Core Peer-2-Peer Collaboration Principles

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Project initiated by Ryan Lanham

Some brief portions of the document derive from or are copied verbatim from Core Public Engagement Principles -- Explanatory Text for Version 3.0 associated with the Public Engagement Principles Project forum at [1]


Principles

Section 1: Toward a Peer to Peer (p2p) Ethos[1]Template:Ethos[2]Template:Ethos

Article 1. P2P Interactions

A. High quality p2p interactions exist between peers. Peers typically recognize and interact with each other without reference to rank or hierarchies.

B. Peers' willingness to interact is not primarily linked to external drivers. External drivers might include, for example, prestige in undertaking an interaction, financial gain, or duty.

C. P2P interactions are not amoral or value neutral. The p2p ethos embodies trying to act with goodness and goodwill as well as with practical skills and wisdom.

D. Peer interactions are judged (by others who aspire to a p2p ethos) as qualitatively superior if linked to contributing to a commons.

E. Another measure of quality is the contribution to mission critical functionality. For example, this might involve efforts that save lives, advance learning and understanding, enable sustainable economic processes or otherwise support or enable key components of the public good as openly understood in free, deliberative and collaborative societies.

F. P2P interactions attempt to minimize mediating forces or organizations. Hierachies that impose governance on p2p interactions that are otherwise consistent with social standards and laws are not appropriate to the ethos. This is particularly true if the party imposing governance is acting with some interest other than enabling smooth, stable and harmless p2p interactions.

G. A p2p ethos is inconsistent with the purposeful extraction of value from interactions when no such value is contributed directly to a given interaction. Simply enabling future actions is not a creation of p2p value worthy of repeated compensation. That is, royalties or licensing fees are not consistent with a p2p ethos.

H. What to avoid: P2P specifically does not aim to circumvent human rights, democratically enacted laws, rightfully established organizational controls, or legitimate claims of property in force. Rather, p2p seeks to build and expand common resources that are expressly free, open, collaborative and mutually beneficial.


Article 2. Recognition of the Commons

A. Concepts such as Open Access, Open Source, Open Content, Creative Commons, Science Commons and their supporting frameworks are consistent with the core principles of p2p.

B. While not specifically non-commercial, p2p interactions recognize the value and ideal of expanding shared and freely available resources particularly related to knowledge and information but also to design, art, architecture and other conceptual goods that can be framed as intellectual property.

C. Commercial gains are more consistent with p2p when they benefit entities that are themselves inclined to participate in more frequent p2p interactions. That is, a firm that contributes to the commons is more consistent with p2p than one that extracts content from the commons, alters it for profit, and then sells a quasi-p2p system.

D. Attribution and acknowledgment of contributions are consistent with p2p, and the development of peer-reviewed reputations and ratings can be consistent with a p2p ethos so long as they reflect contributions to p2p or the commons rather than extrinsic or non-p2p achievements.

E. Missuse, overuse, abuse or sabotage of commons can in no way be consistent with a valid p2p ethos. Mutual trust is a necessary and valued component of p2p participation. A strong P2P ethos would sympathize with ideas that the tragedy of the commons is neither inevitable or natural to humans.

F. What to avoid: P2P interactions should avoid a permission culture. That is, private copyrights, trade secrets, intellectual property boundaries or other boundaries between attributed contributions are actively discouraged. Overall, rigid boundary systems of property are inconsistent with a p2p ethos.


Article 3: Economic and Political Theories

A. P2P is not associated or disassociated with any particular economic theory such as capitalism or socialism.

B. P2P is most consistent with democratic systems where free expression and other human rights are respected and protected; however, no political model other than one that abolishes the concept of a commons is antithetical to a p2p ethos. It is implausible that a political system with strong restrictions on freedom of expression could be consistent with a p2p ethos.

C. P2P may represent its own framework of economic theory most closely aligned with what have been considered barter and exchange economies.

D. Implementations of alternative currencies, open money and modes of exchange that do not necessitate governments, central banks or state-based regulatory authorities represent core elements of a p2p ethos.

E. What to avoid: P2P is not a transaction-based mode of exchange. Optimization of trades and exchanges for personal gain is not consistent with a p2p ethos.


