Archive for September, 2005

How will a new Money ethic look like?

Saturday, September 3rd, 2005

I my search for the fundamental ‘building blocks’ or organising principles for our future society, George advised me to read The hacker ethic, by Pekka Himanen.
For me it is a great book, although it is probably ‘old’ for the real hackers, because it is written in 2001. Basically the hacker’s ethic has three components: a Work Ethic, a Money Ethic and a Nethic or Network Ethic.

The Work Ethic resonates deep within myself. Being a self employed psychotherapist I have the freedom and the responsibility for my own agenda. I do the work that I love and live my life totally as I want it to be. And I can see how this part of the ethic is finding and will find it’s way to society.

But how can the Money Ethic be applied broadly?
That’s an important question that I hold. And Pekka Himanen notices also that here “reactions are bound to be more divided”. But if we want an enlightened society, our relation to money will need to change too.
Probably it is not our relation to money that should change, but what do we call property and what not?

In contrast with the ruling paradigm of “information-owning”, “the original computer-hacker ethic emphasized openness”, the ethical duty to share their expertise. In fact “creations are given away to others”.
This originates in or is alike with the culture of scientists, where information is freely shared between peers.
So, how would an open-source enterprise look like? Or an open-source society? It seems “not allowed” to close off information to others.

Himanen raises the question “Could there be a free market economy in which competition would not be based on controlling information but on other factors…?”
Maybe this basic assumption of competition as a basic rule in economy can be questioned.
What about a free market economy based on cooperation?
Isn’t it what nature does?