Strangely, and somewhat unexpectedly, James Bridle unilaterally closed the New Aesthetic Tumblr blog today, 6 May 2012, announcing ‘The New Aesthetic tumblr is now closed’, with some particular and general thanks and very little information about future plans. Perhaps this was always Bridle’s intention as a private project, but one can’t help wonder if the large amount of attention, the move to a public and contested concept, and the loss of control that this entailed may have encouraged a re-assertion of control. If so, this is a great pity and perhaps even an act of vandalism.

stunlaw: Taking Care of the New Aesthetic. Seriously? Bridle has no right to shut down his own tumblelog? Sure, he posted user submissions, but those users still have the files they submitted, don’t they? (Ever heard of digital reproducibility?) And anyone who wants to can freely copy Bridle’s entire tumblelog right now. Won’t take long either.

I’m always amazed when I come across a person who thinks that others have a moral obligation to do what he would prefer them to do. But I come across those people quite often.