Patterns of Commoning

Commons Strategy Group and Off the Common Press
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What accounts for the persistence and spread of "commoning," the irrepressible desire of people to collaborate and share to meet everyday needs? How are the more successful projects governed? And why are so many people embracing the commons as a powerful strategy for building a fair, humane and Earth-respecting social order? In more than fifty original essays, Patterns of Commoning addresses these questions and probes the inner complexities of this timeless social paradigm. The book surveys some of the most notable, inspiring commons around the world, from alternative currencies and open design and manufacturing, to centuries-old community forests and co-learning commons - and dozens of others. David Bollier (www.bollier.org) is an American author, activist and independent scholar who has studied the commons for nearly twenty years. Silke Helfrich (commonsblog.wordpress.com) is a German author and independent activist of the commons who blogs at www.commonsblog.de, and cofounder of the Commons-Institut in Germany. With Michel Bauwens, Bollier and Helfrich are cofounders of the Common Strategies Group. For more information, go to the book's website, Patterns of Commoning (www.patternsofcommoning.org)
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About the author

David Bollier is an author, activist, blogger and independent scholar who writes about the commons as a new paradigm of economics, politics and culture. He is co-founder of the Commons Strategies Group, a consulting project that assists the international commons movement; and co-director of the Commons Law Project, which is seeking to regenerate the legal traditions for protecting the commons. Bollier is also Editor at the Institute for Data-Driven Design, ID3, a Boston-based research nonprofit that is helping design new digital institutions to let people assert greater control over their data, online identities and authentication.

Bollier in 2001 co-founded Public Knowledge, a Washington advocacy organization for the public's stake in the Internet, telecom and copyright policy. From 1985 to 2010, Bollier collaborated with television producer/writer Norman Lear in a variety of non-television related public affairs and political projects. He has been a Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism since 2002.

Silke Helfrich (Jena, Germany) has studied romance languages and pedagogy at the Karl-Marx-University in Leipzig. Since mid of the 1990s activities in the field of development politics, from 1996 to 1998 head of Heinrich Böll Foundation Thuringia and from 1999 to 2007 head of the regional office of Heinrich Böll Foundation in San Salvador and Mexico City for Mexico/Central America/Cuba, focusing on globalisation, gender and human rights.

Since 2007 she works as independent author, activist and scholar, with a variety of international and domestic partners. Helfrich is the editor and co-author of several books on the Commons, among them: Who Owns the World? The Rediscovery of the Commons, Munich 2009 (in Spanish: Genes, Bytes y Emisiones. Bienes Comunes y Ciudadania, Mexico-City 2008), editor of Elinor Ostrom: Was mehr wird, wenn wir teilen, Munich 2011. With Heinrich-Böll-Foundation: Commons. Für eine neue Politik jenseits von Markt und Staat, Bielefeld 2012 (together with David Bollier: The Wealth of the Commons beyond Market and State, Amherst/MA, 2012) and most recently with David Bollier and Heinrich-Böll-Foundation: Die Welt der Commons. Muster Gemeinsamen Handelns, 2015 (engl: The Patterns of Commoning, Amherst/MA). She is cofounder of Commons Strategies Group and the Commons-Institut e.V. and the primary author of the German speaking CommonsBlog."

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Additional Information

Publisher
Commons Strategy Group and Off the Common Press
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Published on
Nov 6, 2015
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9781937146832
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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We are poised between an old world that no longer works and a new one struggling to be born. Surrounded by centralized hierarchies on the one hand and predatory markets on the other, people around the world are searching for alternatives. The Wealth of the Commons explains how millions of commoners have organized to defend their forests and fisheries, reinvent local food systems, organize productive online communities, reclaim public spaces, improve environmental stewardship and re-imagine the very meaning of "progress" and governance. In short, how they've built their commons. In 73 timely essays by a remarkable international roster of activists, academics and project leaders, this book chronicles ongoing struggles against the private com­moditization of shared resources - often known as market enclosures - while docu­menting the immense generative power of the commons. The Wealth of the Commons is about history, political change, public policy and cultural transformation on a global scale - but most of all, it's about individual commoners taking charge of their lives and their endangered resources. "This fine collection makes clear that the idea of the Commons is fully international, and increasingly fully worked-out. If you find yourself wondering what Occupy wants, or if some other world is possible, this pragmatic, down-to-earth, and unsentimental book will provide many of the answers." - Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and The Durable Future
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition

The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.

Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.

Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.

The biggest "tragedy of the commons" is the misconception that commons are failures—relics from another era rendered unnecessary by the market and state. Think Like a Commoner dispels such prejudices by explaining the rich history and promising future of the commons—an ageless paradigm of cooperation and fairness that is re-making our world.

With graceful prose and dozens of fascinating stories, David Bollier describes the quiet revolution that is pioneering practical forms of self-governance and production controlled by people themselves. Think Like a Commoner explains how the commons:

Is an exploding field of DIY innovation ranging from Wikipedia and seed-sharing to community forests, collaborative consumption, and beyond Challenges the standard narrative of market economics by explaining how cooperation generates significant value and human fulfillment Provides a framework of law and social action that can help us move beyond the pathologies of neoliberal capitalism

We have a choice: ignore the commons and suffer the ongoing private plunder of our common wealth, or Think Like a Commoner and learn how to rebuild our society and reclaim our shared inheritance. This accessible, comprehensive introduction to the commons will surprise and enlighten you, and provoke you to action.

