There is no turning the sharing off for long


06-Sharing (1:09) (49 views)



"De belangrijkste uitvindingen zullen de komende jaren afhangen van ons vermogen om te delen"

Moderne communisten?
Bill Gates once derided (bespotte) advocates for free software with the worst epithet (etiket) a capitalist can muster (bedenken).These folks demanding that software should be free, he said, were a “new modern-day sort of communists", a malevolent force (kwaadwillende kracht) bent (er op uit) on destroying the monopolistic incentive (drijfveer) that helps support the American dream. Gates was wrong on several points: For one, free and open source software zealots (fanatici) are more likely to be political libertarians than commie pinkos (communistische liberalen). Yet there is some truth to his allegation (bewering). The frantic (woeste) global rush (mondiale trek) to connect everyone to everyone all the time is quietly giving rise to a revised (herziene) technological version of socialism. (p. 135)

Iedereen kan meedoen, het is de nieuwe standaard
Communal aspects of digital culture run deep and wide. Wikipedia is just one notable example of emerging (toenemend) collectivism. Indeed, not just Wikipedia, but wikis of all sorts. Wikis are a set of documents that are collectively produced; their text can easily be created, added, edited, or altered by anyone, and by everyone. (p. 135)

In other words, sharing and sampling content (inhoud verzamelen) is the new default (standaard). (p. 136)

Grootvaders socialisme?
We’re not talking about your grandfather’s political socialism. In fact, there is a long list of past movements this new socialism is not. It is not class warfare (geen klassenstrijd). It is not anti-American; indeed, digital socialism may be the newest American innovation (uitvinding, nieuwtje). While old-school political socialism was an arm of the state, digital socialism is socialism without the state. This new brand of socialism currently operates in the realm of culture and economics, rather than government - for now. (p. 136)

Sociaal, sociale actie, sociale media, socialisme ...
I recognize that the word “socialism” is bound to make many readers twitch (zal zeker veel lezers doen steigeren). It carries tremendous (ontzagwekkend) cultural baggage (bagage), as do the related terms “communal”, “communitarian” and “collective”. I use “socialism” because technically it is the best word to indicate (aan te geven) a range of technologies that rely (afhangen van) on social interactions for their power. We call social media “social” for this same reason: It is a species of social action. Broadly speaking, social action is what websites and net-connected apps generate when they harness (samenbrengen) input from very large networks of consumers, or participants (deelnemers), or users, or what we once called the audience (publiek). Of course, there’s rhetorical danger in lumping (klonteren) so many types of organizations under such an inflammatory heading (kop). But there are no unsoiled (onbevlekte) terms available in this realm (rijk) of sharing, so we might as well redeem (‘geven’) this most direct one: social, social action, social media, socialism. When masses of people who own the means of production work toward a common goal and share their products in common, when they contribute labor without wages (loon) and enjoy the fruits free of charge (gratis), it’s not unreasonable (onredelijk) to call that new socialism. (p. 137-138)

Het nieuwe geld is delen
What they have in common is the verb “to share”. In fact, some futurists have called this economic aspect of the new socialism the “sharing economy” because the primary currency (valuta) in this realm is sharing. (p. 138)

In his 2008 book Here Comes Everybody, media theorist Clay Shirky suggests (stelt voor) a useful hierarchy for sorting through these new social arrangements, ranked by the increasing degree (toenemend niveau) of coordination employed (ingezet). Groups of people start simply sharing with a minimum of coordination, and then progress to cooperation, then to collaboration, and finally to collectivism. At each step of this socialism, the amount of additional coordination required enlarges (wordt groter). (p. 138-139)

Sharing is the mildest form of digital socialism, but this verb (werkwoord) serves as the foundation for all the higher levels of communal engagement. It is the elemental ingredient of the entire network world. p. 139)

Cooperation - coöperatie
When individuals work together toward a large-scale goal, it produces results that emerge at the group level.
() Dedicated (toegewijde) contributors keep contributing (bijdragen) in part because of the wider cultural influence these instruments wield (hanteren). The communituy’s collective influence is far out of proportion to the number of contributors. That is the whole point of social institutions. The sum outperforms the parts. Traditional socialism ramped (dwong af) up this dynamic via the nation-state. Now digital sharing is decoupled (los gekoppeld) from government and operates at an international scale. (p. 140)

Collaboration - samenwerking
Organized collaboration can produce results beyond the achievements (resultaten) of ad hoc cooperation.
() Of course, there’s nothing paricularly new about collaboration (samenwerking) per se. But the new tools of online collaboration support a communal style of production that can shun (kopschuw maken) capitalist investors and keep ownership in the hands of the producers, who are often the consumers (consumenten, afnemers) as well. (p. 141-142)

