Is old the new new?


Given the growth and I believe permanence of mashups as a concept that can be applied to almost anything and everything, we are going to need to seriously rethink and redefine some long held fundamentals.  For me, a very informal and simplified description of the concept of mashups might be something along the lines of “the assembly of pre-existing bits and pieces to create a new single result”.  Therefore every mashup is completely new, it ia unique new entity, nothing exactly the same existed before and yet it is made entirely or almost entirely from pre-existing, aka old, stuff.  So is it new or is it old? 

Both would seem to be the best answer to me which doesn’t really help much other than to make my point that I think we need to seriously unleran and redefine some of our most commonly held and fundamental notions such as the meaning of things like:

  • New
  • Original
  • Plagiarism
  • ownership

For me this is a good thing as I think these changes would tend to put the emphasis on ideas, new ways of thinking of things, new perspectives and less on who gets the credit for “inventing” it or being first. 

It is truly innovative and creative to  create something new and unique from pre-existing stuff.  and I should note that by “stuff” I mean both tangible items such as words, mucisal notes, images, hardware, and so on as well as much less tangible items such as concepts and ideas or the formation of a new team of people with just the right combination of skills, knowledge, abilities, experiences, and attitudes. 


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