Pabitra Mukhopadhyay

This conversation is closed.

Is there anything truly original?

1. Is it ethical to patent ideas, technologies or products that are based on community knowledge and wisdom?
2. Are there ways to reward first proposal instead of original in copyright/patent laws?
3. Is there anything such as scientific originality as contrasted to romantic originality?
4. Is there anything truly original?

I invite you to answer the questions, separately or in one comprehensive way.

  • Feb 23 2014: Pabitra

    In response to your queries....The patenting, or ownership of a community product is impossible in any but a legal context and as such is unethical on it's face. As to the rewarding of first proposals, I am not qualified to comment due to an ignorance of current and relevant international law.

    The third question is very interesting. I would assert that the leap of insight and understanding that comes in science is very much akin, but not identical to, the epiphanies available in other realms of creativity. I am presuming that your reference to scientific originality refers to the theorizing about, and discovery of natures underlying principles. These principles themselves are the very definition of originality, having been constant and unchanging for billions of years.

    John Donne accosts Newton in one of his poems for daring to dissect white light into its component colors, accusing him of "...unweaving the rainbow...", and robbing it of its beauty. Light's properties were of course constants long before Newton, but his shocking discovery of these properties were so visually counter intuitive they became a sensation, with a proliferation of "light shows" and kaleidoscopes.

    Each child taught this lesson, and a thousand others like it, has the opportunity for a leap of understanding, and with it the sharp beauty of a universe that expands and grows more complex and wonderful. Is that first moment of understanding scientific originality, even if untold numbers have understood it before you?

    As to the last question... I strongly assert the each individual moment is utterly unique and we should try to appreciate it as such. Though true success in this is impossible really, the attempt itself is beneficial. But none of it is original, it all rests on the predicates of it's past. You could as easily say that each moment is original, as it's like has not been seen before, nor will be again. Either way, it's valuable.

    Regards
  • Mar 11 2014: Inspiration is sporadic and comes only a couple times in someone's life. Other 'inspirations' were things that those people saw before, liked what they saw, and came up with ideas on how they could approve upon someone else's inspirations.

    Did you ever see the movie Amudeus? There is a specific part where Mozart looks at a song that Salieri wrote (just briefly) and says that he already has it in his head. He then proceeds to take Salieri's music, tweak the idea, and make something vastly more beautiful out of it.

    The question is: Did Mozart really compose what he played? Well... technically yes. Because it was different enough that it could be considered an original work. Did the inspiration come from Mozart? No it didn't. For that specific song, Mozart's inspiration came from Salieri's work

    Whenever you see an original idea so different and so far from what we know today - you can probably rest assured that the original inspiration came from somewhere else. There is only one exception to that rule and it's called Inception.

    Now before you think of the major motion picture, let me remind you that the definition of 'inception' is - "the establishment or starting point of an institution or activity." We use the word inception in common speech (usually) to refer to the official date that a company was Incorporated. While that's a legitimate use of the word, I think of it as 'the point in time when true inspiration was realized'

    An inception takes years, decades even, to develop. Why is that? Because inception can only be created by a persons past. Deep seeded emotion is the only thing that can create true inspiration. And even then, the person has be totally (or almost entirely) connected to their inner-self for this moment of truth to reveal itself. That's why an inception is impossible to fake - it takes years of emotion in order for it to develop.

    You only ever have one truly life changing inception in your life. This truth either makes you, or breaks you
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      Mar 11 2014: Profound, time has done for me what I have been unable to do for myself.
    • Mar 11 2014: Zeke,

      I like what you wrote even though I think that inspiration can be a constant company in someone's life, especially when one cultivates certain relationships, friendships and ways of being. Case in point Motzart. I also think that deep seeded reflection can create true inspiration… and a bunch of other things too. (yea that framing has multiple interpretations: 1- reflection can also create a bunch of other things 2- a bunch of other things can create true inspiration 3- additional ones...)

      You stated "We use the word inception in common speech (usually) to refer to the official date that a company was Incorporated." and "You only ever have one truly life changing inception in your life. This truth either makes you, or breaks you". I find many truly life changing inception events in my life. In a day this to is an inception event, what is it each will now hold in their minds/bodies/spirits? I wanted to say something about impressions at the point where a company was incorporated into one's life… to show how we come across inception points every time we meet someone or something … the encounter can makes us better, worst and other possibilities … Now we do have a say as to which possibility to realize and how to realize each possibility.

      In a way technically everything is truly original, because it be different enough that it could be considered an original.
      "Did the inspiration come from Mozart"? Yes it did and it was based on the inspired work that came from Salieri coupled with other stuff that tweaked, played, transformed and enriched the idea, into something vastly more beautiful and entertaining. From the movie it seems that Mozart just naturally played along with the music where as Salieri struggled saliently to jut out every note.

      Seems to me Mozart was more fun and entertaining to be around.

      How can one be more like Mozart if one be more like Salieri?
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      Mar 12 2014: Zeke & Esteban,

      I find both of your views inspiring and entertaining. It may be said also what breaks you makes you. Undoing or letting go of what breaks you transforms you. There is a place of mind called Original State. Perhaps starting as a turning point, where a broken fragmented mind starts the journey of becoming whole or returning to Original State, an inception. At first glimpse a ray of Hope appears in a hopeless world further progressing into a world of Illuminating Light. Some call this the day of Awakening and would appear as a single event whereas everyday is a progression of that original inception. It would seem once awake in consciousness it's most difficult to go back to sleep. With the inception comes inspiration, note how the words start with in, as to point in a direction.

      If we are all unique as human beings is that not a sameness we share?
      • Mar 12 2014: Larry,

        Yes, curious how that which includes us into a set is also what differentiates us in the set! For me there are levels of awareness, consciousness, understanding, that go from something into everything and into nothing… Each level is a unique state with infinite better states above it and infinite worst states below it… in a way each level is like every other level for they hold infinite upon infinite of possibilities while actually being unlike every other level. I hold to believe that there are better states! I recognize that others believe other beliefs. Question is why one chooses to believe what one chooses to believe?

        Originally upon reading what you just stated, I thought to response to beware how both the positive and negative employ the schema you put forth. 'The determinant point of inception' where a mind/body/spirit starts the journey of becoming. For some it is as you say "At first glimpse a ray of Hope… " for some it is may come as a glimpse of doubt… for some it may be an inspirational event… for some it may be a rockbottom experience… for some it may be a realization… For me the key here is how one responds to the invitations one gets, does one accept the right ones and reject the wrong ones? or does one do it the other way around? Maybe one be proactive and consider multiple meaning… and additional ways… What does the other way around mean? that one becomes the inviter?

        "Before Enlightenment chop wood carry water, after Enlightenment, chop wood carry water." I would include the notion: during Enlightenment chop wood carry water! or to use someone else's words "Put your heart, mind, intellect and soul even to your smallest acts. This is the secret of success." Of court 'chop wood carry water' stands for some activity (which may even be doing nothing) There exists a singular difference of doing ordinary activities with different attitudes!

        progressing into a world of Enlightenment focuses on understanding the light by knowing the light
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          Mar 13 2014: Hi Esteban,

          Perhaps yes to the idea that if you know the negative side you know half the story, if you know the positive side you know half the story, if you know both you know the whole story.
          When you know the whole story you can then smile upon the whole thing recognizing that is what it took to get you to that better current state, what seemed to curse has come to Bless.

          I would think one chooses to believe out of ignorance or understanding, a good reason not to set things in stone and remain teachable.

          I have wondered about what you stated about those rockbottom dwellers late in time like me and those early in time who seem to bounce off a very shallow bottom and go about their merry way. Maybe some of us are just dense and stubborn.

          The inviter would seem to be the same as cause and effect. the inviter is cause and the guest is the effect, equal subjects of motives and intentions. I guess that would determine how pleasant the association is or isn't.

          Before the Ted.com topic police throw down on us for you being so far off topic I better get us back on track. Is there anything truly original? I say yes, if it comes from an original source.

          See Ya, going to chop some wood and carry some water now.
      • Mar 14 2014: Larry,

        If one knows the lie (the negative) then one just knows that lie and will be unable to state if some other statement about that matter is veridic or not.
        If one knows the truth (the positive) then one knows that truth and will be able to state if some other statement about that matter is veridic or not.

        Another way to express that idea is that knowing only 'the light' one can experience the full spectrum from 0 light to infinite light… without needing any darkness at all; where as if one knows only darkness one will not be able to understand the light nor see a thing.

        When one know the whole story one can realize that learning the better way is what it took to get one to that better current state. Does one need to make a mistake to know the right answer? I think its a bad idea to think that a bad idea is a good idea because after we had the bad idea we had the good idea. I know how a thing can be a blessing and a curse; for example "may you reap in abundance what you sow"! I also know of things that can be just blessings "may you reap in abundance what you ought to reap". BTW one can only chooses to believe out of ignorance, for when it stems from understanding one knows!

        Setting things in stone and enabling them rocks to consciously move about and somewhat determine their fates, I think is one heck of an original idea. Thank you, I might have never conceived that humans are dense conscious rocks determinate to follow on a set course of actions.

        It's curious how inviter and guest be constituted in relationship to each other; akin to how the archer the bow and the arrow be constituted at the same singular instant and in relationship to each other. I would say that inviter and guests each be causes and effects. How pleasant the association is or isn't? I suppose depends on what each does to themselves and the other.

        I think the ideas we each expressed are truly original, even though some are a bit more original :-).

        What original have you had?
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          Mar 14 2014: Esteban,
          I responded to your post earlier and inadvertently closed out and erased my effort. Since then I received the script below and thought how on time with the conversation. I thought you might like it. Regards

          "I will there be light."
          "Today we are considering the will you share with God. This is not the same as the ego's idle wishes, out of which darkness and nothingness arise. The will you share with God has all the power of creation in it. The ego's idle wishes are unshared, and therefore
          have no power at all. Its wishes are not idle in the sense that they can make a world of illusions in which your belief can be very strong. But they are idle indeed in terms of creation. They make nothing that is real.
          Idle wishes and grievances are partners or co-makers in picturing the world you see. The wishes of the ego give rise to it, and the ego's need for grievances, which are necessary to maintain it, peoples it with figures that seem to attack you and call for "righteous" judgment. These figures become the middlemen the ego employs to traffic in grievances. They stand between your awareness and your brothers' reality. Beholding them, you do not know your brothers or your Self.
          ....................................................
          Today we will try once more to reach the world that is in accordance with your will. The light is in it because it does not oppose the Will of God.
          ..............................................
          Your picture of the world can only mirror what is within. The source of neither light nor darkness can be found without. Grievances darken your mind, and you look out on a darkened world. Forgiveness lifts the darkness, reasserts our will, and lets you look upon a world of light...............................
          Do you really want to be in hell? Do you really want to weep and suffer and die?
          ..................................................
          Suffering is not happiness, and it is happiness you really want. Such is your will in truth.
      • Mar 14 2014: Larry,

        I know the feeling… when that happens to me… I tend to think it was for my eyes only :-) (or someone/ something interfering).

        Thanks for the script you shared… When what one wills to be the will of God… that is the will one share with God … corresponds to ones will and God's will … then such will has all the power of creation in it… (thanks to God). Maybe its simpler to express this in a more practical way… when you choose to do what I choose to do (or the other way around - I choose to do what you choose to do)--- we each get to do what we choose to do AND what the other choose to do. In other words it isn't something about doing something your way or my way its simply about doing something. The same thing happens with willing to do what God wills to be done… on the one hand God knows what He is doing, on the other hand God wants us to be happy and full filed and divine… (because that's God's nature). Finally personally I too desire to be happy and full filed and a bunch of other wonderful things… that only God can ensure I realize. So I put my trust in God rather than myself. Oh and for them who assert creatures created the creator I just have to say that be it one way or the other way both creature and creator now exist in a loving relationship! What does it matter if we are 'material' beings having a 'spiritual' experience, or are 'spiritual' beings having a 'material' experience, when the point focuses on having an spirituo emotional conscious embodiment singularity that even transcends finite temporal domains?

        I hold that the ego better be educated and aligned, just like the mind, the body, the emotions, the attitudes, etc…

        I observe a bit of a bias in the script … towards cultivating a particular way of being… I prefer to maintain and cultivate an alternate bias where peoples help to make "righteous" judgments. The 'figurines' become 'stuff' that employs and is employed to traffic in 'favors', more appropriately interchanges of loving gifts.
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          Mar 15 2014: Esteban,

          Interesting you perceive bias in the script. Guess we are all biased, one way or the other. Putting ones trust in creation rather than themselves cultivates a particular way of being. Choosing one thing over another is biased. So it would appear there is a wholesome use of being biased as well as an unwholesome use of being biased. Was that a biased statement?

          You had asked me the question 'What original have you had?"
          My answer would be outside of Life nothing. Life is truly original.
      • Mar 15 2014: Larry,

        Indeed, we are all biased, one way or the other… of course a bias towards good and better truthful loving ways is preferable :-) and in a humorous way the better ways gives each what they bias towards by giving them what be better and good! Those who love, love love, those who hate, love hate and hate love so love gives each what they desire and sort of encapsulates and surrounds everything with love… thanks I just discovered something I like in the notions --those who love hate hate love--- and those who love love love

        I like to say that we are bound to judge while free to choose how to do it…
        we are bound to believe while free to choose what to believe…
        each must choose while they may do it by doing nothing or doing something…

        I also like to say we are all intelligent to some degree :-) Of course some seem to be at 0 :-) and some at 1...
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          Mar 17 2014: Esteban,

          I would suppose there are extreme examples of the limits of a biased mind from Love to hate. A total contradiction of terms or the perception of bidirectional energy. Your statement of a bias course or direction toward good and better would not appear as bidirectional or a contradiction in the terms. They parallel good is better and better is good. I've learned something.

