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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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  • Aug 15 2013: At age 30 I started to be an idea guy. You have to conceptualize, verify and validate and then do--do what other people either don't see or mistakenly dismiss. I won my first "winning idea" award that year and cleared $17K from it through Human Resources at my job. My co-workers mostly said they thought about doing something "like" what I did but something in them told them they didn't have enough to go on. There are lots of things where it's no one's place still left to be improved and innovated against.. Who can reform education for instance? No one holds power enough to do so by mere concept and edict. It has to be a visionary shock to the system which will deliver the goods and sells.

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