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Houman Barekat on Planned Obsolescence: The Read-Write Generation | Los Angeles Review of Books

Houman Barekat on Planned Obsolescence: The Read-Write Generation | Los Angeles Review of Books | digital culture | Scoop.it

Internet-based knowledge-aggregations systems — wikis, open-source software, blogs — encode a new model for editorial practice, as communities of readers pool their ideas in a dynamic and fluid system of exchange. The journalist and blogging guru, Cory Doctorow, likened the Internet's economics of abundance to "a commons where the sheep shit grass." It's as colorful a metaphor as one is likely to come across in a discourse that is regrettably low on literary flourishes. The difficulty, as Fitzpatrick acknowledges, is how to reconcile this system with a culture in which reputations and credentials are indexed in an exclusively individuated manner. A degree of pluralism, in other words, is invading a sphere in which singularity was the measure of achievement. Quality control as we know it presupposes an editorial process that is, in the final analysis, stringently hierarchical, and the notion of a "content-agnostic" editorial process should, if taken literally, strike terror into the heart of any reasonable person. The whole point about scholarship is that some ideas are more persuasive than others — we are always searching for the right answer — whereas agnosticism by its very nature presupposes uncertainty. Seen in this light, the digital revolution threatens to flood the institutions of knowledge production with all manner of discredited irrelevancies, a final triumph for the specious egalitarianism of postmodernist thought.

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What the Instagram backlash says about the future of media | GigaOm

What the Instagram backlash says about the future of media | GigaOm | digital culture | Scoop.it

For a simple service that lets people share their photos with others from a mobile device, Instagram gets a lot of criticism, bordering on hate. And it’s not just because the tiny startup is being acquired by Facebook recently for $1 billion, which will make all of its employees exceedingly rich — it’s because some people seem to believe that the ease with which amateur photographers can post photos to the service, and the filters Instagram provides in order to add special effects to them, are ruining photography. This isn’t really that surprising: it’s the same kind of criticism that has been made about blogging, citizen journalism and Twitter, among other things — and in each case the critics have been somewhat right, but mostly wrong.

 

In one of the most recent diatribes about the downside of the Instagram phenomenon, freelance writer and photographer Kate Bevan writes in the Guardian about how the use of cheap filters is debasing real photography — which she says used to require some level of skill to produce, and therefore had some level of quality — and how apps like Instagram and other photo-editing software encourages people to click and add pseudo-artistic effects without really thinking about what they are doing. As she describes it:

“For me, the Instagram/Hipstamatic/Snapseed etc filters are the antithesis of creativity. They make all pictures look the same. They require no thought or creative input: one click and you’re done.”

 

Should photography be left to the professionals?

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How a Looming Talent Gap Will Crush Enterprise Hopes for Big Data | ReadWriteWeb

How a Looming Talent Gap Will Crush Enterprise Hopes for Big Data | ReadWriteWeb | digital culture | Scoop.it

Large enterprises are putting a lot of money and effort into making sure they have the latest and greatest in Hadoop and other big data infrastructure tools, but it turns out their IT teams are far from prepared to actually use those tools once they are in place.

That’s one observation from Jeremy Howard, president and chief scientist of Kaggle, which uses crowdsourcing techniques to provide statistical and data analytic services for clients.

“A lot of companies don’t know how to find data scientists, and don’t understand data science,” Howard explained. “These enterprise companies can’t implement a proper data analytical solution because they have no data talent.”

