“After a few steps in the darkness you will see strangers gathered around a fire; come close, and listen, for they are talking of the destiny they will mete out to your trading centers and to the hired soldiers who defend them.  They will see you, perhaps, but they will go on talking among themselves, without even lowering their voices.  This indifference strikes home; their fathers, shadowy creatures, your creatures, were but dead souls; you it was who allowed them glimpses of light, to you only did they dare speak, and you did not bother to reply to such zombies.  Their sons ignore you; a fire warms them and sheds light around them, and you have not lit it.  Now, at a respectful distance, it is you who will feel furtive, nightbound, and perished with cold.  Turn and turn about; in these shadows from whence a new dawn will break…

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Social Network Unionism

by Christian Siefkes

Building Blocks for Physical Peer Production

Journal of Peer Production[Originally published in Journal of Peer Production, Issue #1: Productive Negation, July 2012.]


Commons-based peer production has produced astonishing amounts of freely usable and shareable information. While that is amazing in itself, many people think that it is all, arguing that peer production flourishes in the digital realms of the Internet—and only there. This would mean that peer production could never be more than a niche phenomenon, since nobody can survive on information alone. This article challenges the conventional viewpoint, arguing that the potential of peer production extends far beyond the digital sphere into the sphere of physical production and that corresponding developments are already under way.

The article contrasts the plenty of the digital world with the apparent scarcity of the physical world. It explains the difference between scarcity and limitations and why is it necessary…

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