Quotes: Older Than They Think

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Is there a thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been long ago, in the ages which were before us.

But before and before, and ever so long before
And such contrivances were used,
The whole Confucian sea-board had standardized the lee-board.
And hauled it up or dropped it as they choosed
Rudyard Kipling, The Junk and the Dhow

When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer." Hans Gruber, Die Hard.
Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock

Abby: It's like Bill Nye.
Gibbs: Who?
Abby: TV scientist? Had a kids show?
Gibbs: Ah, like Mister Wizard.
Abby: Who?

Animals engage in a struggle for existence; for resources, to avoid being eaten and to breed. Environmental factors influence organisms to develop new characteristics to ensure survival, thus transforming into new species. Animals that survive to breed can pass on their successful characteristics to offspring.
— Arabic scholar Al-Jahiz, discussing the theory of evolution in the ninth century.

A "new thinker," when studied closely, is merely a man who does not know what other people have thought.
Frank Moore Colby

Jack Kirby did it first and did it better.
— Old comic creator's proverb

Nothing is created, everything is copiated.
Chacrinha, Brazilian TV host and humourist. The grammar was sacrified to maintain the rhyme.

I have a scoop for you. I stole his act. I camouflaged it with punchlines, and to really throw people off, I did it before he did.
Bill Hicks, commenting on similarities between his stand-up comedy routine and Denis Leary's.

When I was up in Winnipeg for the movie's premiere, some awestruck kid asked me, 'Hey man, a guy selling his soul to the devil, did you make that up?'" Williams says, chuckling. "And I said, 'Well, no, there was this guy named Goethe who did that.'

Arthur P. Hinman was the original birther, outstripping these Johnny-come-latelies by 128 years. Hinman was hired by the Democrats back during the 1880 presidential election to dig up dirt on Republican vice-presidential nominee Chester A. Arthur. He concocted the story that Arthur was born in Ireland and only moved to the US at the age 14. After this failed, due to being ridiculous and easily proven false, he moved onto the theory that Arthur was born just over the border in Canada and stole the birth papers of his brother that died in infancy, who was born in the US. This was slightly more believable, but without the Victorian equivalent of the internet to stir things along the rumour never gained as much traction...he wrote a book called How a British Subject Became President of the United States, to cash in.

That's right: The Bourne Identity was first a TV movie in 1988. Everything's a remake these days.
Peter Paltridge, Platypus Comix's "Lost Art of TV Guide Advertising Vol. 6"note 

He didn't only invent Kevin the Robot; Screech also patented the duckface. Done it in a selfie? You owe him $5.

Percival: ...and, egad! What's this? A magical ball emiting light?
Onlooker: Uh, Percival... you had the electric light bulb in 1909!
Percival: Ah, but I am an idiot!

With Moriarty, Doyle does such a brilliant job of writing a mafia don before they were invented. Every other supervillain ever since sounds like Moriarty. Goldfinger sounds exactly like Moriarty. He invented the supervillain. If you do him like that now, he sounds like the biggest cliche on earth.

Reeve agreed to do the movie on the condition that [Golan & Globus] make Street Smart, a movie where Reeve plays a reporter who makes up a pimp for a human interest piece, and then Morgan Freeman claims to be the pimp, and he gets stuck in his lies. Which is basically The Wire Season 5 twenty years early, with a soundtrack by Miles Davis.
Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

It has been ages since anybody has focused on the psychology of the Borg and the three drones make for fascinating characters in both scenarios. Its disturbing to see the personalities of the people that were assimilated starting to assert themselves...Doctor Who flaunted the horror of making the people inside the Cybermen aware of what has become of them in "The Age of Steel" but Voyager got there first and did a much better job of it than just having someone say Im so sorry.
Doc Oho on Star Trek: Voyager, "Survival Instinct"

In truth, the Zapper is in fact an extremely simple camera. When you pull the trigger, the screen flashes black, then white where the duck is. The photosensor inside the Zapper then judges whether or not it is looking at white light or not (comparing it to the previous image of a black screen) and registers the hit accordingly....The Zapper is a prototypic version of the Wii.

You are an unknown consciousness that wakes up in an unknown garden where an unknown intelligence forces you to complete puzzles for an unknown reason...The occasional deliberate texture fuckup leads us to conclude early on that we are inside some kind of simulation. But as to who or what we are and why we're here, we have to piece that together from (all together now) random documents and audio logs~♪

I've heard some people compare this game to Portal, 'cause that's the only point of reference these fucking Millennials seem to have! First person puzzlers existed before Portal, did you know? You can make one with having to bow towards Bellevue!

This is a Metroidvania game! But it can't be, right? It was made the same year as Super Metroid and three years before Symphony of the Night, and it's incredibly rare to see this kind of level design from first-person — but all the basic elements are there: You've got a honeycomb map locked up not just by keys but also by environmental hazards that character upgrades help you surpass; You have to reach earlier places that couldn't reach before because you didn't have the Lv. 3 Bio-suit or the rocket boots or whatever; you use those upgrades to uncover secrets from a growing game map that you never really leave behind, and your conditioned desire to uncover those secrets ends up telling you more about where you need to go and what you need to do than the actual characters do... System Shock is immersive like how Half-Life was immersive in 1998; System Shock just figured it out four years earlier. They figured out audio diaries, environmental storytelling, non-liner hub levels — they even figured out Silent Hill music before that was a thing!
George Weidman on System Shock