The Battle for the Commons

Howard Reingold:
A commons (C) is a shared resource that anyone can use. … The question for the coming decade is whether these domains will retain a strong commons.
Commons foster innovation. Consider the Internet: at its core, its a public good.
The literature of science is also a commons.

Today, the advent of technologies that enable global, mobil, many-to-many, multimedia communication and computation among billions of people — together with new understanding about collective action — have brought us to the threshold of a new “cornucopia of the commons,” similar to the wealth and knowledge that became available in the wake of the printing press.

(?) I cannot exactly formulate my question on this, yet. But “new understanding” sounds little bit unclear to me.

Understanding Cooperation: how to structure commons, how to protect them, and how to use them for enhancing our collective human intelligence.

In the case of Dean, the new medium is really smart mobs applied to electoral politics.

Our present level of knowledge about the role of cooperation and collective action in human enterprise is scarcely higher than knowledge about disease before the discovery of microorganisms.

Before we can approach the solutions of problems of conflict, cooperation, and governance of an interconnected global world – the “medicine” for social ills, if you will – we need new fundamental knowledge. We need the equivalent of a “biology” of collective action. And for this interdisciplinary understanding to emerge, a new way of thinking across disciplinary boundaries is required.

The technology of collective action provides the infrastructure for its own future evolution. Whether or not the deep understanding of cooperation can be catalyzed to knit together the separate strands of inquiry remains, however, a critical uncertainty. Success likely leads to a scenario of peer-to-peer abundance. failure – which emphasizes control over cooperation – likely leads to political stalemate and stagnant technology.

What is he really talking about? This is where getting more interesting. (1) open source software development, (2) Blogging.