Ming the Mechanic
The NewsLog of Flemming Funch

Friday, November 22, 2002day link 

 Unorganization
picture Simon Buckingham talks about "What is Unorganization". The good kind of unorganization, that is.
The world we all live in has fundamentally changed for the better from the old organized model to today's unorganized one. In the orderly organized world, there was certainty and convention. In the global unorganized world there is freedom, diversity and instability.
I like it already. He has some nice charts. He presents a scale going from the most organized types of societies - communism - through socialism, capitalism, finally towards what he calls 'technological capitalism', which he sort of positions as the best of all worlds.
Socialism was a response to inequality, whereas capitalism can cause it. Under capitalism, new economic opportunities tend to present themselves to members of institutions such as companies or to people who have already benefited from other opportunities. Individuals acting alone face either high entry barriers or are excluded altogether from taking advantage of those market opportunities. The rich get richer and poor people stay poor. Under technological capitalism, there are both the free market opportunities AND the opportunity for all individuals to benefit from those opportunities. Individuals can participate more easily in, and benefit more fully from free market economies. Talent determines future wealth, not current wealth: poor people can become rich.

[ | 2002-11-22 04:48 | 12 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Corporate interests try to kill public domain
Washington Post: Free Web Research Link Closed Under Pressure From Pay Sites. The Energy Department has shut down a popular Internet site that catalogued government and academic science research, in response to corporate complaints that it competed with similar commercial services.. Dan Gillmor says, and I agree, "The correct word for what has happened here is 'theft' -- because the government has allowed private interests to steal from the public domain. The claim that this was done to save money -- a paltry $200,000 a year -- doesn't even begin to pass the smell test. This was an arrangement on behalf of corporate interests, and an absolute thumb in the eye to the public. It's as if the book publishers persuaded communities to shutter public libraries..."
[ | 2002-11-22 04:48 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 Fertile soil for group-forming
picture Seb has many good thoughts about how to facilitate group-forming. Like here about what sorts of people might be the best candidates to form groups. For example, people with well-specified problems and a well-defined environment, like programmers or mathematicians or puzzle solvers. Very interestingly, he has this comment about Activists and World-changers:
"These people are definitely motivated to form teams to create change. However, they've got perhaps the hardest task of all as regards defining what they want and how they want to get there. What they want is initially imagined and often difficult to state precisely; stating how they want to get there must be build upon a difficult to obtain description of the messy real world."
He's right, and that's something I've run into a lot. World-changers are of course VERY motivated, but it might be very hard to agree on what exactly we're doing, and how.
[ | 2002-11-22 15:44 | 2 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

 File swapping will win, lawyers will lose.
According to The Register, a group of Microsoft researchers have concluded that peer-to-peer file swapping networks will win and DRM (Digital Rights Management) and the lawyers will lose. We knew that all along, of course, but it is refreshing if even Microsoft might understand some of that. They explore a number of different scenarios, and conclude that no matter how much copy protection is put into hardware and software, smart people will always find ways to get around it, so they can share with each other. Most important is the understanding that file swapping networks are competitors to the monopolized 'legal' high-security media companies. If P2P networks deliver a higher quality and lower cost product, that's what people will choose. Of course people don't want crippled content that's expensive and complicated to buy, and which they can't use in ways that work for them. That is worth much LESS than a high quality product that is easy to get and to use. So, vendors will need to compete on price and convenience in order to stay in the game.
[ | 2002-11-22 17:07 | 3 comments | PermaLink ]  More >

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