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Thoughts on Resolve and Vision

Consider this statement:

"In the first hundred years of active life, it has been described as a menace and a blessing, a blight and a godsend, as a savior of our countryside and cities, and as their curse, as socially divisive and the greatest social leveler. It has been worshipped and reviled, celebrated and scorned."

No, the quote is not talking about XBRL, it is talking about the automobile. Here is another quote from an article which talks about the history of the automobile:

And as you would expect, the politicians of the day displayed a total lack of vision.

I think that XBRL was lucky in that we happened to find many visionaries such as leaders within the Association of Dutch Water Boards, the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Committee of European Banking Supervisors, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Australian SBR Project, the National Tax Agency of Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the Japan Financial Services Agency, the MIX Market and others to consider what XBRL might offer.

This Machiavelli quote has always been a favorite of mine:

"It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who gain by the new ones. "
— Niccolò Machiavelli

Consider this quote by Wilbur Wright:

"I confess that in 1901, I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for 50 years.... Ever since, I have distrusted myself and avoided all predictions." —Wilbur Wright, 1908

One of my favorite pieces which helps one to tune their perspective is an article which appeared in The Futurist (July-August 1995), Peering into the Future with Wilbur and Orville Wright, On the brink of a new age, two inventors debate their innovation's potential, by Malcolm Wells. Here is part of Wilbur and Orville's discussion:


Orville, when you get that strut repaired, I want to talk to you about the commercial value of these machines. What I mean to say is, aside from putting on demonstrations at fairgrounds, do you really think there's any money to be made from flying?


Are you serious? Airplanes are going to carry millions of passengers someday. And thousands of wagonloads of freight, too.


Come on, now, Orville, talk sense. Even a flying machine 10 times bigger than ours couldn't carry more than 20 people. And I doubt that they'd even be willing to sit out there. Imagine women and children traveling that way.


Not on the wings, Wilbur; inside. There'll be enclosed cabins with soft seats and carpet on the floor.


And electric lights, too, I suppose. You really are a crackpot.


Will the last mile of finance get a face lift? Every day it seems that more and more evidence that some pretty big changes might be coming. No one knows for sure.  Maybe there is nothing to all this. But then again, maybe there is.


Posted on Sunday, January 16, 2011 at 08:03AM by Registered CommenterCharlie in | CommentsPost a Comment

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