11 September 2006

On the Commonality of the Commons

One of the central themes of this blog is that the opens - open source, open content, open genomics and the rest - share certain key characteristics, and thus form part of a broader movement, of great historical importance.

There's a fine articulation of just this viewpoint in another of Richard Poynder's splendid interviews. It's with Michel Bauwens, creator of the Foundation for P2P Alternatives. The whole thing is well worth reading, but here's a typical sample from the second part - it's a two parter:

We need to increase the scope of applications in which open and free principles are applied; we need to apply and experiment with peer governance, and learn from our mistakes; and, as I said earlier, we need to interconnect and learn from each other, in the understanding that all these efforts are related, and have a larger common purpose.

In addition, we have to defensively stop the destruction of the biosphere, and stop the new enclosures of the information commons we are witnessing. Instead, we need to be constructively building the new world, and in a way that ends and means are congruent with each other. If we do this then the P2P subsystem will continue to strengthen, and eventually reach a tipping point. At that juncture it will become the dominant model.

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