[ExI] The Tragedy of the 'Unmanaged' Commons

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Thu Jan 5 17:51:48 UTC 2023

...> On Behalf Of BillK via extropy-chat
Subject: [ExI] The Tragedy of the 'Unmanaged' Commons

>...The discussion between John and Spike really revolves around the famous
Tragedy of the Commons. 

Hi BillK, I am puzzled about where that came in, from a discussion on high
speed rail.  In that light, I have some full disclosure to make: I
personally would benefit enormously from that high speed rail link if it
ever comes into existence.  Reason: I live close to San Jose, and sometimes
ride a bicycle down to Diridon Train Station just for fun.  I can get there
with only one major street crossing, which takes me over to a bike path
where I can ride all the way down to Diridon without another street
crossing: that bike path has underpasses the whole way.  I hiked from that
park near that station to my house once, just to be doing something.  That
station even has bike lockers.  Cool!

Part 2 of disclosure: I have family in both Burbank and Riverside, both on
the proposed HSR route, who I don't visit very often because it is a 6 hour
drive or an expensive plane ride.  For me personally it would be way cool to
have a high speed rail link down there.  I can ride a bicycle from the
Riverside station to my brother in law's house.  I could keep a bike down
there, have one up here, keep my car safely in my own garage the whole time,

End of full disclosure.

>...Spike has managed to give John the impression that he believes that
anything is allowed if there is a profit to be made....BillK

The flip side of that observation is what matters in this case.  Nothing
will go forward unless there is profit to be made.  

There will be people who benefit from a high speed rail link, such as me.
But in California we have painted ourselves into a corner with our own legal
system.  It has grown very easy to block development projects by such means
and finding *any* species of beast, foul or fish which is threatened, or if
the project crosses *any* land which the Native Americans claim their
ancestors once walked across.  Evidence is not required for that claim.  The
proposed HSR project has already been rerouted to go around the Cesar Chavez

The environmentalists managed to get insects included, so even such things
as tarantula mating season "migration" would count, even if there is no
indication we have a shortage of tarantulas or that they would be bothered
in the least by a train zooming past.  We are at the point where we are
compiling a list of non-endangered species.  So far we only have mosquitoes
and houseflies.  Pretty much everything else is protected by somebody
wanting a big payout.  

Some of that proposed HSR route crosses existing farmland, so you get the
usual landowners holding out for the usual price, the Dr. Evil one hundred
billllion dollars, and so forth.

None of that has anything to do with tragic commons.  It has everything to
do with my personally benefitting from a high speed rail link but deep
skepticism that they can punch that line thru there without drilling
underground the whole way.

It is tempting to conclude it would be cheaper to drill a tunnel the
distance between SF and Burbank, then use existing rail from there on down,
but this ignores the big show-stopper for that plan: a boring machine can
dig thru glacial terminal moraine but not thru big chunks of metamorphic
rock.  We don't where those chunks are located, and a super high speed rail
line such as the big thinkers have envisioned, the kind that go as fast as
an aircraft, go on rails which cannot be turned quickly.

All these things together convince me we should be looking towards finding
better ways to not travel.  This means my family members in Southern
California don't get my visits and I don't get theirs, but I don't have the
right to compel others to sell their property for my benefit.


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