Your Brain Can’t Create New Ideas


In 1955 Johnny Cash wrote and recorded a song
that would become a worldwide hit: Folsom Prison Blues. In 1887 Van Gogh admitted himself to a mental
asylum in Southern France and spent his time painting 30 beautiful pieces of art that are
almost priceless today. In 1603 Shakespeare wrote Othello, one of
his many masterpieces. These masters of the arts created one of a
kind originals using nothing but the contents of their own brains, as though their works
were like gifts from the heavens. The only problem is that this is utter crap,
all the aforementioned creations were stolen. And I’ll tell you how and why in a few seconds,
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the “New Player Program” to start your journey. Good luck, and I’ll see you there! So you’re a Johnny Cash fan, aren’t we
all, well he stole Folsom Prison Blues almost word-for-word from a song released two years
earlier by another American composer: Gordon Jenkins, his song was called Crescent City
Blues and if you listen to it, in another tab, of course, then you’ll notice that
the melody and more than half the words are identical to Folsom Prison Blues. Cash tried to get away with his forgery too,
he didn’t credit Jenkins anywhere on his record which sold many thousands more copies
than the original. Cash was later sued after his version became
a worldwide hit, the lawsuit cost him $75,000. Van Gogh’s 30 masterpieces were all precise
replicas of 30 artworks by other artists. Although I am being slightly unfair on the
mad Dutchman, he actually admitted that these were all copies at the time, in fact, that
was his intention to copy, as closely as possible, works that he admired. Though it’s still interesting to learn that
even a master such as Van Gogh needed to copy now and then for inspiration. And Shakespeare, well he stole a lot of his
work. Othello was a story borrowed from a previous
Italian novelist Giovanni Cinthio. Hamlet was stolen from 12th-century Danish
writer Saxo Grammaticus. And Romeo and Juliet, yes that was stolen
too, from a poem written by Arthur Brooke in 1562, the poem was even called ‘The Tragicall
Historye of Romeus and Juliet’. But am I angry that these legends of the arts,
the titans of creativity have been lying to us? Hell no, stealing other people’s work was
the best thing they ever did. These people may have nicked their treasures
but who cares when they did such wonderful things with the booty. Crescent City Blues sounds great but Folsom
Prison Blues sold better because let’s be honest, it’s a hell of a lot catchier and
has a higher production value than the original song. Shakespeare arguably did greater things with
the material he copied than anyone else in history. He transformed the stories he stole into truly
beautiful creations that elevated the English language to a godly level, permanently enriching
the tapestry of mankind in the process. The fact that Shakespeare stole these stories
doesn’t disparage his work in the slightest, he was still a literary genius and potentially
no one else could have given these existing tales such a breath of brilliant new life. If he had copied the stories word for word
then that’s a whole different ball game and that’s not ok. But truthfully, copyright theft doesn’t
matter, it’s what you do with it that counts. These three examples are just the tip of the
iceberg when it comes to famous works that are actually copies. In fact, I would argue that the majority of
all creative works you know today, books, music, film etc. are copied from someone who
came earlier. If this is true then it begs the question:
Is any idea truly original? Well, no; there was a point in history when
truly original ideas were still possible, but such a rare phenomenon has not existed
for at least 2,000 years – and probably not since humans began building large, connected
civilisations. Your brain is a collection of millions of
memories collected over your entire life. Whenever you have an idea you aren’t always
aware but you subconsciously borrow little bits of these memories and combine them to
imagine something new. You could derive this new idea from bits of
hundreds of different memories or just three, but you can’t avoid it, this is how the
human brain works. The inception of a 100% unique idea is not
possible because the brain always has to draw on prior knowledge. To frustrate matters even further in most
creative fields there are actually a very limited amount of possibilities that can be
realised, which makes repeats or at least very close duplicates inevitable. Take for example a novel. You would think there are limitless possibilities
for writing fiction, but not quite. At least that’s not what Christopher Booker
thought. He postulated that there are only seven possible
plots and all works of fiction ever written fall into one of them. They are: Overcoming the monster. Think Beowulf, War of the Worlds, James Bond. Rags to riches. Cinderella, Jane Eyre, Great Expectations. The quest. The Lord of The Rings, The Pilgrim’s Progress. Voyage and return. Alice in Wonderland, Peter Rabbit, Gone With
The Wind. Comedy. Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night. Tragedy. Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet. Rebirth. A Christmas Carol, Beauty and The Beast. You can go round and round in your mind all
