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Cooperation Theory & Practice
All aspects of theory & practice of cooperation
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Culture, genes and the human revolution - Matt Ridley

Culture, genes and the human revolution - Matt Ridley | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"State-of-the-art DNA sequencing is providing ever more detailed insights into the genomes of humans, extant apes, and even extinct hominins (13), offering unprecedented opportunities to uncover the molecular variants that make us human. A common assumption is that the emergence of behaviorally modern humans after 200,000 years ago required—and followed—a specific biological change triggered by one or more genetic mutations. For example, Klein has argued that the dawn of human culture stemmed from a single genetic change that “fostered the uniquely modern ability to adapt to a remarkable range of natural and social circumstance” (4). But are evolutionary changes in our genome a cause or a consequence of cultural innovation?"

Howard Rheingold's insight:

This is important. The interplay between biologically evolved human cognitive capabilities -- large neocortex capable of foresight and symbolic thought, visual perception and hand-eye coordination -- and cultural innovations such as language, tool-making, writing is key to understanding the role of cooperation in what it means to be human.

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Social Bonding and Nurture Kinship - Synopsis

Social Bonding and Nurture Kinship - Synopsis | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"Taken in addition to the preceding surveys of primate bonding and attachment theory, in sum it is argued that there is much evidence for substantial continuity between humans and closely related species in many of the basic conditions and processes mediating the expression of social bonding, and none are contingent upon genetic relatedness per se. These mediating mechanisms include developmental association and proximity, food sharing, co-sleeping arrangements, commonality of care-givers, and familiarity between individuals. Indeed the anthropological concept of ‘nurture kinship’ is invoked to remind us of an existing conceptual formulation of the extent to which kinship ties can be created via processes of sharing and care-giving, independently of blood ties."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

An attempt to reconcile biological/evolutionary and cultural/anthropological views on the question of altruism. Much of sociobiological explanation for human cooperation depends on kinship, but kinship in humans is culturally as well as biologically determined.

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Maximilian Holland's comment, May 27, 2013 4:24 AM
Thanks for your summary Howard. My hope is that the work demonstrates how these various disciplines are stronger when collaborating and learning from each other.
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Collaborative consumption is dead, long live the real sharing economy

Collaborative consumption is dead, long live the real sharing economy | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"So it’s not so much that collaborative consumption is dead, it’s more that it risks dying as it gets absorbed by the “Borg” and its mindless minions of capitalism. Nothing new or special here, of course. As a recent Atlantic Cities feature concluded, collaborative consumption is just more efficient, which isn’t all bad. In a recent Economist cover story, Tim O’Reilly says this loss of revolutionary potential is inevitable. He’s wrong, though. It’s only inevitable if a company takes VC money. It’s really just a decision.

This is where the real sharing economy comes in. It is more than just VC-backed Internet startups. It’s a tectonic shift in how the economy works. As society changes from a top-down factory model of organization to a peer-to-peer network model, how we produce, consume, and interact will be radically transformed. At its simplest, the sharing economy is the decentralization of economic power brought on by new technology, new and revived business models, and massive social change. It’s made up of thousands of innovations, some for profit, some nonprofit, and some that thrive in the commons.

If we can avert our collective gaze from our latest technology gadgets for a second, we might be able to see the real sharing economy, the one driven by values and tested by time.

Below are some of the most important and overlooked parts of it:"

Howard Rheingold's insight:

A thoughtful article, full of examples and links, about the dangers of monetizing collaborative consumption -- and how media attention on the technology and profit side of these social changes blinds us to the real potential of sharing economies.

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ghbrett's curator insight, March 20, 2013 4:30 PM

Please have a look at Howard Rheingold's comments below. Thanks Howard for scooping this one.

Lia Goren's curator insight, March 21, 2013 1:16 PM

As society changes from a top-down factory model of organization to a peer-to-peer network model, how we produce, consume, and interact will be radically transformed.

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What Happens to Social Media After a Twitter Revolution?

What Happens to Social Media After a Twitter Revolution? | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"Two years after the Arab Spring, questions still remain as to how much social media actually helped fuel and drive the uprisings that arose in Tunisia and swept across the region. But regardless of what happened during those Twitter-fueled revolutions, what's happened afterward?

