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February 26, 2007
Rev: April 6, 2009
Should I avoid trying to think my way
through a subject without thoroughly
studying the works of the thinkers
who have come before me?
Isn't it likely that any
insight I might have into
say, the interplay of art
and culture, is likely to
be a mere reinvention of
someone else's work?
But the sheer quantity of
prior work makes a
thorough study of more But choosing to write-up
than a tiny percentage of an idea, and make it
it an impossibility. available for other's Is it good enough
to read... that's a to want to add it
The notion that you need move that's harder to to the pile? How
to read everything first justify. do I know?
is a guarantee of
paralysis. IGNORANT I may just be
And my approach someone else's
Further, when I do come toward sampling paralysis.
across some earlier existing work
source that appears to is admittedly
be saying something I've erratic...
said already, this perhaps
excessively One can make
(a) makes it easier for random. a case for
me to follow what is studying the
being said -- I don't authorities E.g.
need to make it my own, before breaking I have
it already is my own, with them. read
just not soley mine; little
(b) there's (ideally) a sense
of vindication, or perhaps There is (hopefully)
just an excitement of finding no sense of dissapointment:
some authority I can site "damn, someone got to *my*
(c) let's me compare someone
else's take on the idea to You should be used
my own, without first having to that by now.
been contaminated by their
presentation. How long have you
been at this game?
Or at least not You don't really
directly: I was get to "own" ideas,
fascinated with and coming up with
randomness in art ideas isn't the hard
long before part, in any case.
Cage, but it DONE_BEFORE
doesn't mean I
didn't *get* it
from Cage, passed
along through A bucket
other hands. brigade
Still, if I always learned things
from primary sources first, it might
be harder to see them from any other
angle-- I might get stuck taking the
authoritative approach as the All of which helps justify
definitive one. why I write these pieces,
though it doesn't help
explain why anyone else
might want to read them.
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