P2P and Human Evolution

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Ah, yes, remember this p2p essay I got forwarded in October 2006 from a friend, with subject "Excellent report on 'Peer to Peer' if you like...". And so I started reading it. Very interesting indeed.

Yesterday (Aug 27, 2007), I started wondering if you are also familiar with it, so I dug it up from my stack of documents, also to see what my highlights there are...

Surprise, surprise, it's Michael's "P2P and Human Evolution: Peer to peer as the premise of a new mode of civilization". Feel so happy that we finally connected.

Enjoy! Succes en plezier,

Key stuff in Michel Bauwens "P2P and Human Evolution: Peer to peer as the premise of a new mode of civilization" that strike a chord with Martien van Steenbergen:

  • free participation of equipotent partners, engaged in the production of common resources, without recourse to monetary compensation as key motivating factor
  • Commons-based peer production (neither centrally planned nor profit-driven)
  • being part of a process of accumulation of knowledge and creativity, as the new mainspring of power and profit.
  • an already existing social practice, the seed of a likely major transformation to come
  • a new and intentional moral vision, holds the potential for a major breakthrough in social evolution, leading to the possibility of a new political, economic, and cultural 'formation' with a new coherent logic
  • it does not deny 'authority', but only fixed forced hierarchy, and therefore accepts authority based on expertise, initiation of the project
  • specific form of network using distributive intelligence
  • it doesn't know where the needed resource will be located
  • assumes that 'everybody' can cooperate, and does not use formal rules in advance to determine its participating members
  • cooperation must be free, not forced, and not based on neutrality
  • it exists to produce something
  • open, semi-closed and closed networks
  • Exeem—the ultimate BitTorrent Program
  • meshwork system, which is already used by the Wireless Commons
  • Mark Pesce—I remember him from my Multimedia and Graphics Ambassador time at Sun Microsystems, VRML and such
  • Howard Rheingold's Virtual Community has always eluded me
  • P2P is a consequence of abundance (in fact it is both cause and consequence)—so I would call it a causequence
  • for business processes, the keyword becomes flow
  • in a situation of abundance, centralized nodes cannot possible cope
  • its sharing does not diminish its value, but on the contrary augments it (also see Kevin Kelly's New Rules for the New Economy)
  • P2P systems are predicated on redundancy, therefore: P2P systems are extraordinarily robust
  • cognitive capitalism (defined as the third phase of capitalism where immaterial processes are more important than the material production; where information as property becomes the key asset
  • the protocollary power … which concerns the code—that's why I prefer protocol over API
  • the very form of the code, whether it is for the hardware or the software, reflects what usages can be made of technology
  • peer to peer, understood as a form of participation in the commons, i.e. as communal shareholding—just like community-owned endeavours
  • communal shareholding was especially strong in the more egalitarian tribal era, with its very limited division of labor, before the advent of property and class division
  • densely interconnected network of affinity-based P2P networks … an essential part of a new feedback loop
  • shift in our culture, is itself a function of the emergence of a field of abundance, the informational field—extrapolate this to the knowledge field and, next, to the wisdom field and noosphere
  • according to system theorists complex systems cannot themselves control there increasing number of ever-more efficient subunits, unless by granting them ever-more increasing functional autonomy
  • the larger system controls whether a subunit has carried a task, but no longer how it is carried out
  • the law of requisite variety of Arvid Aulin
  • where internal controls or external regulation is absent, hierarchy is needed
  • the profit imperative, and the private appropriation of the social-cooperative processes, is becoming counter-productive
  • engaging in the cooperative production of immaterial goods with important use value
  • studies show that the personal development of participants are primary motives
  • the creation of an open infrastructure is clearly crucial and in everyone's interest
  • the generalization of a
  • cooperative mode of working, and through its overturning of the limits of property
  • the 'self' or subject of economic action is the company, led by entrepreneurs, who are the locus of innovation
  • involving consumers, in an open-source inspired manner, into value creation—crowdsourcing
  • work that adds value should be rewarded, then it makes sense to reward the cooperative body of humankindand not just individuals and entrepreneurs
