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Lindy / Lindy Effect

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The Lindy Effect refers to a slang term popularized by statistician and writer Nassim Taleb and technology lawyer and Twitter personality Paul Skallas. The term originates from a forecasting theory which posits that if something has been around for a while, it will likely be around longer. The term gained renewed interest in corporate and technology communities after 2018 due to the theory's application in technology and trend forecasting, and with Skallas, in particular, taking credit for revitalizing "Lindy" as a lifestyle choice for corporate workers. Skallas also takes credit for the phrase "4 Hour Life," a neologism for the amount of personal time left in the life of an average corporate worker.


The earliest mention of the term "Lindy" as a way to predict the longevity of an idea was presented by Albert Goldman in an article titled "Lindy's Law," named after Lindy's delicatessen in New York. Goldman theorized that the amount of comedic material available to a comic is limited, therefore, the comedian's lasting potential hinges on how well he conserves his ideas and media appearances to ensure longevity in the industry.[1] In 1982, Benoit Mandelbrot reworked Goldman's theory to posit that the more appearances a comedian makes, the more future appearances they are predicted to make.

In 2007, essayist and mathematical statistician Nassim Taleb discussed Mandelbrot's ideas, using the phrase "the Lindy Effect" for the first time in his 2012 book Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder. Taleb uses the example of books to explain the Lindy Effect, describing the notion that a book is likely to stay in print for 40 years if it has already been in print for 40 years. He said:

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! [2] On January 9th, 2017, Taleb wrote a Medium article in defense of the Lindy Effect, titled, "An Expert Called Lindy."[11]

On July 27th, 2018, the Twitter[3] account of "LindyMan" @PaulSkallas posted its first notable tweet discussing a Lindy issue. The tweet read, "A friend of mine is a professor of lit at a small midwestern university. I asked him about the decline of humanities enrollment. His response was interesting. Lindy may save the Classics. Tie this field to survival, an understanding of human nature that replaces psychology." (seen below, top). The tweet contained a reply showing a Facebook[4] post made by Nassim Taleb where he said "By the Lindy Effect, you should know 20 times more about the history of the past 2000 years than that of the past 100 years" (seen below, bottom).

LindyMan → @PaulSkallas A friend of mine is a professor of lit at a small midwestern university. I asked him about the decline of humanities enrollment. His response was interesting. Paul Skallas Lindy may save the Classics. Tie this field to survival, an understanding of human nature that replaces psychology seems like humanit... to me : 4:49 PM (6 hours ago 7:41 PM (3 hours ago) Yeah, it the decline is severe. I've written about it before. Many universities are cutting humanities requirements, electing to surrender rather than fight. Almost all college students see the educational experience as career preparation, and nothing more. The careerist mentality rejects anything that does not have an obvious connection to job placement. Making the entire situation worse is that most students do not have any interest, or even curiosity, in abstract and artistic ideas. So, it isn't as it there are countless students thinking, "I'd love to major in English or philosophy, but I better do something more practical." What really exists is a group of students without regard for literature, the fine arts, or philosophy. They view the courses as a complete waste of time. The decline of the humanities will only worsen. Also, and this is not the fault of the students, it is amazing how little they know when they make it to an Introduction to Literature course. I have no idea what is happening ir high school English courses, but it is a travesty. Many of the students have never read a complicated novel, and as a consequence, are entirely lost when trying to discuss even the basics of the plot. For my summer courses, I had the students begin with reading Poetics by Aristotle. My plan was to apply Aristotle's ideas about drama and storytelling to all the subsequen literature of the course. After they finished Poetics, I asked them to give an Aristotelian analysis of a novel or play in writing. Many of them objected, claiming they could not think of a novel or play. I don't really care. I'm just trying to get through the course. So, I said, "Fine, you can write about a movie." 11:03 PM Jul 27, 2018 Almost all of the students chose children's movies. I'm not even talking about the superhero genre. I'm referring to Disney cartoons - Lion King, Toy Story, The Incredibles, Inside/Out, etc. Another factor and this is important, but something most people will probably not realize - is the regression of young adults. Countless studies and surveys indicate that teenagers are having sex, working, going out with friends, working, drinking, taking drugs, and even driving less than previous generations. As a result, the average 18-yea old is the equivalent of a 15-year-old in our generation. Some maturity and experience are required to appreciate good literature and the humanities. Since they are less mature, and have fewer experiences, they are less likely to feel the power of anything from Plato to Hemingway.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb 1 September 2016 - By the Lindy Effect, you should know 20 times more about history of the past 2000 years than that of the past 100 years. In fact, not only most people know more about the past 100 years, but they knew even more about the past 100 days. Further, history is not geopolitics (who met whom) or wars, but an understanding of what people used, ate, produced, thought, and argued about. 1.4K 90 comments 171 shares


