Violent Opposition

May 23, 2008

Lately I have been thinking a lot about leadership and this quote keeps coming to mind.

Great thinkers have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds” – Albert Einstein

Ever wondered why that’s the case?

I think It’s because genuinely new ideas usually disrupt old ideas – therefore new ideas appear at odds with an old way of thinking. When something is at odds with the way you think, your brain interprets it as ‘wrong’. So therefore often what you percieve as ‘wrong’ is just something outside your experience.

Interestingly, though, I have found that many new ideas can actually be modeled on old patterns. Patterns that have been tried and proven.

For example in my recent discussions about distributed Twitter on the Gillmor Gang and Techcrunch posts, or with the DataPortability project I run, I am basically modeling my thoughts on Blogging (independant software, RSS as glue with aggregators doing most of the work) and the work done on WiFi/DVD (multiple standards combined together under a friendly brand).

Patterns are my thing.

3 Responses to “Violent Opposition”

  1. Jason Etheridge Says:

    It was an interesting discussion on the Gillmor Gang, though I got the impression that most of the pushback was the problem that the essential (to Steve) feature equivalent to Twitter’s track wouldn’t be directly possible with your suggested distributed architecture. With no central point through which all the traffic flows, no real-time searching would be possible.

    Of course, a third-party system could subscribe to everyone’s microblogs and get pinged when they’re updated, allowing the global stream to be sucked through a central filter… no idea whether that would work at scale. There’s the more fundamental problem of how such central filters would find all those microblogs, since there’s not necessarily any way of finding them.

    Regarding the more general initial resistance to new ideas… it’s not universal. Doesn’t that attitude define conservatives? Also, there’s also the point that some genuinely new ideas are just plain bad. 🙂

  2. gregorylent Says:

    it is not just great leaders who run into that problem. just say something out of line in any group that is based on a world view. you are ostracized very quickly.

    it is because of egoice self-identity, you are basically attempting to kill people’s idea of who they think they are.

    a low rent planet like this, big problem

  3. […] Portability as a whole as much as I do with its leader, Chris Saad. The lack of clarity of vision, the delusions of grandeur and blatant pandering are so frustrating to someone such as myself that has worked so hard to […]

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