This is a pompous title but it’s just a rambling of shower thoughts. A lot of people think creativity, making a song, drawing a picture, developing a game — they think it has to be wholly original.. That’s not true. You can piece together a bunch of random parts and that’ll appear original enough I’ve done that with my original characters, I just take a handful of things I know I like and merge them.

What is originality though? What people don’t realise is that most people that follow through and actually create something stole from something else. Now when I say stole I mean that as in this steal (and more on the real orign here). Creators thrive on seeing other ideas and building off it, connecting that new information to another piece of information. When those two connections lead to something brand new, that’s what people perceive as originality. Fun fact, that’s how my username came to be. I wanted to merge the words Light and Dark, Dight sounded terrible and I’d never heard of the word Lark before. This was before I knew of “the internet”, so I had no idea it was a name nor a bird nor a word with an actual definition. Yet it feels pretty original, because I don’t actively come across users with that same name (I have to go out of my way to search and find such usages).

The funny thing is this whole train of thought reminded me of the current internet craze created by Neal, Infinite Craft. The entire premise of the game is that (I think, AI) takes two items you merge and attempts to provide a relevant new item. If I take fire and water, it makes steam. Makes perfect sense (it doesn’t always, but it tries). When you build this up and have things like a T-Rex and Shakespeare’s Oedipus you get some random concoction like “Dipus Rex”. I’d never heard of that before, but apparently a dipus is a kind of rodent. Something new! I’m taking two completely random pieces of information, and coming to something new. A lot like how I mentioned originality comes to be known. I actually have to wonder how many people are saving random new combinations they’ve learned in this game to use later. No one will ever question where the idea came from, they’ll just think it’s an original idea the creator had out of thin air.

Humans didn’t discover fire because they magically thought “fire, that’d make life better”. It was more likely, they saw fire, found a way to reproduce it, then decided to combine it with other items. If I combine a fire with a cow, I get beef (ish). Taking two things I’ve come to learn about to create something different, possibly new to me. At one point, that beef was brand new and original. Originality is when someone decides to take that one new thing and actually run with it. I for one, believe that if you’ve had a thought, a realisation, come to a brand new conclusion, that there is at the very least ONE other human being who has had that same thought. Could have been decades ago, or seconds ago on the other side of the planet — but it’s probably likely someone has had that “original” idea you’ve concocted.

The difference comes down to one simple thing: whether or not you’re the one that decides to finally act on it.