david bollier

david bollier

intro’d to David this talk on the commons via Michel:

nov 2014:

Adventures in New Economics – Wealth of the Commons

patterns of commoning…

a pattern language – by christopher alexander

what goes on when people common as a verb

affective labor… mix identity w/resource.. farm hack, arduino, wiki speed car

6 min – contrary there are about 2 billion people in the world who’s every day subsistence is from commons.. so scandalous that textbooks ignore this world.. because there’s not profit, et al.. yet this is a relatively ecologically benign means to meet needs..

currencies.. crowdfunding site in spain – boteo.. so.. a huge diversity of such commons that just haven’t been recognized as ways.


weshare conference – more of a micro rental economy

degrowth conference – i prefer post growth

18 min – city as a commons

germany – institute for commons, summer school

in us – this summer – omega institute n of nyc… conf on commons as common – jeremy rifkin, bill mckibben, david..

25 min – via Michel – a commons based reciprocity license – if not using for profit – free – if using for profit – have to pay

26 min – recurring theme: trying to figure out a way to interrupt the logic of the conventional capital driven markets… find some sort of durable alternative framework whether it’s legal, technological, or social.. to assert the commons in a lasting way

30 min – blockchain ledger – audit trail w/o middleman – opens door for distributed systems of trust – turn facebook inside out.. community verifies

from bitcoin to burning man and beyond

id cubed (notes for the book here) – Sandy Pentland

35 min – green governance – public trust doctrine – atmospheric trust litigation

37 min – need more notions of what law would be like w/in commons – illich – vinacular – informally negotiated forms of law

how state based law – which is so intertwined with market law – can be reformed to a commons law

39 – not just about laws and organizings…

there is not commons w/o commoning.. it’s the presence of humans with each other that needs to be respected and validated in new ways – great subversive potential

the good news is you don’t need specific expertise.. just enough people wanting to try a new way..

another way ness.


44 min – needing a balance of convivial/non-convivial (illich) ness. we’ve got to tame these techs.. because not going to be able to banish them. we need to find ways for tech to serve larger purposes without being captured…

c dot app story ness – something else to do ness..


june 2014:

The Relationship of Markets and Commons – Leuphana Digital School

threat – enclosure.. commodifying and putting price tags

capital driven markets are becoming so powerful that they are interfering with natural ness.. ie: patents,

enclosure is always cast of a necessary step – but actually an act of dispossession.. ie: something originally shared.. not captured

enclosure substitutes market exchange for social relationships..

10 day care centers ness

we need to reinvent the tradition of beating the bounds

the commons has to have w/in it’s own capacity the ability to protect its own endurance

many coops are so immersed in markets.. that they are more invested in people than in common good


what is the commons:


shared resources that a given community wants to manage for the collective advantage of everyone – in particular over the market regime..

internet is a vast hosting infrastructure for commons

a commons can be extremely lightweight… ie: wikipedia.. had an itch to scratch..

bottom ingenuity will prevail in trying to counter these things..

brazil, philippines, amsterdam.. starting to find each other.. commons discourse starting to grow


wealth of the commons















find/follow David:


link twitter



wikipedia small






David Bollier is an American activist, writer, and policy strategist. He is co-founder of the Commons Strategies Group, Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication, and writes technology-related reports for the Aspen Institute. Bollier collaborated with television writer/producer Norman Lear on a variety of non-television, public affairs projects from 1985 to 2010.

Bollier was founding editor of On the Commons (2003-2010), and now blogs at his own website, Bollier.org. Bollier calls his work “focused on reclaiming the commons, understanding how digital technologies are changing democratic culture, fighting the excesses of intellectual property law, fortifying consumer rights and promoting citizen action.”

Bollier co-founded the public interest group Public Knowledge in 2002 and served as a board member until 2010. He was awarded the 2012 Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy at the American Academy in Berlin.


The new _Patterns of Commoning_ by @davidbollier and @Commonify keeps giving me shivers. It has everything: https://t.co/1hvmopXgor

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/nathanairplane/status/670678067455508482


commons ness

commons transition


from shares on dec 2015

via jose ramos rt
via michel share on fb









3 min – 30 yrs ago worked in govt.. saw how govt wasn’t a very good trustee of our resources.. i wanted to explore how the commons might be a better alternative for our collective resources..

1 min in .. et al… fitting with Siddhartha‘s.. thinking.. find the natural.. replace/restore it.. trust the natural to take over.. self/natural-organizing ness..

10 min – on talking policy and working together to take over

hearing Jordan… that tinkering with policy is a distraction..

14 min – on patenting of genes… not so much to gain money.. but to keep others from it.. a serious problem

16 min – on trusting people/communities… for self-organizing ness

17 min – on our one ness.. genetically.. but we’ve let not-us ness come in..

needing to re install rna ness


via Michel:

The Aliveness of a Commons: David Bollier’s Shareable Interview


Commons have their own self-replicating energy/grace. ..  expresses people’s real needs.


