Interview with Yochai Benkler


Today was the day – this morning Thomas and I had the chance to meet Yochai Benkler. Among many other things, he teaches and researches at Yale, was one of the top speakers at Wizards of OS 4, and is the author of The Wealth of Networks: The book about which Creative Commons founder Larry Lessig says:

“Yochai Benkler’s book, The Weath of Networks, is out. This is — by far — the most important and powerful book written in the fields that matter most to me in the last ten years. If there is one book you read this year, it should be this. (…) Read it. Understand it. You are not serious about these issues — on either side of these debates — unless you have read this book.”

In his hotel’s lobby we met for a brief pre-breakfast interview. Apart from the great compliment of granting his rare and valuable time (he was only in town for about 20 hours!), it particularly delighted me to hear that we got one of his three interview appointments – besides the two major German public TV stations ARD and BR. (Actually, he gave three and a half interviews: Markus managed to get a hold of Yochai when he arrived from the airport yesterday, too. How do you always do that anyway, Markus? ;-)

Yochai’s ideas about the impact of peer production are really mind-boggling. (Go read the book. Now!) But he also has the rare gift of presenting the ideas with a clarity and credibility that most people are missing. Thanks, Yochai!

Worry about the shaky cam and about putting them up non-edited. But here are some snippets: “Could you briefly summarize the idea of commons-based peer production?”

“Is Web 2.0 essential for peer production?”

“How does peer production change political processes?”

“Can other goods than knowledge and media be produced by commons-based peer production?”