OpenFiction [Blog]

A producer culture manifesto

Posted in Uncategorized by scarsonmsm on June 20, 2006

I doubt there will be a more eloquent expression of the economic and information-related aspects of producer culture than the second chapter (PDF) of Yochai Benkler’s Wealth of Networks. If you want to read how someone who really knows what they are talking about says it, read this. The whole book, by the way, is available on his site under a CC BY-NC-SA 2.5 license.

It’s interesting to read Bhagwati and Benkler back to back. Bhagwati argues that the market forces behind globalization are generally benign, with a few unsavory side effects. He points out that NGOs are a very effective means of controlling these side effect, more effective in most cases than trade sanctions. NGOs in doing so participate in interesting ways in the non-market production of information goods, the rise of which Benkler traces.

I’ll keep you posted as to whether I come up with anything truly profound in following this angle, but in the mean time, it seems to suggest that open educational resources might be part of a rising tide of nonmartket information practices similar to the effects of NGOs that help control some of the ill effects of globalization, as I have described before.

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  1. […] Sometimes I feel like I should just quote all of Wealth of Networks, beginning to end (which, thanks to the open license, I could), but here’s one bit in particular that resonates: The emerging businesses of the networked information economy are focusing on serving the demand of active users for platforms and tools that are much more loosely deigned, late-binding–that is optimized only at the moment of use and not in advance–variable in their uses, and oriented toward providing users with new and flexible platforms for relationships. […]


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