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Originality” is everyone’s aim, and novel techniques are as much prized as new scientific discoveries. T. S. Eliot states it with surprising naïveté: “It is exactly as wasteful for a poet to do what has been done already as for a biologist to rediscover Mendel’s discoveries. ”“

„…“originality” is everyone’s aim, and novel techniques are as much prized as new scientific discoveries. [T. S. ] Eliot states it with surprising naïveté: “It is exactly as wasteful for a poet to do what has been done already as for a biologist to rediscover Mendel’s discoveries.”“

Джаррелл, Рэндалл фото

Источник: A Brief History of Time (1988), Ch. 1
Контексте: It has certainly been true in the past that what we call intelligence and scientific discovery have conveyed a survival advantage. It is not so clear that this is still the case: our scientific discoveries may well destroy us all, and even if they don’t, a complete unified theory may not make much difference to our chances of survival. However, provided the universe has evolved in a regular way, we might expect that the reasoning abilities that natural selection has given us would be valid also in our search for a complete unified theory, and so would not lead us to the wrong conclusions.

Northrop Frye фото

„Just as a new scientific discovery manifests sometimes that was already latent in the order of nature, and at the same time is logically related to the total structure of the existing science, so the new poem manifests something that was already latent in the order of words.“

— Northrop Frye Canadian literary critic and literary theorist 1912 — 1991

"Quotes", Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays (1957), Mythical Phase: Symbol as Archetype

Henry Ford фото

„One of the greatest discoveries a person makes, one of their great surprises, is to find they can do what they were afraid they couldn't do.“

— Henry Ford American industrialist 1863 — 1947

„The next revolution in scientific discovery will depend on scientific interdependence.“

— Robert J. Birgeneau Canadian physicist 1942

A modern public university, Nature Materials 6, 465 — 467 (01 Jul 2007), doi: 10.1038/nmat1935, Commentary.

Ernest Rutherford фото

„An alleged scientific discovery has no merit unless it can be explained to a barmaid.“

— Ernest Rutherford New Zealand-born British chemist and physicist 1871 — 1937

As quoted in Einstein: The Man and His Achievement (1973) by G. J. Whitrow, p. 42
Variants:
If you can't explain your physics to a barmaid it is probably not very good physics.
As quoted in Journal of Advertising Research (March-April 1998)
A theory that you can't explain to a bartender is probably no damn good.
As quoted in The Language of God (2006) by Francis Collins, p. 60

Henry Mintzberg фото

„Learning is not doing; it is reflecting on doing. T. S. Eliot writes in one of his poems, “We had the experience but missed the meaning.” Reflection is about getting the meaning.“

— Henry Mintzberg Canadian busines theorist 1939

Источник: Managers Not MBAs (2005), p. 254

„Your object is to see yourself exactly as you are. Self-knowledge is the discovery of the new: it looks beyond the world that has all the answers and no solutions.“

— Barry Long Australian spiritual teacher and writer 1926 — 2003

Knowing Yourself: The True in the False (1996)

„In disputes upon moral or scientific points, ever let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent: so you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.“

— James Burgh British politician 1714 — 1775

The Dignity of Human Nature (1754)

Richard Feynman фото

„I don't like honors. … I've already got the prize: the prize is the pleasure of finding the thing out, the kick in the discovery, the observation that other people use it. Those are the real things.“

— Richard Feynman, книга The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

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Источник: No Ordinary Genius (1994), p. 82, from interview in "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" (1981): video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEwUwWh5Xs4&t=24m55s

Martha Graham фото

„Dancing is just discovery, discovery, discovery — what it all means…“

— Martha Graham American dancer and choreographer 1894 — 1991

New York Times interview (1985)

Peter Medawar фото

„Scientific discovery is a private event, and the delight that accompanies it, or the despair of finding it illusory, does not travel. One scientist may get great satisfaction from another’s work and admire it deeply; it may give him great intellectual pleasure; but it gives him no sense of participation in the discovery, it does not carry him away, and his appreciation of it does not depend on his being carried away. If it were otherwise the inspirational origin of scientific discovery would never have been in doubt.“

— Peter Medawar scientist 1915 — 1987

‘Hypothesis and Imagination’ in The Art of the Soluble, 1967.
1960s

Arthur Koestler фото

„The more original a discovery the more obvious it seems afterwards.“

— Arthur Koestler, книга The Act of Creation

The Act of Creation (1970).