Article 4: Moral Foundations

A. P2P interactions are considered qualitatively superior if they advantage larger, open and sharing communities.

B. The ideas associated with sustainable production or sustainable operation of production resources are at the root of a p2p ethos. Introducing ideas of carbon neutrality or sequestration, recycling and avoidance of adverse social or environmental impacts is an esteemed principle of the p2p ethos.

C. P2P transactions are not appropriate mediated by political, social, gender, sex or religious biases. Interactions occur openly without respect to identities or group participation by peers in other aspects of their lives. Free expression in p2p interactions is a valued right, not a privilege. A high burden of proof should exist for any entity that judges peer to peer interactions as a threat to the state, the peace, or common decency.

D. Transparent execution of transactions in the full view of any party is consistent with the best ideals of a p2p ethos.

E. Where resources are allocated or invested in those who might contribute to a p2p framework, openness of selection processes, transparent decision criteria and inclusive capacity to participate as a candidate for selection are core principles.

F. P2P interactions are not biased against bots, transhumanist beings, AI, other species or forms of intelligence that can act as peers if it is reasonable to recognize such participants as peers in the context of an interaction.

G. What to avoid: Peers should avoid pre-judging counter parties based on affiliations, ranks, or associations unless those associations specifically address competence or capacity associated with the aspects of a particular p2p interaction. That is, if you want a game, play chess with those who also want a game; however, it is appropriate to seek games with those who have a certain chess rating. It is not appropriate to a p2p ethos only to play chess with PhDs.


Article 5: Science and Technology

A. The use of evidence-based scientific facts, sound technical assessments and fact-based risk evaluations are esteemed as core p2p principles.

B. Access to information, information appliances, computers, cellular services, networks and raw data is paramount. Schemes to reduce, tax or limit interactions, open information access or sharing (particularly of digital resources in the commons) are preposterous to the p2p ethos. Open and low cost hardware schemes including open manufacturing are central to a strong p2p ethos. Just as there can be open science, there can be open engineering with a strong commitment to a p2p ethos.

C. The p2p ethos values experimentation with open results and the capacity for all stakeholders to learn and develop through participation. The p2p ethos does not esteem races to the correct answer carried on behind closed doors or competitive science aimed to realize external goals, prestige or rewards.

D. What to avoid: Modes of interactions that represent p2p as against science, against learning, arbitrarily exclusive or against sharing.

Notes

1.Template:EthosBorrowing from the Wikipedia article on ethos [2]:

There are three categories of ethos, which, if followed in the situation of speaking, could help develop a high ethos:

  • phronesis - practical skills & wisdom
  • arete - virtue, goodness
  • eunoia - goodwill towards the audience.

Each of these components is relevant to what is included in Section 1 with the adaptation that they apply not to rhetorical speaking but rather to p2p interactions. That is, the eunoia component of this ethos is not so much goodwill toward the audience but goodwill toward others who may benefit in future from a p2p interaction.

2.Template:EthosThis ethos is meant to be normative. It is not an appropriate document to be used authoritatively as rules or as a basis of governance.

Section 2: Recommended Means of Governance for p2p Projects, Frameworks or Networks

First principle: Governance exists to enable stable, smooth operations of p2p interactions. It does not exist for external financial, political or rhetorical aims. Thus governance is not "over" p2p transactions, but in service to them. Regulatory functions are protective of peer interactions executed without widely destructive results or malicious intent.

Article 1. Planning and Preparation

A. Facilities for high quality p2p interactions merit planning and preparation.

B. While decisions must ultimately occur through some process, opennness and transparency of deliberations and deliberation processes as well as inputs to decisions are of fundamental importance. Arbitrary and capricious policies, rules or designs are not consistent with good p2p governance.

C. Design, planning and preparation for p2p facilities should allow for hospitable, accessible, functional environments and schedules that serve the participants' logistical, intellectual, biological, aesthetic, identity, and cultural needs.

