Tragedy of the Commons

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pages: 313 words: 95,077

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations by Clay Shirky

Andrew Keen, Andy Carvin, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, c2.com, Charles Lindbergh, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, Garrett Hardin, hiring and firing, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, Internet Archive, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Kuiper Belt, liberation theology, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, Merlin Mann, Metcalfe’s law, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, Picturephone, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, prediction markets, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit motive, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, ultimatum game, Vilfredo Pareto, Yochai Benkler, Yogi Berra

Howard Rheingold, whose The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier, Basic Books (1993) was a critical early work on online community, is working on a multiyear study of cooperation in collaboration (www.cooperationcommons.com) with the Institute for the Future. Page 51: “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (3859), December 13, 1968, pp. 682-83. Garrett Hardin was a biologist, and the tragedy of the commons formulation often appears in discussions about natural resources. (There’s an online version at www.garretthardinsociety.org/articles/art_tragedy_of_the_commons.html ). A more mathematically rigorous view of the same problem appears in Mancur Olson’s The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Harvard University Press (1965).

In historical terms, a potluck dinner or a barn raising is collaborative production (the members work together to create something), while a union or a government engages in collective action, action that is undertaken in the name of the members meant to change something out in the world, often in opposition to other groups committed to different outcomes. The commonest collective action problem is described as the “Tragedy of the Commons,” biologist Garrett Hardin’s phrase for situations wherein individuals have an incentive to damage the collective good. The Tragedy of the Commons is a simple pattern to explain, and once you understand it, you come to see it everywhere. The standard illustration of the problem uses sheep. Imagine you are one of a group of shepherds who graze their sheep on a commonly owned pasture.

Many of its users are members of groups organized around specific themes (“Telling a Story in 5 Frames,” “Street Photography”), and these groups have their own internal expectations: the street photographers don’t like staged pictures, while the storytellers don’t want single photos. These bargains also involve ongoing negotiation—the basic tension in Flickr groups is a Tragedy of the Commons, where the presence of a potential audience tempts photographers to leave their photos for others to see while not looking at anyone else’s. Many of the rules in Flickr groups try to create the kind of mutual coercion that can solve a Tragedy of the Commons, as with this rule for Black and White Maniacs, for takers of black and white photos:Post ONE photo, then immediately comment on the PREVIOUS TWO photos . . . Wait until two more photos have been posted before posting again.


pages: 243 words: 66,908

Thinking in Systems: A Primer by Meadows. Donella, Diana Wright

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, clean water, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, game design, Garrett Hardin, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, invisible hand, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, peak oil, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Stanford prison experiment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Tragedy of the Commons, Whole Earth Review

Bring in all the actors and use the energy formerly expended on resistance to seek out mutually satisfactory ways for all goals to be realized—or redefinitions of larger and more important goals that everyone can pull toward together. The Tragedy of the Commons Leaders of Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s coalition, led by the Christian Democratic Union, agreed last week with the opposition Social Democrats, after months of bickering, to turn back a flood of economic migrants by tightening conditions for claiming asylum. —International Herald Tribune, 19925 The trap called the tragedy of the commons comes about when there is escalation, or just simple growth, in a commonly shared, erodable environment. Ecologist Garrett Hardin described the commons system in a classic article in 1968.

And why a system might suddenly, and without warning, jump into a kind of behavior you’ve never seen before. That discussion will lead to us to look at the common problems that the systems-thinking community has stumbled upon over and over again through working in corporations and governments, economies and ecosystems, physiology and psychology. “There’s another case of the tragedy of the commons,” we find ourselves saying as we look at an allocation system for sharing water resource among communities or financial resources among schools. Or we identify “eroding goals” as we study the business rules and incentives that help or hinder the development of new technologies. Or we see “policy resistance” as we examine decision-making power and the nature of relationships in a family, a community, or a nation.

In the next chapter on system traps and opportunities, I will describe some of the most commonly encountered structures that can cause bounded rationality to lead to disaster. They include such familiar phenomena as addiction, policy resistance, arms races, drift to low performance, and the tragedy of the commons. For now, I want to make just one point about the biggest surprise that comes from not understanding bounded rationality. Suppose you are for some reason lifted out of your accustomed place in society and put in the place of someone whose behavior you have never understood. Having been a staunch critic of government, you suddenly become part of government.


pages: 503 words: 131,064

Liars and Outliers: How Security Holds Society Together by Bruce Schneier

airport security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, commoditize, corporate governance, crack epidemic, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, desegregation, don't be evil, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Douglas Hofstadter, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, hydraulic fracturing, impulse control, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, iterative process, Jean Tirole, John Bogle, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Julian Assange, longitudinal study, mass incarceration, meta-analysis, microcredit, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nick Leeson, offshore financial centre, patent troll, phenotype, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Coase, security theater, shareholder value, slashdot, statistical model, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, too big to fail, traffic fines, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, ultimatum game, UNCLOS, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, Y2K, Yochai Benkler, zero-sum game

But if Alice acts in the group interest while others act in their self-interest, she'll have sacrificed her own short-term gain for nothing: she'll catch fewer fish, and the fishing stocks will still collapse due to everyone else's overfishing. Her analysis leads to the decision to overfish. That makes sense, but—of course—if everyone acts according to the same analysis, they'll end up collapsing the fishing stocks and ruining the industry for everyone. This is called a Tragedy of the Commons, and was first described by the ecologist Garrett Hardin in 1968.6 A Tragedy of the Commons occurs whenever a group shares a limited resource: not just fisheries, but grazing lands, water rights, time on a piece of shared exercise equipment at a gym, an unguarded plate of cookies in the kitchen. In a forest, you can cut everything down for maximum short-term profit, or selectively harvest for sustainability.

In a forest, you can cut everything down for maximum short-term profit, or selectively harvest for sustainability. Someone who owns the forest can make the trade-off for himself, but when an unorganized group together owns the forest there's no one to limit the harvest, and a Tragedy of the Commons can result. A Tragedy of the Commons is more complicated than a two-person Prisoner's Dilemma, because the other fishers aren't making this decision collectively. Instead, each individual fisher decides for himself what to do. In the two-person dilemma, Alice had to try to predict what Bob would do. In this larger dilemma, many more outcomes are possible.

But at some point, either the waters will get crowded enough or the fishers will get technologically advanced enough that the Tragedy of the Commons dilemma will occur. The disconnect between Alice's individual actions and the effect of the group's actions as a whole makes societal dilemmas even harder to solve in larger groups. Under a rational economic analysis, it makes no sense for Alice to cooperate. The group will do whatever it does, regardless of her actions, and her individual cooperation or defection won't change that. All she's really deciding is whether to seize or forgo the short-term benefits of defecting. Societal Dilemma: Tragedy of the Commons. Society: Some group of people, either a society of interest or a society of circumstance.


pages: 426 words: 118,913

Green Philosophy: How to Think Seriously About the Planet by Roger Scruton

"Robert Solow", barriers to entry, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, corporate social responsibility, demand response, edge city, endowment effect, energy security, Exxon Valdez, failed state, food miles, garden city movement, Garrett Hardin, ghettoisation, happiness index / gross national happiness, Herbert Marcuse, Howard Zinn, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, market friction, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Sam Peltzman, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The greatest defence that human beings have devised against the greedy person is the right of the others to resist him. This is the reason for thinking that it is not state control, but property rights, that are the real solution to the tragedy of the commons. And once property rights are in place they lead of their own accord to a market, as people transfer their rights to those most eager to acquire them and in return receive something preferable in exchange. The tragedy of the commons is not due to market failure, but to market absence. Hence there have been very few vulnerable resources that have not been managed, by those who depended upon them, through a system of property rights, so giving each person an interest in maintaining his guaranteed share.

Environmentalists and conservatives are both in search of the motives that will defend a shared but threatened legacy from predation by its current trustees. Rational self-interest is not, I think, the motive that we are seeking, although, as I will argue, it has an important part to play. Rational self-interest is subject to the well-known free rider and prisoner’s dilemma syndromes, and can avert ‘the tragedy of the commons’17 only in special circumstances. Social contract theorists, from Hobbes to Rawls, have attempted to overcome the problems of social choice, but always they come up against some version of the original difficulty: why is it more reasonable to bide by the contract than to pretend to bide by it?

