Why the Oldest Ideas Will Live the Longest

I think you’re underestimating the power of longevity. To help you understand it, let me introduce you to the Lindy Effect. I first learned of this concept from one of my favorite thinkers, Nassim Taleb. He would make reference to the father of fractal geometry, Benoit Mandelbrot, who further confirmed the notion that the longer a non-perishable idea exists the longer we can expect it to exist in The Fractal Geometry of Nature. Unbeknownst to me, I wasn’t at the end of this rabbit hole because Mandelbrot was referencing Albert Goldman, who started the conversation with a unique observation about the length of a comic’s career in New York in the 1960s, which is where the Lindy Effect gets its namesake.

In 1964, Goldman wrote an article titled “Lindy’s Law” for The New Republic that explained a relationship between the amount of time a comic spent in Lindy’s delicatessen before show time and the length of the comedian’s career. Mandelbrot polished the thinking further with his claim that the more appearances a comedian makes the more appearances the comedian can be expected to make in the future. Said differently, non-perishable creations have a life expectancy that grows with each day that it remains in existence. It’s the opposite of aging.

Taleb summarizes this in the context of novels when he states:

“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!”

When it comes to how we execute around DEUCE Gym, we place extreme value on the follow through associated with longevity. When we put a practice into motion we commit to seeing in through into perpetuity. There have been several thousand articles posted to our site, for example. You can expect, at least, several thousand more. Too many of you are jumping around from one fragile idea to the next. If you want to make a mark, build a thing that will leverage its own longevity into perpetuity.

When you look around the fitness industry, think about the Lindy Effect. In all likelihood, the newest concepts will die the fastest. The oldest, however, can be excepted to survive at least as long as they’ve existed. We plan on being around for a long time. Get used to it.


Logan Gelbrich


2/5/18 WOD

Find a 10RM Back Squat..


Then complete the following for time:

“Hiccup Annie”


Double Unders

Sit Ups

**Perform 5 burpees every minute on the minute