Sunday 19 June 2022


The report of the new, ‘revolutionary,’ structural battery pack for Teslas makes one think of discussions in the 1980s when the idea of detailing a building for repair, reuse, and recycling was a subject of interest: see – The discussion highlighted how thought could be given to all parts of the building so that change could be built in, made easily possible.

Since this time, much attention and enthusiasm has been given to technological developments, not only in the documentation of buildings, but also in their construction, with 3D printing taking many of the headlines. Now Tesla is using clever casting techniques to fabricate larger portions of vehicles, and has devised ways to make the battery pack unit a part of the structure rather than an added load to be supported.

To the vehicle builder, this must be a new economy, with larger, single units replacing multiple parts that require separate assembly. The reason that the 1980s come to mind is that one is left wondering just what the impact of this strategy on repairs might be. Vehicles are prone to regular damage that requires repairs; and batteries will have to be replaced in time too. So what happens if a portion of the structural unit gets damaged? How much of the vehicle will have to be replaced; how; and at what time and cost?

It might sound somewhat negative to begin asking questions about what has been hailed as a great step ‘forward,’ but answers will soon be needed. It could be that we may have to start thinking once again about the 1980s strategy if matters are not going to get out of hand. The approach should be a part of the care for the environment that electric vehicles use as an argument for their being made. It would be more than ironic if the detailing of these vehicles ignored what might seem to be a fundamental question: how easy might they be to repair economically? One could envisage a circumstance where the larger the parts that can be broken, and the increasing significant role these portions might have in maintaining the structural integrity of the vehicle, the more expensive the repairs will become, with sections of these vehicles seemingly having to be rebuilt in order to be repaired. The numerous pieces that have been replaced by one casting cannot now be replaced in part. Progress may mean a step 'forward,' but to where?

One recalls asking the parts section about replacing the small missing screw that had fallen out of the vehicle's indicator control. The response was that there was no part for this; that one had to purchase a whole new indicator. One hopes that one does not have to purchase a whole new car if these larger structural parts get damaged. There may be some sense in going back in time and again thinking seriously about these matters.


It is not as though vehicles have ever been designed to be easy to repair. When cars had bulbs for headlights, they frequently needed replacement. Our experience with one car was that the driver side headlight bulb could be replaced by a salesman with a screwdriver in five minutes. The passenger side bulb replacement meant that the vehicle had to be booked into the workshop for at least one hour just to get the bulb replaced. One might have hoped that the design of the vehicle would have considered matters such as this, but alas, no.

1 FEB 23




There is more on Plagiarism and Creativity: see –

After John Hughes’ piece, I am not a plagiarist - and here’s why was published – see: - the publisher Upswell, Terri-ann White, replied expressing her astonishment, surprise, and disappointment: see - Just what is happening here? She responded politely with a Much appreciated, Spence after the text forwarded to The Guardian had been sent to her, so she knows the context of the critique - the Aldington ‘assassination’ - as does The Guardian; (that is assuming that both recipients had bothered to read the twenty pages of the Aldington lecture and took time to consider matters rationally and objectively): but is the publicity about plagiarism, and the dislike of this nasty word, so powerfully potent in stimulating a passionately wild hatred that any argument to explain the situation makes no difference; that folk just have to give in and join the protesting chorus, and express ‘sincere’ disappointment and disgust? Are Australians so lightheaded, pig-headed, so lacking in logical thought and intellectual interest and rigour that they just turn up on mass and bash the ‘plagiarist’ as they once did ‘poofters’?

It is a terrible situation when people want to discredit one using a technique adopted by heroes of the twentieth century who, with the simple logic of similitude and consistency, should be deposed, stripped of their glory by those now expressing their repugnance for such strategies from their moral high ground. “Oh! No! This will never be allowed to happen in Australia!” seems to be the latent cry. It is just too easy for folk to squeal out as a crowd and dismiss the reasoned logic of thought as a madman’s rhetoric, as if the logic might be: ‘Ten thousand rabbits can’t be wrong!’ Here quantity reigns. Sadly it is the classic Aussie cringe: Eliot and Pound are lauded foreigners - geniuses; an Australian could never be assumed to be as good as them, or be allowed the luxury of a similar technique that is ‘artful art’ for them, ‘plagiarism’ for our man who is blamed and shamed; humiliated; ignored – “the cheat!”

