Virtuous Behavior from Peer Production

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From Humanitarian-FOSS Project Development Site

"What does it mean in ethical terms that many individuals can find themselves cooperating productively with strangers and acquaintances on a scope never before seen?"

The goal of peer production is to allow many people from all over the world to collaborate in a way where strangers and people who do not neccassarily share the same beliefs or know each other can work together to enhance things like technology and information. People use their skills to communicate ideas and attempt to better society. In this regard, I believe, along with the authors Benkler and Nissenbaum, "Commons-based Peer Production and Virtue", that virtuous behavior can be a result from peer production. For example, citizen science is a project of scientific work in which a network of volunteers, many of whom may have no specific scientific training, perform and/or manage research-related tasks such as observation, measurement or computation. This project allows scientists to accomplish research objectives more easily than would otherwise be possible. Also, citizen science tries to promote public participation with this research, as well as with science in general.

Through this one example, one can see that while there are people who want to contribute to something and genuinely try to make something better, peer production does not just stop there. It allows anyone to contribute in a virtuous manner that can help society. I think that through an almost repetitive behavior, peer production can increase and cause the rise of virtuous behavior in anyone. Peer production is meant to help society and with this humane goal, a more virtuous community is the outcome.

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