That's what social media analytics firm Crimson Hexagon and Sanitas International wanted to find out when it decided to analyze tweets coming out of Egypt, Libya and even Syria, where there still is a war going on. The results of its 3-month study, which will be discussed in a panel at SXSW on Sunday, underscore the changes these countries are undergoing."

 
Howard Rheingold's insight:

"Twitter Revolution" is the unfortunate generalization foisted on the world by headline writers. The realities of social upheavals and political revolutions is more complex than that, and while sociologists such as Zynep Tufekci are sorting out the complex role of social media in physical world events, others are documenting the role of social-media in post-revolutionary societies.

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NewEconomyCardDeck Wiki

NewEconomyCardDeck Wiki | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"The New Economy Card Deck is intended to allow everyone, regardless of prior expertise or familiarity, to play with the kinds of thinking that is going on between transformational economists who are looking closely and critically at our existing economic paradigm and exploring both small tweaks and wholesale alternatives.

Each card in the deck describes an economic concept in simple terms. The cards make economic design elements tangible and accessible in order to facilitate games and "what if" questions -- such as "what if the world actually worked like this...how would it change my professional practice, my life, my world?" The intention is for people to begin to see the economy as a design problem we can solve rather than an unquestioned paradigm that we simply have to accept and attempt to survive within -- and then move beyond that into thinking how we can, in our lives, begin to shift into the new patterns we now see as possible and preferable.

This is a collaborative process, with plenty of room for dialogue, development of new cards and alternative starter decks for specific audiences, along with deeper data and resources, and exploration of real world efforts to implement some aspect of this new economy."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I have not played with this yet, but the broad subject of sharing economies falls under cooperation theory. Also I can see some social dilemma/commons related cards.

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Víctor Farré's curator insight, March 6, 2013 3:04 AM

Nuevos y viejos conceptos sobre la economía, en una colección de naipes. Cooperativo y completamente en marcha.

Porque la economía puede "diseñarse" no es una condición inapelable. Desobeder empieza a ser una necesidad y un honor.

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Co-ops seeding co-ops - Cultivate.Coop

Co-ops seeding co-ops - Cultivate.Coop | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"If a cooperative is the best business model for your business, why not share that benefit with others? Imagine an entire economy of principled enterprises that serve member needs and advance democratic participation.

Cooperatives can grow the cooperative economy in several ways. One way is by growing themselves: increasing their membership, sales, locations, services, products and jobs. And co-ops grow the co-op economy when they do business with each other. Investment in cooperative loan, grant and equity funds also boosts cooperative economies.

Another method is for co-op businesses to seed the development of new cooperatives. For an existing co-op, a new co-op business in the local economy means new peers and more people understanding and committed to co-op principles and values; it can also mean an improved bottom line and more member benefits.

Several co-op development strategies emerge from a review of what co-ops around the country are doing to expand the co-op economy. These correspond well to research by David Ellerman on “enterprise creation” that starts from existing businesses."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

Co-ops are a great idea, but not often easy to make work in practice. This wiki contains valuable advice based on working case histories.

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Jared Broker's curator insight, June 17, 2013 11:40 PM

Awesome wiki style page about co-ops.  It is a model that is exploding out of the top down greed structures.

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Collective Action Toolkit | frog

Collective Action Toolkit | frog | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"The Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) is a package of resources and activities that enable groups of people anywhere to organize, build trust, and collaboratively create solutions for problems impacting their community. The toolkit provides a dynamic framework that integrates knowledge and action to solve challenges. Designed to harness the benefits of group action and the power of open sharing, the activities draw on each participant’s strengths and perspectives as the group works to accomplish a common goal."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I just downloaded this and haven't had a chance to really delve into it, but frogdesign is known for excellence.

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Víctor Farré's curator insight, February 14, 2013 2:41 AM

Un kit para resolver problemas comunitarios a traves de la colaboración.

Brigitte Roujol's curator insight, February 14, 2013 10:27 AM

Très bonne "boîte à outil de base" pour faciliter une réfexion en intelligence collective

Catherine Macquart-Martin's curator insight, February 14, 2013 12:06 PM

Un kit (en anglais accessible) plein de techniques coopératives clairement décrites

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Practical benefits of studying the biological evolution of cooperation

Practical benefits of studying the biological evolution of cooperation | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Questions that we have been asked to focus on this week in Howard Rheingold’s class – Towards a Literacy of Cooperation are: 1. Are there practical benefits of studying the biological evolution of ...
Howard Rheingold's insight:

One of the co-learners in my online class on literacy of cooperation blogged about one of our "missions" -- each learner posed a question they would like all to answer, then I selected one, learners emailed me their answers, and I posted them in the forum all at once.

