'Filosofía pirata, edición libre', discussion with Perro Tuerto y Pucho (El Rancho Electrónico) y Gabriela Méndez Cota (Universidad Iberoamericana) for the Mexico city radio station Ibero, September 12, 2019.

Open Humanities Press – The Inhumanist Manifesto

Pirate Philosophy, This Is Not A Pipe Podcast

HyperCritical Theory

Übercapitalism and What Can Be Done About It

Recent publications

Masked Media (limited edition paper-only publication for The House That Heals The Soul exhibition, Tetley, Leeds, 2018) 

 The Inhumanist Manifesto: Extended Play (Techne Lab, 2017)

Open Access

Most of Gary's work is freely available to read and download either here in Media Gifts or in Coventry University's online repositories PURE here, and CURVE here 

Radical Open Access

« Three new OHP books from: Brian Massumi; Steven Connor; and Érik Bordeleau, Toni Pape, Ronald Rose-Antoinette and Adam Szymanski | Main | Document Practices Symposium, University of Leeds, May 5 »

Ten Ways To Affirmatively Disrupt Platform Capitalism And The Sharing Economy Of Uber and Airbnb ♯4: Establish A Collaborative Data Sharing Community

(This is part of a series of posts in which I provide ten proposals as to how to affirmatively disrupt  platform capitalism and the corporate sharing economy of Uber, Airbnb et al. Together these posts constitute the draft of a text provisionally titled Data Commonism vs Übercapitalism designed to follow on from my recently published short book, The Uberfication of the University. If the latter provides a dystopian sense of what is lying in store for many us over the course of the next few years, Data Commonism vs Übercapitalism is more optimistic in that it shows what we can do about it. 

The first text in this series, Data Commonism: Introduction is here.

The Uberfication of the University is available from Minnesota University Press here. An open access version is available here.)


We Don’t Have To Live Like This: How To Affirmatively Disrupt the Disrupters 

♯4: Establish A Collaborative Data Sharing Community

As I pointed out in my previous post on how we can affirmatively disrupt the platform capitalists of the sharing and gig economies, the main problem with Jaron Lanier’s idea for a universal micropayment system is that it maintains us in the position of being ubercapitalist microentrepreneurs--not just of ourselves but of our data too. We can propose an alternative to Lanier’s universal micropayment system, however, in the form of an organisation, union, or consortium that is more capable of countering the power of both the state and übercapitalism, and thus protecting our information and data, than we are as isolated individuals. The idea would be to begin to address the problem of scale by signing over our data to this organisation where it can be captured, controlled, and managed on our behalf. 

Is one place where such a consortium can potentially begin to be generated around open access? The open access movement argues for access to academic research to be made available online to scholars and the general public free of charge, without anyone having to pay subscriptions to either read or (in its purest forms) publish this research.  In many definitions of open access it also means users are free to print, reproduce, and distribute copies of this research, and that it is being made available free of most licensing and copyright restrictions, thus enabling users to make derivative works from it too.  Accordingly, the open access movement contains a large number of people who possess significant experience and expertise when it comes to dealing with issues of open data, open knowledge, and free and open source software. Many have already done extensive work on making the exchange of bibliographic information between repositories, e-journals, and research infrastructures interoperable. What is more, some of those associated with open access have recently begun to explore how different projects and organisations can cooperate. Examples include the Open Access Publishing Cooperative Study that is ‘bringing together libraries, journals, societies, presses, funders’ and others to ‘explore the feasibility of a cooperative alternative in scholarly publishing’, as well as the Radical Open Access Collective with which I am associated.  (At the time of this writing, the radical Open Access collective includes The BABEL Working Group, Culture Machine, CLACSO, Discover Society, Ephemera, Goldsmiths Press, Journal of Peer Production, Journal of Radical Librarianship, Limn,  Mattering Press, MayFly Books, Minor Compositions,  MediaCommons Press, MLA Commons, Meson Press, Open Book Publishers, Open Humanities Press, Open Knowledge Foundation, Photomediations Machine, Punctum Books, Scalar, Spheres, and tripleC. That the open access movement has emerged in large part out of the publicly-funded, non-profit university system is testament to the fact that this is one sphere in society where the for-profit values and practices of neoliberalism are still being wrestled with.) 

The reason I am using the word "cooperate" here is with a view to working collaboratively with those, such as Neal Gorenflo, Jannele Orsi, and Trebor Scholz, who are championing ideas of platform cooperativism and open cooperatives.  Strictly speaking, however, there is an important difference between cooperation and collaboration as these two terms are usually defined.  In cooperation the project is something you help someone with: something they are working on, but which they are ultimately responsible for and that they own and can sell individually. In collaboration, meanwhile, a collective owns the project jointly. Collaboration is therefore actually the better term for what I have in mind: it is certainly closer to my understanding of the Commons.  However, I do think we need to work collaboratively. So in that spirit I am still going to use cooperativism from time to time in the rest of discussion of how we can affirmatively disrupt the sharing economy, if that make sense. 

Can a collection of open access initiatives begin to form such a collaborative consortium where our information and data can be protected and cared for on our behalf? Or no matter how many open access projects and organisations it brings together, is there a danger such a consortium will be too small to collect data on a large enough scale to be able to affirmatively disrupt to any significant degree the system whereby corporate global entities such as Uber and Airbnb are intensifying the process of dismantling social democracy?

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