How Does the Commons Work?

a way to manage shared resources… to which everyone has a right..

people argue that can’t manage shared resources for common good – w/o regulation.. w/o state reg… called tragedy of commons… David Bollier says this is totally wrong..

fundamental mistake of treating commons as a thing…but commons isn’t a thing.. a process.. involves everyone in community.. continually creating rules/management together…

w community using commoning as way to successfully manage everything..

a fair way to manage/distribute shared resources that belong to everyone… David thinks it’s an important part of next system..

indeed.. let’s be bold enough to not common partially.. that matters. that’s huge..



David Bollier and the City as a Commons | P2P Foundation blog.p2pfoundation.net/david-bollier-…

New Democracy 10: David Bollier and the City as a Commons (2 hrs)

cities as commons as answer to threats

david  (6 min to 36 min)

the commons is a mystery that i continue to probe.. city as a commons is precisely one of those frontiers..

tragedy of the commons – is a smear and a distraction… a lot of embedded premises of tragedy of commons.. actually more.. tragedy of the market..

tragedy ness

ostrom showed self-org’d individuals can successfully .. common

commons is not just a resource.. a social system more than a resource..

deep/simple/open enough

great unacknowledged scandal of our time… privatization of wealth.. taking possession of things that are owned by all of us

13 min – hedgefunds taking over lands…

20% of human genome patented.. reluctant to study cures.. math can’t be used in software because of patent..

16 min – one of greatest problem of our time: market progress and tech is really just dispossession.. of taking away of shared wealth

17 min – commons is about a different universe of values  ie: 1\ relationality

having access to things that are essential to our daily lives.. commons trying to restore that..

19 min – devise new ways to beat the bounds of our shared wealth..

there is no commons w/o commoning.. a verb.. a social activity..

20 min – giving ie’s.. ie: peru potatoes.. et al

21 min – there are more than 2 billion people who’s lives depend on commons everyday.. but most intro econ textbooks don’t mention.. not of interest.. no market exchange.. not cash involved.. not taking place in the market..

22 min – lot of alt currencies trying to capture community value..


23 min – 20 % of econ dependent on fair use commons

100% if we want a healthy planet.. no?

24 min – vast amount of sharing that turns copyright on its head

global design local manufacture

25 min – commons expanding – fablab..

4\ city as commons – great deal of interest in europe..

27 min – ie’s: public commons; platform coop; shareable cities; urban gardens; open data; urban land trusts; fablabs/makerspaces; timebanks

so perhaps.. why we haven’t yet – gotten to global equity/commons – we keep trying partial.. ness.. when commons.. more than anything.. begs all of us.. or none of us..

28 min – reframes how we engage w city.. commons gives framework or critiquing problems.. while providing framework for alt’s..  ie: mechs for self-governance..

hosting-life-bits via self-talk as data.. as the day.. (aka: not partial)

33 min – arts and civic culture change when city becomes a commons.. not just consumers.. initiators..

34 min – places practicing city as commons: bologna, seol korea, barcelona

38 min – lab gov  –  https://twitter.com/LabGov – is space for this experimentation – bologna – @chrisiaio

39 min – rethink gov of city..polycentric power structure –  of http://www.labgov.it/

40 min – http://commonsnetwork.eu/60-2/ – brings issues to policy.. to help facil commons rather than block it… need commons to ie: deal w/refugee crisis.. – David Hammerstein – https://twitter.com/DaHammerstein

ie’s: access…. to internet/medicines/books..

43 min – the commons needs a political agenda.. to move much more quickly.. – @DaHammerstein

perhaps means to leap.. as agenda

44 min – Marleen Stikker (Waag Society) – on fab labs

46 min – david: if no intellectual property.. how to get financing w no collateral.. serious problem for growing open tech

a means to make money as os irrelevant.. disengage

47 min – marleen ( https://twitter.com/marleenstikker ): coop better for humans than competition.. so have to facil that.. and that means.. slow money

48 min – we have to talk about the money.. but first.. want to make sure everyone in room gets idea of city as commons – facilitator

50 min – scaling up of resources to city as a whole.. go from single resources.. changing governance.. ie: don’t have to talk about gardens/labs/et-al.. talking about finance of commons in city.. infrastructure.. produce energy.. open knowledge..manage wireless networks.. go from sharing to collab/ing producing resource.. everybody is coop ing w/o even knowing coop ing.. complex commons based system.. – @chrisiaio

53 min – david: respecting creative agency of everyone to participate.. and that generates value in itself..

53 min – city as commons – a paradigm shift – hard for people to understand because don’t realize we live in another paradigm at moment – marleen

57 min – on urgency

for (blank)’s sake

taking rest of notes (last hour of panel) on commons page


David Bollier review of Thackara’s How to Thrive in the Next Economy https://t.co/TJ8vMIrcZ2

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/KevinCarson1/status/790694790279016448

critique is one thing; the creative construction of a new world is another.


