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Thread: Originality is dead.

  1. #21
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Array Cellmold's Avatar
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    Mar 2012


    Quote Originally Posted by Wind-Up Rex View Post
    I think it depends on how you define "originality" here. I think developing a totally novel idea is rare, but it is possible to find novel applications for existing ideas. I think that's what innovation is about, and that matters. I mean, why would anyone sit around lamenting how little difference there is between a chariot and a Model T?

    Real and successful originality is recognizable as an idea that doesn't just introduce one single thing, but rather has a system-wide effect. Effective original ideas shift paradigms, and create facets to society that hadn't existed previously. Society hasn't stagnated, so people somewhere must be trying and implementing new ideas. There's still an avant garde, but it's hard to be a lay person and know about these kinds of things. It takes expertise and a little obsession to recognize these ideas as game changers before they percolate outwards and become standard.
    That's really encouraging and in fact you're first part about developing something new from something existing ties in with what @Mad Hatter was trying to tell me.
    So would you say such ideas are more difficult to get across now than before? In the sense that many might resist them by seeing them as just a rehash?

  2. #22
    Junior Nasty Woman Array Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    So would you say such ideas are more difficult to get across now than before? In the sense that many might resist them by seeing them as just a rehash?
    People rarely resist an idea because it's too familiar to them. The world that we live in always benefits someone, and a new idea necessarily challenges those established interests. However, we live in a time now where sharing and generating new ideas is easier than it's ever been, and that's what's truly exciting. We're not to the point yet where individuals have become jaded by the present rate of idea-exchange and generation made possible by "flattened", collaborative models, because frankly we're still just at the beginning of identifying the full potential of those models.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Array KDude's Avatar
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    Jan 2010


    I've never had a strong preference for originality in the first place. It's cool when someone gets close to it, but I never exactly miss it either. I can appreciate classical forms in art, 3 chord rock, and a formulaic buddy cop movie.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Array UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    I don't think originality is dead, it's just hard to keep just the right level of crazy necessary to sustain it w/o putting your life in jeopardy.

  5. #25
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Array Mole's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    Literacy has given us originality such as the origin of species, and the origin of consciousness and even the origin of the universe, so we have no more need for originality. In fact we have had too much originality, so thank heavens the literate ascendancy is being replaced by the electronic ascendancy, where there is no teleology, no beginings and endings, no origins and no originality. We are all starting to feel as one in our electronic tribe in the global village.

  6. #26
    meinmeinmein! Array mmhmm's Avatar
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    Jul 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    Ive noticed a lot of recycled genre's and themes in the world of entertainment and fashion. New breakthroughs seem new, especially in science or medicine, but are usually just building upon what is already there. Although this isn't necessarily bad, (the refining of an idea to greater success or benefit for others is never a bad thing), it does make you think about what might happen once the idea's stop coming....
    i like how paul romer puts it into context,
    he champions that growth occurs whenever
    resources are rearranged in ways that are more
    valuable -- like cooking-- in order to create something
    valuable, we need to blend in ingredients.

    i mean ideas are essentially new combinations
    of ingredients--yes, ideas grow out of other ideas--
    and because it has to always relate back, so the
    word original doesn't seem to fit in.

    however, i think it's also important to understand that
    creativity and innovation isn't about trying to get away
    from the trials and tribulations of trying to re-combine stuff.

    i think being able to see that the internal structure
    of ideas is a new combination, but at the same time,
    creativity has this wonderful interplay with tradition and
    discontinuity (ie. street fashion you'll see people wearing
    70s clothes in 90s, 80s clothes in 00's). i think because
    when new combinations are discovered, ideas will tend to
    re-express, interpret, and reinvent what has been done before.

    it makes what picasso said makes sense: 'bad artists copy,
    good artists steal' and the perfect crime is the ability to
    assimilate past traditions and sucessfully integrate it and
    transform it into something fresh or something new, without
    noticing the inheritance.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  7. #27
    Certified Sausage Smoker Array Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beargryllz View Post
    There is no such thing as originality
    There never was
    Prove me wrong
    originality can mean two things
    - the creation of something COMPLETELY new (by the laws of physics, a theoretical impossibility)
    - a unique combination of what already exists to accomplish something greater than the sum of it's parts.

    the former is dead; the latter is not
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  8. #28


    Nothing can be completely new- anything that exists builds upon others. But things can be new or original within a particular context or setting. This is why poetry, music and art continue to dazzle us to this day, and will continue to dazzle us for eternity. It's not that you're saying something that's never been said before- it's how you're saying it, why you're saying it, who you're saying it to...

    you can never step in the same river twice
    Call me Visa, please!

  9. #29
    morose bourgeoisie Array
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    This thread has been done before...

  10. #30
    Vaguely Precise Array Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    This thread has been done before...
    I think someone already said that.

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