Date archives "January 2016"

Rebel Geeks – The Citizens’ Network

This is a 25 minute video about efforts in Bolivia to gain independence from foreign internet services. They are building, literally from scratch, a local communications infrastructure as well as a direct people-to-people local cloud net. Rebel Geeks – The Citizens’ Network This film investigates how Bolivian senator Nelida Sifuentes has led the campaign to… Continue reading

How the Digital Media Environment Enforces Boundaries

In the 1980’s, the ultimate television president, Ronald Reagan, went to Berlin and implored Mr. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” Thanks to the global spectacle of electronic age as well as the unifying image of the earth from space, we were on our way to becoming one world. For better and for worse, both… Continue reading

Video of the Day: Joshua Vial on the Introduction of Capped Investments for Commons Projects

In this important talk, Joshua Vial of the Enspiral ‘ethical entrepreneurial coalition’ introduces the idea of ‘capped investments’. This would guarantee a maximum amount of return for investors, after which the funded infrastructure would be donated to the commons, and the investors thanked for their donation to the commons. Joshua Vial from Enspiral and Dev… Continue reading

Livable vs Non-Livable Basic Income

A low basic income that destroys welfare-based solidarity mechanisms, could have very negative consequences. An important warning from Shannon Ikebe: “Considering the fundamentally different political implications, a basic income above and below the level of a livable income should be treated as different proposals. We could call them a livable basic income (LBI) and a… Continue reading

A Non-Sustainable and Environmentally Unfriendly Project in Stockholm

Prominent Swedes like Assar Lindbeck, Christopher O´Regan, Ehrling Norrby, Caroline Silfverstolple say `no´ to the controversial Nobel Center on Blasieholmen and to the demolition of the beautiful Tullhuset from 1876 classified as a highly culturally valuable building. Radio Sweden on the project (in English):

How to put an end to the urban commons and “sharing” once and for all

The widespread and improper use of “commons” and “sharing” by politicians and companies is leading us towards widespread disillusionment and possibly a very sad decade. A few days ago Portland announced the launch of the largest “sharing” and “smart“ bicycle service in the US. The grandiloquence of the owner (it must be recognized) met its… Continue reading

From the Government of the Precarious to the Self-Government by the Precarious

If we fail to understand precarization, then we understand neither the politics nor the economy of the present. Excerpted from Isabell Lorey: (from the book: State of Insecurity: Government of the Precarious. by Isabell Lorey. Verso, 2015) “If we fail to understand precarization, then we understand neither the politics nor the economy of the present…. Continue reading

Making Networked Sharing Socially Beneficial, Not Just Predatory and Profitable

Every time Uber, the Web-based taxi intermediary, enters a new city, it provokes controversy about its race-to-the-bottom business practices and bullying of regulators and politicians.  The problem with Uber and other network-based intermediaries such as Lyft, Task Rabbit, Mechanical Turk and others, is that they are trying to introduce brave new market structures as a… Continue reading

Decentralized ride-sharing that connects drivers with customers peer-to-peer using the Ethereum blockchain

A project, but this one has traction and may well be a pivot: Arcade City is a project based in the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Details from an interview with co-founder Christopher David: * “CoinTelegraph: You were an Uber driver before. How does this system contrast with traditional ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft?… Continue reading

True Accelerationism (6): Rehabiliting the importance of change at the local level

“Do these myriad stories add up to a viable alternative to the system that’s wrecking the place now? On their own, probably not. But for me, the most important unfolding transformation of all is the emergence, in many places at once, of a new understanding of our place in the world. .. This new story… Continue reading

A critique of the concept of ‘civil society’

Excerpted from the recently deceased Ellen Meiksins Wood: “However constructive its uses in defending human liberties against state oppression, or in marking out a terrain of social practices, institutions, and relations neglected by the “old” Marxist left, “civil society” is now in danger of becoming an alibi for capitalism. Gramsci’s conception of “civil society” was… Continue reading

Nine Key Political Propositions About How To Build the Common

This is excerpted from the second part of an in-depth review of the book, Commun, by Martin O’Shaughnessy. Here, first in summary, are the nine propositions: * Proposition 1: it is necessary to construct a politics of the common: * Proposition 2: we must mobilise rights of use to challenge property rights. * Proposition 3:… Continue reading

Why Explicit Pro-Social Values Are Essential for Societies !

In this article, Peter Turchin makes the very important argument, in a response to Branko Milanovic, that “Naked Self-Interest is a Recipe for Social Dissolution”. Very much worth reading. Peter Turchin: “The main question is whether economic agents, most importantly businessmen (including both corporation officers and business owners), should be motivated solely by self-interest, or… Continue reading

On the importance of knowing the difference between Sharing Private Property vs. Commons vs. Public Property

Excerpted from a great and clarifying contribution from Natalia Fernández, translated by Steve Herrick: “Municipal goods and services are not “commons,” and a rental vehicle from a company-owed fleet is not “collaborative.” Confusing things only can lead to disillusionment and disappointment. Anglo culture and the absence of public policies in the US tended to distort… Continue reading