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[GOAL] RCUK Continue to Mandate Green OA Despite Finch Report | Steven Harnad

Despite the recommendation of the Finch report and UK Science and Universities Minister David Willets to downgrade repository use to the storage and preservation of data, theses and unpublished work

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/jul/15/free-access-british-scientific-research?newsfeed=true

the UK research funding councils, RCUK, have re-confirmed their policy of mandating Green OA:

*"The new policy, which will apply to all qualifying publications being submitted for publication from 1 April 2013, states that peer reviewed research papers which result from research that is wholly or partially funded by the Research Councils… must be published in journals which are compliant with Research Council policy on Open Access.*

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*"Criteria which journals must fulfill to be compliant with the Research Councils’ Open Access policy are detailed within the policy, but include offering a “pay to publish” option or allowing deposit in a subject or institutional repository after a mandated maximum embargo period..."*

http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/news/2012news/Pages/120716.aspx

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Acta's worst clauses resurface in Canada-EU trade treaty, verbatim | Wired UK

Acta's worst clauses resurface in Canada-EU trade treaty, verbatim | Wired UK | digital culture | Scoop.it

Despite the European Parliament rejecting the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta), some of the treaty's most controversial clauses -- including its criminal enforcement measures -- have surfaced in a leaked copy of a pending Canada-EU Trade Agreement (Ceta), verbatim.

Digital rights campaigners fear the insertions in Ceta's intellectual property chapter are evidence of a purposeful strategy by the European Commission to get Acta's most controversial clauses passed in parliament. If this happens, the Commission could argue that Acta cannot be contested on the same grounds it was initially thrown out on.

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What Twitter Wants | Orian Marx

What Twitter Wants | Orian Marx | digital culture | Scoop.it

In a recent ominous blog post, Twitter hinted at a further shift toward becoming a media portal and away from being an open platform for communication. Twitter has already earned its place in the history of the Internet and I have been very glad to be involved with it as a user and a developer during its exciting stages of rapid growth and innovation. What saddens me is that as a company Twitter seems hell-bent on relegating itself to being a precursor for something else, something better, abandoning its radical and innovative roots for staid ideas of commercialization in order to emulate a decade old model that will make it just another media entity if not completely defunct.

Twitter demonstrated the feasibility and value of delivering streams of information to the masses in real-time. It unlocked the extraordinary information dissemination potential of social networks that did not require reciprocal connections among users. It established the role of the mobile device in producing content for the web and disseminating news. It validated the idea that artificial constraints on the length of content (where we thought the web clearly had an advantage over paper) could lead to an explosion in the creation of content (how many people have written a blog post vs. posted a tweet?). Finally, it established the concept of web services as robust open platforms from which thousands of programs and startups could bloom.

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The commons: beyond the market vs. state dilemma | openDemocracy

The commons: beyond the market vs. state dilemma | openDemocracy | digital culture | Scoop.it

What are we talking about when we refer to ‘common goods’? We are talking about goods and resources that, rather than being bound by ideas of property or belonging, assume by their own natural and economic vocation functions of social interest, serving the interest not of public administration but those of a given collectivity and the people who make it up. And so, common goods require a different rationale to the one that has dominated the economic, social and political debate for so long. We refer here to the binary logic that always forced us to choose between public and private property. In the case of commons, the direct relation between common goods and the people making up the totality tells us what needs there are and what are the necessary goods for satisfying them, thus modifying the juridical conception that has held up structures of property since the establishment of Roman law. People have needs that are not met by the rigidity implied by property structures. We are not talking about just another type of property: this is the very opposite of property, the non-transmissibility of common goods being a key element in the debate.

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Curation: How the Global Brain Evolves | Evolver.fm

Curation: How the Global Brain Evolves | Evolver.fm | digital culture | Scoop.it

“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, review. Those who can’t review, tweet. Those who can’t tweet retweet.”

 

“Content curation is the natural evolution of our globally-networked consciousness. This sounds like a bunch of hippie drivel, but we really are creating a global brain, of sorts, by encoding human knowledge and tracking human activity. Using the human nodes of this network to strengthen some of these connections while weakening others (by choosing either to pass along i.e. ‘curate’ information or not to pass it along) helps this global brain function better as a system, which in turn increases its power whenever any of us need to tap into it. As luck would have it, our cultural products themselves have been mirroring this technological evolution; movies are largely sequels or ‘inspired by’ previous works; music is increasingly reliant on sampling, DJing, and repackaging styles of the past; and the DVR allows us to produce our own sequence of entertainment, rather than relying on network programmers, to name a few examples of this. When we curate, for whatever reason and in whatever form, we are enhancing a connection in the global neural network we are inadvertently creating.”


