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[decentralization] Groove centralizes

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  • Tony Kimball
    ... No, it improves the viability. Users do in fact have content strewn about the network -- not only content, but other valuable resources as well, such as
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 1, 2001
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      Quoth Scott Hodson on Thursday, 1 November:
      : http://www.computerworld.com/storyba/0,4125,NAV47_STO65038,00.html
      :
      : I don't think corporations like having content strewn out across all
      : of their user's PCs and is used to having things centralized where
      : they can control and monitor them.
      :
      : Does this hurt the viability of decentralized systems in the
      : corporate landscape?

      No, it improves the viability. Users do in fact have content strewn
      about the network -- not only content, but other valuable resources as
      well, such as devices, metadata, bandwidth, etc., Decentralized
      systems can harness that content, and make it usable as an enterprise
      resource, thus creating new managable asset.
    • Todd Boyle
      At 09:31 AM 11/1/01, Tony Kimball wrote to Scott, ... Corporations are command and control systems, of a type that have been thoroughly and completely rejected
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 1, 2001
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        At 09:31 AM 11/1/01, Tony Kimball wrote to Scott,
        >: http://www.computerworld.com/storyba/0,4125,NAV47_STO65038,00.html
        >:
        >: I don't think corporations like having content strewn out across all
        >: of their user's PCs and is used to having things centralized where
        >: they can control and monitor them.
        >:
        >: Does this hurt the viability of decentralized systems in the
        >: corporate landscape?
        >
        >No, it improves the viability. Users do in fact have content strewn
        >about the network -- not only content, but other valuable resources as
        >well, such as devices, metadata, bandwidth, etc., Decentralized
        >systems can harness that content, and make it usable as an enterprise
        >resource, thus creating new managable asset.

        Corporations are command and control systems, of a type that
        have been thoroughly and completely rejected by the populations
        of every country on earth by now. Governments such as the soviet
        union were spectacular failures.

        Why do corporations work completely differently from the way open
        marketplaces function, within democratic society?

        When developers understand the answer to this question,
        they will be more likely to write P2P software instead of
        ever-more-powerful command and control systems.

        Corporations operate completely differently from civil society, to
        achieve greater logistical efficiency, reliability and information
        dissemination by controlling the behaviors of members, all
        that stuff -- we have networks and computers and collaboration
        software for these things today. Let's use them, to compete
        as freemen instead of slaves. Freemen are always more
        efficient than command systems. We'll make good money.

        Todd

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/decentralization/message/1819
        ...types of decentralization, these are independent dimensions:

        - the data,
        - pointers and indexes to the data,
        - other metadata i.e. useful metadata like document schemas,
        - the encryption keys and certificates,
        - routes taken by data content across networks (P2P variations),
        - routes taken by the pointing, indexing, metadata information,
        - incentive topology ($ Corp, $hierarchic/MLM, $peer, mojo, volunteer...)
        - capital structure (pooled/central, decentralized, or hierarch. steps)
        - political and social rulemaking topology /hierarchy,
        - actual technical control (actual sovereignty)
        - content creation (added by Mitra)
      • Halim Cho
        ... Two words: legal liability corporations work under the onus of being liable for what freemen do with their systems, so they cover their legal
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 1, 2001
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          --- Todd Boyle <tboyle@...> wrote:
          > Corporations are command and control systems, of a
          > type that
          > have been thoroughly and completely rejected by the
          > populations
          > of every country on earth by now. Governments such
          > as the soviet
          > union were spectacular failures.
          >
          > Why do corporations work completely differently from
          > the way open
          > marketplaces function, within democratic society?
          >
          > When developers understand the answer to this
          > question,
          > they will be more likely to write P2P software
          > instead of
          > ever-more-powerful command and control systems.

          Two words: legal liability

          corporations work under the onus of being liable for
          what "freemen" do with "their" systems, so they cover
          their legal liability by setting up controlled
          systems.



          =====
          Halim Cho
          "Computers are a lot like Old Testament gods; lots of rules and no mercy."

          __________________________________________________
          Do You Yahoo!?
          Make a great connection at Yahoo! Personals.
          http://personals.yahoo.com
        • Lucas Gonze
          ... One reason why technical decentralization fits Internet scale is that social structures at that scale are also decentralized. At smaller scales it should
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 1, 2001
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            per Todd:
            > > Why do corporations work completely differently from
            > > the way open
            > > marketplaces function, within democratic society?

