Brian Micklethwait's Blog
In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.Home
Landscaper Grosse Pointe on Big Things blocked by the trees of Southwark Park
Brian Micklethwait on Big Things blocked by the trees of Southwark Park
Carolyn Mohr on The ups and downs of English
Michael Jennings on Big Things blocked by the trees of Southwark Park
priscila on The ups and downs of English
Simon Gibbs on Wedding photography (4): Preparations
6000 on Bookshops as Amazon showrooms
Darren on Bookshops as Amazon showrooms
Michael Jennings on Wedding photography (2): Signs
MarkR on Feynman Diagrams on the Feynman van
Most recent entries
- Cats without tails are not scary
- Big Things blocked by the trees of Southwark Park
- Wedding photography (4): Preparations
- Bookshops as Amazon showrooms
- Reflections on a strange coincidence involving an Android app and a malfunctioning bus stop sign
- Feynman Diagrams on the Feynman van
- Rothko Toast
- Wedding photography (3): Technology as sculpture
- And another posting from my smartphone
- Posted from my new smartphone
- Google Nexus 4 photos
- Wedding photography (2): Signs
- Wedding photography (1): The superbness of the weather
- A Fleet Street lunch
- So painters also used to “take” pictures
Other Blogs I write for
6000 Miles from Civilisation
A Decent Muesli
Adventures in Capitalism
Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
Another Food Blog
Antoine Clarke's Election Watch
Armed and Dangerous
Art Of The State Blog
Boatang & Demetriou
Burning Our Money
Chase me ladies, I'm in the cavalry
China Law Blog
Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog
Coffee & Complexity
Communities Dominate Brands
Confused of Calcutta
Conservative Party Reptile
Counting Cats in Zanzibar
Deleted by tomorrow
Don't Hold Your Breath
Douglas Carswell Blog
Dr Robert Lefever
Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights
Everything I Say is Right
Fat Man on a Keyboard
Ferraris for all
Freedom and Whisky
From The Barrel of a Gun
Gates of Vienna
Global Warming Politics
Greg Mankiw's Blog
Guido Fawkes' blog
Here Comes Everybody
Hit & Run
House of Dumb
Iain Dale's Diary
Jeffrey Archer's Official Blog
Jessica Duchen's classical music blog
Laissez Faire Books
Last of the Few
Libertarian Alliance: Blog
Liberty Dad - a World Without Dictators
Lib on the United Kingdom
Little Man, What Now?
Loic Le Meur Blog
L'Ombre de l'Olivier
London Daily Photo
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club
Michael J. Totten's Middle East Journal
More Than Mind Games
Mutualist Blog: Free Market Anti-Capitalism
My Boyfriend Is A Twat
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Nation of Shopkeepers
Never Trust a Hippy
Non Diet Weight Loss
Nurses for Reform blog
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On an Overgrown Path
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Oxford Libertarian Society /blog
Patri's Peripatetic Peregrinations
Police Inspector Blog
Private Sector Development blog
Remember I'm the Bloody Architect
Setting The World To Rights
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Sky Watching My World
Social Affairs Unit
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we make money not art
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Category archive: Law
I know I keep going on about it, but now I will go on about it some more. Signs make great photos. Signs are extraordinarily evocative of the places where they are displayed. Signs tell you what goes on in a place, or what people want to do or are liable to do by mistake, but/and must not. Wherever the public goes, there are signs, especially nowadays, when you are legally responsible for whatever idiotic thing the public does on your patch, unless you can point at a sign saying don’t do that. So, on that wedding day, I photoed signs.
It was, after all, a sign that told me I was in the right place to start with, see 1.1 below. My favourite is 3.2, the one about swan rescue.
No, forget the swans. My even more favourite one is the one that says: this parking space is only for Registrars, 2.2. This told me that there are a lot of weddings here, and that they are accordingly quite good at doing weddings. So it proved.
