Digital commons

Software code, algorithm-steered systems, digital media, etc constitute a prominent present-day still-emergent kind of material that can be commoned.

The world is becoming saturated with material of this kind, and we have to learn how to common it before the emerging infrastructures fatally subvert and outflank the capabilities of civil-society organisations.

The cost of reproducing, holding and transporting digital materials is close to zero, and they aren’t (necessarily) destroyed when they are mobilised in use. These characteristics make these materials rather similar to mental phenomena: ideas.

Thus the commons that can be made around them are ‘cultural’ commons, which have a deep intrinsic relationship with human capacities for knowing, communicating and organising.

Developing digital commons is a challenge of enormous importance for the cultural development of the species; which means also, for its capacity to know, communicate and organise its material survival within Kate Raworth’s doughnut.

There’s a crash coming – a slap from Mother Nature. This isn’t pessimistic; it’s realistic.

The human impact on nature and on each other is accelerating and needs systemic change to reverse.

We’re not advocating poverty, or a hair-shirt existence. We advocate changes that will mean better lives for almost everyone.

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