As Thackara shows us, there are scores of brilliant working examples around the world that demonstrate how to meet our needs in more responsible, fair and enlivening ways.

just nothing yet to bring it all together.. non binary.. non partial..


wish Thackara had spent more time speculating on how we might propagate the emergent new models.  We sorely need to accelerate the proliferation of small, local experiments into larger global movements.  We need to better understand how our search for economic and political change is invisibly linked to inner self-transformations that are still unfolding.  This is really the key – how to nourish aliveness. 

indeed – so a nother way ish.. let’s model it..[bend your ear]

ie: hosting-life-bits via self-talk as data.. as the day

At a time when everything is fair game for monetized extraction –  not just land and water, but language, culture, knowledge and even consciousness and lifeforms – we desperately need to develop new socio-economic organisms that can regenerate life on its own terms.  Life needs to be honored as our first priority, not as a secondary benefit of commodity-exchange.




sept 2016 – reimagining the future – common ing




small revolutionary steps

rev of everyday life

as the day.

what kind of alarm clock will wake us up

the turtle needs it shell back.. let’s do that..  first


on barcelona and the commons – nov 2016


On a visit to Barcelona last week, I learned a great deal about the City’s pioneering role in developing “the city as a commons.”  I also learned that crystallizing a new commons paradigm – even in a city committed to cooperatives and open digital networks – comes with many gnarly complexities.

so.. are coops commons..?

The Barcelona city government is led by former housing activist Ada Colau, who was elected mayor in May 2015.

Ada Colau

She is a leader of the movement that became the political party Barcelona En Comú (“Barcelona in Common”). Once in office, Colau halted the expansion of new hotels, a brave effort to prevent “economic development” (i.e., tourism) from hollowing out the city’s lively, diverse neighborhoods. As a world city, Barcelona is plagued by a crush of investors and speculators buying up real estate, making the city unaffordable for ordinary people.


Barcelona En Comú is not just a movement, it must operationally assist the varied needs of a large urban economy and provide all sorts of public services:  a huge, complicated job.

What happens when activist movements come face-to-face with such administrative realities and the messy pressures of representative politics? This is precisely why the unfolding drama of Barcelona En Comú is instructive for commoners. Will activists transform conventional politics and government systems into new forms of governance — or will they themselves be transformed and abandon many of their original goals?

a nother way

Barcelona En Comú realizes that *boosting that commons collaborative economy is an act of co-creation with commoners, not a government project alone.

or perhaps.. *it would be the compromise.. keeping us from authentic common/ing.. keeping us from authentic us..

So the city has established new systems to open and expand new dialogues.  …*policies. …a web platform for public deliberation and **decision making.

perhaps not common enough..let’s try ie: *only two ‘policies” and **no consensus sought/agendaized..


Some sympathetic allies worry that Barcelona En Comú is superimposing the commons ethic and language onto a conventional left politics – that it amounts to a re-branding of reform and a diluting of transformational ambitions.  Critics wonder whether the commons is in danger of being captured by The System. They ask whether “participative governance” in existing political structures is a laudable advance or a *troubling type of co-optation.

i suggest.. *troubling..


There will always be gaps, uncertainties and complexities that are encountered for the first time, which can only be addressed on-the-fly with creative improvisations

so let’s design for just that.. ie: short


Francesca Bria: transformational change is difficult because “the public sector was not designed to serve the people.”

spot on.. so .. do-over time


Sadly, this is absolutely true. City governments are usually designed to cater to wealthy developers, investors and corporations.

sounds like medical trek to cure cancer.. et al

agenda ness (ie: money as os) .. is eating our pants


The term (smart city) implies a private black box of proprietary technology that can be purchased, but is off-limits to ordinary mortals. Not quite a vision of the commons. Systems, not people, lie at its heart.


As the host for the Smart City Expo, the city government wanted to broaden the discourse of “smart cities” at this event, and so it invited the likes of me and David Harvey, among others.

David Harvey


I also focused on a variety of commons-based urban initiatives such as the Bologna Regulation for the Care and Regeneration of Urban Commons, participatory budgeting, data commons and platform cooperatives.

coops.. budgeting.. nicer version of smart city mentality.. of cancer research.. we have to let go of measuring transactions..


the deeper point remains:  How to integrate commons-based systems with the complex realities of city governments and markets as they exist today?  Or must commons occupy a *different sphere entirely?

I confess that I do not have a fully satisfying answer to these questions.

*diff .. for (blank)’s sake


it is paramount that in doing so commons affirmatively protect their sovereignty and integrity of vision.

indeed.. partial ness is killing us


A third, more precarious option is to “stay on the threshold, neither in nor out.”  But is that sustainable?

absolutely.. that’s us.. and where regeneration is ongoingly possible


barcelona‘s brave struggle to advance commmons


But the deeper point remains:  How to integrate commons-based systems with the *complex realities of city governments and markets as they exist today?  Or must commons occupy a different sphere entirely?

*realities..? as in givens..?

I confess that I do not have a fully satisfying answer to these question

the city as a commons – dec 2016





tragedy of commons – only looking at resources.. not systems.. elinor comes and clears it up

enclosures of the city.. overbuilt/overmarketized/unfair.. turning wealth into commodities..

