Robert Wiblin and Keiran Harris in 80,000 Hours:
It can often feel hopeless to be an activist seeking social change on an obscure issue where most people seem opposed or at best indifferent to you. But according to a new book by Professor Cass Sunstein, they shouldn’t despair. Large social changes are often abrupt and unexpected, arising in an environment of seeming public opposition.
The Communist Revolution in Russia spread so swiftly it confounded even Lenin. Seventy years later the Soviet Union collapsed just as quickly and unpredictably.
In the modern era we have gay marriage, #metoo and the Arab Spring, as well as nativism, Euroskepticism and Hindu nationalism.
How can a society that so recently seemed to support the status quo bring about change in years, months, or even weeks?
Sunstein — co-author of Nudge, Obama White House official, and by far the most cited legal scholar of the late 2000s — aims to unravel the mystery and figure out the implications in his new book How Change Happens.