[iDC] How does social media educate?

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 8 23:05:10 EST 2007

They are not 'consuming' a platform, but using it for both individual and
sharing/collective purposes, which is an important step forward as compared
to passively consuming centralized media.

Users and consumers are just concepts attached to <people>, with varying,
but increasing, differential and 'equipotenial' desires for human autonomy
and sharing.

Further steps to autonomous value and life production need to be taken, and
for this, we need an autonomous p2p-based communication infrastructure. We
can complain and critically appraise the weaknesses of Web 2.0, but at the
same time, be engaged with the peer producers, rather than to sit at the
sidelines with a cynical stance. That certainly, will bring us nowhere,
though it is so popular in academic circles.

I don't expect this to be an easy and quick process, but the experience with
Linux and Wikipedia, however imperfect, and they will <always> be imperfect,
suggests it can be done.

Similarly, recycling, while not a solution, was a necessary intermediary
step, to prepare practices and awareness. Similarly with the informational
field, environmental issues do not let themselves be interpreted in an us
vs. them dichotomy, as we are all consumers and producers of negative
natural externalities. And similarly, in the environmental field, we need a
sustainable p2p energy grid for responsible autonomy.


> just like the term "consumers", "users" can never be expected to make
> radical, or even slightly reformative, changes to the overall value
> system of capital. it seems delusional to think that an
> "infrastructure" of a "peer to peer civilization" can be constructed
> by people who are ultimately functioning as "user" and "consumers"
> and just because i might be "producing" something called content,
> doesn't mean i've changed my fundamental relationship to the means of
> production. as was said before, i'm basically consuming a platform
> with which to "express" myself, which includes service agreements
> with multi-nationals, hardware and software purchases. how do we
> construct an "infrastructure" in those terms? on what ground would it
> take shape?
> "abuses" are normative and relative. the ethics of realtors.
> the peer to peer civilization of tomorrow will most likely look like
> that of previous centuries, if at all.
> </ cynicism>
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