“Pay-to-Peer: How Basic Income Will Support the Emerging Peer-to-Peer Networked Society”
The ease with which content can now be published and circulated via emerging digital networked information and communication technologies has inspired an unprecedented outpouring of creativity. The common wisdom that the protection and extension of copyright is necessary to promote ongoing innovation has been disrupted, probably irreparably, as free content proliferates on these digital networks and as copyright regimes become instead the pretext for the oppressive policing of creative and collaborative work to preserve profits for established interests.
In a related development, as conservative consolidated corporate broadcast media relinquish their traditional function to help educate the electorate and demand accountability in the conduct of the powerful, a vast archipelago of online blogs, columns, and communities of advocacy have suddenly materialized to do so in their place.
The emerging peer-to-peer networked society is creating an incomparable archive of intellectual resources as well as tools to facilitate new practices of collaboration, exchange, and oversight, and I propose that a guaranteed basic income may be necessary to compensate this increasingly socially indispensable work since traditional economic incentives and models seem inadequate to accommodate these developments.
I mean for my argument to complement Marshall Brain’s recent thesis that a guaranteed basic income may be necessary to stave off the social disruption that is likely to eventuate as widespread automation eliminates traditional jobs and concentrates wealth in fewer and fewer hands. Brain argues that a guaranteed basic income will ameliorate the negative impact of current technological developments, and I argue that the same income guarantee will likewise consolidate the positive impact of other current technological developments.
Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Friday, January 21, 2005
I'm going to be delivering a paper at the Fourth Congress of United States Basic Income Guarantee Network, which is taking place March 4-6, 2005, in New York. My panel is on Saturday, I believe. Here is a short abstract of my talk: