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Mark Twain on Plagiarism and Originality: “All Ideas Are Second-Hand”

Mark Twain on Plagiarism and Originality: “All Ideas Are Second-Hand”
by Maria Popova “The kernel, the soul — let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances — is plagiarism.” The combinatorial nature of creativity is something I think about a great deal, so this 1903 letter Mark Twain wrote to his friend Helen Keller, found in Mark Twain’s Letters, Vol. 2 of 2, makes me nod with the manic indefatigability of a dashboard bobble-head dog. In this excerpt, Twain addresses some plagiarism charges that had been made against Keller some 11 years prior, when her short story “The Frost King” was found to be strikingly similar to Margaret Canby’s “Frost Fairies.” Heller was acquitted after an investigation, but the incident stuck with Twain and prompted him to pen the following passionate words more than a decade later, which articulate just about everything I believe to be true of combinatorial creativity and the myth of originality: Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.

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Jane Goodall blames 'chaotic note taking' for plagiarism controversy Jane Goodall, British primatologist and conservationist, is famed for her research on the behaviour of chimpanzees. Photograph: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images Leading primatologist Jane Goodall has blamed a "hectic work schedule" and her "chaotic method of note taking" for a plagarism controversy surrounding her reissued book. Speaking ahead of the publication of a revised edition of Seeds of Hope, first published in August 2013, Goodall, said she had learned lessons following reports in the Washington Post last year that at least 12 sections of the book were lifted from other websites including Wikipedia.

Going Solo: A Brief History of Living Alone and the Enduring Social Stigma Around Singletons by Maria Popova “Despite its prevalence, living alone is one of the least discussed and, consequently, most poorly understood issues of our time.” In the 4th century BC, Aristotle admonished: Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey  The reason we hold truth in such respect is because we have so little opportunity to get familiar with it.-- Mark Twain, 1898 On June 18, 2014 the American Film Institute offered audiences the opportunity to become familiar with the truth when its five-day documentary festival in Washington D.C. opened with an instant classic: Holbrook/Twain: An American Odyssey. With dozens of excellent new documentaries to choose from, the AFI made the right choice in selecting this film to open the festival. The film is intimate, compelling and all-American.

remixology - / syllabi Nov 29 2011 Judy Lillibridge You're a rare writer if you don't occasionally suspect yourself of plagiarism, of unconsciously stealing phrases from your favorite author or appropriating plot points from books you've read as a child. The Smiley Book of Colors By Maria Popova When Freud came to believe he was going to die between the ages of 61 and 62, and subsequently began seeing the two numbers everywhere he looked, which only intensifying the urgency of his superstition, he came to observe the value of selective attention in focusing the unconscious. But what if we engineered this selective attention purposefully and aligned it with our emotional and mental well-being? That’s exactly what photographer, children’s author, and educator Ruth Kaiser did in 2008, when she began seeing smiley faces everywhere she turned.

Who Really Said That? - The Chronicle Review By Corey Robin Sometime last semester I was complaining to my wife, Laura, about a squabble in my department. I can't remember the specifics—that's how small and silly the argument was—but it was eating at me. And eating at me that it was eating at me (tiffs are as much a part of academe as footnotes and should be handled with comparable fuss).

Why We Love: 5 Must-Read Books on the Psychology of Love It’s often said that every song, every poem, every novel, every painting ever created is in some way “about” love. What this really means is that love is a central theme, an underlying preoccupation, in humanity’s greatest works. But what exactly is love? How does its mechanism spur such poeticism, and how does it lodge itself in our minds, hearts and souls so completely, so stubbornly, as to permeate every aspect of the human imagination?

Quentin Rowan, a.k.a. Q. R. Markham, Plagiarism Addict Spy novels embrace clichés—the double agent, the bomb-rigged briefcase—and “Assassin of Secrets,” published last fall, made a virtue of this tendency, piling one trope onto another to create a story that rang with wry knowingness. The book is set in the midst of the Cold War. The protagonist is Jonathan Chase, a suave secret agent with a background in martial arts—part James Bond, part Jason Bourne. In the first chapter, Chase meets Frankie Farmer, a sexy former field agent who presents him with “personalized matching luggage” loaded with surveillance gear.

New Collection Of 35 Creative Photos This is a fresh collection of 35 creative photos that will fuel up your creativity. When you are out of idea its always great and helpful to see some professional work to inspire you to do better.