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Bioecon – build a more human economy in harmony with life

photo of Sepp Hasslberger
Sepp Hasslberger
29th July 2015


Bioecon can be used as a tool to connect the different forms of solidarity economies on the globe. It is a project born in Argentina after the crisis hit there.

Bioecon is a peer to peer, growth sensitive, decentralized and self regulated economic agreement in which the means of exchange is produced by participants as a result of our activity.

Products, services, and projects for which we commonly use money can be accomplished using agreement-based resources leaving money, credit and debt outside the equation. Establish networks of trust in local and long distance environments.

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 20.38.15

www.bioecon.net

Bioecon introduces a new module to support virtual collaboration with users located in any part of the world, allowing participants to post projects and invite and receive proposals.

There can be many participants for a same project, contributing in different ways, all interacting in a peer-to-peer basis, but sharing a common Workroom where they can exchange communications and files efficiently, provide each other feedback and request reports through the Bioecon system.

Since this is a new functionality we are looking for the first members to try out and provide feedback. You can help a lot… Continue reading »

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Posted in: P2P Business Models, P2P Collaboration, P2P Technology |

The Hyper-Exploitative Labor Practices of Amazon.com

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
29th July 2015


Excerpted from Trebor Scholz, first, on the working conditions in the warehouses:

“Let’s start by asking for a show of hands: who has ever purchased anything from Amazon.com? It is incredibly convenient but, as I will show, in the shadows of this convenience linger the social costs for Amazon’s workers. Behind the screen: wage theft and total workplace surveillance. This is one of Amazon’s so-called “inactivity reports.” These documents are issued by the company to its warehouse workers. The example here is from Germany; I translated it for you:

– Colleague … was inactive 07:27 am to 07:36 am (9 minutes). was inactive from 07:13 to 07:14 (1 minute).

In Leipzig, Germany, one logistics worker in an Amazon “fulfillment center” was accused of having been inactive on two occasions. Consequently, he was fired five minutes after his second “digression.”

Such densification of labor, to use labor scholar Ursula Huws’s term, is possible because workers are carrying scanners that can be tracked and supervisors constantly monitor warehouse workmen. It’s Taylor’s… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Crowdsourcing, P2P Labor |

Nicole Foss Interview

photo of Øyvind Holmstad
Øyvind Holmstad
29th July 2015


The full interview with Nicole Foss of The Automatic Earth from the upcoming documentary A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity.
More info about the film: http://wurrukan.org/film

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Posted in: P2P Energy, Videos |

The European left in shock after the defeat of Greece

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
28th July 2015


Six months after promising the end of austerity, the Syriza leadership had to sign an agreement which not just imposes an extreme neoliberal impoverishment of its people, but actually suspends democracy, since the agreement explicitely states that no laws can be voted without agreement of the European institutions.

The radicality of this defeat is not just a defeat for the Greek left, but for the European left. Signs of this are the popular majorities in most western countries which blame Greece for the crisis, and the lack of solidarity from any mainstream left parties throughout the continent.

The debate for the last ten or even twenty years was one between those that argue for ‘changing the world without taking power’ and those that argued for ‘changing the workd by taking power’. The first camp is arguing now very strongly that the second camp’s strategy has been shown to be a dead end. We will intervene on this issue ourselves on this issue later on, but this video here below, is quite representative for the way in which progressive political forces are debating the issue. I’ve listened already to the first thirty minutes and highly recommend this quality dialogue.

However, from a specific… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Commons Transition, P2P Movements, P2P Public Policy, Politics, Videos |

HORNET – Onion routing at network level to speed up and secure anonymous communications

photo of Sepp Hasslberger
Sepp Hasslberger
28th July 2015


Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 19.27.05

This is a paper proposing improvements to onion routing, which anonymises data traffic and communications on the internet. The proposal is to put the routing protocol at network level, providing higher speed transmission and adding encryption features.

HORNET: High-speed Onion Routing at the Network Layer

In this paper, we address the question of “what minimal mechanism can we use to frustrate pervasive surveillance?” and study the design of a high-speed anonymity system supported by the network architecture. We propose HORNET, a scalable and high-speed onion routing scheme for future Internet architectures. HORNET nodes can process anonymous traffic at over 93 Gb/s and require no per-flow state, paving the path for Internet-scale anonymity. Our experiments show that small trade-offs in packet header size greatly benefit security, while retaining high performance.

Recent revelations about global-scale pervasive surveillance programs have demonstrated that the privacy of Internet users worldwide is at risk. These revelations suggest massive amounts of private data, including web browsing activities, location information, and personal communications are being harvested in bulk by domestic and foreign intelligence agencies. The surveillance-prone design of the Internet accompanied by the decreasing cost… Continue reading »

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Posted in: P2P Infrastructures, P2P Software, P2P Technology |

The economics of Laudate Si as commons economics !

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
28th July 2015


There is … a different sort of economics that helps us see the sense in what Francis proposes—the economics of the commons. This is a tradition that includes the “all things in common” described in the New Testament Book of Acts and the primacy of the common good over private property, upheld from Augustine to modern social teaching. People throughout history have practiced the art of “commoning” to steward goods that states and markets are not equipped to handle. The late Elinor Ostrom won a Nobel Prize in economics for her research on how longstanding communities govern resources like fisheries and forests, and today the commons of information is undergoing a revival through practices like open-source software. Communities manage their commons in many different ways, using many of the same tools we use to manage our households—like relationship, custom, listening, ritual and love. Act like a greedy homo economicus at the dinner table, and don’t expect to be offered dessert.