20 % of human genome patented.. causing problems.. same with environment.. causes of enclosure

the common generates value .. it’s not a tragedy

14 min – how do we reinvent city as commons..

short plan

15 min – city as living social system of interdependent creative agents..  individual agency as real source of power.. if a city could tap into that.. energies.. that otherwise couldn’t pay for..

but this requires other ways of govt/managing..

hosting-life-bits via self-talk as data

cultivating a culture of citizen led innovation..

20 min – platform coop

not common ing

21 min  -alt currency

not common ing

22 min – m pesa – as alt to transacting when currency not available..

not common ing

why city as commons.. more energies.. makes things more affordable.. city as incubators

energy\ness..yes.. but only if we disengage from money ness.. measuring transactions..

26 min – q: do we get rid of copyright  a: creative commons depends on it so no..

why creative commons..? to me.. that’s not common ing..


re imagining value report – David Bollier.. David Graeber – value.. et al


may 2017


15 min – once we start to realize things are relational and not merely transactional

17 min – for me.. the next frontier is the us.. we need new structures..


review of Jamesaffluence w/o abundance


Affluence without abundance: What moderns might learn from the bushmen /

The modern world of global commerce, technologies and countless things has not delivered on the leisure and personal satisfaction once promised.  Which may be why we moderns continue to look with fascination at those cultures that have persisted over millennia, who thrive on a different sense of time, connection with the Earth, and social relatedness.

The history is not told as a didactic lesson, but merely as a fascinating account of how humans have organized their lives in different, more stable, and arguably happier, ways..t

The fate of one band of San, the Ju/’hoansi, is remarkable, writes Suzman, because the speed of their transformation “from an isolated group of closely related hunting and gathering bands to a marginalized minority struggling to survive in a rapidly changing polyglot modern state is almost without parallel in modern history.”

History barely matters, and the future is defined by market-based aspirations — a job, a car, a home.  The modern world has few places to carry on meaningful traditions and sacred relationships.

I was pleased to see that James Suzman has founded a group, Anthropos, https://www.anthropos.org.uk/about to “apply anthropological methods to solving contemporary social economic and development problems.”  A timely and important mission.


Kevin Carson Ⓐ (@KevinCarson1) tweeted at 3:24 AM – 5 Oct 2017 :

David Bollier: Re-imagining Politics Through the Lens of the Commons | global-e https://t.co/hBXCE7UR03(http://twitter.com/KevinCarson1/status/915870202985943040?s=17)

Why are the more wholesome alternative visions so scarce and scarcely believable?

We need to imagine new sorts of governance and provisioning arrangements that can transform, tame, or replace predatory markets and capitalism

let’s try this ie: hlb via 2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

Cultural critic Douglas Rushkoff has said, “I’ve given up on fixing the economy.  The economy is not broken.  It’s simply unjust.” In other words, the economy is working more or less as its capitalist overseers intend it to work.

The fundamental problem in developing a new vision, however, is that old ideological debates continue to dominate public discourse. Politics is endlessly rehashing many of the same disagreements, failing to recognize that deep structural change is needed.

Why is the public imagination for transformation change so stunted? In part because most established institutions are more focused on managing their brand reputations and organizational franchises. Taking risks and developing bold new initiatives and ideas are not what they generally do. Meanwhile, system-change movements are generally *dismissed as too small-scale, trivial or apolitical to matter.

and.. as yet.. none have been deep enough for all of us.. today.. it’s time to go there.. where *dismissing ness is irrelevant

The old guard of electoral politics and standard economics has trouble comprehending the principle of emergence, let alone recognizing the need for innovative policy structures that could leverage and focus that dynamic power.

ie: 2 convos

Conventional schools of economics, politics and power do not comprehend the generative capacities of decentralized, self-organized networks. They apply obsolete categories of institutional control and political analysis, as if trying to understand the ramifications of automobiles through the language of “horseless carriages.”

Influencing unfolding realities may be less about electing different leaders and policies than about learning how to change ourselves, orchestrate a new shared intentionality,..t .. and hoist up new narratives about the commons

2 convos that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way


New #Podcast! @davidbollier joins us to discuss the #Commons, a concept that he describes has having “great potential as an alternative political vision that is locally distributed…” Full transcript available at the link. https://t.co/85T0WGqFl8

Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/TheNextSystem/status/968880394073530368

It wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s when I encountered the work of Elinor Ostrom, a great scholar of the commons and I realized that the commons was a great way to describe how things get done outside of the market and the state, meaning through self-organized activities and self-governance to manage projects that create things of value

the commons is about sharing those things that belong to all of us that we want to protect in our ability to manage them for our purposes.

in the late 90s you may recall the world wide web had just gone live in 1991, and here was a system that encouraged automatic sharing, yet copyright was being asserted to prevent us from sharing

ip – ownership

5 min – copyright was based on any little scribble or a guitar riff being born as private property. There was no way for stuff to be legally shared, so everything was implicitly piracy if you simply imitated or used somebody else’s work. Creative Commons licenses were an enormous innovation that did what Congress or federal authorities would not do, which is to legalize sharing.

lessig, swartz

She showed that contrary to the whole “tragedy of the commons” fable .. at the end the day, she’s working within a rational economic framework as opposed to a cultural or social framework.


tragedy of commons

7 min – The very dominant theme then was the prisoner’s dilemma in which people supposedly are always trying to calculatedly maximize their personal gain, which of course happens but it’s not the full story of what humanity is about.

