Anti-credentialism

The P2P Foundation has been excerpting Unbounded Freedom.
http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/

Michel Bauwens also sent me a long article on the political economy of peer production. It contains, among many other new formulations, one that I think is particularly intriguing – ‘anticredentialism’, defined as follows:

“P2P projects are characterized by equipotentiality or ‘anti-credentialism.’ This means that there is no a priori selection to participation. The capacity to cooperate is verified in the process of cooperation itself. Thus, projects are open to all comers provided they have the necessary skills to contribute to a project. These skills are verified, and communally validated, in the process of production itself. This is apparent in open publishing projects such as citizen journalism: anyone can post and anyone can verify the veracity of the articles. Reputation systems are used for communal validation. The filtering is a posteriori, not a priori. Anti-credentialism is therefore to be contrasted to traditional peer review, where credentials are an essential prerequisite to participate.”

This chimes well with my current mood on there being too many gatekeepers, and not enough opportunities for people to show their creativity. For every book that is published there are so many more that could be that are just as good, even if they’re only read by your own extended family! The essay is here:
http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=499

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