Explorers, Anchors and Historians – Who is the trouble maker?

Whilst out cycling and dealing with a rather annoying puncture on the cliff top overlooking the Solent I was struck by the description of a concept that I needed to think about some more and then share. The solent has often been the gateway to some great exploration, it has some significant history around Portsmouth and Southampton and it is also a safe port for many a vessel.
HMS Victory
This trinity of classification seems to apply to the adoption of new ideas, new ways of working, new products.
The Explorers go out and discover, they invent, they sing the praises of the new world. They risk a great deal, but the risk is the reward for many.
The Anchors offer a safe haven, keeping things in place, giving an explorer somewhere to launch from and return (triumphantly) to.
The Historians remember, capture keep and preserve both the good and the bad. They keep old ways of doing things alive.
We need all three, but sometimes the system goes out of balance and that can be any one of the set but the most frequent in my experience is the following.
The Explorers head out, discover and return. The Anchors worry about having to haul anchor, find ways and means of not accepting what the Explorer has found. The Historians back up the Anchors with the “this is the way we have always done it” or “it did not work last time so…”.
Generally the Explorer will battle with the Anchors to justify the expedition, but a strong Anchor just has not reason to move.
In reality the Explorer should target the Historians, showing them there are other ways of working to preserve, new exhibits and generally forget the Anchors altogether.
Why does this make sense, well if the Anchors are in control the system stops completely. The explorers wont go out and find anything, the anchors wont move on and so the historians have nothing to preserve as old. Everything will remain static and the same just as the anchor needs it.
If the Historians demand history to record, and the Explorers find new ports to anchor in and provide that change then the system works.
So, and excuse the pun, don’t let the Anchor’s drag us down.
It is not the free and fancy explorer that is the trouble maker here, nor the Historian seeking to preserve the old ways is the Anchor.
I speak as an explorer and sometime historian, which of the three are you?

2 thoughts on “Explorers, Anchors and Historians – Who is the trouble maker?

  1. Peta Kenyon

    The model seems flawed. There has been no real exploration happening for over 30 years. Exploration in virtual worlds is about as exciting and risky as delving into your sock drawer and finding an odd sock. I think its missing a 4th category of Chav’s. They have limited intellect, are only interested in bling, celebrity status and self gratification. These are the trouble makers as they are essentially worthless and its where the vast proportion of gaming and virtual worlds resides.

  2. This was a metaphor about exploration in any field. Clearly there has been exploration the past 30 years or we would not have any of the tech and gadgetry we have today and would not be having this conversation. I think the Chav’s you refer to are really part of the anchor. The ones who see no value in the future or the past and just hang around the street corner of now. Add to self gratification the maintaining of status, control and power. All part of the same thought pattern?

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