Monday, May 28, 2007

The commons and emergent democracy

David Bollier had a interesting essay in a recent edition of Greek online journal Re-public (“Re-imagining Democracy”), The commons and emergent democracy devoted to wiki-politics.

"It is becoming increasingly clear that the conventional, centralized institutions of the 20th Century are ill-equipped to meet the complex challenges of our time. They are just too slow, bureaucratic, secretive, politically compromised and/or unresponsive. Meanwhile, we are witnessing the rise of all sorts of distributed online networks that are proving to be highly efficient, versatile and reliable. Wikis, social networking websites, blogs, streaming video websites, podcasts and other innovations are changing how we learn, form social relationships and create culture. They are substituting “social production” for commercial transactions. They are generating new forms of political power and institutional authority.

This raises the tantalizing question, Can the new online technologies of cooperation usher in a new type of “wiki politics” and governance? "

The May issue of Re-public also has a collection of sequels on the subject like Jonah Bossewitch's The ZyprexaKills campaign: Peer production and the frontiers of radical pedagogy, where he "tells the story of the participatory campaign against blockbuster antipsychotic drug Zyprexa, suggesting that participatory culture might give to way to participatory democracy, and highlighting how collaborative technologies can play a leading role in radical actions."

Highly recommended.

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