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Rational suppositions seem to undergird the proposition that cut and paste writeups will die -- such contributions do not, it is well observed, much reflect the literary skills of the noder who has added them, and, as well, they may breed problems known to come from copyrighted and plagiarized works. But, even as there are situations where one might plagiarize to a productive end if one knows how, so are there circumstances where one may, and perhaps even ought to, post cut and paste writeups.

Firstly, may I propose that the E2 community is a shark -- not in the sense of being a cold-blooded and naturally brutal killing machine, but in the sense that she must keep moving forward, keep moving forward, moving forward -- or she will die. E2 needs newbies, and newbies come to her by being originally drawn to read something on this site. And, yes, there's great fiction and poetry and commentary here, but people don't often search for titles they've never heard of or things they've never contemplated. As Dr. Lecter advised that we covet first that which we see every day, so do we look first to read that which lends some familiarity, that which completes a snippet of what we've seen come before. Naturally this is no reason to go copying everything on the Internet (even the stuff that's out of copyright), but surely it burdens us naught to have some nodes reciting popular documents, spun with even some modicum of introductory or epiloguery sentimentation.

Recall as well, that not even everything out of copyright is yet easily findable to those who would wish to see it, though they might here and today not even know it exists. Some things remain stored in places where barriers must be overcome simply to have a look at them. Sometimes brief passages of key interest are so effectively buried in massive works or collections that one of us who might be delighted to read that passage would be likely to pass through our entire lives without ever coming across it, so much else lies in the way of our trudging to it. Is that so great a sin, to come upon something in the body of a great work and to seek to isolate it here, that it may be let to be considered as it stands on its own?

And let us get along to those snippets of additional material. The briefest of commentaries may be all that is required to place an interpretation on a passage which might light it up like a burning bulb for the reader. A telling title may suffice to pull off that trick!! Now, surely every reader will react differently to commentary and to the effect it is intended to have on absorption or reflection of the passage so commented upon. For some it may seem an inane or obvious interpretation not to be bothered with, while, for others, a thoughtful and insightful recasting.

And consider one final benefit to engaging on what may seem on the surface to be simply cut-and-paste copying of material into E2 -- now one might wish to refer to a passage written by another, and one might just as well write, here is what a I think of this passage and here is a link where you can go to someone else's website and read the thing itself, and then come back here and read my spin on it. So, fine, send people away from E2 to see something which could, without legal or technical barrier, be seen right here.... but in so doing, we surrender our capability to mould the presentation of the material, a capacity which arises from several points of protocol available to E2 noders. Generally, you cannot go to the location of a passage existing elsewhere on the Internet and modify that passage by the addition of fanciful flights of textual emphasis. You can not pick a page preserved on a website dedicated to that work and edit it there to add bolding or italics or underlining for things which you think out to be so (or maybe you can, but only to find someone with equal acces changing it back or to something else altogether); and you most assuredly can't snap in a bunch of links to carry your reader to other nodes which might enlighten -- indeed, one of the great tricks of E2 is to pop a link around a snippet of text secretly escorting the reader to something unexpected, possibly a little off kilter, possibly intended by the noder to seem irrelevant and yet to actually sway the reader's view of the words linked unto therefrom. Possibly even to a barren node where the title alone will inspire a consumate literary effort.

And so, it may be that, yes, some passage copied from elsewhere with no thought to title, and no word of commentary, not even any built into the emphasis or links added to the original, ought to die. But a desert may appear to be lifeless and yet communicate a vibrant ecosystem harboured beneath that painted mask, and so must care then be taken to not mistake the subtle commentary for the barren plain of the truly naked cut and paste job. The shark, my dear friends, must be allowed to swim in that desert!!

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