Tragedy of Commons, Around the WWW in 80 Days

Posted: February 17, 2010 in Com 546

Here is some food for thought.

Garrett Harding makes an great point in The Tragedy of Commons article from a 1968 edition of Science Magazine about there being a problem when there are too many cows in the pasture of commons. Likewise, would the world wide web be able to better facilitate democracy (in Benkler’s terms) if it were not “polluted” with the uneducated material that makes it more difficult to get to the good stuff? This is the tragedy of commons on the internet.

If politically interested users, such as those in Around the WOrld Wide Web in 80 Days,  are only researching or visiting sites that are of their interests and are joining organizations that have similar beliefs does this facilitate extremist ideas? They are likely not getting information from each side of the debate, only joining social platforms to reinforce their own values and ideals as correct.

In the beginning of the Tragedy of Commons it talks about there being some human problems that do not have technical solutions. While that may have been a valid argument in 1968, is it still valid today? Considering that better education can solve almost all, if not all problems, and the internet facilitates educational access, couldn’t it be a means to solve merely all problems (if used properly)?

  1. […] of the Commons: Posts ( Antika, Helen, Sam, Xurxo); Questions (Anna, Danielle, Elizabeth, Inge, […]

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