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Special issue on FLOSS (was: Re: [jox] Journal report - 19 August 2011)

Hi Maurizio and all!

2 weeks (14 days) ago Maurizio Teli wrote:
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."

Indeed this is the essence of my point.

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

May be it would be useful to define the "task at hand" more closely.
IMHO the most important thing at this point in history is to
understand peer production better. Similarly important seems to me how
peer production benefits general human emancipation - although in ways
not foreseen by leftists.

(and, by the way, the
same concept of "mode of production" is an old tool that as proven to be
extremely effective)

True. That's why I continue to use it.

IMHO it would be useful to separate between ideology and theory. "Mode
of production" is a piece of theory IMHO.

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

IMHO this points in the right direction.

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. 

To study and understand this would be indeed interesting. However, I'd
be very careful with (ideological) judgement...

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.

An old but of course still interesting point. To phrase it in germ
form terms: The question is whether the germ form is strong enough to
overcome the old form. I think it is but only history will prove this
wrong or right.

In any case: The direction Maurizio takes seems right to me.

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

I'm not sure but may be.



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