            One reason why technical decentralization fits Internet scale is that social
            structures at that scale are also decentralized. At smaller scales it should be
            possible for software to follow, rather than dictate, social structures. In a
            family, for example, software should enable parents to have the same online
            relationship with their children as they do offline.

            Culturally, corporations aren't open marketplaces. There is a fair amount of
            internal competition, even to the degree that the corporation's interests are
            sacrificed to individual employees' interests, but that doesn't make it a full
            agora. Seems to me that experts on corporate culture would have useful comments
            on exactly what are the social structures that modern software should be
            enabling.

            - Lucas
          • Rikard Linde
            ... Indeed. Or disabling. Rikard __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Find a job, post your resume. http://careers.yahoo.com
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 1, 2001
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              --- Lucas Gonze <lucas@...> wrote:
              > Culturally, corporations aren't open marketplaces.
              > There is a fair amount of
              > internal competition, even to the degree that the
              > corporation's interests are
              > sacrificed to individual employees' interests, but
              > that doesn't make it a full
              > agora. Seems to me that experts on corporate
              > culture would have useful comments
              > on exactly what are the social structures that
              > modern software should be
              > enabling.

              Indeed. Or disabling.

              Rikard

              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Find a job, post your resume.
              http://careers.yahoo.com
            • cefn.hoile@bt.com
              From Todd: Why do corporations work completely differently from the way open marketplaces function, within democratic society? There is some interesting
              Message 6 of 15 , Nov 2, 2001
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                From Todd: "Why do corporations work completely differently from the
                way open marketplaces function, within democratic society?"

                There is some interesting commentary in this area in the book 'The economic
                nature of the firm' (Louis Putterman ed.). The question is asked, why is the
                market/resource-constrained dynamic not used _within_ firms as a means of
                control? In other words, why are firms using command and control everywhere
                we look, and why are they not displaced by firms using market dynamics
                internally if its so efficient?

                Sadly I can't find my copy right now, otherwise I could give you some chunks
                from it.

                Anyway, the reference is available from...

                http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521556287/o/qid=1004695081/sr=8-1/
                ref=sr_aps_b_1_1/202-7499022-5179008

                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Todd Boyle [SMTP:tboyle@...]
                > Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 7:43 PM
                > To: decentralization@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [decentralization] Groove centralizes
                >
                > At 09:31 AM 11/1/01, Tony Kimball wrote to Scott,
                > >: http://www.computerworld.com/storyba/0,4125,NAV47_STO65038,00.html
                > >:
                > >: I don't think corporations like having content strewn out across all
                > >: of their user's PCs and is used to having things centralized where
                > >: they can control and monitor them.
                > >:
                > >: Does this hurt the viability of decentralized systems in the
                > >: corporate landscape?
                > >
                > >No, it improves the viability. Users do in fact have content strewn
                > >about the network -- not only content, but other valuable resources as
                > >well, such as devices, metadata, bandwidth, etc., Decentralized
                > >systems can harness that content, and make it usable as an enterprise
                > >resource, thus creating new managable asset.
                >
                > Corporations are command and control systems, of a type that
                > have been thoroughly and completely rejected by the populations
                > of every country on earth by now. Governments such as the soviet
                > union were spectacular failures.
                >
                > Why do corporations work completely differently from the way open
                > marketplaces function, within democratic society?
                >
                > When developers understand the answer to this question,
                > they will be more likely to write P2P software instead of
                > ever-more-powerful command and control systems.
                >
                > Corporations operate completely differently from civil society, to
                > achieve greater logistical efficiency, reliability and information
                > dissemination by controlling the behaviors of members, all
                > that stuff -- we have networks and computers and collaboration
                > software for these things today. Let's use them, to compete
                > as freemen instead of slaves. Freemen are always more
                > efficient than command systems. We'll make good money.
                >
                > Todd
                >
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/decentralization/message/1819
                > ...types of decentralization, these are independent dimensions:
                >
                > - the data,
                > - pointers and indexes to the data,
                > - other metadata i.e. useful metadata like document schemas,
                > - the encryption keys and certificates,
                > - routes taken by data content across networks (P2P variations),
                > - routes taken by the pointing, indexing, metadata information,
                > - incentive topology ($ Corp, $hierarchic/MLM, $peer, mojo, volunteer...)
                > - capital structure (pooled/central, decentralized, or hierarch. steps)
                > - political and social rulemaking topology /hierarchy,
                > - actual technical control (actual sovereignty)
                > - content creation (added by Mitra)
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > decentralization-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                >
              • Jason L. Asbahr
                Interesting point. I think open source organizations do operate more in the marketplace mode, and in some cases, do show increased operational efficiency.
                Message 7 of 15 , Nov 2, 2001
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                  Interesting point. I think open source organizations do operate
                  more in the marketplace mode, and in some cases, do show increased
                  operational efficiency. (Please note, I'm not talking about your
                  average group of 15 year olds writing yet another unfinished version
                  of AIM, I'm talking about those collaborative efforts that continue
                  to produce high quality software over the span of years, Python, Perl,
                  the Linux kernel group, and Apache as the highest profile examples.)

