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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Monday, October 11, 2021


The idea that "forms of copying are foundational to creativity" is one of those deeply confusing ways of defending plagiarism. Here's why. What is really a whole lot more "foundational to creativity" is not copying. Note, also the weaselly way this is stated: "forms of copying."  If he were to write "copying is foundational to creativity" it would be obviously false. 

Of course we see imitative, derivative work as less creative, because it is, and copying something verbatim is even less "creative." That why we call conceptual writing that copies other texts verbatim "uncreative writing."   

Most poets will be imitative, not wholly original, and that is to be expected. If you can't tell one poet from another, because they all write the same way, we call that being unoriginal. We know that originality is possible because some poets write in a distinctive voice, and we can tell them apart from others. 

Now, none of this implies any sort of deep romantic belief in "creativity," etc... It works the same for any kind of writing. We can just look at how similar or different it is from other forms of writing that came before, or at around the same time. For example, John Donne comes before romanticism was invented, but he has a distinctive poetic voice.   

A whole range of imitative practices, from parody to translation, are also interesting and have their own value. Also, imitating a model is good practice to learn how to write, etc... None of this is new. 

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