Sir Thomas More, Utopia, 1901

“There are fifty-four cities in the island, all large and well built, the manners, customs, and laws of which are the same, and they are all contrived as near in the same manner as the ground on which they stand will allow.  The nearest lie at least twenty-four miles’ distance from one another, and the most remote are not so far distant but that a man can go on foot in one day from it to that which lies next it.  Every city sends three of their wisest senators once a year to Amaurot, to consult about their common concerns; for that is the chief town of the island, being situated near the centre of it, so that it is the most convenient place for their assemblies.  The jurisdiction of every city extends at least twenty miles, and, where the towns lie wider, they have much more ground.  No town desires to enlarge its bounds, for the people consider themselves rather as tenants than landlords.”

“He that knows one of their towns knows them all—they are so like one another, except where the situation makes some difference.”

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In this post Geoff Manaugh writes about the Kafkaesque status of the Australian Islands, and about Cocktail Glaciers.

If, as Tim Maly of Quiet Babylon, points that for the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, an island is “a naturally formed area of land, surrounded by water, which is above water at high tide”, this definition falls short of telling the full story. Islands intrigue and attract.
He tells of the artificial survival of the coveted Japanese Islands, of their fragility, of data havens and lands outside the law…