Monday, April 10, 2017

Comedy of the commons?

"I'm a rambler, I'm a rambler 
from Manchester way.
I may be a wage slave on Monday 
But I am a free man on Sunday."
Ewan MacColl.

Free men 

We ramble, we ramble...

We roam, we search, we browse, we surf, we hack.

We are nomads of the steppes.

We are urban flâneurs.

We rove the range.

We free-ride, we couch-skate, we long-board, 4G wifi, 360°

Wingsuit revolutions will now be televised.

Red Bull crashes Go Pro - viral death spiral.


Internet Service Provider Free has its Freebox Révolution.

La Révolution Française.

(designed by Starck.)

Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité!

Declarations of independence.

"Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather." 

John Perry Barlow, Davos 1996

(The Economist)

Dreams of freedom.

Stories of freedom are pervasive. 

Imagined communities.

Mass movements have powerful hold. 

Massaged egos, echoes of the twenties.


Viral market crashes into a Wall, echoes of the thirties on the streets.

Some have more money, more time to neoliberal eagle's nest, Davos.

Une Révolution (virtuelle)

Don't worry about the mob.

Let them eat Youtube and Fifa 2017

Let them eat Semtec.

Sad losers will get to ruffle the feathers of the great and good, only occasioning the odd Breivik.

Who gives a fuck for collateral damage?  

Bigger bangs for their bucks.

Dream wilder, think bigger, grasp further, dig deeper, sow hate, love and manipulate.

We'd have to be an ostrich with our heads in the sand not to hail this virtual reality as "freedom."

Building the Commons.

Any doubters among you?  

We can save the world. 

We can build the commons "freely."

(With a modest fee for charitable Free or your local friendly ISP)

Not happy with that?  

We shall build fucking Jerusalem...bigger.

Or Middle Earth, complete with brave hobbits and trolls.

Pure fantasy?

We shall hark back to untrammelled images of Empire and hymns of colonial philanthropy. 

We shall nurture our green commons "freely."

We shall scatter seeds...or bomblets.

We shall provide "public service" "freely."

We shall save some millions, "freely."

Tragedy of the commons.

No worries of spoiling the commons is there?

We can't overload the virtual information commons, surely?

OK, you can overload the wifi, I give you that, above all, in soon to be "developed" corners of the globe.

What use is the world with no wifi?

The more you share your lol cats the more lol cats and joy there is for the others!

The internet commons does not deteriorate like land!

No sirree!

OK, so there are piles of tech waste in soon to be "developped" corners of the globe, out of view.

Comedy of the commons.

Wikipedia is a great example of the comedy of the commons! 

Contributors distribute widely, give freely their expertise to inform the world!

What a beautiful sight, an army of erudite slave ants!

Joy to the world.

We shall train them.

Hail Wikimedia!

Recant deviant!

Attack wikiants!

Comedy of commons.

'Tis a comedy of commons, the internet.

Oh ha, ha.



Funny. shall not pass!

"I'm a rambler, I'm a rambler 
from Manchester way.
I may be a wage slave on Monday 
But I am a free man on Sunday."
Ewan MacColl.

Come on ramblers!

Get your laptop backpacks, your sarnies, let us occupy the virtual commons!



I'm a game-keeper.

Come again?

I'm going for a pint.

Well whatever did happen to public space?

Er, well, after the pub, he rambles.


Who are these bleeding game-keepers? 

Well there's us and...then  there's....them.

Don't forget the Kinder Scout.

We're going to need that mass trespass, feet on the ground, in the street.

Act local.

Think Global.

Mass trespass.

Do a public service.

Fire the game-keepers.

Reclaim the commons.

Tragedy of the commons.

"I'm a rambler, I'm a rambler 
from Manchester way.
I may be a universal basic wage slave on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 
But I am a free man on Twitter."

With apologies to 

Ewan MacColl.


The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately.

Mayo Fuster Morell proposed a definition of digital commons as "as an information and knowledge resources that are collectively created and owned or shared between or among a community and that tend to be non-exclusivedible, that is, be (generally freely) available to third parties. Thus, they are oriented to favor use and reuse, rather than to exchange as a commodity. Additionally, the community of people building them can intervene in the governing of their interaction processes and of their shared resources".[15][16]
Examples of digital commons are Wikipedia, a type of Free Software and Open-source hardware projects.


Are we their commons?

Oh what the hell.


  1. So much of how I think about this is the "idea" of a Commons in the good world ... that doesn't always exist. I want it to exist. I know that such thinking is ridiculous in the face of reality. But I keep at it, finding pockets of people I can call friends in a networked Common that does not have one home, nor should it. I know such metaphors fail as soon as you look closely. I cling to the friends and thinking partners anyway.

  2. I agree with Kevin. Hope for a better day, a new friend, a benefactor, some small happiness or joy. They all help me get up every day. They fuel my HOPE and reward my sense of PURPOSE.

    Lots to like in this article, but I really loved the final video. Please share it on Twitter so I can retweet it to others.