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Re: [jox] A response to Michel and Jakob

Hi Michel,

Am 14.03.2012 05:16, schrieb Michel Bauwens:
ok, your smelling something that I don't  ... for me it is just a daily
experience reality of life, as it is for all those who participate in peer
production or who engage with physical commons as part of their daily life,
like in the mountain area where I live in northern thailand ...

My smelling is not about the practises but about the dreams in the story tellings about the former. The same is Cockaigne about - I've seen boiled chickens in practise but not yet seen them flying through the air ...

I think there is a deep difference between sharing parts of the world and
sharing descriptions of the world (the latter being "just the reality of
today's digital commons").

Absolutely, but people are ALSO and at all times, sharing physical
infrastructures, and the trend of physical mutualization is experiencing a
definite uptick ... but it is the key issue to solve to expand p2p from its
emerging phase to a more core place in our political economy and
civilisation ... it's really the core issue we work with at the p2p
foundation, but we do this by observing real world communities and
initiatives, by looking at their experiences, successes and failures

p2p is a story telling about the practises you experience (and I do, too). So what's about another story on the same experiences? Using words as "regulation of the common living circumstances", not speaking about "sharing goods" but about "reproducing living circumstances"? Using process, not product semantics? By the way, aren't you doing already just the latter? So, is the wording appropriate?

not sure I fully understand, you mean humanity could have made another
choice, say in the 16th cy, and taken on another path? ..

I've no idea if this is an interesting question, but of course there were different developed cultures in those times with different regimes - at least the Chinese Cultural World described by Marco Polo and the Inka Cultural World, see e.g., John Earls and many articles by Christian Plachteka in the Dorfwiki, almost all in german. The latter was already in those times centered around Open Knowledge reproduction.

By occassion (?) the western european cultural model, in particular centered around a new understanding of science (Galilei and Newton) developed a particular strong dynamics in those (17th century) times. Two great catastrophes occured in western europe - in 1349 the Black Dead killed half of the inhabitants thus weaking the resistance of old social structures. And the times of Galileo and Newton were accompanied by the 30 years war (1618-1648) destroying almost all reproductive structures in central europe. Tabula rasa so to say ...

Marx always emphasized that use value and exchange value are two sides of
the same medal. So trusts have not only to preserve (more precisely - to
reproduce) the capital (exchange value terms) but also the required
productive infrastructure (use value terms).

what about those aspects where there is no capitalist exchange?, i.e.
direct use value production, or do you use exchange for all modes of
reciprocity, even 'non-reciprocal' or 'generalized reciprocity' based p2p

Okay, more precisely: No exchange value without use value. Exchange value does occur only within "production on foreign needs", see my remark to Jakob.

it's not about copying the older forms in a capitalist context, but
hacking them to function with the post-capitalist context of peer
production, i.e. excluding capital accumulation and
profit-maximisation protocols to the maximum degree possible.

But "capital accumulation" is required to "invest", i.e. to reproduce the required infrastructure. It's a marxistic mantra not to understand that point ...

... not different from what the labour movement did, which combined
parties, unions, coops and many other forms to establish its
counter-hegemony in the past 2 centuries.

Workers and trade unions well understand the private needs of the working class, but in no way the common needs of reproduction of the technical infrastructure, since the latter are - in their perception - the "means of exploitation". It is a special form of the Fetishism to percept exploitation as a personal and not a structural phenomenon.

The really interesting thing in capitalism is, that you can successfully
cheat others but not yourself, because if you cheat yourself you will get
ruined.  The "general capitalist" spends much efforts (even in money terms)
to get "A LOT secrets" revealed, not for the public, but for the "general

well, in the MNO's i worked for, at fairly high levels, accounting fraud
(or 'creativity') was the default norm, not the exception and no one really
knew the 'reality' ... for example, even today, large banks are technically
bankrupt, or were, before a whole series of accounting tricks made them
look viable again ... they are very elaborate but functional fictions, and
because we all believe in them, they are indeed 'realities'

The point is, that you will not get ruined in the short run, but in the long one. No one must "know the reality" to get ruined and I suppose we see soonly how this ends with the private banks (even the story about Greece is not yet at its end, as the story about the Euro isn't). You have not to be a prophet for this, its enough to have a look at history.

I don't know any company that does _not_ publish annually, quarterly etc.
reports approved by external financial authorities. If you are listed at
the stock market you _have_ to supply such reports quarterly in a
standardized way. So I have no idea what you are writing about ...

so you believe that the accounting reports of Worldcom, Enron, all the
banks involved in the latest meltdown, were real, because they were
approved by the rating agencies and the regulatory authorities you
similarly believe Fukushima was safe, and other nuclear facilities are
safe, because they are 'approved' by regulatory agencies ????? WOW, I wish
I could live in a world like that, it would certainly simplify things. I
guess for some people, one hammer on the head is not enough ...

What would be different with Open Accounting (this was the starting point of my remark)?

I think, in the digital era it is a _core capitalistic aim_ to turn
to a practice of full open accounting.

well, I can only say, in my 40 years of working for business entities, at
fairly high levels of responsibility, and in my own dealigns as a serial
enterpreneur, I have never encountered one single example of the holopical
open accounting you can find routinely in FLOSS platforms ...  NEVER ..
for pete's sake, you can not even have access easily to the work of others
in any typical firm ... there is a constant war of secrecy internally
between dept.  because they consider 'knowledge is power' ...

As far as I see there are two (capitalistic) ways to get in advantage - informational advantage and competency advantage. The former is centered around the rule to hide own secrets and reveal the secrets of the competitors (and you described it very well). It is a static model. The latter one says - I can tell you all my secrets, you need so much time to acquire and turn them productive, that it is no danger for me. It is a dynamic model and well suited to be applied, e.g., in Open Source related business models. The former leads to market leadership, the latter is directed to technology leadership. Those changes are part of the changes to Open capitalism. IBM turned its firm philosophy from market leadership to technology leadership in the early 90's. Nowadays it allows IBM to push the Eclipse/Web sphere model.

So much for today.

Best regards, hgg


  Dr. Hans-Gert Graebe, apl. Prof., Inst. Informatik, Univ. Leipzig
  postal address: Postfach 10 09 20, D-04009 Leipzig
  Hausanschrift: Johannisgasse 26, 04103 Leipzig, Raum 5-18	
  email: graebe
  Home Page:


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