Via Guillaume Decugis
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Guillaume Decugis's comment, July 9, 2012 2:19 PM
@Scott - The idea in the article is that curators pass ideas in a similar manner to neurons and synapses in the human brain, forming a global brain. An idea which isn't new but which could be taking shape with the Internet, social media and... curation.
JKingston's curator insight, October 6, 2013 5:44 PM

Big idea - collective consciousness

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Public & Collaborative: Design for radical innovation in the public realm | DESIS Network

Public & Collaborative: Design for radical innovation in the public realm | DESIS Network | digital culture | Scoop.it

In the face of current economic and social challenges, the public sector in general and the public services in particular are changing and, in the future will have to change even more radically in order to cope with pressing societal demands. This transformation, which we commonly refer to as public innovation, could move in different directions.

One promising direction is based on the idea of people-as-assets: where citizens become active and collaborative and can be considered partners in the design and delivery of public services (service co-design andco-production).

This vision, in turn, raises two main questions: how do public services change if they are conceived as platforms to trigger, enable and support active and collaborative citizens? How can we promote the necessary mutual support between public and social innovations?

These same questions had been the starting point for the Public and Collaborative (P&C)Project, a design research initiative started in October 2011 promoted by the DESIS Network involving 11 different DESIS Labs in Europe and North America:

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Russian Internet Censorship Diminishes the Entire Internet | ReadWriteWeb

Russian Internet Censorship Diminishes the Entire Internet | ReadWriteWeb | digital culture | Scoop.it
Russia's new Web blacklist is only the most recent of an alarming series of authoritarian moves to muzzle networked communications. National governments bent on censorship are eating away at the global, public Internet.

On Wednesday, the Russian Parliament's lower house approved legislation that would block Web pages selectively. The proposed law reportedly lets officials filter out specific domain names and IP addresses. Law enforcement agencies could add URLs to the blacklist without a court order. Hosting services would need to remove banned materials within 72 hours or risk being shut down.

Ostensibly, the law would protect children from pornography, drug abuse, suicide and information "harmful to their health and development." However, it's difficult to take this rationale at face value: Russia's government routinely crushes challenges to the status quo. The Putin regime has taken tight control over broadcast media and dragged its heels in investigating the murders of 26 journalists. It has fought U.N. resolutions that would compel it to respect human rights. Another bill currently in the Russian Parliament would increase penalties for defamation, while yet another would compel nongovernmental organizations that accept foreign financing to register as "foreign agents."

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Interview with Alan Kay | Dr.Dobb's

Interview with Alan Kay | Dr.Dobb's | digital culture | Scoop.it

The inventor of object-orientation, co-designer of Smalltalk, and UI luminary opines on programming, browsers, objects, the illusion of patterns, and how Socrates could still make it to heaven.
In June of this year, the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) celebrated the centenary of Alan Turing's birth by holding a conference with presentations by more than 30 Turing Award winners. The conference was filled with unusual lectures and panels (videos are available here) both about Turing and present-day computing. During a break in the proceedings, I interviewed Alan Kay — a Turing Award recipient known for many innovations and his articulated belief that the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

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Dave Winer: Twitter is a Corporate API | Scripting News

Dave Winer: Twitter is a Corporate API | Scripting News | digital culture | Scoop.it

A lot has been written in the last week about Twitter's API and developer concerns that it would soon be closed to apps that are platform-specific clients.

