I came to a realization today: that all of the theorization and activity around “peer production” and p2p phenomenon is neglecting a fundamental problem: that is the way that people think about, and see themselves really doing something like this.
What does it look like, feel like, for a person who is not an early adopter, or on the fringe of conventions, to create a way of living that is centered around p2p systems?
Well, first of all, there is no way of knowing, seeing as the only people that are really solving problems this way are largely early adopters/people on the fringe/edge.
The question I am asking is: what does it take to convince people, to get them to believe that there is another way, so much so that they are willing to do it in place of what they are doing now?
It’s my opinion that there must be a bridge that looks sturdy enough for people to cross. Where, and who, and how are we building these bridges from where people are at to where we hope they will want to be?
Bridges have to look like something people can understand. Or, you have to be willing to stand at the start of the bridge and convince people as to why they need to cross it. People won’t set foot on your bridge if they don’t trust it, no matter how sturdy you know it to be.
There are many, many people right now looking to bolster their belief that they can do things in ways that their intuition and logic tell them should work, but that seems extinct or non-existent in their perception of their environment.
What I am looking for are really powerful examples that people can lean on as psychological foundations for their own thinking, that show people the hidden realities in their own environments, the connections to opportunities, the building blocks they possessed but did not realize they had.
One example is http://notanemployee.net/ which is really a memetic bridge for people to cross who resonate with the desire to work independently, but not alone. The notanemployee example helps these people to know that some people are declaring that the types of relationships in business are no longer restricted to being hierarchical, and that we can make a choice. And, that independents can work together to help the people who hire them understand that they can get a competitive edge by not trying to control those people who choose to work with them. This makes for better relationships, more adaptability and flexibilty, a higher chance of success. This is a realistic pathway for people to begin to have the freedom to start building systems that are commons and peer-based. 20 years ago, it was unheard of for independent business people to work together closely on creating an ecolgy of trust, mutual respect, and learning/participation commons.
I am hoping that readers here can offer other examples of ways that people are building these kinds of bridges, that allow people to believe it is possible for them to transition out of old systems. We need to get better at building these bridges, caring for them, and showing people how to cross them. Please share here where you see others doing this in effective ways. (I think that what some people refer to as “p2p gender issues” falls under this category, too) Thanks.