Re: virus: Original Thoughts

Tim Rhodes (
Sun, 22 Jun 1997 21:59:31 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 20 Jun 1997, John ''I Take Large Steps'' Williams wrote:

> >There is one thing that I have grown interested in, and
> >that is the idea of Original Thoughts. What is the
> >consensous at Virus? Do we have Original Thoughts, or
> >is it just rearranging things that we have heard before?
> I don't believe in something from nothing (despite my religion). I don't
> believe that creativity takes place in a vacuum. I think that
> original/creative thinking means putting things together in a novel
> fashion, and I certainly wouldn't pre-pend the word "just" to that.

This is a good a point and very close to what I have been mulling on for a
couple days. I don't think we can gain much from talking about
"originality" if we also realize the memetic legacy and causality of the
ideas we recombine.

However, discussing the "novelty"[1] of new recombinations of ideas seems
much more fruitful. If only we had a scale whereby we could judge, say,
<A'> as x% more novel than <A>. Or speak of <D> as being a specific
recombination of <A> + <B> + <C> resulting in an x% increase in total
novelty of <D> vs. <A+B+C>.

Any ideas for a unit of novelty, folks?

-Prof. Tim

[1] Funny glasses and whoppie cushions not withstanding.