Collectivism - collectivisme
Most people in the West, including myself, were indoctrinated with the notion that extending (uitbreiden) the power of individuals necessarily diminishes the power of the state, and vice versa. In practice, though, most polities socialize some resources and individualize others. Most free-market national economies have socialized education and policing, while even the most extremely socialized societies today allow some private property. The mix varies around the world.
Rather than viewing technological socialism as one side of a zero-sum trade-off (zero som uitruil) between free-market individualism and centralized authority, technological sharing can be seen as a new political operating system that elevates both the individual and the group at once. The largely unarticulated but intuitively understood goal of sharing technology is this: to maximize both the autonomy of the individual and the power of people working together. Thus, digital sharing can be viewed as a third way that renders (levert) irrelevant a lot of the old conventional wisdom. (p. 142)

Facebook: het grootste land en een collectief
The number of people who belong to collective software farms or work on projects that require (vragen) communal decisions still fall short of a nation. But the population of people who live in socialized media is gigantic and still increasing (neemt nog steeds toe). More than 1,4 billion citizens of Facebook freely share their lives in an informal commune. If it were a nation, Facebook would be the largest country on the planet. Yet the entire economy of this largest country runs on labor that isn’t paid. A billion people spend a lot of their day creating content for free. They report on events around them, summarize stories (vatten verhalen samen), add (voegen toe) opinions, create graphics, make up jokes, post cool photos, and craft (maken) videos. They are “paid” in the value of the communication and reations that emerge from (voortkomen uit) 1,4 billion connected verifiable (na te gaan) individuals. They are paid by being allowed to stay on the commune. (p. 144)

De Deel Meter Index
However, citizens (burgers) may not be immune to the politics of a rising tide (vloed) of sharing, cooperation, collaboration, or collectivism. The more we benefit from such collaboration, the more open we become to socialized institutions in government. The coercive (dwang), soul-smashing system that controls North Korea is dead (outside of North Korea); the future is a hybrid that takes cues (elementen) from both Wikipedia and the moderate socialism of, say, Sweden. There will be a severe backlash (strenge kritiek) against this drift from the usual suspects, but increased sharing is inevitable. There is an honest argument over what to call it, but the technologies of sharing have only begun. On my imaginary (denkbeeldige) Sharing Meter Index we are still at 2 out of 10. (p. 144-145)

Socialisme als de meest voor de hand liggende stap
Every public health care expert declared confidently (vertrouwelijk) that sharing was fine for photos, but no one would share their medical records. But PatientsLikeMe, where patients pool results of treatments to better their own care, proves that collective action can trump (overtroeven) both doctors and privacy scares. The increasingly common habit (almaar toenemende gewoonte) of sharing what you’re thinking (Twitter), what you’re reading (StumbleUpon), your finances (Motley Fool Caps), your everything (Facebook) is becoming a foundation (fundament) of our culture. Doing it while collaboratively building encyclopedias, news agencies, video archives, and software in groups that span continents, with people you don’t know and whose class (afkomst, klasse) is irrelevant - that makes political socialism seem like the logical next step. (p. 145-146)

Drie opmerkelijke kandidaten
The power of sharing is not just about the nonprofit sector. Three of the largest creators of commercial wealth in the last decade - Google, Facebook, and Twitter - derive (ontlenen) their value from unappreciated (ondergewaardeerd) sharing in unexpected ways. (p. 146)

Niet alleen bottom-up!!!
The shift from hierarchy to networks, from centralized heads to decentralized webs, where sharing is default, has been the major cultural story of the last three decades - and that story is not done yet. The power of bottom up will still take us further. However, the bottom is not enough.
To get the best of what we want, we need some top-down intelligence too. (p. 148)

Curatoren, gidsen ... (bibliothecarissen?)
Editors are the middle people - or what are called “curators” today - the professionals between a creator and the audience. These middle folk work at publishers, music labels, galleries, or film studios. While their roles would have to change drastically, the demand for the middle would not go away. Intermediates (intermediairen) of some type (in alle soorten) are needed to shape the cloud of creativity that boils up (bovenkomt drijven uit) from the crowd. (p. 150)

Voorbeeld: Wikipedia
If one looks hard and honestly, even the supposed paragon (toonbeeld) of user-generated content - Wikipedia itself - is far from pure bottom-up. In fact, Wikipedia’s open-to-anyone process contains an elite in the back room. () In fact, this relatively small group of self-appointed editors is why Wikipedia continues to work and grow into its third decade. (p. 151)

Zelfs de stilte wordt gedeeld
These days I live constantly connected. The bulk of what I share, and what is shared with me, is incremental (‘piepklein’) - constant microupdates, tiny improved versions, minor tweaks ('plukjes') - but those steady steps (gestage stappen) forward feed me. There is no turning the sharing off for long. Even the silence will be shared. (p. 164)

Twaalf technologische krachten die onze toekomst zullen vormen
01. Becoming (worden) - 02. Cognifying (slimmeren) - 03. Flowing (stromen) - 04. Screening (kijken) - 05. Accessing (toegangen) - 07. Filtering (filteren) - 08. Remixing (remixen) - 09. Interacting (interacteren) - 10. Tracking (tracken) - 11. Questioning (vragen) - 12. Beginning (beginnen)  

(vrijdag 5 augustus 2016)
Hans van Duijnhoven

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