Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Virtue of Originality

In this day and age, people have come to forget one important element of progressive thought: Originality. You see a whole planet constantly devouring items mass produced. Concepts are cloned over and over and over again. I think it's not our fault we're not so original anymore, it's a modern culture thing. In this realm called your computer and the internet, 'copy paste' is like the swiss knife of research. We revive cultural moments and our very own culture regurgitates these reproductions. What is Originality anyway? I think it is just being sincere, embodied in a work or thought that exudes individuality. Back then, when writers produced a work, you can read assured that the writer wrote actually wrote what you are reading.

Is it okay to steal ideas? Said Pablo Picasso, "Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal." I think his statement has spawned an army of plagiarizers and second rate trying hard copycats. But I think that's just because these words were severely misinterpreted. Borrow what? Steal what?

I look at these thoughts and it hit me that all this COPYRIGHT cacophony has a lot to do with this wide problem people have with Originality. I think the value of an original idea work is something we can properly tack to Ownership, as it is, under the Intellectual Property Code and the Civil Code. These second rate trying hard copycats are like predators on the prowl, looking for the next big idea to hack, the next journal to plagiarize, thoughts to steal. A good idea is hard to come by, but it is important to respect the people whose ideas and visions we borrow, because they own something in the form of that idea or work.

So what was Pablo Picasso trying to say? I think we shouldn't pay attention to that bullshit and learn to create and think in a way that is natural to each of us. Maybe I write about these things, too, because this is the kind of philosophy I embrace. Honestly, it's hard to balance the need for originality with the demands of the audience. But what precious power it is to be the progenitor of an idea or work that will send shockwaves through the planet.

I guess that's all I have to say on this Virtue.

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