Mediocristan |
Extremistan |
Nonscalable |
Scalable |
Mild or type 1 randomness |
Wild (even superwild) or type 2 randomness |
The most typical member is mediocre |
The most “typical” is either giant or dwarf, i.e., there is no typical member |
Winners get a small segment of the total pie |
Winner-take-almost-all effects |
Example: audience of an opera singer before the gramophone |
Today’s audience for an artist |
More likely to be found in our ancestral environment |
More likely to be found in our modern environment |
Impervious to the Black Swan |
Vulnerable to the Black Swan |
Subject to gravity |
There are no physical constraints on what a number can be |
Corresponds (generally) to physical quantities, i.e., height |
Corresponds to numbers, say, wealth |
As close to utopian equality as reality can spontaneously deliver |
Dominated by extreme winner-take-all inequality |
Total is not determined by a single instance or observation |
Total will be determined by a small number of extreme events |
When you observe for a while you can get to know what’s going on |
It takes a long time to know what’s going on |
Tyranny of the collective |
Tyranny of the accidental |
Easy to predict from what you see and extend to what you do not see |
Hard to predict from past information |
History crawls |
History makes jumps |
Events are distributed* according to the “bell curve” (the GIFT) or its variations |
The distribution is either Mandelbrotian “gray” Swans (tractable scientifically or totally intractable Black Swans |
What I call “probability distribution” here is the model used to calculate the odds of different events, how they are distributed. When I say that an event is distributed according to the “bell curve,” I mean that the Gaussian bell curve (after C.F. Gauss; more on him later) can help provide probabilities of various occurrences. |