          Though I am bound to judge I am not bound to pass judgment.

          Zero and one and what is in-between, that's me. The difference between a fool who thinks he makes himself and a man who understands he didn't.
      • Mar 18 2014: I amusingly chuckled with "The difference between a fool who thinks he makes himself and a man who understands he didn't"… thanks for that. …
        .
        BTW each is bound to pass judgement… how each does it differentiates one from others…

        I am glad that you seem to see how a statement of a bias course or direction toward good and better would appear as mono-directional or a self-supporting term. The absolute statement "there isn't an absolute truth" creates a self invalidating accretion and produces a paradox (was going to state assertion and that word got in there somehow and upon looking up its definition it seems to me to fit so I left it there). BTW , note that the absolute statement "there is an absolute truth" creates a self validating accretion too :-) as you said they parallel good is better and better is good. I've learned something. I kind of joke about the notion of there being more than one absolute truth… or there just being that one absolute truth… I believe that there are infinite absolute truths… and more get created each instant...
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    Mar 9 2014: I personally believe that in the world of today, it has become nearly, if not completely, impossible, to come up with a completely original idea without root and without previous inspiration. Two things I have to say about four, which is the one that really interests me, is that it's possible, but it takes a special kind of crazy to do so. Another thing that I'd like to say is that true originality is wholly unnecessary. Most of the ideas that people come up with are stemming from a problem, whether it's an innovative technology or a neat story idea, and there's almost always a source. We want the rest of the world to interact with it, but the kind of originality that you're talking about comes from cutting off from the rest of the world, keeping it away from any inspiration whatsoever and it's even harder to make it original and not revolting at the same time. I may end up sounding like an ass for saying this, but it's being unoriginal that drives modern human ingenuity. And to answer the others, I believe scientific originality does share similarity to romantic originality in the sense that it's hard to have any use for it in its pure form, and the differences that they share derive from the origin and the intention. For number two, I think that we are trying our best to make sure that first proposal does well, but at the same time it's very much a matter of which is better. As for number one, I think if you take all the credit for a group effort, then you're worse than Gene Simmons. Burn!
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      Mar 9 2014: Thanks. You vibed close to how I think.
      It seems that we have many myths to debunk. May be originality is one with which we should start.
      • Mar 9 2014: Pabitra,

        Which one original myth should we start with?

        Ought it be the notion that observer beliefs of reality doesn't and does influence reality?

        Reality can get quite convoluted when reality stems from integrating reality and beliefs; add to that spirit and other individuals and the game really gets more interesting.

        Using slightly different notation, recognize that this here just involves body-mind stuff; considering just a single determining sentient being.

        As you sort of said "Plenty of myths about…"
  • Feb 27 2014: Patents, copyrights, possession of any kind is just another man-made license to steal.
    God has given us everything but that is not enough for some people who want everyone else's share also.
    • Feb 27 2014: Keith,

      You eloquently stated that idea. Thanks.

      I do wonder whether man-made the idea of possession or just got possessed by it.

      Perhaps it was part of a set of possibilities intended to remains as such possibilities ...

      For some possibilities it is not enough for them to be possibilities and desire to become manifested realities and need the 'willing' collaboration of somebody that has a physical-menatl-spiritual existence. Then it is not enough for them to gain control over some people they want everyone else's share also.... and even, if it where possible, to get rid of the people... fortunately God has given us everything to ensure our wellbeing... now and forevermore...
      • Mar 2 2014: I believe it is a measure of a organism to a) know the difference between right and wrong (instinct, we are all born with this) and then b) from birth we enter survival mode until we are strong enough to survive on our own at which point we become accountable for our choices. Now in a just world all would be handled with care and not damaged until they reach the point of accountability but that is not the case. Many are damaged from conception through no fault of their own but some of them recover and/or become even stronger as Nietzsche points out.
        There is plenty of evidence that humans and indeed the whole planet is better off without the possession defect and there is even more evidence of the destruction possession precipitates.
        • Mar 2 2014: Keith,

          Considering that the original temptation in the Bible involves being able to distinguish the difference between right and wrong I wonder if the measure of an organism involves just the ability to distinguish, focus and cultivate what be good and right and truthful. I think we are always accountable for our choices and think that at the core of everything it's about habilitation of certain caring ways of being... Some seem to think that to know jimmy one needs to know alfred rather than just get to know jimmy...

          Some possible thought are best keep as such just a possible thought... To me it's quire evident that some entities seek to become manifested realities and need the 'willing' collaboration of somebody that has a physical-menatl-spiritual existence. The entities seek to take control of the actions/feelings/thoughts of the 'willing victim' . It is not enough for them to gain control over some people they want everyone else's share also.... and even, if it where possible, to get rid of the people... fortunately God has given us everything to ensure our wellbeing... now and forevermore...individuals just have to recognize what be going on and choose appropriately to cultivate only what ought to be cultivated... if only they would do it right once and for all...
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      • Mar 8 2014: "Religion sells what God freely offers"- Keith W Henline
        Religion is just another greedy senseless corporation.
        "God has no religion"- Gandhi
    • Mar 17 2014: Steal from whom? (Or what?)
  • Feb 23 2014: I think Plutarch eloquently illustrated the paradox of originality in the thought experiment "The Ship of Theseus". Another excellent description of the paradox is the description of the "analytic knife" in the book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Persig .

    "...And instead of just dwelling on what is killed it's important also to see what's created and to see the process as a kind of death-birth continuity that is neither good nor bad, but just is." - Persig

    The creative process is a continuum that lives and breaths in our collective conscience. Originality is a point in the continuum that we believe expands our consciousness. The value of the contribution has intrinsic value (even if we don't perceive it). Ownership is an extrinsic objectification of the moment to allow it to exist in the marketplace.

    So my thoughts on your questions…

    Originality is the awareness of the dynamic quality of change within the universe. It's an expression of potential. That's why I believe originality will always exist, because potential is as infinite as the universe.

    Ownership is a survival tool. It's an object of exchange. It'll always be defined by the system that governs it. Originality is not a quality of ownership.
    • Mar 17 2014: Hi Gord G,
      Just thought it would be good to know that the ship of Theseus is generally interpreted to be about identity and not originality. The question it raises is whether or not the ship is the same ship when you've replaces all its parts. I think though it's very interesting that you're trying to apply it to the concept of originality. Cool idea!
      • Mar 20 2014: Thanks Bob. True. I wasn't explicit in my post.

        I think they're interconnected and interdependent. When an object ceases to be the same as itself it becomes an original object [contingent upon how one defines change].
  • Mar 22 2014: Pabitra,

    Thanks for this conversation I truly enjoyed it and found it quite original.
  • Mar 9 2014: 1. The idea behind patents is, actually, to make innovations public. We can all read those patents. Anyway. The point is that patents gives the patenter exclusivity for a number of years, not forever. This way we all can read about those ideas, understand them, and have background for further innovations. Patents are the point in the middle between completely public and industry secret.

    2. In theory, we can't patent something that is already "out there." So, if the idea is already in the public domain, it cannot be patented.

    3. Yes. New ideas might put together older ones. Anyway, agent evaluations include obviousness. I know, not perfect, but not being perfect is a different problem.

    4. Yes. There is.
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    Mar 8 2014: I think that most people would assume that there is nothing original, that everything is simply and outstretching or adaptation or amalgamation of something else. this idea merged with that real world application to influence this other idea until the chain of causation is lost, and indeed a good example would be in literature. it is an oft told maxim that all stories from sweeping sci-fi epics to titillating slice of life dramas boil down to the seven basic plots and it is probably true that the majority of good books/other entertainment medium one enjoys are heavily redolent of earlier works in similar or different genre's but does this eliminate originality. Good ideas still occur specifically in the fields of science and philosophy. To me asking whether or not there is anything truly original is like asking whether or not we've mastered all the worthy ideas. in the latter halve of the nineteenth century , it was a common conceit of the academics and intelligentsia of the day to assume that man was very close to unlocking the secrets of the universe, that science was almost as advance as it could get and that there was very little "originality" left. look achieved since then, entire new fields of science have developed that have shwn us that we were farther behind then we ever imagined. as long as people live, breath and die, there will always be new and original ideas in pretty much every field of human endeavor.
  • Mar 2 2014: The Renaissance encouraged and expected artists to improve on existing art and ideas. It wasn't originally about ownership, but moving forward as a society by working collaboratively. This awakening has been stifled by the greedy race of capitalism. Capitalism which is not malicious in the finite, is in turn weaponized by the corrupt in many instances. Creating is the act of borrowing ideas, combining them with other ideas, and hiding our sources as if to appear original...
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    Mar 2 2014: I think goggle of monkey in your pic is original. :)
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    Mar 2 2014: It feels like Fritzie and Brendan are pulling the rope in a tug of war and I am the knot in the middle! But it is immensely pleasurable. :)
    • Mar 2 2014: What kind of a knot?

      just remember that some of them knots can half the rope loading strength ...

      I kind of like knots... all kinds of knots... specialty knots that can tighten and grab or explode and detangle by pulling on the appropriate string...
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        Mar 2 2014: If you like knots we'll have to go fishing someday. I've been looking for that special somebody who knows just the appropriate string to pull to release the entangled mess I have made on my reel with braided line.
        • Mar 2 2014: Sure... of course sometimes its just simpler to release the entangled mess and use a whole new line... it can be entertaining to undo the mess... of course it can be more fun to never get into the mess to begin with... sometimes the best and simplest solution involves preventing the problem... when one does not have the problem any solution is as effective as any other solution at solving that problem :-)
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        Mar 3 2014: Brendan the SOaG (know what that means? ;))
        You are right in as much as imagining I never believed you will remain silent in this conversation. Too tempting for you!

        You must have noticed that my questions are in an increasing order of philosophical challenge. Originality is a vexing idea both philosophically and functionally. The patent and copyright laws seem to address only superficially this idea yet most of our economic incentives are based on that. Its time we rethink our position to check if we are stifling creativity instead of encouraging it by these laws.

        Information does not inspire me. What one does with it inspires. You and I may pretty differently deal with same set of information. What is important to me is what's your take on it.

        Originality started of as an extension of romanticism and not long ago it was more related to work of literature and arts. With time it over-arched the whole of human faculty and technology, if not science, highjacked it of late. It's a pity not many responded to my question no. 3 except Fritzie. But then discoveries imply a-priory existence of things so it is hard to imagine an original discovery. Invention goes quite close to being original but misses it by an arm's length - inventions are unique recombination of existing elements but not original.

        I am not against the innovation, improvisation and refinement which science does to our benefit. But I believe there is no such thing as scientific originality ( I am ready to be persuaded otherwise, no problem) in a way comparable to literature or arts.

        I think, and I hope with some respectable degree of credulity, original is created without a-priori reason, necessity or reference to other originals. With this criterion, it seems hopelessly futile to find something physically or metaphysically save and except for initial sets of forces and particles out of big bang (Indian sages would laugh at that as they insist that there had been many big bangs before).
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        Mar 3 2014: BTW, how is that for a plunge o viking!
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        Mar 3 2014: Let your wish be granted Brendan Maloney, sir!
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        Mar 3 2014: I loved that viking helmet and that smirk on your face. You look like a person who can gamble away hard earned wealth like Yudhisthira did just for the heck of it. Your new avatar is cool too but less challenging.
  • Feb 28 2014: In response to the first question, originality and the ability to patent ideas, technologies, products, and intellectual property is a very important civic issue that has a kairos today, especially thanks to difficult questions about online piracy and distribution methods.

    I would contend that the patent system is ethical. The patent system is not permanent, at least in the United States, so eventually the idea, product, or technology becomes part of the community knowledge, so no one is excluded from using or taking advantage of a new idea, product, or technology forever. Also, the United States patent law allows some leeway for research purposes or thought and diagrams.

    The patent system does have the somewhat negative effect of temporarily isolating an idea, product, or technology to a single entity when another person or entity could use that idea, product, or technology for a much more efficient or beneficial purpose. However, this exclusion is only temporary, and could provide motivation for the creation of further original ideas, products, or technologies as other people and entities strive to achieve the same effects without using the patented idea, product or technology.

    As for the community knowledge aspect of the question, considering that all individuals in a community will be influenced by that community, what patent, idea, or technology could be made without community knowledge or wisdom? Patents should be issued with enough thought and consideration to conclude that the idea, technology, or product is not currently a keystone of the community, since patenting that key aspect would greatly disrupt the community by limiting it to the individual or entity that holds the patent. The overall patent system is an ethical way to encourage development of new ideas, technologies, and products by allowing creators to benefit, though the patent system is not the only encouragement, needs or just the thrill of discovery also drive innovation.
    • Feb 28 2014: Joe,

      I would contend that the patent system promotes the idea that individuals and societies can just take what they want without reattributing a thing to the author of the idea; akin to commandeering supplies from those who have them. Kind of pretentious that the usurpers gives (for a fee), the temporary provision to delay taking the stuff away. I postulate that we need a better system to promotes ideas and collaboration based un mutual enrichment and sharing the values generated. Individuals and communities ought give enough thought and consideration to appreciate and reciprocate each other for the idea, technology, or product individuals and collective present, especially when someone put forth a keystone for the community... of course in a way every stone in the construction can be a keystone since taking it out would greatly disrupt the whole structure and limit it to the individual piles of stones, rather than a structured that holds them all together in a much better configuration.

