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Re: [jox] Free software special issue

Dear Mathieu

the Special Issue is still focusing on epistemologies. The text we
prepared was not intended as a CfP but as the way through which we are
getting invited contribution by the list of people we shared with the
Scientific Committee (we have had some confirmation, as soon as we get
the complete list we will share it with you all)

We are also organizing a Debate section on the basis of the
"epistemologies text" with both computer scientists and social

The possibility of a debate in the second issue, dealing with the means
of production/cooptation by capital is useful, in my understanding, for
different reason: will help constituting the "invisible college" of CSPP
through stimulating a debate between people already involved in the
journal; will act as a tool of dissemination of the two issues together
(in the second one we can preview the publication of the special issue,
in the special issue we can recall the second one)



Il giorno mer, 24/08/2011 alle 15.51 [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED], Mathieu ONeil ha scritto:
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Hi Maurizio

I had apparently not read your email thoroughly enough the first time so I think the question of whether there are candidates for a Debate with StefanMz is possibly answered.

From what is said below you are approaching FLOSS both from a history of science perspective and from the angle of means of production / cooptation by capital? 

At this point the Debate for the second issue might be useful but
the question then becomes what happens to your CFP on FLOSS? Do we
release it now anyway or wait until the proposed Debate clarifies the positions and release it after?




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.

Ah, I had not seen this - so you might be OK to take part in the debate then?



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


Dr Mathieu O'Neil
Adjunct Research Fellow
Australian Demographic and Social Research Institute
College of Arts and Social Science
The Australian National University
email: mathieu.oneil[at]

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