Nathan Schneider does it again!

“The encyclical’s heading therefore presents it as an economics for the world we hold in common. But what kind of economics is it?

As the document’s most uncomfortable critics have pointed out, the pope has little… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Commons, Commons Transition, P2P Ecology, P2P Spirituality |

Essay of the Day: The More-Than-Human Commons: commoning is caring

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
28th July 2015


A really excellent and well-written (draft) essay on the implications of the commons for how we relate to each other and to other natural beings:

* Source: The More-than-Human Commons : From Commons to Commoning. Patrick Bresnihan. Forthcoming Chapter in Space, Power and the Commons, Routledge.)

Excerpted from Patrick Bresnihan:

“Where the more-than-human commons departs from other interpretations is in recognizing how the starting point is not an individual subject separated from other people and the world around them, but a relational subject who is always already caught up in a world that is intimately shared . This understanding is not based on an ideal but on the materially and socially constituted relations and practices that tie humans and non-humans together within a particular collective or territory. If we talk of ‘use-rights’ in the commons then these must be contingent on ongoing participation in the production and care of the commons understood as the entire collective of humans, animals, artifacts, elements that are necessary to maintain life processes. This meaning can already be found in the roots of the word ‘commons': ‘com’ (together) and ‘munis’ (under obligation). First, this tells us that the commons is produced together, reflecting our inter-dependence, the… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Commons, Featured Essay, P2P Collaboration, P2P Epistemology, P2P Subjectivity, P2P Theory, Peer Production |

Essay of the Day: Open Source Finance Hacking

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
27th July 2015


“The hacker drive for de-alienated self-empowerment throws up tricky issues. As people with a hacker impulse gain confidence, they can become increasingly intolerant towards conventions, but also towards institutions like large welfare systems, which are viewed as being alienating in their own way. When combined with the individualistic streak, this can make for a libertarian political impulse. At its best, that can be a left-leaning libertarianism concerned with how to empower the underdog from the bottom up, showing solidarity with those in less empowered positions, similar to anarchist mutual aid. In its negative incarnation, though, hacker culture can fetishise personal liberty, a conservative ‘don’t tell me what to do’ libertarianism associated with people who already have power and who do not particularly go out of their way to help spread it. We see this in the likes of libertarian activist Adam Kokesh, who says ‘fuck you’ to authorities, but without really offering much empathy to those who are not empowered, skilled, or connected enough to be as bold as he.”

* Article: Open source finance hacking: The potentials and problems. Brett Scott. Spanda Journal, Special Issue: Spanda Journal special issue on “Systemic Change”, VI, 1, June 2015. Edited by… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Economy and Business, Featured Essay |

Feed Bristol: an example of how food as a commons works

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
27th July 2015


Excerpted from Sophie Laggan:

Feed Bristol is a project that provides one example of how food as a commons works. The five-acre urban farm is managed by a group of volunteers and a few full-time staff. The volunteers are largely recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and use the site as a way to reconnect with nature, learn valuable skills and meet new people. The project successfully produces food using organic principles and shares the surplus among volunteers. They also plant local varieties and wildflowers to encourage pollination and offer courses and other learning opportunities for anyone who comes to visit.

Since Feed Bristol began in 2012, Project Manager Matt Cracknell says the social return on investment has been £6.7 million as of 2014. The project does not accrue profits nor does it overexploit the land; it has been conceived holistically to bring multiple benefits with minimal technological input. It is connected to Sims Hill Shared Harvest, a community supported agriculture project that delivers free or subsidised vegetable boxes to households in exchange for work. By using people power there is less need for machinery, while the financial barriers of eating organic food are reduced.”

Sophie Laggan stresses the… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Commons, Food and Agriculture |

Debating Post-Capitalism (1): a critique by Michael Roberts

photo of Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens
27th July 2015


I expect to see more critical engagements with Paul Mason’s important new book.

This first one, based on the introductory essay which appeared in the Guardian, is by the Marxist economist Michael Roberts, a long excerpt:

” I have a lot of issues with what Mason argues and concludes. He starts his article of explanation pessimistically by suggesting that neoliberalism has more or less triumphed in its aims for capitalism leaving ‘old labour’ methods and ideas in disarray: “over the past 25 years it has been the left’s project that has collapsed. The market destroyed the plan; individualism replaced collectivism and solidarity; the hugely expanded workforce of the world looks like a “proletariat”, but no longer thinks or behaves as it once did.”

The first question that springs to mind here is: does Mason think there is still a ‘proletariat’ or not? Because he is right: far from the working class, even the industrial working class, declining or disappearing, it is growing globally. See my post,
https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/de-industrialisation-and-socialism/.

The proletariat may be getting larger globally but, according to Mason, it “no longer thinks or behaves as it once did.” What does Mason mean? Does he mean that the… Continue reading »

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Posted in: Commons Transition, P2P Books, P2P Theory, Politics |