Garden's for a Future

Underestimation – The Folly of Society and the Fuel for the Individual
December 13, 2010, 5:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I hear it time and time again, and it irks me when people underestimate the power of an individual.

The people that make real change are the ones who are always underestimated by the masses. These are people with nothing more but a passion.

Recall from history the story of the Wright brothers, the creators of the modern airplane.

It is 1898, and everybody is competing to create the first airplane. Langley is favored as a prestigious engineer with government funds to create the first vehicle suitable for air travel. His invention was called the Aerodome and had a motor that was at least 4 times more powerful than the one used on the Wright brothers model, 50 hp vs 12 hp. With all the funding he acquired from government institutions and private investors, Langley created a device that had to be catapulted to be launched and crash landed in a pool of water to land safely. After the crash, if there were any pieces left, they were to reconstruct the airplane for further travels.

Enter the Wright brothers, Wilbur and Orville. These two brothers were not college educated but full of spirit. Wilbur dropped his plans to attend Yale University, and Orville dropped out of high school to create a printing press. Over time they both became fascinated with bicycles, which later funded their private endeavors in flight.

In 1899, they decided to literally take a leap of faith and try their attempts at air travel. They began by piecing together a methodical way of achieving this. Step one was to control their movements while in flight by becoming familiar with gliding. This was a crucial key to their success.

Over time, they began to take notice of those who already could fly, birds. In their quest to conquer mobility in the air, they studied these animals to determine the mechanisms of moving to the left or to the right. With time, they concluded that the bird was able to make slight adjustments with its wings to turn in either direction. Using their skills as bicycle repairmen, they got to work on creating a set of controls to be used by a pilot.

A key note to remember is the difference between the Wrights and the engineers such as Langley. The engineers at the time did not believe a pilot could control the movements of an aircraft in relation to wind disturbances by using mechanical controls. Instead they believed in an “inherent stability” with no real explanation. The Wrights on the other hand sought to create the very things the engineers thought were impossible.

Now, the rest is history.

So Remember this:

The biggest folly of society is the idea that an individual, a group, or a community cannot do something. In a few words, do not underestimate anybody and most importantly you should not underestimate yourself.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

wassup….finally got to your website….after 3 weeks

Comment by Thomas

haha. . it’s all good man. i’ve essentially told you a lot about what i’m working on already. this is just a notated form of some of my ideas.

Comment by cjkoay

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