      BTW thanks for your words they have stimulated me to construct a new metaphor which I find rather useful ...

      Is there anything truly original of this new metaphor involving "-every stone in the construction can be a keystone since taking it out would greatly disrupt the whole structure and limit it to the individual piles of stones, rather than a structured that holds them all together in a much better configuration" . Sure there is... thanks for helping me construct it... now you other me can hold it... and employ it...
      • Mar 8 2014: The patent system was established to allow authors of ideas to protect their creation and keep it under their control. While abuses of the patent system may occasionally wrongfully grant a patent, the overall system is based on crediting authors for their creation. The patent system forces credit to be given to authors, so individuals and societies can't simply take what they want.

        While a system based on mutual enrichment and trust is a great idea, the implementation and codification of a system of that nature would be next to impossible considering that even the current patent system is occasionally abused. It would require tremendous effort to achieve the level of cooperation needed.
        • Mar 8 2014: Joe,

          Actually the implementation of a system based on mutual enrichment and trust is rather simple and requires little codification … granted it can be quite open to unscrupulous abusers … or just the opposite… I remember the days when to be of society one required to properly behave … in fact some individuals word of honor and names where equivalent to sighed contracts. Virtues where truly appreciated and valued more than money. Now days it seems that many value charlatans charismatic allures… rather than the righteous virtuous. We can see it in everyday conversations and interactions; some claim there isn't a right way and every way is right if one just looks at it in a certain way.

          There is a significant difference in a system where individuals take the responsibility and where individuals follow whatever the system dictates. often in detriment to the individual and to benefit the system, or the other way around! either way its actually the same win-lose rather than win-win.

          The patent system forces credit to be given to first proposal rather than to the authors, it also takes away individuals autonomy and forces them to conform to the system and pay society for the privilege of not having society take their stuff… kind of like paying bullies for protection from the bullies … to truly incentive enriching interactions a whole different interactional system needs to be used… one where each individual chooses to collaborate and help each other… I could go on into the details … Like many things the spirit of the law is often trampled by certain interpretations of the letter of the law… In fact based on history optional tends to become requirers ...
      • Mar 15 2014: The real point of concern with such a system of "mutual enrichment and trust" is, like you pointed out, the very real possibility of abuses of such a simple system. There has never been any point in time without individuals who would not abuse a system for personal gain. A system based on individuals taking up responsibility requires cooperation between all members, and could fall apart from the dissent of a few members. This hypothetical system would require an extremely idealized society in order to function.

        The patent system allows individuals to reserve the rights to their creation. Individuals are free to not patent a creation and share it with everyone for free. While the patent system requires a fee, the patent allows the creator to be the sole beneficiary from the profits of their creation. Ultimately, the patent system benefits authors and inventors in most cases.
        • Mar 15 2014: Joe,

          such a system of "mutual enrichment and trust" is actually guarded from abuses by the existing interplay of interrelationships in the system… in fact many operate in such dynamics already … both in positive and negative ways… some such simple system are easy to get into and quite difficult to leave… and some are much more difficult to get into and quite easy to leave… A system based on individuals taking up responsibility requires individuals taking up responsibility and creating cooperation with other members, yes it could fall apart from the dissent of a few members who enter and corrupt the practices. The notion that "this hypothetical system would require an extremely idealized society in order to function" seems to me to seek and characterize the system in a particular way that justifies 'rejecting the notion without further exploration'.

          Originally I was thinking of bringing up the notion that a sense of safety can lead to riskier actions resulting in an actual higher exposure to risk. I am certain that individuals here would NOT dare play russian roulette with a fully loaded revolver say for a $100,000 dollars…. the same individuals here would readily and repeatedly play russian roulette with a fully unloaded revolver for a much lower amount say $10 dollars… the thing is when we introduce uncertainty into the game … and also include a bit of certain incentives… some individuals may choose to partake in the deadly dare depending on the particular circumstances.

          From what others here have said, presently the patent system allows extortioners to legally steal the creations of others by being the first proposers. In a way this system appropriates and administers the creations of individuals and decrees who be the sole beneficiary from said inceptions. By franchising entitlements to the right … I am curious who gave them the right to do such a thing?
      • Mar 20 2014: The "existing interplay of interrelationships" is based on the cooperation and respect members have for another, but as soon as one member becomes dissatisfied, the system could fall apart, losing the crucial interrelationships it needs. There certainly are some systems of mutual trust, but a system of mutual enrichment and trust would have a hard time with replacing the patent system due to the very large number of members with their varying goals and motivations. There is not much further exploration to be had with this hypothetical system, real consequences of the system's practice may only be observed if the system actually exists.

        The patent system is about protecting the rights of inventors to the fruits of their own creation, without a system in place, inventors could suffer from others stealing their inventions and failing to give due credit or payment. The patent system is usually run by the government, so its authority comes from the government and its enforcement of rules and laws. While abuses of the patent system can and do occur, there are also appeals processes to help inventors.
        • Mar 20 2014: Joe,

          There are certainly systems in existence! (at least in certain domains and with certain characteristics) The system could continue to exists even if one member becomes dissatisfied and falls apart for others would keep the existing system.

          In regards to the patent system … from what I know it is about granting a temporary right to first proposer… the individual who secures such right may then appeal to the courts to present the case of some violators and if the authority decides in their favor… proceed to the next step… rather than facilitate innovation and mutual enrichment it hinders collaboration … as you appropriately sort of mentioned it usually is run by third party rather than the individuals involved in the matter. Granted, sometimes resorting to a third party is helpful… I just think that in this particular case individuals better realize that it's better business to do mutually enriching interactions… and keep repeating them...
        • Mar 20 2014: Joe and Esteban

          I am very glad you are talking about this "system" because it has everything to do with what is happen now in my life

          I have been vigilant to oportunities, and in university for 1 diciplin we have to write an article, and i saw that as a big oportunity

          The way i see is a chance to write and become an expert on my own ideas and expose it, get in the spotlight, the more people sees it, the more they want it, more they will come to me, not because they have to, because patent, but because i am the specialist on it

          I think that contest for ideas or other kind of incentives may be relevant to the talk
  • Feb 25 2014: Absolutes are hard to come by. One could juxtapose the question;"Is there anything which is not unique?". Practically, one has to simplify the question, to human endeavors, at which point we acknowledge that every word is an evolved conceptual construct. If two people come to similar notions, is the later less original? If someone takes another's idea and builds upon it. Isn't their addition afforded some importance? We seek to show some credit to those who discover and yet, the common good is not served by binding up knowledge. There is no narural law for this, only that which we agree to. We comprimise by making patents effective for a finite time. Other countries use a form of manifest destiny to justify ignoring patents. It might be best to make the creation immediately available to all, and set an annually dimminishing percentage profit share arbitrarily. Art or science, why draw a line that gets thinner all the time?
    • Feb 25 2014: Bradley,

      BTW how is it that someone manages to take another's idea and builds upon it when in actuality each creates their own ideas? Does someone have the right to restrict what I can think about based on what they think about?

      Why isn't each idea afforded it's own importance?

      I think that some individuals do not seek to afford nor appreciate properly those who ''create' 'discovered' or 'cultivate' originally produced ideas.

      FWIIW ... I come across absolutes all the time ... Heck that first sentence in your post is one example of an absolute claimI came across recently ... You absolutely declared "Absolutes are hard to come by"... which is absolutely wrong especially if one considers the fact that "Absolutes are easy to come by"...

      Yes it might be best to make the creation immediately available to all, stipulate the retribution to comply with the authors user guidelines and allow each to comply with them rules. The thing is that presently the honor system needs a bit of reinforcement and fair prices set. Just imagine that each one who employs an idea pay a fraction of the value such idea generates for them to the one who produced it... and this is done by all... even an insignificant amount can add to hug he profits... if sufficient instances pay...
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  • Feb 23 2014: I will answer if I can come up with a truly original thought on the subject.
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    Feb 22 2014: Originality exists in the confidence in being wrong sometimes. That confidence frees up the imagination to go where it likes, without having to stick to the familiar 'beaten track'. If we always have to be right, then we are by nature, following everyone else because everything has to be evidenced with previous knowledge. This is tantamount to living in the past, just recycling all that is already known. Not original in the truest sense.

    That's not to say that true originality is strictly without external influence. An original idea can be influenced by something or many things already in existence, and still be called original, as long as the overarching creative idea has moved significantly forward and the influences are acknowledged.

    I think originality collides with too many obstacles (like copyright/patent laws, as you have said) for people to even have the desire to make their originality public. A lot of that is to do with personal possession, and possession of such an idea has potential material value.

    I wonder if the act of transposing original ideas into material possession has anything to do with a general diminishing of creativity?

    Have we become too hidebound by materialism, scientific dogma, and legislation for originality to flourish? I think we have. Many bright ideas never see the light of day for all the reasons given.
  • Mar 21 2014: Nothing is original in this world . But, one or more than one entities come together and combine together then a new entity is created whose property is totally different and new from the properties of the individual entities.

    You have two eyes I also have two eyes
    You have one brain I also have one brain
    You have one nose I also have one nose
    You have one mouth I also have one mouth
    You have 32 teeth I also have 32 teeth

    .......


    Internally we all human beings have the same thing but externally we are different. And each one is original.Even if the clones will be made then also the clone will be original.

    Abstract ideas are not patented , but the concrete working solutions are patented because creating a concrete working solution needs specific knowledge , intelligence,time and emotion and lot of efforts . So, patent protects the efforts and hard work put into creating a workable solution in the form of granting an exclusive marketing right.

    Abstract Ideas not copyrighted , but the expression of the ideas are copyrighted .
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      Mar 22 2014: :-) :-) I have 31 teeth to be honest. One molar had to be given up as it was creating trouble with others.
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    Mar 20 2014: Although most of our knowledge or wisdom is based on common or shared training and experiences, we do have varying intuitive and imaginative abilities for translating and building upon this information. So, yes, our perceptions are unique and truly original.
  • Mar 20 2014: In response to question 4, yes. Originality does exist. Whether it is in the form of a newly synthesized molecule or a character brought to life by the imagination of an author, original work and creations abound. Thinking along the lines of everything drawing on inspiration from previous works, far down at the beginning of the line there must have been an original something initially, when there was nothing that existed beforehand for inspiration.

    Originality is part of why systems like the patent and trademark systems exist, and it plays an important role today as new challenges are brought by advancing technology. Where is the line drawn between sampling a song to create an original work or creating a knock off riding on the coattails of the first version? If a remix is popular, should it be released for free, should money go to the remix creator, or should money go to the original artist? What is the scope of a patent? In a new invention, should the whole be patented, or should each component get a unique patent, especially with the complicated systems powering today's technology and devices?

    Originality is needed for change. Even if a creation or idea draws heavily from previous works for inspiration, there must be some original component that has never been seen before added in order to create something new and different.

    The inception that leads to originality exists in everyone, and can allow us to create new solutions and a better world.
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      Mar 20 2014: Are new, unique and original same? You have used these ideas as interchangeable in your above comment. Each day is a new day, each person is unique but what is original in that sense of meaning?
      • Mar 20 2014: It depends on how you are defining original. I'm using it a bit more loosely as something that has never been seen before, something that has been made personally and directly. From your previous post, where you said, "Original is something that never really existed before, not inspired by other, cannot be linked, referred or compared with anything known," and using that definition, there still must be things that are truly original, since even if everything has come from or is linked to a previous creation, somewhere at the beginning there must be something original from when there was nothing to draw inspiration from.
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          Mar 20 2014: If you accept my definition (I am very uncertain if that is acceptable to many) even for argument's sake, do you think someone can by plan and design create anything original? Or do you think Original, if all, just happens? In the later case, how can one be credited or rewarded for 'originality'?

          Definition or no definition everyone has an idea about originality. I am just questioning if we simply go by a notion (ORIGINALITY) without any careful reasoning about it.
        • Mar 20 2014: Joe one can always compare the original to the rest of stuff!

          Besides if to be original something must stem from nothing then it is linked to it...
      • Mar 20 2014: Originality can arise from plan and design, the observation and preparation of many chemical reactions can lead to a design of a new synthetic pathway to create an original molecule. Originality can also arise serendipitously, like with the invention of the microwave. Even if one happens upon some great idea or invention by luck, they can still be credited and rewarded, since they provided some original creation.
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          Mar 20 2014: I am not sure, but that sounds creationist, does that not? No molecule is original, it is a unique combination. Vast majority of them happen under natural forces and it is hardly tenable there is conscious planning and design behind their genesis.
      • Mar 20 2014: Pabitra,

        Seems you changed the definition of original to include conscious planning and design behind stuff created.
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          Mar 20 2014: Did I? I think that originality can be planned and designed was proposed by Joe. It just sounded creationist to me because creationists insist there is conscious/intelligent plan and design behind the Universe.
        • Mar 20 2014: Just to clarify, I am not trying to use a creationist argument. Molecules are not necessarily all unique, what is one molecule of acetone from another? It is quite tenable that there can be conscious planning and design behind the synthesis of a molecule. It's what the entire pharmaceutical industry is based on, the deliberate synthesis of molecules with useful properties.
  • Mar 18 2014: Nothing is truly original
    • Mar 19 2014: So was something and everything that came before nothing and with it and after it. :-)
  • Mar 17 2014: Thomas Edison used in practice a method I thought I'd invented until I read that Edgar Allan Poe had come up with a similar idea called Imagination Iteration. Mine is Intuitive Iteration. The most fundamental characteristic of II is that facts and logic must never override intuition so when we talk about science and reason we have left out one of the the legs of the three-legged stood---intuition. We should always refer to intuition, reason and science, not just science and reason.
  • Mar 17 2014: Every tiny particle in universe is original and every new combination is an original one, so everything is original and at same time not.
    Is like people are all so much alike, having arms and legs, so are we just copies from one another?
    Even so we are all unique, made from unique parts.
    Same goes for ideas.

