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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Unborrowed Vision

Throughout the centuries there were men who took the first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.  Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road was new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received? Hatred.  The great creators, the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors stood alone against the men of their time.  Every great new thought was opposed. Every great new invention was denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The airplane was considered impossible. The power loom was considered vicious. Anesthesia was considered sinful. But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead.  They fought, they suffered, they paid, but they won.
 Ayn Rand wrote that of the great men in history who saw something differently than those around them and made that vision come to life.  She wrote it about them and men who had yet to succeed in bringing their visions to fruition. Men like Steve Jobs of Apple Computer.  He created things we didn't even know we needed or wanted and now cannot live without.  Think about your clicky computer or smart phone then tell me I'm crazy.  I leave Bill Gates out because he merely copied Jobs and managed, through a fair amount of mercantilism to make a ginormous amount of money from it.  He did not do more with the idea taken from Xerox as Jobs did.  Jobs envisioned more and did it.  Gates keeps on giving us what Mark Andreesen once prophesied, a badly debugged bag of device drivers.

Do you think that the steam engine was met with universal acceptance?  Remember that Galileo was labeled a heretic by the Catholic Church for even hinting that the sun, rather than the man inhabited earth, was at the center of our solar system and their universe?  Do you honestly think that The Tucker automobile was a flawed car?  So flawed that most of the features it had are now standard on every car in production?

Yet every second-hander out there who stole someone else's invention and made it his own and sold it was heralded as a hero?  Bill Gates, anyone?

Have we seen anything truly new recently?  Outside of Seen on TV?  Let me be precise, anything truly useful to mankind?  No, we have not.  Why?  Bureaucracy, ass covering idiots and people who live in so much fear of living that anything new is treated like the second coming of The Black Death.

Human beings, as a species tend to hate change.  I will admit, one of my pet peeves is the phrase, "We've always done it that way".  I'm pretty sure that in a perfect world I would be allow to slap anyone who said that with impunity.   Then you have the polar opposite who love change for the sake of change.  Both concepts are pretty much libtard modus operandi.  It takes a rare man who can see something the rest of us can't, who can solve problems everyone else say are impossible to solve.

This all reminds me of the movie Contact with Jodie Foster based on Carl Sagan's book by the same name.  In the movie, the Protagonist, played by Foster is going from foundation to investment banker begging for money for telescope time at The Very Big Array.  Each time she is met with road block after stonewall. She finally cracks at one meeting and expounds in a great way:
Science fiction. Well you're right, it's crazy. In fact, it's even worse than that, nuts. [angrily slams down her briefcase and marches up to the desk] You wanna hear something really nutty? I heard of a couple guys who wanna build something called an "airplane," you know you get people to go in, and fly around like birds, it's ridiculous, right? And what about breaking the sound barrier, or rockets to the moon, or atomic energy, or a mission to Mars? Science fiction, right? Look, all I'm asking, is for you to just have the tiniest bit of vision. You know, to just sit back for one minute and look at the big picture. To take a chance on something that just might end up being the most profoundly impactful moment for humanity, for the history... of history.
Whenever I watch the movie and I hear this bit I am always reminded of the part in Atlas Shrugged where Ayn Rand is describing the founder of Taggart Transcontinental, Nathaniel Taggart being shut down by the bankers and money lenders and how he lost all of his laborers.  He goes out to his bridge that will span the Mississippi and spends all night working.  By morning he has revised his vision with a way to get his money to finish his line.  Because he had the tiniest bit of vision to see where it could go and how to make it happen.

Teachers spend most of their time telling students all they can't do.  We need to stop that and we need to stop it now.  Let them use their imaginations and run wild with it.  It won't be anarchy.  The last time the world allowed man to do that we had The Renaissance and The Enlightenment.  Men thought beyond grousing in the dirt for their next meal and began seeing the world as full of possibility?  Can you think of anything more obscene than teaching a child that life is nothing more than misery and the only relief is death?  I can't and I think anyone who does should be shot and their family billed for the bullet.

Life is possibility and potential is the most precious commodity in this universal.  Instead of stifling it, we need to nurture it, husband it and steward it into a brilliant, bright future full of freedom and laughter.  For what could possibly create more joy than the unfettered mind?

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