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For discussion: a redefined collectivism
Jon Lebkowsky, 3 Jul 06

Derek Woodgate of The Futures Lab wants input for a presentation he's creating about future experiences within the context of a redefined collectivism. The presentation will provide a detailed insight on how this new collectivism is emerging, and how multiple forms of convergence will disrupt and transform socio-political structures. This shift will ultimately give rise to new social and business dynamics and lead to a new world of future experiences. If you have thoughts on the structure of this new form of collectivism, its drivers, and the possible resulting experiences from the point of view of interaction, immersion, responsive environment, communication, etc., please post them as comments. Derek's inquiry was inspired by Jaron Lanier's "Digital Maoism" essay.

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To understand the emergence of the new collectivism, it's important to look at what happened the first time around.

The industrial revolution can be seen as a name for the bringing into being of the economic factor called Capital. Deciding who should own Capital was the fundamental struggle between Capitalism and that original collectivism, Communism, with the former proposing ownership by the individual, and the latter proposing ownership by the State (as a proxy for the collective).

I would claim that Capitalism won out over the various forms of collectivism for three fundamental philosophical and systemic reasons: 1) Capitalism was better at recognizing and building on individual dignity and potential 2) Capitalism is essentially decentralist because it "pushes the Intelligence out to the edges" where local information can be used to maximum advantage in decision making and 3) Capitalism works with, not against people's natural self-interest.

The new collectivism is arising in very similar circumstances. The revolution that we are undergoing right now is the bringing into existence of a new economic factor: Information, and by this I mean the data plus the patterns and processes that use that data to organize production.

The struggle this time around is similarly about who should own Information, but this time there's an interesting twist. Should it be individuals (either natural or corporate,)or should ownership of Information be held in the commons? We could call these two camps Ownerism and Commonism.

The twist is rooted in the fact that Information, unlike Captial, does not suffer the tragedy of the commons. It is not used up. Also, with the Internet, Information doesn't need the proxy of the state for it to be held in the commons. The success of Commonism will be based on the fact that this time it is the camp that is structurally in the position that Capitalism was in last time around: 1) its aim is very individual-centric, it is trying to maximize individual potential and dignity (it just realizes that this happens in the context of a collective). 2) it is also decentralist and is about pushing the intelligence to the edges (think of the design of the Internet itself as well as all, peer-to-peer endeavors that surround the new collectivism). 3) it works with the natural abundance properties of Information. The costs and difficulties of keeping information scarce are staggering, it's just a whole lot easier to not try and protect information.

The new social and business dynamics of Commonism are already in play, the most obvious being the open source world for software development and creative commons for artistic development. Sure there aren't scalable "business models" for these yet, but I would claim that's because the most basic Information system of all, what we call money, hasn't made its way into the commons, yet. Many of us are working on making that happen fast (see

Posted by: Eric Harris-Braun on 3 Jul 06

Not Coming out because i am 100% not gay
By Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou 19th June 2006 - Manchester News

I am fed up with people calling me a Big Bubble Queen, what does that mean? I wish to make clear that like Ashley Cole and Master Steps i Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou am definately not gay in any way at all as i have had many high profile relationships with real women such as Dannii m
Minogue sister of Kylie Minogue.
My legal policy:
With regard to my legal policy. I am sure you will understand that i, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou cannot permit others to use my family name and the smear campaign i have had to endure notwithstanding and without the certainty that i will sue the person or publication for libel due to rights in my character and family name being prejudiced. It follows that no use should be made of the Stelios Haji-Ioannou name (or anything similar to it) and if any smear whether directly or indirectly relating to gay or homosexual practices is made you or your publication will be punished to the full extent of the law. And in addition i will seek damages and compensation. The thought of being gay repulses and disgusts me and has brought a great deal of shame and embarrisment to my family especially as it is not true. I have nothing against gays or lesbians personally and i do not wish to offend anyone at all please do not misunderstand me i actually employ many gays and do not discriminate but i will sue anyone who calls me Stelios Haji-Ioannou Gay or says Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is a homosexual

I also wish to deny that i have donated money to the Labour Party in order to get my Knighthood. I am not the only Tax exile to recieve a knighthood look at Philip Green

Posted by: Stelios Haji- Ioannou on 5 Jul 06



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