[iDC] Introducing: Real Costs & Oil Standard

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Mon May 14 01:47:11 EDT 2007

Hi Julian,

I guess that I'm not ready to completely let go of the Enlightenment ideals,
and I feel the rational has an important and rightful place, not at the
helm, but as part of an integrative awareness that accepts our different
modes of knowing and being, including play.

I disagree with your no wrong and right, I would formulate it that right and
wrong dependent on our perspectives, and that choosing your perspective, you
will know that for you, and for most humans, love is better than hate,
having access to medicines is better than none, etc... Just be aware of the
perspective, and find people with similar perspectives. There is, despite
our manyfold differences, also a lot of common ground to be found.

I have, as a former meditator, a completely different view of awareness, I
think that most people, most of the time, including me, have very little
awareness, and that one of the tasks of life, is to extend our circle and
practices of care and concern, which is impossible without an awareness of
the other and our environment. Of course, you are right, we cannot be aware
of 'everything' (though some meditators claim this, I do not agree). So
according to our priorities, we displace our awareness, but that does not
mean repression. I can repress a traumatic memory, and it will control my
life, or I can process it, but after that digestion, put it aside and go on
with life, content to leave it in the background. The result of both will be
dramatically different.

How do we start is a difficult problem, but we can also view it in a
distributed fashion. If you have a sense of what needs to be done, follow
your skills and inclination (or even sense of duty if you like), confident
that others will fill in the other aspects. Again, some will work within the
system, some without, but as I argued before, transgressive/world
constructing/reformist-radical attempts are all justified, they will happen
anyway according to the inclination of the participants. But we can network
it, learn from each other, slowly coalesce the new way of
knowing/being/valuing. We all do our part, and then we wait and see. We may
be attacked, and then we try to mobilize our networks to defend ourselves,
we may construct new practices, we may reform or change institutions. In any
case, an environmentally-friendly capitalism is better than an unfriendly
one. A sharing platform owned by a corporation, is better than none at all,
and it can be improved and the users have a power there. if we find that
insufficient, then the onus is on us to build something different, and prove
that it is pragmatically better.

I'm surprise that you refer to my us/them thinking, because it is something
that I try to avoid, but of course I may fail occasionally prey to it. On
the contrary, even if the system is dysfunctional 'on the whole', any
institution has good people in it. It is the compound actions of billions of
distributed individuals which will eventually coalesce, and have a
laser-like efficacy for large scale worldchanging.

I suggest that in the methods we choose, virtual and physical, we look
closely at the invisible architectures and embedded protocols. Social
lending is fine, but it still works according the infinite-growth logic of
the scarcity-based monetary system; so directly producing a money system
which has a different 'sufficient money- based protocol, is better.
Distributed solar energy, because it can become the basis of a sharing and
exchange by freer individuals, is better. Etc... It is out of the multitude
of such choices that we make, and which depend on awareness, that we will
advance. These are all choices we will make. And they can and must be
judicious, as we only have so much energy and time.


