4th Inclusiva - Michel Bauwens - Peer Production

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Michel Bauwens at 4th Inclusiva

Read To the Finland Station, a 21st century update by Michel Bauwens
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What does vectoralism have to do with the point discussed?

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 7.00 minutes
  • What is Peer Production? 
  • "Open and free, input, participatory process, and commons oriented output"
  • In every field of human endeavour, p2p enabled, it becomes freely available to everyone.
  • Global capitalism has peeked. 
  • P2P is the salvation of capitalism.
  • For two to three centuries capitalism was a crutch for the decaying futile system
  • Capitalism is sick; we'll have a green capitalism; but it will not work, but in the meantime, fall onto universal peer production
  • Sharing can use the crisis beneficial for personal/community growth using p2p methods.
  • Crisis of modernity. Profound changes going on in creating a new human being.
  • A new structure of desire surfaces limited by our present system.
  • "If modernity was about liberating the individual from these community constraints, was about atomizing the individual--and it been pretty successful at destroying our relational and community infrastructure--then I would argue [gap!] the shift from individuality to relationality"
 'The P2P 'Tipping Point
  • The most profound finding of the 2006 Edelman Trust Barometer is that in six of the 11 countries surveyed, the "person like yourself or your peer" is seen as the most credible spokesperson about a company and among the top three spokespeople in every country surveyed. This has advanced steadily over the past three years.
  • In the US, for example, the "person like yourself or your peer" was only trusted by 22% of respondents as recently as 2003, while in this year's study, 68% of respondents said they trusted a peer. Contrast that to the CEO, who ranks in the bottom half in credible sources in all countries, at 28% trust in the US, near the level of lawyers and legislators. In China, the "person like yourself or your peer" is trusted by 54% of respondents, compared to the next highest spokesperson, a doctor, at 43%
  • "only 13% of consumers say they buy products because of their ads. Contrast that to 60% of small business owners in North America that say they use peer recommendations to make their buying decisions and over 70% of 18-35 year olds who report the same for their media purchases."
   P2P defined as: 
  • The relational dynamic at work in distributed networks
  • Hierarchical, de-centralized networks, distributed networks
   'Levy: from the molar to the molecular'
<tbody> </tbody>
(natural time)
(generational time)
 'Web 2.0 and P2P'
  • In Web 2.0, the value is created by the user/participants: The Web 2.0 unlocks the 'wisdom of crowds'
  • Web 2.0 tools enable that participation: The Web 2.0 renders data independent of the application; and application independent of the program: mash-ups and open API's
  • Web 2.0 business models fund the participation through an attention economy, BUT, 'there's a price to be paid' (implicit social contract)
  • Self aggregated value is captured by markets rather than created by them.
   'P2P Social Processes'
  1. The ability to produce in common: Peer Production as a third mode of production
  2. The ability by participants to manage distributed projects by themselves: Peer Governance as a third mode of governance
  3. The ability to protect the common project from private appropriation: Peer Property as a third mode of non-exclusionary property
 'The Revolution of Equipotentiality
  • "...People would experience others as equals in the sense of their being both superior and inferior to themselves in varying skills and areas of endeavor (intellectually, emotionally, artistically, mechanically, interpersonally, and so forth), but with none of those skills being absolutely higher or better than others..." - Jorge Ferrer?
  • Capitalist labor vs. P2P labor:
  • From division of labor to distribution of tasks
  • In p2p groups no single entity can 'take over' or tell the group what to do. 
 Characteristics of Peer Production (1)
  • No division of labour, but distribution of labour; equipotentiality
  • No exclusivity, but inclusivity; anti-crendentialism
  • No composite tasks; but granular tasks; self-selection
  • No products, but always unfinished 'artifacts'
  • P2P is object related, culturally agnostic, inclusion-exclusion based on merit or 'how well do you contribute to my cause, our cause'?
  • Alexander Galaway Protocol : Book : How power functions in a distributed network: power there is no 'us or them'; the power is in the design; what is it in the design simplifies or difficult; for example; why is it so difficult to get privacy protection in Facebook? Advertising revenue.
  • Which social forces are using the network?
 Peer Governance as 3rd modality
<tbody> </tbody>



