This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 30, 2011 - Some people are said to be born ahead of their time. They're the visionaries who are able to see beyond the horizon of their epoch, whose ideas are often rejected by their contemporaries but ultimately transform the way we look at things.
Their uncanny prescience is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, they tend to be vindicated by history while their detractors are exposed as short-sighted, intellectual lightweights. On the other, this happy verdict is usually rendered after they're dead, leaving the prophet to gloat posthumously.