day conjuring up wild storylines that may not fit into one of these seven. And if you do you’ll probably end up at
some truly stupid destinations: such as the tale of a man who grows a third nipple and
has to take up underwater basket weaving to make enough money to have it removed. But then you realise that’s just an f’in
bizarre example of ‘The Quest’ or possibly ‘Overcoming the monster’ depending on
how you look at it. And even within these categories, you often
find that so many acclaimed stories are the same. Within the human experience, there are only
finite things that a character in a book can do. Because of this, every now and then a very
odd phenomenon occurs, films are released by completely unrelated and independent studios
that have identical plots, and neither was aware of the other film’s existence until
their release. This is so eerily common that it has been
given a name: ‘Twin Films’. For example: In 1986 Top Gun was released and so was a
remarkably similar but spectacularly less successful film called Iron Eagle. In 1998 there was Antz and A Bug’s Life. In 1999 there was The Mummy and Tale of The
Mummy. In 2006 there was The Illusionist and The
Prestige. These are just a few examples of many. Some twin films have been attributed to espionage
within the film industry, but many others are pure coincidences, after all over 2,500
films are released each year. But it could also be due to the fact that
there are only a limited amount of possible storylines, that can be altered, sure, but
the core story remains the same. Even when you are absolutely certain that
your new idea is entirely original you may actually be suffering from a case of ‘cryptomnesia’. This is when you recall a memory you had forgotten
and you mistakenly think its an original idea that you have just generated. But in reality the joke, or concept for a
book, film etc. is something you heard of saw a long time ago and had just buried deep
in the recesses of your mind. As you can imagine cryptomnesia can get you
in trouble if you are adamant that your idea is original but it turns out to be plagiarised,
and cryptomnesia has come for many well-known people. When the American writer Helen Keller was
11 she wrote a short story called ‘The Frost King’. But later in her life, it was discovered that
the entire story was plagiarised from a fairytale called Frost Fairies. Helen Keller had no idea she was committing
plagiarism at the time, she was suffering from cryptomnesia but she later recalled that
she had, in fact, read Frost Faries four years before she wrote The Frost King. She got into trouble and her name was dragged
through the mud by the papers. The event left Keller a nervous wreck and
she would never write fiction again. So if having an original idea is almost impossible
and if you do then it’s probably just cryptomnesia anyway, then it begs the question: should
we all be committing plagiarism and just hoping to get away with it or should we go the other
way and all put paper bags over our heads and sit in the corner shaking, because we’re
afraid that if we utter a single word we could be breaking the law? Well, there is actually a happy medium and
it’s what 99% of us do when we want to create a great piece of honest creative work. Plagiarism is obviously morally wrong. Plagiarism is taking someone else’s work
or concept and passing it off as your own with little to no changes to its content. I would personally abhor anyone who practices
plagiarism and hopes to get away with it. But there’s isn’t anything inherently wrong
with using one or more pieces of other people’s work as heavy inspiration, so long as you
add value. When true originality isn’t possible, and
it seldom is, then greatness can only be achieved by adding value. Few of Shakespeare’s works are genuinely original
but he achieved greatness time after time by taking already successful stories and rewriting
them using astonishing language to elevate them to a new level that the original writer
could never reach. Imagine if Shakespeare had to come up with
a truly original storyline each time he wrote a play, he would have far less time to focus
on carefully crafting beautiful lines and probably wouldn’t have written nearly as
many plays for future generations to enjoy. Using other people’s work allows one to
not get caught in a hopeless black hole of imagination, trying to fathom some immaculate
conception of an original idea that will likely never come. By bypassing this step and building upon the
work of others you can get a head start and focus on adding significant value to truly
make it into a unique piece that may actually improve upon the original. Forget about whether what you are working
on has been done a hundred times before and focus on what you personally can add to it
that nobody else has, do this authentically and with passion, and you will create something
amazing. In doing so you will not be alone, the best
musicians of the past century have taken inspiration from the great classical composers that laid
the groundwork for them. And what is Star Wars if not an amalgamation
of spaghetti westerns, samurai films and footage of Spitfire dogfights during World War II,
all set in space? Instead of being intimidated by all the great
work that has come before you, let it instead inspire you and there is no limit to what
you could achieve. Thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Your Brain Can’t Create New Ideas

