Table of Contents

Manuscript last updated: 12/05/15

Note:   This is the latest version of the Table of Contents, which has been reorganized and expanded several times since I first published it in March 2011.  It began as a very rough draft and, although decreasingly so, will remain rough until print publication. The idea is to follow Eric Raymond’s “release early” and “many eyeballs make shallow bugs” advice.  Although the date of the post will stay the same, the organization will be revised from time to time and chapter files constantly updated to include the latest edits. The date of most recent editing will always be at the end of the text or pdf file of each chapter.
This work (including any and all print versions) is licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0. It can be reproduced without limit by anyone, including for commercial sale, on condition that any such version be licensed under the same terms.
Thanks to Steve Herrick for the new format of the odt files 12/26/11.

If you’d like to support this project you can PayPal me at or subscribe to my Patreon.


Chapter One–The Stigmergic Revolution

Reduced Capital Outlays
Distributed Infrastructure
Network Culture

Chapter Two–Networks vs. Hierarchies

The Systematic Stupidity of Hierarchies
Hierarchies vs. Networks
Networks vs. Hierarchies
Systems Disruption

Chapter Three–Networks vs. Hierarchies: End Game

Transition from Hierarchies to Networks
The Question of Repression
The Question of Collapse

Chapter Four–The Desktop Revolution in Regulation

The Regulatory State:  Myth and Reality
Individual Super-empowerment
The “Long Tail” in Regulation
Networked Resistance as an Example of Distributed Infrastructure
Informational Warfare (or Open-Mouth Sabotage)
A Narrowcast Model of Open Mouth Sabotage
Attempts to Suppress or Counter Open Mouth Sabotage
Who Regulates the Regulators?
Networked, Distributed Successors to the State: Saint-Simon, Proudhon and “the Administration of Things”
Monitory Democracy
“Open Everything”
Collective Contracts
Heather Marsh’s “Proposal for Governance
Michel Bauwens’ Partner State

Chapter Five–Fundamental Infrastructures: Networked Support Platforms

Bruce Sterling:  Islands in the Net
Phyles:  Neal Stephenson
Phyles:  Las Indias and David de Ugarte
Bruce Sterling:  The Caryatids
Daniel Suarez
John Robb:  Economies as a Social Software Service
File Aesir
Venture Communism
Medieval Guilds as Predecessors of the Phyle
Transition Towns and Global Villages
Modern Networked Labor Unions and Guilds as Examples of Phyles
Virtual States as Phyles:  Hamas, Etc.
Eugene Holland: Nomad Citizenship
Emergent Cities
The Incubator Function
Mix & Match

Chapter Six–Fundamental Infrastructures:  Money

What Money’s For and What it Isn’t
The Adoption of Networked Money Systems
Examples of Networked Money Systems

Chapter Seven–Fundamental Infrastructures:  Education and Credentialing

Introduction:  Whom Do Present-Day Schools Really Serve
Alternative Models
Potential Building Blocks for an Open Alternative
Open Course Materials
Open Textbooks
Open Learning Platforms

Chapter Eight–The Assurance Commons

Legibility:  Vertical and Horizontal. Graeber, Scott, etc.
Networked Certification, Reputational and Verification Mechanisms
Ostrom, Commons Governance and Vernacular Law

Chapter Nine–The Open Source Labor Board

Historic Models
Networked Labor Struggle
Open-Mouth Sabotage

Chapter Ten–Open Source Civil Liberties Enforcement

Protection Against Non-State Civil Rights Violations
When the State is the Civil Liberties Violator
Circumventing the Law
Circumvention: Privacy vs. Surveillance
Seeing Like a State, and the Art of Not Being Governed
Exposure and Embarrassment
Networked Activism and the Growth of Civil Society

Chapter Eleven–The Open Source Fourth Estate

The Industrial Model
Open Source Journalism

Chapter Twelve–Open Source National Security

The State as Cause of the Problem: Blowback
Active Defense, Counter-Terrorism, and Other Security Measures
Passive Defense
The Stateless Society as the Ultimate in Passive Defense
Disaster Relief


Appendix.  Case Study in Networked Resistance:  From Wikileaks to Occupy Wall Street–and Beyond


37 Responses to Table of Contents

  1. Ian says:

    I’ve recently come back to this after being diverted into other things. I see that the Ch 8 odt link actually points to the pdf version. I only found out because I’m creating Kindle versions of the files on the basis that I’m more likely to read them that way.

    • Hello, I am Alberto from Edgeryders. Your TOC seems very interesting and I do Kindle. Could I have the Kindle versions too?

    • Steve Herrick says:

      What’s the file type for Kindle? I’m planning a .epub version. That’s the main reason I stylized the ODT files.

      • I’m not sure what you mean by “file type,” Steve.

      • Steve Herrick says:

        Turns out Amazon does the conversion for you, so you don’t have to worry about the file format. You can upload it as whatever.

        What I’m getting at is that we shouldn’t be duplicating efforts in creating ebook versions of this. However, given the state of device compatibility, DRM, and so forth, I don’t think we are.

