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Collaborative Commons: The Share Economy

Updated on March 31, 2014
Sharing Economy: When Sharing Is Earning
Sharing Economy: When Sharing Is Earning | Source

Optimism Vs. Pessimism

Disregard the optimism from activists like Jeremy Rifkin about share economy. Everyone adapts to the natural way of things because they are guided by impulse. Our impulsive nature to share things, whatever they are is encouraged by the accessibility the internet provides, thus the optimism and pessimism is the right reaction to have.

Any knuckle head knows that the reason for the success of this share economy movement is because of the popularity of the internet. Anything that supports our impulsive nature to share information would become a movement too, so Rifkin's book 'The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism', is a natural reaction to what people are doing despite concerns of what might happen with regards to monetizing these impulses.

Leave it to fear mongers to take it a step further and beyond. At a certain point their fear mongering goes into speculative territory past reason. Rifkin's future is guided by up and coming technology that if not replaced by something entirely different, will operate as he predicts in the next twenty or thirty years, but others are quick to assume that this will make millions of people unemployed and create tax dodgers.

And they would be right, in a world that stays the same, but their job isn't to support these impulses but rather to stand against them and build up supporters of their own because let's face it, fear is natural too.

What It Provides

Only I know what I think or feel about something. I could tell you everything but without having experiences to reference you would have problems trying to meet me in the same place with the experience I describe. At best, you're grasping at trying to understand by reaching for what you know.

In the same way, we can't understand the impulse that drives the share economy unless we are also part of it. In other words, we are currently in a transitional period between traditional work practices to capitalize of which we are more familiar. But the movement is real and it empowers people to become self-made entrepreneurs, also a natural result of our creative drive that becomes an addictive pursuit.

It changes everything in our physical lives as Rifkin makes very clear in his book, such as community building and more, only limited by our creative drive which is limitless.

Open Ended Theories

All we need are the tools to help us come up with entirely new ways to function and succeed. It's still shocking that many fight this change and disappointing that they stand out at all. Those of us who are operating and becoming solopreneurs in the share economy are benefiting from it, paving new roads for others and on the other side, there are those who go further to support this natural direction to think about how society could change completely on an economic scale yet still remain human.


Douglas Rushkoff, like Rifkin is one to contribute to the theories of technology and society. Despite what the pessimists say, some accusing them of being hipsters of the movement, these are distinct possibilities simply because they are built from what we impulsively collect around and how we function. We're already seeing the share economy become what is theoretically conceived. Perhaps these predictions are far more realistic because of this? Even then it doesn't matter because the share economy is not going away with more people benefiting from what it provides.

This Economy Is Still Human

Even with the technological tools provided to make this easier, this is still entirely human driven. To assume that we would lose anything from this is absurd. We still love money and need it for any economy to work, so when it becomes extremely difficult to benefit from anything, the consensus stands firm whether it works or not. We wouldn't be referencing it if it wasn't to our benefit.

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