                  Another example is the "chaordic" model of organization, which
                  was the model used by Visa and some claim the reason for its rapid
                  worldwide growth. Dee Hock has a couple of books out about this
                  concept, one of the more recent (and apparently lighter ones):

                  Birth of the Chaordic Age
                  by Dee W. Hock
                  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1576750744/learningorg

                  "He looks critically at today's environment of command-and-control
                  institutions and sees organizations that are falling apart, failing
                  to achieve their own purposes let alone addressing the diversity and
                  complexity of society as a whole. The solution, Hock claims, lies in
                  transforming our notion of organization; in embracing the belief that
                  the chaos of competition and the order of cooperation can and do coexist,
                  succeed, even thrive; and in welcoming in the chaordic age."

                  Cheers,

                  Jason




                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: cefn.hoile@... [mailto:cefn.hoile@...]
                  Sent: Friday, November 02, 2001 4:07 AM
                  To: decentralization@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [decentralization] Groove centralizes


                  From Todd: "Why do corporations work completely differently from the
                  way open marketplaces function, within democratic society?"

                  There is some interesting commentary in this area in the book 'The economic
                  nature of the firm' (Louis Putterman ed.). The question is asked, why is the
                  market/resource-constrained dynamic not used _within_ firms as a means of
                  control? In other words, why are firms using command and control everywhere
                  we look, and why are they not displaced by firms using market dynamics
                  internally if its so efficient?

                  Sadly I can't find my copy right now, otherwise I could give you some chunks
                  from it.

                  Anyway, the reference is available from...

                  http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521556287/o/qid=1004695081/sr=8-1/
                  ref=sr_aps_b_1_1/202-7499022-5179008

                  > -----Original Message-----
                  > From: Todd Boyle [SMTP:tboyle@...]
                  > Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 7:43 PM
                  > To: decentralization@yahoogroups.com
                  > Subject: Re: [decentralization] Groove centralizes
                  >
                  > At 09:31 AM 11/1/01, Tony Kimball wrote to Scott,
                  > >: http://www.computerworld.com/storyba/0,4125,NAV47_STO65038,00.html
                  > >:
                  > >: I don't think corporations like having content strewn out across all
                  > >: of their user's PCs and is used to having things centralized where
                  > >: they can control and monitor them.
                  > >:
                  > >: Does this hurt the viability of decentralized systems in the
                  > >: corporate landscape?
                  > >
                  > >No, it improves the viability. Users do in fact have content strewn
                  > >about the network -- not only content, but other valuable resources as
                  > >well, such as devices, metadata, bandwidth, etc., Decentralized
                  > >systems can harness that content, and make it usable as an enterprise
                  > >resource, thus creating new managable asset.
                  >
                  > Corporations are command and control systems, of a type that
                  > have been thoroughly and completely rejected by the populations
                  > of every country on earth by now. Governments such as the soviet
                  > union were spectacular failures.
                  >
                  > Why do corporations work completely differently from the way open
                  > marketplaces function, within democratic society?
                  >
                  > When developers understand the answer to this question,
                  > they will be more likely to write P2P software instead of
                  > ever-more-powerful command and control systems.
                  >
                  > Corporations operate completely differently from civil society, to
                  > achieve greater logistical efficiency, reliability and information
                  > dissemination by controlling the behaviors of members, all
                  > that stuff -- we have networks and computers and collaboration
                  > software for these things today. Let's use them, to compete
                  > as freemen instead of slaves. Freemen are always more
                  > efficient than command systems. We'll make good money.
                  >
                  > Todd
                  >
                  > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/decentralization/message/1819
                  > ...types of decentralization, these are independent dimensions:
                  >
                  > - the data,
                  > - pointers and indexes to the data,
                  > - other metadata i.e. useful metadata like document schemas,
                  > - the encryption keys and certificates,
                  > - routes taken by data content across networks (P2P variations),
                  > - routes taken by the pointing, indexing, metadata information,
                  > - incentive topology ($ Corp, $hierarchic/MLM, $peer, mojo, volunteer...)
                  > - capital structure (pooled/central, decentralized, or hierarch. steps)
                  > - political and social rulemaking topology /hierarchy,
                  > - actual technical control (actual sovereignty)
                  > - content creation (added by Mitra)
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  > decentralization-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >

