Phil Baumann

better living through enquiry

Posts in the Web category

One of the main features of economies over the last four or five centuries has been the separation between labor and capital. That is – because of technological conditions – the means of production had to be separate from the ownership of production.

It may help to read Marx’s Capital and Smith’s Wealth of Nations for deeper understandings of the ramifying influences of capitalism on the world (new conceptions of time, impacts on culture and class, etc.). But what matters most is to understand the key role of the separation of means of production from its ownership.

That separation has always created conflict: labor seeks better wages, hours, conditions; capital seeks lower wages, longer hours, cheaper conditions and more capital.

Until now, technology has been the primary agent in creating and enforcing this fundamental dichotomy. If a printing press cost too much for a writer to own and run, she had to rely on a capitalist to supply the ability to publish.

Now, the Web and cheapening technologies open the possibility of the proletariat and the capitalist to ‘fuse’ – that is, it’s now possible to use *and* own production.

It’s becoming more of a reality that workers (labor) can fund their own endeavors (capital).

You can see this fusion as the emergence of a new kind of cyborg, an economic one – let’s call it the Prolecapatarian.

The proletarian can now embed/extend capitalist features into her presence in the economy. Same thing for the capitalist.

But what’s the effect of these new economic cyborgs? Specifically, what happens to the classic conflict between labor and capital? Does it become internalized?

Does the Prolecapatarian face internal conflict? What does that look like?

It’s something to think about, because those of us who live the 24/7 nomadic life have to contend with being both the user and owner of production.

How about you: do you think we’ll see the emergence of this new kind of economic being? Or do you think we’re in a transition period and that eventually we’ll be back to the schism between labor and capital and the emergence of wholly larger concentrations of capital accumulation and labor surplus?

Are you a Prolecapatarian?

@PhilBaumann

484-362-0451

Ten Bucks

It doesn’t matter if you’re a one-person shop or a multi-billion dollar company, there’s one facet of the Web that puts us all on parity: for ten bucks you can buy your own domain.

You can have a million followers on Twitter but you still don’t own your tweets.

You can have a million Likes on Facebook, but you don’t own your status updates

You can have all sorts of success on consumer social media sites – however you define success – but you don’t own the landscape and you have no control of the media.

Yes, your Website can get hacked and you can get hit by a DDOS attack – but the fact is your domain is the only thing on the Web that belongs to you. It’s yours and you get to decide what to do with it: no conforming to some shady social media company’s rules.

I don’t really care what experts say when they claim social media has displaced websites.

For ten bucks, you get 100% equity in your own home. No mortgage.

For ten bucks, you can host your own parties – public, private or a mix of both.

For ten bucks, you get the chance to launch your ideas, to change minds, to lead movements, to start a new life.

For ten bucks, a homeless person can wield as much power as an agency on Madison Avenue.

The 21st Century – as technology-dependent as it’s becoming – belongs to the artists. The winners won’t be the masters of technology and media.

No the winners this century will be the brave creators who know the value of home when the rest of the world wanders off into infinity.

Ten bucks can change the world.

@PhilBaumann

484-362-0451