Conclusion -- corporate APIs are good for the corporations that own them, and bad for everyone else. I would be reluctant to develop on any corporate API unless I was prepared to have my work completely deleted or obviated or usurped by the platform vendor. You really don't have any power. However it's impossible to avoid them. But try to. And don't be a crybaby when you get hurt.

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DPLA joins US Ignite Partnership | DPLA Blog

DPLA joins US Ignite Partnership | DPLA Blog | digital culture | Scoop.it

The DPLA is pleased to announce its participation in US Ignite, a public-private partnership comprised of communities, universities, federal agencies, local and state governments, corporations and non-profits that aims to “promote US leadership in developing applications and services for ultra-fast broadband and software-defined network.” By creating a single, national gigabit broadband network, the Partnership will be able to provide participating communities and campuses with ultra-fast broadband services. In this endeavor US Ignite has brought together a network of stakeholders: developers and engineers to create such technologies and the communities, schools, and institutions that are intended to benefit from them.

Beyond the single broadband network the Partnership seeks to foster the development of applications and digital services for “advanced manufacturing, medical, monitoring, emergency preparedness, and a host of other services,” thus transforming the way communities function. Not only will these applications and services transform the ways in which communities function, they will serve as an incubator for innovation, job creation, and emerging markets.

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Peer-to-peer production and the coming of the commons | Red Pepper

Peer-to-peer production and the coming of the commons | Red Pepper | digital culture | Scoop.it

Capitalism in its present form is facing limits, especially resource limits, and in spite of the rapid growth of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) economies, is undergoing a process of decomposition. The question is whether the new proto-mode can generate the institutional capacity and the alliances able to break the political power of the old order.

One way to describe the changes now taking place is as a shift away from a context in which the technological and economic advantage lies with economies of scale and mass production that depend on cheap global transportation and, thus, the continuous availability of fossil fuels. The move is to ‘economies of scope’, where bringing down the cost of common infrastructure for networked enterprises brings competitive advantages.

It is in achieving these economies of scope that the distributed, peer-to-peer forms of production made possible by new information and communication technologies can be deployed.

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Podcast Hunter Tracks Down the Web’s Best | All Things Digital

Podcast Hunter Tracks Down the Web’s Best | All Things Digital | digital culture | Scoop.it

The Stitcher app is free and runs on Apple’s iPod touch, iPhone and iPad, as well as on Android phones and tablets, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color and Nook Tablet and Amazon’s Kindle Fire. It provides an elegant interface for finding and playing some 100,000 hours of podcast programming. But the app, alone, wasn’t doing a good enough job of helping users discover content they might like.
The Smart Station feature is a delight to use. I listened to podcasts it suggested while I was commuting, exercising and cooking in my kitchen. As promised, the content in my Smart Station seemed to get more personalized the more I used it. Each podcast in the curated list lasted about 30 minutes, more to chew on than three-minute news clips.

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Corporate America, meet ‘Generation C’ | Brian Solis @ WaPo

Corporate America, meet ‘Generation C’ | Brian Solis @ WaPo | digital culture | Scoop.it
Going to an event is about being in the moment and enjoying the experience to the fullest, right?

Yes.

But, while these people may seem distracted, they are, in fact, very much a part of the occasion. Multitasking is a way of life for them, but there’s something more to it than just a love affair with smartphones and tablets. These “always on” audiences share real-world experiences as they happen with friends and acquaintances who, in turn, respond in real time.

This means word-of-mouth has evolved from one-to-one to one-to-many conversations. Shared experiences become a formidable currency in the networked economy where the influence of an individual is significantly augmented. And, it’s this influence that changes the game for how consumers and organizations connect in the future.

In the age of social media, we are witnessing a C-change (as in “C” for customer) in the balance of power between consumers and businesses. This increasingly empowered generation of connected customers, which I often refer to as Generation-C, is changing the face of engagement and is re-writing the book for how businesses market and serve them in the future.