Only Aldington seems to have had the 'balls,' (and the special insights and knowledge), to speak up, making, so it would appear, the task for the Australian’s who idolize the ‘masters,’ that of discrediting Aldington. Maybe they should try the ‘poofter,’ or ‘lower class twit’ claim; or that ‘his mother was a . . . ’ argument, and use these on the ‘shameful’ Hughes too, who dared to create a verbal collage. If no one is interested in reading the whole of the Aldington lecture of 1939, (“Come on. It’s all just old crap!”), then just one paragraph might get the idea of Pound’s collage technique of writing across, a method that is analysed as a respectful homage created by a poetic genius, not just the lazy cheating of some local bloke - the ‘ideas thief.’ Aldington writes:

This limits our search for Pound, as an original poet, to the single volume of collected short poems from which we have already deducted Cathay. And when we examine these poems attentively, what do we discover but the significant fact that a considerable number are translations or close adaptations of other poems. There are eight from Heine and six from the Greek anthology, while others are translated from Charles d’Orleans, Bertrand de Born, Propertius, du Bellay, Leopardi, the anonymous Seafarer, and so forth. Moreover, a much larger group of these poems is paraphrased or imitated from or based on the poems of other writers without acknowledgement or, at best, with only slight or indirect hints of derivation. On running over the book again I find this list of poets imitated: W.B. Yeats, Cino da Pistoia, Robert Browning, Bertrand de Born, Francois Villon, Dante, Piere Vidal, Arnaut de Marvoil, A.E. Housman, Catullus, Sappho, Albert Samain, Ibycus, Theophile Gautier, Walt Whitman, several Chinese Poets, Sumer is i-cumen in, Voltaire, mediaeval poets of Provence, numerous modern French Symbolistes, Ronsard and Edmund Waller.

The sheer, insulting hypocrisy displayed by those who cry out “plagiarism” when it is read in the media, is typical of the careless, cringing Australian mind that is blinded by accents and imports that must always be better than anyone or anything Aussie. The shame is on those who promote this approach that sees even quality Australian research having to take itself overseas to become real and respected. Gosh, in Australia, even local jam is never as good as that imported from ‘the old country,’ or even romantic Romania, or nearby New Zealand!

We need to grow up! This attitude is the same as that which has the professionals, e.g. architects, labelled as just ‘princely, pricey performers,’ an indulgent waste of time and money. “Anyone can design a house; you can get a swimming pool for the money the professional wants as fees.” The amateur ‘Everyman’ reigns, knowing more about everything than anyone, even the interpretation of plagiarism – “Ya can see the match! Clear as crystal!” - and there are lots of ‘Everymen,’ so many that we get ‘crowd-funded’ responses that are easily whipped up by the media that fills its pages with ‘meaningful’ stories about “Why I . . .”: Why I like small penises; Why his penis is too big; Why I paint my nails black; Why I don't like my wife; Why I went berserk with my mental problem; Why I like my vagina now; Why I love my dog's best friend; etc. The media would, of course, know all about ‘plagiarism’ too - yes, know that Aldington had ‘an axe to grind’ because he was never as famous as Pound and Eliot. It is really a shocking state of affairs: run the programme; discover the matches; publish ‘plagiarism’ - "Ya cheating bastards!"

It is truly sad to hear the publisher join the ranks and declare "Trust breached," even after receiving a link to the Aldington lecture. Imagine a novel with footnotes. The author would be crucified as a ‘wanker’ trying to prove how clever s/he was; or be told how boring s/he was, by adding so many distractions to disturb the reader’s enjoyment. Either way, there would be a scathing response. The situation about the use and ownership of language could get to such an extreme situation that even every the might soon have to carry an accreditation, ‘as used by ......’ etc. There are few limits to crowd complaints that carry a momentum and irrational logic of their own.

We need far better criticism than this outrageous mass response. We should read more of Aldington and feel embarrassed, shamed by the parochial outbursts. The problem is that shame requires awareness; it is awareness that is missing in these assessments. We could learn from Aldington:

Eliot is far too clever in his dry calculating way ever to be trivial with Pound’s almost endearing spontaneity of silliness. He is far too accomplished a trick-writer. As a rule, when he introduces his urban trivialities, as he so frequently does, he is careful to place them in immediate contrast with some would-be profound remark, a trick he learned from one of his early admirations in verse, Jules Laforgue.

The next fragment starts off with a fine piece of preciosity:

The river’s tent is broken: the last fingers of leaf

Clutch and sink into the wet bank.”

I like that – it is a genuine piece of observation, not very original, to be sure, but true of the Thames backwater in autumn. But then within a few lines we have unacknowledged quotations and misquotations from Edmund Spenser (thrice repeated), the Bible, Shakespeare, and Paul Verlaine.

. . .

I would not have you think that the unacknowledged quotation in modern poems should be entirely avoided, though I think Eliot’s abuse of it has now made avoidance essential.

. . .

But it is surely an abuse of public credulity when we find “critics” gravely admiring the profound and esoteric significance of a whole page of Murder in the Cathedral which is lifted without quotation marks from the Sherlock Holmes detective story, The Musgrave Ritual. (What on earth has this to do with Becket unless as a modern “ducdame”?) But when the unacknowledged quotation is abused as often as it is by Eliot it becomes a monotonous and at length annoying trick. An original writer should be able to express his thoughts in his own words and not always have to filch from his predecessors.

