Newness Is The Enemy

Newness Is The Enemy

I first saw The Lion King Musical in the West End when I was 5 years old. It's my favourite production.

The songs, the dances, and the costumes are truly magical. I've taken friends who've never seen it, and they come out singing its praises.

20 years later, it's still running. I have absolutely no doubt that in 20 years time, they'll still be selling out crowds.

How can I be so sure?

The Lindy effect.

Nassim Taleb describes the Lindy effect in his book, Antifragile. He says that the longer something non-perishable (an idea, book, film, technology, etc) has existed, the longer you can predict it will exist into the future.

This goes against most common knowledge. Perishable things (food, people, mechanical objects) all have a life expectancy that declines over time. The longer you live, the less time you have left.

Ideas and works of art are the opposite. The longer they have remained, the longer it is argued that they will remain into the future.

The rationale behind this is that things that have remained for so long, have had a reason to.

If they have successfully survived, they are worth paying attention to.

Taleb says that there are seven cognitive biases that are Lindy-proof, in that they have been spoken about since antiquity.

These are what I will be focusing my essays on in the next week.

Tomorrow? Cognitive Dissonance – The Tale of The Fox and The Grapes