9 min – you can create a different paradigm that is—I think—more humanly satisfying, that benefits more people without the gross inequality and exploitation that occurs now, and that is more ecologically benign because it doesn’t have the growth imperative that capitalism has. So you can start to reintegrate people with each other and with natural systems..t

For so long, we’ve had this presumption of fiction that the homo economicus, the utility maximizing individual, is the chief agent in the way to see the world. The commons says there is a different way to see humanityt

14 min – even social problems themselves are marketized.. In other words, it’s grotesquely out of control. We are trying to use property and market incentives to deal with precisely the problems these structures and incentives have created in the first place.  Can we start to acknowledge the intrinsic value of nature instead? ..t

15 min – A commoner would say, “How can we create things that are simply not for sale?”

16 min – That’s what the commons can do: meet needs in decommodified ways, where you don’t need to have market exchange. Your needs and what the market wants are different things entirely..t

marsh exchange law

market economics regards anything that can be exchanged and it has a price as being valuable. The commons regards all sorts of things that don’t have a price as also being valuable, but that doesn’t have any standing within the conventional political or economic discourse

17 min – The whole notion of the economy which focuses on exchange value needs to start to focus on use value, meaning what’s valuable for us to use whether or not it has a price, whether or not money is exchange to make it happen.

18 min – (care work) because it’s external to the economy and it’s therefore not productive, it’s not valuable in any price sense or a return on investment sense. Some ingenious people have been able to turn care work—elder care, child care or household activities—into a market. Suddenly, it’s valuable. The problem is that’s inconsistent with the very notion of care which cannot be regimented. You can’t put a price on what real care is about because care involves sacrificing of yourself. You’re not maximizing your utility; you’re giving of yourself to someone else. You’re spending a lot of time with them in ways that are not productive or creating value in a market sense.

19 min – There is an inherent contradiction involved in marketizing care work…

in that it (care work) is dependent on the market price.. you only get people who have no better options or people who .. women.. traditionally delegated.. care is relationship building which markets are less concerned with

10 day care ness

interpretive labor

21 min – the state is either indifferent or uncomprehending of the commons.

23 min – In Europe, there’s a lot of cities that are developing so-called “public-commons partnerships,” where the city government is collaborating with self-organized neighborhood groups or other initiatives to facilitate them doing work that bureaucracies would otherwise do. It’s a great advance because the citizens care about their neighborhood, they want it to work, they can devise their own systems that are not legalistic or bureaucratic or come with lots of high overhead.

neighborhood ness

24 min – Well, people don’t realize that 95% of the money in the United States is created privately through banks. They give out loans and that creates new money..Their loan creates the money, and they then reap the gains of that through interest payments all the time.

25 min – Well, could we capture some of that value ourselves by having the government or its designated trustees create money rather than banks?

or perhaps.. we disengage from money

29 min – If we’re talking about being transformative, simply taking power through the state is maybe necessarily but is quite insufficient. It’s not going to be transformative unless it’s really organically connected to local change and local change has a different political and cultural logic. In other words, it doesn’t want to simply placate or accommodate or even support international capital..t

I think that the seeds of change have to come from the bottom and that when they do, they will express a different political culture through people’s personal and social practices. That has to be origins at this point because the rest of the system is too indentured: too tied up with the existing logic of the system, and so we need some external forces to intervene because within the logic of the existing system it is just is not going to happen..t

30 min – (on common ing) I’m very suspicious of novel words being our salvation, and we’ve seen the lifecycle of the word sustainability, for example, where it’s now meaningless because everybody is sustainable. The point is what’s happening that’s achieving the goal of that word? The truth of the matter is there is no such thing as a common as such, there is commoning: the social practices of talking, negotiating, working it out for shared goals, bringing diverse perspectives into alignment.

common ing

31 min – To put it in high flown words this is the relational theory of value. The value is created through people enacting their relationships together through commons, so that’s where I think really transformative change is going to come from. It needs that grounding in people’s lives, in local practice.

rev of everyday life .. via2 convos

33 min – this is not some utopian abstract thing, it’s happening; it’s practical whether it’s recognized culturally as commons: as a different form of value generation. 

value ness


2014 – (30 min video) – What’s Next for Our Global Commons – with David Bollier and James Quilligan

What are our Commons, how are they being exploited and what can be done?


5 min – j: on privatizations taking us into enclosures

6 min – d: commons comes in as useful way to intervene.. gives us a vocab that talks about shared wealth.. that shouldn’t be marketized.. how can we show that the language of the commons describes enumerable phenom.. ie: digital; indigenous resource; et al.. yet many textbooks make no mention of commons beyond the tragedy

why not everything..as commons.. ie: sans money?

