Hack the Status Quo

March 12, 2021 by Ishaan Koratkar

“I realize everyone’s lives are filled with work and people and distractions — the situation brewing at the office, the sump pump breaking down at the house, the family member who’s fallen ill. I realize it must seem like the greatest arrogance to think one could escape life’s mundane concerns, like asking to live on a cloud, floating above the mere mortals. But it was that arrogance that made me think I could contribute to adult mailing lists when I was still in elementary school, that arrogance that made me think someone might want to read my website when I was still just a teen, that arrogance that had me start a company as a college freshman. That sort of arrogance — not bragging, but simply inwardly thinking I could do more than was expected of me — is the only thing that’s gotten me anywhere in life. I see no reason to stop now.” -Aaron Swartz, 2009

Aaron Swartz was one of the most impressive people to have ever lived in the last two centuries. He was part of founding or making of RSS, Creative Commons, Reddit, Markdown, Demand Progress, Image Atlas, and so many more things. If you aren’t familiar with at least one of those things, you have certainly used something powered by them (this site included).

The quote above is inspiring because I think that it really shows what’s behind the greatest people. It’s not a high IQ, genetics, enviornment, but rather a kind of lunacy (covering up a great wealth of raw tenacity). Those who have this really do change the world.

We would not have touched the moon without this lunacy, and we certainly wouldn’t be going back there. And this isn’t something you’re born with or without. It’s learned. I think the most important part is getting in over your head. Doing your best to contribute to things you “shouldn’t” be able to contribute to because you’re too young, old, dumb, lost, or lacking in any factor to do.

Once the pressure is on, you’ll learn very quickly.

So let’s be that crazy. Let’s think we can change things. Let’s go places we shouldn’t.

Let’s hack the status quo.

2021/03/12 by Ishaan Koratkar