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Some Wild Ducks that Were Right

Updated on March 4, 2017

Introduction

What are wild ducks you ask? They are the people who travel not in formation like most ducks but chart their own path. Down through the ages, there were a few famous wild ducks that changed the course of history. I would like to hi-light some of them.

- June 2016

Background

When I was working at IBM Research, we were taught that there is value in thinking outside the box. The ex-chairman of IBM, Thomas Watson Jr., created the prestigious position of IBM Fellow whereby an individual would be given a five year sabbatical to work on anything he or she desires and with full funding. The idea is to reward someone who may have some wild ideas but may not have any current applications or product value.

As of 2015, only 267 IBMers have earned the IBM Fellow distinction, and 95 of them remain active IBM employees. IBM Fellows have generated 9,157 patents, received five Nobel prizes, thousands of government and professional citations and have a massive store of published research in scientific journals.

This hub is not about IBM Fellows but what some of them represented. They were "wild ducks" that went in new directions and have created innovation and value for the rest of us.

The wild ducks I am writing about was some of history's more famous and controversial personalities that have challenged conventional wisdom and won.

Galileo

Galileo was an Italian astronomer in the 16th century. He believed the Sun is the center of the solar system and all planets revolved around it. The scientists of the day believe the Earth to be the center and this was supported by the Pope and the Catholic Church. He was arrested for heresy and was placed in house arrest until his death.

In 1992 Pope John Paul II expressed regret for how the Galileo affair was handled, and issued a declaration acknowledging the errors committed by the Catholic Church tribunal that judged the scientific positions of Galileo Galilei, as the result of a study conducted by the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Immanuel Velikovsky

Immanuel Velikovsky is a Russian scientists who wrote the book "World in Collision" in 1950. His theory about the formation of geological structures having been created by violent and sudden events contradicted the traditional believe that millions of years of erosion were the cause. His ideas were rejected by scholars at the time, but his writings captured the imagination of the masses. He was proven to be correct.

Zacharia Sitchin

Zacharia Sitchin wrote the 12th Planet claiming that there exists a plant X that revolves around our sun in a very extreme elongated orbit that takes 3600 years per revolution. All astronomers does not take this seriously since we have only discovered 9 planets. Recently, NASA has confirmed the existence of a possible 10th planet called planet X.

Edgar Cayce

Edgar Cayce was an American psychic that made many predictions that came true. He was one of the proponents of climate change being affected by the oceans. The la Nina and el Nino cycles are due to deep oceans. These are weather patterns that are a result of temperature changes in the deep currents of Earth's oceans. These changes in the temperature of ocean currents have had dramatic effects on our weather. He was years ahead of his time.

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was a brilliant inventor on par with Thomas Edison. He was a proponent of wireless transmission of electric power. He was ahead of his times by 75 years.

World in Collision

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