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first woman to be selected for this award. She identified the conditions under which shared ownership and governance work well—the most important of which was democratic, community control at the smallest feasible scale. The successes, over hundreds of years, of some of Ostrom’s cases led to enthusiasm for expanding “commons” to realms such as art, culture, scholarship, and of course, the digital world.65 The intellectual foundations for sharing also got a boost from a pair of pathbreaking contributions by legal scholar Yochai Benkler (“Sharing Nicely” from

people stop using faxes, your fax machine stops being useful. McAfee and Brynjolfsson note that “economics of network effects are central to understanding business success in the digital world,” and they use the example of WhatsApp to illustrate network effects. They explain that as WhatsApp became more popular, users of regular text messages (SMS) felt left out and increasingly turned to the app: “As more and more of them did this, the network effects grew stronger. Computer pioneer Mitch Kapor observed that ‘architecture is politics.’ With platforms, it’s also

harder to detect, prove, or prevent. Uber is not alone in using consumer-sourced rating systems. Across the digital world, consumer- facing platforms like Yelp and Expedia also off er rating mechanisms for evaluating businesses and their workers. For each of these companies, it is impossible to say that the evaluations posted are entirely objective: consumer biases inevitably swing ratings higher or lower. In Uber’s case, this means that drivers are managed according to the biases and whims of consumers, which, in turn, means that blatant passenger dis

, Chicago, or Toronto, with strict quotas on how many cabs can be in oper- ation, Uber prevails when it insists that it’s not a taxi company but rather a technology company; the old rules don’t apply to the digital world. For consumers, Uber disrupted a calcifi ed taxi industry that was chiefl y known for its inadequate service, while Airbnb undid the monopoly that expensive hotels had on tourism by creating a platform for hosts to rent out their spare bedrooms or homes.12 The unrepentant politics of disrup- tion became the social standard for assessing the value of