I often wonder why we put so much emphasis on citing sources. “This was my idea! You need to tell everyone you got that from me!” Should we really be pushing a culture that puts so much emphasis on the creator rather than just enjoy the passing of ideas no matter who came up with them. The more we encourage the use of other’s ideas and collaborate with each other’s ideas, the more we will get out of those ideas. I can understand if I were to be making money off of other people’s ideas and then not giving them anything, but do we really need to cite just to share a photo? I took some photos of students that are now on display in the front of the school. My name is nowhere to be seen, but I love that someone thought my photos were good enough to put up there. I don’t need the credit. If they were going to sell those photos then I might feel I deserve some of that money, but not just to show them. However, I guess that some people want to be given that credit for the work they have done and it can’t hurt to post a link to a photo to show where it came from. I think a couple of years teaching in Latin America made me think differently about copyrights and patents. Most of the world I grew up puts a strong value on “giving credit where credit is due” and that is a cultural value. I see the value, but I also see limits to this value. After all, was this the first time someone took a photo of a kid handing a flower to another kid? Is this art really original? Am I giving credit to someone who stole an idea from somewhere else? Did the photographer steal the art of the children giving each other flowers? Is it possible that what I am writing in this blog is not an original idea? Should I be citing my whole background that made me think this way? In other words, are there really any original thoughts? How far do I take my citations?