I've been thinking about starting up a computer
collective/co-op. So many of us easily trade freedom for
security in our day-to-day jobs. I know personally that I
make a (tiny) fraction of what I'm billed out for. I've been
listening to a lot of anarcho-socialist stuff lately (lots
of Utah Phillips and Ani DiFranco's combos) and being
generally disgruntled about that disparity. I mean, sure, my
boss started out risking his own personal worth, and
ultimately he owns the capital resources, but aren't we both
intimately entwined in this whole venture? Who needs who
more? The risk is entirely his. I can more easily find new
work than he can find new capital. Should this all fail, I'm
looking at a job hunt, while he's looking at bankruptcy. I'm
in a strong muddle about all this.
I feel that there is a better way. Sometimes it seems that
the key to being a successful freelancer is akin to being a
remora, and finding a successful external company to latch
onto as the "consultant".
I would like to be a part of something like Garp's Mom's
place. I want to form a "Zac's Home for Wayward
Sysadmins/Programmers". A big old antebellum house wired
with ethernet everywhere, a big fat SDSL line, and lots and
lots of servers. I want a place where programmers on the
lamb (or just exploring) can stop by for a few nights or
weeks. Where they can learn one-on-one with other
programmers. Oh, hell. It'd be great for fiction, I guess.
Not very realistic, though.
Mostly, I just want something different. I suppose we all
have dreams of working independently from the sea shore with
our wirelessly networked laptops, guzzling Rum drinks while
collaborating with fellow hackers across the globe. All
while getting a fat check in the (albeit slow) Caribbean
Personally, I think that Anarchy can work on a local level.
Where everyone knows everyone. I can imagine that a tight
group of dedicated individuals can make a distributed
profit-generating co-op feasible today.