      • Thanks, Steve. I’ve uploaded .doc files to Kindle to do the formatting, but their version still came out with glitches that some readers complained about, and Kindle unilaterally took them down.

      • Steve Herrick says:

        I’d be happy to put out an epub version of the book as it is now. iPads and Nooks can read epubs with no trouble, and I understand Kindles can be cajoled to read them, as well.

        I was going to do this sooner or later — it could certainly be sooner. Just let me know.

  2. Thanks, Ian. I’ll double check the links sometime this week.

  3. Nice to hear from you, Alberto. This is just a manuscript in progress, and I never had much luck converting my previous books to Kindle, so I’m afraid there’s not a Kindle version. But I’ve heard Kindle can handle pdf files, so you might try using those.

    • Ah, sorry, I misread the comment above. I see now someone is converting to Kindle, but he’s not you. FYI, Kindle does do PDF, but not very well.

      • Ian says:

        A program called Calibre, available free will convert odt files to KIndle format with very few hassles. The version I converted has now been updated so I would need to do it again but it only took minutes per chapter.

      • Steve Herrick says:

        Caliber is what I use to create epubs. It handles styles really well, although if you look at the CSS, it creates about four times as many style designations as you need.

  4. Ian says:

    As an aside to this, I didn’t realise the text had been updated because the files had been updated by editing the post. As a consequence my RSS reader failed to pick up the changes. A simple post saying ‘Files updated’ would fix this.

  5. Kevin Carson says:

    Ian: Sorry about your inconvenience. But the “last updated” date at the top of the post is intended to include information about file updates. And there’s a “latest update” notice at the end of each file, as well.

  6. Ian Bertram says:

    I understand that Kevin. However RSS readers only pick up new posts so to find updates of the book I need to come here, rather than being alerted to changes. That’s why I suggested a simple ‘files updated’ post to trigger an alert via the RSS reader.

  7. Rather than submitting a separate notification post every time I update the content — which is rather cumbersome and time-consuming — I’ve enabled email notification for when a post is changed. So anyone who wants email notification can give me their email and I’ll add it to the distro list.

  8. Richard says:

    Looks very interesting. Any idea of a rough publication date? Luddite that I am I am a big fan of hard copies.

  9. I’d say maybe — maybe! — by the end of this year.

  10. Shachar H says:

    Hello again from Shachar 🙂

    Just checking out the latest draft. I’m glad to see you’ve incorporated a section on the hub culture in chapter 4. If you look them up on youtube they showcase a few pavillions, some of them look absolutely beautiful ! :-O kinda makes you want to become a member… 😛

    Anyway I’m reading chapter 6 right now and I’ve got two suggestions for you:

    1. You talk about ‘Unishared’ in section III ‘Open Learning Platforms’. In my opinion it would fit better in the next section ‘Open Course Materials’, seeing as the this project is a direct response to and extension of the things you cover in ‘open course materials’.
    Alternatively, perhaps it would be best to keep it in this section but switch the order of sections such that ‘Open Learning Platforms’ will come after ‘Open Course Materials’ – I’m saying that because it looks to me that the ideas and projects you cover in ‘…Platforms’ are in fact various upgrades and extensions to the functionality of the projects you cover in ‘…Materials’ – as if enterpreuners took a good look at open courseware stuff and said “well yeah this is all good and fine but.. here’s a better / more radical way to do it!” you see what I mean? from that point of view I think it might be better to first talk about open courseware and such – and thenn talk about mroe radical projects that take the same functionality but do it in a more p2p way, that is, various open learning platforms as you call it.
    Still, if you don’t share this impression of mine regarding the whole of section III, I’m sure you’d at least see my point about Unishared because that is the one project in that section that is explicitly intended to extend exactly the things you cover in section IV.

    2. No mention of hackerspaces? Perhaps I wasn’t concentrated and I missed it, but as it is I couldn’t find it.. you know, hackerspaces are known as – and indeed formally defined to be – venues for [presumably already skilled] people to work and experiment together, a venue for productive collaboration. But in practice it’s often a venue for unskilled or at least lesser-skilled people to learn new skills and in fact many hackerspaces maintain special sessions and workshops explicitly intended for teaching and learning skills (e.g. soldering, 3D printing, sewing/knitting, arduino hacking, lock picking, etc).

    I’m not sure under which section of chapter 6 this should go, but I strongly feel it deserves at least a brief mention 🙂

  11. Thanks for all the great suggestions, Shachar.

  12. Shachar H says:

    I’ve got another suggestion or two…
    And I’m sorry but I’m afraid it’s going to be a long comment. Read leisurely 🙂

    I find the structure of chapter 4 to be a bit messy.
    There seem to be 4 types of sections: (1) literary precursors to phyles (examples from fiction and non-fiction that demonstrate the concept of phyles etc); (2) historical/current precursors to phyles (organizations/projects that seem to incorporate some elements that resemble the characteristics of phyles but aren’t exactly that just yet); (3) real-life examples of phyles and phyle-like organizations/projects (the real thing… :-P); (4) future predictions, implications, possibilities, etc.