  • the value of any product is mostly determined, not by the value of the material resources, but by its level of integration of intelligence, and of other immaterial factors (design, creativity, experiential intensity, access to lifeworlds and identities created by brands)
  • key factor of the new era is information as property
  • the class who actually produces the value (as distinct from the class that can realise it and thus captures the surplus value he calls the hacker class
  • it actually creates new means of production: hardware, software, new knowledge (wetware)
  • inside the company, the quest for fulfillment is often contradicted by the empty purpose of the company itself, especially as efficiency thinking, short termism and a sole focus on profit, are taking hold as the main priorities
  • hypercompetition
  • meaning is no longer sought in the sphere of salaried work, but in life generally, and not through entertainment alone, but through creative expression, through 'work', but outside of the monetary sphere
  • there is a logic of self-unfolding at work, workers look for projects at which they feel energized and that expands their learning and experience in desired directions;
  • the value of pleasure and play are crucial; the project has to have social value and be of use to a wider community; there is total transparency, no secrets—oh, so true; one of my core values: radical openess, the Universe has no secrets; secrets simply do not exist!
  • cooperation is free, participants function passionately and optimally without coercion
  • the Wisdom Game, which means that social influence is gained through reputation
  • the owner-centric model is better for quality, but takes more time, while the free-form model increases scope of coverage and is very fast
  • the Oekonux project???
  • similarly today, the plentiful information commons that we produce, is being fought, so that it can turn into intellectual property, that can artificially be rendered scarce
  • at the same time, through intellectual property laws, this vectoral class is in the process of trying to make information scarce
  • this is the reason that relations between P2P and the for-profit model of the enterprise are highly contradictory and rife with tensions
  • P2P-inspired project teams have to co-exist with a hierarchical framework that seeks only to serve the profit of the shareholders
  • therefore, ultimately, the answer to the question: can P2P be extended to the material sphere, should have the following reply: only if the material sphere is liberated from its connection to scarce capital, and instead starts functioning on the predicate of over-abundant and non-mediated labour, will it effectively function outside the immaterial sphere
  • thus P2P points to the eventual overcoming of the present system of political economy
  • but what it cannot do, due to its inherent competitive nature, is transform itself into a win-win-win model (or in the formulation of Timothy Wilken of synearth.net, a win-win-win-win model, with the biosphere as fourth partner).
  • by definition, peer to peer processes are mobilized for common projects that are of greater use value to the wider community (since monetized exchange value falls away)
  • it is, in Edward Haskell's definition, a true synergetic cooperation. It is very important to see the energetic effects of these different forms of cooperation, as I indicated above:
    1. forced cooperation yields very low quality contributions;
    2. the neutral cooperation format of the marketplace generates average quality contributions;
    3. but freely given synergistic cooperation generates passion.
  • Participants are automatically drawn to what they do best, at the moments at which they are most passionate and energetic about it. This is one of the fundamental reasons of the superior quality which is eventually, over time, created through open source projects.
  • Rapport is the state of a persons who are in full agreement, and is determined by synergy, empathy, and communication.
  • Synergy refers to to interactions that promote the goals and efforts of the participants; empathy to the mutual understanding of the goals; and communication to the effective interchange of the data. His Principle of Equivalence
  • Kim Veltman, a Dutch academic,…
  • By contrast, the 'monetarisation of everything' (commodification) that is a hallmark of cognitive capitalism, is a sign of de-civilisation
  • The Evolution of Collective Intelligence is the process whereby groups take charge of their challenges and future evolution, by using the resources of all its members in such a way that a new level emerges which has added qualities.
  • The first stage is the original collective intelligence, which can only exist in small groups, and historically has been typified by the human organisation in the tribal era.
  • The second stage is the stage of pyramidal intelligence.
