Date archives "July 2010"

Piracy and film business models

Producing movies in a copyright free environment is theoretically impossible. The economics don’t make sense. But in the digital era, there are many things that are impossible in theory but possible in practice – such as Wikipedia, Flickr, and PatientsLikeMe. Add to this list: filmmaking to an audience of pirates. Contrary to expectations and lamentations,… Continue reading

The case of Newcastle city (UK): Hilary Wainwrignt on the need for Democratic Public Service Reform

Depressions lead to social devastation. One foundation stone of a new, more humane political economy should be the expansion of democratically reformed public sector. A report, on the city of Newcastle, UK experience by Hilary Wainwright. Full and detailed report via Hilary Wainwright: Public service reform … but not as we know it! “How… Continue reading

Andy Robinson on p2p relationalities vs. institutionalization

This will be heavy going for some, but many interesting points are made here by Andy Robinson, who disagrees with some basic assumptions about relationality, universality, and difference, which I have expressed here. In a nutshell, amongst the challenges: – the existence of human universals – the generalization of object-oriented sociality – the existence of… Continue reading

A bright front-end, a dark back-end: the new realities of privacy and surveillance under netarchical capitalism

In informational capitalism, the same technologies that appear to be fun and a vehicle for self-realisation at the front-end have an entirely different dimension at the back-end. At the front-end, the aesthetics of the commodity4 makes seductive promises about the use-value of goods through advertisement, shopping windows, beautifully arranged department stores. At the back-end workers… Continue reading

Will the internet survive energy contraction?

If I’m right about the end of the internet, it won’t be an immediate event — rather, costs will rise and access will diminish over time. Whether public libraries are restocked during that process, or whether private libraries become the next information nexus, is a good question … What I’ve suggested is that as costs… Continue reading

Dmytri Kleiner’s Critique of Peer Production Ideology

By Dmytri Kleiner: “Imaging that a “better” copyright system or a “freer” Internet could exist within the present system of economic relations is to misplace the deterministic factors. The intrinsic truth in arguments against copyright and the clear technical superiority of distributed technologies over centralized ones have not been the deciding factors in the ultimate… Continue reading

First open commons region in the world: Linz, Austria

The guidelines for the implementation of the “open-commons Region Linz ‘demands include the creation of an open-Commons Advisory Board, the establishment of a coordination center, initiatives for deals in the areas of education (Open Course Ware) and public databases, such as city information or maps (Open Data), revision of the magistratsweiten intranet with the use… Continue reading

“Changing the soul of people”: P2P Culture Wars and the fight against the imperialism of market reason

Must see video by David Harvey below. An excerpt on why it is important: “Harvey says that the academics are refusing to learn from the capitalist crisis, that they are still retailing the same vulgarising neoclassical theories that they have been for a century, and especially since the Seventies. The theories don’t work, don’t explain… Continue reading

What comes after the declining nation-state?

In anthropology, the traditional progression of social order, from lower to higher complexity, is as follows: tribe, big-man group, chiefdom, proto-state, and state. While the lines between these designations are necessarily blurry, there is also a general increase in centralization and hierarchy as one moves from the less complex to the more complex. Do these… Continue reading

Homebrew Industrial Revolution, Chapter Three. Babylon is Fallen (second excerpt)

[Michel Bauwens has kindly invited me to serialize excerpts from my recently published book The Homebrew Industrial Revolution:  A Low-Overhead Manifesto.  Over the next several weeks, I will post two excerpts from each chapter (one excerpt a week).] Peak Energy. In recent decades, the centerpiece of both the energy policy and a major part of… Continue reading

Dale Carrico responds to Cory Doctorow: “Technology” Is Not a Force for Either Liberation or Oppression

Futurists want you to think there is such a thing as “Technology in General” which is going somewhere in particular that only they know about because only they understand the language in which “Technology in General” declares what it wants. In short, they are just another cohort of bamboozling Priests who are passing the collection… Continue reading

Video:Patent Absurdity – how software patents broke the system

Patent Absurdity explores the case of software patents and the history of judicial activism that led to their rise, and the harm being done to software developers and the wider economy. The film is based on a series of interviews conducted during the Supreme Court’s review of in re Bilski — a case that could… Continue reading