[ExI] The Tragedy of the 'Unmanaged' Commons

Darin Sunley dsunley at gmail.com
Thu Jan 5 15:42:07 UTC 2023

Some of us have noticed that the people who manage to get themselves
appointed to "manage the commons" -  "for the good of humanity", of course
- have somehow always managed to build themselves vast fortunes and
absolute sovereign power in the process.

The better alternative that has not yet been tried is maybe not letting
them do that. This is made admittedly difficult by the fact that they also
always (somehow!) end up surrounding themselves with large numbers of rough
people with pointy sticks. It's a pattern you tend to notice with these

A strategy to deal with this is still being formulated.

On Thu, Jan 5, 2023 at 8:30 AM BillK via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> The discussion between John and Spike really revolves around the
> famous Tragedy of the Commons. Spike has managed to give John the
> impression that he believes that anything is allowed if there is a
> profit to be made.
> Depletion of resources. pollution, sickness, overfishing, etc. Just
> offload the external costs onto somebody else or pay the fines as a
> cost of doing business and bank the huge profits.
> See <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons>
> John, on the other hand, is emphasising that 'commons' must be
> controlled and managed for the benefit of all humanity, not just the
> 'for-profit' exploiters of the resource.
> This is an ongoing discussion as the human population grows and needs
> access to more resources. In the past, starvation, disease or wars have
> been used to reduce populations to meet available resources.
> We should be able to find better alternatives.
> BillK
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> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
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