Pioneering The Future

Dave Winer writes the following about Ted Nelson.

The reporter said that Nelson was really weird and kind of rude. I took exception to this. Nelson is a visionary, and a teacher, in many ways it’s his passion that’s the fabric of the web.

Later, I thought, how strange, we want visionaries, we need them, but we want them to fit some impossible concept of humanity. Someone should have passion without being too passionate. I wonder if people have really thought this through. I’m willing to cut a guy like Nelson almost infinite slack, because I so totally appreciate what he has done for us, and for me.

Of course he seemed somewhat rude because he’s probably frustrated like any visionary or pioneer. They are blazing trails that we can’t even see or understand yet. They try to explain them to us but we look at them like they’re on another planet. They aren’t though. They’re right here with you and me but they are looking through eyes that perceive things differently because they’ve made that leap in thinking whereas we haven’t. Once we’ve been repeatedly bashed in the head enough times with their message though, it finally sinks in and the light finally turns on. At that point, we’ve made the paradigm shift as well.

Oh and yes pioneers probably seem “weird”. They are living on the edge of what is known and pushing into the unknown. But as usual, the edge is where you usually find the best stuff.