Week5: Response to Ferguson’s Talk (Vasudevan)

Ferguson’s talk actually answers a question for me: how can musicians create all these different melodies. It turns out that musicians, like Bob Dylan, copy and reconstruct other existing melodies to create new one. The same applies to technical designs. Ferguson suggests that we should “embrace remix”, but the problem lies on what is remixing. I think the key difference between “remix” and “plagiarism” is whether you develop the existing thing with your own idea or not. It is true that innovations are not achieved by one person or one generation, rather it requires generations’ of work and remix them into one. But the point is, you cannot simply combine or use existing elements, but need to truly merge them together to serve your product, which is exactly the charm of remix. And also, as Ferguson mentions, we should be brave and also responsible to admit our ideas are borrowed from others. It is not only a respect towards previous innovators, but also may help people to trace the origins and build their own inspired products accordingly.

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