Such problems are not specific to environmental issues, and arise in connection with both radical and conservative policies. When considering the environment, however, one such problem is of particular importance, and that is the failure of collective rationality commented upon by Aristotle in the Politics and known, following an acclaimed article by Garrett Hardin, as ‘the tragedy of the commons’.151 Many of the earth’s resources are either unowned or owned in common by some particular community – the fish in a lake, the grazing on common land, the air that we breathe, and so on. If we all have access to such commons, and if they are easily depleted by our use of them, then the situation can easily arise in which it is in the interest of each person to take as much as he can before others deprive him of the chance.


Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action by Elinor Ostrom

agricultural Revolution, clean water, Garrett Hardin, Gödel, Escher, Bach, land tenure, Pareto efficiency, principal–agent problem, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, RAND corporation, The Nature of the Firm, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs

.- >. <U '0' :2~~::E I:: ~ ~ ~ 13 .~ .- ::g ~.r" 181 A framework for analysis of CPRs In Chapter 1, I discussed three models that are used to justify the policy recommendation that external governmental authorities should impose solutions on individuals who jointly use CPRs: Hardin's tragedy of the commons, the prisoner's dilemma game, and Mancur Olson's logic of collective action. All three models lead to the prediction that those using such resources will not cooperate so as to achieve collective benefits. Further, individuals are perceived as being trapped in a static situation, unable to change the rules affecting their incentives.

New York: Wiley. tional Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. Berkes, F. 1985a. The Common Property Resource Problem and the Creation of Ashby, W. R. 1960. Design for a Brain. The Origin ofAdaptive Behavior, 2nd ed. New York: Wiley. Limited Property Rights. Human Ecology 13:187-208. Berkes, F. 1985b. Fishermen and "The Tragedy of the Commons." Environmental Ascher, W., and R. Healy. 1990. Natural Resource Policymaking: A Framework for Developing Countries. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press. Conservation 12: 199-206. Berkes, F. 1986a. Local-Level Management and the Commons Problem: A Com­ Attwood, D. M., and B. S. Baviskar. 1987.

Balti­ more: Johns Hopkins University Press. Hamilton, A. 1981. The Unity of Hunting-Gathering Societies: Reflections on Economic Forms and Resource Management. In Resource Managers: North American and Australian Hunter-Gatherers. eds. N.M. Williams and E.S. Hunn, pp. 229-48. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press. Hardin, G. 1968. The Tragedy of the Commons. Science 162:1243-8. Hardin, G. 1978. Political Requirements for Preserving our Common Heritage. In Wildlife and America, ed. H. P. Bokaw, pp. 310-17. Washington, D.C.: Council on Environmental Quality. Hardin, R. 1971. Collective Action as an Agreeable N-Prisoner's Dilemma. Beha­ vioral Science 16:472-81.


pages: 207 words: 52,716

Capitalism 3.0: A Guide to Reclaiming the Commons by Peter Barnes

Albert Einstein, car-free, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, dark matter, diversified portfolio, en.wikipedia.org, Garrett Hardin, hypertext link, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, jitney, money market fund, new economy, patent troll, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Yogi Berra

In effect, it’s a subset of the given commons that we consciously organize according to commons principles. It’s small at the moment, but the point of this book is that we should enlarge it. Time to Upgrade | 7 The Tragedy of the Commons Isn’t What You Think If you heard about the commons before you picked up this book, your impressions were probably shaped by a 1968 article called “The Tragedy of the Commons.” In that article, biologist Garrett Hardin used the metaphor of an unmanaged pasture to suggest a root cause of many planetary problems. The rational herdsman concludes that the only sensible course for him to pursue is to add another animal to his herd.

Notes Notes to Pages x–17 Preface 1x Biologist Garrett Hardin: Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science, 1968, 162, 1243–1248. See www.sciencemag.org/sciext/sotp/commons.dtl. xii envisioned an economy: E. F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful (New York: HarperCollins, 1973). Chapter 1: Time to Upgrade 14 endangering human civilizations: Jared Diamond, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (New York: Penguin Books, 2005); Ronald Wright, A Short History of Progress (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004). 17 “The relational herdsman . . .”: Hardin, “Tragedy of the Commons,” p. 1244. Twenty-five years after this article was published, Hardin explained that what he should have said in 1968 was: “A ‘managed commons’ describes either socialism or the privatism of free enterprise.

(Working Assets offers telephone and credit card services which automatically I | ix | x | C A P I TA L I S M 3.0 donate to nonprofit groups working for a better world.) My initial ruminations focused on climate change caused by human emissions of heat-trapping gases. Some analysts saw this as a “tragedy of the commons,” a concept popularized forty years ago by biologist Garrett Hardin. According to Hardin, people will always overuse a commons because it’s in their self-interest to do so. I saw the problem instead as a pair of tragedies: first a tragedy of the market, which has no way of curbing its own excesses, and second a tragedy of government, which fails to protect the atmosphere because polluting corporations are powerful and future generations don’t vote.


pages: 200 words: 47,378

The Internet of Money by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

AltaVista, altcoin, bitcoin, blockchain, clean water, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, disruptive innovation, Dogecoin, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, financial exclusion, global reserve currency, litecoin, London Interbank Offered Rate, Marc Andreessen, Oculus Rift, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Ponzi scheme, QR code, ransomware, reserve currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Skype, smart contracts, the medium is the message, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, underbanked, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

The power of pushing intelligence to the edge, of not making decisions in the center, moves the innovation into the hands of its end users and gives those end users the ability to build applications that are so niche that only a handful of people around the world need them. And they can build those applications without asking for anyone’s permission. 5.2. Tragedy of the Commons But there’s one more thing that’s really unique about bitcoin, and it’s one of the reasons that it continues to survive and continues to win over the centralized, closed networks of the past, and that is that bitcoin is open source, open standard, and open network. One of the key concepts in economics is the idea of a tragedy of the commons. This is when you have a common resource that can be consumed, without limits, by all those who participate until the resource is depleted and the entire system collapses.

This is when you have a common resource that can be consumed, without limits, by all those who participate until the resource is depleted and the entire system collapses. It’s a form of market failure called “the tragedy of the commons.” The most common example of it is the commons, in the old British sense, of a large grassy area. Here you have a field that everyone can graze their cattle on, and if everybody goes and grazes their cattle with reckless abandon, before long, you have a big muddy pit and no cattle. Because everybody overgrazes it, the resource is depleted. 5.3. Festival of the Commons Bitcoin doesn’t suffer from a tragedy of the commons like most financial networks do. I can’t innovate on somebody else’s network.

When they play in the bitcoin sphere, they get to benefit from everybody else’s investment in that space. So, it returns multiple times. You get this wonderful synergy where each company that invests in this amazing technology makes it better for everybody else. It’s not an exclusionary principle; instead of a tragedy of the commons, you have a festival of the commons. A commons that gets better when more companies use it. "It’s not an exclusionary principle; instead of a tragedy of the commons, in bitcoin you have a festival of the commons. A commons that gets better when more companies use it." 5.3.1. Festival of the Commons 2012-2014 Just look at some of the examples. 2014 was supposed to be the worst year in bitcoin.


Super Thinking: The Big Book of Mental Models by Gabriel Weinberg, Lauren McCann

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, anti-pattern, Anton Chekhov, autonomous vehicles, bank run, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business process, butterfly effect, Cal Newport, Clayton Christensen, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hindsight bias, housing crisis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, income inequality, information asymmetry, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Nash: game theory, lateral thinking, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, mail merge, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, nuclear winter, offshore financial centre, p-value, Parkinson's law, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, Potemkin village, prediction markets, premature optimization, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, publication bias, recommendation engine, remote working, replication crisis, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Shai Danziger, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, sunk-cost fallacy, survivorship bias, The future is already here, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, uber lyft, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, When a measure becomes a target, wikimedia commons

Since one person’s use does not significantly reduce a public good’s availability to others, it might seem as though there is no harm in free-riding. However, if enough people free-ride on a public good, then it can degrade to the point of creating a tragedy of the commons. Vaccinations provide an illustrative example that combines all these models (tragedy of the commons, free rider problem, tyranny of small decisions, public goods), plus one more: herd immunity. Diseases can spread only when they have an eligible host to infect. However, when the vast majority of people are vaccinated against a disease, there are very few eligible new hosts, since most people (in the herd) are immune from infection due to getting vaccinated.

