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Going beyond platform capitalism

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Michel Bauwens
23rd October 2014


“By controlling their ecosystems, platforms create a stage on which every economic transaction can be turned into an auction. Nothing minimizes cost better than an auction – including the cost of labour. That’s why labour is the crucial societal aspect of platform capitalism. It is exactly here that we will have to decide whether to harness the enormous advantages of platform capitalism and the sharing economy or to create a ‘dumping market’ where the exploited amateurs only have the function to push professional prices down.”

Excerpted from sebastian olma, who analyzes the sharing economy for what it is, platform capitalism (or as we call it at the p2p foundation: netarchical capitalism):

“Sascha Lobo, a German technology blogger for Der Spiegel, has recently suggested to drop the obscure notion of “sharing” altogether. “What is called sharing economy,” he argues, “is merely one aspect of a more general development, i.e., a new quality of the the digital economy: platform capitalism.” As Lobo emphasizes, platforms like Uber and AirBnB are more than just internet marketplaces. While marketplaces connect supply and demand between customers and companies, digital platforms connect customers to whatever. The platform is a generic ‘ecosystem’ able to link potential customers to… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Cognitive Capitalism, Economy and Business, Sharing |

Evolutionary Biologist Divulges The Secret To Human Coexisting

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Kevin Flanagan
23rd October 2014


Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change in Majorca, Spain talks with Evolutionary Biologist and Futurist Elisabet Sahtouris about her life’s work. She studied algae which covered Earth in its first 2 billion years to find that there’s a maturation cycle of all life, wherein the costs of competition are too high and the solution for survival is cooperation. She is now applying her finding to the study of the evolution of human society.

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Posted in: Culture & Ideas, Featured Person, Videos |

How to craft a collaborative economy for the 99%

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Michel Bauwens
22nd October 2014


Faircoop _

Towards a second wave of world-changing hacks

In recent years, the collaborative economy has been growing exponentially , reaching a stage of co-dependency with the emerging new forms of the for-profit economy, which we have described in our recent book, ‘Network Society and Four Scenarios for the Collaborative Economy‘. The new ‘netarchical’ (= net-archy, the hierachy of the network) form of capital, is no longer investing in its own production through the hiring of labour, and making products that it sells on the market, but, as Google, Facebook and other platform owners show, is directly capturing profits from the free cooperation and contributions of the 99%. While it may seem a good thing for users that platforms are being built ‘for free’, or that buyers an sellers can directly connect with each other for a fee, it is also very problematic as it creates a deep value crisis, not just for the increasingly precarious workforce, but also for capitalism itself. Indeed, how can we imagine a successful capitalism, that produces products that it can no longer sell, because an increasing number of contributors are no longer paid for their… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Cooperatives, Copyright/IP, Ethical Economy, Original Content, P2P Money, Peer Property |

THE COOPERATIVE MODEL REVISITED – John Restakis

photo of Kevin Flanagan
Kevin Flanagan
22nd October 2014


Today, the second video from  Open Everything which took place last month at Cloughjordan Ecovillage in Ireland. John Restakis independent researcher and teacher on co-operative economies and globalization discusses the challenges facing the cooperative movement.

If you are interested in other videos see the presentation by Peter Couchman of the Plunkett Foundation earlier this week.

Open Everything was organised in partnership with the P2P Foundation, Cultivate and WeCreate FabLab.

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Posted in: Cooperatives |

Book of the Day: Small is Beautiful

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hartsellml
22nd October 2014


* Book: E. F. Schumacher. Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered. 1973

 

Review

Maria Popova:

” a magnificent collection of essays at the intersection of economics, ethics, and environmental awareness, which earned Schumacher the prestigious Prix Européen de l’Essai Charles Veillon award and was deemed by The Times Literary Supplement one of the 100 most important books published since WWII. Sharing an ideological kinship with such influential minds as Tolstoy and Gandhi, Schumacher’s is a masterwork of intelligent counterculture, applying history’s deepest, most timeless wisdom to the most pressing issues of modern life in an effort to educate, elevate and enlighten.” (http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2014/07/07/buddhist-economics-schumacher/)

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Posted in: Ethical Economy, Featured Book, P2P Lifestyles |

One Perspective: The Liberating Potential of Bitcoin

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Guy James
21st October 2014


One of the recurring themes on the P2P Facebook group is whether Bitcoin is a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ thing, or whether it is even a fit subject for discussion in such a group (many think not) – but when one subject generates so much discussion and controversy I inevitably conclude that there must be some real ‘juice’ in the topic and that it is worth looking at it from all possible perspectives, even if they may not necessarily chime with what we personally happen to believe – in other words to consider things in an open-minded spirit of experimentation.