  • The third form of collective intelligence is swarming. It exists where 'simple individuals' cooperate in a global project without holoptism, i.e. collective intelligence emerges from their simple interactions.
  • Thus, a fourth level of collective intelligence is emerging, which Noubel calls global collective intelligence. Compared to original CI is has the following added characteristics:
    • sufficient money as opposed to a scarce money (see The Transitioner.org/ic site for more details)
    • open standards that maximize interoperability—and innovation happens elsewhere
    • an information system to regulate symbolic exchange
    • permanent connection with cyberspace
    • personal development to acquire the capabilities for such cooperation
  • What cyberspace does it to create the possibility of groups cooperating despite physical distance, and to coordinate these groups in a network.
  • In premodern societies, knowledge is guarded, it is part of what constitutes power. Guilds are based on secrets, the Church does not translate the Bible, and it guards its monopoly of interpretation.
  • The advent of modernity…starts a process of regulating the flow of knowledge through a series of formal rules, which aim to distinguish valid knowledge from invalid one.
  • If original copyright served to stimulate creation by balancing the rights of authors and the public, the recent strengthening of intellectual property rights can be more properly understood as an attempt at enclosure of the information commons, which has to serve to create monopolies based on rent obtained through licenses.
  • IP legislation is incredibly tightened, information sharing becomes punishable, the market invades the public sphere of universities and academic peer review and the scientific commons are being severely damaged—I want to reverse IP policy
  • to informal communal tagging, what some people have termed folksonomies
  • and it is the reputation of trustworthiness, acquired over time, by the individual in question, which will lead to the viral diffusion of particular memes
  • A good example of P2P principles at work can be found in the complex of solutions instituted by the University of Openness. UO is a set of free-form universities, where anyone who wants to learn or to share his expertise can form teams with the explicit purpose of collective learning. There are no entry exams and no final exams. The constitution of teams is not determined by any prior disciplinary categorization. The library of UO is distributed, i.e. all

participating individuals can contribute their own books to a collective distributed library. The categorization of the books is explicitely anti-systemic, i.e. any individual can build his own personal ontologies of information, and semantic web principles are set to work to uncover similarities between the various categorizations.

  • With commons-based peer production or P2Pbased knowledge exchange more generally, the production does not result in commodities sold to consumers, but in use value made for users.
  • Because of the GPL license, no copyrighted monopoly can arise.
  • In the P2P environment we see the invention of alternative ways of determining value, through software algorithms.
  • Not a Gift Economy, but a new form of Communal Shareholding based on participation.
  • The four basic types of relating to one another, which form a grammar of human relationships, these are Authority Ranking, Equality Matching, Market Pricing, and Communal Shareholding.
  • It is common for any web-based project to have let's say 10% active contributing members, and 90% passive lurkers.
  • This can be an annoyance, but is never a fundamental problem, for the very reason that P2P operates in a sphere of abundance, where a tragedy of the commons, an abuse of common property, cannot occur.
  • In the concept of Tragedy of the Commons, communal holdings are depleted and abused, because they belong to no one.
  • But in the Information Commons created through P2P processes, the value of the collective knowledge base is not diminished by use, but on the contrary, enhanced by it.
  • What the better P2P systems do however, is to make participation automatic, so that even passive use becomes useful participation for the system as a whole.
  • Think of how BitTorrent makes any user who downloads a resource,…
  • One of the key elements in the success of P2P projects, and the key to overcoming any free rider problem, is therefore to develop technologies of Participation Capture.
  • The social logic of information and resource sharing is a cultural reversal vis a vis the information retention logic of hierarchical social systems.
  • Participation is assumed, and nonparticipation has to be justified. *Information sharing, the public good status of your information, is assumed, and it is secrecy which has to be justified.
  • So what people are doing in P2P systems, is participating, and doing so they are creating a commons.
  • in peer to peer, the knowledge commons is created through participation, and does not exist ex ante.
