When it comes down to it, what we believe is largely determined by a market. We sometimes shop there, looking for answers to the many questions that life throws up, other times we are vendors, hoping that others will buy our ideas or opinions.
Of course the marketplace varies, from the noisy bar where late night arguments rage around unlikely subjects, to the pages of learned journals with their scientific peer reviews or the chaotic stream of social media with its bewildering exposition of prejudice. We buy, we sell.
Perhaps our strongest beliefs are those we share with many others, not just random others mind, but folks whose opinion we trust.
But this is not just the wisdom of trusted crowds. These shared truths were themselves handed down by other, smaller, trusted communities. Eventually, we can trace each fragment to a single moment, person or action.
At the time, the assertion of that primitive truth might have been regarded as a rogue act of maverick thinking. Yet for one reason or another it gains the support of others over time and eventually becomes mainstream.
That maverick moment, where something entirely new is imagined is where all human progress originates. Mostly, of course, these moments involve an increment, a small variation or addition to something which exists already. The greater the leap, the tougher the experience of its author.
Maverick thinkers are usually mocked and seldom recognised or rewarded in their lifetime.
Scientists are the worst culprits. They often profess to welcome orthogonal thinking yet this only applies to minor variations to the accepted bodies of knowledge.
This is understandable. After all, science is about rigour. Theory, test, proof. Without that discipline we would descend back into the dark ages.
In The Infinity Trilogy, the ideas of two such maverick scientists propel the search for a better way for humans to live. In the second part of the trilogy, Infinite Truth, we follow Helgar Osmath’s struggle to protect these ideas from corruption by politicians hell bent on protecting their power base.