    All knowlege is based in some fundamental pre-assumptions, thats why Socrates said that all he knows is that he knows nothing. So i think this question is too much fundamental, and on this lower levels there is no real true answer.

    But even so, its not the answer that enlight us, it is the quest for it
  • Mar 17 2014: What do you mean by "first proposal" and "original" in question 2?
    Also, what do you mean by "scientific originality" and what do you mean by "romantic originality" in question 3?
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      Mar 17 2014: First proposal is the the proposal of something to be patented to reach first before the patent office. It is not necessarily original, if not outright copy of someone's idea. The right is that of 'first reached first owned - not of conceiving, discovering or inventing a novel idea that one demands as 'original'.
      Original is something that never really existed before, not inspired by other, cannot be linked, referred or compared with anything known.

      Originality in creativity is actually a derivative of romantic originality. Modernist concern with issues of originality develops out of modernism's relation to romanticism, the romantics having invented the notion of originality as we know it.
      Scientific Originality (self defined) may be a misnomer - as science does not really work the way literature does. It is a process of constant refinement and borrows heavily from preceding work. Scientific Originality is something close to proposing gravity as space-time geometry.
  • Mar 15 2014: In response to the third question, scientific originality has a much larger contribution from discovery than romantic originality. Scientific originality could encompass new discoveries, like new species or new galaxies, and it can also encompass new methodologies, like new synthetic schemes for a molecule or the creation of new molecules. Romantic originality has less of a discovery portion and it relies more on the creator's unique perspective and creativity in order for an original work to be made.

    Discovery can play a role in romantic originality. A painter may find that a different filament in his brushes creates a unique effect, and may apply that to create an original work. However, the work's originality is much more based on the painter's creative use of the effect. Other painters can make use of the effect, so what would distinguish the original painter's work would be his use of the effect more than his discovery of it.

    Discovery in scientific originality often leads to new work and research, but the initial discovery is still very important. The discovery of a new celestial body prompts investigation into its age and distance from earth and other characteristics, but its discovery is still very important, since beforehand, its existence was unknown. What distinguishes the original research and discovery is that that scientist or researcher was the very first person to see the existence of that celestial body.

    While both scientific and romantic originality can rely on discovery and often influence future works and research, discovery tends to play a larger role in scientific originality which investigates the world based on observation.
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      Mar 17 2014: Hi Joe,
      Is there really scientific originality and discovery or do we simply come to see what already exists? Somewhat reminds me of Columbus discovering a new world called America. There were native people already existing here. Doesn't quite stack up but would sound better to the Queen than I have found nothing new there were already people living there. The only reason something is found is because it exists from origin. In that sense I see nothing new but what is only new to me and that doesn't create anew.

      I will not get into romantic originality, my wife would probably kill me for such views, I will quote Bob Dylan, "romantic facts of Musketeers foundation deep somehow but I was so much older then I'm younger than that now".

      Last night I saw the movie My Left Foot, very, very unique in original form but all form comes from original content that makes diverse forms possible.

      The term research would imply looking again at what was not seen before.

      Scientific observation is a great and fantastic tool but will only go so far.
      • Mar 20 2014: It's hard to discover something that doesn't exist. That celestial body has to exist in order for someone to be able to discover it. It is not quite like Columbus, partially because no person in the world was aware of it previously. However, scientific originality and discovery could arise from the creation of a new molecule or even element. The molecule had never existed before, and no one had ever observed it before, and that inception of the molecule could be considered original.

        Scientific observation allows for the construction of models to help us simplify, understand, and describe reality. However, it is impossible to ever prove most models and hypotheses, the most we can usually do is just support them.
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    Mar 10 2014: Neil Tyson has picked up where Carl Sagan has brought us in the study of the Cosmos. Anyone who is truly interested in the reference points of our origination may desire to study the immense effort.

    Carl Sagan
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dADUBcoEEHw

    Neil Tyson
    http://www.cosmosontv.com/permalink/79036755249
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    Mar 9 2014: Pabitra, your questions is superb.

    I believe that everything and everyone must be UNIQUE just in order to survive as an individual person or event.

    Nothing can be repeated in the exactly the same ways, because of that, we may not perfectly repeat or copy anything.

    We are governed by one of the most powerful unavoidable law of nature (you can escape gravity somehow, but you cannot escape your own uniqueness till the very end of your life.)

    Your question dives into heavy philosophy of old sages - it started blooming in ancient times but has been conveniently ignored since.

    Our mentality, pop culture, sciences, technology, and mass production are based on crudeness of perceptions - only this way we can recognize the "same" stuff, ideas and methods, and very roughly, everyone can repeat or use the "same thing".

    My answer: because we have extremely crude and limited physical sense-perceptions (here is another law of nature we never learn) we easily see similarities in "things", their structures, features or qualities, we can only MIMIC them.

    Ironically we trust identical units and symbols in math but have to make endless adjustments in our calculations when it comes to ever changing reality.

    The original idea or for instance, an original painting, is usually very different from the mass produced copies or imitations.

    However, I think, in common cases when one's innovation is based on a new combination of known parts, formulas, or physical details or materials produced elsewhere, this innovation becomes very easy to re-produce by others. In this case we need to be protected to some point, by obtaining Patents.


    P.S. I personally love when people use my original ideas/production as if these things were their own - unfortunately people twist everything their ways. This is what I mean - the law of nature - No exact repetition or copies of any sorts
    • Mar 10 2014: Vera,

      I used to believe in the idea that stuff could not be repeated in the exactly same ways until I realized that identical copies could exist; at least for all practical purposes. Now days I can choose whether to believe in the idea that Nothing can be repeated in the exactly same way OR somethings can be repeated in the exactly same way… depending on which belief I choose to hold sort of determine if we agreed or disagreed on certain issues you expressed. I basically agree with what you said above when I hold that identical copies don't exist… and still I also realize that I also hold something that you will likely choose not to behold… non the less the veracity of it remains intact.
  • Mar 9 2014: Jonathan Seagull

    I would like to thank you for this conversation. It has enabled me to look into matters and discover some underlying details that I find fascinating.
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    Mar 8 2014: Have thought about this many times. Patents are meant to be there to protect innovation allowing an innovator recoup the heavy cost and sacrafice that go into inventing something new. However, most of us know that much of what is patented is not new, but remixed. So, if we replace 'new' with 'remix, and admit that the cost of a remix is not free, but rather costly, then a patent exists to protect the expensive cost of a remix. But for how long?

    At TEDxGoodenoughCollege, it was said that patents are no longer used to defend innovation, they are used to attack innovation by patent trolls. The Nest founder said a patent is not enough, you need a patent series of which in his case, NEST had 400 patents to protect their fancy smoke alarm, an amount the majoirty cannot afford to register not to mention to defend.

    My idea for the future of patents would be that you submit the costs for how much it took you to innovate a remix and allow an innovator a patent until the innovator makes his money back and a certain multiple in reward for discovering that remix and paying for ratio of the projects that fail. That muliple could be 10 or 100 or whatever. When the innovator has recouped the cost of innovation, the patent expires. The innovator is given a time limit as well to recoup the innovation cost which cost be between 1 and 20 years depending on the industry.
    • Mar 8 2014: James,

      Maybe a simpler format would be for someone who gets value from something to share a percent of that value. Kind of like a investment partnership in reverse. I read of a singer who put out their songs requesting fans to show their appreciation. The same artists 'self employed' worked on the streets performing their craft. Of course I am aware that individuals appreciation can be biased by the whole experience. Like that famous violinists who conducted an experiment to see how much individuals would appreciated his craft on the streets. Curiously from what I read children where the most draw to pay attention. I think that we need to move from an ROI mentality to VOI (virtus objective interactions). Rather than pay because one has to, support because one desires to.
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        Mar 9 2014: I meant put patents on a profit limit related to initial investment or time limit, not restrict it to only time as is current case.

        Tonnes of patent trolls get through the current system.

        My big problem with patents is I don't want to patent my stuff, but scared other people with copy and patent it. The copy bit I'm ok with.
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    Mar 8 2014: you are. me too.

    all the rest of that stuff is just for those who like to collect bricks.

    you have the power to ignore it and defy it.

    "you let it own you so give it all away now" :)
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      Mar 8 2014: Is the fabled Monalisa with the mustache by Marcel Duchamp original?
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          Mar 8 2014: My question may not be original. However that fact is not the answer to my questions. Regarding unique arrangements: If one collects the different insights shared in many TED conversations in a unique way such that these create a unique message/idea/philosophy and publish a book giving credit to the commenters - will that be an original work?
          Regarding copyright: If TED sells the conversation platform to another company for a huge sum of money, will that be ethical? If I am not wrong, by copyright laws in the country of its incorporation TED is perfectly entitled to do that.
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          Mar 8 2014: You mean to say that questions are copy-rightable, once they are written down? I am not worried about the value because value can be added later on.
          Also, if I own the question's copy right, do I own the copy right of the answers too?

          You seem have avoided my second question. I asked if it is ethical.
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        • Mar 8 2014: I find the claim "ethics is a fog we put out when we feel our own opinions of right and wrong are superior" itself is a fog used by some to justify their unethical ways. I find that the provisions you mentioned above about 'fair use' is also a fog some put out to justify their unethical ways. The whole issue of someone owning everyone else's ideas because they thought it first is akin to an individual owning a piece of land because they saw it first … well more appropriately because they where the first entitlement proponent who payed some authority to register it under their name… oh and them savages who didn't comprehend the notion of ownership and possessiveness and who had live there for generations are now trespassers that can be legitimately prosecuted and evicted ( the fact that they where not allowed to register or make their case before the authority is an excuse for them) …
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        • Mar 8 2014: Pay the registration and pay the litigation and keep feeding that business …
          oh and of course the fee payed is irrespective of our authoritative discretionary decision to grant or deny you request… we will decide if the author of work is the author of the work… oh and keep bringing and giving us your ideas for there may be something we find useful for us in them things…
    • Mar 8 2014: Let's say someone rearranges something in a unique way, and others choose to rearrange their stuff in a unique way too.
      Why give someone the right to dictate what other can and can't do with their stuff?

      Ah thats may be the key underlying story-line here? Who has authoritative control over what individuals may do?

      acting with integrity individuals would reciprocate and help enrich each other,… acting without it individuals wouldn't reciprocate … In some places one can leave ones stuff outside without worrying others will steal it because they live among respectable individuals … in some places even locked-down bolted and secured stuff isn't enough … the raiders will take waterer they want… plundering , pillagers, live by looting akin to them pirates ! There are a special kind of extortioners, who demand individuals and groups pay for protection, protection from the extortioners, they go by different names and can be a bit like a Hydra or a wasp near a wasp's nest … if you deal with it in a certain way you are going to have to deal with more of it's kind… better to just encapsulate them beasties...
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        • Mar 8 2014: Jonathan

          I think you got it backwards … laws are constructed to impose controls over individuals rather than to protect them! Laws criminalize individual acts and make individuals into criminals. Note that that laws basically are constructed by individuals to impose controls over other individuals under the disguise of something else. We could get into how society and the governments is just a bunch of individuals choosing to behave a certain way.

          BTW the nature of mankind includes many a possibility some of which better be kept as such only possibilities where as some better be carefully cultivated.. be generous, collaborative, kind and a bunch of other wonderful ways of being. Some still have to learn these better ways

          What gives me the "right" is the basis of being right … wether some choose to acknowledge, recognize or reject such right is a bit of a sideline conversation…
          the belief that individuals can own property differs quite a bit from the beliefs that individual are entrusted with a property … usurping a property from the proprietor by laying claim to their property hardly makes one the proprietor of the property.

          As you sort of say : "that must be voluntary and not mandated or you would decrease any incentive for new technology and published works". Lately I been wondering about how regulators/administrators usurp and corner the marked to take monopolistically control of the businesses… while making competition illegal …
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        • Mar 8 2014: Jonathan Seagull

          What I observe happening here is … on the one hand you support the notion "that must be voluntary and not mandated or you would decrease any incentive for …" while on the other hand you also support the notion "that mandates and takes away individual freedoms"…

          I consider that the notions you hold will keep you from seeing what I observe happening here… thinking under the influence of certain ideas can be complicated by them ideas one entertains… in principle individuals ought to 'control' their thoughts in practice many thoughts have managed to excerpt full control over the individuals thoughts and keeps the individual thinking them under the delusion of the individual being the one in control of their thoughts…

          will see what you respond…
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        • Mar 8 2014: Jonathan,

          Again, you obviously are under the delusion that individuals need an external arbiter to resolve the matters, when the truth of the matter is that individuals themselves know the truth of the matter … some choose to ignore the truth of the matter and even resort to all sort of schemata's to lay claims upon others blessings… produces… contributions. I have often encountered individuals who simply refuse to appreciate and value the truth of the matter … in fact they will say its valueless and will still proceed to take all the value … just without retributions to the real authors…

          There are other delusional beliefs related to appeasing the victims, the best involves making them believe they aren't being victimized and in fact have a say and freely choose to be treated in such way… Which people have a say in the fees charged and policies and legal codes in play?

