I believe that there’s a rational explanation for why new ideas tend to spring up from unrelated sources almost simultaneously. At any given moment, there are certain widely accepted goals…say, getting rich, or having thin thighs. With all kinds of people in all kinds of places building on and using the same body of knowledge and common experience to tell you how to reach those goals, you’re bound to find some marked similarities between the routes.
It seems to happen all the time with scientific discoveries. So why not with creative ones, too? In fact, we’re such prisoners of our times and own environments that a trained eye familiar with the tiny stylistic quirks peculiar to each period can easily detect most art fakes…and tell you exactly when they were created. We think alike more often than we;s like to admit. And if you’ve got one good idea, it’s a pretty good indication that you can come up with another.
I’ve done it–especially when I thought someone had stolen my idea. And so can you. You’ve got to have more than one good idea. Once is not enough (with apologies to the late Jacqueline Susann.)
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