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Peer power for the advancement of science

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By Daniel Lombraña, founder and CEO of Scifabric.

In order to change the light bulb we would need more than 30.000 peers actually. All over the world. But let me start from the beginning. Two years ago a PhD student contacted me at a hackathon because he had an idea about how to study and fight light pollution from space.

His idea was incredible: re-using all the photographs taken by astronauts from the International Space Station using only the ones that portrayed cities at night. The problem? All the photos are in archives where there is no order, tag, or search function. In other words, looking only for pictures of cities at night was almost impossible because they were stored mixed together with pictures of cities at day, selfies, the ISS, stars, aurora borealis, the moon, etc.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014
About the Question
How many peers does it take to change a light bulb?

Systems like Linux and websites like Wikipedia are paradigmatic of a particular way of open collaboration known as peer production. Peer producers choose their tasks freely and coordinate their work using open digital platforms. They share the fruits of their labour as part of a global commons, and everyone works according to their abilities and benefits according to their needs.

Is this an emerging form of communism? Or the future of liberal capitalism? Or is it simply a new mode of production? In this blog we want to explore both the benefits and the downsides of such way of working.

UOC/IN3 degrees