Pasture commons present a problem, though: Each additional cow that a farmer gets benefits their family, but if all the farmers keep getting new cows, then the commons can be depleted. All farmers would experience the negative effects of overgrazing on the health of their herds and land. In an 1833 essay, “Two Lectures on the Checks to Population,” economist William Lloyd described a similar, but hypothetical, overgrazing scenario, now called the tragedy of the commons. However, unbeknownst to him, his hypothetical situation had really occurred in Boston Common two hundred years earlier (and many other times before and since). More affluent families did in fact keep buying more cows, leading to overgrazing, until, in 1646, a limit of seventy cows was imposed on Boston Common.

., each course of treatment has only a small chance of increasing resistance). But as more and more people make the same decision, the common resource is collectively depleted, reducing the ability for everyone to benefit from it in the future (e.g., the antibiotic becomes much less useful). More broadly, the tragedy of the commons arises from what is called the tyranny of small decisions, where a series of small, individually rational decisions ultimately leads to a system-wide negative consequence, or tyranny. It’s death by a thousand cuts. You’ve probably gone out to dinner with friends expecting that you will equally split the check.


The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good by Robert H. Frank

carbon footprint, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, clean water, congestion charging, corporate governance, deliberate practice, full employment, Garrett Hardin, income inequality, independent contractor, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, positional goods, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, smart grid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, winner-take-all economy

It’s a matter of simple logic that when people overestimate their chances of winning, too many forsake productive occupations in traditional markets to compete in winner-take-all markets. The Tragedy of the Commons Potential contestants in winner-take-all markets also confront a problem called the tragedy of the commons, an incentive structure that was first invoked to explain overfishing in ocean waters.7 The cod, once abundant in the North Atlantic, saw its population decline by more than 95 percent from overharvesting. The incentives that led to this decline were similar to those that produce excessive entry into many winner-take-all markets. The tragedy of the commons provides a vivid illustration of Darwin’s insight that individual and group interests often diverge sharply.

In the most widely quoted passage from The Wealth of Nations, Smith wrote, “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”5 Bankers aren’t altruists on a mission to promote the interests of their class at their personal expense. They’re just capitalists trying to make a buck. So even if we grant the implausible assumption that loans to labormanaged firms would eventually undermine the capitalist system, a rational banker would still have no motive to refrain from making them. The problem is analogous to the tragedy of the commons that leads to overfishing, which I will discuss in more detail in chapter 10. This is another 34 CHAPTER THREE form of market failure that results from the wedge between individual and group incentives described by Charles Darwin. Fishermen don’t deplete their fisheries because they’re stupid.

(That it would have been possible to do better is clear by noting that if only one person had chosen fishing, the collective earnings of the one hundred would have been larger by $50,000, since the lone fisherman would have earned $100,000 while the other ninety-nine would have earned $50,000 as factory workers.) The tragedy of the commons occurs because of a simple externality. Each potential fisherman cares only about the earnings from the fish he expects to catch. He has no reason to consider the fact that his entry would reduce the number of fish caught by existing fishermen. When the market reaches equilibrium, the last entrant’s $50,000 in earnings from fishing is just enough to compensate him for the $50,000 he gave up by not working in the factory.


pages: 332 words: 100,245

Mine!: How the Hidden Rules of Ownership Control Our Lives by Michael A. Heller, James Salzman

23andMe, Airbnb, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collaborative consumption, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Elon Musk, endowment effect, estate planning, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, Hernando de Soto, Internet of things, land tenure, Mason jar, new economy, North Sea oil, offshore financial centre, oil rush, planetary scale, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, rent control, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The future is already here, Tim Cook: Apple, Tragedy of the Commons, you are the product, Zipcar

“It is revolting”: Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The Path of the Law,” Harvard Law Review 10 (1897): 469 “protect private property”: Eskenazi, “Great Sucking Sound.” “We’re dealing with”: Ibid. Notice Pate’s strategy here: See, for example, Eugene Volokh, “Mechanisms of the Slippery Slope,” Harvard Law Review 116 (2003): 1026–137. tragedy of the commons: Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (December 1968): 1243–48. “To save our valley”: Boxall, “Overpumping of Central Valley.” When oil was first: Bruce Kramer and Owen Anderson, “The Rule of Capture—an Oil and Gas Perspective,” Environmental Law 35 (2005): 899–954. unitization: Many tools exist to fragment ownership (like subdivision rules for land), but relatively few for re-aggregating them.

The ranching and farming lobby brushed aside these reforms, even though, as McBee pointed out, rural residents are the people most threatened by the rule of capture. Rhetorical strategies aside, arguments over groundwater exemplify a recurring challenge for managing scarce resources. In the academic literature, this challenge is known as the tragedy of the commons—and it’s one of the building blocks of modern ownership design. Every farmer knows the race to pump is a losing game, but why sacrifice for the greater good if there’s no guarantee others will do the same? If you try to conserve water and others don’t, then you’re a chump. But if no one conserves, then the farmers destroy the resource for everybody.

When oil was first struck in Texas, the state adopted the rule of capture. Each surface owner over a pool of oil could drill a well. Pump it or lose it. This seemed an unsolvable problem, destined for groundwater’s tragic outcome. But oil drillers in many states rapidly sidestepped a tragedy of the commons, not with new technology but through redesigning the meaning of attachment. When oil producers saw oil field pressure drop and wells quickly dry up, they lobbied to create unitization, a new form of oil and gas ownership designed to collect together overly fragmented interests. How does unitization work?


pages: 377 words: 89,000

Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All by Paul A. Offit M.D.

Albert Einstein, Garrett Hardin, germ theory of disease, longitudinal study, Ronald Reagan, Tragedy of the Commons

., “Impact of Anti-Vaccine Movements on Pertussis Control: The Untold Story,” The Lancet 351 (1998): 356- 361. 144 Garrett Hardin essay: G. Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (1968): 1243-1248. All Hardin quotes are from this essay. 146 Stephanie Tatel: S. Tatel, “A Pox on You,” http://www.slate.com/toolbar.aspx?action=print&id=2232977. All Tatel quotes are from this essay. 147 Hardin’s second essay: G. Hardin, “Extension of ‘The Tragedy of the Commons,’” Science 280 (1998): 682-683. 9. The Mean Season 150 Jenny McCarthy and Crystal children: J. McCarthy, Louder Than Words: A Mother’s Journey in Healing Autism (New York: Dutton, 2007), 178. 150 Crystal children: D.

Table of Contents ALSO BY PAUL A. OFFIT, M.D. Title Page Dedication Epigraph PROLOGUE Introduction CHAPTER 1 - The Birth of Fear CHAPTER 2 - This England CHAPTER 3 - A Crude Brew CHAPTER 4 - Roulette Redux CHAPTER 5 - Make the Angels Weep CHAPTER 6 - Justice CHAPTER 7 - Past Is Prologue CHAPTER 8 - Tragedy of the Commons CHAPTER 9 - The Mean Season CHAPTER 10 - Dr. Bob CHAPTER 11 - Trust EPILOGUE NOTES SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Acknowledgements INDEX Copyright Page ALSO BY PAUL A. OFFIT, M.D. Autism’s False Prophets Vaccinated The Cutter Incident To Maurice Hilleman and Stanley Plotkin, who taught me the beauty of reason and the power of vaccines The judgment of history is without pity.

For anti-vaccine activists in England, the freedom to choose had become the freedom to die from that choice. As in nineteenth-century England, the battle to eliminate vaccine mandates in twenty-first-century America would also be fought in legislatures and court-rooms. And the results would be all too similar. CHAPTER 8 Tragedy of the Commons Freedom is the recognition of necessity. —GEORG WILHELM FRIEDRICH HEGEL Parents in nineteenth-century England argued that vaccines were impure or unsafe or an act against nature or God. But their anger wasn’t directed at doctors so much as at government officials who had no right to tell them what to do—no right to tell them what should be injected into their children.


pages: 147 words: 39,910

The Great Mental Models: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Barry Marshall: ulcers, bitcoin, Black Swan, colonial rule, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, delayed gratification, feminist movement, Garrett Hardin, index fund, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Bogle, mandelbrot fractal, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ponzi scheme, Richard Feynman, statistical model, stem cell, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the map is not the territory, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Torches of Freedom, Tragedy of the Commons

When we’re following the map without looking around, we trip right over them. Any user of a map or model must realize that we do not understand a model, map, or reduction unless we understand and respect its limitations. If we don’t understand what the map does and doesn’t tell us, it can be useless or even dangerous. — Sidebar: The Tragedy of the Commons The Tragedy of the Commons The Tragedy of the Commons is a parable that illustrates why common resources get used more than is desirable from the standpoint of society as a whole. Garrett Hardin wrote extensively about this concept. “Picture a pasture open to all. It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons.

Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.” 3 What is common to many is taken least care of, for all men have greater regard for what is their own than for what they possess in common with others. –Aristotle Here’s another way to think about it. Economist Elinor Ostrom wrote about being cautious with maps and models when looking at different governance structures for common resources. She was worried that the Tragedy of the Commons model (see sidebar), which shows how a shared resource can become destroyed through bad incentives, was too general and did not account for how people, in reality, solved the problem. She explained the limitations of using models to guide public policy, namely that they often become metaphors.

Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996 The Map is not the Territory 1 Lawrence, D.H. Study of Thomas Hardy. Phoenix: The Posthumous Papers of D.H. Lawrence, Edward McDonald, ed. London: William Heinemann, 1936. 2 Korzybski, Alfred. Science and Sanity. New York: Institute of General Semantics, 1933. 3 Hardin, Garrett. The Tragedy of the Commons, Science, 13 December 1968, vol. 162, pp. 1243-48 4 Ostrom, Elinor. Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action. UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990. 5 Box, George E P. Ibid. 6 Nassar, Issam. Early Local Photography in Palestine: The Legacy of Karimeh Abbud.


pages: 692 words: 127,032

Fool Me Twice: Fighting the Assault on Science in America by Shawn Lawrence Otto

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Berlin Wall, Brownian motion, carbon footprint, Cepheid variable, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, commoditize, cosmological constant, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, desegregation, different worldview, disinformation, double helix, energy security, Exxon Valdez, fudge factor, Garrett Hardin, ghettoisation, global pandemic, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, mutually assured destruction, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, sharing economy, smart grid, Solar eclipse in 1919, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, University of East Anglia, War on Poverty, white flight, Winter of Discontent, working poor, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

At the center of many of the arguments over proposed solutions to environmental problems associated with increasing population and industrial development are differing views of how individuals and freedom relate to regulation and the commons—the common property of humankind. These questions are central to the relationship between science and democracy itself. THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS In December of 1968, a little-known University of California Santa Barbara biologist named Garrett Hardin published a paper in Science that would change the way we look at economics. The core dilemma it identified, which came to be called “the tragedy of the commons” after the paper’s title, lies at the heart of the unresolved environmental challenges of the twentieth century, among them climate change, ocean acidification, overfishing, biodiversity loss, habitat fragmentation, overdevelopment, pollution, exploding population, and unsustainable energy use, to name a few.

Hardin concluded that in this circumstance, “each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit—in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.” FREEDOM VERSUS TYRANNY The simple dilemma that drives the tragedy of the commons is writ large in the greatest political argument of our time: the clash between individualism and collectivism. In the political realm this first became a clash between capitalism and communism and more recently one between supercapitalist anarchy and democratic socialism. Politics is narrative, and every narrative argument has an underlying value that is at stake.

What is the proper equilibrium between my individual rights and the rights of the collective of everyone else—now and into the future? How do we balance freedom and our rights to the commons? TODAY’S HERDSMEN Because we have a limited planet, today’s herdsmen—nation-states, supranational corporations, and individuals—all have powerful economic incentives to pursue their rational self-interests until the tragedy of the commons occurs on a global scale. This is the nature of a boom or a bubble, but the assumption of limitless growth is what our economic model is based on. The purpose of democracy is to find a balance that protects the equal rights of all individuals by using the antiauthoritarian rule of law, regulation, and the vote to maximize the overall level of freedom and minimize the might makes right of tyranny.


pages: 397 words: 109,631

Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking by Richard E. Nisbett

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, big-box store, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cognitive dissonance, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, cosmological constant, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, endowment effect, experimental subject, feminist movement, fixed income, fundamental attribution error, Garrett Hardin, glass ceiling, Henri Poincaré, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, quantitative easing, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Shai Danziger, Socratic dialogue, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tragedy of the Commons, William of Occam, Zipcar

Otherwise we risk spending large amounts of money to carry out some regulation resulting in a trivial increase in the number of quality years of human life while failing to spend a modest amount of money to increase the number of quality years of human life by hundreds of thousands. The Tragedy of the Commons A problem for cost-benefit theory is that my benefit can be your cost. Consider the well-known tragedy of the commons.10 There is a pasture that is available to everyone. Each shepherd will want to keep as many sheep in the pasture as possible. But if everyone increases the number of sheep in the pasture, at some point overgrazing occurs, risking everyone’s livelihood.

My pursuit of my self-interest combined with everyone else’s pursuit of their self-interest results in ruin for us all. Enter government, either self-organized by the affected parties themselves or imposed by an external agent. The shepherds must agree to limit the number of sheep each is allowed, or a government of some kind must establish the limits. Pollution creates a similar tragedy of the commons. I greatly enjoy my plane travel, my air-conditioning, and my automobile trips. But this makes everyone’s environment more dangerous and unpleasant by increasing the pollutants in the air and ultimately by changing the climate of the earth in potentially disastrous ways. These negative externalities, as economists refer to them, harm everyone on the planet.

Calculations of the value of a human life are repellent and sometimes grossly misused, but they are often necessary nonetheless in order to make sensible policy decisions. Otherwise we risk spending great resources to save a few lives or fail to spend modest resources to save many lives. Tragedies of the commons, where my gain creates negative externalities for you, typically require binding and enforceable intervention. This may be by common agreement among the affected parties or by local, national, or international agencies. 5. Spilt Milk and Free Lunch Have you ever walked out of a restaurant without finishing a meal you had paid for because you didn’t particularly like it?


pages: 196 words: 61,981

Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside by Xiaowei Wang

4chan, AI winter, Amazon Web Services, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, cloud computing, Community Supported Agriculture, computer vision, Covid-19, COVID-19, cryptocurrency, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, global pandemic, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, Internet of things, job automation, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, land reform, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer lending, precision agriculture, QR code, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, Tragedy of the Commons, universal basic income, WeWork, Y Combinator

The idea that life is “nasty, brutish, and short” comes from the political and moral philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, who argued that a strong, authoritarian government is needed to curb the selfish instinct that lives in all of us. A few hundred years later, the “tragedy of the commons” concept would solidify Hobbes’s thinking as scientific. Many crypto and blockchain enthusiasts will cite this concept often and candidly. The concept of the tragedy of the commons was popularized in 1968 by the ecologist Garrett Hardin, who also argued that the overpopulation of the earth would lead to disaster because of finite resources. Hardin’s tragedy of the commons was the condition where individual users, motivated by their own self-interest, ruin a shared resource system for everyone.

Hardin gave the example of herders who, caring only about the survival of their own herds, destroyed pastures by overgrazing common land. Like his theories on overpopulation, Hardin’s tragedy of the commons was later exposed as deeply problematic, as politics disguised as science. His scientific ideas stemmed from his racist, eugenicist beliefs as a white nationalist, and many of the groups he saw as unable to manage shared resources were in non-Western countries.5 And setting aside Hardin’s political ideologies, the tragedy of the commons theory is just plain wrong. The concept was disproved with in-depth data and careful science in 1990 by Elinor Ostrom, who would be awarded a Nobel Prize for her work.

The concept was disproved with in-depth data and careful science in 1990 by Elinor Ostrom, who would be awarded a Nobel Prize for her work. However, since Hardin was an ecologist, the tragedy of the commons became naturalized, seen as neutral science rather than political belief. In reality, Hardin’s ideas were based on terrifying assumptions, a world in which human nature and natural resources were static, finite, and fixed. Despite Ostrom’s work, the belief in innate human selfishness in a world of scarcity had become ingrained outside of ecology—in fields like information science and economics.6 This belief in selfishness and scarcity is one of the core ideologies that gave rise to blockchain.


pages: 494 words: 142,285

The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World by Lawrence Lessig

AltaVista, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, Bill Atkinson, business process, Cass Sunstein, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Donald Davies, Erik Brynjolfsson, Garrett Hardin, George Gilder, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, HyperCard, hypertext link, Innovator's Dilemma, invention of hypertext, inventory management, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Larry Wall, Leonard Kleinrock, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, packet switching, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, price mechanism, profit maximization, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, smart grid, software patent, spectrum auction, Steve Crocker, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Yochai Benkler, zero-sum game

But the two together organize the argument that follows. They are building blocks to an end that will help reveal the Internet's effect on society. IF YOU'VE used the word commons before, you're likely to think of a park, as in the Boston Common. If you've studied economics or political science, your mind will race to tragedy (as in “the tragedy of the commons"). Both senses are related to what I mean, but neither alone is enough.1 The Oxford English Dictionary (mankind's first large-scale collaborative open source text project)2 equates the “commons” to a resource held “in common.” That it defines as “in joint use or possession; to be held or enjoyed equally by a number of persons.”3 In this sense, a resource held “in common” is “free” (as I've defined that term) to those “persons.”