                  To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                  decentralization-unsubscribe@egroups.com



                  Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                • John D. Mitchell
                  ... [...] ... Methinks that you re missing the historical, corporate evolution factor here. Historically, C&C has worked exceptionally well for the types of
                  Message 8 of 15 , Nov 2, 2001
                  • 0 Attachment
                    >>>>> "Todd" == Todd Boyle <tboyle@...> writes:
                    [...]
                    > Corporations are command and control systems, of a type that have been
                    > thoroughly and completely rejected by the populations of every country on
                    > earth by now. Governments such as the soviet union were spectacular
                    > failures.

                    > Why do corporations work completely differently from the way open
                    > marketplaces function, within democratic society?

                    > When developers understand the answer to this question, they will be more
                    > likely to write P2P software instead of ever-more-powerful command and
                    > control systems.

                    > Corporations operate completely differently from civil society, to
                    > achieve greater logistical efficiency, reliability and information
                    > dissemination by controlling the behaviors of members, all that stuff --
                    > we have networks and computers and collaboration software for these
                    > things today. Let's use them, to compete as freemen instead of slaves.
                    > Freemen are always more efficient than command systems. We'll make good
                    > money.

                    Methinks that you're missing the historical, corporate evolution factor
                    here. Historically, C&C has worked exceptionally well for the types of
                    corporations that existed and the context in which they operated. The
                    critical decision making in those corporations fit because the workers were
                    predominantly just cogs in a operational-execution-efficiency-maximizing
                    Taylor-ite machine.

                    For examples, both Rockefeller and Ford quite sanely created and exploited
                    those efficiencies in their creation of completely vertically-integrated
                    organizations.

                    That sort of Taylor-istic perspective is increasingly marginalized/subsumed
                    (but not eliminated!) in proportion to the shift in importance of
                    informational and, more critically, decision-making
                    distribution/decentralization through organizations.

                    Corporations are (slowly) adapting to this. I find it fascinating how the
                    entire Supply-Chain Management (SCM) world has been created to reintegrate
                    what was (sometimes forcibly) dis-integrated not all that long ago.


                    W.r.t. the free-persons vs slaves shme, a couple of points...

                    Most people have (to varying degrees) a strong desire/need for "stability"
                    (of all sorts). Markets are, by nature, volatile. Corporate jobs (and
                    government sinecure, sigh), for many people, usually provide a sufficient
                    amount of stability. I.e., they are making a decision to tradeoff some
                    amount of "slavery" in return for that stability.

                    [The scariest thing about the 9/11 stuff is the headlong rush that so many
                    are in to give up all of our constitutional liberties in the futile attempt
                    to restore some (predominantly emotional) sense of (pseudo-)security.]

                    Markets are not (always/usually) symmetrical. Check out the latest batch
                    of Nobel prize winners in economics for various takes on the asymmetry of
                    markets. Also, think about monopolistic power such as MS's and how that
                    creates a distorted/asymmetrical market.

                    [A problem with the US legal system is that, even worse then generals
                    always trying to fight the previous war, the legal system is so completely
                    built-upon precedent that they often calcify a specific response to a
                    specifc problem within a specific context into general law. Think about
                    patterns and refactoring.]


                    Combine those two with various illogical/non-rational ways that most people
                    actually make decisions and you end up being able to explain many of the
                    so-called paradoxes of classical economics. One of those Nobel guys
                    examined used-cars markets. Personally, I find the whole fad of
                    reverse-auction markets even more telling (at least w.r.t. us geeks :-).

