Noosphere rising: Internet-based collective intelligence, creative labour, and social production

Thesis Eleven 130 (1):3-21 (2015)
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Abstract

Our article relocates the debate about creative labour to the terrain of peer-to-peer interneting as the paradigmatic form of nonmarket – social – production. From Yann Moulier Boutang we take the point that creative labour is immaterial; it is expressed through people connected by the internet. Drawing on two social systems thinkers, Francis Heylighen and Wolfgang Hofkirchner, we transpose this connectedness up to a conception of creative labour as a supra-individual collective intelligence. This intelligence, we argue, is one of the internet’s emergent properties. We then present a model of internet development that flags the potential of digitally-evoked collective intelligence to facilitate what the Marxist philosopher George Caffentzis calls ‘postcapitalist commoning’. Yoking together systems theorizing about the internet and socialist envisioning of social transformation, we identify two sets of internet tools for coordination that can assist with the convivial reconstruction of society along the lines of peer-based production.

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