Further to that Post-it notes notice board of mine, for blogging notes to self, most of the things on it are what I like to think of as Big Things. Big Things like the Great Big Post I want to do some time between now and my death about (as many as I can think of of) the various things meant by the phrase “Rule of Law”. Hear ye, hear ye.
But this doesn’t mean that I intend to neglect small things. On the contrary, some of the best blogging I have done, and I bet this applies to thousands of other bloggers, has been of pieces I had no idea I would write, until, provoked by some weird small thing or other, I wrote them.
The purpose of this board of Big Things is not to make me write more Big Things and fewer small things. It is, rather, to ensure that I remember the Big Things I want to write about, any year now, despite all the small things that I blog about in the meantime.
The notice board will also help, I surmise, by making it easier for me to weave Big Thing themes into smaller observations about the passing scene.
That’s a camera, as well as a pair of specs.
The basic reason they won’t ban digital photography in public places is that pretty soon, they won’t be able to see it happening. (That and how such a ban would screw around with the tourist trade.)
And yes, I know, there’ll be all kinds of sneaky electronic trickery to detect photography, even when it’s invisible to the naked eye, but your basic plods, both public sector and the now equally ubiquitous private sector sort, just won’t see it happening.
Well, we’re soon going to find out.
Incoming from Michael J. This is Sunday so this must be Mt Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo:
Where on the mountain that is, I do not know. And nor do I know what language that is, let alone what it all says.
When you are on the permanent lookout for health and safety signs, you see them everywhere. And this afternoon, in the Kings Road, I spotted this one, and promptly crossed Kings Road to get close to it.
At first I thought most of the fun would come from the long spiel in the middle:
But, as (helped by the title of this posting) you have perhaps already spotted, there is more fun stuff going on here. There is a spelling mistake. “COSTRUCTION”. Even as I type this, my spellchecker is going spare. And it surely is a spelling mistake, rather than some peculiar, perhaps Italianate, new business bullshit type name, because down at the bottom of the sign, we see that the email of lamberticonstruction is, well, that, rather than lamberticostruction.
And when I got home, I saw that the same spelling error - if error it be - was repeated on the sign next to the original sign that got my attention:
What does this mean? Assuming these are spelling mistakes, and assuming further that I am not reading too much into this, I think what this signifies is that what is going on here is not communication but compliance. The law demands signs like this all over the damn place. Who the hell cares if the damn signs are spelt right? This is not to communicate, with the workforce, the public, or with anyone. It is simply a matter of obeying the damn law. And since it is very easy to see if this particular law is being obeyed - are there signs or are there not? - this is a law that has to be obeyed. For the Authorities, this is great. Not like chasing after real criminals, who fight back and hide and stuff. So, you order the damn signs and when they arrive you stick them up, as ordered. If some of the spelling comes back wrong from the damn sign-writer, who cares? I mean, you might demand your money back. But do you need another sign? Are you going to give these bastards yet more money to make their damn signs, that you don’t want but have to have? Are you hell? Who cares about any damn spelling mistake?
Only me, is my guess. And not because I object. I care because I’m pleased about it all, because it spices up my blog.
I think there is an argument about how spelt is spelt, which is my preferred spelling. Some argue that spelled is spelled spelled, but not me. However, I am open to correction on this. About five years ago I lost faith in my own spelling excellence. I used to think all my spelling preferences were correct. Since then, I have realised that my spelling preferences are that and in many cases only that, preferences.
LATER: Natalie Solent comments:
The Italian for “to construct” is “costruire” and “construction” is “costruzione”. Mr Lamberti wrote the signs himself and isn’t going to change them for anyone.
All is suddenly, if not clear exactly, then explained. I did do some googling before I did this posting, and found no references to “costruction”, which is surely a strange hybrid word, is it not? Or is it actually quite common when Italians operate in the Anglosphere?
A while back I did a posting here about a big sign, covered in anal-retentive, litigation-phobic instructions about health and safety.
This posting now is basically a clutch of other signage photos I took that same day, on that same expedition.