                    Take care,
                    John
                  • cefn.hoile@bt.com
                    Thanks, Jason. I will make the effort to look at this book. It sounds right up my street. Another interesting case of the emergence of Market economies from
                    Message 9 of 15 , Nov 6, 2001
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                      Thanks, Jason. I will make the effort to look at this book. It sounds right
                      up my street.

                      Another interesting case of the emergence of Market economies from within
                      strict command and control structures exists in Eastern Europe....

                      "The countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union had a decidedly
                      non-emergent, non-self-organized dictatorial socialism imposed upon them,
                      first in 1917 and then in 1945. Starting in the early 1990s, they again were
                      forced into a new form of social organization, what David Stark called a
                      "designer capitalism". Neither form of utopian social engineering met with
                      success. It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that to the extent that any
                      part of these economies works, it was not consciously designed, either by
                      the apparatchiks of Gosplan (the Soviet Planning Commission) or by the
                      professors from Harvard or other western institutions, but grew without
                      anyone really guiding it or realizing what they were doing."

                      From...

                      http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/publications/Bulletins/bulletin-winter99/emergenc
                      e2.html

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Jason L. Asbahr [mailto:jasbahr@...]
                      Sent: 02 November 2001 18:49
                      To: decentralization
                      Subject: RE: [decentralization] Groove centralizes



                      Interesting point. I think open source organizations do operate
                      more in the marketplace mode, and in some cases, do show increased
                      operational efficiency. (Please note, I'm not talking about your
                      average group of 15 year olds writing yet another unfinished version
                      of AIM, I'm talking about those collaborative efforts that continue
                      to produce high quality software over the span of years, Python, Perl,
                      the Linux kernel group, and Apache as the highest profile examples.)

                      Another example is the "chaordic" model of organization, which
                      was the model used by Visa and some claim the reason for its rapid
                      worldwide growth. Dee Hock has a couple of books out about this
                      concept, one of the more recent (and apparently lighter ones):

                      Birth of the Chaordic Age
                      by Dee W. Hock
                      http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1576750744/learningorg

                      "He looks critically at today's environment of command-and-control
                      institutions and sees organizations that are falling apart, failing
                      to achieve their own purposes let alone addressing the diversity and
                      complexity of society as a whole. The solution, Hock claims, lies in
                      transforming our notion of organization; in embracing the belief that
                      the chaos of competition and the order of cooperation can and do coexist,
                      succeed, even thrive; and in welcoming in the chaordic age."

                      Cheers,

                      Jason




                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: cefn.hoile@... [mailto:cefn.hoile@...]
                      Sent: Friday, November 02, 2001 4:07 AM
                      To: decentralization@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [decentralization] Groove centralizes


                      From Todd: "Why do corporations work completely differently from the
                      way open marketplaces function, within democratic society?"

                      There is some interesting commentary in this area in the book 'The economic
                      nature of the firm' (Louis Putterman ed.). The question is asked, why is the
                      market/resource-constrained dynamic not used _within_ firms as a means of
                      control? In other words, why are firms using command and control everywhere
                      we look, and why are they not displaced by firms using market dynamics
                      internally if its so efficient?

                      Sadly I can't find my copy right now, otherwise I could give you some chunks
                      from it.

                      Anyway, the reference is available from...

                      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0521556287/o/qid=1004695081/sr=8-1/
                      ref=sr_aps_b_1_1/202-7499022-5179008