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Free access to British scientific research within two years | Guardian

Free access to British scientific research within two years | Guardian | digital culture | Scoop.it

The government is to unveil controversial plans to make publicly funded scientific research immediately available for anyone to read for free by 2014, in the most radical shakeup of academic publishing since the invention of the internet.

Under the scheme, research papers that describe work paid for by the British taxpayer will be free online for universities, companies and individuals to use for any purpose, wherever they are in the world.

In an interview with the Guardian before Monday's announcement David Willetts, the universities and science minister, said he expected a full transformation to the open approach over the next two years.

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Breaking Open the Digital Commons to Fight Corporate Capitalism | Truth-Out

Breaking Open the Digital Commons to Fight Corporate Capitalism | Truth-Out | digital culture | Scoop.it

In this story, Michael A. Peters discusses the importance of pushing governments and the private sector to invest in public digital infrastructure. This is essential, he argues, to fight corporate capitalism and promote universal access to knowledge and education.

"In a time of crisis that follows the financialization of the world economy, its deregulation, new levels of corporate fraud and financial criminalization at the core of the system, [2]one of the most constructive responses is the openness movement that seeks to encourage governments and the private sector to invest in public digital infrastructures to protect knowledge diversity and promote universal access to knowledge and education."


Via jean lievens, P2P Foundation
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Open source community collaboration strategies for the enterprise | O'Reilly Radar

Open source community collaboration strategies for the enterprise | O'Reilly Radar | digital culture | Scoop.it

In the view of many, open source is the pragmatic expression of the ethical idea of “software freedom,” articulated in various ways for several decades by communities around both Richard Stallman’s GNU Project and the BSD project. The elements of open source and free software are simple to grasp; software freedom delivers the rights to use, study, modify and distribute software for any purpose, and the Open Source Definition clarifies one area of that ethical construct with pragmatic rules that help identify copyright licenses that promote software freedom. But just as simple LEGO bricks unlock an infinite world of creativity, so these open source building blocks offer a wide range of usage models, which are still evolving.

This paper offers some thinking tools for those involved in the consideration and implementation of open source strategies, both in software consuming organizations and by software creators. It aims to equip you with transferrable explanations for some of the concepts your business leaders will need to consider.

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What Exactly Is GitHub Anyway? | TechCrunch

What Exactly Is GitHub Anyway? | TechCrunch | digital culture | Scoop.it
At the heart of GitHub is Git, an open source project started by Linux creator Linus Torvalds . Matthew McCullough, a trainer at GitHub, explains that Git, like other version control systems, manages and stores revisions of projects. Although it’s mostly used for code, McCullough says Git could be used to manage any other type of file, such as Word documents or Final Cut projects. Think of it as a filing system for every draft of a document.
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The Journal of Peer Production, issue #2 Bio/Hardware Hacking [Bruce Sterling] | Knowtex

The Journal of Peer Production, issue #2 Bio/Hardware Hacking [Bruce Sterling] | Knowtex | digital culture | Scoop.it

“But first, a few words about the multiple sites of do-it-yourself biology. (((Gets the anthrax-tainted popcorn.))) There is quite a diverse set of places in which laboratories, associations, and networks around do-it-yourself biology have emerged. DIYbio, created in the Boston area in 2008, describes itself as an “Institution for the Amateur Biologist”. It now counts around 2000 members and has a website (www.diybio.org) which is arguably the worldwide focal point for people interested in DIY biology.

“Associations like DIYbio are today present in many countries across the globe: in European countries like Denmark, the UK, Spain, France, Germany, in Canada and in India and, above all, in the US. The emergence of do-it-yourself biology is mainly located in the Western world, especially in major US and European cities. Beyond these territorial aspects, the more distributed geographies of protocols, ideas and objects that circulate via Internet forums and collaborative platforms play a key role in the emergence of do-it-yourself biology.

