::fibreculture:: CFP: Value and Currency in Peer Production

nathaniel tkacz n.tkacz at warwick.ac.uk
Thu Dec 6 14:43:07 CET 2012

*The Journal of Peer Production CFP: Value and Currency in Peer Production

Edited by: Nathaniel Tkacz, Nicolás Mendoza and Francesca Musiani.

The marriage of cryptography and the dynamics of open-source have now
produced a working distributed currency system. Bitcoin, as the most
notable example, can be understood as a new technics of exchange inspired
by the animal spirits of crypto-libertarianism. Whether or not there is a
place for currency -- and therefore exchange and (economic) value -- in the
utopian visions of commons-oriented thought is contested. Meanwhile, hybrid
forms like Bitcoin are developing unhindered by their constitutional
paradoxes. Capitalism, after all, equally thrives atop what David Graeber
has called a 'baseline' or 'everyday' communism. Current developments of
digital currencies are pervaded by a number of issues: Who or what issues
the money? What is the source of the collective agreement to concede value?
What forms of control are coded into currency systems and who is guiding
processes of (re)design? Who plays the role of guarantor when a currency is
decentralized? And what role does trust play in all these issues? Has
crypto-mathematics transformed trust into a technical quality of a system?

The flipside of this issue is value: The intensification and extension of
computational procedures, which is manifested most clearly in the rise of
big data, has lead to a proliferation of bottom-up procedures to formalise
'values', rendering them easily calculable and lending order to the
decentralised world of peers. Wikipedia contributors, for example, have
long awarded each other 'barnstars' for valued service in a range of areas,
and the site has long explored ways of rating article quality. In place of
managerial commands and bureaucratic hierarchies we have Karma points,
ranking systems, reputation metrics and the long-tail logic of networks.
Order in this sense is iterative, recursive and topological.

This issue of The Journal of Peer Production invites contributions on the
themes of value and currency as they relate to peer production.

Topics might include but are not limited to:

   - Decentralised and crypto-currencies;
   - Non-coercive taxation systems and/or experiments/experiences;
   - Analog/pre-digital (or historical) networks for distributed value
   - Currency and design;
   - Currencies and the commons;
   - Life after fiat (the becoming-uncertain of taxes);
   - What does/should peer production value?;
   - Re-thinking the constitution of value;
   - Theories of non-monetary value and worth;
   - The relationship between valuing practices and project hierarchies;
   - Forms of belief in peer production;
   - Automated systems of ranking and distributing value;
   - Theories of exchange, gift and voluntarism;
   - Trust and anonymity in the building of value;
   - Intermediation and 'guarantees' in P2P exchanges.

Submission proposals of under 500 words due by January 28, 2013. Full
submission details and extended CFP available at

Nathaniel Tkacz

Assistant Professor
Centre for Interdisciplinary Methodologies
The University of Warwick

Twitter: http://twitter.com/__nate__
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