Saturday, August 19, 2006

Prescribed Plagiarism

MacKenzie ends "Orbiting the Giant Hairball" with a little section on the artistry of life. God hands every person a blank canvas and asks us to create a masterpiece.

But then in steps people.

People aren't sure that you have what it takes for the masterpiece creation. People will tell you that you can't quite get it right. They want to draw the lines on your canvas within which you "have" to paint. And your masterpiece moves from work of art to "paint by numbers".

Gordon calls this "prescribed plagiarism." I love this phrase. Way too many of us have caved in to the public hairball and decided that we have to follow the rules, paint inside the blue lines with only the color that the number represents. We become copies, following the prescriptions of others.

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