          Yes, I have, and have even sought to do it only to discover how costly it be, and how little protection it actually offers… and how it dissuades and stifles true innovation, shifting who reaps the benefits. An arbitrator wins regardless of how the dispute is settled … the more disputes there be the better for the arbitrator. Do you consider that the arbitrator actually desires to settle the disputes once and for all? If you haven't noticed successful sustainable business mostly relay on repeat customers...

          Exploitative scarce resource economies differ from abundant economies … I read that now days it's illegal in some places to grow your own seeds… and even plant your own plants from the plants you grow...
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        • Mar 8 2014: Yes.
          yes,
          individuals are entitled to enriching retribution for their labor and fruits of that labor… In regards to owning privater property we would have to look into who rightfully owns the property… of course there is also the whole issue of proper valuation …

          BTW There exists better ways for 'individuals' to recover their costs and make a profit… that are based on voluntary rather than mandated decrees; incentives. The thing is that presently individuals are operating on the WIIFM rather than following a BID FAIR approach. That 'laws can be and have been abused' hardly implies that it is because humans are a certain way… you do realize that there are absurd contradictory laws… you also do realize that real honest people dealing with real honest people can be fairly compensated without requiring arbitrators, rules, contracts, regulators or middle men. I am sure that new developments and publications would continue to exist under a completely different 'retributory' system… (on a bit of a side note I am a little perturbed that many of the terms in use --for example retribution compensated -- have a negative connotation)

          Kind of humorous to observe you sought to associate an Utopian society with socialist doctrines… rather a much better model … I also want to point out that I prefer to support individuality and the ability to progress rather than what you seem to want to support.
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        • Mar 8 2014: I observe how you seem to seek to associate what I said with a label that facilitates rationalizing what you choose to do with it…

          as I said I consider that the notions you hold will keep you from seeing what I observe happening here… non the less there may be hope that you will see through the veil .

          What many still have to realize is how many are manipulated to think they have a choice and a say in the matter when in fact they in essence don't. Put in a slightly different form each can choose if to like or dislike the situation and maybe alter what they think about the situation independent of the fact the situation be the situation.

          Put in a slightly different form each can choose if to accept or reject the truth of the matter whilst the truth of the matter be the truth of the matter regardless of the fact someone accepting it or rejecting it… it can get a bit more complicated when the truth of the matter actually depends on what individuals choose to hold/believe/thing…

          Yes I have the strange idea that people will play fair without laws to protect people if people choose to play fair and ensure everyone plays fair. It sort of based on a singularity notion that unifies one's ways with the highways making the choice between 'my way or the highway' irrelevant for it be the same way either way… In other words I choose to win whether we play win-win or win-lose I get to win …

          Please note that we only need laws to protect 'individuals' from others when there are perpetrators… if each one choose to respect themselves and others there wouldn't be disrespect... Ideally each would behave as each ought to behave and be happy and productive... that simple! Unfortunately many individuals still have to learn how to appropriately behave and be courteous...
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        • Mar 9 2014: Jonathan,

          Exactly what it is that you claim I didn't deny?

          Note that based on what you said the laws will do little do promote and incentive proper behavior… and may actually promote the opposite effect by 'disarming' those who ought to have arms… when 'criminal' have privileges and its a crime to stand ones ground and defend oneself from said 'criminals' what do you think is going to happen?

          Even with laws one may be forced to defend one rights personally. Yesterday I saw a car cut off, crash into another car and then take off as if nothing had happened… the second card sought to pursue the first one and I tried to help them but it seems that the other car got away. The law states that if one is involved in an accident they better stay and resolve it… unfortunately some people do not care to do what the law states… and getting justice served can be more of a hazel and a waste of time …

          I did a search on "how copyrights came into place" and started to read : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_copyright_law

          "The history of copyright law starts with early privileges and monopolies granted to printers of books"…

          Who granted such privileges and why? "Your majesty here is my tribute, may I have permission to think this or that thought. Your word is the law". Evidently recognition of the moral rights of the individual self by 'the authority' throughout history has played an important role; and in many cases negating the natural individual rights in favor of the divine right of 'kings'. Now days rather thank 'kings' we talk about 'the law' 'states' 'governments'. To me authority comes from being right... not from holding a right of entitlement … In other words an authority is obliged to judge according to the truth of the matter not their particular biases. The fact the authority claims it is true does not make it be true… it be true IF it be true... and the authority claims recognize it for it; If the authority claims 2+2=5 they cede authority
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        • Mar 9 2014: Jonathan,

          In a true democracy a single righteous voice of reason suffices to determine the laws and rights to be embraced by each and all. Please bear in mind that the notions you hold keep you from seeing what I observe happening here. In part I observe how you are projecting your ideas unto me without bothering to ensure that what you think I hold corresponds to what I hold.

          'Maybe you should go back and actually read what I said before responding next time'. Ensure that what you interpret corresponds to what I meant. For without actually understanding what I said it's a bit complicated for you to actually judge what I said, though I am certain you think and feel confident that you do understand the statements I made regardless of the fact I tell you otherwise.

          For this conversation I have taken the stand that challenges the factual veracity of the notion " the necessity for copyrights and patents". This is such an outrageous stand to your held notions that it presents a formidable, apparently insurmountable, challenge for you to consider and entertain them ideas I posit for your consideration.

          As I said " thinking under the influence of certain ideas can be complicated by them ideas one entertains… in principle individuals ought to 'control' their thoughts in practice many thoughts have managed to excerpt full control over the individuals thoughts and keeps the individual thinking them under the delusion of the individual being the one in control of their thoughts… ".

          The particular terminology and schemas you employ to me indicates a blockade. Sending me on a wild goose chase or to look for a black swan seems like a nice strategy to keep from delving into the matters. The emperor has invisible clothes that reveal who be the truly wise ones … question is will the emperor listen to the truly wise ones...
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        • Mar 10 2014: Jonathan,

          You claim I contradicted myself, where? Please be specific. If possible provide the specific claims that lead you to think what you said. I doubt that you will actually substantiate your claim, though I am curious to see if you do it. Either way, if you do it or don't leads me to something learn something.
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        • Mar 11 2014: Jonathan,

          If you put those two statements together without the contradiction you considered you might realize that how I am making an implicit assertion and association which bring into question the ethical legitimacy of those who usurp, steal and appropriate the hard work of others while they claim that its legal and proper and the thing to do.

          I read someone here mention that what concerned them is other appropriating and registering their creations to then legally bully them for using what they themselves created…
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        • Mar 11 2014: Jonathan,

          Please bear in mind that the notions you hold keep you from seeing what I observe and claim.

          Based on what I perceive from your responses and what I know I can assert that what you are talking about stems from the notions you hold rather than the notions I shared. I am giving you feedback … which you are rejecting… devaluing and discarding rather than appreciating understanding and incorporating. Again please bear in mind that the notions you hold keep you from seeing what I observe and claim.

          If you understood and appropriately reflected my stand you would report I seek to dialogue and converse!

          Thank you for your attempt to substantiate your claim related to there being a contradiction in what I said… I had speculated something about the veracity related to what you said and know I validated that my speculation was right on…
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        • Mar 11 2014: Jonathan,

          From where I stand what you have yet to admit in this interchange is the fact that the legitimate author does not determine what others will do with the author's creations; basically the author has to obey what others decree will happen. If the author actually held the right to protect their creations from others then others wouldn't appropriate the author's creations without the author's consent.

          I am wondering if your reference to '….people would act differently without that interference...' is related to the notion I said involving " thinking under the influence of certain ideas…"… Well history simply does support that opinion that 'what individuals think' influences what individuals choose to do. From what you said I think you mixed and misrepresented what I said. Anyways I think the reality of the world we live in presently supports the notion that the group tells the individual what will happen rather than respect the individual natural rights.

          I wrote something to move this interchange forward and decided to delete it from here
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        • Mar 11 2014: Jonathan,

          I realize that the opinion you choose to hold to believe does not agree with the opinion that I choose to hold to believe… but this here ins't about individual preferences, its about whether the opinion that one chooses to hold to believe about reality corresponds to what happens to be in reality. Furthermore I realize that from the opinion you choose to hold, it can be complicated to make some observations and can be even more complicated to accept certain facts, especially when thinking/feeling/acting under the influence of certain beliefs.

          Recognizing and giving up a belief we employ (or that employs us) can be quite a challenge, non the less if one seeks to be objectively congruent one does what ought to be done, as it ought to be done when it ought to be done it can be done. In other words when one discovers that something one thinks to be and believes to be happens not to be, one corrects one's thinking , and beliefs. Depending on how fundamental and ingrained a belief be, one's difficulty to correct what needs correcting may be influenced. I experienced this challenge about 10 to 15 years ago, In a completely different conversation. I am fortunate to have had that experience and interaction the way I did, unfortunately that interaction was truncated because the other key participant choose to give up the shared quest. I hope that this interaction will be different, though in ways I observe how quite similar to that interaction and other interactions this be. Hopefully you and I will get through this one just fine! I have also had other more successful conversations, and learned quite a bit since then.

          Back to the topic of this conversation. Just for the record, Do you acknowledge that presently "the legitimate author does not determine what others will do with the author's creations"? In particular do you recognize that the author of an idea can be told by others, the authority, that the author of an idea is not the author of the idea?
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        • Mar 11 2014: Jonathan,

          I got a message from TED conversations team related to a message I posted that from the information they provided was directed to you... I want to validate with you if you flagged it? I can't find the alleged message so I assume that it was removed. I am flagging your above message given I find it rather counter productive to further the topic of this conversation. Seems to me that your comments about saving face are a provocation seeking an emotional reaction from me. I think you are projecting unto me what applies to you… this also goes for your comment above where you state "You obviously do not understand copyrights and patents and are just arguing because you feel embarrassed".

          If you desire to move on with the topic of this conversation focusing on it, great might continue to interact with you. Though at this time I consider best to leave you with your ideas unchallenged…

          --- Edited to add ---
          I noticed that Jonathan's comments where deleted :-( All of Jonathan's comments!
          I think we better find better ways to deal with counter productive situations that enable us to jointly collaborate and better everyones well being and enrich the experiences individuals and collectives produce and maintain.

          How we do that, may be something truly original yet to be created!
  • Mar 8 2014: In response to the second question, there is a clear difference between first to file and first to invent in many patent laws. The United States recently switched from a first to invent system to a first to file system in 2013. First to invent allows some time for the inventor to file a patent for their invention after they have unveiled it, while first to file awards the patent to the inventor who is the first to file a patent for it. The first to file system was chosen partially due to its ease of implementation. It is much easier to compare submission dates for patents than to compare the claims of invention made by inventors competing for a patent. While the first to file system may be to the detriment of the original inventor, especially if the invention has been made public or leaked somehow, it does set an important precedent for making sure patents are filed as soon as possible. Then the original inventor should have an advantage as they are the first to see the new creation, and have the first opportunity to patent it.

    A possible way to implement a reward for first to invent/create would be to establish a test on the invention. The original inventor should be much more informed about the invention and score better than any other person making claims for the patent. However, since the original inventor knows the most about the invention, it would be difficult to create a test that is in depth enough to distinguish the levels of understanding possessed by the creator from those possessed by the competing claims.The test would probably simply consist of a question asking for all the properties and specifications of the invention in order to better distinguish the creator from other claims. While no system is perfect, there are means to reward first proposal or original creation.
  • Mar 7 2014: originality is self owned specialty or skill which might have evolved to perfection through learning, inheritances, or gift, if this are the conditions in which one measures originality then. i will gladly say Originally exist.
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    Mar 7 2014: Within the United States I don't think you can patent an idea. Patents involve greater details.

    What can and cannot be patented?
    What can be patented – utility patents are provided for a new, nonobvious and useful:

    Process
    Machine
    Article of manufacture
    Composition of matter
    Improvement of any of the above
    Note: In addition to utility patents, encompassing one of the categories above, patent protection is available for (1) ornamental design of an article of manufacture or (2) asexually reproduced plant varieties by design and plant patents.

    What cannot be patented:

    Laws of nature
    Physical phenomena
    Abstract ideas
    Literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works (these can be Copyright protected). Go to the Copyright Office .
    Inventions which are:
    Not useful (such as perpetual motion machines); or
    Offensive to public morality
    Invention must also be:

    Novel
    Nonobvious
    Adequately described or enabled (for one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention)
    Claimed by the inventor in clear and definite terms
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    Mar 7 2014: Hi Pabitra:>)
    I believe that a lot of information is recycled.

    1) That being said, yes I believe it is ethical to patent ideas if they have not been patented before. I think many times, different ideas stem from some basic idea. So, if someone presents an idea in a little different form, or produces a product in a little different form....so be it. Do you know how many cork screws or wine bottle opening devices are on the market?