  1. Install Raid for Free ✅ IOS: http://bit.ly/2XVJvad ✅ ANDROID: http://bit.ly/2SlA0jh Start with💰50K silver and get a Free Epic Champion 💥 on day 7 of “New Player Rewards” program

  2. Message of the video: it's okay to copy something as long as you make it better

  3. I don’t know what I’m plagiarizing here but: Fork the deadest fish of all.
    It was a very metallic day at Forks house when his friend shopping cart karson the perpetually undulating scorpion came to neuter forks dishwasher. SCK had never seen butter and he didn’t even think about it. So as he arrived he saw fork laying dead on the counter top next to some feathers. I can count to the alphabet! He screamed at the corner of his non neutonian lungs. Fork did not take notice or reply on account of his inherent deadosity. From that day on all the townspeople learned to point at milk.
    The End
    Based on a true story

  4. I needed to hear this. I used to be a creator and I eventually quit because I felt it'd all been done before, and what could I possibly bring to every story that's been done before. Thank you, Thoughty2. <3

  5. Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down have basically the same exact plot and came out at similar times.

  6. Thats why there should be no such thing as intellectual property

  7. I am personally of the opinion that plagiarism should be allowed. However I fully understand the moral arguments against it and they are entirely valid criticisms of plagiarism.

    But, I think poor imitations are easy to spot and so only good imitations would thrive in the market economy. This of course would rely on controls to stop out and out scams that pose risk. But if someone starts A chain called NotDonalds and it offered a great service at a competitive price then it can only be good for advancing product and service development. Heavy competition, tight margins, refined and efficient ourcomes.

    It would also make medicine almost universally abundant to the best of it's ability.

  8. The ending of Dark Phoenix had to be redone because it was too similar to Captain Marvel, which came out months before.

  9. Even though Shakespeare was inspired (or stole other’s work) Those artists would’ve been inspired by some other artists.. and so on. However one of them must have come up with the original Idea. Romeo and Juliet was a poem… then where did the poem come from? Was it still inspired by something? Or was it an original idea 💡

  10. Sir, you need to shave your moustache, it looks outdated.
    If you must, grow a full beard.
    Better still, shave it off altogether!

    This is the 21st Century, males should be clean-shaven. 😠

  11. Millenials should really learn about dictionary.
    If words mean are meaningless, then nothing has meaning. Stolen ? You stole entire alphabet and all words you used in this vlog.
    Derivative art is the only way art is created. Alternative is copying nature. This has nothnig with copyright laws that suck.

  12. Rage shadow legends is BS stolen from World of Warcraft, stolen from Lord of the Rings and god knows how many other places.

  13. 'Good artists copy; great artists steal' – Steve Jobs. “If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.” – Steve Jobs (Borrowing from Sir Issac Newton).

  14. That's how I feel about Led Zeppelin. Turns out they stole a lot of their music too including my favorite Stairway to Heaven. But to listen to the original, it took Led Zeppelin to make something out of the raw material. The original was NEVER going to become a masterpiece as the copy is. As Picasso said, good artists borrow, great artists steal.

  15. There is a popular, extended sub-category called… ISEKAI! There is also a category called "Lucky Star." The Lucky Star category is just chit-chat. No plot, just random dialogue.

  16. You mentioned star wars at the end, great example i was chating with my friend about this the other day. George lucas never intended to create his master piece at all, instead he was trying to get the rights to work on valerion and laureline (Recently made into a movie) which was an upcoming animated series at the time, only he could not get the rights to the series so he made star wars instead using inspiration from valerion

  17. When Thoughty2 pretty much say Cash is a thief, man it burns, burns, burns

  18. Twin film! more recent example.
    White house down and Olympus has fallen!

  19. The minute I saw Avatar, all I could see was dance's with wolves…. they're IDENTICAL.

  20. 7:34 Slice of Life – Mix of all, mainly based on a person or group of peoples lives told through a theatrical or animated lens

  21. You can have a somewhat original thought, thanks to technology and culture producing new things constantly we have new stimulus to work with constantly.

  22. Im sorry but The Illousionist and the prestige are not twin films

  23. Honestly, when i first saw pacific rim, i thought it was an adaptation of evangelion.. they even stole scenes from the anime shot for shot.. the creatirs of the movie didn't improve on the idea so does it qualify as plagiarism?

