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RE: [decentralization] Groove centralizes

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  • Rikard Linde
    ... Indeed. Or disabling. Rikard __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Find a job, post your resume. http://careers.yahoo.com
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 of 15 , Nov 2, 2001
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            >>>>> "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 5 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 6 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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