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To what extent can an idea be unique?

Are all ideas just the combination of known principles or trial and error? Examples and peronal experiences are good as well as just opinions. This question could be expanded to any thought at all, not just ideas. If there is a thought that is almost entirely unique, there can't be any previous oppposite idea. What I mean is if an idea is the exact opposite of another it isn't really original. It just stated the opposite. If an entirely original idea can be made, how will it be formed?

I have some opinions currently, but I'm sure they'll change after your comments. Please ask me to expand or clarify if needed.

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    Jul 24 2013: An idea is unique only when it makes us see something we completely missed or in a way that revolutionizes our point of view. Like say simply looking at time in a relativistic way and taking speed of light as a natural constant.
    Uniqueness and originality may not be synonymous. No thought is entirely original, we can always find out a hidden cue behind it.
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      Jul 25 2013: That first part sounds like it makes uniqueness a subjective quality. An idea might be unique for me because it makes me see something I completely missed, but it wouldn't be unique to you because you didn't miss it. Likewise, it might revolutionize your point of view, but not mine. How can the same idea be unique and not unique? And more importantly, how does the subjective relativity of an idea influence the extent of its uniqueness?
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          Jul 28 2013: I read your entry (the one from three days ago) again. And then I read my reply. And then I read your entry once more. And I have to say you are correct. I don't why I didn't see your point three days ago.
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        Jul 28 2013: The deleted comment that you replied to above was inadvertently posted in the name of my son who was logged on in facebook. The content was mine of course and I think it is not required anymore. Sorry for the confusion and thanks.
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          Jul 28 2013: Well, I agree with your comment that begins, "An idea is unique only when..."

          I was wondering where the spectacle-wearing chimpanzee picture was.
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        Jul 28 2013: The spectacle wearing Chimpanzee is getting older and he slips at times. But he is here, no worries.

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