Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Age of Exhaustion," Plagiarism, Imitation or just plain laziness

There is a mode of thought that states "everything that can ever be said has already been said."  Basically that there is nothing new under the sun.  The age of exhaustion does allow for interpretation though.  The same thoughts can be expressed by new voices from outside the mainstream. I think it would go further and allow that with the invention of new technologies that what has already been done, can be re-done with new style and flair. 

What I don't think is often taken into account is the audience.  New audiences are born every day and with this new audience these tired, tried and trite ideas become new again. 

How does this play into plagiarism?  Well, I think we often get confused.  It is ok to say what has been said before, you may even say that you cannot say what has not been said before, but when using the exact words, you need to cite you sources.  The internet and word processing programs has made this difficult for some.  It is just too easy to Google something, copy and paste. 

Now some say "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."  While this is true I would say that the person being imitated is often not flattered when their ideas are being spread around without their being credited.  Also, like the game whisper down the lane, the initial idea is often diluted by the imitator...who is them imitated...and so one, so that the original idea and the end result may have very little to do with one another. 

Now laziness.  This is where I come in but where I have issues.  If you see something that you like and want to expand on it or tweak it, is it really lazy?  Is it really Imitation?  I don't think it can be plagiarized, if you alter it. 

I recently saw something and thought....Wow, that is new!  But knowing about the age of exhaustion I realized that the person who I thought of as the inventor of this idea, most likely got it from somewhere else.  But where?  I don't know.  

Now I realize that this is an odd little blog.  It all stems from a cupcake and thoughts about the idea of the cupcake, while inhaling sweet baking smells.

I saw a cupcake and thought...ohh...neat.  I want to make those...but I can't do this, so I will do that instead. 

Here is the "original" and here is my version.

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It is a "margarita" cupake.  A white cupcake, with light green lime flavored icing.  The rim of salt is actually coarse sugar.  Robin used a fondant lime, but I don't do fondant...I used a real one, but they slipped off the cupcake, so I served the limes in a shot glass in the center of the platter.

And being one to cite sources, I got the idea from my friend Amy's sister Robin who is a pastry chef and owner of a bakery in Portland.  I hope you don't mind Robin!  (and where did you get the idea from?) 



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