In the Think different campaign, Steve Jobs said,
… the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
What he didn’t say was why. Why is it that the people who move the world are often seen as “crazy”, or even see themselves as crazy?
The reason is found in how boring, unimaginative, and cowardly most people’s thinking is. It is so decrepit that they frequently act like crabs in a bucket, pulling anyone who thinks differently back down to the mindless bottom, as quickly as possible.
To achieve, build, or think anything truly interesting and new today, you have to seemingly cultivate a degree of Asperger’s syndrome, in order to successfully ignore the droves of thoughtless robots prepared to shout any and all new thoughts down.
“Crazy” people feigning [or in some cases, actually having] Asperger’s syndrome in order to succeed is not a fascinating or curious event: it strikes me as a fucking tragedy, and properly, as an indictment on a culture filled with cowards, liars, and hypocrites. Itself a direct consequence of the philosophic principles dominant and widely accepted today.
Peter Thiel gets it (his videos helping inspire this post).
And a few relevant quotes from his book, Zero to One, which I highly recommend reading.
Brilliant thinking is rare, but courage is in even shorter supply than genius.
If you’re less sensitive to social cues, you’re less likely to do the same things as everyone else around you.
“Doing something different is what’s truly good for society… The best projects are likely to be overlooked, not trumpeted by a crowd.”
There is a healthy alternative to cultivating learned Asperger’s syndrome, by the way. It’s called trusting your own judgement above all.