Is “everything a remix”? According to Kirby Ferguson, the answer is “yes”. Without feeding off the knowledge of others, and their creations, Kirby believes the world would not be where it is today. While a company might tout having invented something, and of course wastes no time in patenting it, it’s very likely that it would simply not exist if not for the work of others.
During his ten-minute talk, Kirby gives some real-world examples of things that wouldn’t exist if not for the remixing of current ideas. Some good examples are with Bob Dylan, where many of his songs were inspired by others. Obviously, this is very typical in the music industry, and the feeding off of ideas simply can’t be ignored. Just look at the sheer number of sub-genres out there.
Not surprisingly, the talk also focuses on Apple, a company which is constantly on the lookout to sue others for “stealing” its ideas. For fun, a video clip of Steve Jobs years ago is shown, where he admits that success happens with stolen ideas. Later, another clip is shown where Jobs harshly criticizes Google and its Android platform for “stealing” its ideas. It seems that as far as Jobs was concerned, it’s fine if you steal ideas, but just not from his company.
Regardless of your thoughts on things, this is an interesting video to watch, and a rather enlightening one. If you’re looking to delve even deeper into the subject, I highly recommend trying to find a copy of RiP: A Remix Manifesto to watch as it goes into far greater detail.