    2) Don't know

    3) I think scientific originality usually evolves from a base of scientific information, and is explored and built on?
    I think the same is true of romantic originality....we have some basic ideas of romance, and when we are in a romantic relationship, we have the opportunity to explore and build on the information we think we have at any given time:>)

    4) Yes. This moment... here and now... Colleen the human....writing to my favorite chimp is original:>)
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    Mar 7 2014: yes!! ones anger!!
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    Mar 7 2014: The only way I can conceive if something is original is to follow it back in time. The lead question as stated does not clearly define exactly what we are tracking to a point of origin. If you track anything and everything to original source you might find yourself at the Grand Division of the Universe prior to the division, 13.772 billion years as determined by science.
    • Mar 7 2014: Larry,

      The idea of before time is a bit convoluted for some to grasp. If we track something to it's origin we may find and discover that that beginning stems from many other beginnings. In eternity beginnings are a curious thing … past present and future can coexisting in a single moment within an infinite of possibilities and realities. in other words 13.772 billion years as determined by science is but a blink of an eye… of eternity...
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        Mar 7 2014: Well Esteban, The 13.772 billion years is a measured reference point based on the concept of movement. Should I still myself I may be able to grasp the idea of what is not subjected to time.

        Are there beginnings and endings or are we misperceiving the changing forms of energy?

        Past, present and future are associated. What I do in this instant will be perceived as past in the future.

        Uncertain about the infinite realities, one would appear to be more than enough for me.
        • Mar 7 2014: Larry,

          There is a reasons I chose to focus on beginnings. How there are singularities with a beginning that then exists forevermore. The idea of AFTER time is also a bit convoluted for some to grasp. Just as it's rather improper to talk about 'before' before before existed its also rather improper to talk about 'after' after after ceases to exist. To use a alternate framing 'nothing -darkness-death' came into existence after 'something-lightness-life' came into existence. Life gives life to life and to death AND life in giving life to death also gives death it's death through eternal life. Of course life in giving life to life also gives life it's life through eternal life.

          the changing forms of energy considers that energy exists, without getting into how said energy came into existence. Sometimes past, present and future are associated, and sometimes said association be inexistent. The way I grasp this involves 'the absolute meaning of a word'. Past, present and future meanings associated to a word may be associated or disjointed; it all depends on the absolute meaning that a word gets. Some words get associated with all kinds of absolute meanings, 'literally' ! The absolute meaning of a word depends on what the user assigns to it; this is set once and for all - every time the user uses the word-. When care is taken to maintain the same meaning through every use there is a congruent association, else there be disjointed singularities. Note that the speaker and listener each use the word and may or may not assign the same absolute meaning to it.

          BTW - What I do in this instant will be perceived as a future event in the future where one traveled into the past (assuming one traveled past this instant. it may be perceives as the present if one traveled into the past to the specific present moment).

          Certainly, one reality would appear to be more than enough for the time being… of course for an eternal being the infinite better realities seems like a better idea.
  • Mar 5 2014: Yes Pabitra, but what is truly original is not physical but spiritual..
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    Mar 4 2014: Sure. It is all original.
    Cheers
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    Mar 2 2014: The one truly original is the First One!
    • Mar 2 2014: Rodrigo,

      Is the first original copy also a truly original one?
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        Mar 3 2014: Hello Esteban,

        Give me time to rumminate on your question a little bit more. I thought a copy is a copy is a copy. Obviously it may not be. However, I have seen a lot of copies. Some of them are really, really good.
        • Mar 3 2014: Rodrigo,

          What I meant was that the FIRST copy involved an original copy while the latter ones are just additional instances of coping... now you response made me wonder when is it that an original isn't and original? Considering each thought/feeling/act an original ...

          Of course we can ruminate on the idea of whether a particular instantiation of something is not actually truly an original ... Say at what point does something I create within my mind, an idea, become someone else's property. I understand that if I go to someone home and take what's there without their permission I am stealing the stuff ... what is a bit perplexing is the situation where someone creates some object and then is accuse of stealing said object from someone else... especially when the accuser still has the stuff at their home. While we are going down this way of thinking at what point can someone charge the owner of an idea for storage and handling fees associated to such an idea invading and spilling over their premises.

          If such idea actually belongs to them can I charge them for the handling and storage allocation within my mind? Can I make them responsible for the effects such idea has on me? At what point can I charger the owner of a given idea that entered into my existence because they didn't take the appropriate measures to keep their stuff in their backyard?

          Evidently the economics of abundance differs from the economies of limited resources... question is why should we use limited resources rather than abundance?
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    • Mar 1 2014: somewhere I read that someone back in the end of the 1800's said "Everything that can be Invented has been Invented"!...
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      Mar 1 2014: Brendan and Esteban, it is useful to remember that very gifted and famous people often have made claims that hindsight or history show to be quite wrong.

      As there is a quite common rhetorical practice when someone holds a personal belief of finding someone of stature who has at some time in history endorsed it, we have to remember that no one of genius or otherwise is infallible. All sorts of noteworthy, insightful people have taken opposite positions on big questions, particularly where lots of speculation and little compelling evidence were available at the time.
      • Mar 1 2014: Fritzie,

        Indeed...there is such a common practice... let's also remember that some stuff may be practically impossible to prove/disprove given the evidence available at the time... or the desires and wills... then there is the whole issue of what each want to cultivate ...

        BTW I could envision ways and examples where each of the story-lines be supportable... the question is more about why one chooses to do this or that... and what does a particular story-line cultivate... Notice that my comment above just reported something that happened without getting into the issue itself... I think that some of the intelligent thoughts to be created need still to be created... and thought...
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          Mar 2 2014: Would you believe there is no discovery, then, of any kind- that all the ideas in relativity or string theory or the calculus or the shape of dna molecules, and so forth has all been thought before by ancient peoples and only needed remembering?

          If all these many peoples of different traditions and languages had such a wide array of thoughts, as I am sure they did, why would not the people yet to be born also have an array of beliefs to add? Would you have said given the wide array of beliefs among those speaking 3000 of the 6000 languages were already so vast that the speakers of the other 3000 languages could only have had duplicative beliefs?
        • Mar 2 2014: Brendan,

          Maybe the issue here is that you choose to think that "One really can't think of ..." thus so it be for you...BTW note that even when one thinks "One really CAN think of ..." one still has to do the thinking of... of course thinking one really can do it and actually really doing it are quite different matters... things is when one thinks one can't do it ... one wouldn't do it even if one could do it...

          Indeed "Every human language literally embodies a different world view that can only be fully appreciated by speakers of that unique language". That actually supports the notion that new intelligent thoughts can be originally created anew by singular unique speakers alive at this moment.
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        • Mar 2 2014: Brendan,

          From an atemporal perspective the past, the present, the future simultaneously coexist in the enduring now. So yea the world in his time, coincides with this time, and every other time, only a time phased shift away. Of course talking about before time existed before the singularity that it begins to exist or after time ceases to exists involves talking about a concept without that concept existing... some have a hard time recognizing and talking about a concept that actually exists; now imagine them seeking to recognize and talk about a concept that just seems to exist but actually is just one of an infinite of transitory possibilities ... some of which ought to remain as such mere possibilities ... as you imply in your post there are better ways to learn than splitting atomic particles apart and imperiling understandings through employing more peaceful ways... that enable one to see, and more importantly experience, it and other "modern" theories in one's minds in holistic perceptions and dreams that far transcend speaking or writing. Of course it get even better when one move past the observing stuff happen to interacting and even envisioning it happening before it happens... just remember to keep a leash on what it is you wish for... you just might get it amplified to infinity
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          Mar 2 2014: Dreaming/dreamtime for aboriginals does not actually refer to dreams as we think of them. Dreamtime, I believe, refers specifically to creation stories.

          But the shape of the benzene ring in "modern" science came to its discoverer in a dream.
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          Mar 2 2014: Of course they connect with their ancestors through the stories, as do African and Native American tribal people. It is the connection to Western dreaming and modern invention that I questioned.
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          Mar 2 2014: I am neither German nor a priest, nor I think well described by your charges. I am surprised at and saddened by your prejudice.

          I agree with Pabitra below that"there had been mighty thinkers in the past, there will be mighty thinkers in the future as well." You are fully entitled to a different and firmly held view.

          I would like to leave it at that. I do not ever attack back.
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      Mar 2 2014: Dear Brendan, more than Goethe, I am interested in your thought my friend :)
      There had been mighty thinkers in the past, there will be mighty thinkers in future as well. What remains unexplored is how each supposedly 'original' was the result of the unmeasurable cues from life and nature. The conscious thought is primed by the unfiltered subconscious and I wonder if it could ever innovate in isolation.
      I understand patent and copyright logic but I am still at wits end when I hear a cover which is way superior to its original in music. I read appreciation of movies by people and directors admitting that they themselves have not given it the meaning the appreciator did.
      And dear Fritzie, if I see all the breakthrough innovations and discoveries of science as answers, what still intrigues me is the fact they were preceded by questions by others. So what is original about those?
      • Mar 2 2014: Pabitra,

        "The conscious thought is primed by the unfiltered subconscious and I wonder if it could ever innovate in isolation" seems akin to that conversation related to a self emerging without senses...
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        Mar 3 2014: Pabitra, as I responded earlier our thoughts are associative, or, as some might express it, combinatorial. Some speak of "standing on the shoulders of giants," but one could as well say we all stand on the history of what we have observed, large and small, that then gives us ideas- what you are calling the "cues from life and nature."

        It is for this reason that we can get Newton and Leibnitz discovering calculus at the same time, or on a more mundane level two sisters setting out to write a fictional narrative and both writing a story featuring two sisters and a brother. I don't believe some of the redundancies of thought we see at the same time in different places have a mystical component to them, as some believe, but rather that people living at the same time have overlaps in what they observe and in what has been communicated by their time and sometimes reach the same or very similar idea/discoveries/inventions/products by identical combination without prior communication.

        If one uses the word "original" to suggest unaffected by the lived life, there cannot be originality in the broad sense, much as we are all built of components from outside of ourselves.
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          Mar 3 2014: I am not sure how interested you are in matters of philosophy or spirituality but I still would like to know if you think our 'selves' (whether or not imagined) are original. Do you think the 'Fritzie' can have a copy?
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        Mar 3 2014: No, I don't think we have copies any closer than identical twins. If you know identical twins, even in infancy they are not copies. Even at birth they display difference- in size, weight, and temperament-which then interact with slight differences in experience from their earliest days. .

        Have you known any identical twins since early childhood?
  • Feb 27 2014: Esteban - If as you suggest, that the creation is made immediately available to all; wouldn't it be inappropriate to refer to "patent" payments as retrobution. Wouldn't allowing each author to dictate what you could and could not do with the creation, and what percentage of your profits they were going to take, just lead to the inhibition of industry and general chaos. All the profits would end up in the hands of lawyers. If profit shares are preset and dated to the time of first proposal, then maybe you just need and accountant.
    • Feb 27 2014: Bradley,

      What I suggest involves each individual themselves choosing to share from the benefits produced by the creation as 'retribution' to the provider, because users come to appreciate the conclusion that win-win-win promotes the sustenance of the interactions. Notice that when the author dictates what others could and could not do with the creation the author is in essence infringing upon others territorial rights and robing them of their freedom to do as they please. Of course the author can stipulate what be their desires and leave it up to others to honor them or not. The author can also manage to get additional revenues from complementary services that involve payment. Akin to google providing free searches by selling promotional advertisements tailored to the specific search request. Of course considering the present moral standards of many who plunder whatever they can get their hands upon if they can get away with it presents a formidable challenge to be resolved. With honorable individuals each can do what ought to be done without resorting to tugs that ensure someone complies.

      Note that "when profit shares are preset and dated to the time of first proposal" it's not about the author of the creation getting to benefit from what they produce, it's about some capitalistic astute savvy proposer who worked the system to be the one entitled to hold the first proposal and legally steal it through commandeering entitlements from the real authors while at the same time getting attaining control over the real authors autonomy. Imagine someone can legally steal something from the author, then proceed to demand and sue the author over that something. Rather insane way of promoting industries based on honest innovation, though rather sane way of promoting authoritarian buro-legalistic franchised markets and accounts. Did I mention the author had to pay someone to recognize the author to be the author based on the criteria put forth by that someone? Pay up or..
  • Feb 27 2014: What if everyone has the original language to speak ?

    Khaboosiya phurrr.... Surr.... Koo...ooo... volem .... ghew... ghew .... choon... choon... Bhoao... belta ...

    Have fun with above 98 % original language....
  • Feb 25 2014: the suffering
  • Feb 25 2014: thesis plus the antithesis create the synthesis ... the original idea ....
  • Feb 25 2014: would scientific originality be scientific discovery?
  • Feb 25 2014: Well, they say that "everything is a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy...", to make a copy, you need an original. It is not very often that we come across something that is a groundbreaking original, so the answer to the question depends on one's definition of "ORIGINAL".
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      Feb 25 2014: adj. Not derived from something else; fresh and unusual
      n. A first form from which other forms are made or developed.

      Give a good hard thought on the definition of ORIGINAL, because when claimed and granted as one, it can become an intellectual property enabling one to earn a lot of money from it and deny many the free use of it.
      • Feb 25 2014: Kind of curious how some want to extend the scarce resource ideology into an abundant domain rather than learn how to better deal with such abundance in more enriching ways...

        Maybe the idea of ownership is an original ... maybe the act, state, or right of possessing something is actually an original idea... and original bad idea based on usurping commandeering community knowledge and wisdom as belonging to an individual... rather than a common good...
  • Feb 25 2014: I think the question "Is there anything truly original?" that is the title of the thread is somewhat unrelated to the bulk of the points within the topic body.

    Everything that we create is in some way or another, based on existing ideas, stuff, etc. But, that is irrelevant to patent and copyright law.

    We issue copyrights and patents for new uses of existing ideas or a blending of existing stuff.