Signs are extremely communicative of the kind of times you live in, of the kind of place you were at, of the kind of event you were at, of the kind of assumptions your world is flooded with. Also, more than buildings, they change, and good photography homes in particularly on that which will not always there. Signs also tell you the dumb facts about where you were, and what you were looking at, which are easily forgotten if all you have is pictures with random number names. Signs give you google handles, the way imagery can’t, yet.
So, what I’m saying is, yes I know that most of these snaps that follow in this clutch of squares are pretty mundane, but I like them. I hope that, if you click on squares that particularly intrigue you, you will also like what you see.
First, a sign saying where I was going and roughly where I was when I took these. Like I say, some dumb facts. Apologies for the blurriness of several of the snaps that follow, especially in this first one. At the point I took this, I still thought that all I was doing with this map was taking a note for myself. I still hadn’t realised that this was a whole new category of bloggableness, or I would have taken a bit more trouble. But, it still tells the approximate story.
So now, the clutch of squares:
When will signs start appearing saying that photography in public places is forbidden? I suspect, actually: only a bit, in particular places.
One, cameras will soon be so small as to be undetectable. People can already take photos with their all purpose mobile gizmos without any security goon being any the wiser, even if standing only a few yards away. Soon, we will all be able to snap photos with the top buttons on our shirts, or from our hats.
And two, as soon as any such signs forbidding photo-ing do start to appear, in ways that are at all silly, they will be relentlessly snapped, internetted, and mocked. Hey Big Brother, do you really think that we the people will accept a world in which only you are allowed to take photos in public? In your dreams sunshine.
Comments telling me that this is already happening (preferably with links) would of course be especially welcome.
Photoed last Friday, I think it was. Recently, anyway. This:
I tend to photo things by genre. For a long time, it was digital photographers. And I’ve long enjoyed snapping London’s Big Things, from a distance. Then, for some reason, I started snapping Evening Standard billboards.
Now I find myself more and more seeing signs and snapping them, noticing notices and making a photo-note of them. Signs and notices that nag, nag, nag, so that if you do do whatever daft thing they want you not to do, you won’t be able to sue them, presumably. The rest of the British economy may be in terminal decline, but the don’t sue sign and nagging notices business is booming like never before.
I promise nothing, but would be very surprised if there were not many more postings in this new category here: signs and notices.
Peter Tatchell is one of the great mentches (is that spelt right?) of the libertarian movement in its broadest and most inclusive sense. He and the LA have long had a cordial if doctrinally a bit arms length relationship. The overlap on civil liberties, freedom of speech, etc., is considerable and that’s what he’s talking about now, very eloquently.
This was originally called “Tatchell photo”, and I have tried to add a picture, but that looks like it will have to wait. Maybe later.
Some very trenchant stuff at the end there about the superiority of superior cultures over inferior ones.
The long and short of conversation - Hitchens on YouTube
Andy Flower urges England fans not to punish cricket for being corrupt
Ten thoughts about the Pakistan cricket corruption story
Why not just sell them?
Graeme Swann on drink-driving charge after 3am dash to save kitten
A response to the cyclist menace
Three cheers for Molly Norris but also a few small grumbles
“Is this a case of us operant-conditioning them or them operant-conditioning us?”
Me taking pictures in a funny way while it’s still allowed
Was it Sweeney? And what else were they trying to suppress?
Johanna Kaschke versus the Deluded Leftwinger
The Instadaughter on the morals of actors
Why I object to Madam Scotland and why I don’t
Snapping the police
Photographers in bother
It all depends on whether there is anything worth Twittering
Photoing the Police
Edinburgh’s Billion Monkeys must be chivalrous!
How patent lawyers destroyed a mathematician
Twickenham shop attacked by the Dark Side of The Force
Michael Jennings on private law in Hollywood
Alisher Usmanov is now better known for being nasty
Links and guns
“That’s not Minnie Mouse - that’s a cat with large ears”
A double cricket surprise
The rights and wrongs of multiple marriage
Leon Louw talks about the habits of highly effective countries