A.A. Milne фото

„One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries.“

— A.A. Milne British author 1882 — 1956

Ernst Mach фото

„The aim of research is the discovery of the equations which subsist between the elements of phenomena.“

— Ernst Mach Austrian physicist and university educator 1838 — 1916

Источник: 20th century, Popular Scientific Lectures, (Chicago, 1910), p. 205; On aim of research.

Simone de Beauvoir фото

„Science condemns itself to failure when, yielding to the infatuation of the serious, it aspires to attain being, to contain it, and to possess it; but it finds its truth if it considers itself as a free engagement of thought in the given, aiming, at each discovery, not at fusion with the thing, but at the possibility of new discoveries; what the mind then projects is the concrete accomplishment of its freedom.“

— Simone de Beauvoir, книга The Ethics of Ambiguity

Pt. III : The Positive Aspect of Ambiguity, Ch. 3 : Freedom and Liberation
The Ethics of Ambiguity (1947)

„The measurement of time was the first example of a scientific discovery changing the technology.“

— Ivar Ekeland French mathematician 1944

Источник: The Best of All Possible Worlds (2006), Chapter 8, The End of Nature, p. 150.

Why Originality Is A Creative’s Greatest Weapon

Every day business owners around the world pursue their passions, launch industry-disrupting products, and achieve millions in funding. These events signify the power each of us has to create success, but they also illuminate something much deeper —competition is intense and your product or service alone isn’t enough to make a dent in the universe.

In life and in business, you’re presented with opportunities to either fit the mold or break it, to fall in line or buck the status quo. We have but one precious life and you may be born inside the game, but you can choose to play your hand differently.

We claim to value originality, individuality, self-expression and uniqueness, yet many business owners cave to fitting in rather than standing out. There is a serious lack of originality in business and companies are defaulting to what they sell, instead of what they stand for. Your brand and business are an extension of who you are, your history, and your tribe. If you don’t believe in your ideas, why should anyone else? As the co-founder of a branding agency that works with startups and global brands, I’m seeing far too many companies telling the exact same story, delivering the exact same message, in the exact same way. Sameness is a prison and we should all do well to break free from it.

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It can be argued that originality is nonexistent, or it’s all been done before. I couldn’t disagree more. At Motto, we encourage our branding clients to believe that true originality is the ability to approach existing ideas or solve important problems through new eyes and in new ways. Originality is rare. Originality is interesting. Originality is what makes things matter.

You have two options when it comes to your business: fall in line like everyone else or assert your originality. If you want to avoid being the status quo, here are five lessons that will help you defy the ordinary:

Move the world to your vision by being a nonconformist.

There is comfort in conformity. To be an entrepreneur, it often means bucking the status quo and taking an idea you believe in and tirelessly proving its worth to the world. In order to move the world to your vision, having an idea alone isn’t enough. The idea has to be nurtured, shaped and executed. Nonconformists identify a problem and work on a solution that makes things better for the world around them.

Have courage in your creativity.

Whether you’re creating an app or furthering a social mission, creativity is essential to being successful. After all, you’ve dreamed up an idea that will solve a problem and make a profit — and while there may be many before you, no one will do it the way you’ll do it. When this feels daunting, you should refocus on your most creative ideas and have the courage to propel them forward. Find confidence in the fact that taking risks and showing off your original, creative self is the only way to avoid ending up acting like everyone else.

Sometimes the «how» is more important than the «why.»

Sometimes your big audacious vision may seem like crazy talk. As a firm believer in the power of why — and by helping companies work to uncover their purpose and use it in their branding — I’ve found there are indeed some exceptions. Adam Grant, author of Originals, says when asking for help with the seemingly impossible, “Instead of starting with why, start with the how.” We’ve been advised to always start with «why» to explain our greater purpose, but if you have an original idea, your «why» could likely sound crazy to other people. If you can make the «how» seem more attainable, then what you’re working towards might start to sound more realistic.

Ignore your rivals.

From people who undermine you, to those who copy your ideas, people are always going to try to be better than you. It’s important to remember that such actions are a natural part of life. The good news is that your originality is your biggest weapon against those who try to conquer you — and you should always fight for the right to be yourself. If you learn to be your own comforting guide when the going gets rough, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any unexpected challenge that comes your way.

Have a «reality distortion field.»

