Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Entirely original thinking, as far as I know

Creation becomes all the more daunting when one has so much available to absorb.

In the Information Age, how does one write a meaningfully lengthy blog post when one can be certain they haven't learned all they can easily learn on the subject? What is to say I won't unintentionally duplicate another's work, or that my words even now aren't just a simple mix-and-match of more popular content? Have I created something of value, or is it only by virtue of my beholders' limited perspective that I appear to have generated it?

Readers absorb from readers, then mentally rearrange and piece together their own content for presentation within their own spheres of influence, wherein the content will be perceived as original given that the constituent components are non-obvious to the new readership. The author's value, then, is in repackaging ideas and rephrasing them in their respective cultural microcosms.

With the Internet as medium, I place my words on display on a personal site, this blog. It sits neutrally alongside countless others of immeasurable quality, equally visible by anyone on the network anywhere at anytime. Though each site's potential is the same, the scope of any one readership cannot encompass the entire spectrum of content, and thus I may achieve the aforementioned value of 'original' authorship in words, at least for the time being.

Perhaps soon, when information technology allows us to pull back and take in the wider perspective of the Internet's expanse of information, will we see otherwise-disparate content from a single viewpoint and realize the similarities with a glance.

You and I don't know that this post is nearly identical to another one from an introspective farmer somewhere in rural China.
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