Include Critique On The Promoted Change Of Ownership To Our "Official" Communication?


#1

Hi @BoST

I am creating right now a little video series and written resources about “Open Source Business Models For Circular Economy.” All in all it will be 60 minutes of video. I am pretty excited about it. If I manage to create something good it might really help us to get the community to make progress. And if so, i would like to really communicate the tool and resource through all our channels.

Anyway, I am part of the @BoST and therefore my statements could be seen as “official OSCEdays” statements. And in this video series is one more “political bit” - next to a ton of normal “unproblematic” bits.

I want to back check the bit with you. I could add a strong comment that this part expresses my personal views and is NOT official OSCEdays. If you think I should. Although I don’t think it is necessary. I really don’t. It is really not problematic. But still I have the feeling I should check with you.

Here is the bit:

[. . .]

#THINGS YOU CAN STILL OWN!

And while I am on some more “political” things. I’d like to share another thought with you I find important.

Open Source will allow us to have a Circular Economy where we can still OWN our stuff!

In the Circular Economy videos and articles published by big corporates you often hear the idea, that for the circular economy we need to change our relationship to ownership.

They tell you, you will not own your washing machine anymore, or your furniture, or your phone, or your clothes! There might be a washing machine in your home but it is not owned by you but by a big company. They don’t sell you the washing machine. They just sell you washes. Or they don’t sell you the phone, they just sell you calls. Or you don’t even have a washing machine in your house. Because they wash it for you and sell you clean laundry.

I agree that this model can make sense. To some extend.

But it makes especially sense for some big companies. Because it is the only way they can talk about a Circular Economy without having to talk about Open Source. If they own the stuff in your house they can go on with closed source business as usual.

Because when they own the washing machine they can make sure it ends up in their factory. They know how to repair, refurbish or recycle it. And they do it, behind closed walls! No need to enable the outside world to repair, refurbish or recycle.

But the more you think about this the more it looks like a scary vision for our future. There is this famous saying about the “Internet of Things”: “There is no ‘internet of things’. Only ‘other peoples computers and sensors in your home.’” And with this ownership free vision of a circular economy there is other peoples objects and machines in your home!

They control the things in your house and therefore, a little bit, your life. You depend on how they want to run their machines, in your house. And they will limit the actions you can do with it.

Cory Doctorow tells this hypothetical story of a prosthetic leg that is connected to the internet things. And when you can’t pay your bills for the leg anymore the leg walks you back to the factory it came from. [LINK – the upcoming war on general computing]

And one of the limitations is of course, that they want to make sure, that the machine – and with it all the valuable materials inside – will get back to them. So they can do new things with them. But noone else.

This has a little conspiracy theory drive to it. But advocating for a change of ownership, can be described as a strategy of big internationals to maintain power and control over materials, how they float around the globe and how they are (re)used. And this extends to, that they need to control what is happening in your house!

Compare this to a machine you own. This is a machine you can use in every way you see fit: You can hack it, repair it, repurpose it, sell it and so on. And if you are broke, noone comes to your house and takes it away. It is yours!

Open Soure is a way to have a washing machine, that is circular, and you can still own! Because with Open Source collaboration everyone repair, reuse, refurbish or recycle it. Pick the company you like! Hire whom you see fit, to repair it. And sell it, to whom you see fit, when you think it is about time.

Open Source is a way to own and control what the devices in your life do. And it is a way to own your things physically in a Circular Economy.

We live in the early internet days and delivering a complex message is difficult. But I want to make sure, you understand: I don’t say that leasing, renting or sharing are necessarily bad. On the contrary. But it could be something bad if there is no alternative when we want to have a circular economy. And I offer you the option to think, the alternative might be Open Source!

Ownership is something good. Because it entails freedom. And I want to live in a free society! And I think companies can contribute to that a lot.

/ / / / / / /

Ok. With this a bit political bits I end this video Number 3. It was mostly about open platforms. I explained Wordpress and Arduino and also a bit the Berlin Grid. With this now we have all core ideas together I wanted you to understand before we dive into the tool:

The Platform Design Flowchart. Version number 0.2. Zero Point Two.

This tool is supposed to help you to reinvent or rediscover your project, product, service or company as a potential open source business!

The next video Number 4 starts with an introduction to the tool.

And don’t forget, you can find all kinds of visual and written resources for this video by following one of this links.

PUTS CARD BACK ON THE TABLE


#2

as you know (we’ve spoken about this before) I’m also pretty sceptical of the way that the lease-not-own model seems to be heading. I just may use slightly different words to describe some of it.
But there’s one point which you either didn’t make, or didn’t make strongly enough for me: that of user-driven innovation.
If I have the permission and the knowledge to alter my tools etc to suit my own unique needs, my own context, then I will do so, potentially finding new uses or other improvements for the technology. If the object belongs to someone else, I will never feel that I can improve it, or that I’m allowed to improve it. I simply don’t apply that mindset to this product. This results in problems going unfixed, and development only comes from the professional R&D lab. This means problems are only fixed when a) enough people make enough noise about a problem or b) the R&D lab thinks that the problem is something they should try to solve. This has a marginalising effect on niche users, minorities un(der)represented in the company, and cultures out of the field of view of those doing the R&D.