    1) Yes, it is ethical to patent/copyright new uses or blendings of existing knowledge. Why? Because we want people inventing/creating new stuff from existing ideas, and to encourage them to do so, they have to have a way to get paid. Patent and copyright are that mechanism that allows people to get paid for their new blending.

    2) In the USA, we actually just changed from "first invented" to "first filed". In the past, even if you were not first to file, if you could prove that you came up with the idea first, you could challenge already awarded patents. To unclog the courts, we simplified it to "first to file".

    And, no. We can't go back to the original proposer. For example, if I come up with some new fangled device that makes an engine run better, then I get the patent on the device. I do not have to share the idea with Watt, Franklin, Newton, etc. etc. Again, this goes back to the need for the ability to get paid for my idea, to encourage people to invent.

    3) I do not understand the question.

    4) If "truly" means "fully", then no. If "truly" includes a unique reblending of things that already existed, then yes.
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      Feb 25 2014: Interesting points.
      I was wondering if getting paid is the only and legitimate incentive for innovation.
      • Feb 25 2014: not to visionaries who see there idea creating upward trends for society like the "slap chop" or the "sham wow"............nah... i think the main incentive that sticks through it all is to see your idea through fruition and hopefully its successful , like the "pocket hose"...
      • Feb 25 2014: Depends on how much innovation you want.

        If you want people fully focused on it, 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year, then they have to be able to get paid for it.

        If you want it to be just a part-time hobby that people work on occasionally for the heck of it, then sure, eliminate the mechanism that lets them earn a living from it.


        As a computer programmer, I will work 40 hours a week writing new computer applications or improving the existing, but only because I can get paid for it from our ability to copyright and then sell licenses for the software.

        Take away the ability to copyright, we lose the ability to license usage, which means no way to generate income, and that means instead of working 40 hours a week writing software, I would have to be off doing something else that I can get paid for.
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    Feb 25 2014: Pabitra.
    Excuse me, I went off on a tangent. It was enjoyable.
    In response to your questions...
    1. Yes, patents are given for applications that function. Community knowledge or wisdom are not functions
    2. Patents/Copyrights are not rewards, they allow the holder a method to gain rewards. Any value due to others in the process is not a function of the patent
    3. I can not discern scientific or romantic originality.
    4. This is the fun one. If we carry this question back to the big bang, then there is truly nothing original. However,
    I saw each of us as truly original and that brought some interesting points of view. Such as: Are you the first and last of yourself?
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      Feb 25 2014: Mike,
      There is nothing to be excused. I never judge anything as either perpendicular or tangential :) Every view, even seemingly the most removed from the topic is worth as it can lend insight that is rare.
      I shall get back to your comments after I assimilate them.

      As regards your last question, I am a configuration of unmeasurable possibilities and a phase in a transition that has neither a beginning nor an end. You are the same and different.
      • Feb 25 2014: Pabitra,

        Ortogonal :-)
        Some views are actually worth infinitely more even when infinitely minuscule ...
        Some phases have a beginning that endures, a singular inception, conception, origination, genesis, emergence, rise, start, commencement, starting point, launch, onset, outset; day one; opening, introduction, start, first part, preamble, opening statement, origin, source, roots, starting point, birthplace, cradle, spring, fountainhead, creation; literary fount, well spring.

        Some beings 'transcend' their phase phase by being a phase and a bit more...

        With this gift to you and others I fulfill all of my previously agreed accords; now this time around sets once and for all a singular integration direction...choose well ... what to do/think/feel for such acts conceptions and experiences begin anew that which endures.

        I trust you understand this... be well, do well, sense well, and realize wellness
  • Feb 24 2014: I think the most dire application of patent laws pertains to DNA. Genetic engineering is in it's infancy, yet it is already being tested in the courts.

    What does the future hold… gene slaves enforced by patent laws? Organ farms denying sentience of cultivated surrogates? Perhaps an entire colony of surrogates on Mars aspiring to ascend to Earth? After all if we can dehumanize humans… genetically engineered creations would be easy to exploit.
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    Feb 24 2014: Is there anything truly original?
    Then it came to me.
    Me. I am truly original. I can say with some level of confidence that in all the universe, I am the only me.
    Then as I took finger to computer key to answer this question, I was struck that there is only you. And again with a lot of confidence, you are the only one of you in the universe.
    Of course, biologically we are all... people and we are all pretty much alike, but I am sure I can find something, somewhere to show we are all different. All truly originals if you will.

    I am still working on the issues of documentation, but it is getting late and I am getting sleepy.
    • Feb 24 2014: Hey mike, if we are all unique then wouldn't that make us be equal and be different?

      Stange how our singularity is both what set us apart from each other and amalgamates us in a group ...
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        Feb 24 2014: Esteban,
        I see each person as an unique creature and I see a instinct for community. We can go back... a million years?.... and see clans forming for survival....hunting and gathering.
        But, I do not see equality. Not physically, mentally, socially or in any metric. Our uniqueness belies that definition.
        However, our Constitution dictates that we are all equal under the law. Unfortunately, that equality is not shared in many places across the world. In our recent history, say the last 10,000 years, there were societies that gave some or all of it's members equality under it's laws. But, that idea has been hard to become ingrained and instinctive.
        • Feb 24 2014: Mike,

          we basically agree... with the caveat that under the law whomever is guilty is guilty and whomever is innocent be innocent each is justly treated accordingly... some are offered mercy though they may choose justice...
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        Feb 24 2014: Estaban,
        Considering this further, I applaud the individual. The uniqueness of each of us. I see that each should have the opportunity "to be all, they can be". Of course, in a group setting, a society, this expression is and should be confined to the individual. I have heard it said that your individual expression of swinging your fist stops at the beginning of my nose.
        Words to that effect.
        So, as truly original people where does society overextend it's power over us to limit each to be all each could be. Some individuals are successful beyond belief. Should society come in and regulate
        this success. In this conversation, legal documentation is addressed with implications that it allows successful people to increase rewards for their success. The implications could be read as some manner of "unfairness"
        I don't know what unfairness means.
        Individuals fail to meet their goals. Should society rush in and carry them to success? I am not speaking of assistance so much as assurance.
        Consider, all that modern society has become. People used to honor the successful individuals and some successes are honored more then others. And many are considered "unfair".
        • Feb 24 2014: Mike,

          Something I constantly do involves considering the statements (story-lines) in multiple ways and seek a singular way that ensures them possibilities only an appropriate way to allow for benevolent good ways... in other words only allow what ought to be to actually be... with that in mind...

          Yes have the opportunity ... with the caveat that each followthrough "to be all, they ought to be". :-) ...

          Why would my individual expression of swinging my fist have to stop just because someone chose to stick their nose into my path? What I am asking here involves a subtle distinction regarding who is infringing on the other... shouldn't they mind their own business and stop putting their nose where it will be knocked off? This of course deals with a rather subjective relativistic stand... Should I have to move out of someones way, or should someone have to watch out for me?

          As you sort of mentioned: where does '-the other-' overextend it's power over us to limit what each can do/be and where do they rightfully exert their capacity to guide us? By using hyphens and single quotation signs I denote that we could put in there 'society' 'family' 'the law' 'righteousness' 'religion' 'parents' 'spouses' 'children' 'friends' and a bunch of other 'stuff'...

          BTW FTR I think you shifted into this conversation into the one about society imposed ceilings and floors.

          In any event like the notion of - not speaking of assistance so much as assurance.

          Yes people used to honor and appreciate many values regardless of material stuff... the successful individuals could be simple hard working people that only had their reputations and honor... yes some successes are honored more then others... we need to ensure and appreciate what is actually truly valuable... at least individually...
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        Feb 24 2014: Esteban,
        Your point that the law treats guilty and innocent justly goes without saying. That is the purpose of law.
        I read that some percentage of people are truly evil and seek only to attain power and influence over others. They hold no recognition of individual opportunities. These people take "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" from individuals. These people give me pause in the discussions of Capital Punishment.
        • Feb 24 2014: Mike,

          To you and me... treating everyone equally involves treating each accordingly to how each ought to be treated ... though to some treating everyone equally involves a completely different notion.... for some everyones opinion on the matter is to be equally valid and considered as such. Some consider that a consensus can be reached by a vote which determine what be when the truth of the matter depends on what be appropriately corresponding to the assertions made. Heck some even hold that whatever they determine to be is what happens to be...

          Yes some people give me pause in the dialogues about this and that... as I mentioned, something I constantly do involves considering the statements (story-lines) in multiple ways and seek a singular way that ensures them possibilities only an appropriate way to allow for benevolent good ways... in other words only allow what ought to be to actually be.

          For example the statement:
          "to be all, they can be" opens the door to good and bad.
          where as the statement "to be all, they ought to be" just opens the door to good ways.

          I think you would say it goes without saying that - to be all they can be- implies only the good ways but in actuality it can open the door to be in other ways... and we better be careful with opening pandoras box... BTW in actuality pandoras box is sealed and encapsulated ... those that open it in reality 'just enter it'; into a delusional state of being outside with an opened box that can't be closed... getting out of the sealed and encapsulated box can present a formidable challenge for some... especially because one just needs to close the box within the delusional state where it can't be closed... only truthful good things can get out ... just an act gets you in and just an act get you out... it just that some possible thought are best keep as such just a possible thought...
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        Feb 24 2014: Estegan,
        You make a point about bad stuff and I am aware that it's out there. But, in my defense, I was only thinking that people would do good in their quest for attaining their goals
        .
        I wouldn't put my nose in the way of their swinging fist... just to form a lawsuit.... I know that stuff happens, but in my perfect world there are only good people... and they are the ones I address in my comments..
        • Feb 24 2014: Unfortunately, it is not true that there are only good people. In my opinion, one of the most important roles of government is to protect the masses from the non-good people.

          More so, many people do harm to society without realizing it. Oh, I'm just loaning money to people that want to borrow... yeah, and when those people can't pay back, the economy collapses into depression. So, it becomes the role of government to not only prevent the situations that are obviously bad (murder) but also to prevent situations that are less obvious but just as harmful, such as environmental destruction or creating economic instability.
        • Feb 24 2014: Mike,

          If you are aware that it's out there, then take measures to keep it there! Yea in your defense... don't invite caunt Dracula into your home for once allowed in he can approach and leave the premises at will... note that he is unable to enter a place unless invited to do so; once invited, getting rid of him can be a bit of a complicated chore... the same could be said of certain addictive substances, thoughts, feelings, story-lines, images. I realize that you made the statement and opened the door unaware of the implications... I was just making you aware of them implications that you may reconsider anew what it is you proclaim...

          How do you reconcile the notion that in your perfect world there are only good people and they are the ones you address in your comments with your statement with them people who give you pause?

          Recall you stated: -- They hold no recognition of individual opportunities. These people take "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" from individuals. These people give me pause in the discussions of Capital Punishment--.

          Hope you see my comments in a good light and recognize them as intended. As Darrell pointed out "... many people do harm to society without realizing it"... of course the opposite is also true ... many people benefit society and themselves without realizing it by simple individual actions they routinely take. Lately I been developing the idea that there has been a shift from protecting people into encroaching to direct and interfere in peoples businesses/existences. In a way the shift is from an objective adjudicating referee with an advisory role to an arbitraging licensing regulatory monopolizing authoritarian monarch that franchises local plots of land (which they usurped commandeered, expropriated by their own decrees and force).
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        Feb 24 2014: Estaban,
        I didn't say that there were not any bad people out there. I said, I didn't want to deal with them.
        I know my head is in the sand, but it is just easier for me to deal with good people doing good things in good ways.
        We can discuss the bad people when we have a conversation on Capital Punishment. You can probably guess how I will come down on that one.. .
        • Feb 24 2014: Mike,

          I am curious ... Where did you actually say you didn't want to deal with them?
          BTW I agree it is just easier for me to deal with good people doing good things in good ways.
          Personally I would rather focus conversations on the good guys and what to do to ensure the better ways of being...

          In my perfect world there are only good people... some of which think feel act and recognize it and some who reject the good things while still getting the good things... thing is the suffer rather than enjoy ... imagine being a thought away from pure joy with the ability to enjoy it fully under the deception of being unable to attain and think such a thought ... or to put it another way the bad are so bad they do badly bad things and end up doing only good...

          to me there are good people but some are temporarily deceived by a bad idea thinking its a good idea and rejecting a good idea thinking its a bad one... thus for a time being there are those who think to do good and do something else ... until they learn the truth of the matter and focus on congruently thinking and doing what be good...
    • Feb 24 2014: You are not wholly original. You are simply a blending of the DNA of your parents, with some random mutation, and a lot of post fertilization programming by the same society and culture that programmed tens of millions of other people.

      Therefore, like music, originality is limited to the reblending of things that already existed.
  • Feb 24 2014: Wow, there sure is a lot of New Age hokum in this thread. Is there any free will, or is the universe pre-destined?

    In my opinion, that question is moot. It appears to be somewhat random, and it appears we have free will, so it is in our best interest to assume it is.

    Is anything wholly original? Probably not.

    But let's take music as an example. We take existing instruments and known notes, rearrange them, perhaps alter the cadence slightly, then write some new lyrics. We then allow the song to be copyrighted.

    Why?

    Because if you could not get a copyright, you could not make money from the music. If you can't get paid, then there would be way fewer people spending way less time making music.

    Going with the US Constitution. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8:

    "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."