  • …clever use of memetic warfare
  • Commerce', where he distinguishes the ordinary economic life of exchanges at the local level, the fairly transparent market of towns and cities, and monopolistic capitalism.
  • P2P exchange can be considered in market terms only in the sense that free individuals are free to contribute, or take what they need, following their individual inclinations, with an invisible hand bringing it all together, without monetary mechanism.
  • P2P products are rarely made for the profit obtained from the exchange value, but more often and more fundamentally for their use value and acceptance by a user community.
  • So what Lessig means by with his notion of a market-based solution is simply to say that users are free to use them or not.
  • All this means that it is hard to pin down P2P within the old categories of left and right ideologies, it is a hybrid form with market-based and commons-based aspects.
  • the so-called bazaar is at best a very indirect way to make money!
  • initiated by the Church but drawing on popular fervor, a competition in gift giving, and lots of volunteer labor!!!
  • the communist principle (described by Marx in his definition of the last phase of history): from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.
  • Using Fiske's grammar of relationships
  • it is because of a sufficient material base, which allows the types of volunteer labor P2P thrives on (and pays the wages of a substantial part of them),
  • But since peer to peer is not a ideology nor utopian project, but an actual social practice which responds to true social needs, it can be practiced by anyone
  • the P2P movement's advocates Common-ists
  • Communal Shareholding, has an ideological subtext
  • The reason I am stressing this analysis is to counter neoliberal dogma that humans are only motivated by greed.
  • Saying that P2P is a gift economy requires a strict accounting of the exchange.
  • Or saying that such participation is motivated by the quest for reputation only, or that it is a game to obtain attention, corresponds to this same ideology which cannot accept that humans also have a cooperative nature, and that it can thrive in the right conditions.
  • Local Exchange Trading Systems, which are springing up in many places, are forms of Equality Matching…
  • any hour of labour has an equal value—say 10 gummi bears…
  • Both P2P as Communal Shareholding, and contemporary expressions of the gift economy ethos, are part of the same spirit of gifting, or of free cooperation.
  • the strength of the CC hypothesis is that it can account for both radical change (the dominance of the immaterial) and for continuity (the capitalist mode), and can then start looking at the different changes taking place, such as new modes of regulation, social control, etc..
  • In such a scenario, the working class is also transformed, becoming involved in knowledge production, affect-based services, and other immaterial forms.
  • It is now no longer a matter of making profits through material industry production, but of making margins in the trading of stocks, and of the development of new monopolistic rents based on the ownership of information. —I'm strongly opposed against this practice.
  • new value expressed through innovation
  • Thus the key issue is the property form, responsible for creating the scarcity that sustains a marketplace.
  • No one, not even the celebrities, can speak for anyone else, though they can speak in their own name.
  • Another distinguishing feature, is that we can no longer speak of permanent organizations.
  • rather for an open process of world governance that is not governed by the power politics and private interests of the elite, but determined by all the people in an autonomous fashion that recognized the wide diversity of desired futures.
  • non-representationality: no one is elected to represent anybody else, anyone can participate, their decisions are based on consensus, while participants retain every freedom in their actions.
  • Traditional power plays by established left political parties and unions are not tolerated in the coordinations, when they happen, people simply leave and set up shop elsewhere.
  • Thus authoritarian political organizations are seriously restrained by this format.
  • the multitude is totally open and global from the outset.
  • Current practice has to reflect the desired future, and has to emerge, not from the 'sad passions' of hate and anger, but from the joys of producing a commons.
  • the key conflict is about the freedom to construct the Information Commons, vs. the private appropriation of knowledge by for-profit firms.
  • the key to extracting a surplus is to convert information to a commodity
  • While such a policy can stimulate specific areas through the profit motive, it is also responsible for a structural decay of the scientific commons, that used to be based on the free sharing of scientific findings, and academic peer review.