Personally, I think a wording improvement would be: Open Source will allow us to have a Circular Economy where we still have the option to OWN our stuff!

For each individual, I imagine there are certain things they would be happy to lease, and others they would want to own. These won’t be the same things for everyone.


#3

Thanks.

Indeed the “have the option to” way is better. I will use that.

I will before I record look at the whole bit anyway again. I think it should not be that aggressive. The leg thing is very hard. And the whole “conspiracy theory” thing too. I think it is not needed.

With the rest you say you are of course right. But I will not include it. Cause if i tried to include everything there is to say . . . it would not be ONLY 60 minutes :wink:

There is plenty of time to communicate this someplace else.

Will share big parts of the Script later today.


#4

just some comments on language bits:
how they float around the globe - better say: move (float is more for swimming objects, sounds strange here)

“There is no ‘internet of things’: Maybe better to mention where that quote is from, otherwise the “” may not come across in spoken format

And this extends to, that they need to control what is happening in your house:
And this includes the need to control / This extends to the need for controlling

Because with Open Source collaboration everyone CAN repair, reuse, (can missing)


comment on content:
Open Source is a way to own and control what the devices in your life
do. And it is a way to own your things physically in a Circular Economy.

OS is a way to not only regain control over the use of your devices, but also the way to help you adapt them to your very own needs. If you not only own a black box device but an OS one, you can take it apart and turn into something else or make it do what YOU want it to do.

OS also makes transparent, what your device actually does, besides the claims of any corporation. No more fears of having a spy fridge in your house! You can freely use the chances of a fridge that orders milk and be sure that you know exactly who this fridge is talking to and what information they get. you can also turn off parts you don’t like, choose freely the company that gets the order, change all the settings… This would turn the internet of things from a Big Brother Scare into a real opportunity to improve the lives of those who really have a use for it.


#5

I think both approaches have merit, especially when many users simply aren’t interested in knowing anything about the product, how it works, what’s inside. It’s how we implement lease models that is important, not the actual concept of a lease model in itself. Obviously how user data is used and reduced user agency are the main points of concern.

I agree with the need to critique the blind faith in the access-over-ownership approach, but I think it is in many ways a philosophical/sociological critique. I think that these approaches can be very important to reduce the overall impact on resources and the environment.

That said, yesterday, at the university, we had a situation where a student was advocating for a new access-over-ownership approach where the product would replaced by the company every two years. I asked the student how often the product is currently replaced by the user in the ‘linear model’ . He answered ‘eight years’…

This project is supported by the company and as you can imagine they are very enthusiastic about it, because it is very profitable…but it is also very likely to increase resource consumption, not reduce it, as was the intention.

This is a very common scenario. See the Jevon’s Paradox.


#6

jepp, i thought I made this clear. But although I wrote:

We live in the early internet days and delivering a complex message is difficult. But I want to make sure, you understand: I don’t say that leasing, renting or sharing are necessarily bad. On the contrary.

You still try to convince me of it. :slight_smile: I also think that “access over ownership” can make a lot of sense. But it should not be our only option.


#7

But anyway, as said, i will shrink down the bit. It is off topic a little with the rest.


#8

here is the fixed bit. Thanks for the feedback.

#THINGS YOU CAN STILL OWN!

But, as I have been in a more “political” statement right now. I’d like to add another thought like this here.

And this is: That Open Source will allow us, to have a Circular Economy, where we still have the option, to OWN our stuff!

In the Circular Economy videos and articles, provided mostly by big companies, you often hear the idea, that for the circular economy, we need to change our relationship to ownership.

“Access over ownership” is the used therm.

You will not own your washing machine anymore, or your furniture, or your phone, or your clothes! No.

They will still be in your house. But they will be owned by the (sorry “a”) company. In this case, the company doesn’t sell you the washing machine. It sells you a defined number of washes. It does not sell you the phone, it just sells you calls. It does not sell you the hearing aid, it just sells you, sounds.

I think “access over ownership” can be smart and make sense. But if it were the only option, we have for a circular economy, I think it would be very problematic.

I understand, that the model makes sense for big companies. Because this way, they can talk about a circular economy, without having to talk about Open Source.

If they own the washing machine in your house. They can make sure, it ends up, in their factory. And they know how to repair, refurbish or recycle it. And they can do it, behind closed walls! No need for Open Source. No need to enable the outside world to repair, refurbish or recycle.

But “access over ownership” does not work everywhere.

And if it were the only available option for the products, where it could make sense? . . .

SHORT BREAK

You could take this and transform it very quickly into a story about a dark, dystopian future. I will not do this here in this videos. Maybe some place else, as an exercise. [LINK TO DISCUSSION IN COMMUNICATION CATEGORY]

Just want to say, it is problematic.

Open Source allows, to have a washing machine, that is circular, but you can still own! Because when it is transparent how to repair, reuse, refurbish or recycle it – everyone can do it. Pick the service company, you like, for the job.

Ownership is something good. Because it entails individual freedom.

In a world, less free, it would probably be easier to create a circular economy. Top down, by force. But I think, the goal we have, is to have a circular economy, and a free society – both, at the same time.

And Open Source can allow this. It is about decentralized collaboration.