Code [and other laws of mindspace]

I was gifted – in the early 2000s – the book “Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace”, written by the always engaging and frequently, rightly, polemical Lawrence Lessig, in its translation into castellano.  It is a book whose thesis has influenced me tremendously, and permanently.

The gift was from a group of really good friends.  One is now dead of a terrible brain cancer.  He was the most alive and knowledgeable man you ever did come across.

The others, as far as I know, still kick and battle away at life’s contratiempos.  They are good people.  I believe they continue to live in Spain.  I have lost touch with them of late, however.

I have more than a grand fondness for everything Lessig.  He is an original thinker, and I mean this in the same positive spirit a lecturer I truly admire for his gentle, calm, powerful intelligence used of myself, as he said something similar.  But whilst I am an utterly rough diamond, Lessig is as polished as you could wish for – and I don’t mean this as a criticism in any way whatsoever.  My arguments can be broken down; his – as befits his profession and true calling – are always bulletproof.  This, I am sure, has made him very many enemies.  Original thinkers deserve friends, not enemies.  I would be so happy to consider him a man worthy of friendship.  But then I assume everyone who may ever be fortunate to be touched by his thought would think exactly the same.

I have just one claim to fame in this life: I appear in the Acknowledgements for Lessig’s iconoclastic “Free Culture” (HTML version of the text here).  It is open-source humanity in its purest form.  That is all I really need to say for the moment.  Though if you want me to expand, I would be happy to – with one condition only: that the occasion were couched in the best of all faiths.


It’s the weirdest thing, when you get the hang of the reality of this CBT tech.  It’s the weirdest thing.  Suddenly, so suddenly, you feel supported by the very same patterns which terrified you not a few minutes before.

For the past hour and a half I have been surrounded by the very people my life needed right now.  I cannot say more, because to say more would be to give the game away.  Suffice it to say they are wonderful people, all; and people on whose behalf the whole planet and rock should strive to fight daily.

For me, there is clearly only one way forwards now, and the way forwards – its process and outcome – is weirdly, curiously, strangely but beautifully contained in the picture at the top of this post.  It’s in code, of course – and the code I now understand; but it’s a code only I and the cipher* need fully understand.

Though I suspect plenty of others already did.  And for much longer than I could ever have imagined.

And so in future hours of doubt this picture will keep me on the path I need to walk, and the journey I need to traverse, and the life I shall eventually thoroughly enjoy.

* And when I say cipher, I mean much much more than that.  But to explain exactly why I do would reveal too much at this particular stage.

I’m hopeless at secrets, and worse at working them out.  It’s taken me maybe a year, maybe more, maybe a lifetime to work this one out.

But I have finally got to the point where I can claim arrival.

And for a man who never departed anywhere, this is some substantial, as well as considerably beautiful, achievement.


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