I’ve struggled with this notion for a lot of years as well.
Is a reshuffling, original?
Or more difficult to consider: IF a truly original emerges, will anybody else be able to recognize it at all as anything but perhaps madness?
Consider: New ideas are generally not new, but novel recombinations / reformulations of the old. It’s a synthesis that generally qualifies as original.
But if something NEW comes along that CAN’T be connected to existing ideas very easily… how will it be recognizable? How can it be explains if there are no good metaphors or descriptions to work with that follow standard patterns of logic and reason, or at least empathy and feeling, or some combination thereof?
Something truly original will likely be described by those who don’t understand it by its process. “Well, you just did this, this and that, and that’s why you got the result”.
But if they don’t see the culmination, the significance… the RESULT of it – BECAUSE it is very difficult to explain simply (or perhaps, it appears to be TOO simple to be of consequence) – they’re not seeing it at all.
I’ll give an analogy: Asperger syndrome has a common component whereby people who have it can’t read faces. I suspect i may have it – I have no way to really know unless someone tells me. I think I can read faces though, but I’m not sure.
Yet I know something I do have trouble with: Discerning intention.
In school, we had tests. One of the tests was “What is the author’s intent?”
We’d be shown a few paragraphs.
I’d have to discern the author’s intent, choosing from the “best of” 5 choices.
The trouble is, I couldn’t. I never could do it. I’d get 99+% on all of my other tests, but not this stuff.
All 5 choices looked equally valid. I’d score 55-60% on these things, which is statistically guessing. Whatever grade year, I’d get the same results.
It wasn’t until I few years ago that I realized that it’s a problem I have with inferring. I can’t infer without CONSCIOUSLY going through a long list of possibilities. I have a long list of rules that I go through in order to determine intent properly.
I’ve gotten good at explicitly discerning intent.
But it’s not automatic. I couldn’t do it at 10 years old. It takes great difficulty to do it at 43. Gives me a headache so I don’t bother most of the time, but if I must, I can do it quickly and be accurate and precise as well.
But to me, it’s akin to mindreading. This… ability to infer meaning.
[this is a clue that I may have aspergers]
Now, to relate: How can somebody tell me what it’s like to infer? I see it as magic. Mindreading. Some ability people have to discern intent immediately and get it correct. But in my mind, they’re only right because they know how to read scripts intuitively. They are playing a script in life, and they can read the scripts of others.
It’s the closest I can do. I see it as a form of mass roleplaying.
To them though, it’s real. To me, it’s fakery.
So, an original idea: How do you see what you can’t see? How can an original idea be explained when it’s truly original and there’s nothing to relate it to?
My example was fixable. Years of practice and training and I get better at it all of the time. But my methodology differs. My ‘ah-ha” isn’t an “ah-ha”. It’s a lot of work. For others who have native inference ability, it’s automatic. It’s no-thought-required.
I’m not sure if I’m explaining correctly.