Michel Bauwens

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Michel Bauwens (2013)

Michel Bauwens (born 21 March 1958) is a Belgian Peer-to-Peer theorist and an active writer, researcher and conference speaker on the subject of technology, culture and business innovation.


  • I reject the notion that technology is a neutral thing, so I see it as creating new capabilities for humanity. But then, these capabilities can be an object of conflict. And if you analyse p2p technology, it can take different forms. These different forms are the function of the forces which control the technology. For example, in what I call “netarchical capitalism,” that is where you have proprietory platforms, business-owned entities creating p2p front-ends, because they want people to communicate with each other, but they combine it with controlled and hierarchical back-ends, where they control the design and your personal data, so that they are able to sell your attention. So, when we talk about peer-to-peer technology, we have to be very careful, not just look at the structure: computers organised in a peer network, humans organised in a peer network etc., but you have to look at governance and ownership as well.

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