7 min – j: bridge for me has been.. commons have pre existed.. since beginning of time.. it’s the market and the state that have emerged in the mean time.. crowded out all our cognitive thinking around what was pre existing.. so the challenge for us is a big mind stretch to get back to the pre existent realities.. t when we say.. what are the commons..

d: which is why this is not a matter of politics/policy per se.. it’s in our minds/language/culture.. trying to understand that it’s at that deep level.. of re configuring our mental software almost.. as well as our psychic connections to explain it.. it cuts very deeply if you take the commons seriously.. it’s not just something that policy makers should graple with

again.. let’s go deep enough to go it.. sans money

8 min – j: in a way .. it’s the story we tell about ourselves.. and the story of how we *define human nature.. but it’s also the fact that we **don’t have a consistent plan for being able to roll out that story into meaningful policy.. that makes coherence between the self and the other and the creative environment

*human nature ness

**let’s try this

d: very well put.. we are so enthralled to homo economicus.. the individual/rational utility maximizing person who is the fable of econ.. is an *erroneous notion of what human beings are.. because evolutionary scientist will tell us that we are social creatures.. and that **our very id comes from being in a community and that commons have been with us from the beginning of human species..

*black science of people/whales law

**maté basic needs.. community

9 min – d: so .. can we acknowledge these realities in how we approach governance ..and production.. and start to find a language to acknowledge this rather than pretend that neoliberal norms about individualism and being to atomized are true.. because they’re not

why governance..?  why production..?

well.. need both.. a and a..

j: i often think about laissez faire capitalism.. referring to rational expectations.. and human reason.. it’s all based on reasonable approaches.. is it reasonable to import food from half way around the world..?.. seriously.. is economics really about reason.. or is it about the well-being that it can provide to society.. isn’t that what’s really going on w economics..

laissez faire: letting things take their own course..abstention by governments from interfering in the workings of the free market.

like letting things take own course.. but that begs we not enclose that freedom in a measuring/monetary ecosystem

10 min – d: there is no objectivity.. we’re immersed in reality.. we have these relationships that are emotional/subjective.. and so in some ways it goes as deep as trying to validate those inclinations.. spiritual/emotional/psychic/subjective.. as important to this discussion of how human beings save themselves and the world..

11 min – d: elinor ostrom was of course the pioneer in doing a lot of the field work in demo ing that small scale natural resource commons are entirely viable.. you see them (the ie’s) everywhere.. but the phenomena hasn’t been validated intellectually or in policy so much


12 min – d: all of this is about self organized cooperation.. a framework for developing sustainable consensus.. which is *not exploitative and grossly unequal.. so it is a paradigm for holistically.. over the long term.. managing things.. getting out of the strict private property notions.. into notions of stewardship.. which implicitly means.. long term and community.. as opposed to individualistic and self serving

self org ness.. as framework for consensus..  via ie: 2 convos

*begs we listen to all the voices.. ie: as it could be

13 min – j: self org for me is right at the heart of what we’re really talking about here.. because the traditional argument has been that people are too ill-equipped and too ignorant to manage their own resources.. and that’s what the commons movement has shown.. that it’s not true.. but at the same time.. it’s not that it’s just an alternative.. it’s actually an evolutionary process.. because nature self orgs.. nature is not as chaotic as some people expect that it is.. major principles of self org that really guide bio for ie.. and econ needs to move closer and closer to bio models.. so.. natural boundaries becoming more and more important than political boundaries

organism as fractal.. and why we haven’t yet gotten to global equity (haven’t let go of control enough)

14 min – d: starting to understand that many traditional lenses we use to look at world are inaccurate.. we look at them in static ways.. as objects.. when in fact.. we should be thinking about flows.. relationships.. dynamic – how changing they are.. and they’re nested.. w/in diff spheres.. so .. a very diff way of conceptualizing how the world generates wealth.. human communities are naturally generative.. it’s not as if they need a market or a state to tell them to do something.. so part of this is about recognizing what is really quite natural.. and giving it the room to evolve and grow..t

spaces of permission.. w nothing to prove..

already in us ness.. holmgren indigenous law

15 min – j: it seems that local communities and regional communities should become self sufficient to the extent that they can before going out and trading w the rest of the world.. that turns ricardian paradigm of international trade and comparative advantage completely backwards.. but it seems to me.. that’s the direction we need to go during the 21st cent.. otherwise.. we’re going to be creating resource wars between the various states of the world over the resources that they actually share in common.. but squabble over because where the sovereign boundaries cut the bioregions in half

d: and the reason that inversion you talk about is so important is because it creates a basic unit of stability that’s ecologically sustainable.. that can be built upon.. as opposed to creating units that are simply colonies from which one is always extracting resources for the larger market econ.. in other words can become foundational building block for economically stable econ

