Open Access News

News from the open access movement


Monday, September 04, 2006

Michel Bauwens on P2P

Richard Poynder, P2P: A blueprint for the future? Open and Shut, September 3, 2006. Excerpt:
One of the abiding debates about the Internet is the extent to which it represents a step change in the way that societies and economies will function in the future. What is undeniable is that the Web has sparked a growing number of "free" and "open" movements that challenge current economic models including the Free and Open Source Software movements, the Open Access Movement, Open Source Journalism, and Creative Commons. Many also believe that the peer-to-peer (P2P) phenomenon has significant implications for the traditional top-down model on which modern societies are based.

But what is it that all these movements have in common? And how revolutionary will they prove over time? Thailand-based Michel Bauwens, creator of the Foundation for P2P Alternatives, believes that they have a great deal in common. He also believes that they offer a potential new model for the future development of human society. However, he argues, since the free and open movements are all components of a more generalised revolution, advocates of these movements should combine forces with the larger P2P movement if they want to ensure the success of their individual objectives. Here, in the first of a two-part interview, Bauwens talks to Richard Poynder....

Update. Part 2 of this interview is now online (9/7/06). One Bauwens insight:

[C]urrently we live in a society that treats scarce and rival resources (i.e. nature and the biosphere), as if they were infinite, and artificially renders scarce what is infinite [information, especially digital information], since it can be reproduced for free. This is an illogical state of affairs that both destroys the biosphere and impedes the growth of social productivity. And that illogicality is what we want to reverse.