On 5/13/07, Julian Kücklich <julian at kuecklich.de> wrote:
> Dear Michel and Andreas,
> thank you very much for your thoughtful replies. I think Andreas'
> example of installing a geothermal heat pump in his house (whatever that
> is) shows how difficult it is to do something "for" the environment
> without at the same time doing something "for" capital, so the whole
> enterprise seems to defeat its purpose entirely.
> I agree with Michel that some of these problems might be addressed by
> using peer-to-peer practices such as p2p lending and p2p money
> production, but of course these would have to take place within a
> framework of p2p governance, which seems to be the key problem. More
> specifically, setting up a p2p economy seems to be predicated upon the
> existence of p2p governance, and vice versa.
> So where do we start? The examples you provide are certainly
> interesting, but I don't see their environmental impact. And certainly
> they are still thoroughly enmeshed in what you call the "sphere of
> commodity". Open source operating systems need computers to run on, open
> source retail needs wholesalers to buy from, and open source money can
> always only complement state-issued money.
> For what it's worth, let me add a few brief words about what I see as
> worrying ideological tendencies. I think for all intents and purposes
> awareness IS the same thing as repression because awareness always
> implies being aware of some things and not others. That is just the way
> the human mind works, we can't be aware of everything. You can instill
> awareness through force or persuasion but it always implies changing
> people's minds.
> So "raising awareness" always already takes place in the realm of
> ideology. In this post-Enlightenment age, there is no "wrong" or
> "right", there's just "different". So how do you convince people to do
> things differently, and how do you justify it? Your revolutionary
> rhetoric ("us" vs. "them") seems to imply that you will have the
> "masses" on your side once they see the light, but at the end of the day
> you face the same problems as the traditional left, ie you need to use
> propaganda to raise "critical awareness".
> I guess what I am getting at is that the whole idea of
> post-representational democratic models and ecological awareness are
> still built on a foundation of good old Enlightenment-style rationality.
> Everybody in these circles seems to assume that p2p systems are somehow
> more rational than hierarchical systems. But I don't think they are, and
> I don't think this is why they are superior to hierarchical models,
> which are actually very rational.
> Fascism makes perfect sense. Stalinism makes perfect sense. Capitalism
> makes perfect sense. So I think we need to stop making sense. There
> might be lessons to be learned from situationism, although I wouldn't
> want to advocate a restitution of situationist practices. Still, at the
> most fundamental level we are still dealing with the construction and
> deconstruction of situations - whether locally, regionally or globally.
> As I already pointed out in an earlier post to this list, I don't think
> that raising awareness will get us anywhere. There is an abundance of
> awareness, and a corresponding abundance of pharmaka that prevent
> awareness from ever becoming action. So any strategy that wants to go
> beyond this dialectic of consciousness will need to adopt tactics of
> delusion.
> This is of course where we enter the territory of deludology again.
> After all deludic practice is not only about breaking the rules (deludo
> = I cheat) but also about leading people astray (deludo = I delude). If
> we want to break bad habits, we need to offer attractive alternatives.
> Games provide a plethora of models for that. Think of gambling. Pure
> waste! Too bad that the money ends up in the pockets of the wrong people
> again. But at least it doesn't end up in savings accounts.
> It will hardly surprise anyone that the most successful alternative
> currency in the world come from the country with the fastest growing
> economy - China. The QQ coin, issued by a company called Tencent, is
> mostly used to buy in-game items, or virtual presents for your IM
> friends, and other immaterial knickknacks. In other words, you cannot
> buy anything useful with it, yet it has more than 230 million users. You
> bet that the Chinese government is getting nervous.
> The good thing about virtual items is that they do not need to be
> manufactured, and they can be created with a built-in expiration date.
> So the environmental impact is extremely low, and other than real
> commodities they don't sit around forever and gather dust. So there's
> always demand for more. And as our cultures turn from materialism to
> post-materialism (at least we have dispensed with CDs, haven't we?),
> virtual commodities become ever more important.
> The good thing is that traditional financial institutions haven't yet
> woken up to that fact. So there's a first mover advantage to be had
> here. I am not enough of an economist to tell you how it would work, but
> I am convinced that a unified virtual currency has the potential to
> exert pressure on financial markets that can be translated directly into
> political leverage.
> - Julian.
> Michel Bauwens schrieb:
> > Hi Julian,
> >
> > Repression and awareness are not the same thing, and in fact are the
> > opposite. So, I think it is first of all important to increase our
> > awareness