David Bollier is an author, activist, blogger, and independent scholar. He is the author of six books on different aspects of the commons, including Green Governance, The Wealth of the Commons, and Viral Spiral, and is a frequent speaker at conferences, colleges and universities, and policy workshops.

We are poised between an old world that no longer works and a new one struggling to be born. Surrounded by centralized hierarchies on the one hand and predatory markets on the other, people around the world are searching for alternatives. The Wealth of the Commons explains how millions of commoners have organized to defend their forests and fisheries, reinvent local food systems, organize productive online communities, reclaim public spaces, improve environmental stewardship and re-imagine the very meaning of "progress" and governance. In short, how they've built their commons. In 73 timely essays by a remarkable international roster of activists, academics and project leaders, this book chronicles ongoing struggles against the private com­moditization of shared resources - often known as market enclosures - while docu­menting the immense generative power of the commons. The Wealth of the Commons is about history, political change, public policy and cultural transformation on a global scale - but most of all, it's about individual commoners taking charge of their lives and their endangered resources. "This fine collection makes clear that the idea of the Commons is fully international, and increasingly fully worked-out. If you find yourself wondering what Occupy wants, or if some other world is possible, this pragmatic, down-to-earth, and unsentimental book will provide many of the answers." - Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and The Durable Future
What can we learn from Bitcoin and Burning Man about re-inventing money and designing better forms of self-governance? 

Why are “decentralized autonomous organizations” the next great Internet disruption?

From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond:  The Quest for Autonomy and Identity in a Digital Society explores a new generation of digital technologies that are re-imagining the very foundations of identity, governance, trust and social organization. 

The fifteen essays of this book stake out the foundations of a new future – a future of open Web standards and data commons, a society of decentralized autonomous organizations, a world of trustworthy digital currencies and self-organized and expressive communities like Burning Man.

Among the contributors are Alex “Sandy” Pentland of the M.I.T. Human Dynamics Laboratory, former FCC Chairman Reed E. Hundt, long-time IBM strategist Irving Wladawksy-Berger, monetary system expert Bernard Lietaer, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Peter Hirshberg, journalist Jonathan Ledgard and H-Farm cofounder Maurizio Rossi. 

From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond was edited by Dr. John H. Clippinger, cofounder and executive director of ID3, [http://www.idcubed.org] and David Bollier, [http://www.bollier.org] an Editor at ID3 who is also an author, blogger and scholar who studies the commons.  The book, published by ID3 in association with Off the Common Books, reflects ID3’s vision of the huge, untapped potential for self-organized, distributed governance on open platforms. 

One chapter that inspires the book’s title traces the 28-year history of Burning Man, the week-long encampment in the Nevada desert that have hosted remarkable experimentation in new forms of self-governance by large communities.  Other chapters explore such cutting-edge concepts as:
 
• evolvable digital contracts that could supplant conventional legal agreements;
• smartphone currencies that could help Africans meet their economic needs more effective;
• the growth of the commodity-backed Ven currency; and
• new types of “solar currencies” that borrow techniques from Bitcoin to enable more efficient, cost-effective solar generation and sharing by homeowners. 

From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond also introduces the path-breaking software platform that ID3 has developed called “Open Mustard Seed,” or OMS.  https://idcubed.org/open-platform/platform  The just-released open source program enables the rise of new types of trusted, self-healing digital institutions on open networks, which in turn will make possible new sorts of privacy-friendly social ecosystems.  (YouTube video on OMS.)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMCzibfVo3M

“OMS is an integrated, open source package of programs that lets people collect and share personal information in secure, and transparent and accountable ways, enabling authentic, trusted social and economic relationships to flourish,” said Dr. Clippinger. 

Introduction
1.  Alex Pentland  
Social Computing and Big Data  
2.  John H. Clippinger   
Why Self-Sovereignty Matters
3.  David Bollier & John H. Clippinger        
The Next Great Internet Disruption
4.  Maurizio Rossi   
The New Mestieri Culture of Artisans   
5.  Peter Hirshberg  
Burning Man
6.  Irving Wladawsky-Berger 
The Internet of Money
7.  Bernard Lietaer  
Why Complementary Currencies Are Necessary to Financial Stability
8.  Stan Stalnaker
Ven and the Nature of Money
9.  Reed E. Hundt, Jeffrey Schub & Joseph R. Schottenfeld     
Green Coins
10.  Jonathan Ledgard
Africa, Digital Identity and the Beginning of the End for Coins
11.  Mihaela Ulieru  
The Logic of Holonic Systems
12.  Jeremy Pitt & Ada Diaconescu        
The Algorithmic Governance of Common-Pool Resources
13.  Thomas Hardjono, Patrick Deegan & John H. Clippinger    
The ID3 Open Mustard Seed Platform
14.  Patrick Deegan  
The Relational Matrix:
15.  Harry Halpin  
The Necessity of Standards for the Open Society

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