16 min – j: i don’t think this obviates (removes) the role of business and govt.. they certainly have to be changed.. but.. *i don’t see this as a direct threat to business and govt.. what i see is an evolving model where the commons becomes a .. i wouldn’t necessarily say an equal player.. but i would say.. part of the same kind of dynamic.. in the mix.. w market and govt

*i don’t see it as a threat.. but i don’t see them still in existence.. ie: 1\ this other way is what people in business and govt crave as well.. and 2\ i think the do need to be gone.. i see them as the measuring/controlling piece that is cancerous to humanity

d: i agree.. there’s 2 important points *1\ the commons is not incompatible w the state and market and businesses.. but i think a lot of ways in which the state and market now operate will obviously have to change and come to respect the particular value that the commons brings to the table.. in achieving things that neither the market nor the state can achieve.. the state a centralized/b/rule-driven enterprise that may not have local knowledge..  and markets being so primarily focused on monetization and private property rights.. that it can’t understand the value created thru collective relationships.. so ..

*i think it is.. i think that’s why we haven’t gotten to equitable (everyone getting a go everyday) common ing yet

17 min – d: ..so finding a new equilibrium between market state and commons is a key thing to develop..

again.. i believe that thinking is why we haven’t yet gotten to global equity

d: but the other point is .. you’re right.. 2\ we need to imagine new macro institutions and *infra’s that can facil the commons at small scale.. because some of these small commonses need first of all .. protection and support from the larger framework.. but second of all .. that framework is important for its growth.. one could not imagine.. just to take a metaphor.. the internet functioning w/o this superstructure..of infra.. to allow people to come together.. and i think.. *we don’t yet have that governance infra at the macro level to support commons.. and we need to explore that..t

let’s’ try  *2 convos that io dance.. as the day.. as infra/superstructure of infra.. to allow people to come together..

18 min – j: this needs to be put on a new footing.. and i believe that bioregionalism will really inform this new kind of multi lateralism.. and at the same time.. people at local levels.. even in the commons movement.. look at the international institutions.. and they vilify them.. and there’s great reason to vilify the world bank and the imf..et al.. but in vilifying them.. local people set up their own self sufficiency as: we are going to hunker down in our self sufficient environ.. and ignore all those international institutions that are creating the mayhem for us.. because it’s our only way of surviving.. creating our own id/indigenous-wealth.. but at same time.. *(it’s) setting up a new kind of adversity between the local and the global.. which is not health for the local people in developing this self sufficiency because the fact is.. *we do need international institutions.. but ones that are more amenable to the commons and actually are supporting what’s happening on the ground rather than ripping it off.. but it doesn’t mean at local level we should be becoming anti globalization/globalism.. **create an international architecture in a way that would be truly supportive of self sufficient regional/local econs.. moving forward the prospects of the commons

bioregionalism: advocacy of the belief that human activity should be largely restricted to distinct ecological and geographical regions

*k.. not sure about verbiage.. but yeah.. need this to be global systemic change.. so.. again.. let’s’ try  **2 convos that io dance.. as the day.. as infra/institution/whatever

20 min – d: i think part of the problem is that the commons movement has to mature and develop more.. to develop an international vision of what the commons movement consists of these days.. i think it’s more a proto movement that is still coalescing and trying to find coherence.. but it consists of a highly eclectic variety of diff commoners.. yet they do share many fundamental values (lists ie’s)..  a lot of these diff movement have not found each other.. started to develop a shared language.. let alone developing the policy/institutional proposals for facilitating the commons sector.. so i think we are kind of in a gap right now in trying to move to that new space/direction..

siemens glue law..  maté basic needs.. as glue.. via 2 convos

21 min – j: yeah.. the gap is somewhat troubling for me personally.. because i see the private sector moving way out.. staying several steps ahead of where some of the discourse is going around the commons.. in fact learning from the discourse around the commons.. to begin to say.. *well.. we are really talking about commons eventually.. but let’s collateralize the commons to work back into the market place.. which is.. one reason i don’t think this ‘green econ’ per se really works.. because we say we’re going for the environmental by raising prices.. which means we’re actually marketizing the cost of goods and services.. and the fact is.. we’re reverting back to the marketing system anyway thru this process of trying to establish a green econ

*that’s an ie of why we have to let go of state and market..

22 min – d: and i’ll mention.. the analog for that.. is the so called.. sharing econ..  ie: phone apps for taxi service.. rent out extra room.. you can marketize so many aspects of things.. well in some ways.. this is creating greater precarious ness.. where everybody is a freelancer who earns this (tiny) much.. not driving sharing so much as capital can get a lot of free work at a discount.. *so there’s real challenge in protecting the commons as commons.. as opposed to simply marketizing it and calling it sharing.. t

*again.. why we have to let go of state and market..  disengage from irrelevants

23 min – j: so.. they’re rediscovering commons.. but they’re turning it around and saying.. we’re doing the right thing.. but it’s privatization and more enclosure to the commons..

which will always happen if we don’t let go of measuring/validating transactions/people

d: so part of the challenge is to really maintain the integrity of commons as commons as opposed to simply being a helpmate for capital to do its things more efficiently w less overhead costs..

j: people profit planet always reverts back to the market system.. and that’s the biggest problem i have w green econ.. it doesn’t accomplish the commons effectively.. and that is really the challenge right now.. and partly to educate the people in the environ movement that maybe they’re going down a course by following the idea that.. raise the prices of goods.. and then you’re going to be able to green the planet.. to a more commons based perspective..

