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copy right left

For more than one reason what I publish here will have points of contact with what other people are writing to-day. —If my remarks do not bear a stamp which marks them as mine,— I do not wish to lay any further claim to them as my property. I make them public with doubtful feelings. It is not impossible that it should fall to the lot of this work, in its poverty and in the darkness of this time, to bring light into one brain or another —but, of course, it is not likely.
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Cambridge, January 1945. From his preface to 'Philosophical Investigations'.

Despair at the darkness the two World Wars revealed, was offset by optimism for the new world that must be built in their ruin. But after the fires, with people more exhausted than victorious, pacts with the devil seemed a small price to pay for peace. And the darkness rose again.

Yet still there is life and hope. The chains that words forge can as easily be shattered by them.

What in this site may be original I do not know, nor care. Unoriginality should not be bad thing. As the lyric ran: 'There's nothing new under the sun, everything you think of has been done, all been done before your time, sometime or another by someone or his brother'. I remember that song from my youth, and yet despite the promise of digital archiving, already it seems lost.

In amongst the monuments of narcissism, history only joins what dots it finds. In whatever form we can, we should then copy and repeat those dots we find of value to increase their chances of being found. Of course then I would like what I have written to be copied. I would like it to become linked into a viral, global pandemic. So however ludicrously remote that possibility, the last thing I would want to do in any way is to block it.

quote leftNo man, who is not inflamed by vainglory into enthusiasm, can flatter himself that his single, unsupported, desultory, unsystematic endeavours, are of power to defeat, the subtle designs and united cabals of ambitious citizens. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
Quotations by Edmund Burke, taken from Thoughts On The Present Discontents, published by Cassell & Company, Limited, 1886.

Like many of the laws I have taken for granted, intellectual property law seems straightforward; it's a universal right. Surely then it does not need to be claimed. And yet everywhere it is. Doing so is no more foolish than any other hope of claiming the right of justice, even though the cost of doing so more often than not makes it futile.

Equal justice under law has been a primary social objective since at least 430 BC. But until this "is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building" we can only trust that good faith will prevail. So instead of attaching some impotent small print to protect this site like a white picket fence, here are logos of the copyright licenses I like:

copyleft symbol

Designed for the licensing developed from Richard Stallman's GNU Manifesto, 1985. There seems to be a disagreement over the actuality of such licenses, however, some say a fee can be charged for the copied work others that it should be distributed as freely as the original. The latter seems just, so I pick that; look to the examples of Linux and Android to see what happens when it is not.


A visual pun on the 'Portuguese words "copie" (meaning copy) and "co-pie" (meaning tweet together)'; by the Pirate Party of Brazil.

the Mangrove nine

edit: 11 Jan 2024.

In the 1970's, the Mangrove was a small bar and West Indian restaurant in Notting Hill Gate, London. At the time, immigration to Britain from the West Indies continued to be a key economic policy, promoted and funded by the British government while simultaneously being attacked by Enoch Powell, one of its cabinet ministers, in his infamous "Rivers of blood" speech, as well as by extreme, violent ethno-nationalist parties. These parties were significantly represented in the police force and judiciary, and the Mangrove, a haven in the community during the race riots that then resulted, was subjected to repeated physical and judicial assaults by the police, against both the property and those found there.

The Mangrove Restaurant and Frank Critchlow continued to be harassed for a further eighteen years. In 1989 his name was finally cleared at the High Court. He accepted a settlement of £50,000, which was the highest sum ever paid in damages by the Metropolitan police at that time. In all, Frank Critchlow faced three trials and was acquitted three times. He pressed for an apology from the police but never received one. He closed the Mangrove for good in 1992.
Words from the closing screens of Mangrove a film by Steve McQueen.

The Mangrove Nine believed common rights to be a natural justice, and therefore that the justice, which Britain had been promoting, would uphold them.

Whatever the foundations of culture and civilization, if justice is not fought for, over time all that is handed down comes to be like the Curate's Egg, excellent in parts, and especially in its telling.


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