Say some 30-50 thousand years ago someone thought, I think I will try and sell/trade some of these things I have for some other things I would like to have. This was a fundamental idea! All business ideas that have come since are level 2 ideas.(Retail, wholesale, on-line, etc..)
OK, "linking pay to performance? So the fundamental idea is simply rewarding behavior you want to encourage. Lets then think of "every new song"? Sorry but all" rhythms, "pitches", "dynamics" and chord progressions, etc...On and on have all been used! Which is why they cannot even be copyrighted. (Only the lyrics/melody). So all these "new songs" are level 2 ideas, not fundamentally new ideas.
The truth in this statement is that, while there are new manifestations of ideas, ultimately all our ideas and concepts are based on older ones.
I think a better phrasing would be "No completely new ideas" The examples to the right, the linking of pay to performance, and new crop varieties, are still based on societal norms.
So there are new connections between ideas but the idea itself does not spontaneously generate.
Examples such as Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc;... All came from ideas that had a previous foundation, were tweaked with present day technology and packaged in colorful or elegant skins. In the end, its still a phone, a tablet or a music player, all which existed prior to the release of these products.
Don't get me wrong, these are definitely innovations, but new inventions ... I think not!
I do not believe there are new basic philosophies or concepts. Also, I believe that all possible story structures have been used before. This has been demonstrated by literary experts, and philosophers. "New" philosophies are only ever new in particular/superficial senses, but their core implications have been examined in the ancient world.
As for stories, new stories always follow basic constructs of stories that have come before them. These have been graphed and charted by literary experts and authors throughout time.
However, I do believe that there is such a thing as new people. And since art - and therefore literature - are based on people's own ideas, there is always new and "fresh" inspiration to be found, even if the ingredients which the inspiration uses are not new.
To me, this is something akin to saying there are no new ingredients, but there are new recipes.
I don't buy into the cynicism that there are no new ideas in the world. That's the sort of thing a person frustrated at their own lack of imagination might say to make themselves feel better. Every single person has a different perspective on the world, a different way of thinking, and therefore, there are always new ideas.
While there have been a lot of ideas over the years there is never no such thing as a new Idea. We're surrounded by ideas everyday and the fact of the matter is that because of that it may seem that there are no new ideas, but there are. We just have to dream and think bigger and not be limited by the ideas around us. If we can get beyond what we see around us and think bigger, anyone can soon find that there are plenty of good ideas yet to be introduced to the world.
With billions of people who live and die in every generation, of course it is not everyday that anyone could just have a new idea. You might think that there aren't because of how much time has passed. Although, without new ideas there wont be such thing as discoveries. People discovery new things everyday therefore new ideas are formed everyday. Without new ideas humanity can't advance and improve.
This is what the definition of idea is:
1.A thought or suggestion as to a possible course of action: "the idea of linking pay to performance".
2.A concept or mental impression
Now here is the definition of new:
Not existing before; made, introduced, or discovered recently or now for the first time: "new crop varieties".
So this thought or suggestion wasn't made before, and was introduced after.
This shows there is new ideas.
Some may say that they're all songs, but they are all combinations of rhythms, pitches, dynamics, lyrics, etc. That nobody had ever thought of before. On top of that, in the 1500's, I'm sure they could have thought there were no new ideas, but they'd be surprised if they saw modern technology. There are endless ideas, and endless creations that will unfold before us in our lifetimes.
Every program either halts, or does not (there are other useful properties that programs either do or do not have but this is the easiest one), thus there are an infinite number of potential ideas. That there isn't one idea which we can reduce all these ideas to is enough to tell us that there will always be new ideas. We know this because the halting problem has been shown to be undecidable.
If you roll three dice think of the amount of possible outcomes there are of different number combinations and orders. Even just a few ingredients creates many possibilities, and as you increase the amount of ingredients the possibility for new results becomes exponentially greater. Now think of this rule applying to every concept a human can imagine: the number of outcomes is so huge it's basically infinite. Some people will argue that only a portion of those possibilities are worthwhile (and even if that is true, the worthwhile section will still be huge), but a big part of art is about challenging conceived 'rules' about what can be considered worthwhile. There are new things being invented all the time, and with the Internet the exchange of ideas is faster and wider-reaching than ever. Humans are still very primitive intellectually compared to their potential, and have only explored a small section of creative possibility.