You’ve Never Had an Original Thought
You’re reading that right, dear reader — you have never had an original thought. Now you might say to yourself, well I’m different. I read Russian literature and poach my own eggs. I have a pet bearded dragon and I write sonnets. I’m here to burst your individuality-complex bubble and tell you that nothing you have ever thought of, written about, painted, or spewed is an original individual thought bubbling up in your cerebral cortex.
For starters, our brains run on recollection. When someone says the word ‘diner’ for instance, you’re not gonna visualize a brand-new spanking diner you’ve never been to. How could you? So when someone says the word diner the first image that is gonna pop into your head is the diner that has had the most impact on your psyche. The more emotionally charged memory will stick out to you like a sore thumb — whether it’s the diner where your college girlfriend dumped you because you decided to become an investment banker or the spot your grandpa used to take you for apple pie as a kid. Whatever has had a more profound emotional impact on your psyche is what you shall recall.
Our thoughts are merely a composition of our recollections. Like DALL·E, the AI image generator, our brains can paint a picture of just about anything up. If I say ‘I went to a diner and shared a milkshake with my dog,’ you are now visualizing whatever image you may have of me (hint: I’m hot), with the image of your diner, and with the milkshake and dog breed that your brain recollects the fastest. And, just like our dear friend DALL·E, when we think we are merely conjuring up an amalgam of information that is deeply stored in our brain.
So next time you and your buddies think you have a billion-dollar app idea, or that you think you need your own podcast because your voice is so different from others, just remember — you have, most likely, never had an original thought in your life.
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*For each moot, we generate a cover image using DALL·E, an AI art platform that generates images using natural language processing. This image on the right was generated using the title, 'You’ve Never Had an Original Thought' in the style of David Hockney, the Jesse's artist of choice.*