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Complexity: distinctions of synonyms of original

  1. Jul 19, 2005 #1
    Complexity: distinctions of synonyms of "original"

    Assume everything (not as a single set but individually or a subsets of the universe) can be derived from something else. T or F ?

    Assume this is true (T).

    The word original is defined as :

    If such is the case with all things that are "original", then there is a contradiction obviously. Either the definition is incorrect or it is possible for things to just be and not be derived from something else. Am I over thinking this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2005 #2


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    I suspect everything can be derived from something else until a singularity is reached which changes the rules. The singularity represents a qualitative change in the system in which the rules before the singularity, no longer apply to the system on the other side of the singularity. My analogy to this is swimming which does not apply to water beyond the singularity that is "freezing". Thus, our apparent "infinite regression" of plans within plans in the physical world at some point may be interrupted by a singularity which changes the rules thereby making the concept of further regression, no longer applicable. :smile:
  4. Jul 20, 2005 #3


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    The definition is misleading. In the case of an original play (the example used in the definition), a play is original if, and only if, it is not derived from another piece of literature. That doesn't mean it isn't derived from anything at all. Clearly, every playwrite has influences of some sort.
  5. Jul 20, 2005 #4


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    Umm, are Shakeseare's plays, which are early all derived from other works of literature, origininal? Or not?
  6. Jul 20, 2005 #5


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    I can't say for certain. Many of his plays differ greatly from the original source material. It's hard to apply a word like 'original' to works like that - there are original elements and there are elements borrowed faithfully from pre-existing prose. A vexing example from film might be Oh, Brother, Where art Thou? Although a great deal is cut out, the plot is borrowed pretty much intact from Homer's Odyssey, and events and characters are borrowed from American folk mythology (e.g. Tommy's pact with the devil is analagous to the legend surrounding Robert Johnson). I don't remember, but was the screenplay considered by the AAMPAS to be original or adapted?
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