                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: Todd Boyle [SMTP:tboyle@...]
                      > Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 7:43 PM
                      > To: decentralization@yahoogroups.com
                      > Subject: Re: [decentralization] Groove centralizes
                      >
                      > At 09:31 AM 11/1/01, Tony Kimball wrote to Scott,
                      > >: http://www.computerworld.com/storyba/0,4125,NAV47_STO65038,00.html
                      > >:
                      > >: I don't think corporations like having content strewn out across all
                      > >: of their user's PCs and is used to having things centralized where
                      > >: they can control and monitor them.
                      > >:
                      > >: Does this hurt the viability of decentralized systems in the
                      > >: corporate landscape?
                      > >
                      > >No, it improves the viability. Users do in fact have content strewn
                      > >about the network -- not only content, but other valuable resources as
                      > >well, such as devices, metadata, bandwidth, etc., Decentralized
                      > >systems can harness that content, and make it usable as an enterprise
                      > >resource, thus creating new managable asset.
                      >
                      > Corporations are command and control systems, of a type that
                      > have been thoroughly and completely rejected by the populations
                      > of every country on earth by now. Governments such as the soviet
                      > union were spectacular failures.
                      >
                      > Why do corporations work completely differently from the way open
                      > marketplaces function, within democratic society?
                      >
                      > When developers understand the answer to this question,
                      > they will be more likely to write P2P software instead of
                      > ever-more-powerful command and control systems.
                      >
                      > Corporations operate completely differently from civil society, to
                      > achieve greater logistical efficiency, reliability and information
                      > dissemination by controlling the behaviors of members, all
                      > that stuff -- we have networks and computers and collaboration
                      > software for these things today. Let's use them, to compete
                      > as freemen instead of slaves. Freemen are always more
                      > efficient than command systems. We'll make good money.
                      >
                      > Todd
                      >
                      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/decentralization/message/1819
                      > ...types of decentralization, these are independent dimensions:
                      >
                      > - the data,
                      > - pointers and indexes to the data,
                      > - other metadata i.e. useful metadata like document schemas,
                      > - the encryption keys and certificates,
                      > - routes taken by data content across networks (P2P variations),
                      > - routes taken by the pointing, indexing, metadata information,
                      > - incentive topology ($ Corp, $hierarchic/MLM, $peer, mojo, volunteer...)
                      > - capital structure (pooled/central, decentralized, or hierarch. steps)
                      > - political and social rulemaking topology /hierarchy,
                      > - actual technical control (actual sovereignty)
                      > - content creation (added by Mitra)
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      > decentralization-unsubscribe@egroups.com
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                      >

                      To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      decentralization-unsubscribe@egroups.com



                      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/





                      To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                      decentralization-unsubscribe@egroups.com



                      Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    • Sampo Syreeni
                      ... I d say because freedom only works as long as the collective good coincides with what is best for each individual separately. When this is not the case, we
                      Message 10 of 15 , Nov 6, 2001
                      • 0 Attachment
                        On Thu, 1 Nov 2001, Todd Boyle wrote:

                        >Why do corporations work completely differently from the way open
                        >marketplaces function, within democratic society?

                        I'd say because freedom only works as long as the collective good
                        coincides with what is best for each individual separately. When this is
                        not the case, we speak about a tragedy of the commons. When it arises, it
                        is usually solved via ownership. My theory is that this is what
                        corporations are (or should be) about: they solve some particular instance
                        of the tragedy of the commons on the marketplace, and so cannot function
                        based on competition alone. Of course, competition and market based
                        optimization are a valuable asset, too, which is why companies use
                        internal billing, subcontractors and commonly externalize functions which
                        are not part of the company's core operating area.

                        But the core, that is under hierarchical control for a very simple reason:
                        operating it in an autocratic fashion makes it possible to derive extra
                        value from the market by optimizing across what would otherwise be a
                        number of competing, uncooperative entities. Sometimes the ownership
                        structure and the coercion it brings about is simply unavoidable if we
                        wish cooperation.

                        >When developers understand the answer to this question, they will be
                        >more likely to write P2P software instead of ever-more-powerful command
                        >and control systems.

                        I'm not quite sure the reasoning behind corporate structures should be
                        extended to software. After all, economics and money are about dealing
                        with scarcity, and that has very little to do with P2P.

                        I think just about the only relevant aspect, here, is that in P2P, the
                        incentive to cooperate comes naturally in the form of network effects. We
                        perhaps shouldn't try to supress it by competing in specific architectures
                        or protocols, but document protocols openly and let people embrace and
                        extend freely. It's quite likely that the best architecture would be left
                        floating, in the end.

                        Maybe we just shouldn't try to operate the P2P industry by the usual rules
                        of the market, but instead put the market where it belongs, where there is
                        scarcity. In the software industry, that is likely service, not technology
                        itself.

                        Sampo Syreeni, aka decoy - mailto:decoy@..., tel:+358-50-5756111
                        student/math+cs/helsinki university, http://www.iki.fi/~decoy/front
                        openpgp: 050985C2/025E D175 ABE5 027C 9494 EEB0 E090 8BA9 0509 85C2
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