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[GMG-Devel] Invitation to contribute to a book of decentralized FLOSS fo

From: Samer
Subject: [GMG-Devel] Invitation to contribute to a book of decentralized FLOSS for communities
Date: Tue, 11 Aug 2015 22:49:55 -0000


This is an invitation to the GNU Media Goblin project, to submit an abstract (750 words) for a book on the use of decentralized FLOSS for communities. We believe you are doing great work and we’d love to have your thoughts on this project as part of this compilation. See below for details.

Despite of the decentralized origins of the Internet, with the arrival of the Web 2.0, centralized and proprietary platforms, typically controlled by corporations, have progressively taken over the web. This centralized architecture can be used by governments to increase surveillance (as we have discovered following the Snowden’s revelations), to blackout the Internet (e.g. Egypt, Syria, or San Francisco’s BART) or to choke activist organizations (such as Wikileaks). Yet, in the last few years, we have seen the emergence of Internet-enabled collaborative communities building shared libre/open resources. Commons-based Peer Production (CBPP) is rapidly growing: not just for software and encyclopedias, but also for information (OpenStreetMap, Wikihow), hardware (FabLabs, Open Source Ecology), accommodation (Couchsurfing) and currency (Bitcoin, Altcoins). In the last few years, it has become clear to many that it is not enough to develop free/libre/open source (FLOSS) alternatives, but that we also need to re-decentralize the Internet. These new software tools may also be useful to boost CBPP communities further.

From this vision, we decided to organise the FLOSS4P2P workshop (@Fablab London, supported by P2Pvalue), which gathered a wide spectrum of people working on decentralized FLOSS projects that could help or support the activities of peer production communities.

Following the workshop success and in collaboration with the Institute of Network Cultures, we would like to prepare a book (on the model of the former MoneyLab Inc Reader) showing the great amount of decentralized FLOSS options. This initiative is open also to those who couldn’t make it to the workshop. Since you are working on an outstanding or particularly interesting decentralized FLOSS project, we would like to ask you to:

  • Write (and/or draw!) something. E.g. a story, a sci-fi tale, a comicstrip, a manifesto, a critical essay, an interview, a study, a poem, a conversation, a debate, a combination of the former…we invite you to experiment and surprise us!

  • On how your decentralized FLOSS is useful for communities. Think of grassroots communities, commons-based, P2P, online or offline or mixed, think of wikis, makers, activists, hacktivists, free culture, citizen science, couchsurfers...

  • Try to write something that will encourage non-technical readers to adopt your platform/FLOSS project, or that will inspire them to think about its social/economical/political/legal implications.

  • We do not want an advertisement for your project, but rather an interesting story, a manifesto, a discussion of the positive and negative consequences of the project, its social/practical uses by these communities, etc. We definitely do not want (boring) academic papers.

We invite you to submit an initial abstract (max. 750w; count each image as 200w, if any) explaining your idea by September 15, 2015.

We’ll select the more compelling ideas to write an extended version for the book, to be published on 2016.

If you have further questions about the expected contents, format, etc. do not hesitate to let us know. We look forward to hear about your ideas!

Samer Hassan

David Rozas
Primavera De Filippi

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