Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Interesting Life in The P2P Commons

Living in The P2P Era

It is through our contributions, and no longer through our social role in the labor-capital system, that we find the meaning of our life.

An interesting life, in the era of peer to peer relational dynamics and engagement in peer production communities, must be an intersecting of three interlocking circles.

1)  The first circle is that of our passion and purpose. Each of us has to find, and that is not always easy, what energizes us. Of course, it can not be the only motivation, as life and society asks us to do things that may not always be pleasant, but nevertheless must be done. But in a happy life, surely, we must find an activity that makes us happy, that gives our purpose, and this often is something that makes a real contribution to the life of others.

2)  The second circle is that of our skills. Passion alone is not enough, we have to learn the necessary skills to operate effectively in the circle of our purpose and passion. But the chance of learning is so much greater when we are actively and passionately engaged. When we are in the flow, indeed, learning is easy and comes very naturally.

3)  Finally, the third circle is that of social need, the needs of others. If we have one and two only, we may have an interesting life, but it will be nearly impossible to make a living. Thus somehow, we must engage in a skillfull passion that also fullfills a social need.

So what does that mean in practical terms? We must find a common good producing community of our peers, where we can meaningfully engage our skilled and passionate engagement. Through our contribution to such a commons, we earn our social standing as well: social capital that comes from recognition, educational capital that comes with the engagement with the project; relational capital that comes from an integration in a community of purpose.

It is through our contributions, and no longer through our social role in the labor-capital system, that we find the meaning of our life. But p2p is pluralistic, we can engage the different aspects of our being, in one project if we want, but we can also engage with different communities, which each represent a facet of our being. P2P is therefore based on equipotentiality, the recognition that people should not be compared to each other as being better or worse, but that each of us has skills in which we are better than others, and others in which we are not. The new social system, based on stigmergy (the social language of insects, applied to mutual cooperation through signalling), allows us to see where we are needed, with which skillset.

Once we have found it, we can think of turning this into our livelihood, by creating cooperative engagements, such as the lasindias community is doing, along with many others!

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