  24. So were the people that these ideas were stolen from, not creators of original ideas?

  25. your brain 'Can't create new ideas' unless.. you are genius and with potential, which is within a person hidden deep in consciousness. i do have some abilities of creating something new and creative.

  26. My favorite example of Twin Films:
    White House Down
    Olympus has fallen.
    I've seen both at least twice, and cannot remember which characters are in which or specifically what happens in which.

  27. Is that why BlasphemousHD hasn't been sued yet for showing other channels' video?

  28. copyright theft does actually matter and has a specific section which protects transformative works. this would cover the shakespear examples

  29. Hold up
    I just started watching you again. What is that caterpillar doing on your lip?

  30. Depends on what your standard for "creation" is. Individuals most certainly do produce new ideas that are more than the sum of their parts. Obviously they need inputs to help them get there.

  31. a story that doesn't fit in those 7 categories: One day a man stubbed his toe but it didnt hurt at all.

  32. What? Can't create new ideas? Jou get! I'll show you new ideas… not like that shit stash you got there😂

  33. I can merely even finish watching this video. Though I've long realized the fact that all I know is nothing more than prior knowledge form ancestors. This is in fact pessimistic, but as well as inspirational knowledge (most likely inspirations of nothingness). Whereupon I'm just nothing more than a copy, certainly not legitimate to judge any others.

  34. WHERE DID THE OLDER LOT GET THERE ART WORK FROM DID THEY BORROW FROM SOMEONE OLDER?

  35. So you're telling me everything in the world is either a remaster or a fraud?

  36. god i see yo watch this guy around 3 or 4 years ago. his content has gone way down hill. less factual less professional. jeez what happened

  37. Remember when you told a joke and no one in the room laughed, and 2 secs later your friend repeats your joke louder and gets all the attention? Yes? Well that's basically this video.

  38. I wish your channel would be sponsored by PC compatible games as well. Your sponsors are missing a huge part of the market. Mention this to them if you get a chance.

  39. This is why 90% of music today sounds similiar, they are crafted from some good basic ideas what everybody then tries to replicate

  40. Explain the idea of a Feynman diagram to someone from Messopotamia. Tell me there were no original ideas between the two

  41. When you define a plot with something as vague as "going on a quest" then of course theres a lot of ideas. But the real idea lies deeper than that.

  42. i have often heard bits of music from much older pop songs in newer ones . often, entire ,old songs are revamped & passed off as something new. for example, Blondie's hit song "the tide is high", was, originaly a rocksteady ,jamacan song, back in the mid 60s

  43. That's why I hated the word ripoff. Nothing is original anymore.

  44. I’ve been contemplating this for a while now, even down to the words we say, are completely unoriginal. What is original is only the will, collectively progressing towards something far greater than we can see.

  45. "NEW PLOT" UNDERDOG BECOMING HUMBLE MASTER OF SORTS! There are TONS of examples but a BIG one in recent memory is HARRY POTTER. And YET, although you may CLAIM that it fits your "overcoming the monster", IT DOESN"T! Your definition is WAY too broad! I could narrow it, and make it fewer than seven. And comedy is NOT a plot, it is a GENRE! I have come up with MANY original ideas. In fact several companies eventually did the same. YOU could claim I copied them, but I beat them by several YEARS. I coud claim they copied me, but short of doing some research and writing one program, I have little proof, and I never made them public. But you can't say that NOBODY can do it because a few copied. There will ALWAYS be cheaters.

  46. cant create new ideas? heres an original one by me that im going to improvise for you here: A buff lizard humanoid shitting ramen into coffee mugs that are distributed throughout a village on a undiscovered island inhabited by Asian people. This lizard is worshiped and they sacrifice geckos and various lizard species in the name of this god. each lizard turns into a strange glowing goo thAT IS THEN CONSUMED VIA SNORTING BY THE LIZARD GOD. the glowing goo changes the lizards genetic profile each time it is consumed, and makes him more human.

  47. Someone needed to make this video. Art is like an evolutionary process or similar to the passing of genetic information. New things are born and the process continues.

  48. Pfft. It's not "stealing." It's creative transformation. It's also why the copyright we have is bullshit.

  49. I have a new idea my brain created on its own. Get rid of the Pedo-stash.. Love your videos BTW =0)

  50. Thoughty must no that as soon as he mentions "the sponsor"……. Everyone quickly taps the right side of therr screen 6 or 7 times lol

  51. One primitive man invented a stick, the other a pointy rock. The Third invented the spear

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