Model: minority rule

April 23rd, 2021

How a minority group can set the standard, instead of the majority.


Complex system: at different scale things behave differently

You can't predict the collective from the individuals


Eg. Kosher drinks in America


We live in a world that is structured around the preferences of radicals who won't compromise, not the will of the majority



When can it happen?

  1. Minority not willing to compromise

  2. Distributed among the masses (geographical)

  3. Majority not being ticked off by it (counter minority)


(1) Minority not willing to compromise

The minority needs to be completely unwilling to compromise.

Not "I will only drink Kosher drinks, unless it's inconvenient" or "unless there are none available"

But completely unwilling to compromise: "If there are no Kosher drinks, I will not drink"


(2) Distributed among the masses (geographical)

If all the people are in the same geographical location, it's easier to cater to them differently, rather than to change everything.


(3) Majority not being ticked off by it (counter minority)

If there would be another group that would take offence at it, they could create a counter minority.

Eg. if people said: "I will not drink anything that is Kosher, either I drink non-Kosher, or nothing at all"


(src: Nassim Nicholas Taleb)



Another example I came across:

right to repair in America


If one state passes "right to repair legislation" causing manufacturers to be required to change components,

then the manufacturers are unlikely to design components separately for that.

They will likely use these "repairable" components as the standard,

because that's much less complex logistically.

So the minority (one US state) influences what the majority gets.

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