Lib Tech


Peer-to-peer: a new opportunity for the left

by Michel Bauwens and Vasilis Kostakis
ROAR Magazine

Not since Marx identified the manufacturing plants of Manchester as the blueprint for the new capitalist society has there been a deeper transformation of the fundamentals of our social life. As capitalism faces a series of structural crises, a new social, political and economic dynamic is emerging: peer-to-peer (P2P).

What is P2P? And why is it important in building a commons-centric future? These are the questions we try to answer, by tying together four of its aspects:

  1. P2P is a type of social relations in human networks;

  2. P2P is also a technological infrastructure that makes the generalization and scaling up of such relations possible;


Meet Moxie Marlinspike, the Anarchist Bringing Encryption to All of Us

by Andy Greenberg
Wired magazine

On the first day of the sprawling RSA security industry conference in San Francisco, a giant screen covering the wall of the Moscone Center’s cavernous lobby cycles through the names and headshots of keynote speakers: steely-eyed National Security Agency director Michael Rogers in a crisp military uniform; bearded and besuited Whitfield Diffie and Ron Rivest, legendary inventors of seminal encryption protocols that made the Internet safe for communication and commerce. And then there’s Moxie Marlinspike, peering somberly into the distance wearing a bicycle jersey and an 18-inch-tall helmet shaped like a giant spear of asparagus. “It was the only picture I could find,” Marlinspike deadpans as we walk into the building.


Copying And Sharing Was Always A Natural Right; Restricting Copying Never Was

By Rick Falkvinge
Torrent Freak
August 2, 2015

In the still-ongoing debate over sharing it's paramount to realize that sharing and copying was always the natural state, and that restricting of copying is an arbitrary restriction of property rights.

Political scientists have this concept called “natural rights”. It’s a right you have innately, even if there is no law enforcement or indeed any government. Such rights include the right to think freely, the right to use your senses, the right to speak your mind, and the right to hold property (starting with your own body).

In contrast, laws that restrict such rights cannot exist without a government to enforce such laws. This is crucial to understanding what can be considered a starting point for society; if you have a blank slate, what laws and rights exist before you’ve put the first ink to paper.


The Myth of Slacktivism

by Lucian Clark

A ‘slacktivist’ is someone who chooses to do all or most of their activist work through online mediums such as Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and so on. These people are often disregarded as lesser and lazy activists when compared to those who are able to do activism work offline. For example, defines slacktivism as, “The act of participating in obviously pointless activities as an expedient alternative to actually expending effort to fix a problem”. The example given is people signing online petitions as opposed to getting involved in neighborhood watches or other offline activities. The concept of ‘slacktivism’ and that people who focus their ideas online are ‘slacktivists’ is extremely problematic and downplays the importance and reach of online activism.

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