Will R. 2.1

Describe an experience you had which links to these P2P project or ideas–these can be in the digital or natural realm, or it can be imaginary, as in a community you think should exist but doesn’t yet. (e.g. should education/knowledge be a for-profit or a sharing economy? Should youth pay to be educated? If not how do teachers earn a livelihood? Get creative.)

I don’t think I’ve had too many experiences that could be considered P2P. Over the weekend I went to the farmer’s market in Belfast and this is probably the “most P2P experience” I’ve had. The idea of local farmers gathering to sell their produce embodies the many-to-many model by “tapping into local networks”, something that allows their goods to reach more local tables.

2) Select a few quotes and paste them in a response and explain how the ideas help you think more deeply or clearly about how a culture organizes its resources (i.e. an economy)

3) List a few alternatives to capitalist economic structures.  Describe some of the features that make them different. Try to describe how your life might be changed by the establishment of one of these alternatives.  You might describe a chronology of a day, or a scene in which you interact with a new structure.  This can be humorous, satiric, hopeful, visionary.

So here’s the thing, I’m a former engineering major turned to new media. I have no idea how the economy works, but I do know that ours is a capitalist economy. Even if I did have a better understanding of the economy, I don’t think I would be able to suggest an alternative to our current system. So instead I’ve thought about this on more of a local level. What would the state of Maine look like if it adopted a P2P model? How would we survive in this kind of society? Some of Maine’s top exports are potatoes, blueberries, and seafood (mostly lobsters). What if instead of exporting these kinds of food products, we instead prioritized distribution to towns in the state instead? This could encourage the growth of local farmers because they know where their produce would end up, but also know that their produce would always “get bought” by the local population. Lobstermen and Fishermen would know that a portion of their fish would help support their neighbors. This kind of model seems like it would be more efficient since communities would be producing goods to provide for their local area, and thus reducing the amount of produce wasted.

4) Wright describes 4 strategies for tackling capitalism: smashing capitalism, taming capitalism, escaping capitalism, and eroding capitalism.  But he says that only taming and eroding will work.  Describe these two strategies, explain why they would work better than the other two, and try to find some examples of these in your own town, community, school, family or state…Describe these examples and explain why they might be part of the grass-roots alternatives Wright is describing.

Taming capitalism is the idea of bending the rules of capitalism to serve different purposes. A good example that was given was the idea that you wouldn’t get rid of your baby to let new parents get more sleep. I think farmer’s markets are a good example of taming capitalism. These structures are still capitalist, but they serve to better local communities more than global ones. This allows the local communities to grow and better serve the needs of their members.