A return to pre-industrial communities?

During his talk yesterday at the Jornada Euroecom, Joost van Nispen mentioned that somebody (sorry, I don’t remember who) has said that what is happening on Internet is a return to a pre-industrial community in the sense that your reputation has become your “brand”. The net is also creating bespoke products which had previously been lost in the process of moving to mass-production. Any opinions???

Ricard Espelt has now posted an English language version of his rundown of the event.

2 thoughts on “A return to pre-industrial communities?

  1. Does Internet become a return to pre-industrial community? It is a stimulant idea, but I am not sure at all. From my point of view this can be true in two senses:
    a) Internet breaks the mass society (typical of the industrial society) introducing a great flexibilization of the relationships between individuals. In fact, Internet pass through the collective institutions of the industrial society going beyond and changing their nature, allowing people to maintain intense contacts with other persons in ciberspace, in some way maybe similar to those of the pre-industrial communities.
    b) It brings the need of developing a ciber-personality, it means, a kind of role to play and a set of characters that everyone want to show to the others. This characters and roles must be trustworthiness, because people will be judged mainly by their ciber-behaviour. This will reminds to some kind of ancient honour, in the medieval sense that it is still understood for instance in the Pyrenees.

    But on the other side, in the Internet Age people can feel themselves belonging to discontinuous groups with variable existence along time and space. In fact, one of the characteristics more different from the pre-industrial society is the great time and space disconnection. The pre-industrial communities remained lindek to their near territory and their relationships with other people were restricted to their time. They can not talk with their antypodes every morning, nor organize collective actions far away from their nearer space. For this reason in the pre-industrial communities the power belonged to the owner of the land, the power is territorially located.
    Could someone tell me were is the power in the Internet age?

    (a proposal: in the English accademies?)see: http://eftd1.wordpress.com

  2. Hi Pep,

    Maybe the power lies in the people who take the Internet seriously and grasp the ability to use it as a tool – Obama has done this to great success but it remains to be seen how he will maintain this once in power and surrounded by the veil of secrecy which traditionally cover the manoeuvres of politicians.

    Personally I was very inspired at the mozilla camp which took place in Citilab-Cornella and was the first time since my old anarchist days that I’ve seen a group of people who come together to create something because they can and they want to and with no financial gain, but earning credibility and respect. Politicians and “land-owners” don’t really know what to do with the Internet and are running scared… maybe it is up to us to make sure the “power” stays out of their hands.

    Maybe you will be interested in the P2P Foundation

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