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From Occupation to Co-operation

From Occupation to Co-operation | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Co-op Think Tank organizes to expand member-owned movement
Howard Rheingold's insight:

I agree with this quote (although getting co-ops to work can be difficult and contentious -- c.f., the failure of the Berkeley co-op): "people were asking for an alternative model that was focused on the individual, the community, and being good for the environment. For hardcore co-op people, it's like, 'We're right here.'" The key is to enlist and keep the enthusiasm of non-hardcore co-op people.

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Airbnb And The Unstoppable Rise Of The Share Economy - Forbes

Airbnb And The Unstoppable Rise Of The Share Economy - Forbes | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Consumers are building multibillion-dollar marketplaces for sharing cars, homes, bicycles, driveways and tools. In looking for a better deal and extra income, they're reshaping business.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

I collected resources on "the sharing economy" for years (http://delicious.com/hrheingold/sharing_economy) and Joi Ito (now director of the Media Lab) and I tried and failed to sell a book proposal about the idea six or seven years ago. But technologically mediated markets are now making it possible. This isn't about socialism. It's about using the knowledge and coordination power enabled by digital networks to extract value for ourselves and others from what we know, own, and do in our self-interest.

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Crystal Arnold's curator insight, January 30, 2013 12:12 AM

The sharing economy gets some mainstream recognition, its just a more intelligent way to coordinate our actions and things.

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Toolbox for Education & Social Action » Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives

Toolbox for Education & Social Action » Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"In Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, players collaborate to found and run a democratic business. In order to survive as individuals and to strive for the success of their co-op, players make tough choices regarding big and small challenges while putting their teamwork abilities to the test. This is an exciting game of skill and solidarity, where everyone wins – or everybody loses. By playing Co-opoly, players discover the unique benefits, challenges, and operations of the cooperative world – as well as the skills needed to participate in a co-op!"

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I haven't tried this, but may test it with one of my literacy of cooperation courses ( http://socialmediaclassroom.com/host/cooperation4/lockedwiki/main-page ;)

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Human -- for better or worse

Are people, by nature, kind or rotten? This question has kept philosophers, theologians, social scientists and writers busy for millenniums.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Sapolsky is a superstar at Stanford, both for his research and his presentations. Here he describes economic games at Harvard that showed that when people had to make rapid, hence intuitive decisions, levels of cooperation rose; time to reflect had the opposite effect.

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Are We Born With a Sense of Fairness? -

"Does fairness come standard with every newborn, or is it something that we (hopefully) develop as we mature? Here’s a multimedia attempt to answer that question."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

Very clever experiments on 15 month olds provides evidence that even very young pre-verbal children have a sense of fairness.The concept of altruistic sharing is a useful expansion of vocabulary around cooperation theory.

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Co-operating and cheating go hand in hand › News in Science (ABC Science)

Co-operating and cheating go hand in hand › News in Science (ABC Science) | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Lying, cheating and other forms of Machiavellian skulduggery seem to be the inevitable evolutionary consequences of living in co-operative communities, suggest UK scientists.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Cooperation is more complicated than folk-theory would have it. Cooperation and competition co-evolve: Let's you and I cooperate to compete against them. And it seems that deception and cooperation also co-evolve.

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The Emergence of Niceness | Synthesis

The Emergence of Niceness | Synthesis | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"“People in our model do not behave irrationally,” explains Grund, but while the “homo economicus” optimizes its utility independently, the “homo socialis” puts himself or herself into the shoes of others to consider their interests as well.” Helbing adds: “This establishes something like “networked minds”. Everyone’s decisions depend on the preferences of others.” This becomes even more important in our networked world."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

The woman in the picture is the late Elinor Ostrom, whose research is cited, but who did not contribute to the evolutionary modeling research that provides evidence for mechanisms whereby cooperative behavior can spread in socieities dominated by selfishness. Sociality is the key -- pewople who get to know each other can be stimulated by ordinarily disadvantaged cooperative actors into mutual cooperation, which then becomes self-reinforcing through mutual payoffs. The social web is certainly a hotbed of ill-will. It is also an environment in which those who are inclined to cooperate -- people with diseases or caregivers, gamers, makers, educators, and just friendly, civil people -- can find each other and cluster. It is that clustering that promotes payoffs and spreads cooperation, and which online social networks can promote.