This was a term coined by Bud Tribble to describe Steve Jobs, his charisma and his innate ability to influence, inspire and persuade others into almost anything. In order to bring your ideas to life, you must first believe in them yourself. It has been said by Malcolm Gladwell that with any great entrepreneur who has an original vision or seemingly impossible idea, that at least once, he or she will be the only person left standing who believes in it. When you distort reality or expand the realm of possibility, you’ll find that others will be drawn to your magnetism and originality, and will be willing to move your ideas forward.

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[А.С.Гольдберг. Англо-русский энергетический словарь. 2006 г.]

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badge — badge … Dictionnaire des rimes

badge — [ badʒ ] n. m. • XIVe; mot angl. ♦ Anglic. 1 ♦ Féod. Insigne rond porté par un chevalier et sa suite. 2 ♦ (Parfois n. f. ) Insigne métallique rond porté par les scouts, qui correspond à un brevet de spécialité. « J ai déjà mes badges de bricoleur … Encyclopédie Universelle

badgé — badge [ badʒ ] n. m. • XIVe; mot angl. ♦ Anglic. 1 ♦ Féod. Insigne rond porté par un chevalier et sa suite. 2 ♦ (Parfois n. f. ) Insigne métallique rond porté par les scouts, qui correspond à un brevet de spécialité. « J ai déjà mes badges de… … Encyclopédie Universelle

badge — [bædʒ] n [Date: 1300 1400; : Old French; Origin: bage] 1.) BrE a small piece of metal, cloth, or plastic with a picture or words on it, worn to show rank, membership of a group, support for a political idea etc American Equivalent: button… … Dictionary of contemporary English

Badge — (b[a^]j), n. [LL. bagea, bagia, sign, prob. of German origin; cf. AS. be[ a]g, be[ a]h, bracelet, collar, crown, OS. b[=o]g in comp., AS. b[=u]gan to bow, bend, G. biegen. See to bend.] 1. A distinctive mark, token, sign, or cognizance,… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Badge — des britischen Königshauses Windsor … Deutsch Wikipedia

badge — [ bædʒ ] noun count * 1. ) a special piece of metal, cloth, or plastic, often with words or symbols on it, that you wear or carry with you to show your rank or official position: a police badge Employees should wear their badges at all times in… … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

Badge — 〈[ bæ̣dʒ]〉 I 〈n.; s, s [ dʒız]〉 ansteckbares Namensschildchen II 〈f.; , s [ dʒız] oder m.; s, s [ dʒız]; Her.〉 Abzeichen, Symbol im Wappen [engl.] * * * I Badge … Universal-Lexikon

Badge — (b[a^]j), v. t. To mark or distinguish with a badge. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

badge — UK US /bædʒ/ noun [C] ► WORKPLACE a small piece of metal, plastic, cloth, etc. that you wear on your clothing to identify who you are, the organization you belong to, etc.: »A security guard checks each car, verifying that occupants have a… … Financial and business terms

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Is Originality Dead?

Everywhere we look, it’s like experiencing deja vu. From the onslaught of movie remakes to recycled fashion designs, the concept of an original idea may already be extinct.

Is Originality Dead?

Nothing strikes fear in the heart of a creator of an artistic work like being slapped with a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement. Well, that, and perhaps the stress of having long-lost relatives show up at the door asking for a piece of his newfound wealth.

Just last month, Katy Perry was ordered to pay damages to the tune of US$2.78 million ($3.85 million) by a jury, who found the pop star—together with her co-writer, music producers and record company—guilty of ripping off Christian rap song Joyful Noise by Marcus Gray (aka Flame) for her 2013 hit, Dark Horse.

The concept of “sampling” in music has been around for decades. One of the most notorious was the monster ’90s hit by Vanilla Ice. Ice, ice, baby, the catchy ditty masquerading as rap had a bassline pinched from Queen’s Under Pressure from a decade earlier.

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Ironically, hip-hop artistes, who most often accuse the mainstream of cultural appropriation, might themselves be the biggest perpetrators. Rapper P. Diddy, for instance, sampled The Police’s 1983 hit Every Breath You Take for I’ll Be Missing You in 1997.

While sampling may be considered a homage by artistes to their musical heroes, the problem was that in both cases, the rappers did not credit the original songs until they were called out, which gave rise to all sorts of legal issues.

In Perry’s case though, she may have been an unwitting victim of a musically ignorant jury. Industry experts later proved that both songs differed in key, tempo, notes, even beat.

So how did such an injustice prevail?

Blame the Internet. While it has certainly democratised knowledge acquisition and facilitated the easy flow of information across borders, it also expedites the pilfering of ideas, setting the stage for what Los Angeles-based visual artist Darel Carey refers to as “confirmation bias”.

