[iDC] Introduction: The Internet as Playground and Factory

Michael Bauwens michelsub2003 at yahoo.com
Sat Jun 13 03:39:32 UTC 2009

Trebor, my remark here would be the same as my just sent response to Sean.

Why see this as the exclusive benefit of capital, and be blind to how people are using these services for the construction of their own lives, using what is at hand. Knowledge workers have agency, just as netarchical capital has, and they are not merely parasiting, though they are to a degree, they are making services sustainable which are present NOT sustainable without them. Unless we start peer producing infrastructures ourselves, the sharing mode by itself is not strong enough to sustain itself. Only fully commons oriented peer production efforts have shown the capability of creating independent infrastructures.

We can imagine a three-pronged strategy:

- use and accept commercial platforms to our benefit

- make sure that user rights and data ownership and free network services principles are being followed as a terrain of social struggle between sharing communities and platform owners

- consider peer producing our own p2p infrastructures when 1 and 2 are not working to our satisfaction,


----- Original Message ----
> From: "trebor at thing.net" <trebor at thing.net>
> To: idc at mailman.thing.net
> Sent: Monday, June 8, 2009 8:41:10 PM
> Subject: [iDC] Introduction: The Internet as Playground and Factory
> Tracks of our behavior, the public management of our relationships with
> others are recorded, sorted, analyzed and sold while we are enjoying
> ourselves and benefit in many ways. IPv6 comes into this discussion. It's
> really all quite frictionless despite Digg's Boston Digital Party and the
> complaints of Facebook users starting in September 2006. For me, these
> events are spectacles of Internet democracy; they are consumer feedback
> loops. We are negotiating a product that we are co-producing.
> In the middle of the eighteenth century, Diderot and d'Alembert published
> Encyclopédie, which celebrated the virtues of labor. Throughout its
> twenty-seven volumes, articles dealt with everything from baking bread to
> making nails. What would Diderot include in his revised edition today? A
> few places to start--
> virtual volunteering (i.e., “… if handled adeptly, [unpaid Verizon
> volunteers] hold considerable promise" http://is.gd/T6Q6)
> creating meta data (i.e., Flickr Commons)
> uploading and/or watching/looking at photos and videos
> socializing (playful acts of reciprocity)
> paying attention to advertising
> micro-blogging (status updates, Twitter)
> co-innovating (i.e., bicycles, mountain bikes, skate boards, cars, etc)
> posting blog entries and comments (i.e., the bloggers who work for        
> Huffington Post)
> performing emotional work (presenting a personality that “fits in”)
> posting news stories
> referring (i.e., Digg.com)
> creating virtual objects (i.e., Second Life)
> beta testing (i.e, Netscape Navigator 1998)
> providing feedback
> consuming media (i.e., watching videos)
> consuming advertisement
> data work (i.e., filling in forms, profiles etc)
> viral marketing by super-users
> artistic work (i.e., video mashups, DeviantArt, Learning to Love You More)
> Most of this about pleasure, play, personal benefit, and profit-- all at
> the same time. It's fun, sure, and the price we pay for the "free
> services" is complex. Michael Warner is a good place to start thinking
> about that:
> "Our lives are minutely administered and recorded to a degree
> unprecedented in history;" as Warner put it, "We navigate a world of
> corporate agents that do not respond or act as people do. Our personal
> capacities, such as credit, turn out on reflection to be expressions of
> corporate agency."
> (Publics and Counterpublics, p52)
> For now,
> Trebor
> =
> R. Trebor Scholz
> The New School University
> Re: Remuneration
> "A Fine Is a Price"
> http://www.citeulike.org/user/yoav/article/1953151
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