14 January 2008

The Real Big Switch

An eloquent statement by John Wilbanks about the commons, sharing and solving complex problems:

One of the reasons I believe so deeply in the commons approach (by which i mean: contractually constructed regimes that tilt the field towards sharing and reuse, technological enablements that make public knowledge easy to find and use, and default policy rules that create incentives to share and reuse) is that I think it is one of the only non-miraculous ways to defeat complexity. If we can get more people working on individual issues – which are each alone not so complex – and the outputs of research snap together, and smart people can work on the compiled output as well – then it stands to reason that the odds of meaningful discoveries increase in spite of overall systemic complexity.

He concludes:

It is not easy. But it is, in a way, a very simple change. It just requires the flipping of a switch, from a default rule of “sharing doesn’t matter” to one of “sharing matters enormously”.

That's what it's all about, people.

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