T he best example I know that gives insights into the functioning of a complex system is with the following situation. It suffices for an intransigent minority –a certain type of intransigent minorities –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. Further, an optical illusion comes with the dominance of the minority: a naive observer would be under the impression that the choices and preferences are those of the majority. If it seems absurd, it is because our scientific intuitions aren’t calibrated for that (fughedabout scientific and academic intuitions and snap judgments; they don’t work and your standard intellectualization fails with complex systems, though not your grandmothers’ wisdom).
For reasons I don’t fully understand, deviationism from the party line is increasibly unacceptable. The extreme version of this is so-called intersectionality. If you’re a feminist, you also have to oppose Zionism. These kinds of litmus tests may be useful for political power. They aren’t good for nuance or independent thinking. But increasingly it seems people are uncomfortable failing these tests of ideological purity. They don’t want to lose their membership in the right tribe, the tribe that gives them a sense of identity.