         Peer Production
         Separation of 
         Collective State
         Private Exclusionary
Peer Property
  • The partner state. enabled p2p with a public policy central planning. 
  • Commons insures universal availability
   Two forms of peer property 
   1) sharing property : creative commons : this is mine, but here's the conditions for sharing
   2) commons : GLP: recognition is given but anyone can use
   For as long as commons creating communities do not make commons oriented platforms, youtube and google will remain
   John Heron. The Evolution of Hierarchy. 
<tbody> </tbody>
           Degrees of Moral Insight
           Relationship between hierarchy, cooperation, autonomy
           no rights of political participation
           Hierarchy defines, controls and constrains co-operation and autonomy
           Early Modern
           political participation through representation
           Hiararchy empowers a measure of co-operation and autonomy in the policial sphere only
           Late Modern
           political representation with varying degrees of wider participation
           Hiararchy empowers a measure of co-operation and autonomy in the political sphere and in varying degrees in other spheres
           P2P Era
           Equipotential rights of participation of everyone in every field
           The sole role of hierarchy is in its spontaneous emergence in the initiation and contrinous flowering of autonomy-in-co-operation in all spheres of human endeavor
  • Market in the form of a corporation is a 'futile system'. 
  • Corporate communism. You're basically in a futile relationship.
  • You have departments, you have chief. 
  • "It's pretty aweful, isn't it?"
  • Netarchical Capitalism
  • Roman Empire
  • Slave ownership market stagnated
  • Barbarians came in to reform the economy
  • Hypothetical: Instead of 1000 soldiers I only need 100. 
  • the serf is more motivated than the slave
  • futile lords that became investors in corporations became capitalist.
  • Some enlightened capitalist. intellectual property doesn't work any more. so we have capital organizations, like Google-youTube, embraces peer production on its own terms 

 Institutions vs. Communities 
 Musical Regulation and Resistant 
 Site of Institutional Power                    Target of Institutional Power 
 1. Legal                  >>> Regulation             1. Aesthetic 
 2. Ideological                                            2. Praxis 
 3. Commercial          <<< Resistance             3. Technology 
  • Class struggle in the p2p by going from factory workers to factory owners.
  • Netarchy - Shark / Dolphin
  • Shark operates in a scarce environment. Only so many fish. Only so much attention for advertisement. 
  • Dolphi. If you are only a shark, fish do not want to come with you.
  • Amazon Google uses shark and dolphin. 
  • Class struggle of p2p environment vs. youtube; Google profit making enterprise. 
 Evolution of Hierarchy (2): Power
  • Premodern era: custom and force:
    • "Make die, and let live" 
  • Early modern era: disciplinary societies
    • "Make live and let die"
  • Late modern era: control societies
    • "control the desire; a posteriori control, the metaphor of the elastic"
  • P2P era: reputation societies?
<tbody> </tbody>
           Time ????
           Cooperation &
           Quality of 
(feudal; imperial)
Extrinsic negative
           Zero Sum:
"Power Game
Extrinsic positive
           Zero Sum:
Win-win: Draw
"Money Game"
           P2P era
Intrinsic positive
           The 4 wins
"Wisdom Game"


   Evolution of Hierarchy (2): Power
<tbody> </tbody>
(agency of)
(make die, 
Let live)

(let die,
make live)

1844 (telegraph)

