Hey, you’ve heard that stealing can be good for creatives, right?
And you’ve read this T.S. Eliot quote:
“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.”
But here’s more scientific proof.
Psychology researchers at Indiana University developed a game to test how people responded when they were given the chance to imitate for a higher score. You can read about the whole thing here at Fast Company, but here’s the money quote:
“When people imitate, they usually tweak the solution…And sometimes those tweaks result in an innovation.”
I always liked this idea. You can find something for inspiration and make it better, that’s why I get excited about hypertext, experimental literature, mashups, and image macros. They’re bringing different parts to make something new. And that’s fun.