Today, I'm going to do something that becomes harder and harder every day. I'm going to add to the network some lines that apparently aren't already there. I'm going to write something original...
I can do this because the network is still only a few decades old. While billions of lines have already been indexed into the monstrous memories of Google, Ask, and Yahoo!, there still remains an ever-shrinking collection of billions of lines that have yet to be written for the first time. But, time is running out.
Someone first wrote: "Good Morning" and someone else first wrote: "A rose by any other name..." But, when they wrote those words onto the network for the first time, what they wrote could never again be considered "original" or "fresh." They permanently erased a tiny portion of the space of original lines. They made it harder for the rest of us to be original.
Given the above as context, I'll now get to it. My contribution to the original lines on the net is two of the four lines in the short poem below: (Written when I was in prep school -- exploring the similarities between "W", "Q" and "C"...)
Waiting quietly and without qualm
Never knowing why the end will come
Only wondering when
The first and last lines appear on the net today but the two middle lines appear here for the first time - -and the last time as "original" lines. Or, should I say "virgin texts": not yet copied, not yet plagiarized, not yet indexed.
What motivated this post is actually an "Ask the Web" request... Years ago, I read a science fiction story that described a future world in which copyright had been made perpetual. As a result of the slow accumulation of perpetually "owned" creative constructions, it had become impossible to create anything new without having some rights holder claim that you had infringed on some earlier work. Over time, all but the most bizarre creations were one-by-one entered into the great plagiarism detecting engines until finally, it became very hard and certainly very dangerous to try to create anything new. The story was a good one, with an important message. But, I simply can't remember who wrote it or how it was titled.
Can you help me? If you know the name of the story, and perhaps have a link to it, please add a comment to this post. Also, if you've got other examples of "virgin text"... It would be fun to see them.