>> There may be something to be gained from the recuperation of the other-space of “non-economy”,
>> however, it seems the free (as-in-speech) economy is already inherent in the software development triangle of resources, time and money…
>> (or, even better, if you can turn your clients into a resource you can draw on for innovation, beta-testing, or information and editing, like wikipedia), the money side of the triangle approaches zero.
I agree 100%! From the software development standpoint, I believe these are some of the most fundamental areas in which we need to place focus such that we can bring Corporate America to our aid instead of to our detriment in regards to our fight for a “free-as-in-speech” culture.
While I recognize that the Free Software Foundation has *ALWAYS* been about free-as-in-speech software, unfortunately there is a free-as-in-beer side effect that in many ways has pigeon-holed their efforts into a “free-as-in-everything” type-cast. The problem with this, of course, is that you can’t exactly build a business model and an underlying business economy on top of a donation-based revenue stream.
Actually, that’s not true…
Religion has proven to be quite a lucrative revenue stream [** DISCLAIMER], but the entire reason this is even possible is due to the fact that the members of each congregation have revenue sources *outside* of their religious affiliation, and therefore have the ability to donate both time and money to a cause they believe in. This is a good, healthy thing, and is something that could very easily be used as a model in regards to how we can go about developing a healthy and strong free culture foundation.
Let me state this another way: If you want to build a healthy and strong foundation for any given cause, you don’t break the kneecaps of your primary source of revenue, even if you are of the belief that this same mentioned revenue source is the root of all evil.
Moving this away from a religious focus (though I do believe that both the ideological, and in some cases, theological comparison is a fair one), it seems to me their are several *FANTASTIC* examples (though there are more than just these) of OSS “movements” in which have successfully bridged the gap between corporation and community, and in my own opinion, can be referenced as prime examples of how we can integrate the ideals of a Free Culture with the primary focus of Corporate America.
and in particular to specific project implementations,
As mentioned, there are more than just these. But whichever “role model” you might prefer, it seems to me that if we look to those projects in which have already successfully bridged the gap between corporation and community, we will be better enabled in our efforts to build a strong foundation for a Free Culture-based economy to thrive, by providing reason and incentive for corporations to care about a Free Culture-based economy.
In other words, if there is financial incentive for corporations to care about a Free Culture-based economy, it is my own belief that the current shift in corporate thinking in regards to the role of the community will become more than just an obscure historical phenomenon, and instead the cultural foundation for and of our future.
Thanks for your input, piers!
One of the most important conclusions that can be drawn from the work of Benkler, von Hippel, Weber (my review of both is here), and many others is that the Internet has reminded us that we live not just in one economy, but at least two. One economy is the traditional “commercial economy,” an economy regulated by the quid pro quo: I’ll do this (work, write, sing, etc.) in exchange for money. Another economy is (the names are many) the (a) amateur economy, (b) sharing economy, (c) social production economy, (d) noncommercial economy, or (e) p2p economy.
I believe this may very well be one of the most important writings that Lawrence Lessig has ever published.
Actually, let me rephrase,
I believe that at this specific point in time, this particular piece, written by Lawrence Lessig, provides the proper and necessary distinction and therefore foundation in regards to where we must place focus to achieve that of a truly free(as-in-speech) culture.
If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to read his post in its entirety, and then begin to discuss these issues in a way that will enable us all to understand where the problems truly exist and therefore where we need to place our focus and efforts as a society and collective cultures as we move forward.
>> One of the most important conclusions that can be drawn from the work of Benkler, von Hippel, Weber (my review of both is here), and many others is that the Internet has reminded us that we live not just in one economy, but at least two.
How is this conclusion reached? Why is this split identified? Why is it considered useful?
>> One economy is the traditional “commercial economy,” an economy regulated by the quid pro quo: I’ll do this (work, write, sing, etc.) in exchange for money.
This is the economy. Attempting to expand the ideology of economics to non-economic spheres is neoloiberal cretinisation.
>> Another economy
A metaphoric economy at best. Metaphor should not be confused with reality when constructing arguments.
>> is (the names are many) the (a) amateur economy, (b) sharing economy, (c) social production economy, (d) noncommercial economy, or (e) p2p economy.
This is a false dichotomy based on confusion of a metaphor with reality. You also seem to have decided to cast things entirely in terms of simplistic market economics.
With all due respect, this line of thinking — in essence that everything is the same color of gray; there are no differences in culture and society and economy; there are no lines nor boundaries nor anything else that differentiates us one to another — has been the source of some of the most dangerous and destructive movements the world has ever seen.
In short: This line of thinking scares me.
Please don’t take this the wrong way. I don’t mean the “evil” kind of scared. I don’t believe there is any level or sort of “evilness” in such statements. I have seen countless statements from good willed individuals who believe with all of their might, mind, and strength that the politically correct notion of “I see no color, I just see people.” can be utilized as the foundation of anything and everything they might encounter in life. In other words, they assert that because being a racist is a bad thing (it is!), the assertion must therefore be made that because they “see no color” that people are therefore “colorless.”
Folks, there’s nothing wrong with colors. Colors are what make the world such a beautiful place. In fact, one could easily assert that the very foundation that racism is built upon is that of the belief that there is only one color. Of course, this might lead to the suggestion that there is only one way of thinking; one way of living; one way of doing; one way of being.
Only one economy? I’m sorry, but I disagree. In fact, I would go as far as insisting that in which Professor Lessig alludes to in the statement,
… the Internet has reminded us that we live not just in one economy, but at least two.
At least, though quite possibly even more. But lets definitely start with two and then see where that leads us.
Thanks for bringing this to the surface, Professor Lessig! I believe this most definitely provides the foundation necessary to build from.
So let’s build.
** DISCLAIMER: By religion I don’t mean belief in God, nor am I suggesting that organized religion in and of itself is a bad thing. Just making a comparison in regards to the nature of generating a revenue stream. Some religions do good things with this revenue stream, such as create welfare and emergency response systems, sponsor worldwide humanitarian missions, fight for a stronger moral foundation, and take action to protect civil liberties and bring about a greater mutual understanding of one another. Others build television networks, and stir Kool-Aid.