> > of the impact of our actions, on other people, on the environment, and
> > choose our own ways of how we want to minimize the damage. But negative
> > approaches only bring us so far (critical environmental education
> actually
> > discourages students, but engagement with nature empowered them, showed
> one
> > study I saw once), much better than a negative approach, is to replace
> our
> > material priorities with immaterial ones. Search for happiness in the
> > intellectuality, spirituality, culture, relationality, and build our
> life
> > around the passionate production of such value.
> >
> > With post-capitalist strategies, let me be very short here not to repeat
> my
> > core argument, we need to support the emergence of peer production,
> > governance and property into all domains of social life; (because they
> are
> > respectively more economically, politically, and distributionally
> > productive), and strengthen both the sharing economies of individual
> > expression, and the commons-oriented forms of production. This is
> > predicated
> > on both abundance (immaterial field) and distribution (slicing up, in
> the
> > material field), so that the central strategy then becomes, 'the
> > distribution of everything', and the direct social production,
> > everywhere we
> > can, of social value: distributed means of production (computers,
> desktop
> > manufacturing), of finance (p2p lending, but more importantly the direct
> > social production of money), of energy (distributed solar). Finding the
> > right relationship between the commons and the for-profit ecology around
> it
> > (see sam rose's contribution here at
> >
> http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/open-business-models-business-and-open-source/2007/05/08
> ,
> >
> > which expands on that topic); finding cooperative models for such
> > interaction (austrian os alliance, indian open source cooperative in
> pune
> > (see http://www.p2pfoundation.net/Open_Source_Cooperative); strengthen
> > these
> > types of social production and human relationships within or against the
> > sphere of commodity, until "we" are strong enough, to tackle meta-system
> > change.
> >
> > Michel
> >
> > On 5/12/07, Julian Kücklich <julian at kuecklich.de> wrote:
> >>
> >> Hi Michel,
> >>
> >> > But we are all part of that system, so that any approach that blames
> >> > capital, and does not want to change its own behaviour, is going to
> be
> >> > unproductive.
> >>
> >> I agree, it's counterproductive to think of oneself as somehow outside
> >> of capital, or outside of "the environment", for that matter. My point
> >> was, however, that the current ethics of repression works through
> >> moralising everyday behaviour, so now I have to feel bad every time I
> >> consume one of the commodities of climate change (energy, water, meat,
> >> etc.), and the ff plugin introduced through this list is an agent of
> >> this new ethics of repression.
> >>
> >> But as everyone who has ever read a novel from the Victorian era knows,
> >> repression doesn't make unwanted behaviour go away - it just hides it.
> >> Emission certificates are a brilliant example of how one can destroy
> the
> >> environment and still have a clean environmental conscience. I am just
> >> waiting for the next plugin, which enables me to counter-balance my
> >> ecological sins by purchasing indulgences every time I book a flight,
> >> order a book, or leave my computer running overnight.
> >>
> >> > Now the key question is how you change the meta-system, giving the
> >> > record of
> >> > failure in this regard, and the obsoleteness of industrial era
> leftism?
> >> My
> >> > suggestion would be to tone down the useless anti-capitalist
> rhetoric,
> >> and
> >> > to tune up the post-capitalist practices.
> >>
> >> Indeed. But what are these post-capitalist practices? Surely you are
> not
> >> suggesting that by minimising our ecological footprints we will somehow
> >> "change the system"?
> >>
> >> - Julian.
> >>
> >>
> >> --
> >> julian raul kücklich, ma
> >>
> >> http://www.playability.de
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > iDC -- mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity (
> distributedcreativity.org)
> > iDC at mailman.thing.net
> > http://mailman.thing.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/idc
> >
> > List Archive:
> > http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/
> >
> > iDC Photo Stream:
> > http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/idcnetwork/
> --
> julian raul kücklich, ma
> http://www.playability.de
> _______________________________________________
> iDC -- mailing list of the Institute for Distributed Creativity (
> distributedcreativity.org)
> iDC at mailman.thing.net
> http://mailman.thing.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/idc
> List Archive:
> http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/
> iDC Photo Stream:
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/idcnetwork/

The P2P Foundation researches, documents and promotes peer to peer

Wiki and Encyclopedia, at http://p2pfoundation.net; Blog, at
http://blog.p2pfoundation.net; Newsletter, at

Basic essay at http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=499; interview at
video interview, at

The work of the P2P Foundation is supported by
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mailman.thing.net/pipermail/idc/attachments/20070514/e5cd7fca/attachment.html

More information about the iDC mailing list