Hacking the Networked Society.

Abstract: The dynamic between free-software and open-source is often misunderstood by social and political theorists. As a consequence it is also under-theorised within socio-political theory. In this paper, I show how philosophies of free/libre, open-source and commons regimes have engendered new forms of socio-political consumption and new political economies of meaning. My emphasis on the interplay between the local and the global/structure and agency, shows new ways of ‘thinking’ the cosmopolitan, sedimented in the interconnected networks of the technical age. My thesis is concerned with our present moment of opportunity. I believe that positive possibilities for politics and political economy are presented in the philosophies of free/libre, open-source and commons regimes. In this paper I will demonstrate the contribution of these new socio-political categories and the new politics that is being ‘made public’ beca__use of free/libre hacking.

Available online as web/HTML, as PDF (6×9 format, sorry, A4 coming) and as printed book from lulu.com. I also plan to put this up on my wiki.

I am going to continue my research and writing in this area over the coming year. I’m particularly interested in exploring free/libre and peer production, Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful economics and Benkler and Nissenbaum’s notion of virtue in free/libre (see Commons-Based Peer Production and Virtue).