I am associated with an academic group that works on Peer to Peer (P2P) systems. I was recently in touch with Michael Albert about building a P2P application based on Parecon principles.
The main idea goes something like this: A software which users can use to form communities and share videos, photos and other content. The sharing will occur in a P2P fashion. The idea is that the P2P software would incorporate principles from Parecon.
The system could have the following basic features:
- Users should be able to share/upload content
- Users should be able to watch / download content
(`Watching’ implies that the system should be able to stream videos in the manner of youtube)
- The system should employ a P2P architecture
This means that sharing, downloading and uploading, should all take place without depending on central servers.
- The system should facilitate social interaction among users (online)
This means that users should be able to form groups. These groups could be formed on the basis of common interest.
- The system should incorporate the three major principles of Parecon
a. Remuneration According to Effort
b. Balanced Job Complexes
c. Participatory Decision Making for Allocation
Of course, the question is why would people want to use such a software. Youtube is already available! And the Web 2.0 functionality of ZCommunications already offers many of these features. Well the first simple answer could be that this software could serve as an experiment for Parecon in practice. P2P systems have been studied as virtual economies and this software could serve as an example of an economy based on Parecon principles.
However, perhaps equally importantly, it would be nice to have a software that works in a P2P fashion and has features that are currently unavailable in centralized systems. And for this I am really interested in the ideas of the readers/sustainers of ZNet. What would they like in a software that is managed collectively in a P2P fashion. What new things (i.e. unavailable in current centralized solutions) can they think of for which they would like to use such a P2P software. Or features, perhaps not new, but combined together to provide some new (ish) functionality, such as people watching videos together while chatting to each other…
As an example of a completely new thing, live streaming is currently unavailable in systems such as Youtube. Our team has made an experimental live streaming P2P software that could potentially be used.
There could be lots of other things that I am hoping you could think of. I am really looking forward to your feedback.
PhD Researcher, Delft University of Technology