  • With software and even ideas being patented, there are more and more impediments to the free flow of scientific exchange, and it has become a strain on innovation.
  • IP protection can create temporary, but extendable monopolies—yuck!
  • In the case where monopolization should occur, participants simply leave or create a forking of the project, a new path is formed to avoid the power grab.
  • There is an important counter-trend however, and it concerns the scarcity of attention.
  • Thus techniques such as folksonomies, i.e. communal tagging, or reputation ranking, such as the Karma points used by the Slashdot community, avoid the emergence of autonomous mediating agents.
  • In becoming a people, they become a collective individual.
  • This means that the collective hereby created, is not a 'collective individual', it cannot act with ambition apart from its members.
  • The genius of the protocols devised in peer to peer initiatives, is that they avoid the creation of a collective individual with agency.
  • Anticipating our 'evolutionary' remarks…we can see the above examples as illustrating the new form of protocollary power, which is becoming all-important in a network.
  • or should equipotency be defined in such a way that a certain level of expertise is required, to allow higher quality entries to be filtered upwards?
  • a society is implicitly a form of exchange, and thus in need of comparative standards for such exchange.
  • In theory, it is extremely flexible, based on merit, but in practice various processes of monopolization prohibit the full flowering of such meritocracy.
  • Thus there is a selection before the project, and a hierarchy of networks is created, where everyone finds his place according to demonstrated potential.
  • Within the project, a hierarchy is also immediately created depending on expertise, engagement, and the capacity to generate trust.
  • But in both cases the hierarchies are fluid, not fixed, and always depend on concrete context, the precise task at hand.
  • It's the model of the improvising jazz band, where everyone can in turn be the solo-ist or the trendsetter.
  • Reputation is generated, but constantly on the move.
  • Peer to peer is not anti-hierarchy or even anti-authority, but it is against fixed hierarchies and 'authoritarianism', the latter defined as the tendency to monopolize power, with a will to perpetuate itself and deprive others of resources that it wants for itself.
  • P2P is for equality of participation, for a natural and flexible hierarchy based on real merit and communal consensus.
  • Some authors, like David Ronfeldt and John Arquila of the Rand Corporation, claim we are moving to a cyberocracy, where power is determined by the access to the networks.
  • The freedom to join and participate, to fully express oneself and oneÕs potential, the freedom to change course at any point in time, the freedom to quit.
  • Within the common projects, freedom is constrained through communal validation and consensus (i.e. the freedom of others).
  • But individuals can always leave, fork to a new project, create their own. *The challenge is to find affinities, to create a common sphere with at least a few others and to create effective use value.
  • …Kumon calls it the Wisdom Game. In order to have influence, one must give quality knowledge away, and thus build reputation, through the demonstration of one's Wisdom.
  • The more one shares, the more this material is used by others, the higher oneÕs reputation, the bigger one's influence.
  • One is the fact that the blogosphere has devised mechanisms to avoid the emergence of individual and collective monopolies, through rules that are incorporated in the software itself. —So these are Serious Game Rules, just like the ones Aarde will use
  • Many issues are dependent on hidden protocols, which the user community has to learn to see, so that it can become an object of conscious development, favoring peer to peer processes, rather than the restrictive and manipulative command and control systems.
  • In P2P systems, the formal rules governing bureaucratic systems are replaced by the design criteria of our new means of production, and this is where we should focus our attention.
  • Nexus, a book by Duncan Watts which summarises network theory investigations for the lay public, focuses on small world networks.
  • aristocratic networks are very strong in resisting random attacks, but vulnerable when their connectors are attacked, while egalitarian networks are more vulnerable to random disruption.
  • One of the most interesting findings is the existence of a power law.
  • But the power law is nearly everywhere, suggesting a natural form of concentration and even monopolization as almost inevitable.
  • For example, they are trying to determine the maximum number to obtain efficient non-hierarchically cooperating groups, beyond which centralization and hierarchy sets in.
  • Thus eventually a common idea emerges, that has integrated the differences, not subsumed them.
