the hi-tech gift economy


1. James Wallace, Overdrive, p. 266.

2. For a critique of the neo-liberal politics of Wired, see Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, "The Californian Ideology."

3. Guy Debord, "Report on the Construction of Situations and on the International Situationist Tendency's Conditions of Organisation and Action," p. 25."

4. The Situationists discovered the tribal gift economy in Marcel Mauss, The Gift."

5. For the historical antecedents of New Left anarcho-communism, see Richard Gombin, Les Origins du Gauchisme, pp. 99-151. For its later influence on the new social movements, see George Katsiaficas, The Imagination of the New Left, pp. 204-212."

6. For instance, in their famous analysis of the 1965 Los Angeles Watts riots, the Situationists praised looting as the revolutionary supersession of money-commodity relations: "... instead of being eternally pursued in the rat race of alienated labour and increasing but unmet social needs, real desires begin to be expressed in festival, in playful self-assertion, in the potlatch of destruction." Situationist International, "The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy," p. 155. "

7. See John Downing, Radical Media."

8. DIY stands for 'do-it-yourself'. This slogan is used to emphasise the need for people to tackle social problems through collective direct action rather than to wait for someone else to solve them. See Elaine Brass, Sophie Poklewski Koziell and Denise Searle, Gathering Force."

9. See Warren O. Hagstrom, "Gift Giving as an Organisational Principle in Science," p. 29."

10. This is why the increasing role of private funding can hamper as well as help academic research. See David Noble, "Digital Diploma Mills.""

11. See Mark Geise, "From ARPAnet to the Internet," pp. 126-132."

12. Tim Berners-Lee, "The World Wide Web: Past, Present and Future," p. 11."

13. See Neil Kleinman, "Don't Fence Me In: Copyright, Property and Technology.""

14. Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, "Cooking Pot Markets," p 10."

15. Steve Elliot of Slug Oven quoted in Karlin Lillington, "No! It's Not OK, Computer," page 3. Also see Andrew Leonard, "Mutiny on the Net.""

16. For instance, one of the major components of the 1993 Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was increased protection for patents and copyrights, especially with agriculture and medicine, see John Frow, "Information as Gift and Commodity.""

17. Howard Rheingold, The Virtual Community, pp. 57-58."

18. Tim Berners-Lee, "Realising the Full Potential of the Web," p. 5."

19. Bernard Lang, "Free Software For All," p. 3."

20. Keith W. Porterfield, "Information Wants to be Valuable," p. 2."

21. Shareware is also often known as freeware or open source software. All these names emphasise that the program is a gift to anyone on the Net, especially those who have the skills to improve its code. See the use of these terms in Douglas Rushkoff, "Free Lessons in Innovation"; Free Software Foundation, "What is Free Software?"; and Eric S. Raymond, "Homesteading the Noosphere.""

22. See Andrew Leonard, "Let My Software Go!.""

23. Eric S. Raymond, "The Cathedral and the Bazaar," p. 1."

24. See Francis Fukuyama, "The End of History and the Last Man.""

25. "Gift cultures are adaptations not to scarcity but to abundance. They arise in populations that do not have significant material-scarcity problems with survival goods." Eric S. Raymond, "Homesteading the Noosphere," p. 9."

26. Karl Marx, Grundrisse, p. 700."

27. See Netscape Communications Corporation, "Netscape Announces Plans to Make Next-Generation Communicator Source Code Available Free on the Net.""

28. Eric Raymond describing his pitch on behalf of shareware to commercial software companies in Andrew Leonard, "Let My Software Go!," p. 8. Bill Gates doesn't just believe that free software is 'communism', but even allowing other companies to have access to Microsoft products before their release date! See James Wallace, Overdrive, p. 57."

29. Wired uses 'The New Economy' as a synonym for its neo-liberal fantasies about the Net. See Kevin Kelly, "New Rules for the New Economy.""

30. Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life, p. 70."

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