All That is Solid Melts in Air:

All That is Solid Melts in Air::

The possibilities of the next evolution of social economic systems.

“Since we have cast the extant world system as being evolutionary, we must assume that if it is to survive, the world system will have to adjust and that the inevitable thermodynamic tax must be paid. What will the evolutionary system look like? Certainly, the >dysecological= aspect of Western thought that is anthropocentric, linear, discrete, materialistic and simplistic will have to be softened or replaced while the positive aspects such as creativity, love of nature, art, and reason would seem to be necessary for a high quality existence. Eastern models that are cosmic, non-linear, and complex are more congruent with the global mind but are flawed in their, passivity, fatalism, and anti-intellectualism. A sustainable world system must work optimally within the constraints of the global ecosystem and the human value systems the latter of which will be evolutionary rather than a composite of the present (Perelman, 1976). Whatever the path, it is unlikely that the futuristic myth of modernist historical progress will be played out; however, given the stochastic nature of post-modernist thought, neither is it predictable (Jones, Natter, and Schatzki, eds., 1993).”

The Globalization Website – Theories

World-systems theory has been a practical theory to analyze capitalist globalization. The following highlights some of the issues surrounding fragmentation and decentralization which are relevant to modern communication systems.

The Globalization Website – Theories: “Such twentieth-century developments set the stage for what Wallerstein calls a period of transition. New crises of contraction can no longer be solved by exploiting new markets; economic decline will stimulate struggle in the core; challenges to core dominance will gather strength in the absence of a strong hegemonic power and a globally accepted ideology; polarization will push the system to the breaking point. While this chaotic transition may not produce a more equal and democratic world, it does spell the end of capitalist globalization”

PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column

PBS | I, Cringely . Archived Column: “Like many of us, Andrew Greig put a WiFi access point in his house so he could share his broadband Internet connection. But like hardly any of us, Andrew uses his WiFi network for Internet, television, and telephone. He cancelled his telephone line and cable TV service. Then his neighbors dropped-by, saw what Andrew had done, and they cancelled their telephone and cable TV services, too, many of them without having a wired broadband connection of their own. They get their service from Andrew, who added an inline amplifier and put a better antenna in his attic. Now most of Andrew’s neighborhood is watching digital TV with full PVR capability, making unmetered VoIP telephone calls, and downloading data at prodigious rates thanks to shared bandwidth. Is this the future of home communications and entertainment? It could be, five years from now, if Andrew Greig has anything to say about it”

BookBlog: Red Penguin?

BookBlog: Red Penguin?

A challenge to Dan Hunter’s article about open source being Marxist.

Another attribute of political marxism is an belief in mandatory equality. Peer production projects often have a meritocratic culture with dramatic inequality, where founding leaders and high-value contributors have greater prestige, influence, and sometimes financial reward. It’s not considered inherently unjust that leaders of open source projects like Perl and Python have received grant, foundation, and corporate funding to do their work (although visible leaders of peer projects can also become lightning rods for criticism).

This hints at what I wrote earlier that the open source culture is not necessarily one of equality and no rewards. And that it is definitely one of power and distribution of goods. This piece also hints at the possiblity that the efficients of knowledge production in the open source community feed this inequality and perhaps support the meritocratic leaders.

For many people, software development is pretty clearly in the complementary category, where the rewards of prestige and satisfaction coexist with monetary rewards. There are Apache developers on corporate payrolls, and companies supporting open source technologies, ranging from IBM to MySQL, Zope, and Jabber. There are developers who make a living consulting based on free software expertise.