  • The participants do not feel they have made concessions or compromises, but feel that the new common integration is based on their ideas.
  • There has been no minority, which has succumbed to the majority.
  • There has been no 'representation', or loss of difference. Such is the true process of peer to peer.
  • P2P is not predicated on representation and unity, but of the full expression of difference.
  • One of the recent examples that came to my attention are the annual SEED conferences in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They bring together, native elders, quantum physicists, philosophers, and linguists, none of them assuming superiority over one another, but collectively building truth through their encounter.
  • Peer circles (check the concept in a web search engine) have sprung up worldwide.
  • My friend Remi Sussan stresses that the chaos magick groups on the internet, explicitly see themselves as self-created religions adopting open peer-based processes.
  • Thus, they have something of value, i.e. knowledge and innovation, which is needed by the whole society, as even agricultural and industrial production can no longer proceed without their intervention.
  • And the great issue will be the reform of the state and the global governance system. But they come prepared, with highly efficient modes of organization and knowledge building.
  • First, Marcel Mauss, and his notion of 'total social fact'; second, to the notion of Cornelis Castoriadis, that societies are coherent wholes and systems, otherwise they would collapse, animated by a particular kind of social spirit that is the result of our social imaginary.
  • …late capitalist society cannot survive without knowledge workers and their P2P practices.
  • It can be argued that the adoption of P2P processes is in fact essential for competitiveness: a strong foundation of P2P technologies, the use of free or open source software, processes for collective intelligence building, free and fluid cooperation, are now all necessary facets of the contemporary corporation.
  • The demand for a universal wage, increasingly debated, subject of academic research and government reports, and implemented for the first time in Brazil by President Lula, may well be the next great reform of the system, the wise course of action, awaiting its P2P 'neo-Keynes', a collective able to translate the needs of the cooperative ethos in a set of political and ethical measures.
  • The world system undoubtedly needs a number of important reforms. Amongst those I can think of is
    1. the shift of the monopoly of violence from the nation-state, to an international cooperative body in charge of protecting human rights and avoid genocides and ethnic cleansings; it is no longer acceptable that any nation-state exerts illegitimate violence;
    2. the setting up of regulatory bodies for the world economy, so that a through world society can emerge, in the sense of those proposed by George Soros, David Held and others;
    3. changes in the nature of the system of capital in the sense described by Paul Hawken, David Korten, Hazel Henderson, i.e. a form of natural capitalism that can no longer appropriate the

commons and externalize its environmental costs;

    1. a new integral 'international account systems no longer focused on the endless growth of material production, but on well-being indicators;
    2. changes in the structures of corporations so that it no longer exclusively reflects the interests of the shareholders, but of all the stakeholders affected by its operations—better still: the biosphere, atmosphere and noosphere as its prime stakeholders.
  • Three scenarios of co-existence
    1. The first scenario is peaceful co-existence.
      • the system of authority ranking (feudalism), co-existed with the religious order, organized in a form of Communal Shareholding (the Church and the Sangha), which was the pillar of a redistributive gift economy.
      • …with knowledge workers making money in the private sector, but regularly escaping, as much as they possibly can, to participate in the edification of the Commons.
    2. The second scenario is the dark one.
      • Cognitive capitalism succeeds in partly incorporating, partly destroying the P2P ethos, and an era of information feudalism ensues, a netocratic oligarchy based on access to resources and networks, living on rent monopolies from intellectual property licenses
    3. The third scenario is, from the point of view of P2P advocates, the more hopeful one.
      • After a deep structural crisis, the universal wage is implemented, and the P2P sphere can operate with increasing autonomy, creating more and more use value, slowly creating a cohesive system within the system
      • reduce market pricing mechanisms to their rightful place, as part of the human exchange system, not as its totality.
      • have a core of pure P2P processes, surrounded by a gift economy based on shareable goods, a strong social economy run by non-profit companies, and a reformed market sector, where prices reflect more realistically the true cost of production, such as environmental externalities.
