My thoughts on “Everything is a Remix”

We were assigned to watch the “Everything is a Remix” video series by Kirby Ferguson.

He brings to light some very interesting and important facts, and the following points are basically what I got from watching the videos:

  • Behind every work that we consider original, there are other preceding ideas that it copied from.
  • Progress is made by taking good ideas and copying, transforming, and combining them over and over again, much like how evolution happens.
  • When there is money involved, we become reluctant to share what we think we own, including our ideas.
  • Laws are made to “protect” our ideas from being copied and used by other people.
  • But since there are seldom truly original ideas and since new ideas feed upon the ideas that preceded them, is there one true owner of any idea?
  • The laws end up stifling and slowing down the copying-transforming-combining process, which, in turn, slows down the creation of new/improved ideas.

I enjoyed the videos very much.  They were excellent and made me think.  I would highly recommend that everyone watch them.

I do agree that in order for creativity and innovation to thrive and for us to maximize the human potential, we need to keep the regulations to a minimum and let things take their natural course.  But unfortunately, as long as money remains in the equation, the battle will continue.  The fact that we continue to be our own worst enemy to prohibit our own progress, sadly, is a part of the human condition, IMHO.  However, that doesn’t mean that we should stop trying.  Slowly but surely, we still manage to move forward in our evolutionary track.

And by the way, while I was watching these videos, I remembered THIS VIDEO of an experiment conducted by Derren Brown.  I don’t know the validity of this experiment.  After all, it was made for TV.  I still think it is a great illustration of the concept that even what we perceive as our own ideas may have come from somewhere else without us ever being consciously aware of it.  Watch it.  You will be amazed.

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2 Responses to My thoughts on “Everything is a Remix”

  1. linda says:

    I agree that the problem will not be worked out anytime soon, if ever. But I AM still optimistic that the creative people will continue creating despite the obstacles that stand in the way.

  2. paul says:

    The Derren Brown video was interesting. It made me think of an interview with a rock band I saw on tv. The guitarist said he didn’t listen to music because he didn’t want to be inadvertently influenced by someone else’s ideas. I thought it was sad, in a way. He was sacrificing something he obviously enjoyed, and really doing it needlessly, because everything comes from something else.

    I think what’s missing from from debates about copyright and reuse is the original purpose of copyright law: “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” Intellectual property protection is granted as an incentive to produce creative work so that others may build upon it (Progress), which is why that protection is granted expressly “for limited times.” But now people are primarily concerned with protecting property, at the expense of progress. I’m not so optimistic that this problem will be worked out.