But I must worry as well that others not deplete the resource that I've produced. If a rivalrous resource is open to all, there is a risk that it will be depleted by the consumption of all. This depletion of a rivalrous resource is the dynamic that biologist Garrett Hardin famously termed “the tragedy of the commons.”7 “Picture a pasture open to all,” Hardin writes, and consider the expected behavior of “herdsmen” who roam that pasture. Each herdsman must decide whether to add one more animal to his herd. In making a decision to do so, Hardin writes, the herdsman reaps a benefit, while everyone else suffers.

The Net of these norms and this architecture is a space where creativity can flourish. Yet so blind are we to the possible value of a commons that we don't even notice the commons that the Internet is. And, in turn, this blindness leads us to ignore changes to the norms and architecture of the Net that weaken this commons. There is a tragedy of the commons that we will identify here; it is the tragedy of losing the innovation commons that the Internet is, through the changes that are being rendered on top.11 LAYERS THE IDEA of the commons may be obscure, but the notion of “layers” is more easily recognized. The layers that I mean here are the different layers within a communications system that together make communications possible.


pages: 801 words: 242,104

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

Biosphere 2, clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Donner party, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, Garrett Hardin, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, means of production, new economy, North Sea oil, Piper Alpha, polynesian navigation, profit motive, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transcontinental railway, unemployed young men

Tikopia Island bottom-up management in clans on food production on human impact on environment in isolation of land ownership on Lapita people of population density of population management on rainforest of settlement of sustainable economy of timber industry, see forests Tin Cup Dam, Montana Tiwanaku collapse Tokugawa era, see Japan Tonga top-down environmental management China Dominican Republic Inca Empire Tokugawa-era Japan and tragedy of the commons Totman, Conrad toxic chemicals toxic wastes, in mining industry trade, friendly partners in tragedy of the commons tree ring studies (dendrochronology) trouble spots (map) Trout Unlimited Trujillo, Rafael Tuamotu Archipelago Tuchman, Barbara turf cutting Tutsi people Ulfsson, Gunnbj��rn Unilever Corporation Union Carbide, Bhopal Union Oil, oil spill by United Nations Conference on the Human Environment values: clashes of moral in problem-solving undermining of Van Devender, Tom Van Tilburg, Jo Anne Varangians Vargas, Patricia Venezuela, natural gas from Vikings agriculture of archaeological studies of comparative studies of cultural legacy of deforestation by emergence of expansion waves of iron used by North Atlantic colonies of North Atlantic map as raiders religion of social system of written accounts of Vinland: abandonment of Indian populations of natural resources of Viking colony in warfare cannibalism in false analogy in water: aquifers and dams desalinization of desertification and drought and global warming for irrigation, see irrigation management of osmotic pressure of overallocated plankton in quality of reservoirs river flow stoppages of saline seep of; see also salinization from snowmelt temperatures of uses of in wells wetland destruction water cycle Waterman, Robert Jr.

Any people can fall into the trap of overexploiting environmental resources, because of ubiquitous problems that we shall consider later in this book: that the resources initially seem inexhaustibly abundant; that signs of their incipient depletion become masked by normal fluctuations in resource levels between years or decades; that it’s difficult to get people to agree on exercising restraint in harvesting a shared resource (the so-called tragedy of the commons, to be discussed in later chapters); and that the complexity of ecosystems often makes the consequences of some human-caused perturbation virtually impossible to predict even for a professional ecologist. Environmental problems that are hard to manage today were surely even harder to manage in the past.

For that and other reasons, the real control of Japan’s forests fell increasingly into the hands of people with a vested long-term interest in their forest: either because they thus expected or hoped their children would inherit the rights to its use, or because of various long-term lease or contract arrangements. For instance, much village common land became divided into separate leases for individual households, thereby minimizing the tragedies of the common to be discussed in Chapter 14. Other village forests were managed under timber sale agreements drawn up long in advance of logging. The government negotiated long-term contracts on government forest land, dividing eventual timber proceeds with a village or merchant in return for the latter managing the forests.


Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution by Howard Rheingold

A Pattern Language, augmented reality, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, business climate, citizen journalism, computer vision, conceptual framework, creative destruction, disinformation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, experimental economics, experimental subject, Extropian, Garrett Hardin, Hacker Ethic, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hockey-stick growth, Howard Rheingold, invention of the telephone, inventory management, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Metcalfe's law, Metcalfe’s law, more computing power than Apollo, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer model, pez dispenser, planetary scale, pre–internet, prisoner's dilemma, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Metcalfe, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, slashdot, social intelligence, spectrum auction, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, web of trust, Whole Earth Review, Yochai Benkler, zero-sum game

The temptation to graze more than one’s share is a rational strategy for an individual herder. But if everyone succumbs to the same temptation, the grass ceases to grow, and the value of the pasture disappears.” I recognized this as the situation Garrett Hardin named in a much-debated article titled “The Tragedy of the Commons,” in which Hardin concluded: “Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit—in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons.

Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.”6 Hardin’s article provoked a debate that continues to this day: In the face of temptation to behave selfishly, how do people manage to cooperate? Is it necessary to curtail their freedom through some kind of regulatory authority? The debate surrounding Hardin’s tragedy of the commons is a contemporary reprise of an older philosophical conflict. In 1660, Thomas Hobbes argued that humans are so competitive that the only way we can cooperate is for a more powerful competitor to impose a truce. Hobbes called this coercive authority Leviathan; subsequently, this logic supported arguments for a strong sovereign.7 In conflicts over the provision or consumption of common resources, arguments continue to focus on the polarized viewpoints of centralized governmental regulation and decentralized, market-based self-regulation.

Huber-man report that Gnutella has a significant amount of free riding in its system: Nearly 70 percent of Gnutella users share no files, and nearly 50 percent of the system’s resources are contributed by the top 1 percent of users. The architecture of the system allows for anonymity and decentralized control, but it does not structurally encourage cooperation, rendering it vulnerable to the “tragedy of the commons.”30 The question that remains: Does p2p technology enable people to build public goods that can withstand large amounts of free riding, or will free riding end up destroying the p2p cornucopia? Jim McCoy, founder and CEO of Mojo Nation, set out to create a filesharing system that added three important new features: First, cooperation is structurally encouraged by requiring users to contribute at least as much as they take away; second, not only are queries anonymous, but nobody knows where specific files are stored; third, the “swarm distribution” model breaks up files into large numbers of small segments, distributed throughout the network.


pages: 261 words: 74,471

Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World's Most Successful Companies by Charles de Ganahl Koch

Albert Einstein, big-box store, British Empire, business process, commoditize, creative destruction, disruptive innovation, Garrett Hardin, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income per capita, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, oil shale / tar sands, personalized medicine, principal–agent problem, Ralph Waldo Emerson, risk tolerance, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transfer pricing

The point is that when no one owns or sufficiently benefits by conserving a resource, no one takes responsibility for it, and the resource tends to be used inefficiently, overused, or even extinguished. Many of the things that go wrong or opportunities that go unrealized in business are a result of the tragedy of the commons—shared areas with unclear (or nonexistent) demarcation of responsibilities. At Koch, we use decision rights to replicate the benefits and responsibilities of property rights in society. Just as we think of employees as entrepreneurs at Koch, we think of decision rights as property rights in the organization. A gut-wrenching real-life example of the tragedy of the commons was the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by a blowout and explosion in the Macando well that was drilled for British Petroleum by a rig owned and operated by Transocean.

While this is generally true, it is more accurate to say that the person with the comparative advantage should make the decision, which is the subject of the next chapter. CHAPTER 9 Decision Rights PROPERTY RIGHTS INSIDE THE ORGANIZATION Men pay most attention to what is their own; they care less for what is common….[They] are more prone to neglect their duty when they think that another is attending to it. —ARISTOTLE1 THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS When I was a grad student in Cambridge I rented an apartment on Trowbridge Street with two roommates. This apartment didn’t have a single right angle in it, and it was in a tough neighborhood. I once had to flee an attempted mugging while walking home alone at night. Renters in the building were supposed to carry their trash down to the garbage cans in the alley via the fire escape on the side of the building.

