November 15, 2010

Answered Questions XI - Concurrent Creativity

Chaos theory or industrial espionage. I do not know what the cause, but the truth is that I have been watching for years many cases of artistic productions (call it so), apparently about the same, which occur simultaneously. I think some of them are the result of an esoteric phenomenon I call Concurrent Creativity.

Perhaps the most striking cases are those of the films. Do you remember the launch about the same year of two films about illusionists? Do you remember two animated films featuring a fish? Or an ant? The same thing happens with books. Perhaps you can recall some examples; it would be nice to have a list.   

I know you will say that these examples are flagrant cases of film studios spying each other and copying ideas, or publishers that after seeing the success of a book, try to exploit the reef, as is currently the case with thrillers that take place in the Nordic countries. But there are many more examples (1), and even experienced some myself. Years ago, I wrote a short story about a company that cloned human beings to provide "back up" people, in case of sudden death or accident. Soon afterwards a movie was released (The 6th Day, Dir Roger Spottiswoode, 2000 Columbia Pictures) which left me a strange aftertaste. I was not surprised though, as long ago something similar had happened to me with another story I had written about a character with a sordid life of curious experiences, which had developed a stranglehold on the electrical forces, when I saw a few months later a character on screen with a curious resemblance (Powder, Dir. Victor Salva, 1995 Hollywood Pictures). It is clear that no one copied me, since my stories were not published, and I know that I was not inspired by them, because I knew nothing of them until then.

In cases like these, we can give another explanation. That is, that we are all culturally closely linked, and this can trigger processes and flows of similar ideas in many people from around the world as arising from the greater public interest of the moment. This is plausible. After all, that would also explain cases such as scientists or intellectuals who have come up almost simultaneously with the same argument or the same solutions to problems, without having had contact with each other during the process. A rare thing would have been that the theory of gravity and relativity were formulated in the same year.

However there is another conjecture, which is the unconsciousness one (collective? I do not know) based on which, in a creative phase, artists are linked with a world of symbols and ideas, which they share and with whom they communicate. Some authors claim to follow the dictates of this unconsciousness, when performing their work. And as we receive inspiration and content it can also reach it the fruit of our ideas. It is an esoteric creative forum. So, if you have a very good idea, think very little of it, lest it resonates in the forum and someone else appropriates it before you in an act of creative competition!

The funny thing is that if such a thing was proved, should not we abolish the intellectual property? Should not we consider the ideas to be discovered, a common human heritage, and the creators, should not be treated as mere workers removing a mine of ideas? That is, unless ideas deposits could be located geographically, because then it would happen as with oil fields.

(1) Note: Incidentally, although one can not classify this strictly as another example, look at the case of Harry Potter. The author says she began her work by 1990 (although the first book was not completed until 1995). Did you know that, curiously, was the year that The Books of Magic were released? They are comic book series about a teenager with eye glasses, Timothy Hunter (even the names are similar), somewhat aloof, destined to be one of the greatest magicians of humanity. The success of one should not veil the uniqueness of the other.

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