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Who you are is the product of all of the experiences you have had, and not had, throughout your lifetime. Nobody operates in complete isolation. Everyone is influenced by sources outside of themselves. We take those experiences and internalize them with our other memories in our own way but ultimately everything you come in contact with serves as material for the future you. So it stands to reason that new ideas & creativity are also the result of taking existing ideas and transforming them.

People frequently talk about ideas/people as being "totally original," but the truth is that originality is rather unoriginal. People with seemingly totally new ideas are really just the result of taking existing concepts and bringing them together in new ways. Perhaps you can identify the original source material, perhaps you can not, but everyone is influenced by ideas outside of themselves and nobody creates something entirely new.

The 4 part video series Everything is a Remix is a fantastic exploration of this in action. From music, to film, to mechanical invention everyone is influenced by the work of others.

6 Comments
Luminary
Luminary

R&D stands for "Rip-off and Duplicate", as cleverly stated in one of the QlikView Key Notes.

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carbal1952
Contributor II

Completely true.

There is nothing new under the sun (or others stars).

CB.

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mov
Esteemed Contributor III

True, but...

"People with seeming totally new ideas are really just the result of taking existing concepts and bringing them together in new ways."

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Partner
Partner

From a Leonard Bernstein biography years ago I gleaned an anecdote of Bernstein (who liked to think of himself as quite original, not using ideas from other composers) listening to a young composer play a new work and calling out the names of other composers whose influence he heard...including his own name. Perhaps our greatest creative power is synthesis, bringing things together in new ways. The electric light bulb was a totally new invention, except where it borrowed the knowledge of glass-blowing and electric generation and conduction and metallurgy and insulation and vacuum pumps and...

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Not applicable

Rightly said..

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Partner
Partner

Just like the unicorn. A horse with a horn.

Pegaso, a horse with wings...

Your reasoning is good for everything, not only programming and it's been debated many times before computers.

Anyway is good to say it. In fact, everytime you press a key, you copy and paste.

Some programmers think they are inventing. They are just using the same bricks in a different disposition.

The inventor is the one who created the language, but they are millions of possibilities or variations.

With the same bricks, you can build many different houses.

Regarding music, they are many songs with the same notes. Twist and Shout and La Bamba, just the same song.

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