Even if an upstanding renter (ahem) wanted to dispose of his garbage properly, there was no way to walk through that alley, because of the trash pileup. None of us owned this alley or had the power to stop others from trashing it. So none of us took care of it. This is an example of what is called the “tragedy of the commons.” Ecologist Garrett Hardin coined that phrase to describe what happens when herdsmen graze animals on shared grazing land, referred to as the commons.2 A rational herdsman will add as many animals as he can graze, because he receives all the proceeds when the additional animals are fed, and later sold, but he bears almost none of the cost of grazing—until the commons is depleted.


pages: 348 words: 97,277

The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything by Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, altcoin, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Blythe Masters, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, cashless society, cloud computing, computer age, computerized trading, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cyber-physical system, dematerialisation, disinformation, disintermediation, distributed ledger, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, failed state, fault tolerance, fiat currency, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Garrett Hardin, global supply chain, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, informal economy, intangible asset, Internet of things, Joi Ito, Kickstarter, linked data, litecoin, longitudinal study, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, market clearing, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Network effects, off grid, pets.com, prediction markets, pre–internet, price mechanism, profit maximization, profit motive, ransomware, rent-seeking, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ross Ulbricht, Satoshi Nakamoto, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, smart meter, Snapchat, social web, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, Ted Nelson, the market place, too big to fail, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, universal basic income, web of trust, zero-sum game

Just as Bitcoin’s protocol steers users and participants into certain actions that serve the community’s interest—in its case, creating a secure, reliable ledger that all can trust—the programs that run tokens incorporate incentives and constraints that encourage certain pro-social behavior. A new concept—token economics—is emerging. It encapsulates the idea that we can embed into these “programmable” forms of money a way to steer communities toward desired common outcomes. Tokens might help us solve the Tragedy of the Commons. In other words, they could be a big deal. The Tragedy of the Commons concept stems from a 1968 essay by the ecologist Garrett Hardin. Hardin tells the story of nineteenth-century farmers over-grazing the public land they shared because none of them could trust their counterparts not to let their livestock eat more than their fair share.

Perhaps inevitably, consumers are turning to ad-blocking software: “Basic Asset Token (BAT): Blockchain Based Digital Advertising,” May 29, 2017, p. 9, https://basicattentiontoken.org/BasicAttentionTokenWhitePaper-4.pdf. The idea is to create price signals: ibid. The Tragedy of the Commons concept stems from a 1968 essay: Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science, December 13, 1968, 162 (3859): pp. 1243–1248. The Economist described as a twenty-first-century resource: “The World’s Most Valuable Resource Is No Longer Oil, But Data,” The Economist, May 6, 2017, https://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21721656-data-economy-demands-new-approach-antitrust-rules-worlds-most-valuable-resource.

So, whereas those entities always struggled to compete for engineering talent with for-profit creators of the Internet’s commercial applications, platforms like Ethereum can now attract the best of the best. They can quickly tap into a “hive mind” of creative power across a global network of open-source coder communities. This speaks to our broader notion that tokens, by incentivizing the preservation of public goods, might help humanity solve the Tragedy of the Commons, a centuries-in-the-making shift in economic reality. Though it is still tiny in comparison to traditional capital markets and will no doubt look quite different if and when the bubble bursts, this ecosystem of tokens and open platforms is starting to look like the map of a new, decentralized economic future.


pages: 348 words: 102,438

Green and Prosperous Land: A Blueprint for Rescuing the British Countryside by Dieter Helm

3D printing, Airbnb, barriers to entry, British Empire, clean water, conceptual framework, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, digital map, facts on the ground, food miles, Haber-Bosch Process, illegal immigration, Internet of things, Kickstarter, land reform, mass immigration, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, precision agriculture, quantitative easing, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, Tragedy of the Commons, urban planning, urban sprawl

While this might be true, the loss of the machair habitat and its ecosystem does matter, and preserving the great yellow bumblebee would require preserving the machair. Goulson, D., Bee Quest, London: Vintage, 2017. 2 The ‘tragedy of the commons’ arises because, for a commonly owned natural asset, each commoner (a grazier on land or a fisher at sea) will always have an incentive to add more cattle or take more fish, even though if they all do this the result will be to destroy the asset. This theory was originally set out in Hardin, G., ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science, 162, 1968, pp. 1243–8. 3 Peat loss in the Fens has been estimated at between 1.5 and 2.1 cm per year. Holman, I. P., ‘An Estimate of Peat Reserves and Loss in the East Anglian Fens’, Cranfield University, October 2009, commissioned by the RSPB. 4 National Infrastructure Commission, ‘National Infrastructure Assessment’, July 2018.

Stopping the damage by reducing grazing intensity would increase the economic value of the uplands, and if the subsidies went towards public goods instead, the economic prosperity of the hill farmers would improve. They are trapped in a system that keeps many of them both poor and marginal. Stopping overfishing, particularly of shellfish, around our coasts improves the value of the fisheries, and helps to solve the classic free-rider problem that the ‘tragedy of the commons’ reflects.2 It will increase fish stocks generally inside and outside the protected areas. Unregulated fishing is a disaster for the industry and the public and, as with the upland farmers, inshore-water fishers do not come off well. They are at the economic margins. The economic prosperity of coastal communities is much more about services, tourism and amenities, and these in turn improve the health of the population.

Add on recent information technologies and now the fish literally have no place to hide. Where once a skilled fisherman read the signs of the sea, such as the seabirds, and knew the nature of the seabed and the fishing grounds, now a sonar can detect the fish and they can be caught with surgical precision. Since the seas are a form of ‘commons’ they are vulnerable to the tragedy of the commons – and they have been.15 In a free-for-all there is always the incentive to catch the marginal fish, even if it pushes the stocks below the renewables thresholds, because everyone else has the same incentives. Nobody pays for the damage that repeated scouring of the seabed causes. The polluters, those who trash the sea floor, do not pay to restore it.


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, impact investing, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The future is already here, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, Tragedy of the Commons, uber lyft, universal basic income, WeWork, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

Company to company. Team to team. And before you jump to the conclusion that relative performance might apply person to person, I’ll save you the stress. The Beyond Budgeting folks believe that individual performance doesn’t really exist. Performance is a team sport. The “Tragedy” of the Commons. You may have heard about the tragedy of the commons, the idea that when we share a public resource, we ruin it by acting in our own self-interest. Your office refrigerator is a classic example. Why won’t anyone throw away their expired and rotting food! Who is stealing yogurts that don’t belong to them? And so on.

$1.2 billion a year: Hope and Fraser, “Who Needs Budgets?” “Budgets also sub-optimize performance”: Steve Morlidge, The Little Book of Beyond Budgeting (Leicestershire, UK: Matador, 2017), 19. “The strength of polycentric governance”: John Tierney, “The Non-Tragedy of the Commons,” TierneyLab (blog), The New York Times, October 15, 2009, https://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/15/the-non-tragedy-of-the-commons. budgets that persist year after year: David Kesmodel, “Meet the Father of Zero-Based Budgeting,” The Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2015, www.wsj.com/articles/meet-the-father-of-zero-based-budgeting-1427415074. whole new level of engagement: Cobudget, accessed September 1, 2018, https://cobudget.co/#; Participatory Budget Project, accessed September 1, 2018, www.participatorybudgeting.org; “Enspiral Handbook,” Enspiral, accessed September 1, 2018, https://handbook.enspiral.com.

By now this should sound familiar (albeit a bit technical). When teams have the right (and the inclination) to experiment with their own rules and norms, they can find ways to collaboratively leverage and preserve resources. If “our money” really were our money, who knows how well we could deploy it in service of our collective purpose? The tragedy of the commons is that we think we can’t share. Resources in Action Zero-Based Zephyr. Zero-based budgeting originated in the 1970s as a way of challenging the inertia of bloated budgets that persist year after year. The idea was to build your budget up from zero, questioning everything as you go.


pages: 313 words: 84,312

We-Think: Mass Innovation, Not Mass Production by Charles Leadbeater

1960s counterculture, Andrew Keen, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, c2.com, call centre, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, death of newspapers, Debian, digital Maoism, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, game design, Garrett Hardin, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, Herbert Marcuse, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Joi Ito, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lateral thinking, lone genius, M-Pesa, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microcredit, Mitch Kapor, new economy, Nicholas Carr, online collectivism, planetary scale, post scarcity, Richard Stallman, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social web, software patent, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Tragedy of the Commons, Whole Earth Catalog, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

Something that is everyone’s property fast becomes no one’s property and so gets abused. As soon as that possibility rears its head, everyone using the commons sees no reason to restrain their use. It is argued that the only ways to avoid this ‘tragedy of the commons’23 are to fence the commons into pieces of private property that people look after or to place the whole thing into state ownership. This ‘tragedy of the commons’ argument is currently being used by media, music and film companies to fence round the cultural commons of the web. Open access is perceived as leading to abuses, such as rampant file-sharing and the stealing of software.

