Kategorie: English

Planned capitalism

[This is a translation of the corresponding german post]

Now I have yet to write about the »New Socialism« of Cockshott/Cottrell, although the respective book (german: »Alternativen aus dem Rechner«, english: »Towards a New Socialism«) is still lying on the pile of unread books. Motive of this post is an interview with Allin Cottrell in »junge Welt« (leftwing german daily newspaper). There Cottrell argues, that the planned economy of the Soviet Union has failed due to its limited capacities of computing power. However, within the arms industry they had done well.

But they did not have computing resources, in order to extend detailed planning to the entire civil economy; they only could concentrate on a small subset of the products. [own translation of all quotes]

How do Cockshott/Cottrell view the new socialism, for which they see a chance of realization in Venezuela and Bolivia?
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Open Source Biotech?

Rob Carlson schreibt in einem Artikel, dass es jede Menge Parallelen zwischen Moores Law und der technologischen Entwicklung im Biotech-Sektor gäbe. Die Fähigkeiten der Gen-Sequenzer verdoppeln sich seiner Ansicht nach genauso wie Transistoren auf dem Chip.

Die Folge: Das Gen-Labor in der Küche für jeden der will ist nicht mehr weit weg. Das wirft natürlich enorme Probleme auf. Gatacca erscheint bei dieser Perspektive eher als harmlose Zukunftsvision.

Carlson setzt auf einen Open-Source-Ansatz um diesen Problemen gerecht zu werden, weil Verbote die billige Biotech nur in einen unkontrollierbaren Schwarzmarkt treiben würden:

The best way to keep apprised of the activities of both amateurs and professionals is to establish open networks of researchers, perhaps modeled on the Open Source Software (OSS) movement, and potentially sponsored by the government during their embryonic phases. The Open Source development community thrives on constant communication and plentiful free advice. This behavior is common practice for professional biology hackers, and it is already evident on the Web amongst amateur biology hackers.14 This represents an opportunity to keep apprised of current research in a distributed fashion. Anyone trying something new will require advice from peers and may advertise at least some portion of the results of their work. As is evident from the ready criticism leveled at miscreants in online forums frequented by software developers (Slashdot, Kuro5hin, etc.), people are not afraid to speak out when they feel the work of a particular person or group is substandard or threatens the public good. Thus our best potential defense against biological threats is to create and maintain open networks of researchers at every level, thereby magnifying the number of eyes and ears keeping track of what is going on in the world.

Ich bin da ja eher skeptisch. Auch Handfeuerwaffen sind billig und ich wünschte mir, sie wären verbotener als sie es sind.

4th Oekonux Conference: Call for Contribution

[Update 18.6.2009: Es gibt eine deutsche Übersetzung dieses Aufrufes]

During the past decade the phenomenon of Free Software has become successful and well-known. It is still amazing how in the realm of software the creativity of so many volunteers leads to products which are useful for the whole mankind. In 1999 the Oekonux Project started with analyzing this phenomenon and trying to understand the special features of Free Software as a social and political enterprise.

Today, beyond the Free Software world, projects based on a similar approach of peer production are rapidly emerging, including Wikipedia and many more. It is time to look at peer production from a broader perspective.

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The Bank of Common Knowledge

The Bank of Common Knowledge exports the dynamics of Free Culture and the Copyleft philosophy to general processes of knowledge generation and transmission among citizens. Work processes and methodologies are researched while the production of content, mutual education and citizen participation is carried out for the purpose of giving free access to the knowledge generated by the communities in which the Common Knowledge Bank is installed.

The contents generated are Copyleft, and can be copied, redistributed or modified freely. Based on the organization of meetings among citizens, the Bank of Common Knowledge experiments with new forms of production, learning and citizen participation. Read on. [via]

Video from Barcelona:

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Irish Friends Vote NO For Me!

Irish Friends Vote NO For Me!

There are enough reasons to reject the EU treaty — militarism, surveillance state, and neoliberalism are only three keywords. But we can’t, because we are not allowed to vote. Only the Irish people can vote. Support them to vote NO for us!

Es gibt genug Gründe den EU-Vertrag abzulehnen — Militarismus, Überwachungsstaat und Neoliberalismus sind nur drei Stichworte. Aber wir können den Vertrag nicht ablehnen, da wir nicht abstimmen dürfen. Nur die irische Bevölkerung darf abstimmen. Unterstützt sie, um für uns mit NEIN zu stimmen!

»Copyfarleft — a Critique« published

Mute-MagazineMy draft paper »Copyfarleft — a Critique« has been extensively improved by Mute-Magazine (thanx, Ben!), and has now been published online. Teaser:

In July last year Mute published Dmytri Kleiner’s critique of copyright and it’s ‚radical‘ copyleft alternative, presenting a reformist programme based on Ricardo’s ‚iron law of wages‘. But Marx demolished this analysis 140 years ago, argues Stefan Meretz. Time for FLOSS to catch up?

Read the full text here.

Yochai Benkler: Open-Source Economics

The following TED-Talk of law professor Yochai Benkler is an older one (July 2005), but it was just released and is, of course, yet interesting. Yochai Benkler explains how collaborative projects like Wikipedia and Linux represent the next stage of human organization. By disrupting traditional economic production, copyright law and established competition, they’re paving the way for a new set of economic laws, where empowered individuals are put on a level playing field with industry giants.

Michel Bauwens on Peer to Peer Politics

Michel BauwensOekonux and P2P-Foundation are preparing a common conference in March 2009 in Manchester, UK. The founder of P2P-Foundation, Michel Bauwens, was born in Belgium and is now living in Thailand. He is a busy traveller and promoter of the concept of a »P2P political economy«. The italian researcher Cosma Orsi made an extensive interview with Michel, where he adopted some parts from Peerconomy and germ form theory.

Here are some interesting snippets.

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