      • This form of natural capitalism has been described by Paul Hawken, David Korten, and Hazel Henderson.
      • …find their purpose in creating added value to the commons, and would attract productive means to the degree they are perceived of doing so.
  • …doing the same thing than the alterglobalisation movement, and that both are related to the production of Linux, and to participative epistemologies.
  • what we must do first is building bridges of cooperation and understanding across the social fields.
  • start to realize our basic commonality with earlier forms of the cooperative ethos: the communal shareholding of the tribal peoples, the solidarity movements of the workers, the environmental and other protectors of our physical commons.
  • workers, and farmers as producing classes share a similar interest in achieving first, a fairer share of the distribution of the surplus
  • Of course, this can no longer take the form of centralized state control, and awaits innovative social practices and demands.
  • The second step is to "furiously" build the commons.
  • When we develop Linux, it is there, cannot be destroyed, and by its very existence and use, builds another reality, based on another social logic, the P2P logic.
  • By feeding our immaterial and spiritual needs outside of the consumption system, we can stop the logic which is destroying our ecosphere.
  • Today, the new ethic says that 'to resist is in the first place to create'.
  • Building the commons has a crucial ingredient: the building of a dense alternative media network, for permanent and collective self-education in human culture, away from the mass-consumption model promoted by the corporate media.
  • Thus, if there is an offensive strategy it would look like this: to build the commons, day after day, the process of creating of a society within society.
  • In this context, the emergence of the internet and the web is a tremendous step forward.
  • Part of the struggle to build the information commons is the struggle for the control of the code' (achieving protocollary power) and the creation of a friendly legal

framework, continuing the efforts pioneered by Richard Stallman and the General Public License and Lawrence Lessig's Copyleft.

  • The third step is the defensive strategy.
  • Above all else what we need is a society that allows the building of the commons, and it is therefore impotant to refuse measures that would foreclose this development.
  • to protect the seed, so that it can grow unimpeded, until such time as it is called for a greater role.
  • an important part of the struggle for decent life for all, important to make space for the development of cooperative practices, will be the instauration of a universal living wage.
  • So that no one dies from hunger, poverty and exclusion from the world of culture.
  • So that an increasing number of us can start working on the creation of real use value, instead of catering to the artificial desires concocted by the global advertising system.
  • But we also know, that through a community of peers, through open processes, answers and solutions can emerge, in a way that they cannot if private interests and domination structures are not transcended.
  • Thus a reform of the global governance system is very important, so that every human being voice can be heard.
  • It is thus not just a matter of an alternative political program, but of alternative processes to arrive at the best solutions.
  • Peer to peer also demands self-transformation.
  • As we said, P2P is predicated on abundance, on transcending the animal impulse based on win-lose games.
  • it is not poverty that makes us unhappy, but inequality.
  • Thus, the P2P ethos demands a conversion, to a point of view, to a set of skills, which allow us to focus ourselves to fulfilling our immaterial and spiritual needs directly, and not through a perverted mechanism of consumption.
  • As we focus on friendships, connections, love, knowledge exchange, the cooperative search for wisdom, the construction of common resources and use value, we direct our attention away from the artificial needs that are currently promoted, and this time we personally and collectively stop feeding the Beast that we have ourselves created.
  • reproducing knowledge is near zero, requires fundamental changes in the intellectual property regime, as reflected by new forms such as the free software movement
  • to the search for an engaged and meaningful life as expressed in one's work, which becomes an expression of individual and collective creativity, rather than as a salaried means of survival
  • that it offers youth a vision of renewal and hope, to create a world that is more in tune with their values; that it creates a new language and discourse in tune with the new historical phase of 'cognitive capitalism'; P2P is a language which every 'digital youngster' can understand
  • it combines subjectivity (new values), intersubjectivity (new relations), objectivity (an enabling technology) and interobjectivity (new forms of organization) that mutually strengthen each other in a positive feedback loop, and it is clearly on the offensive and growing, but lacking political self-consciousness.
