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May 30, 2019 22:07:18

Today's geniuses were yesterday's crazies

by @jasonleow | 390 words | 411🔥 | 449💌

Jason Leow

Current day streak: 411🔥
Total posts: 449💌
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Galileo was suspected of heresy and condemned to house arrest due to his views of a heliocentric universe, that the Earth revolved around the Sun, contrary to then religious views that the Earth was the centre of the universe.

He was with the crazies, back in the 1600s. 

Now, he's celebrated and recognised often as the father of modern science. So many other stories of geniuses in their day being misunderstood or shunned, because they were too far ahead of their time. The paintings of the great Dutch painter Van Gogh too, didn't achieve recognition till much long after his death. And he too was thought to be eccentric, and sick. 

Of course, there were genuinely insane people. Not all will go on to become recognised as geniuses. But some will. Like Oscar Levant said: 

There's a fine line between genius and insanity.

That's why I love reading and learning about fringe sub-cultures, society's deviants, conspiracy theorists, people who are deemed insane, or not taken seriously despite having good reasons. Not to say that I believe them all. I read them because it's fun to consider things that I would never think of if I kept to my safe, mainstream echo chambers. Because (some of) today's crazies will become tomorrow's geniuses. Some examples:

Did aliens build the pyramids? Are governments hiding the secret of UFOs from us? Was mankind's origins really from the stars? What if there was a cure to cancer all along, and it's just being hidden from us? Is the Earth flat?

To be honest, I don't really believe in these crazy theories. It's even laughable when you read it, right? But suspending belief for a moment, it's fun to just...play with it. Like, what if? What if it's true, then what's next? How would the world change? What new opportunities would there be? Kind of like scenario planning of the future, but way left field...  

But how does one tell, if it's a fine line? Maybe Einstein has some answers:

The only difference between genius and insanity is that genius has its limits.

So the next time you read something crazy, don't be too fast to brush it off. Check for "limits", whatever that might mean. And if you were discerning enough, you might just chance upon something that will turn to gold in the future. 

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