No New Ideas

I’ve learned many interesting things in my foray into blogging these past 9 months.  One of the things I’m still trying to figure out is Copycat Syndrome — the tendency of bloggers to write about the same topic within a short period of time.  I don’t really know what to make of this.  Do these people come up with their ideas independent of one another?  Or did one person read a blog, recreate the gist of the article in their own words, and then pass it off as their own?

The former doesn’t bother me much.  The latter kinda does.

Audre Lorde the 20th century author and feminist, once wrote, “there are no new ideas.  There are only new ways of making them felt.”  To that end, I concede the reality that like-minded bloggers are going to have a lot of the same ideas and make those ideas publicly known.  

Yesterday I found myself on the unflattering end of what appeared to be a Copycat Syndrome situation.  My friend and fellow-blogger Emily recently offered a post on how much she loves playing Tetris on-line.  (Here’s the article.)  She even included a screen-grab which demonstrated her ridiculous high score.  Well, wouldn’tcha know it, a few hours later, I wrote a similar post that professed MY love for the same game, and even included a screen-grab which demonstrated my modest high score.  The thing is, I had no idea she had written about such an odd topic.  I promise.  So imagine my horror when, literally minutes after “publishing” my post on Tetris, I read Emily’s not-too-dissimilar article.

What can we learn from this?  


  1. The appearance of impropriety does not always designate it so
  2. There are no new ideas; only new ways of making them felt
  3. Emily is a crazy-good Tetris player

3 Responses to No New Ideas

  1. Tim says:

    yeah, that’s happened to me a couple times too.
    if I were a good Christian, I’d suggest that this is the work of the Holy Spirit.
    But because I am what I am, it certainly is weird, huh?

  2. Ryan Houts says:

    I want to play Oregon Trail online. I bet you do, too. I haven’t taken the time to find it yet. I bet someone will and post a reply.

    I agree, there are no such things as new ideas, or even new songs.

    I think the people with the best original ideas, stole them from someone smarter. It’s just that one person had better timing or better marketing skillz or better networks.

    Like the guy who invented the “ShamWow” (I got one for Christmas!) Yeah. Like a towel has never been invented. Like someone has never used a headset mic to communicate before.

    He has a new invention-mercial. I can’t remember what it is… Anyone?

    To create is divine. To copy is to create, because a copy is never perfectly identical to the original. Improvement is often a matter of opinion.

  3. Ryan Houts says:

    Rap Cat: Original or copy?

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