The challenge is to assess the intent, not to squeal at the matches with immediate, ill-considered, infectious outrage. Is it an ‘abuse’ or an ‘art’? Is it a subtle homage, or merely stealing other’s words to make yours look better? Simply highlighting the matches is not enough. We need far more careful thought and analysis; and more respect too. One has to remember that words and languages are communal matters; that the idea of ownership becomes perplexing when we share and use these concepts that hold meaning just because we all agree and understand, and agree to understand, with sharing being the heart of the matter, the core of meaning. If we are going to demand copyright on every expression and concept, then we will be defining our own separate worlds, words, and meanings, structuring and ensuring only separation and isolation. We need to ponder the limits in these matters.

Here one thinks of Carmina Gadelica Hymns and Incantations collected by Alexander Carmichael. These hymns and incantations were all once oral exultations, passed on through language, held in memory, and shared. It is almost inconceivable to us today that this could have been so. This rich volume highlights Coomaraswamy’s ideas expressed in The Bugbear of Literacy. Perhaps special claims to words is yet another bugbear of literacy: MY words are NOT YOUR words? We need to give the matter much more thought, because these hymns and incantations have only come down to us from their Gaelic origins because your words became mine.

. . .

The Guardian is persevering with its position, and has now involved local 'expert's' - see: spite of having the Aldington text, it seems that The Guardian is not interested in accepting the challenge to openly criticize Pound and Eliot; nor is it brave enough to publish the Aldington critique even though Hughes uses the example of Eliot's technique as his defence. It looks like The Guardian is insisting on holding its position; that it will not be wrong.

It is clear that the Aldington critique can apply to Hughes as well; that it would have been better for Hughes to have had a well-considered position on his strategy rather than use the latent memory idea as a first excuse: but one cannot criticize Hughes without taking on Pound and Eliot too. This is clear, but no one apparently wants to, not even the 'experts. Cringe!

The impact of the use of another's words can be best seen in the extreme. In, just as an experiment, all the poems in an edition of Quadrant were cut up and randomly pasted. The astonishment was that the 'new poem' made some sort of sense. Imagine the value of the considered use of another's words.

There is true meaning and enrichment for art here; using another's words may not just be plagiarism. As Hughes noted, quoting Eliot: “Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different.”

If folk are bold enough to criticize Hughes, then they must take Eliot down with him: see -


The 'intellectual' Quadrant couldn't care less. It seems to be engrossed in supporting mates' positions with a 'masonic' rigour: but this is Australia. Now I have to note that the idea of describing a situation as 'masonic' was copied from an architectural student's description of the tutoring system at the Bartlett School: see - It seems to be the situation in most schools of architecture.

Friday 17 June 2022



There seems to be no greater sin than plagiarism. There is much astonished excitement when it is discovered that a piece of the news, for example, has been taken from another, unacknowledged source. In other publications, like novels, the author is also criticised, shamed, and banished, if possible, with the work treated as an outcast. We have seen this just recently with John Hughes’ book, The Dogs. The Guardian has been rigorous in seeking out the matching pieces and exposing these in great detail, while suggesting plagiarism. The following text was prepared as a response to two published news articles that exposed the research and revealed the matching pieces of text:

John Hughes

The Guardian*

RE: Articles -

Miles Franklin prize removes novel from longlist after author apologises for plagiarism's%20most%20prestigious%20books%20prize,realising%E2%80%9D%20in%20his%20acclaimed%20novel.


Parts of John Hughes’ novel The Dogs copied from The Great Gatsby and Anna Karenina

The Guardian have cleverly interrogated John Hughes’ novel The Dogs, extracted the similarities with other texts, and identified the matches. The sin of plagiarism is hinted at.

In the first report, Hughes has argued that the circumstance had to do with an inadvertent, remnant memory, a proposition that claimed an intimate, but profound innocence.

In the second report that identifies more matches, Hughes refers to the influence of exemplary an

modern poet, playwright, essayist, publisher, literary critic, and editor who has also used the same technique, to justify his use of others’ words. Hughes references T.S. Eliot’s works to argue for the appropriateness and proprietary of his strategy, quoting Eliot: mature poets steal. He is correct.

In a lecture given in 1939, the writer and poet Richard Aldington savagely critiques Pound and Eliot,# pointing out their cunning technique of stealing texts. His scathing admonition, a true dismemberment – it has been called a literary assassination - never mentions

plagiarism, but makes clear Aldington’s opinion of the serial use of this technique that recklessly stole copious quantities of words, phrases, and even whole pages of text without

acknowledgement, and interspersed these pieces alternatively with everyday

mundanities and gobbledegook to suggestively add stature and latent meaning to the

work. Aldington uses sarcasm to show his displeasure with reviewers who praise the works, and

expresses his general disgust about the whole affair, ending his lecture with: After that the only thing for all of us to do now is to go home and commit suicide as painfully as possible.