Seperation/ balance of powers
           Organized civil society (NGO)
           Peer Circles
  • Its the difference between abundance and scarcity.
  • P2P is... 
  • Beyond democracy
  • beyond capitalism
  • beyond hierarchy 
  • Because those are based on allocating scarce resources.
  • NGOs too are a hierarchy. (ie little devils)
  • P2P Foundations only manage the scarcity level is not an NGO type. 
  • P2P is more productive. In futile systems there is little motivation to produce well. Capitalism is that of equivalent exchange in theory; and relies on a more motivation than futile system; but the limits are based on self interest based on payment or profit; p2p filters only passionate, positive reciprocity, contribution. Peer production is hyperproductive. 
 'The Laws of Asymmetric Competition'
  1. In a competition between a for-profit entity with closed proprietary strategies, and a for-benefit institution working with a community and a commons, and an ecology of business, the latter will tend to win out
  2. In a competition between for profit companies, those using open/free, participatory, and commons oriented strategies will tend to win out
  • Hybrid emergence: aligns with for-benefit with ecology of business will tend to be stronger than one that doesn't. So if you have a free software product that has corporate backing at some point will have a stronger following than one that does. 
  • The weakness of peer production: with the 1/9/90 rule : relies on core leadership to drive and realize a peer production project. The weakness of peer production is core leadership. 
  • A triarchical . corporate funding support for-benefit institution.
  • hire people from the community
  • 75% of people working for Linux are paid for a wage
  • When does p2p stop being peer production?
  1. open-free input 
  2. participatory 
  3. process commons
  • If I am IBM and I say go to work for Linux, this is not open and free.
  • I hire 10,000 people then you can work for Linux, this does not undermine
  • If you have a Basic Income this would not undermine peer production.
  • Most free software working for companies said they can do pretty much what they want. 
   'The role of capital?'
  • The cost of starting an Internet company has gone down by 80% over the last 8 years
  • "Companies no longer need to raise lots of cash, no longer need lots of people, no longer need to even directly sell anything at all to be considered successful. They need revenue, of course, but that's mainly through advertising. And they need to create something people want to use. But Super Bowl ads? Forget those.
  • So there is plenty of money available--nearly $1 trillion--but it is coming at a time when, as I have just described, a whole new class of start-ups has appeared that doesn't want VC money--at least not very much of it."
  • Conclusion: 1) emergence of 'non-capitalist' social entrepreneurs; 2) capital needed 'a posteriori', after prior success
  • Bittorent was funded on debt rather than financial capital.
  • 'Why P2P will grow'
  • In immaterial production peer production is growing
  • 'Striking a Critical Balance between Giving It Away and Making Money...'
  • [slide]
  • Leading to new business models. 
  • Stock exchange competition, build commodity for free, to sell products around it. 
  • The social sharing of physical goods. Fractional ownership. Women that share prada bags. 
  • We're creating a post-monetary economy. 
  • Paid and Closed is only kept due to market and politics. 
 93. P2P Politics
 'P2P and Markets'
 Differences between peer production and the market
  • Markets do not function according to the criteria of collective intelligence and holoptism, but rather, in the form of insect-like swarming intelligence. Yes, there are autonomous agents in a distributed environment, but each individual only [has?] his own immediate benefit.
  • Markets are based on 'neutral' cooperation, and not on synergistic cooperation: no reciprocity is created.
  • Markets operate for the exchange value and profit, not directly for the use value.
  • Whereas P2P aims at full participation, markets only fulfill the needs of those with purchasing power.
   Amongst the disadvantages of markets are:
  • They do not function well for common needs that do not assure full payment of the servicce rendered (national defense, general policing, education and public health), and do not only fail to take into account negative externalities (the environment, social costs, future generation), but actively discourages such behavior.
  • Since open markets tend to lower profit and wages, it always gives rise to anti-markets, where oligopolies and monopolies use their privileged position to have the state 'rig' the market to their benefit. The theoretical peer-like qualities of agents in free markets are absent from capitalism.
  • Holoptism means every point of the system in theory can know what's happening in the entire system. 
  • You do Linux to make a product
  • In a market you sell software to make a profit
  • Market is "win-win" ; the market-p2p hybrid is "win-win-win" 
  • P2P is highly depended on the market, yet
  • but acknowledge the market has always been dependent on externalities such as the commons (or user innovation) 
  • Market and p2p is symbiotic rather than parasitic
  • Our market has so much value from peer production; but basic income; can help support peer production; in the middle ages spiritual practice was a relief from obligations to support the commons which facilitates the crown and market.
     'P2P and the Market: Immanence'
  • P2P is highly dependent on the market
  • The market is highly dependent on peer production and social innovation
  • Many peer production projects rely concretely on a business ecology - i.e. Linux & IBM
  • An increasing number of corporations are commons-dependent
  • Peer production and externalization are part of the value chain, the production chain, the cost-benefit calculations of corporations
  • P2P points beyond the market; non-reciprocal form of peer production

 'P2P and the Market: Transcendence'
  • P2P remains a non-reciprocal form of production
  • No pricing, no corporate hierarchy, no market allocation of resources
  • P2P is dependent on the market, but also restricted by the market: unrealized social value waiting to be unlocked
  • P2P can be part of a political project to transcend the current political economy
  • You do not exchange with the person, but exchange with the common. Give a brick, get a house. I do not have to write anything and use it; like Wikipedia. 
  • It is not a gift economy. 
  • The market problem:
  • Treat finite resources as abundant; information is restricted

