There are no new ideas – yea right!

People often claim that every idea out there has been done. TV and movies, books and stories it all seems repetitive. When you’re brainstorming new ideas you always think it’s been done before, it’s too much like ____. Well I’m here to prove you wrong.

Lets take movies. I will tremendously oversimplify the example case to make it possible to comprehend. Film now is usually digital and shot at 1080p24 that is 24 images a second each of which is 1080 pixels tall by 1920 pixels wide but you don’t need that much to convey meaning. In fact a 10 x 10 grid can show an image and while color is the norm lets further simplify by brining it down to black and white.

_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
_  _  _  _  *  _  _  _  _  _
_  _  *  *  _  _  *  *  _  _
_  *  _  _  _  _  _  *  _  _
_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
_  _  _  *  _  _  _  _  _  _
_  _  _  _  _  *  _  _  _  _
_  _  _  _  _  _  _  *  _  _
_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _
_  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _  _

There you go, 10×10 grid, either underscores or asterisks. Lets give it 5 frames per second too. Thats plenty to convey movement. Did I mention that we are ignoring sound completely? So since all the good ideas are taken lets see how many things our 10 by 10 black and white movie can display in 10 minutes.

Thats 10 pixels times 10 pixels = 100

at 5 frames per second thats 500 pixels per second

60 seconds times 500 pixels is 30,000 per minute

10 minutes times 30,000 a minute is 300,000 pixels shown in our 10 minute film

We aren’t done yet. I’m sure there have been 300,000 stories told in the time of humans but to know how many things total our tiny movie can display we have to account for the ability of each of the 300k pixels to be independently different from each other. That is done by raising the number of possible states (2 for black and white) to the number of pixels.

2^300,000 = 9.97.. x 10^90308

If you aren’t familiar with scientific notation this means a number that starts with 9 and has over 90 thousand digits. So a silent film that has a 10 by 10 resolution and lasts 10 minutes has millions of times more possibilities to it than there have been human beings since the start of time.

Don’t be afraid to be original and don’t ever ever think that there are no new ideas left.

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