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Media, Information and Technoculture
Course Code
Media, Information and Technoculture 2500A/B
John Reed

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MIT 1500 th Lecture Nov 14 , 2012 I) Commons  In terms of property, belonging to an entire community  Public Commons o Literally, shared, used, enjoyed by all o Basic right o Ex. Ocean, water itself, sky, air o Language o Need to be protected so that they can continue to be used by everyone  Private Commons o Doesn’t mean its commodified, not corporately owned o Something that is somewhat privatized, but its for the good of everyone o Non-excludable, people aren’t excluded o Education, health care – things that are there for the public good  All aspects of commons share a few things o Inclusive, there for everyone o Cannot be commodified o If its commodified, it ceases being commons o Assigning value and ownership o All regulated in different ways, regulated to ensure access o Continue to make it available to people o Ex. Smurfs  Privatized for a public good (roads)  Don’t have money, therefore no monetary value, no system that operates on currency  Cooperative society  Necessities provided II) Material Enclosure and Private Property  Accumulation by dispossession  Enclosure and the material world o Enclosure – accumulation by dispossession o Enclosure acts – 18 -19 century  State policy to enclose land and begin to assign value to it  State became involved in dispossessing people o Colonialism  Certain countries go to another continent and do the same thing, but on a larger scale  Enclosure and Colonialism – destroy the natural economy o Confiscating land o Economies always turned into export only economies  Free labour pool  Ex. Enclosure and Commidification of Water o Nestle o Coca Cola  Can’t have enclosure without having private property  Gives way to Capitalism, which thrives on private property o Enclusion based on private property o Have to have money to participate in capitalism o Not inclusive and not into sharing  Capitalism o Based on private property and saleability o Coined mid 19 century o Features  Production of commodities by private companies  Key is you can’t continue to exist without turning a profit o Trends  Competition and Scarcity  Something is more valuable if it is more scarce  You will innovate because you know that there’s competition  Maximum profit due to scarcity  Facebook, not many other players in town  Scarcity of Facebook-esque products o De Beers  Encountered scarcity in many ways  Scarcity of labour, nobody wanted to work  Had to find a way to get people to work in their minds  Got the gov’t to impose certain taxes, people who could support themselves were forced to pay taxes  Didn’t have money, went to mines to earn the money to pay the taxes  A lot of diamonds  Had to create artificial scarcity so that the diamonds would be valued  Created cartels  Locked up 90% of the worlds diamonds, controlled them, to create artificial scarcity  Had to create this illusion that people gave diamonds when they were in love  Had to spend a certain amount of money on it
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