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Collaborative production and new value metrics

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By Joan Subirats, professor, Autonomous University of Barcelona.

For years people have been talking about informationalism as a set of features that are bringing about a paradigm shift, since they imply and entail radical changes in the forms of production, distribution, exchange and consumption — above all in the spheres linked to knowledge, information and communication.

The rapid, far-reaching technological transformation has had a major impact on what have been labelled the “creative industries”, which have had to undergo sweeping changes. In this change of era that we are living through, it is worth focusing our attention on the emerging models of collaborative peer production through the logic of the commons.

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Posted in Open Thoughts 2014

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

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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 The first one is that it is broken; the second, that it is obsolete.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.

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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.

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