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luiy's curator insight, April 6, 2013 6:19 AM

A participatory kind of economy


How will this change our economy? Today, many customers doubt that they get the best service by people who are driven by their own profits and bonuses. “Our theory predicts that the level of other-regarding preferences is distributed broadly, from selfish to altruistic. Academic education in economics has largely promoted the selfish type. Perhaps, our economic thinking needs to fundamentally change, and our economy should be run by different kinds of people,” suggests Grund. “The true capitalist has other-regarding preferences,” adds Helbing, “as the “homo socialis” earns much more payoff.” This is, because the “homo socialis” manages to overcome the downwards spiral that tends to drive the “homo economicus” towards tragedies of the commons. The breakdown of trust and cooperation in the financial markets back in 2008 might be a good example.

 

“Social media will promote a new kind of participatory economy, in which competition goes hand in hand with cooperation,” believes Helbing. Indeed, the digital economy’s paradigm of the “prosumer” states that the Internet, social platforms, 3D printers and other developments will enable the co-producing consumer. “It will be hard to tell who is consumer and who is producer”, says Christian Waloszek. “You might be both at the same time, and this creates a much more cooperative perspective.”

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How Beer Gave Us Civilization

How Beer Gave Us Civilization | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
Humans may have found brew before they found bread. It’s a lucky thing.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Evidence that humans started hanging out in settlements long enough for grain to ferment before settled agriculture -- in the fertile crescent and Oaxaca valley -- makes social sense. Agriculture -- an exaptation of beer brewing?

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JoseAlvarezCornett's curator insight, March 18, 2013 9:09 AM

Long before Internet brought us together, beer did it first.

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Why Americans Are the Weirdest People in the World

Why Americans Are the Weirdest People in the World | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"As Heine, Norenzayan, and Henrich furthered their search, they began to find research suggesting wide cultural differences almost everywhere they looked: in spatial reasoning, the way we infer the motivations of others, categorization, moral reasoning, the boundaries between the self and others, and other arenas. These differences, they believed, were not genetic. The distinct ways Americans and Machiguengans played the ultimatum game, for instance, wasn’t because they had differently evolved brains. Rather, Americans, without fully realizing it, were manifesting a psychological tendency shared with people in other industrialized countries that had been refined and handed down through thousands of generations in ever more complex market economies. When people are constantly doing business with strangers, it helps when they have the desire to go out of their way (with a lawsuit, a call to the Better Business Bureau, or a bad Yelp review) when they feel cheated. Because Machiguengan culture had a different history, their gut feeling about what was fair was distinctly their own. In the small-scale societies with a strong culture of gift-giving, yet another conception of fairness prevailed. There, generous financial offers were turned down because people’s minds had been shaped by a cultural norm that taught them that the acceptance of generous gifts brought burdensome obligations. Our economies hadn’t been shaped by our sense of fairness; it was the other way around."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I often talk about the Ultimatum Game in my lectures. The point Henrich et al appear to be making is important: the sense of fairness is not a universal human trait, but it shaped by culture. I think this is a hopeful finding. H/T Ted Newcomb

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The Riddle of the Human Species

The Riddle of the Human Species | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
What has allowed humans to thrive? One factor is the mental growth that began with the meat-eating, hunting and campsites of our evolutionary ancestors.
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Wilson is controversial, but the rarity of what he identifies as "eusocial" species is an important point in favor of his hypothesis, and the likelihood that homo sapiens began expanding our cognitive, social, and cultural capabilities thrugh cooperative hunting and gathering, while not provable with evidence gathered so far, does appear to be supportable.

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Introduction to Social Dilemmas

Introduction to Social Dilemmas | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
This is the focus for Week 3 in Howard Rheingold’s course – Towards a Literacy of Cooperation We have been introduced to social dilemmas principally through the excellent work of Peter Kollock, who...
Howard Rheingold's insight:

Social Dilemmas and the institutions for collective action we create to work around them are essential for understanding human cooperation. Jenny Mackness, one of the co-learners in 

http://socialmediaclassroom.com/host/cooperation4 writes great blog summaries of our sessions.

