Re: free vs. common (was: Re: [ox-en] A name for a peer-production-based society?)
- From: Patrick Anderson <agnucius gmail.com>
- Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2009 12:05:42 -0600
On Sun, Sep 6, 2009 at 5:17 PM, Diego Saravia <diego.saravia gmail.com> wrote:
you can duplicate software endlessly (if not copyright)
you cannot duplicate fish in a pond forever
Both are constrained by the physical sources required for hosting.
that is only theoretical speculation
in practice every people in the world, once connected and with a computer,
could download almost everything he/she wishes
Wow, this is revolutionary!
Infinite data transfer and storage with no physical constraints!
Google, Amazon, etc. will want to talk to you immediately.
I need to get my silly ISP involved so he can stop caring about how
much I download.
And I'd sure like one of these infinite-capacity drives... But if
they are not composed of matter, and don't take up any space at all, I
wonder how they can even be seen...
Neither software nor fish can exist unless hosted on a physical medium.
yes, but physical medium for computers and connections allready exists or
could exist for the people included in info soc.
I saw a statistic the other day showing only 1 in 100 people owns a PC.
We currently use physical networks to carry data between these rare
machines. Those networks have very real limits of bandwidth and
And we use clunky, overheated, dusty hard-drives to store very small
amounts of that total data.
But if you are correct - if we have been fooling ourselves about such
material constraints, then each of us will soon (or are you saying we
already are?) carry around a *local* copy of the entire internet at
all times, which was instantaneously updated in real-time with no lag
and no actual costs of any sort.
You might say software is silicon-based while fish are carbon-based.
we have enough silicon for everyone, but not enough fish
I wonder why you compare the source of one (silicon) with the object
of the other (fish).
Couldn't we at least compare silicon to carbon or computers to fish?
But either way:
1. Neither silicon nor carbon are infinite.
2. There are currently not enough computers nor enough fish.
3. There *could be* enough computers and enough fish if we humans knew
how to work together, but since Capitalism requires Profit, and since
Profit requires Scarcity, there is no chance we will ever have enough
unless we solve the problem of co-ownership.
In both cases here are real limits to the number of copies because of
the physical constraints of:
1. space: you can only store so many.
we have exponential growing digital density
Even so, datasets will continue to grow and storage will always be an issue.
Another reason storage will always be an issue is the degenerative
nature of the physical medium: hard-drives, CDs, DVDs, magnetic tape,
'flash' memory, etc. all have limits on the amount of time they will
hold data in a stable manner.
Our world is rotting around us, and the data will disappear unless we
continue to move it to newly created media.
2. time: creating each copy takes more than 0 seconds
But it will never reach infinity. All I'm saying is that every form
of design must reside in our physical world - otherwise how could we
even have contact with it?
3. mass: each copy must reside on a mineral substrate.
exponential growing density
That does not change the fundamental property of data: it *MUST* be
hosted in the material world. There are no exceptions!
4. energy: ultimately mostly the sun
we have enough for all computers we can imagine, also decreasing consumption
This is a very sloppy and even dangerous claim because of the massive
energy and therefore environmental impact caused by all of these
electric machines and all the resources dedicated to keeping it
Secondarily, just because you may be able to personally 'afford' such
things doesn't mean most people can. Most people cannot.
in real life we have not real limits
If there are no limits, then why don't you instantly download the
entire internet onto your hard-drive?
The only real difference is in the speed at which the duplication can
It is quite possible to allow fish to duplicate themselves
(self-unfold) to trillions of copies.
it happens, but no at enough velocity, because growth limits.
Are you saying growth has limits? If so, then I agree.
But that is not why we lack abundant fish.
The reason is caused by governments run by corporations steered by
profit which requires scarcity.
We could easily farm enough fish to feed everyone in the world many
times over if we knew how to co-own (share or multiplex) property.
But the corporations that do co-own, do so in a very centeralized
manner caused by their mistreating profit as though it were a reward
for them to keep.
They operate the governments directly, and those governments create
legislation (such as the US Farm Bill) that artificially keeps price
above cost by purposefully decreasing abundance by (for instance)
paying farmers to NOT grow on land that is provably arable.
We cannot solve or even address this issue until we realize and admit
that the Material Means of Production (Physical Sources) must be in
the hands of those that intend to use the outputs of those Means.
I'm talking about the consumers that pay for product now will in the
future organize to pay for production - and at that time, when the
payers are the owners, and when profit is being treated as an
investment from he who paid it, those organizations will not have the
filthy goal of withholding abundance to prop-up price, for their goal
will be *product* instead.
It is just as realistic to consider trillions of CDs or DVDs full of
we dont need cd or dvd, but we have more than we need
Who is this 'we' you speak of? I personally need some DVD-R media right now!
In both cases there is no limit in potential, but there is a very
definite ceiling on the number of copies you can finally instantiate
into the physical world.
yes, but now we have costly fish and cheap bits.
The bits seem cheap to you, but for the Earth as a whole they are very
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