Lindy Effect

“Older is better.”

When I lived in California, I drove a 19-year-old truck with electrical issues. I took it to a few mechanics, but they all refused to fix it since the car wouldn’t meet emissions standards. Ironically, if I could keep the truck alive for another year, it could become a “classic,” immune from emissions standards, and allow mechanics to repair it. Hang around long enough, and the touch of Midas could gift you golden years, I guess.

The Lindy Effect started as a joke about Lindy’s Deli in New York City—an old restaurant that was the favorite haunt of many colorful characters like Groucho Marx, Woody Allen, and Jewish gangsters. The joke was that since Lindy’s was so around for so long, it would be around forever. (It closed in 2018).

Nonetheless, the joke evolved into a theory described by Nassim Nicholas Taleb to illustrate “non-perishable goods” like books, art, and ideas. If a book is helpful for 100 years, it’s likely beneficial for another 1000 years. This concept aligns with the “low info diet”—the idea that news around current events is noise and the signal lies in material that has stood the test of time: classic literature, first editions of scientific texts, etc. For better or worse, it’s something I subscribe to, and that ethos has permeated Turtle’s Pace—I try to surface concepts and “Lindy ideas” that should be relevant for years to come.