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  • Dave Glasser

Originality. What is It and What Makes it Valuable?

If someone builds a structure out of blocks and another person comes over and knocks it down it will fall into a unique pile of blocks. Is that original? Is the person who knocked it down an innovator? I would say no because all they did was destroy something. Gravity created it. Construction or reconstruction could be original. Or it could be a variation (more likely as everything is a variation on what came before).I’m not saying nothing is original; just that there are varying degrees and only a thorough knowledge and understanding of history can determine something’s true degree of originality.

Of course if we know nothing of the past than most everything is original. In todays American culture where in many ways we dismiss history and glorify ignorance, many people will argue that originality born of ignorance is valuable. I’m not convinced that is something to be proud of.

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