  • there is a need for a common initiative, which
    1. brings information together;
    2. connects people and mutually informs them
    3. strives for integrative insights coming from the many subfields;
    4. can organize events for reflection and action;
    5. can educate people about critical and creative tools for world-making
  • the Foundation would be a matrix or womb (just like Aarde's Membrane) which would inspire the creation and linking of other nodes active in the P2P field
  • …there is an emerging sense that those moments in which we are most truly alive and able to express our own unique creative reactions to the others and othernesses around us…—resonates with Christopher Alexander's The Timeless Way of Building.
  • …These values promoted passionate and freely rhythmed work; the belief that individuals can create great things by joining forces in imaginative ways;…
  • Open source harnesses the distributive powers of the Internet, parcels the work out to thousands, and uses their piecework to build a better whole—putting informal networks of volunteer coders in direct competition with big corporations. It works like an ant colony, where the collective intelligence of the network supersedes any single contributor.
  • Because a GPL Society would not be based on exchange, there would be no need for money anymore. Instead of the abstract goal of maximizing profit, the human oriented goal of fulfilling the needs of individuals as well as of mankind as a whole would be the focus of all activities.
  • On the other hand the already visible phenomenon of people interested in a particular area finding each other on the Internet will become central for the development of self-unfolding groups.
  • In a GPL society there is no more reason for a competition beyond the type of competition we see in sports. Instead various kinds of fruitful cooperation will take place.
  • Evolution's Arrow also argues that evolution itself has evolved.
  • It shows how we must change our societies to increase their scale and evolvability, and how we must change ourselves psychologically to become self-evolving organisms.
  • Two critical steps will be the emergence of a highly evolvable, unified and cooperative planetary organisation that is able to adapt as a coherent whole, and the emergence of evolutionary warriors—individuals who are conscious of the direction of evolution, and who use their evolutionary consciousness to promote and enhance the evolutionary success of humanity.
  • the focus has wrongly been on gift economy as an inversion of the logic of market economy, where accumulation of capital is simply replaced with accumulation of moral debt.
  • Odinists took the leaderless resistance concept of [leading white supremacist ideologue] Louis Beam and worked on it, fleshed it out.
  • They found a strategic position between the upper level of known leaders and propagandists, and an underground of activists who do not affiliate as members, but engage instead in decentralized networking and small cells.
  • When immaterial goods can be reproduced at will, the private appropriation of goods make no sense. In the sphere of semiotic capital and cognitive labour, when a product is consumed instead of disappearing, it remains available, while its value increases the more its use is shared.
  • The new social game that begins to prevail in the era of informatization is the game of wisdom, in which the goal is to acquire and exercise wisdom or intellectual influence by disseminating and sharing information and knowledge. Some people call this the game of "reputation." This contrasts with old games of wealth and prestige."
  • In immaterial production, the products are longer material objects but new social (interpersonal) relations themselves.
  • …the production of social relations is the immediate end/goal of production. The wager of Hardt and Negri is that this directly socialized, immaterial production not only renders owners progressively superfluous (who needs them when production is directly social, formally and as to its content ?); the producers also master the regulation of social space, since social relations (politics) is the stuff of their works. The way is thus open for absolute democracy, for the producers directly regulating their social relations without even the detour of democratic representation.
  • the French Physiocrats, could, without laughing, pretend that merchants and manufacturers should not pay taxes because they do not create any true "net product": They do nothing but transport it or modify its form.
  • That which today permits one to envision the possibility that relations of production founded on the principles of free software (production with a view toward satisfying the needs of the community, sharing, cooperation, the elimination of market exchange) could become socially dominant is the fact that these relations are the most able to employ the new techniques of information and communication, and that the recourse to these techniques, their place in the social process of production, can only grow, ineluctably.