Values, Commons, Computing, and the Search for a Viable Future
The financial/social cataclysm beginning in 2007 ended notions of a “great moderation” and the view that capitalism had overcome its systemic tendencies to crisis. The subsequent failure of contemporary social formations to address the causes of the crisis gives renewed impetus to better analysis in aid of the search for a better future. This book contributes to this search by reviving a broad discussion of what we humans might want a post-capitalist future to be like. It argues for a comparative anthropological critique of capital notions of value, thereby initiating the search for a new set of values, as well as identifying a number of selected computing practices that might evoke new values. It articulates a suggestive set of institutions that could support these new values, and formulates a group of measurement practices usable for evaluating the proposed institutions. The book is grounded in contemporary social science, political theory, and critical theory. It aims to leverage the possibility of alternative futures implied by some computing practices while avoiding hype and technological determinism, and uses these computing practices to explicate one possible way to think about the future.
Table of Contents
1. An Introduction to Our Thinking About a Future Beyond Capital 2. Theoretical Orientations 3. Good and Problematic Views of the Computing and Social Change Nexus 4. Computing/Social Change Relationships Today 5. An Ethnological Theory of Values Encompassing Value 6. Theory Applied: Selecting and Fostering New Values and Valuation Practices 7. New Institutions to Support New Values 8. Supporting New Value and Institution Complexes with Measures 9. Conclusion
David Hakken is Professor of Social Informatics, School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Bloomington, and Fellow at the University of Trento.
Barbara Andrews is a writer and an independent researcher on arts, education, and technology.
Maurizio Teli is a Research Fellow in the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Trento.