The Scourge of Confirmation Bias

“The perception of everything having been done before is propagated by all the unoriginal ideas we see in everyday life,” notes Carey. “We see remakes of movies and copies of themes in art, and that makes it easy to assume that nothing is original. We are looking at instances of unoriginality to confirm unoriginality.”

This scourge of confirmation bias occurs because we, as humans, are natural-born pattern seekers, Carey observes.

“We want the easiest, quickest answer to put our minds at ease. If someone independently comes up with an idea that is similar to an existing one, we want to assume it must have come from the one already in existence,” he explains.

How then do creative professionals contend with the fear of innovating in an age where every creation, from fashion to furniture and technology to architecture, appears to be no more than an “inspired” replica of a pre-existing article conceived by the generation before?

“It’s not that all the original ideas have already been discovered,” Carey adds. “It’s just that what it means to be original is constantly evolving. Any present-day original idea stands on the shoulders of accumulated knowledge.”

Originality: An Evolving or Exhaustive Concept?

What makes an idea original is exceptionality. One that pushes the envelope, transcends boundaries, injects freshness and bewitches us with the magic of novelty. It has the power to revolutionise industries and may even make us question our pre-existing notions of reality.

“While rare, the probability of new and original ideas is not impossible,” says Kevin Ou, a celebrity photographer-turned-entrepreneur who has lensed the likes of former US President Barack Obama and Hollywood heavyweights Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp.

Creativity, he says, often compounds ideas from inspiration that came before it, giving birth to something unique and different. “Most creativity is cyclical and older ideas tend to have a new lease of life in modified ways,” says Ou, now group CEO of LivMo, a global experience marketplace he recently founded.

Carey holds a similar view. “Ideas are always floating around—some new, some old, some great, some bad. Having a creative mindset is about digesting ideas in a unique way, looking for other paths and seeing things from multiple perspectives, all of which enable one to make new connections,” he expounds.

Creativity, therefore, is also about “connecting dots that either haven’t been connected before or haven’t been connected in the same way before.” In Carey’s case, it’s lines instead of dots. His uncommon style of art sees the artist manipulate optical and spatial perception using tape as a medium to make line patterns that create an illusion of depth.

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“People have used tape and line patterns to create art before, that’s nothing new. People have created immersive spaces before, those aren’t new. People have created illusory art that tricks the mind’s eye before, that isn’t new too. But all of those things together coalesce into something unique. It took me years of learning, creating and thinking to arrive at such a harmonious intersection of ideas,” says Carey, who was recently commissioned by The Sanchaya resort in Bintan to create a unique installation inspired by its monochromatic palette.

Darel Carey and his mind-bending tape installations.

So, if repackaging, repurposing and recontextualising ideas constitute creativity, is originality even a requisite for ideation and creation? And does it even matter?

Not according to these creative professionals. In fact, the process could work just as well when inversed.

“This concept of idea-compounding means that creativity is infinite,” Ou considers. “As long as the will or desire to create exists, the possibility of something new and original can be born.”

Synthesising Creativity

Don’t even get Thomas Heatherwick started on the question of whether originality still exists in this world. The British designer of the new London Routemaster buses, who’s also working on the upcoming Terminal 5 at Singapore’s Changi Airport, refuses to give it even a moment’s consideration.

“In every age, everyone thinks that everything has been done before. But I think saying there’s no such thing as originality lets people off the hook,” he asserts.

In fact, one could argue that the potential for originality is now greater than ever, as the lack thereof increases the pressure to innovate. This calls for creators to arrive at the creative process with an attitude of experimentation and, perhaps, even defiance, as they question conventional thinking, challenge their imaginations and push beyond the parameters of established precepts.

“There will always be room to pull together new ideas, make new connections, create new chemistries and synthesise things,” Heatherwick believes.

“What’s different about humans versus animals is that we’re interested in the pursuit of improving life, and that hunger is a powerful instinct inside us. Human ingenuity, I think, is one of the most magnificent things.”

As authors of any creative work will attest, the fear of being unoriginal—and being called out for it in the social sphere—can be paralysing. But one can take comfort in the knowledge that originality is now less an expectation and more the exception.

“If all ideas were original, then we’d have to change the meaning of ‘original’,” says Carey. “So, what we see in the world is exactly what we should expect to see: A whole lot of unoriginal ideas, with a few rare exceptions pulling us forward, innovating and redefining the norms.”

This story first appeared in the September issue of A.

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