As I descend collectively with my flight mates into LAX, listening to a particularly good cover version of the Smiths' “There is a light that never goes out” by Dum Dum Girls, I ruminate on why I seem so drawn to cover versions of songs. The reason is that it is the most direct form both of homage to pioneers of the past as well as (if done right) a canvas for creativity. Isn't that true, though, for everything creative we do– whether scientifically, artistically or athletically?
I say that we should embrace the derivative. Embrace it, respect it, and make it our own. There's nothing new under the sun– not until we copy and paste our own extra bit.
Landing now. Seats upright. Tray tables stowed. Creativity in airplane mode.