A new philosophy of thought challenges the basis of current copyright concepts. Among other things, the “RiP!: A Remix Manifesto” starts with the concept that “Culture always builds on the past.” I challenge you to consider if that is an accurate premise. Does our culture always build on the past?
The use of invention, or the innovation of altering an object or process in new ways, may be what truly defines us as a species.
Every once in a long while, something is invented which changes, in some small way, the very nature of our lives.
While little inventions come out every day, it is these big ones that move us forward into the destiny of mankind as affected by the new idea.
What do you think? Copyright 2009, Barry Neil Shrum
Are there any truly unique ideas that are not founded on previous ideas?
Language This is the number one innovation of humanity for a very good reason: it is in many ways the definition of humanity. Our ability to communicate, whether via voice or writing, lets us join our minds together so as to go from bands of individuals to become a true culture. No other technology would be able to develop reliably without language to teach it to the next generation.
Tools Tools are one of the first innovations. A tool is anything you use to build, change, repair, or destroy something, and it’s the first thing you need to create any other technology.
The Printing Press The idea of the printing press allowed information to be spread across the world in a far more efficient and inexpensive process. This allowed for the spread of intellectual achievement and the written arts,
The Telephone The idea that a person’s voice could travel through a wire was considered something akin to witchcraft when it was first proposed, but by the time Alexander Graham Bell patented his “electric telegraph” in March of 1876, it was not only a reality, but was to forever change the country.
The Steam Engine It is impossible to imagine the nineteenth century without the steam engine, for in many ways it was the driving force behind America’s western expansion, played a major role in the North winning the Civil War, and helped the United States take its first tentative steps towards becoming a regional power
Electricity/Light Bulb The advent of electricity in the waning years of the nineteenth century had an enormous impact on society, for it not only reduced the fire danger by replacing gas-fed street lamps with non flammable electric light bulbs, but paved the way for everything from the television and the radio to the refrigerator and the curling iron.
The Computer The ability to capture, compile, store, reassemble, manipulate and compute data is one of the most novel ideas in modern history. This invention led to the discovery of other innovations, including…
The Internet What we call the “Net” is now coalescing into a single mass of all information to which any connected computer has access. No longer is information limited by location, and no longer is it only available the privileged few who can afford it.