“In fact, the various communicative devices that do-it-yourself biologists use – i.e. the diybio.org website, the blogs, open source tools, forums, videos, etc. – are part and parcel of the material infrastructure that allows for the circulation of knowledge to take place and for collectives of do-it-yourself biologists to emerge.


Via jean lievens, P2P Foundation
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Issue 3 – Occupying the Commons | The Future of Occupy

Issue 3 – Occupying the Commons | The Future of Occupy | digital culture | Scoop.it

This issue of The Future of Occupy is an invitation to look into that question, together. Assuming that the “how-to” of that collective withdrawal interests you as much as it does us, we invite you to use this issue as a ticket for a passionate learning journey. As you read the reports, blogs, poems, and interviews, as you watch the interviews, hold in the back of your mind the question, to what extent can they help us to switch allegiance together from modes of organizing, thinking, and working, which are not life-affirming and inspiring the best in us to those, which are.
Two growing forces that are the drivers of the Big Switch are the Commons and Occupy movements. In this issue we celebrate their beautiful relationship. The concept of the Commons and the horizontal structure of the Occupy movement are two aspects of the same idea: as human beings, we share common resources (this planet, its air, water, soil and genetic diversity; our heritage of cultural creations—art, technology, ideas), and we share a common future. Put another way, focusing on the Commons is a way of articulating what the Occupy movement actually stands for: an open, horizontal, equitable, sharing of our social, economic, and ecological resources.

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New 3-D Printers that Don’t Suck | Wired

New 3-D Printers that Don’t Suck | Wired | digital culture | Scoop.it

Fortunately, a new generation of higher-resolution, faster, and more reliable machines are starting to come to market.

This new breed of printer use Stereolithography (SLA) technology, utilizing light instead of heat to make models. How? A high powered light source hardens a cross section of light-sensitive liquid plastic. The machine then raises the build platform a smidge and the process is repeated. It’s very dramatic — models look like they are being pulled from a puddle of goo.

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Will Ride-Sharing Apps Replace Car Ownership? | Forbes

Will Ride-Sharing Apps Replace Car Ownership? | Forbes | digital culture | Scoop.it
Will ride-sharing apps like SideCar and Lyft replace car ownership?

If services like SideCar and Lyft become trusted and easy to use, will people, especially city dwellers, ditch their cars and just catch rides everywhere? In other words, will smart phones replace cars? It’s no small question. Auto manufacturers could be affected. Cities could have less congestion and traffic–and be organized differently. Pollution could be improved with less cars on the roads. Since World War II, American society has been organized around the automobile in eating, working and entertainment, says SideCar CEO Sunil Paul. But with more services like SideCar, and if people could get used to ride shares and car shares (from startups such as RelayRides and Getaround), that could change.

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A note on evaluation processes for social phenomena with ambitious claims | Journal of Peer Production

A note on evaluation processes for social phenomena with ambitious claims | Journal of Peer Production | digital culture | Scoop.it

It is not a surprise that p2p theorists have not been able so far to produce a plausible vision of how a p2p society might perhaps one day deliver the cities, etc that other modes of production delivered so far, and that we wish to improve on. Producing such visions is a task too difficult for anyone or any group of humans – this is one important thing to learn from social sciences (equally from Marx, or Keynes, or neoclassical economics and political theorists): there are too many complexities involved to create such visions in theory. Only through practice can any such ambitious goals be envisioned theoretically.
Hence the need to stick with analysing existing p2p practices, and to recognize material conditions in which those practices exist – the above-mentioned total dependence on other dominant modes of production being the starting point.
Yes, you may rightly say, new starts its existence in the old. You may also say that there are new phenomena which are able to boot-strap themselves out of the old and create a new totality on their own. The problem is, nothing so far points in the direction of p2p being such a new phenomenon able to become an overall logic of organizing the entire society (mode of production, if you wish) – I’m speaking here as a p2p fan and as a former and occasional p2p practitioner who would gladly assess any evidence to the contrary.

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