Byte Rights: A Nobel Cause



+ Add a Comment


Norton, I love your stuff, but this bit gives me pause.

Ostrom has indeed provided some foundational work on commons management, which essentially states the obvious in scientized, ready-for-institutional-absorbment terms.  Obviously, management of resources proceeds in a manner that can be perceived as beneficial when all parties are offered a seat and a voice; this is merely the bedrock of a grounded, political feminist action.  Examples of the contrary litter this readers Canadian north, from the fall of the East Coast fisheries in the early 1990's to Ontario's forest management system, and most explicitly within the active mining operations in Attiwapiskat and those proposed for the James Bay coast.  When communities are offered or demand a voice (seldom to the former, moreso to the latter), the distribution of exchange stemming from resource management proceeds in a seemingly more equitable fashion.

Yet, let's not lose our heads.   Stating that Hardin's work (revised from '68-'98) was a theoretical thought experiement feels a bit rash, as good ol' Garrett (in a poor Texas drawl) was only discussing a conceptual framework as 'real' as Ostrom's CPR outline(s).  It may not be hip to explicitly discuss carrying capacity or the absence of generalized reciprocity in 2010, but these ideas should still hold some weight.  As an acolyte of North American socialization processes, this reader hardly recognizes that care should be taken when discussing concepts our Buber-ian cognative mechanisms can barely grasp (and 'barely' is debated, at that).  It's confusing stuff, to say the least.

It's depressing to think, and even more to speak, but self-organization implies a structure that is causally-closed- that is, limited to causal relations(ships) that can become understood (props to Smolin, Lee, 2003).  Physics ain't the 'real' life, and neither is what reflects from issues surrounding digital rights, but each should offer a highly qualified mirror of the 'real'... or at least 'experienced'... right?  Yet, the only measure of worldly meaning (vis-a-vis, reflection) such high-fa-loutin' frameworks offer is the ethical connection of the partaker to the intent of the structure and their local surroundings.  Such ethical connections, as anthropology has suffered to perceive, should be described in measures of years rather than snapshots.

It may feel warm to have the academy validate an interpretation of the purpose of the digital commons, but I still pay for my bandwidth (as does most of the rest of the priviledged [re: not in a good sense] world).  To pay for the bandwidth I follow all of the classic Hardin steps that contribute to a skewed interpretation of 'commons' and 'community'.  Those who do not have to follow the steps are skewed in a similar sense.  The academy has not changed much in the past two hundred years- the rock solid institutional force continues to replicate and reinforce existing power relations.  Doesn't this sort of validation feel like the fingertips of co-option?  Or are we truly deluded in thinking that what is perceived to be commons actually is?  I can't figure it out...

... but it just feels wrong.




thanks, this is an underreported topic even though it is in many ways the contemporary center of many issues.  look forward to more stories from this perspective.

"...makes the system work more efficiently than either centralized government or strong property rights." --efficiency is irrelevant!


a current book on the issue is hardt & negri - commonwealth



"efficiencey is irrelevant" ? Seven of Nine would kick your *** for that! lol

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.