So for that reason I think the following article is worthy of reproducing here, not only because it is clearly written from the heart and with a clear conviction for the potential positive benefits which Bitcoin can bring to the world, but also because it is, I believe, by way of a reply to the discussion between its author and myself that followed my last posting on this subject here. (Another reason for posting the whole article here is that its… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Economy and Business, P2P Money |

THE COOPERATIVE MODEL REVISITED – Peter Couchman

photo of Kevin Flanagan
Kevin Flanagan
21st October 2014


This week we will be posting a series of videos from Open Everything which took place last month at the lovely Cloughjordan Ecovillage in Ireland.

First up we have Peter Couchman Chief Executive of the Plunkett Foundation speaking about the history of the cooperative movement and it’s Irish roots. Open Everything was organised in partnership with Cultivate and WeCreate FabLab.

 

 

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Posted in: Cooperatives |

Video of the Day: Dilar Dirik, Kurdish Women’s Movement

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hartsellml
21st October 2014


Dilar Dirik, Kurdish Women’s Movement at the New World Summit Brussels, 2014. http://vimeo.com/107639261.

At the New World Summit in Brussels (2014), Dilar Dirik, an activist with the Kurdhish women’s movement, and doctoral scholar discusses the conditions under which the PKK operates in the three autonomous cantons in northern Iraq, near the borders of Turkey and Syria. Currently, the region is under assault from Islamic State forces. Her thesis is the unnecessary imposition of the nation-state system in favor of the Stateless State and the role women play, on the front lines, and in society. States are inherently oppressive and violent and under oppressive, statist systems women play the role of reproducers of the state system. There must be emancipation in a meaningful way. In the region around Kobane, the cantons show a resiliency to exist and to maintain a peaceful and democratic system, which is multicultural, within a hostile region both from Turkey and now the Islamic State or “the disgusting mentality which calls itself the Islamic State” which they have been fighting for two years but a conflict which has only just made news, recently. She reports that 70,000 had been displaced in the first 24… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Activism, Featured Video, P2P Warfare |

Towards Blockchain Companies

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
20th October 2014


Excerpted from John Robb:

“A blockchain company isn’t like any company you know.

It’s not run organically (it doesn’t have faux person-hood). It doesn’t have CEO, COO or effing board of directors. It doesn’t go to a fund or a bank for funding. It never floats an issue on Wall Street. Blockchain companies don’t need all of that legal cruft and the parasitic overhead that comes with it.

The entire company is simply open source software. It’s built to provide a function and divide up the rewards of providing that function to the participants.

A company like this runs as software, in the same way bitcoin is run: decentralized. That means the company doesn’t pivot, reorganize, or recapitalize. It either provides a useful function it gets paid to do, or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t work, it is replaced by a new company that does it better.

A blockchain company doesn’t have shares of stock. Everything that it earns is paid to the people in possession of the companies coin on a pro rata basis (using the blockchain currency of choice). Ownership is simply a call on this revenue, and all it is paid out in real time.

Earning a blockchain company’s coin is… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Economy and Business, Ethical Economy, P2P Business Models, P2P Governance |

Video of the Day: Michel Bauwens on why the P2P Foundation supports Fair.coop

photo of Stacco Troncoso
Stacco Troncoso
20th October 2014


This video interview between me and Michel Bauwens was filmed by our associate Kevin Flanagan and recorded at a break during the Open Everything Convergence held in the Cloughjordan Ecovillage in Tipperary, Ireland. In the video Michel explains why the P2P Foundation supports Fair.coop and its unheard-of experiment to create a new global economic system.

How do they intend to achieve this? By taking the most desirable characteristics of cryptocurrencies while palliating their shortcomings by embedding the whole project within a transnational, P2P and Commons oriented Open Co-op. You can find out more about Fair.coop in their very comprehensive website.

 

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Posted in: Commons, Cooperatives, Culture & Ideas, Economy and Business, Ethical Economy, Featured Content, Featured Video, Guest Post, Media, P2P Collaboration, P2P Foundation, Videos |