Imitation The Sincerest Form Of Flattery?


No, I was not crazy in thinking that Robert DeLong’s new hit, “Long Way Down” would be a dead ringer for a theme song for the upcoming 24th James Bond movie.

Other people thought the same thing.  One ambitious fan even superimposed it on the Skyfall movie opening sequence (without any timing adjustment) to show just how perfect a fit it is to the model.

Clearly, in this case, the imitation is conscious and not merely accidental.  And, unsurprisingly, this well proven formula executed well by Robert DeLong has worked well to produce a hit.  It probably doesn’t quite cross the line into being a copyright or trademark violation, but it coasts close to that line.

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Boing Boing meanwhile describes how two sets of video game designers came up with almost identical new games designed for play on an iPhone.  The story is a helpful analysis of why seeming coincidences, even when they flow from uncoordinated events can be less miraculous than they seem due to hidden structure in what one might call “idea space”.

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The same notion, that randomness can be an unjustified assumption was key to the solution of the German ENIGMA code in World War II, as portrayed in the movie “The Imitation Game”, where the key to breaking the code turned out to be the insight that the encoded messages were much less random than the protocol used to solve them had assumed.

from Wash Park Prophet
via Denver News

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