It's Not Internet Pessimists vs. Internet Optimists; It's Simply Reality
from the the-market-is-changing dept
That said, I'm a bit torn about the overall chart. I am optimistic about what new technologies and innovation allow, but I hardly think of myself as an idealist -- and tend to agree with Adam that things like wikis don't solve everything, and that we haven't reached a post-capitalist world where traditional means of production are passe. However, perhaps I'm misreading some of the other "optimists" on the list, but I don't think anyone really believes that either. As I've pointed out in the past, none of what we talk about here is about any fundamental change or shift in economics. It's the same old economics that has applied for ages. It's just trying to explain how changes in technology impact those economics.
So, I agree that it's silly to think that peer production completely replaces professional production means, but that's another extreme scenario that I don't think very many are actually pitching. Instead, the point that they're making is that peer production models will also enter the market, meaning that traditional business models will face some competition. It doesn't mean that one wins out entirely over the other, just that it may force some models of production to adjust to the reality of the market. I don't necessarily think that's an optimistic viewpoint -- it's just a realistic explanation of what's happening. While some pessimists may not like it, they're basically just whining for a different world that doesn't exist any more, and don't like the fact that they can't continue to live in that world.
I also disagree that the "optimists" don't believe in property rights, as Thierer implies. I'm a huge believer in property rights. My point is simply that "property" needs to be applied properly -- meaning not to infinite goods, where it doesn't make much sense. So while I can see where Adam is going with this chart, I'm not sure the characterizations really fit.