There are probably two factors that count more than anything else, provided that one’s insight is accurate rather than merely another crank theory. The first factor is persistence: if your ideas can’t persist through time then they will be forgotten even after the central premise has been shown to be true. So publishing in some non-perishable format is essential, because eventually that research paper or obscure leather-clad book will turn up and you’ll get retrospective (and likely posthumous) credit. The second factor is timing: it’s much easier to be right just a little in advance of the crowd rather than being right centuries too soon. The former may bring you criticism and opprobrium while the latter may see you burned as a heretic or a witch (just ask Giordano Bruno, for example…).

And that’s it. Everything else is statistically insignificant compared to these two factors, except for wealth and social status which serve to insulate you (to some degree) from attacks by those heavily invested in the status quo but do not contribute much to the eventual acknowledgement of your insight.

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Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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