Blog Archives

Peer power for the advancement of science

DLombrana_post (2)

By Daniel Lombraña, founder and CEO of Scifabric.

In order to change the light bulb we would need more than 30.000 peers actually. All over the world. But let me start from the beginning. Two years ago a PhD student contacted me at a hackathon because he had an idea about how to study and fight light pollution from space.

His idea was incredible: re-using all the photographs taken by astronauts from the International Space Station using only the ones that portrayed cities at night. The problem? All the photos are in archives where there is no order, tag, or search function. In other words, looking only for pictures of cities at night was almost impossible because they were stored mixed together with pictures of cities at day, selfies, the ISS, stars, aurora borealis, the moon, etc.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

How Bitcoin can decentralize society

LICuende_post

By Luis Iván Cuende, hacker, co-founder of Stampery

Once upon a time there was a problem. A mathematical problem. A problem that nobody ever solved before: The Byzantine Generals’ Problem. It is about the capacity of systems to continue correctly working if some of the components of the system fail or don’t act as they should when reaching consensus.

So, if a computer system can keep a common consensus without having central points of failure, it means it solved the problem. And that means you could create decentralized databases, decentralized apps and decentralized social networks that are on the same page, for example.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

A ten-step guide to approach the light bulb challenge

DCuartielles_post

By David Cuartielles, Arduino co-founder and teacher at Malmö University.

Step one: take a close look at the problem.

Step two: walk in circles for half an hour thinking about what could possibly go wrong, put the boiler in action, you’re gonna need some tea.

Step three: do you have all of the tools you need? Who knows anyway how to solve this task!

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

Before we change the light bulb we need to produce a better one

JLievens_post

By Jean Lievens, curator, the Foundation for Peer-to-Peer Alternatives.

There are two good reasons to change a light bulb. The first one is that it is broken; the second, that it is obsolete. If it is broken, we will be in the dark and it will be much harder to replace it. But we are not there (yet). The main problem with our bulb ― or rather bulbs, because we are using far more than we really need ― is that they are designed to fail, they can never be repaired and contain toxic materials poisoning the environment when thrown away.

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Open Thoughts 2014
About the Question
How many peers does it take to change a light bulb?

Systems like Linux and websites like Wikipedia are paradigmatic of a particular way of open collaboration known as peer production. Peer producers choose their tasks freely and coordinate their work using open digital platforms. They share the fruits of their labour as part of a global commons, and everyone works according to their abilities and benefits according to their needs.

Is this an emerging form of communism? Or the future of liberal capitalism? Or is it simply a new mode of production? In this blog we want to explore both the benefits and the downsides of such way of working.

UOC/IN3 degrees