By Mathieu O'Neil

People are inventing new methods of operating jointly on the net. Decentralised creation flourishes on weblogs, wikis and loose software program initiatives. In Cyberchiefs, Mathieu O’Neil makes a speciality of the laws of those operating relationships. He examines the transformation of management and services in on-line networks, and the emergence of cutting edge types of participatory politics.

What are the prices and merits of choices to hierarchical business enterprise? utilizing case reviews of on-line initiatives or ‘tribes’ equivalent to the unconventional Primitivism archive, the day-by-day Kos political web publication, the Debian unfastened software program venture, and Wikipedia, O’Neil exhibits that leaders needs to aid greatest autonomy for members, and he analyses the tensions generated through this distribution of authority.

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9 Enzensberger observed that media like television or film do not serve communication, but prevent it. 10 Enzensberger drew a distinction between ‘repressive’ and ‘emancipatory’ uses of media. Repressive or traditional mass media use can be characterised by centrally controlled programming; one transmitter, many receivers; passive consumer behaviour; depoliticisation; production by specialists; and control by property owners or bureaucracy. In contrast, emancipatory media use is defined by decentralised programming; many-to-many communication; interactivity and feedback; a political learning process; collective production; and 32 CYBERCHIEFS social control by self-organisation.

Hacker authority is based on deeds, on the verifiable demonstration of skill as well as on a technological version of the gift of grace: outstanding hackers are invested with charismatic authority because of the extraordinary virtuosity they demonstrate when programming. 51 Though hacker authority is skill-based, skills alone do not suffice: IETF chiefs also derive their authority from personal qualities. 53 Such individuals have special rights and responsibilities. The crucial operation run by the IETF is the standardisation process.

Writers in the British cultural studies tradition have put forward the notion of a ‘tribal’ resurgence. In this line of argument, the deregulation of modern forms of solidarity and identity based on class, occupation, locality and gender has led them to recompose into ‘tribal’ identities and forms of sociality. 72 In a similar vein, the French sociologist Michel Maffesoli uses the term ‘neotribe’ to describe new forms of sociality based on proxemics, the feeling of belonging. For Maffesoli, the concept of historical centre has exploded into a multiplicity of subterranean centralities which each have their own history and which share an ethos, a way of being together.

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