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I sometimes look at it as a matter of encryption, basically. The more encrypted what you imagine is, the more imaginative it is. By encrypted I mean the source it derives from/what it was inspired by. Something not encrypted would be obvious where someone got the idea.
And the way to encrypt things seems to involve 50% adding something of yourself to where you got the idea, and 50% evolving/progressing the idea in its base form, or forming tangents off it (I seem to be a natural at imagination tangents >_>).
When you think about it, all the technological advancements of humanity are basically derived from others/other ideas, and yet we started with NO technology basically, so... Imagination MUST exist. Because we didn't have anything like what we have now, when humanity started. Mirroring/copying people is in our nature, neurologically speaking. I believe it's in monkeys, as well. So, clearly there's some other x factor here, alongside the ability to mirror, that sparks this stuff.
And it's either imagination, or aliens, or God.
I am snazzier, hot, hot rant. Warily slight as. Croak rush, OK? Weirder, almighty make out. ::)