Hughes is right to quote T.S. Eliot; he could also reference Ezra Pound. Before we all get too critically overexcited, we have to decide what we really think of this creative act of modernity. The

publicity on The Dogs to date seems to point an accusing finger and wants to claim the shame of

plagiarism to force the banishment of the book, its withdrawal from any award listing, apparently finding the strategy totally unacceptable; the act despicable.

If we want to do this, then we will have to discredit Pound and Eliot too with equal

accusatory vigour, and condemn them and their works to the scrapheap of plagiarists

with a matching disgust and strident self-righteousness, instead of treating them like

modern heroes.

We cannot have it both ways, even if it might appear to be rigorous, revelatory

journalism. We should not place Hughes in this shower of blame if we are not prepared to

dislodge Pound and Eliot from their pedestals that identify them as major poets of the twentieth century.

Spence Jamieson

# Ezra Pound & T.S. Eliot, A lecture by Richard Aldington published by The Peacocks Press, 1954.

For the full text, see:

Ezra Pound

T.S. Eliot

Richard Aldington

The matter needs further debate within the confines of architecture. Historically, architects have thrived on copy books, literally being encouraged to copy the styles of the day; wanting to. Traditionally, the matter of copying was seen to be superior to the idea that everyone cold invent forms and express themselves. There does not seem to be any issue with such an approach. Modernity might have changed things, but post-modernity has thrived on the idea of referencing sources and playing with meanings. Robert Venturi, in Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture, wrote about this referencing with much delight and enthusiasm, and used this connection in his own works. It is possible that architecture learned to reference directly from Pound and Eliot.

Denise Scott brown and Robert Venturi

Children's Museum, Houston

Ezra Pound & T.S. Eliot

There is no problem with this ‘clever’ concept of citing used by Eliot and Pound, which even their greatest critic does not call plagiarism. Rather Aldington sees it as an over-use, an abuse of a strategy, a mechanism that mocks meaning with its self-conscious repetition rather than being something subtle and rich, responsive, intertwined and vibrant. Yet, when the technique is used today by a novelist, there is an outcry of dismay, as if it was simple cheating. John Hughes has suffered the indignity of having his publication withdrawn from the long list of an award because of this assessment.

We need to look carefully at what is happening here. There is a difference between plagiarism and creativity. That a journalist might pilfer a text, or most of it, reproduce it and pretend that this is an original piece, is different to lines being referenced, used in, say, a poem or a novel. One could argue that the lack of any explanatory notation might indeed be a part of the reader’s experience of discovery and delight, because footnotes would turn the document – a poem or novel – into a referenced piece of research. One has to understand this difference.

Aldington’s objection is not to reject the technique; he is upset by its constant use, making it an over-clever strategy to add to or construct meaning out of very little, that remains very little because of this excessive, self-conscious indulgence. As the Delphic oracle said: Know thyself: Nothing in excess. Rather than going berserk over any use of another’s words, we need to be much more managed in our assessments of any re-use of texts.

As for architecture, one might despair that there is currently just too much self-expression, structuring a no-man’s-land of bespoke meaninglessness as our environment. Dare one suggest that we need more ‘plagiarism’ in architecture?

Stealing words is different to using them with a creative intent. It is this intent that needs to be assessed when matches are found. The question that needs to be asked is: has the author, the architect, just flogged an idea because of laziness, as an easy way to get an outcome; or have the words/ideas been taken with a caring awareness and sensitivity of intent that might structure richness into text or place?

There is a fine line between plagiarism and creativity that we need to be aware of before we squeal out in protest to raise the alarm. The use of another’s words can be praise-worthy, a homage, something for the original author to be pleased about rather than complain, with the phrases adding complexity and richness to the new work, in the same way as a palimpsest holds its intriguing layering. The problem appears to be directly connected to the concept of bespoke self-expression: the private ownership of ideas – MINE: “Look at ME!” We need to get above this selfishness and grasp the concept of a community of ideas and ideals, and work collectively to enrich these, perhaps in much the same way as science builds on its ideas - selflessly. Plagiarism is something more brutal, more blatantly seedy and greedy than this; as is the flagrant, unabashed use of any technique.





17 JUNE 22

As seems to be usual now, The Guardian has just ignored the material sent to it, although the Hughes rebuttal, (above), has been published. It is odd, but there seems to be no issue with publishing anything to do with: penis size; problems with orgasms; issues with threesomes; blind date sagas; and questions like: does my husband still love me? etc. Has The Guardian become the Dorothy Dix of intimacy; a matchmaker? It certainly likes matching texts.