February 21, 2005
Lets Off Steam
Open source programming and the Wikipedia: these are like virtual communism. They let people work for no other reward than pride in their own efforts, but they nevertheless wouldn't survive if most of these people didn't have regular, competitive, capitalist jobs.
So it's like virtual communism: it creates products that don't even exist (software and the Wikipedia are just rearrangements of a finite number of bytes), but it lets people construct something as a self-correcting, hierachiphobic community.