    Since the Golden Age of Hollywood, we have kept extending the period of time that works of art are protected by copyright. Eventually, I see this going to the Supreme Court, and if there is any honesty, 100 years will be ruled to be "not limited Times" needed to promote the creation of works of art.

    Walt create Mickey Mouse even though at the time, the copyright would only be in place for 55 years.

    Speaking of, Mickey is scheduled to fall off copyright in 2023, meaning in the next 8 years we can expect yet another law extending copyrights in the USA. He was due to go public domain in 1983, until 1976 extended 55 to 75. This set the new date to 2003, until the 1998 law extended it to 95 years.

    I am torn. Eventually, everything should go public domain, but I do not want every roadside carnival becoming Mickey Mouse land.
    • Feb 24 2014: A pragmatic approach Darrell. Clearly copyright law is as amorphous as the mandates of the judicial system (and it lacks enforcement).

      A couple of points of clarification…

      Mickey Mouse is officially known as a co-creation of Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks. In addition, Mickey Mouse was originally a rabbit that borrowed design attributes from Felix the Cat (1923)… who created Fellix is still in dispute. If you're looking for the origins of original animation characters, you'll have to drill back to the Yellow Kid. But even that's a stretch..and a squash. Animation was, and still is a collaborative art form.

      In addition… unlike Bugs Bunny. Mickey Mouse represents the Disney company. He's more than a character, Mickey Mouse as a cartoon salesman is covered by trademarks. That's why you will never see his character act in a movie that does not represent the sanitized Disney values.

      Whether considering originality in context to original source or in context to legal rights… history is written by the influential (i.e. Disney, Edison).
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    Feb 24 2014: Since origin is related to a frame of reference and since frame of reference can be moved at will, either everything is original at the point of creation or nothing is. Is that it?
    • Feb 24 2014: It's not an all or nothing proposition. Creation is evolution. Every generation / creator adds original innovations to existing creations. It's an accumulative outcome that pushes beyond the previous limitations. The root of the innovation isn't based on a frame of reference… it's based on how it's delimited (and many advancements are sharply delimited).
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    Feb 24 2014: Perhaps the first Big-Bang is truly original. After the Artist the copyist.
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    Feb 23 2014: Sin?
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      Feb 24 2014: Pure biblical garbage, sorry. A scheme of subduing free spirit of a thinking animal with a sense of regret and fear so that he/she can be subjugated morally.
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        Feb 24 2014: Well judged. It was not a serious comment.
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    Feb 23 2014: Pabitra,
    You make me dig deep,
    Ok, nothing is truly original in the sense I believe you mean...

    I go back to the Judeo-Christian bible in the book of Genesis and the story of creation. Here we see that the belief of all in creation was by made God. A specific religious belief. I have been told that there are similar scripture held by others in their beliefs. Then we read all the works of cosmologists, et. el. and learn they believe that, all in creation came together in the form of energy particles, gathering into a mass of atoms and molecules...

    So, your question to me, as I understand it, is about rewarding someone who has invented something legally with a document as a testament to originality.

    Patents, copyrights, what ever, I believe do not so much reward the truly original, although there maybe some....
    as much as reward the creative uniqueness of how existing things were assembled in new ways. Or penning words together is new ways. Or bringing colors together in new ways.

    Is there something truly original? I would like to nominate "measurement".

    We know that there has continuum in all existence, but man has truly created time as a measurement of that continuum. I am not sure if there ever was a patent issued for time...but many for measurement of time.
    Then, there is my favorite... the meter. It's about 39 lengths of a King's second joint of his forefinger which is about as accurate as the complex mathematical calculation it is based upon, which if I understand did receive some legal recognition at the time.

    I hope my musings didn't offend your invitation for an answer.
    • Feb 23 2014: Mike

      I must assert, the modern meter was first defined by the Paris Meter Convention of 1875. Post revolutionary France changed the money, the calendar, and the systems of measurement to so-called scientific measures. The meter replaced the traditional foot, yard, etc... and was calculated to be 1/10,000,000 of the distance from the north pole to the equator.

      In reference to your claim that measurement is original, I must disagree. The universe came with Plank length and plank time installed, and thus measurement is implicit. If there is a smallest thing, or a shortest time, all other objects and events can be examined in ratio to those concepts. What you call those measurements is arbitrary.

      Regards
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        Feb 23 2014: Thanks Ian,
        That's my point. The measure of the meter is no more real then the measure of the King's finger.
        And how did the universe let us know.... Man decided on what to ratio and what to measure etc. etc.
        So, I was wrong.... measurement is not an original truth.
        My apologies to Pabitra....a senior moment.
      • Feb 24 2014: Ian, Mike et all

        I think that Mike is actually onto something quite relevant with the notion of 'measurement' that ought to be reconsidered from a broader perspective, using the 'meta-abstract' notion of 'distinctions'. As you sort of said what we call those things is arbitrary thought them things be specific 'distinguishable creatures' . To use an analogy there is the map domain, there is the territory domain and there is also the distinction domain. To use a complementary analogy there is what one thinks to be, there is what be and there is also the correspondence and interrelationships between these. to use a third complementary notion: the archer, the bow, the arrow be constituted simultaneously by the distinctive creative act which bring them into being and set them apart from other stuff and in relationship to other stuff. them creations exists because humans conceived them into existing. they where created once and for all by some individual who gifted them into existence and chose to share them things with others.

        At one time I posited the notion that knowledge/ideas/feelings only existed within the mind of an individual ... That is ideas needed minds to keep them alive (and minds needed ideas to stay alive). Anyways at that time I though that as long as a single individual thinks of an idea, the idea exists; that is If no one thinks the idea, the idea simply vanishes. there is a bunch of stuff related to this notion within memes ... which sort of ideological genes. Imagine physical genes and take the physical out of it :-) Now that I think of this I have a slightly different appreciation of what happens to be. Suffice it to say that some possibilities want to be manifested realities and need the 'willing' collaboration of somebody that has a physical-menatl-spiritual existence. There be good possibilities and bad possibilities and all sort of other possibilities some are best maintained as that, mere possibilities.

        Chose wisely what to enliven!
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    Feb 23 2014: Interesting responses so far. Thanks. I shall get back to few commenters for clarifications. Meanwhile I think I should clarify my position a bit with respect to the questions.
    1. There are many instances of knowledge borne out of experience/wisdom of a trial and error over a substantial period of time in communities. Some are even ancient. The benefit of such knowledge is mostly free and passed on to generations. The same applies for certain kind of technologies and products too. I am interested to know how ethical it is to patent such knowledge, technology or product by big corporations by conducting some lab tests in another country where these knowledge, technology or product are not known.
    2. By first proposal I mean a mechanism that does not ignore the incentive of a work of innovation from existing ideas and principles first without calling it 'original'. I agree that I have reservation towards the ontology of the idea 'original'.
    3. Is Einstein's 'Theory of Relativity' as 'original' as T.S. Eliot's 'The Waste Land'?
    4. Original refers to origin. How multiple things can be original, unless we accept there may be multiple origins - creatively speaking.

    I find the idea that everything other than product of labor (even some cases that too) is essentially freely distributable compelling. Nothing exists without contribution of uncountable many who are not present to demand the share of their royalty.
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    Feb 23 2014: Scholars who study creativity call it "associative" in the sense that what we construct in the way of ideas, whether consciously or subconsciously, is a mixture of responses or interpretations of things we have experienced. While a remix may be original, its components are not. Further some remixes may be more original than others in the sense of featuring more unusual juxtapositions.

    By a product "based on community knowledge", are you talking about instances in which a person puts into his own words in print, say, an exposition of the teachings or practices of Buddhism and calls it that? Or are you talking about a circumstance in which several people work up an idea together and then one quickly runs to patent or brand it alone?

    Some people make reference to "the Great Conversation," suggesting that we continue to build our ideas in dialogue with formulations concerning those questions that have been considered over the millenia. Every aspect of us is built of the past.

    There is a separate issue in what is novel for a particular person. People are all the time making discoveries that are new for them but which are familiar to people better-versed in the subject. A child might make the discovery that the maximum or minimum point on a parabola lies precisely between the x-intercepts or that the locus of points equidistant between two connected rays traces the angle bisector, but those are not discoveries in a broad sense. People all the time herald their inventions or discoveries or fresh, path-breaking ideas in an area that they simply do not realize are part of mainstream thought or the thought of a non-mainstream, but sizable group of people whose work is unfamiliar to them.
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      Feb 25 2014: By a product based on community knowledge I mean commercialization of essentially free benefits of nature. For example, the fungicidal properties of turmeric is widely known in India. Turmeric finds its use in cooking, skin-care and even as sign of purity in Indian context. If someone patents a skin care product based on turmeric for commercial use in India and abroad, will that be ethical and/or original?
      Does it not strike you as something strange that the idea of originality, which appears quite vague, is powerfully built into our economic system by patent and copyright laws with the objective certainty of property rights or ownership?
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        Feb 25 2014: I understand now. Yes, I have noticed entrepreneurs capturing the rents from marketing formulations that they "discovered" from observing indigenous people's choices of nut or plant for, say, hair conditioning or skin moisturizing. The person who brings the product to market captures an outsized proportion of the rents, just as intermediate and later parts of the supply chain that brings many products to market collect the largest part of the rents.
        • Feb 25 2014: Fritzie,

          Thanks for your comment... pro-virtous entrepreneurs ... that is professional in favor of enriching satisfying attractive results understand that it's better to share and pay fair price for what they employ to ensure sustainable desirable congruent synergistic interactions...

          Again thank you
  • Feb 23 2014: It is not ethical and within a patent application is a statement that a search was done to see if there was prior knowledge or this discovery which was either patented or in the common knowledge. You should also know a patent does not worth anything unless it has been adjudicated in court. A lot of sleazy companies buy questionable patents and then say they are going to sue unless royalties are paid. They make the royalties cheaper than fighting a suit.
  • Feb 22 2014: 1. No, which is why patent offices and/or responsible courts are supposed to strike those down. Supposed being the key word here.

    2. Yes, but they may not be sufficient to encourage innovation. Depends on the scientific field and market in question.

    3. Sure, if you come up with something that no one came up with before, its new, regardless of what field it was crafted in. Scientific ideas tend to rely on a lot of older scientific ideas, but then, so do romantic ones.

    4. Plenty. A lot less then you'd like perhaps, and a large part of it is rehashing old ideas with new ones, or even old ideas in new ways, but its still original. I suppose one could propose a sliding scale of originality, depending on how many old ideas exist in a new concept.
    There's also the issue of never having heard of an old idea you were using. Someone may have came up with say, the sliding scale of originality before, but I've never heard of him. Of course, I can claim no credit for either the sliding scale, nor originality as a concept. I've merely rehashed both into a rather mediocre new idea.
    Its at this point of the debate that things start to gradually become more philosophical, and progressively less practical.
  • Feb 22 2014: Everyone is original. Everyone's ideas are original. Is it ethical for anyone to be first in the lunch line?
    I used to play my guitar and write my own songs. The difference between my song and Bob Dylan's song could be just a few notes off and a different tempo. Bob Dylan was inspired to write music by listening to other music just like I was inspired to write music after listening to him...nonetheless it was my original creation. Bob Dylan took the steps to copyright his compositions, I did not.

    Whoever takes their idea to be patented first has taken the initiative to insure their creative potential. To question if this is right or wrong indicates a sense of jealously and resentment. What's the difference between "first proposal" and patent? If someone lacks the initiative to move their idea quickly to copyright/patent and someone else gets there first, it's no different than someone who takes the initiative to get to the theater first to insure a great seat while someone else is just behind them. Someone will always be first, someone will always be last and there is 98% in between.

    Some people will say this is "not fair". Who determines what is or is not community knowledge? Who/What is the community? Who decides if it's fair or not fair? A family, a classroom, a company are all communities where people come together. If it's a company, the employees may be contributing to the development of an idea are being paid for doing their time. When people contribute to a group and expect a reward, that's something that needs to be decided before the group begins.

    Scientific originality, romantic originality, it's all original and is expressed most commonly in our culture through creativity.

    Yes, there is truly original creation from every individual everyday.
  • Feb 22 2014: Pabitra,

    From my perspective the first two question have to do with an artificial shift imposed by 'the authorities' to make an abundant resource into a scarce one. Actually it was more like exporting and using a determinant solution from one particular domain into a different one; rather than figuring out the variant resolutions which apply there. In other words using the old bag of tools in new ways, rather than creating whole new sets of tools to use.

    To answer directly the question you put forth:
    1. No, resorting to - usurping, commandeering, expropriating, appropriation and even possessiveness of knowledge and wisdom- isn't ethical
    2. yes, to reward first proposal be the central issue behind copyright/patent laws
    3. Indeed one can find noble and original approaches ... in science, philosophy, theology, psychology
    4. That depends on the constitutive meaning of 'truly original'... what does 'truly original' mean? from there we can seek out truly original examples.

    There actually is a whole bunch of underlying notions related to patents/copyrights/ownership of ideas, technologies and products that ought to be properly explored. For example what's the use of a holding a property right if neither individuals nor societies will actually respect it? In other words what's the use of having the law of the land when everyone does whatever they want and pleases to do? The law of the land can be use for good and for bad, to restrict what individuals can lawfully do and to criminalize certain activities. Maybe the underlying issue here has to do with : When is it ok for 'someone' to do something; say take and use something, say when does one hold the title of ownership, when does one transfer individual rights, and how and what kinds of controls does one's right involve.

    Entitlements and managing individuals rights can be quite a lucrative business.