Over the consecutive months, Skallas went on to opine on what ideas and practices were Lindy or Lindy compatible. These judgments seem to be derived from wisdom divined from who Skallas calls "the ancients." On August 8th, 2018, @PaulSkallas posted a tweet[5] that read, "Two great books to learn how people actually lived in ancient society. Don't study kings or royalty bs. Study real people to see how behavior and lifestyle is Lindy compatible" (seen below, left). On September 24th, 2019, he posted a meme[6] about everyone needing a "lindy life coach" (seen below, right).

LindyMan @PaulSkallas Two great books to learn how people actually lived in ancient society. Don't study kings or royalty bs. Study real people to see how behavior and lifestyle is Lindy compatible. COUNTE) AID AND FISHCAKES THE CONSUMING PASSIONS OF CLASSICAL ATHENS JAMES DAVIDSON 4:08 PM - Aug 8, 2018 General Editors ... A History of Private Life From Pagan Rome to Byzantium LindyMan @PaulSkallas "do yourself a favor and get a lindy life coach" "why?" "I'm just more in step with the ancients. I'm making more money at work, I've been dating better women. I can't explain it, but it works" "I've never heard of it" "It's about making time work for you" 5:20 PM. Sep 24, 2018 :

In 2020, Skallas also began to advocate for what he called "Lindy Walks," the practice of simply taking a walk every day. He defended this habit against increased restrictions on going outside one's home during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 16th, 2020, Skallas tweeted, "You won't stop the LindyMan from going outside and taking his lindy walks unless a soldier from the military points a gun in his face / allah akbar."[7] On March 28th, 2020, Twitter user @techceopepe posted a tweet that read, "Has one person who takes Lindy Walks gotten sick yet?"[8] (seen below, right).

LindyMan @PaulSkallas You won't stop the LindyMan from going outside and taking his lindy walks unless a soldier from the military points a gun in his face allah akbar 9:59 AM Mar 16, 2020 : T.C.P. @techceopepe Has one person who takes Lindy Walks gotten sick yet? 9:19 PM Mar 28, 2020 :

On February 29th, 2020, Skallas published a Medium[10] article titled, "4 Hour Life Glossary" (seen below, left). On June 17th, 2021, Skallas was featured in a New York Times article[12] in which he discussed his various theories about how one can live a life by lindy principles. He posted a tweet[9] regarding the same on June 17th, gathering over 4,000 likes in roughly a year (seen below, right). The article covered his concept of the 4HL, which was outlined in the aforementioned Medium.

Paul Skallas Feb 29, 2020 2 min read Listen tz 4HLer - The salary man, employee, wage earner or company man. No equity or upside from a sale. Not the owner. No payoff. M 4 Hour Life Glossary 4HL - The Four Hour Life. If you work 8 hours. Sleep 8 hours. Commute/dinner/family time for a bit that is 4 hours and so then you have around 4 hours left in your day to yourself. The hours that belong to you. Roughly. Posters post ~York Eimes 3 THURSDAY mi Dot LindyMan @PaulSkallas Jer FF 2 SMILE, OR DON'T Dreams of a great passport photo. BY CHOIRE SICHA 3 SKIN SEEP Just a reminder: Tik Tok is not a doctor BY JESSICA SCHIFFER FASHION BEAUTY NIGHTLIFE National Edition Senty sondClouds and se sorth Warmer High By EZRA MARCUS In a tumultuous time, humanity looks to the ancient world for guidance and inspiration. It's a dynamic at least as old as Petrarch, the 13th-century Italian poet whose schol- arship on the Greeks and Romans helped kick-start the Renaissance. Paul Skallas, a 36-year-old technology lawyer and writer, has picked up antiquity's torch. He's an evangelist for wisdom de 8:14 AM. Jun 17, 2021 Thursday Styles The New York Times V rived from the distant past, like, say, skip the mouthwash. Living the Lindy Way Paul Skallas on his time-tested philosophy of health, exercise, diet and consumer choice. Dr Office "Everyone tells you to do it," he said dur- ing a Zoom call from Deauville, France, 116 fall to ride out the pandemic. "Your breath is clean, it feels like the right thing to do. And then you read about higher cancer rates for people who used it, and how it destroys good and bad bacteria, and you go, "You're right, there was no mouthwash back then." "Back then" is the ancient world, from which Mr Skallas draws an inexhaustible supply of practical lessons. "No breakfast," he said. "Breakfast was where he moved from New York City last unknown in early history, Rome, Byzanti um, ancient Greece, breakfast wasn't really a thing." He's written about the anti-break- fast positions of Plutarch and Thomas Aquinas Mr. Skallas is a proponent for a lifestyle based on a relatively obscure theory called 'A Reminder That Black Is Beautiful' For contestants like Kennedé Wallace, Miss Juneteenth pageants are connected to a holiday that signifies the emancination of their ancestors. By Tariro Mzezewa, Page 7. 3 SOLE SURVIVORes The original ugly sneaker has returned arasSICA IREDALE CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK Jill Biden's style on the world stage ay VANESSA FRIEDMAN Paal Skallas, above in Trouville France, is a proponent for a Mestyle based on the so-called Lindy Effect, which suggests, among other things, that older is better and what has been is likely to continue to be. THURSDAY JUNE 17, 2021 DI ROWER the Lindy Effect, i his Twitter handle, stack, The Lindy Newsletter "Lindy Talk"; and his practical pr about health, exercise, diet, lifestyle consumer choice. : The Lindy Effect can be traced to a 1964 article in The New Republic called "Lindy's Law," by the historian Albert Goldman, who described the "bald-headed, cigar-chomp- CONTINUED ON PAGE DE

