The Sharing Turn: Why We are Generally Nice and Have a Good Chance to Cooperate Our Way Out of the Mess We Have Gotten Ourselves into

Grassmuck, Volker Ralf, The Sharing Turn: Why We are Generally Nice and Have a Good Chance to Cooperate Our Way Out of the Mess We Have Gotten Ourselves into (August 18, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2295622

Published in: Wolfgang Sützl, Felix Stalder, Ronald Maier, Theo Hug (Eds.): Cultures and Ethics of Sharing / Kulturen und Ethiken des Teilens, Innsbruck University Press 2012 ISBN 978-3-902811-74-5

Abstract:
After a period of neoliberal blind faith in the power of economic self-interest and of austerity to tackle its catastrophic effects, we are re-discovering our more pleasant sides. There is currently a surge of interest in sharing – in research in various developmental sciences, in popular debate and most of all in practice. This paper proposes that our society is undergoing a Sharing Turn that has its roots in human nature and in cultural history, is media-technologically enabled by networked computers and is fueled by the rising anger over societal systems that fail to serve the public in- terest. It attempts to set out some of the roots, diverse manifestations and dynamics of this para- digmatic shift, and it expresses hope that the ‘trending’ values of sharing and cooperating will change the world for the better.

Keywords: sharing, cooperation, commons, res universitatis, knowledge commons, commons-based peer-production, evolutionary anthropology, evolutionary biology, homo economicus, scacity, abundance, free software, OA, OER

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