Every original painting is a new combination of the same colours. Artists don’t invent colours. Every animal & plant is combination of same 4 nucleobases (DNA). Every masterpeace of literature combines the same letters & mostly same vocab.

Originality of Scientific Research “Copy from one, it’s plagiarism; copy from two, it’s research.” ~ Wilson Mizner (American playwright and entrepreneur)

Inspired by the front cover of this little beauty

Plagiarism vs. Originality? It’s a double-edged sword. If you’re creative enough you can play the system: appear original by putting new spin to old ideas, unknown to the public.

The moral of the story.
Tracing concepts back to history, studying their intended & unintended consequences, is not just for library rats. It can be a strong force for innovation & original thinking.

Adaptation = innovate in copying (stealing) competing ideas
e.g. concept of Windows (graphical interface) was copied from Apple (Lisa) that was copied from Xerox PARC etc.
For the ancient world the keyword is “traveller”. Philosophers were travellers.