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Re: [jox] Journal report - 19 August 2011

Dear All,

thanks Mathieu for the report.

My two cents on the issue at stake:


Johan suggested that we invite Jakob Rigi of the Central European University in Budapest to join our SC, as he expressed a strong interest in our journal and related work. I have subscribed Jakob to this list.

@Jakob: welcome aboard, please feel free to join in debates and get involved as you see fit!

welcome Jakob, I will soon reply to the thread on SC new members

-Reports/Reviews section
In the first issue we had two conference reports. This time I think it would be good to have some book reviews. I could try to do one or two. If anyone has any suggestions that would be good. 

In particular if anyone has read Christian Fuch's latest book "Foundations of Critical Media and Information Studies"? I have not read it but I think it would be highly relevant to review it for CSPP.

A book review section is a good idea, and I agree that Fuch's book can
be a good starting point

Nevertheless, a book review section requires a good amount of work (e.g.
contacts with the publishers to get the book for free, or assigning
books and supervising the submission of reviews with the right

Finally if someone is interested in being "Book review editor" that could a good way to develop this - any takers? 
We can start a new thread about this.

good idea about a specific thread



Still waiting to hear from Maurizio and Vincenzo on how they want to address the criticism by StefanMn that they are not properly addressing the issue. So far StefanMz has expressed support for StefanMn. This is an edited version of what I wrote on the issue on july 21: 

"I understand what you say about peer production being a new phenomenon, but I don't see how it can be separated from the 95% rest of the world economy which is capitalistic. PP is both dependent on and enmeshed within this wider order. For me the interesting thing scientifically is precisely to work out the relationship between these two orders and - possibly from a more activist perspective - to work out how to extend the commons and peer production (...) if you want to get your point across effectively IMHO it would be best to submit a paper to the journal for our upcoming issue on peer production theory - that way you can explain what new tools and concepts are needed etc. A whole issue on Oekonux can be envisaged for later, we don't have the writing and editorial resources right now. The peer production theory issue can be released next December. Is an article possible?"

Matthew Allen then agreed with this (sort of) see:

-- COMMENT ON THE TOPIC (quite long)

StefanMn was an interesting point, that I try to collapse in the
conviction that "Peer production is a new mode of production. *As such*
it can not be understood with the tools which were valid and fine for
the previous mode of production - namely capitalism."
I can agree with that but at the moment, stating that "peer production
IS a new mode of production" is so strong that the "old tools" should be
tested and proven uneffective for the task at hand (and, by the way, the
same concept of "mode of production" is an old tool that as proven to be
extremely effective)

Mathieu and Matthew argument (FS is part of a capitalist society, so
understanding the relationship between the two modes of production is
useful) is a convinving one and, moreover, the aim of the special issue
is explicitly to understand the novelty of PP in the instance of FS from
other points of view, not only the ones of organization of labour or
economic production. 
To make it short, our perspective is: IF Free Software is changing the
epistemology of Computer Science, THEN Free Software novelty is stronger
than thought until now. 
Otherwise, the debate on the novelty should move further in exploring
the relationship between means of production, their property, and the
institutional setting that is previewed by the configuration of such
relationship (Jakob concept of productive negation is an interesting

going over on the debate, Stefan wrote:

Last week (12 days ago) Maurizio Teli wrote:
  > From the perspective of social organization, Free Software can  be
  > conceived as [...] standing outside
  > institutionalized forms of power

Well, someone who writes this has no idea of peer production not
speaking of Free Software. Of course there are institutionalized forms
of power.

Now the *really* interesting question is: As a modern leftist you
believe that institutionalized forms of power are bad in general. How
does it come then, that in Free Software we see such institutionalized
forms of power?

Here probably the short presentation of the special issue was lacking in
idexicality. Kelty's argument is that Free Software is standing outside
ACTUALLY instituzionalized forms of power, creating NEW ones. 

If we look at FS, the case of corporate FLOSS is showing clearly how the
actual institutional setting (in its wider sense, including "the
market") is envisioning a potential of domestication of FLOSS as another
tool in the reproduction of capital. Therefore, the novelty of FS should
be investigated further.


Moving over, I think that both suggestion 1 and 2 by Mathieu are
interesting, and worth exploring.



Perhaps a productive way to move this issue forward would be to articulate the different positions in a formal "Debate" section which would appear in the next issue, in December. There could be a statement by StefanMn and/or StefanMz on why he/they think peer production transcends current analytical categories and Maurizio and/or someone else could write a response.

This would have several advantages:
- There would be a Debate section in the next issue ;-)
- There would be a text by people in Oekonux in the journal
- There would be a clarification of how the FLOSS/peer production issue can be approached 



Our first issue had two research papers (including one by the editor...), and the next "general/theory" one will have three. This is not a very high number. Then with the upcoming special issues we should have more.

I thought a way around this would be to have a couple of "invited comments" whereby we ask people who are knowledgeable about peer production to articulate their understanding of it. These invited comments would not be peer reviewed and would be around 4,000 words (?). They could be a remixed version of a text published elsewhere. I got the idea from the Journal of Science Communication which Alessandro edits which also has invited comments.

For the general issue on peer production of CSPP here are some people who I thought could be approached. Some are already involved in the journal:

-Christian Siefkes 
Christian did an interesting piece on "commonism" in the recently published okcon conference proceedings, which he has agreed to adapt for the next issue of CSPP.

-Michel Bauwens

-Stefan Meretz

-Stefan Merten

@Michel, StefanMn, StefanMz - if there is a medium-sized text (around 4,000 words?) which summarises some of your main ideas regarding peer production and the work you have been doing it could be useful for the P2P Foundation and Oekonux projects. In my view as it would not be peer reviewed it doesn't matter if it has been previously published in a different form.

Of course if StefanMn and/or StefanMz decide they want to do this instead of start a "Debate" then that does not help the abovementioned Suggestion 1. Ideally they could do both? The Debate paper does not have to be very long (1,000-3,000 words).

-Finally there is a very stimulating French author, Jean Zin, who often writes for EcoRev. I was thinking I could contact him and offer to translate one of his texts.




maurizio teli
research fellow
ahref foundation
skype: maurizio.teli


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