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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Haji 2003

Surah Al-Anbiya Verse 24

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أَمِ اتَّخَذُوا مِن دُونِهِ ءَالِهَةً قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ هَذَا ذِكْرُ مَن مَعِيَ وَذِكْرُ مَن قَبْلِي بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ الْحَقَّ فَهُم مُعْرِضُونَ


“…But most of them do not know the truth, so they are averse’.”

The opposition of the majority of the ignorant people against the truth in many societies has always been an evidence taken by some unaware ones for their turning away. And, the Holy Qur’an has seriously condemned reliance on majority.


I wondered whether the above could have any relationship with the concept of information cascades from economics, this refers to the idea that there can be situations where people do not take actions based on any assessment of costs or benefits, rather they simply follow the behaviour of anonymous others (I.e. its not based on those others being known to be trustworthy etc., it's just because there are lots of them) as a means of saving time etc. 


“According to UCLA economists Susil Bikhchandani, David Hirshleifer, and Ivo Welch, an informational cascade is defined as a situtation in which “it is optimal for an individual, having observed the actions of others ahead of him, to follow the behavior of the preceding invididual without regard to his own information.” That is, instead of “buying” information, people will simply follow signals from others in order to conserve time.

There are various examples of cascades in which this occurs. For example, during the Alar pesticide scare in the late 1980s, public fear of pesticides caused devastating economic loss for apple growers in Washington state who used the pesticide to protect their produce.

There was no scientific basis for the danger of the pesticide in question, but the herd mentality took over and thus the farmers suffered. While the harsh regulation of cigarettes in the previous example may not be a bad thing, the imposition of bad public policy in the Alar pesticide scare example illustrates how the information cascade effect can have negative consequences[1].”


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1 minute ago, Propaganda_of_the_Deed said:


Thanks. There's this really cool feature I discovered today that if I click the title of any thread I can edit it, without going into the edit function of the post itself.

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