Blog Archives

One white middle-class man


By Mayo Fuster, researcher, Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3-UOC).

Head of the P2PValue project and faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, Mayo Fuster relies on recent data to support her reflections on the main question of this blog. According to her, peer production has still issues to address — for instance, it is not coping very well with gender equity —, but above all the success of the model, which now encompasses more than 30 areas of activity, relies on its increased efficiency. Get Fuster’s complete reflections on the topic in the short video below. Her contribution was recorded at the Ouishare Fest Barcelona event.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Towards a peer society based on the commons

George Dafermos

By George Dafermos, research coordinator, FLOK Society; and research associate, P2P Foundation.

If the previous decade brought the business embrace of Linux, free software and the knowledge commons of science and technology to the fore, the present one marks their entry into the field of politics as discourses with broad social acceptance. From the FLOK Society project in remote Ecuador to Cooperativa Integral Catalana (CIC) in Spain and SYRIZA in Greece, the epicentre of discussion is a model for the organization of social, political, economic and cultural life, based on the principles of peer production and governance, of social and solidarity economy, and of the social-collective goods which we refer to as “the Commons”.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Collective intelligence vs connected intelligence


By Derrick de Kerckhove, professor, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, and IN3 visiting professor.

Talking about peer production is talking about connectivity, in the way peers connect to work together for a common purpose. When asked about the main question of this blog, Derrick de Kerckhove refers to the “connected intelligence”, a term he coined with the idea of emphasising the power of the networks ― real or virtual ― in which every member of the connection matters. Check out his reflections in the short video below.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Reliability vs verifiability on Wikipedia, the peer production encyclopedia


By Pep Adrian, wikipedian in residence at the UOC.

Wikipedia has been said to be the largest commons-based peer production project in the world. Since its creation in 2001 it has been edited and reviewed billions of times. It has long achieved the goal to be the greatest encyclopedia even written, and aims to be the sum of all human knowledge.

When explaining Wikipedia to non-editors we always face the same question: Is it reliable? And sometimes we are tempted to answer quite straightforwardly: No. It is not and never will be. However we must concede that this is not a good way to present oneself and must keep on explaining.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Is science compatible with peer production?


By Eduard Aibar, associate professor and researcher, UOC-IN3

Science has often been described by many sociologists as a collective enterprise. Most scientific research is done in collaboration, and collaboration can even involve thousands of scientists — as in the case of the Large Hadron Collider experiments. The standard publication system of science is based on colleagues’ collaboration and evaluation through the peer-review process.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

The end of Now: peer production or anthropocene?


By Johan Söderberg, researcher, Laboratoire Techniques, Territoires et Sociétés and Institut Francilien Recherche Innovation Société.

End of history. End of grand narratives. End of ideological conflicts. From the 1970s and onwards, which is to say, from the day that general belief in a future Workers’ State had been exhausted, a permanent Now is extending in every direction. To say “in every direction” is to say that there is no sense of movement in any direction at all.

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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