Urban consumers got cheaper food as agricultural productivity increased. The peasants who used to graze their cattle on the common land lost out, but their descendants became farm-hands or factory workers.20 The example of the English countryside in the 15th century is now being applied to the 21st-century digital economy. The ‘tragedy of the commons’ argument is sanctioning the spread of private property into our shared intellectual and cultural life. A framework of legal fences, traps and gateways is being proposed in the US and Europe, backed by big companies. Patents are being stretched to apply to ideas, concepts, methods, collections of facts and other aspects of intellectual and cultural life that have hitherto been beyond the reach of private property.

Available from http:// www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12015774/site/newsweek 16 Fred Turner, From Counterculture to Cyberculture (Chicago, IL/London: University of Chicago Press, 2006) 17 Patrice Flichy, The Internet Imaginaire (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007) 18 Charles Leadbeater, ‘The DIY State’, Prospect 130, January 2007 19 Fred Turner, op. cit. 20 John Markoff, What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry (Penguin, 2006) 21 Patrice Flichy, The Internet Imaginaire (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007) 22 Jonathan Lethem, ‘The Ecstasy of Influence’, Harper’s Magazine, February 2007 23 Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science 162 (1968), pp. 1243–48 24 Elenor Ostrom, Governing the Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1990) 25 Lawrence Lessig, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (New York, NY: Basic Books, 1999) and Free Culture (New York, NY: Penguin Press, 2004) 26 Melvyn Bragg, The Routes of English (BBC Factual and Learning, 2000); Melvyn Bragg, The Adventure of English (Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 2003) 27 Jonathan Lethem, ‘The Ecstasy of Influence’, Harper’s Magazine, February 2007 28 Cory Doctorow et al., ‘On “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism” By Jaron Lanier’, Edge (2006). http://www.edge.org/discourse/digital_ maoism.html 29 Paul A.


pages: 653 words: 155,847

Energy: A Human History by Richard Rhodes

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, California gold rush, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Copley Medal, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, demographic transition, Dmitri Mendeleev, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, energy transition, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, flex fuel, Garrett Hardin, Ida Tarbell, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, nuclear winter, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Simon Kuznets, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tragedy of the Commons, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Vanguard fund, working poor, young professional

This common-law principle, called the rule of capture, establishes a condition that the biologist Garrett Hardin, in a historic 1968 paper in the journal Science, called “The Tragedy of the Commons.”33 The tragedy of the commons—of any resource held in common by a community—is that each user is motivated to use as much of the resource as possible without regard for its depletion or despoiling. With petroleum, the tragedy of the commons meant that each well owner was motivated to pump as much oil as possible as quickly as possible, before other wells drained away the common supply. “Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush,” Hardin warned, “each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons.

She grew up in Venango County, attended high school in Titusville, and saw the negligence that the law of capture encouraged. “If oil was found,” she wrote in her autobiography, “if the well flowed, every tree, every shrub, every bit of grass in the vicinity was coated with black grease and left to die. Tar and oil stained everything.”35 The tragedy of the commons that Tarbell witnessed was local, but the pollution attending the production of petroleum extended far beyond the oil fields themselves. By 1870, investment in the US oil industry had reached $200 million, the equivalent of almost $4 billion today. Annual production in Pennsylvania alone totaled more than 4.8 million barrels.

They ran off the volatile lighter distillates—gasoline in particular—into pits or onto open ground to evaporate. Or they flushed them into creeks and rivers to join the industrial and slaughterhouse waste and raw sewage fouling American waterways. Rivers ran opalescent with them; creeks burst into flame. It remained for the next century to confront the tragedy of the commons on a national and then an international scale. But first technology would confront the challenge of transmitting power at a distance, and a competition would emerge between competing forms of electricity. * * * I. “Crank”: a nautical term for top-heavy. II. Knots—nautical miles—are sea measures of time and distance combined; 1 knot equals 1.15 miles per hour.


pages: 565 words: 151,129

The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism by Jeremy Rifkin

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, active measures, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, bioinformatics, bitcoin, business process, Chris Urmson, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, crowdsourcing, demographic transition, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Garrett Hardin, global supply chain, global village, Hacker Conference 1984, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, mass immigration, means of production, meta-analysis, natural language processing, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, phenotype, planetary scale, price discrimination, profit motive, QR code, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Stallman, risk/return, Ronald Coase, search inside the book, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social web, software as a service, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, WikiLeaks, working poor, Yochai Benkler, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Unfortunately, in modern times, its reputation has been tarnished, first by Enlightenment philosophers and, more recently, by conventional economists committed to replacing it with a ubiquitous private property regime and market exchange model. Likely the most well-known contemporary depiction of the Commons—albeit a thoroughly negative one—is Garrett Hardin’s essay entitled “The Tragedy of the Commons,” which appeared in the journal Science in 1968. A professor of ecology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Hardin posed the hypothetical situation of a pasture “open to all.” Each herder benefits from grazing as many cows on the pasture as he can. Yet he suffers the negative consequences of a deterioration of the pasture if every other herder attempts to optimize his benefits by similarly grazing as many cows as they can on the same open pasture.

Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit—in a world that is limited. Ruin is the destination toward which all men rush, each pursuing his own best interest in a society that believes in the freedom of the commons. Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.1 Even if the open pasture was being taken care of by some of the herders, the tragedy of the Commons could not be prevented because of the “free riders dilemma.” That is, if the pasture were open to everyone, then free riders would take advantage of the good will of others, who were attempting to steward the resources, by grazing more of their herd without contributing to the general effort of taking care of the pasture.

However, it omitted the most salient factors of the Commons model that allowed it to persevere over eons of history—that is, the self-regulating, self-enforcing protocols and accompanying punishments agreed to by its members as a condition of participation. Without those protocols and punishments, the tragedy of the Commons is likely, if not inevitable. In other words, Hardin left out governance. What I find so strange is that Hardin chose to cast the Commons as the villain responsible for the unleashing of wanton greed and destruction in the modern era. In fact, it was the excesses of a market-driven capitalist system motivated by the dogged pursuit of profit and abetted by the heavy hand of government-directed colonial and neocolonial policies that led to the pillage of resources and the wholesale exploitation of humanity in the developing world over the course of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries.


pages: 351 words: 93,982

Leading From the Emerging Future: From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies by Otto Scharmer, Katrin Kaufer

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collapse of Lehman Brothers, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Fractional reserve banking, Garrett Hardin, global supply chain, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, market bubble, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, peak oil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, Washington Consensus, working poor, Zipcar

Instead, what we often observe in current reality is a disconnect between reality and awareness; that is, between an eco-system-centric global economy and an ego-system-centric awareness of institutional decision-makers. The result is a war of the parts against the whole. We see the impact of this disconnect, for example, in the dramatic overuse of scarce resources, which is often spoken of as “the tragedy of the commons.”12 Bridging the gap between eco-system reality and ego-system awareness is the main challenge of leadership today. Decision-makers across the institutions of a system have to go on a joint journey from seeing only their own viewpoint (ego-awareness) to experiencing the system from the perspective of the other players, particularly those who are most marginalized.

As a consequence, we are increasingly hitting the limits to consumerism, a problem that calls for reconnecting the economic process with the deep sources of happiness and well-being. 7. The governance disconnect. As a global community, we are unable to address the most pressing problems of our time because our coordination mechanisms are decoupled from the crisis of common goods. Markets are good for private goods, but are unable to fix the current tragedy of the commons. As a consequence, we are increasingly hitting the limits to competition. We need to redraw the boundary between cooperation and competition by introducing, for example, premarket areas of collaboration that enable innovation at the scale of the whole system. 8. The ownership disconnect.