On June 17th, 2021, Twitter[13] user @sentantiq posted a tweet accusing Paul Skallas of stealing their translations of classical texts without giving due credit, gathering over 100 likes in over a year (seen below, left). The replies to the tweet also show Dr. Taleb's[14] indignation at thinking he was mistaken for Skallas (seen below, right).

sententiae antiquae @sentantiq· Jun 17, 2021 Hey @NyTimes Alt acount (@lindyeffect) of lindy-fiend you profiled regularly plagiarizes this accounts tweets and translations without attribution. He also hassles and trolls classicists. #ClassicsTwitter some help? 0 16 "I am calling the prudent philosophers here, Those who never allow themselves anything good, Those who seek a thoughtful man in every walk And in their discussions as if he were a fugitive slave. Wretched man, why are you sober if you have money? Why do you dishonor the gods this much? Why do you think money is worth more than you are? Does it have some intrinsic worth? If you drink water, you're useless to the city. 1 Daily Lindy Effect @LindyEffect · 19h τῶν φιλοσόφων τοὺς σώφρονας ἐνταυθοῖ καλῶ, τοὺς ἀγαθὸν αὑτοῖς οὐ διδόντας οὐδὲ ἕν, τοὺς τὸν φρόνιμον ζητοῦντας ἐν τοῖς περιπάτοις καὶ ταῖς διατριβαῖς ὥσπερ ἀποδεδρακότα. ἄνθρωπ’ ἀλάστωρ, διὰ τί συμβολὰς ἔχων νήφεις; τί τηλικοῦτον ἀδικεῖς τοὺς θεούς; τί τἀργύριον, ἄνθρωπε, τιμιώτερον σαυτοῦ τέθεικας ἢ πέφυκε τῇ φύσει; τ Daily Lindy Effect @LindyEffect· 19h Athenaeus 17 40 5 121 ilit Ξ : : [→ sententiae antiquae @sentantiq. Jun 17, 2021 I am sure @nntaleb can explain how super lindy it is credentials by taking other people's stuff 97 27 2 2 Likes 4 24 Nassim Nicholas Taleb Replying to @sentantiq Fucking idiot, I am NOT that account. Tell @LindyEffect 27 d @nntaleb Jun 17, 2021 sententiae antiquae @sentantiq 67 ₁ • Nassim Nicholas Taleb @nntaleb Jun 17, 2021 Replying to @nntaleb @sentantiq and @LindyEffect Can someone tell that imbecile since I am locked? 27 19 This Tweet was deleted by the Tweet author. Learn more da puff up your ↑ ↑ I was informing @nntaleb because he has been a frequent supporter of @paulskallas who fanboys lindyeffect as if it confers immortality. 4:23 PM Jun 17, 2021 ... ...

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External References

[1] Wikipedia – Lindy Effect

[2] Internet Archive – Antifragile

[3] Twitter – PaulSkallas

[4]  Facebook – Nassim Nicholas Taleb

[5] Twitter – PaulSkallas

[6] Twitter – PaulSkallas

[7] Twitter – PaulSkallas

[8] Twitter – techceopepe

[9] Twitter – PaulSkallas

[10] Medium – 4 Hour Life Glossary

[11] Medium – An Expert Called Lindy

[12] Twitter – sentantiq

[13] Twitter – sentantiq

[14] Twitter – nntaleb

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