There are numerous ways to participate in the pubwan movement.

as a volunteer

pub wan must be an all-volunteer effort in order to be true to its other principles. Fortunately, empirical examples of people working for free (volunteering) are not unheard of.

So far, I (lorraine lee), am our only known volunteer, volunteering as a volunteer recruiter. My short term goal in this volunteer role is to become part of small group of volunteers.

The goals of pubwan would seem to indicate an especial need for volunteers in these areas...

Volunteer data entry operators

This subject is discussed to some extent in Sunir Shah's Meatball Wiki under a number of headings, including d ATAe NTRY, m ACHINEr EADABLE and a few others.

Volunteer electrical engineers

As in Vonnegut's Player Piano, engineers and managers are often still people whose time is valuable, so we might not recruit any of these.

One example of amateur electronics in service to the open information movement (among other movements) is something called alternatively cue hack or cue jack. One of these names is no longer used (to refer to the public domain electrical engineering) as it was found to be a proprietary name, but I keep forgetting which is which.

Volunteer purchasers

This activity requires money, but could conceivably be money you would spend anyway. Being a volunteer purchaser in the pubwan movement does not cost any additional money, unless of course you're also making a donation of consumer surplus. The amount of time it would cost depends on the sophistication of the movement in developing automation technologies, which is to say, recruiting volunteer electrical engineers. Even with the sorts of general purpose personal computers that are now commonplace and cheap, for someone with a modicum of wpm typing skills, it should be possible to make significant contributions with very little time commitment, and without having to leave one's home for the specific purpose of volunteering.

Volunteer information scientists

This seems to be the only field where nonproprietary information has really taken off.

Pubwan is centrally an informational project, but is also an economics project, and a consumer education project.

Volunteer volunteer trainer

This is anyone who would like to volunteer to help others learn any of the skill sets relevant to the movement.

It should be noted that most of the volunteer services pubwan needs are fairly painless, and useful to the movement even in tiny amounts.

as a donor

Donations of hard currency would probably put the movement at odds with its principles. We suggest donations of...


To donate a hat, purchase some letters that can be sewn on or ironed on or otherwise affixed to the hat you are willing to donate to pubwan.

Be sure to check your inventory of letters for combinations of letters that can spell the string: "this hat ungoverned by gp license cp antilicense"

Try to find someone willing and able to teach sewing for a price you are willing and able to pay. If you are such a person, you have the potential to be of inestimable value to the pubwan movement as a volunteer teacher (see volunteering, above).

If you have such a hat you should either wear it or incinerate it or give it to someone. pub wan, in keeping with its neutrality princliple doesn't care which. To do so would be to take sides on various epidemiological (nevertheless possibly reasonable) debates.


While volunteering of time is an encouraged activity in America, volunteering of information tends to be regarded with some amount of suspicion. I believe this may be due to the capitalistic nature of our society. One learns early in life that stinginess with information often (but by no means always!) seems to convey some sort of strategic advantage. This is amplified of course by current Hobbesian trends in American culture and opinion. Nevertheless, the pubwan movement (started in 2000) is based on the belief that some people can be persuaded to donate some information to the public domain some of the time.

This is not really a belief, of course. I am like the character F. Mulder in The X Files... I want to believe. Also, technically, pubwan is a concept, not a movement.

consumer surplus.

You make such a donation by obtaining something (for your own use) at an inefficient price. As with a cash donation, it is technically an act of self-deprivation. A price inefficient purchase does not help pubwan unless it is more informationally efficient (from the movement's perspective) than all alternatives that are more price efficient. I don't believe it will be possible for pubwan to function without some amount of informational gifts of this type. A grasp at a fairly precise description of this concept is given at...


A read write pubwan wiki would certainly be possible given contributions of bandwidth and static IP services probably within reach of many gainfully employed first worlders.

More substantial amounts of bandwidth will be necessary to implement the sort of distributed database architecture that will be needed to implement pubwan as a useful public domain decision support system.

As ye give, so shall ye receive. If the movement succeeds, a result may be a more transparent society (with thanks to David Brin). It may be a more equitable balance of power between individuals and institutions (or group entities, if you will). It may be a less informationally frustrating consumer marketplace, or even a fairer deal for workers (if the Consumerium movement also succeeds).

Pubwan may also have negative effects on society. The existence of a visible copyleftist microeconomics movement may engender backlash in the form of disinformation, organized theft of intellectual property, more precise (and more ubiquitous) formulation of nondisclosure clauses, more divx-like technologies, a(n even) more exclusionary model of apprenticeship, and more advanced technologies of "intelligence." As ye receive, so shall ye give. Ye have been warned.

what is pubwan

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