I thought a whole lot as a teenager. I read science fiction, the best kind, and I thought a lot about big ideas. Around the age of fifteen, I decided a number of important things.
1. The big bang theory is correct. Back then, in the 1950s, people were still arguing about the “steady state” theory and the “big bang” theory. I read about it and decided on the big bang. I have been proved prescient and also correct. That is very satisfying to me.
2. I explained, back then, the origin of the universe and things like that by noting that there is a strain on nothing (see herein). It is the nature of nothing to have this strain on it. Take away the strain and you no longer have nothing. This explains the origin of the universe.
3. Back then, too, I decided that Albert Einstein was correct about a whole lot of things, but that he messed up by declaring that the speed of light is not only constant but that it can not be exceeded. Wrong on both counts. I don’t know how long I will have to wait to have these two ideas accepted, but I hope “they” hurry up because I am definitely not getting any younger.
I know you doubt that a little Kentucky farm boy could think these things and at such a young age, but it is the truth. I think I still have my DATED notebook from that time of my life. I do not lie.
I also think of how many smart people and smart ideas are thought up by people who you will never hear from. It is likely there is a fellow somewhere who has already proved answers to lots of today’s big questions, but he doesn’t know about publishing an academic paper or whatever.
Just like all the great musicians who will never get famous and be heard by millions, there is a lot of really good ideas languishing in the heads of very quiet people.