Fab Fridays 30: The Lindy Effect

What are some Lindy ideas in education?

Hey Everyone!

Happy Friday and greetings from Panama.

I recently learned a new concept: The Lindy Effect.

This term, coined by Benoit Mandelbrot and most recently studied by Nassim Taleb, states that the longer an idea has been around, the longer it is likely to stick around in the future.

The Lindy Effect teaches us that non-perishable things (books, ideas, concepts) age in reverse. This means that things that have survived for a longer time might probabilistically live longer.

According to the Lindy Effect, a concept from 500 years ago is highly likely to be better in the long run than one presented only 5 years ago. Of course, this will highly depend upon the context.

I went down a rabbit hole searching for ideas in education that have stood the test of time as a means to understanding them better. Here’s what I found:

5 Lindy Ideas in Education:

  1. Learning by doing

  2. The Socratic Method

  3. Teaching through entertainment

  4. One-room schoolhouses

  5. The teacher as a facilitator

I expand on these ideas on this week’s Show and Tell episode with David Perell.

We explore how education has evolved over the past…25 CENTURIES! And use the Lindy Effect to predict what educational methods are likely to stick around for the long run.

You can watch the episode here, or listen to it on Spotify here.

I also wrote a Twitter thread on this topic.

I love taking universal ideas of the most incredible thinkers of our time and finding ways to connect them to education. Here is a link to my article about why kids are Antifragile, another concept explored by Nassim Taleb in the same book as the Lindy Effect.

Until next week!

Ana Lorena Fabrega