that, as Taleb puts it, the intolerance reaches dizzy proportions reaching its logical end where the practitioner feels his way is halal, all else is haram. (ISIS)
Now how would a flexible majority tackle this problem.
Flexible majority by definition, is tolerant, that’s what makes them flexible in first place.
The paradox question is, Can a flexible majority be still called flexible if they decide to be intolerant to intolerance?
That is karl popper’s paradox.
The answer lies in minority rule itself. A small intolerant minority, if not checked, can and surely will destroy flexible majority (democracy)
‘Geeta’ handles this problem as well. You cannot show mercy and tolerance to a person who does not value or practice tolerance himself.
Pseudo Liberals do not understand this and are committing harakiri. It is STUPID, Naïve and suicidal to treat intolerant (ISIS) mindset with tolerant, liberal and democratic justice.
Now to the positive side of Minority rule.
Rule is same on either side and therefore it needs just a handful of guys with courage and ethics to change the entire course of a country’s fortune.
Einstein would have remained a patent clerk all his life, if majority/consensus of scientists had their way!!!
Majority consensus has no say in the matter. There is a fat tail payoff from stubborn courage. This is the reason I feel Moneylife foundation is doing a wonderful job by keeping the flame alive.
On surface it appears that nothing is happening, but deep inside you would never know how many corporate are kept honest due to some subconscious pressure.
And then Taleb ended the blog beautifully with this
“The entire growth of society, whether economic or moral, comes from a small number of people. So we close this chapter with a remark about the role of skin in the game in the condition of society. 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”.
All the Quoted text is from Nasim Nicholas Taleb’s blog.