change is destruction

I am reading The New New Thing. It is more captivating than I anticipated. It was given to me as recommended reading, but I had no idea what it was about. It is a biography of Jim Clark, the founder and inspiration behind SGI, Netscape, and the present commercialized dot com era of the Internet.

One characteristic of Clark’s appeals to me. He paid no respect for history. His only care is towards how to invent the future. The key word is “invent”, as opposed to predict. People who work at prognostication are merely an audience. Innovators aren’t just interested in looking forward, but in engineering it into existence.

I have noted before the difference between builders and breakers. However, creators are also destroyers in a sense. The reason for creating something new is to impose change upon that which is the source of dissatisfaction. The intent is to obliterate something, as it exists today, in order to replace it by something better. Engineers love to destroy things as we know it, and substitute a new world order that matches our vision. The great destroyer is change, and this weapon is wielded by original thinkers. They have no respect for authority. They show no reverence for what came before them.

The opposing force to change is the people trying to hold onto what they have, desperately fearing that the shape of their environment is being altered beyond their control. A person’s reaction to innovation is revealing. It shows one’s appreciation for creation, the power to destroy and reinvent. Or opposition, if that is the case. What do you call “visionaries” who are unable to recognize the future, even when it is put in front of them? Tourists are there to see things that others have built. I have no interest in seeing the world. I want to rebuild it.

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