24 min – d: the real challenge.. even many well meaning environmentalists can’t quite go there because.. to assert some of these things is to immediately marginalize yourself politically.. or to be on the fringe.. or a pariah (outcast).. and so there’s a real challenge of .. *how do you assert these radically diff terms for understanding the world/value in a political culture that immediately shunts you to the side.. this is a serious challenge.. how do we incubate these diff ways of seeing..t.. give them validity.. recognition.. help them grow.. i don’t have the answer.. but i think that’s what we need to be able to do somehow..

begs we leap.. all of us at once.. (assuming we all crave this other way).. so begs a mech to facil the chaos of 7 bn people leaping to a nother way to live

25 min – j: i think it’s partly perception, *id, **org ing ourselves around this.. self org of communities.. w the aim of self reliance.. that’s a start.. but it’s a big challenge

*curioisty as id/label

**org’d/facil’d by 2 convos

d: i think a lot of it is going to come from outside the existing framework by newcomers.. or the un organized people who.. you know.. the occupy world did not work thru lobbying congress.. they created a diff center of gravity.. and the world came to them.. just as linux was more effective fighting microsoft that the doj/antitrust-lawsuit.. a diff set of gravity..

rev of everyday life .. rev in reverse.. ness

26 min – d: so i think creating these diff centers of gravity outside the established matrix of power/policy.. and once that can reach a certain scale/size/credibility.. the rest of the world can’t ignore it.. and then it can indeed become a magnet for alt energies.. that’s my sort of pet theory for how it might happen

yes.. model a nother way.. but begs.. a mech simple enough that 7 bn could use today.. centered around a problem/need that 7 bn would resonate w today.. w/in a system that fractals the natural/global ecosystem/organism.. or it won’t be for all.. which means it won’t sync enough to sustain us

j: pluralism and diversity is a very important part of this.. isn’t there a problem w diversity.. if everyone is being very diverse.. then.. what’s the social cohesion that brings them all together.. in the diversity.. what kind of self org do all the diverse communities w/in a region.. are they able to create that new kind of unity w/in the diversity

discrimination as equity..  2 convos as glue

27 min – d: important question.. i don’t have a strict answer.. but i have some suspicions.. 1\ the commons world.. by not being into max acquisition.. they have an ethic of sufficiency.. has less of an imperative to colonize.. take over.. appropriating others.. and can play nicely w each other.. and if you want to take an analogy.. the whole digital world has lots of commons communities that are mutually supportive (creative commons.. free software.. wikipedia.. open access publishing..) these people are distinct commons worlds.. but they collab w each other.. i can imagine versions of that playing out .. find a way to share.. w/o being competitive bind of max acquisition.. but.. this is a speculative territory for the future

what i’ve seen

28 mi – j: i think this is the time when commons movement really has to step up.. the only meaningful alt that is out there..

1 yr to try commons/common\ing

d: on need for more relationships building convos.. to broaden our own sense of possibility and imagination.. there’s a handful of opps for that to occur.. we need far more

29 min – j: the *role of ed is really critical.. i see that as the first point the commons movement really has to take under consideration .. in terms of the future.. really expanding the avenues for introducing these ideas to the wider public.. **and then i think.. social action is a significant thing that can follow..  but i think the challenge is enormous right now and i would strongly urge anyone who’s in the commons movement to begin to *build these alliances to really create greater sense of unity and social cohesions..

*unless we truly believe commons is the core..basic.. natural.. then no need for ed.. just freedom.. and listening.. in order to facil ie: curiosities..

**let’s try rev in reverse.. ness.. trust people.. set them (us all) free first..

***or design under the assumption that that interconnectedness is already there.. just need to free it up.. uncover it.. return the shells..

d: the commons is really at a time of great political alienation/impasse/dysfunction.. *the commons provides something you can do right now.. w/o permission of washington.. or anybody else.. there are things that can be done that are consequential.. ie: the transition movement is built on that premise.. of how do we deal w climate and peak oil.. we’re going to deal w it in our communities right now ourselves.. and **i think that’s the great wholesome appeal of the commons.. we can do stuff.. let’s do it.. and that can become catalytic over time if you get enough people to engage upon those commons projects..

*well not all of us.. or we’d be doing it.. and i do think that all of us ness .. matters.. in order for the dance to dance.. (sync et al)

transition commons

**i think the appeal is .. we can do stuff.. yes.. but huge roadblock.. not until we’re all.. everyone of us.. truly free.. otherwise.. the dance won’t ever dance.. the glue.. won’t ever stick..

j: that’s our ace in the hole

exactly.. and why focusing on something 7 bn people crave today.. (because sync matters).. and why something that requires no training matters