Gittip is not just another web app or start-up, it’s a new kind of company. I’m calling it an “open company,” and here are...
It is interesting to think about the whole concept of shareholding and corporations. It seems like a modern form of slavery. Because you cannot own a person anymore we developed a concept of corporate personhood, which we can own, sell, resell, split, merge, while it is doing work for you, its owner.
I have proposed a new global economic system which, instead of trying to reduce transactions between people to one numerical value (money), stores all information about the transaction itself so that then later on everybody can assign a personalized value to the transaction.
An interesting observation is that we can see people as nodes in a network and transactions between them as connections (edges) in the network. The question is how we define these edges. Do we assign an edge a precomputed simple value, a number, which is made at the moment the edge itself is made. (This is what we currently do.) Or do assign context of the edge to the edge, so that anybody can evaluate the edge by themselves. (This is what I am proposing.)
For PeerLibrary project we had discussions on how much distributed or centralized should we make it. It is a cloud service and centralizing (unifying) user base and content has clear benefits for both end users and developers. End users have better user experience and ease of use, all content is available quickly and easily, and all other users are there, making social experience better. For developers, code can be much simpler and maintenance of only one instance makes it easier to deploy new versions and push security fixes quickly. It is easier to collect statistics and do A/B testing on a large sample. On the other hand, having multiple instances of PeerLibrary distributed around the world makes whole system more robust, specialized instances could be offered, privacy of users increased. Having PeerLibrary distributed would make forkability easier, encouraging more community control of both the project and the content (commons), preventing corruption of the main instance or core project.
I argue that what if we want a distributed system, what we in fact want is what I call “proactive federation” and not simple federation.