Law of the small number (20TH CENTURY)

Theory of the German social scientist Max Weber (1864-1920) regarding the influence of small groups in key positions.

‘The ruling minority can quickly reach understanding among its members; it is thus able at any time quickly to initiate that rationally organized action which is necessary to preserve its position of power.’

A concise statement of practical elitism.

Max Weber, Economy and Society, Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich, eds, 2 vols (London, 1978)

Law of small numbers

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Law of small numbers may refer to:

  • The Law of Small Numbers, a book by Ladislaus Bortkiewicz
    • Poisson distribution, the use of that name for this distribution originated in the book The Law of Small Numbers
  • Hasty generalization, a logical fallacy also known as the law of small numbers
    • The tendency for an initial segment of data to show some bias that drops out later, one example in number theory being Kummer’s conjecture on cubic Gauss sums
  • Strong Law of Small Numbers, an observation made by the mathematician Richard K. Guy: “There aren’t enough small numbers to meet the many demands made of them.”

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