The Lindy Effect

TJL #133

Today I came across the Wikipedia page of the Lindy Effect and found it interesting enough to share. The Lindy Effect is the idea that things that have been around for a while, will be around for a while. Nassim Taleb writes:

If a book has been in print for forty years, I can expect it to be in print for another forty years. But, and that is the main difference, if it survives another decade, then it will be expected to be in print another fifty years. This, simply, as a rule, tells you why things that have been around for a long time are not "aging" like persons, but "aging" in reverse. Every year that passes without extinction doubles the additional life expectancy. This is an indicator of some robustness. The robustness of an item is proportional to its life!

And this is what Danny Hillis writes about it. Note that this is the guy behind the clock that is supposed to run for 10,000 years:

If you're going to do something that's meant to be interesting for ten millennia, it almost has to have been interesting for ten millennia. Clocks and other methods of measuring time have interested people for a very long time.

It is OK to be interested in trends, but think deeply, are there any problems that interest you and that have been around for a while, because most likely they will remain around for a while.