We wanted to establish and encourage some standards of behaviour, because one of our cardinal principles is that people should feel safe within this site to express their ideas, however controversial, critical or radical. At the same time, we wanted to stand up for some particular virtues: inclusive language; participatory dialogue; and fearless minoritarianism.
Striking the right balance in defining ‘light touch’ regulations is surprisingly difficult, but only really if you are bound by conventional beliefs about things like intellectual property, the ownership of goods and services, and restrictions based on privilege and elitism.
So when we came to identify how we wanted to make the contents of the site available to people, we did not use protectionist legal language, but chose instead to use the following phrase:
Respect the spirit of open, respectful sharing and free collaboration
You can find all of our Terms and Conditions here.
The reason for making this statement are numerous. Firstly, because our Constitution demands that we ‘Develop[e] a culture and appreciation for the exploration of all views that deviate from conventional thought and practice in physiotherapy,’ and ‘Actively embrac[e] ideas that promote thinking against the grain/challenging in physiotherapy.’ But also because we aspire to ‘Being open to a plurality of ideas, practices, objects, systems and structures that challenge contemporary physiotherapy practice and thought,’ and ‘Providing a space for ideas that promote a more positive, diverse and inclusive future for the profession.’
These are not empty gestures, but phrases that have been crafted by numerous people within the Network over weeks of deliberation, and I am proud to stand by them. I think film maker Jim Jarmusch said it best when he suggested that,
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” (Jim Jarmusch, film maker, quoted in MovieMaker Magazine #53 – Winter, January 22, 2004).
And that includes this quote.