Peer production in an integral and intersubjective framework

Michel Bauwens, Integral World, Aug 08, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes

There's a lot that's interesting in this paper and yet I think the most interesting work is in the first section where P2P (peer-to-peer) is defined. In the second section and thereafter we get into a type of metaphysics that doesn't interest me (but is of great interest to critical theorists). Just more taxonomy. But learning, inference and discovery are not states, as a taxonomic approach would suggest; they are processes. The third section looks at "intersubjective modes", which is more interesting, but I find it conflates between markets, which require a measurement system, and networks, in which only structure is important (there's a bit of a back and forth on whether reciprocity is required, without which of course markets can't exist). So, ultimately, can P2P be a "mode of production"? Maybe, but "participants cannot live from peer production, though they derive meaning and value from it, and though it may out compete, in efficiency and productivity terms, the market-based for-profit alternatives."

It's worth noting the parallel between this and the thesis in Patrick Watson's The Struggle for Democracy, which is essentially that democracy presupposes wealth.


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