D. What to avoid: Untrained, inexperienced, or ideologically biased organizers design programs that do not fit the purpose of the effort, or that do not respect and engage the relevant stakeholders. The venue is inaccessible, ugly, and confusing, and the poorly constructed schedule is inflexible or rushed, with inadequate time for doing what needs to be done. Logistical, class, racial, and cultural barriers to participation are left unaddressed, effectively sidelining marginalized people and further privileging elites, majorities, "experts," and partisan advocates.

Article 2. Transparency

A. P2P interactions should minimize secretive aspects along with components that cannot be investigated, audited or otherwise reviewed. For example, no one should have the capacity to secretly change a core piece of open systems source code without any record of their actions being available to any interested party. A good standard is the article history framework associated with Wikipedia.

B. Decisions about membership, inclusion, credentials required and other baseline standards should be openly presented and justified. Such standards should acknowledge and explain means of challenging their authority or aptness to a given situation.

C. A p2p ethos is generally less concerned about rights to privacy than other frameworks. That said, items of a clear personal nature such as medical histories, personal photos, etc. can and should be protected where necessary.

D. Actions taken that are alleged to be harassing, destructive or otherwise malicious should be dealt with through reasonable and due processes. Outcomes of such reviews should be open to further interpretation and challenge befitting the stakes involved.

E. What to avoid: Secret data, secret processes, secret memberships, secret outcomes.

Article 3. Compensation

A. P2P interactions are inherently free and open. However, fair compensation for skills, risk or efforts is not inconsistent with good p2p governance. Compensations rates and terms should be as transparent as possible.

B. Repeated transaction-based rewards such as a royalty for works created in past are not in the best spirit of p2p and are detrimental to p2p governance.

C. The idea of "share and share alike" is the best reward system for a p2p system or framework. The idea is expressly to avoid syndicates or exchanges where transactions are the norm.

D. What to avoid: A transaction mentality or the idea of sustained earnings for creative productivity.

Article 4. Acknowledgment of Co-existing Systems

A. P2P interactions and frameworks co-exist with other non-p2p systems. These other systems can have governance impact and relevance to the construction and operation of p2p systems. The first rule of such interactions is respect for and compliance with the authority associated with the co-existing systems. However, aspects of the p2p core principles should be compromised to the minimum feasible.

B. P2P systems are potentially disruptive. Income earning ventures, modes of production, systems of government and other highly valued social components can come into direct conflict with the disruptive nature of p2p interactions. The core principle is respect, tolerance and openness in response to such conflicts.

C. What to avoid: P2P benefits are usually legitimate human rights; however, the specific advancement of p2p systems as a disruptive weapon against existing and ongoing social relations should be employed only under the gravest, most restrictive or morally repugnant of situations. Specifically designing p2p systems for forced access to private property, for highly disruptive fun or sport, or assault on an individual, firm or government to precipitate some minor change or advance a relatively minor protest, is generally not consistent with good p2p governance.

Article 5. Inclusion or Inclusiveness of Peers

A. Governance mechanisms for P2P interactions and frameworks should be as inclusive in the definition of peer as possible.

Article 6. Sustainability

A. Sustainability is the capacity to carry on a process indefinitely without depleting inputs or causing other systems to fail by requiring increasing amounts of scare resources. P2P governance approaches attempt to achieve sustainable processes wherever they have influence.

Article 7. Participatory and Collaborative Frameworks

A. A p2p governance system is quick to seek input from those it governs, impacts or transforms.

B. Those charged with governance must seek to make decisions and build plans with the maximum reasonable participation of stakeholders.

C. What to avoid: Never close the door in a meeting that can be open.

Article 8. Fair Deliberations

A. A p2p governance system should seek means to define and execute fair deliberative processes. Defining the standards and components of fairness should be a foremost priority.

Article 9. Willingness to be Supplanted

A. A p2p governance system does not seek to perpetuate itself if its approaches are not logical, efficient or contributing satisfactorily.

B. What to avoid: Avoid rationalizing radical transformations to protect participants who have other realistic options. P2P frameworks must foremost serve peers who interact, not those who create or manage p2p frameworks.

Article 10. Commitment to Research, Learning and Development

A. A governance system supporting p2p interactions invests regularly and thoughtfully in advancing capacity and means of service by training administrators, building learning environments, supporting research and otherwise developing its human resources.

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