Open Future NZ "Sometimes careful research leads you to a "jumping off place". 

Living on the Frontier

A discussion about innovative pioneering

  Understanding the lessons your life is teaching you.  

The Person
Progress isn't made by lovable people, it's made by tenacious, strong and pragmatic people.  Nobody bothers to explain that great creative thinkers usually have very difficult lives.  Life on the frontier is complicated by the lack of maps.  The creative person needs to work very hard for freedom from dogma, from pseudo information, and from the things that "everyone knows" that eventually prove to be wrong. 

Intrinsic Interest
Innovators find something of interest and investigate it deeply.  They focus on practical tasks in a real world, and often find that there is more to achieving the intended objective than expected.  The process of finding a way forward raises some questions, which one tries to answer using the accepted methods.  What happens when your work fails?  What then?  For most people, nothing.  They self censor knowledge of the problem and move on to something else.  People see what they expect to see.  But innovators treat the unexpected result like a golden piece of jigsaw, and treasure it until they find where it does fit. 

Disciplined Thinking
Great thinkers learn how to "bracket" the unexpected event or the contra-indicating knowledge - so that it can be used in later work.  They replace the accept/reject response with accept/reject/put-this-aside.  People go reluctantly to the knowledge frontier.  Would 40 days in the "desert" clarify things?  What if I'm wrong and the solution is years away?  There is no public support for such a choice, and professional advisers and funders won't want to know.  After all existing practice suggests that there is little likelihood of success.  There's no clear evidence that this leads to any productive conclusion.  To jump, or not to jump?  It's a personal choice. 

Try to understand the lesson your life is teaching you.  Do you trust the knowledge you've developed?  If it is to be: is it up to me?  Choose.

Understanding the Results

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