    Ideally I think you’d want to arrange the sections in this order: first the ones of type (1), than (2), and so on. It’s not really the course you’ve taken though.
    You start your discussion on real life phyles in section 3 with Las Indias but then the next 2 sections are again on literary precursors; you have two sections of type 2 – on historical precursors of phyles (‘Medieval Guilds as Predecessors of the Phyle’ and ‘Older Platform-Module Architectures for the Alternative Economy’; maybe 3 or even 4 sections, depending on how you see the next two, ‘Modern Networked Labor Unions and Guilds as Examples of Phyles’ and ‘Virtual States as Phyles: Hamas, Etc.’), which appear after several sections have discussed actual phyles (type 3), instead of coming before them; the 3 sections ‘A Proposed Phyle Organization for OSE Europe’, ‘P2P Foundation Phyle’ and particularly ‘United Phyles’ belong to type 4 (future implications and possibilities) while the one right after that (‘Eugene Holland: Nomad Citizenship’) bring us back to type 1 (literary precursors) before going to type 3 again with real life example of phyles (Producia, Grow Venture, The Hub, etc).

    I’m assuming your plan was different than what I suggest for the ordering of the sections. In which case, what is the structure here? It’s not chronological as I suggest, so maybe it is thematical? This could be interesting too. Discuss seperately different aspects of phyles, different types of phyles, etc. In that case it makes more sense to bring up Nomad Citizenship somewhere in the middle of the chapter – the idea being to first cover phyles where the interesting thing about them is not them beign transnational (or even phyles/phyle-like organizations which aren’t at all transnational) and at a later stage bring up the transnational aspect and then exemplify it by talking about phyles where this aspect is far more apparent and important. But if so, why bring up e.g. Las Indias in the beginning, way before Nomad Citizenship?
    And why have a section about the Incubator Function of phyles in such an isolated way, without elaborating on it through examples (e.g. having that section appear before e.g. The Hub and other sections that exemplify it as a theme)?

    Bottom line, the ordering of the sections seems almsot random and doesn’t do a good job at ‘telling a story’ so to speak. Of course this isn’t prose but then every text tells a story in some sense of the word. The usual structure I’ve come to expect from you (based on your other work) is this: Theory->Praxis. Explain a concept, then give examples of it and its implications in concrete cases. After all that, examine further implications that might not yet have concrete cases to study.
    This can be done in two ways in chapter 4 as I’ve said: Either have this structure broadly, explaining everything about the concepts of the chapter first and then going on to give examples; or alternatively cut it down to sub-concepts and have the structure within each.

    Likewise, and this is a suggestion that I’m not as sure of as the previous one, it’s just an idea I had: Perhaps the whole chapter should come up much later in the book? I’ll tell you why I thought about that. Two reasons: Firstly the concept of the phyle is very general and has the capacity to integrate within itself all of the more specific things that are covered in the other chapters. So in terms of the story/message that the book is telling, siscussing phyles in the end has the effect of saying: “I’ve shown you how each seperate function of the state can be achieved by volutary, p2p/stigmergic associations, but you and I know both know that without a cohesive framework to integrate them they won’t be sufficient to create a truly radical change in society and politics, so now let’s examine what kind of frameworks can actually do that”.
    Secondly, on a more subjective note, I find the ideas of chapter 4 more exciting because of how hugely radical they are and consequentally, the rest of the book – though very interesting to be sure – feels a bit anti-climatic coming after that. 🙂

    OK, my last suggestion is more on content than form: there are several projects you mention in other work that you’ve done (e.g. in your previous book) that I think would be appropriate to mention here. I don’t think it would be redundant, talking about the same thing in a new way and in a new context gives it new imlpications.
    I’m talking in particular about some of the stuff you cover in chapter 6 of ‘Homebrew Industrial Revolution’ – Venture Communism, DESO, The Triple Alliance, etc.

    That’s all for now.. I hope you liked my new suggestions or at least found them interesting. Cheers

  13. שחר ה says:

    Hey I’ve been thinking lately about all thsoe bitcoin forks (e.g. freicoin, peercoin…), some of thich implement design changes and features that make it very different than their parent.
    Are you going to write something about them in episode 5? (I’m aware your book can only be so big unless you want to spend decades writing it, so I understand if that’s beyond the level of detail you want to dwelve into)

  14. שחר ה says:

    oops, chapter*** 5.
    I guess I got TV and books mixed up 😀

  15. I’m sure there’s be another update of the material on Bitcoin before I publish this.

  16. Gene Basler says:

    Open source environmental protection?

  17. You are the Jed Clampett of Randroidism.

  18. You’re obviously very familiar with my work.

  19. Shachar H says:

    Have you seen this article about cooperative platforms? It was posted to a group about P2P on facebook. It seems to follow a paradigm similar to what you are with some of the things you cover in your book. Not sure if you can incorporate anything here into your book directly but I wonder what you’d make of it.

  20. Yeah I did, thanks! There’s a lot more material you might like under the Twitter hashtag #PlatformCooperativism.

  21. vuna says:

    I’m not sure if you’re still working on this but the appendix link doesn’t seem to work.

  22. Thanks! I’ll try to fix it.

  23. Pingback: Orders of Technics: Considerations on Lewis Mumford | Deterritorial Investigations Unit

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