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Introduction to Social Dilemmas

Introduction to Social Dilemmas | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"The health and vitality of relationships, groups, and the society at large is strongly challenged by social dilemmas, or conflicts between short-term self-interest and long-term collective interest.  Pollution, depletion of natural resources, and intergroup conflict, can be characterized as examples of urgent social dilemmas.  Social dilemmas are challenging because acting in one’s immediate self-interest is tempting to everyone involved, even though everybody benefits from acting in the longer-term collective interest. "

Howard Rheingold's insight:

I'm adding this to the syllabus of my literacy of cooperation course because it's straightforward, example-based, jargon-free, and descriptive of one of the most important lenses on human cooperation and obstacles to cooperation.

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Do trees communicate? Networks, networks…

Do trees communicate? Networks, networks… | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it
UBC Professor Suzanne Simard on Mother Trees. I was unfamiliar with how mycorrhizal networks connect the roots of trees, facilitating the sharing of resources. Dr. Suzanne Simard writes: Graduate s...
Howard Rheingold's insight:

I introduce mycorrhizal networks in my literacy of cooperation course, as part of the  module surveying cooperative arrangements in biology at all levels from the subcellular to the ecosystemic.

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Co-operation vs. Competition (vs. Collaboration)

Co-operation vs. Competition (vs. Collaboration) | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"For cooperation to happen, we need to be participating transparently with the idea that others can build upon what we share, reshare it, curate it, connect it or whatever else. In that vein, it’s why we need to promote a “network literacy” that supports our ability to find, analyze, synthesize and share information and knowledge in safe, effective and ethical ways."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

This is specifically about cooperation in education. When I first started using social media in education, I learned a lot from Will Richardson, who wrote this postl His writing about personal learning networks is key.

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Coop Gaming on the rise

Coop Gaming on the rise | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"2012 was an watershed year in coop gaming. Minecraft – a sandbox game with no tutorial, hints, badges, levelups, or assigned missions – became a massive worldwide hit, raking in $80M amd evolving into a platform used by middle-school educators to teach collaboration in the classroom.  Foldit – a science game that enlists players to solve real-world protein-folding puzzles – announced that a self-organized team of expert players had solved an HIV structural puzzle that had stumped scientists for 10 years. And Kickstarter – a crowdfunding website that combines the power of peer networks with coop game mechanics – raised more arts funding $$ than the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

What’s going on here? These innovative, genre-busting games and services are early signs of the coming wave of NonZero Gaming - games and services where people SUCCEED by banding together in service of a larger goal or cause."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

Amy Jo Kim knows her stuff.

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stevenberlinjohnson.com: Bill Clinton On "Creative Networks of Collaboration"

stevenberlinjohnson.com: Bill Clinton On "Creative Networks of Collaboration" | Cooperation Theory & Practice | Scoop.it

"The great thing about the modern world -- and the Internet is both an instrument and a metaphor for it -- is that everybody’s connected and everything is connected. It’s like I said if you look at this precipitous drop in life expectancy among white high-school dropouts, there are clear medical reasons for it but there are also psychological and social reasons that have reinforced it. And if you look at what’s working where the places that are growing economically in America, places that are doing best around the world, you have these creative networks of cooperation." Bill Clinton, referring to the ideas in Steven Johnson's "Future Perfect."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

Steven Johnson's "Future Perfect" is recommended for those who are interested in the role of networks of cooperation in the political sphere. On his blog, Johnson quotes former President Bill Clinton quoting and referring to "Future Perfect." I dialogue between Steven Johnson and Bill Clinton! What more could a person interested in cooperation theory ask?

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Everything is connected

"Network politics are also often concerned with the issues raised by commons. The internet—means and motive for much activism—is a clear example of such a digital resource: anyone can access it under the same conditions and all traffic can, at least theoretically, be treated equally (a state which is known as “network neutrality”, and a great rallying cry). But here the externalities not captured by the market are more positive than negative. Often, the more people share and use such a commons, the more they all benefit."

Howard Rheingold's insight:

Net neutrality is a commons issue. It's not just about protecting it from enclosure. It's about deriving the broadest possible benefit from the cornucopia of the commons that can manifest when digital media, with their power to duplicate, distribute, and coordinate flows of information, meet human judgement in an "architecture of participation" can multiply individual acts of self-interest into public goods useful to all.

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