There’s not much original in this world. In fact, one might go so far as to suggest nothing is original except the Big Bang.
We all build upon what has come before us.
Sure, there was nothing like the iPhone before its launch in 2007, or the CD player when it debuted in 1982. Yet, these seminal products were all compilations of prior art put together in novel ways. Unique not original.
When PS Audio launched the world’s first external audiophile DAC in 1983, the product category was new yet the offering was repurposing that which already existed in another form. We flatter ourselves to think it was an original product or idea.
Here’s another example. There has never been a Paul McGowan just like me in all of the world’s history. We know that because each human being is separated by 6.4 million base pairs. This means that the chance that two people are genetically identical is 1/(2^6,400,000), such a small number that it is essentially zero. But even if that would happen, my clone wouldn’t have the identical experiences as did I.
We can say with accuracy me and you are unique. But, we are not original.
Which is why we should be aware and grateful to all of the audiophiles, engineers, technologists, musicians, and theorists that over time have built what we enjoy music on today, brick by brick, layer by layer.
What we treasure in our home music systems may be unique but it certainly isn’t original. It’s the result of countless millions of hours of hard work and vision from those that have come before us.
To this day, I am in constant awe of how cool what we have and what we do is.
Seems like magic.