  • P2P says lets relax the artifical scarcity and let's consider the existing scarcities in the world; including social justice.
  • We need three forces for change: environmental movement, social movement for fair share, we need free culture movement or p2p, we fight for one particular aspect for our world. We have the blueprint for a sustainable society. 
 'P2P and the Market as field of tension'
  • Who rules: from cognitive capitalist, via vectoralists to netarchists
  • From the Second to the Third Enclosures?
  • From a crisis of value capture to a crisis of accumulation?
   'The crisis of value'
  • We have a technology to exponentially expand use value, but we are restricted to the linear growth of the market. (Michel makes an art piece to describe this point)
  • The monetary system is unable to fund p2p. 
  • But p2p saves the system.
  • Michel describes his work in oil in British Petroleum. He saw the purchasing of renewable of energy companies. 
  • The next stage of capitalist growth, if it occurs, will need more participation. 
  • K7 will be based on a new social contract need to acknowledge p2p realities and p2p practices.
  • P2P will strengthen production. This is not passive. We can fight for more ethical social contracts. 
  • After 1929 we had the welfare state. 
  • "If you would dare to see my wiki" ;p 
   'The politics of Web 2.0'
   Web 2.0 and peer producers, the dolphin/shark dilemma:
  1. Who owns the platform (netarchical and vectoralist strategies)
  2. is the infrastructure open/free
  3. Participatory design: is true sharing possible?
  4. Who owns the content? (third enclosures)
  5. Monetization strategies (revenue sharing)
  • Build autonomous distributed structures; at the same time; work with sharing and p2p communities. 
  • Pirate Party after an attack on The Pirate Bay
     'What kind of 'intersubjectivity'? 
     Alan Page Fiske's Relational Model
  • Reciprocity: The Gift Economy (tribalism)
  • Authority Ranking: The Tributary Economy (feudalism)
  • Market Pricing: The Market Economy (capitalism)
  • Communal Shareholding: The Sharing Economy (peer to peer)
  • P2P society is a possibility. Based on the anthropological work of Alan Page Fiske. 
  • In his vision a tribalism is a gift economy. 
  • Goods in a futile economy are based on a rank.
  • Communal sharing: give what you can, have what you need
  • In Thailand is the Sun God; Buddah said the older monks walk ahead of younger monks. Buddahism is futile modeled after the dominant futile mode. Religion today has adopted the market mode.
  • How can we imagine the p2p. People contribute freely to open design, local and global. 
       P2P method: You design as a community for a product for users rather than profit 
  • We design new machines for products rather than obsolescence profit.
  • Machines are designed for rapid prototyping.
  • For p2p society: an open core: with different modalities: the trick is how do we create a linkage between immaterial peer production and physical production which remains capitalist; can we imagine other ways of producing physically without infinite growth systems.
  • We have to be pragmatic. 
  • Arduino. Open design for circuit board; which can build on China; Italian demand for the board for quality (and probably mystique). Arduino is building thier own bank; a mechanism for social lending; a distributed monetary structure; this is how the new world is born; if it works; we have a new pattern; for benefit copy each other when designs are proven to work. Hardware central bank ;p. When it turns out to work; other communities will copy it. In old we build the seeds of the new. 
  • If you believe in p2p you believe in distributed system that can self aggregate freely.
  • Open Source Ecology. 14 key technologies needed to sustain a community. Open sourcing each design one by one. 
  • Money is important part of it. Marixist view: exploitation is built into money. 
  • Money in p2p is a protocol and it can be fed back into peer production. 
  • Money only buys stealing from someone else.
  • In a capitalist system they must grow to pay back debt since interest became acceptable after Luther.
  • We need p2p money
  • and p2p energy
  • After the fall of Rome, the church was the institutional survivor. 
  • In a p2p community, we have more attachment to free software than corporate, but that is not true today. Why? Market still do things better than us. 
  • What to think of inclusional capitalism, based on the pyramid of capitalism?
  • So variety of people who like markets are starting to critique capitalism from within.
  • We need to move from income based capitalism to outcome
  • Blended value: you do well by doing good
  • P2P is a future model. People are using corporate forms as they break with the logic of capital. Social capitalism is a business, but a business with a social aim. "I think this is a positive development." Partnership based capitalism, emerging. Its not pure p2p, but a positive sign things are moving in the right direction. 
  • "I think" 2008 is a systemic shock to K6. Crowd funding; renewable energy; giving us time as p2p communities to complete the gap. 
  • 137. We need to observe and create seeds for the old; when capitalism collapses we are the Catholic church; we are the monks; after the roman empire they created the whole economy, agriculture; a global design community; it was not a paradise; but this template of global culture with free contribution is a good vision for the future. 
