Michel Bauwens has posted a long essay draft, P2P and Human Evolution: Peer to peer as the premise of a new mode of civilization.
The following essay describes the emergence, or expansion, of a specific type of relational dynamic, which I call peer to peer. It’s a form of human network-based organisation which rests upon the free participation of equipotent partners, engaged in the production of common resources, without recourse to monetary compensation as key motivating factor, and not organized according to hierarchical methods of command and control. This format is emerging throughout the social field: as a format of technology (the point to point internet, filesharing, grid computing, the Writeable Web initiatives, blogs), as a third mode of production (neither centrally planned nor profit-driven), producing hardware, software and intellectual and cultural resources (wetware) that are of great value to humanity (Linux, Wikipedia), and as a general mode of knowledge exchange and collective learning which is massively practiced on the internet. It also emerges as new organizational formats in politics, spirituality; as a new ‘culture of work’.