 (Well done, Michel! -Nathan)
  • P2P Money. Not sure of what form it should take. Growth rate of local currency is steady. They have a problem scaling; stopping at a few thousand people. In Switzerland has 60,000 members when the economy goes well they use the Swiss Franc and accept 10% "We're", then when the economy goes down the give 50% We're. China is still growing; because they are growing an alternative. Meta-currency project. Too early for open money; but its in development. 
  • P2P Education. Pessimistic about institutions in education. We do not need institutions to educate. In p2p communities we learn from each other. For increasing fields; people bypass institutions; which we hope will help them open up. The neoliberal logic is getting worse in educational institutions. Just an academic for the past 5 months. 
  • P2P is better because it is more inclusive? Value sensitive design. Yes p2p creates more inclusion, and some exclusion, even some unaware of, in the country where I live, they need training to be articulate enough to participate. Literacy first created more inequality; but at the same time; it was worse than being an illiterate peasant; then the labor movement fought for literacy; library; value sensitive design recognizes redesigns for quality, participation. Study of netlabels; that promote not just the top; if too many men; we ask what are we doing or not doing; if we go to burning man meant to be open--you don't see blacks; weakness of p2p is its object oriented. What we need is an ecology of p2p, so it can care about of variety of different topics. So we need a global social system; perhaps keep social security, like basic income; but the core will be in open design communities rather than corporate. 
  • Exploitation. I do think there is exploitation; wage relationship; society accepts it; its the same in sharing platform; yes there is exploitation, but they find it acceptable to share under certain conditions; other issue; crowding-out; money for blood was less efficient than voluntary system; if you introduce tit-for-tat in p2p people will start acting strategically for money; youtube for money; but if people put up videos for money; so the question is: what do we really want? the model of free software is to freely contribute to ackowledge commons to make a living on the market so we can always contribute freely; if we had basic income we could do that on a more regular basis. Like in bittorrent it is acceptable because it rewards contribution in a general way; in bittorrent it helps to have a sharing mechanism by default; but it does not stimulate them to filter the sharing; but it can go wrong; the last thing I want is a neoliberal logic in a sharing community.
 Michel drinks Coca-Cola ;p
  • Q. We want that software to remain free. We want to be able to copy. Its an ethical issue. But the ethical approach is unclear. P2P network, free clients; not the same as centralized company; like wealthiest company in the world Google; a whole list of infrastructure; they manage other peoples content. We want this content to remain ours; we want people to do in a centralized service, but we want to do the same as they do; you said as before this does not matter; I believe you are concealing exploitation; most people do not believe in that exploitation; we still have a digital gap; the 'haves' and 'have nots' in Spain; people do not know what we're using; we do not know how it work; a long time ago the land belongs to those who works the land; in some places this philosophy remains (Spanish Anarchists?); in the communications field; it is not owned by the person who owned by those who communicate; but 'Donkey' is or in file exchange networks we have the example of Kazaa, Bittorrent; Kazaa is proprietary protocol with proprietary programs. And they make some profit installing spy software and moleware reselling data without authorization and consent; they sell to third party; but under what conditions do we use p2p software? This is an ethical dilemma; we either comply with the license or sign a contract with slavery; we wave our freedom to copy a program; and we sign this ; to Facebook; Google; when we sign this agreement we face an ethical dilemma. We cannot share the platform. I'd like to remind you; of something Adry Lord said you cannot destroy the landlords house with the landlord's tools; if we make people aware of what makes things work. Youtube is not a consist way; not the right place; to implement the change towards a truly p2p distributed network; to conclude I'd like to read a quote: a poem: uhh: Google is Big Brother. ;p
  • A. Today we have enabling technology from which the magic will occur. Technology is one way, but not the only way; It has centralization mechanism; China can shut it off; can aggregate; generate value; wiki; the goal for me is not purity of the structure; but ultimately its the people/culture that decide what to do with the technology; people are using Facebook to organize; human rights; thinks its fantastic; independent infrastructure is apart of it; just focusing on independent p2p infrastructure is problematic; if ethics were all we needed; Jesus would have changed the world; be pragmatic for a more p2p independent outcome.