The societal response to these negative externalities resulted in a set of institutional innovations that reflected the interests of other stakeholders (examples include social security, public education, environmental legislation, building codes, and public-private partnerships). Yet none of these Economy 3.0 innovations could prevent what we are facing today: the three major divides that have emerged directly from the tragedy of the commons, which could also be called the tragedy of common pool resources.67 These common pool resources include ecological commons such as water, topsoil, clean air, energy, and seed; social commons such as trust, software, and social networks; and cultural commons such as knowledge, wisdom, and learning infrastructures.


pages: 447 words: 111,991

Exponential: How Accelerating Technology Is Leaving Us Behind and What to Do About It by Azeem Azhar

23andMe, 3D printing, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Diane Coyle, digital map, disinformation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, drone strike, Elon Musk, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Garrett Hardin, gender pay gap, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, hiring and firing, hockey-stick growth, ImageNet competition, income inequality, independent contractor, industrial robot, intangible asset, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Just-in-time delivery, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, Law of Accelerating Returns, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, price anchoring, RAND corporation, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, remote working, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software as a service, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, subscription business, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing machine, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, winner-take-all economy, Yom Kippur War

i=1000510469428> [accessed 5 April 2021]. 39 will.i.am, ‘We Need to Own Our Data as a Human Right—and Be Compensated for It’, The Economist, 21 January 2019 <https://www.economist.com/open-future/2019/01/21/we-need-to-own-our-data-as-a-human-right-and-be-compensated-for-it> [accessed 18 October 2020]. 40 Martin Tisné, ‘It’s Time for a Bill of Data Rights’, MIT Technology Review, 14 December 2018 <https://www.technologyreview.com/2018/12/14/138615/its-time-for-a-bill-of-data-rights/> [accessed 8 October 2020]. 41 Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science, 162(3859), 1968, pp. 1243–1248 <https://doi.org/10.1126/science.162.3859.1243>. 42 For a good discussion of Hardin and Ostrom’s relative contributions to this debate, see Brett Frischmann, Alain Marciano and Giovanni Battista Ramello, ‘Retrospectives: Tragedy of the Commons after 50 Years’, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 33(4), 2019, pp. 211–228 <https://doi.org/10.1257/jep.33.4.211>. 43 Carol Rose, ‘The Comedy of the Commons: Custom, Commerce, and Inherently Public Property’, The University of Chicago Law Review, 53(3), 1986.

Even on the left, though, the basic logic of the market/state binary is accepted – progressives just have a more optimistic view of government. The trouble is, this dichotomy is flawed. It conceals other, often more productive, ways of organising our lives. One contemporary of Friedman’s, Garrett Hardin, became famous for a 1968 essay called ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, which mournfully argues that any resource that is freely available will be overused.41 The commons are the things that are shared communally – the fish in international waters, or a forest that is shared between a community. And, according to Hardin, they are ripe for over-exploitation.

The best example of such a peer-based commons is Wikipedia: it is visited by more than a billion of us every month, and edited through the collective goodwill of more than 120,000 volunteers. Wikipedia thrives on each participant’s commitment to a particular approach to information, a shared sense of mission, and trust that conflicts will be resolved through community-led arbitration. These examples, far from being a tragedy of the commons, bring enormous social benefits. We can think of them, in the words of legal scholar Carol Rose, as a ‘comedy of the commons’.43 In many cases, commons-based projects have proven to be more successful than commercial ones. And as more domains of the world fall to exponential technologies, the potential of moving industrial activities to the commons increases.


pages: 898 words: 266,274

The Irrational Bundle by Dan Ariely

accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, assortative mating, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, business process, cashless society, Cass Sunstein, clean water, cognitive dissonance, compensation consultant, computer vision, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, end world poverty, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, first-price auction, Frederick Winslow Taylor, fudge factor, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, Jean Tirole, job satisfaction, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, lake wobegon effect, late fees, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, Peter Singer: altruism, placebo effect, price anchoring, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Schrödinger's Cat, second-price auction, Shai Danziger, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, Steve Jobs, sunk-cost fallacy, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tragedy of the Commons, ultimatum game, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, young professional

To us, this looked like evidence of deep mistrust. The Tragedy of the Commons Trust, like money, is a crucial lubricant for the economy. When people trust other people, a merchant, or a company, they are more likely to buy, lend, and extend credit. In the old days, business was conducted on a gentleman’s handshake. But when the handshake results in a swindle, trust disappears and all subsequent transactions—whether between cheaters or the genuinely good-hearted—become more difficult. A good analogy for social distrust can be found in the “tragedy of the commons.” This phrase can be traced back to Oxford professor William Forster Lloyd, who described the phenomenon in his 1833 book on population.

As the grass dwindled, all the livestock on the commons became malnourished and underproductive—a result that hurt everyone, including the greedy farmers. Today, psychologists, economists and environmentalists use the phrase “the tragedy of the commons” to describe the same basic principle: when we use a common resource at a rate that is slower than the rate at which it replenishes, all is well. However, if a few individuals get greedy and use more than their share, the system of consumption becomes unsustainable, and in the long term, everybody loses. In essence, the tragedy of the commons is about two competing human interests. On one hand, an individual should care about the sustainability of shared resources in the long term because everyone, including the individual, benefits from it.

But because human beings tend to focus on short-term benefits and our own immediate needs, such tragedies of the commons occur frequently. Take the wild salmon population, for example. While it is ideal for fishermen in general to limit their own catches so that the salmon population can be sustained, it’s more profitable for an individual fisherman to overfish in a given year. But if too many fishermen even slightly surpass the sustainable limit, the overall fish population becomes depleted. (For this reason, salmon fishermen are now constrained by law to a limited number every year). The current energy crisis is another example of the tragedy of the commons. Although there is a finite amount of fossil fuel in the world, some countries, industries, businesses, and individuals use far more than others while making little effort to minimize their impact on the common pool.


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, Donald Knuth, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, Sam Altman, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

A high price of anarchy, on the other hand, means that things have the potential to turn out fine if they’re carefully coordinated—but that without some form of intervention, we are courting disaster. The prisoner’s dilemma is clearly of this latter type. Unfortunately, so are many of the most critical games the world must play. The Tragedy of the Commons In 1968, the ecologist Garrett Hardin took the two-player prisoner’s dilemma and imagined scaling it up to involve all the members of a farming village. Hardin invited his readers to picture a “commons” of public lawn—available to be grazed by everyone’s livestock, but with finite capacity.

In practice, though, the benefits of grazing a little bit more than that accrue directly to you, while the harms seem too small to be of consequence. Yet if everyone follows this logic of using just slightly more of the commons than they should, a dreadful equilibrium results: a completely devastated lawn, and no grass for anyone’s livestock thereafter. Hardin called this the “tragedy of the commons,” and it has become one of the primary lenses through which economists, political scientists, and the environmental movement view large-scale ecological crises like pollution and climate change. “When I was a kid, there was this thing called leaded gasoline,” says Avrim Blum, Carnegie Mellon computer scientist and game theorist.

Everyone looks to the others for a baseline, and will take just slightly less than that. The Nash equilibrium of this game is zero. As the CEO of software company Travis CI, Mathias Meyer, writes, “People will hesitate to take a vacation as they don’t want to seem like that person who’s taking the most vacation days. It’s a race to the bottom.” This is the tragedy of the commons in full effect. And it’s just as bad between firms as within them. Imagine two shopkeepers in a small town. Each of them can choose either to stay open seven days a week or to be open only six days a week, taking Sunday off to relax with their friends and family. If both of them take a day off, they’ll retain their existing market share and experience less stress.


pages: 411 words: 80,925

What's Mine Is Yours: How Collaborative Consumption Is Changing the Way We Live by Rachel Botsman, Roo Rogers

Airbnb, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, bike sharing scheme, Buckminster Fuller, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, commoditize, Community Supported Agriculture, credit crunch, crowdsourcing, dematerialisation, disintermediation, en.wikipedia.org, experimental economics, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, global village, hedonic treadmill, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, information retrieval, iterative process, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, market design, Menlo Park, Network effects, new economy, new new economy, out of africa, Parkinson's law, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer rental, Ponzi scheme, pre–internet, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, Simon Kuznets, Skype, slashdot, smart grid, South of Market, San Francisco, Stewart Brand, The Nature of the Firm, The Spirit Level, the strength of weak ties, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thorstein Veblen, Torches of Freedom, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, traveling salesman, ultimatum game, Victor Gruen, web of trust, women in the workforce, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

Brown: Landshare Explained,” Guardian (June 2009), www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/gardeningblog/2009/jun/05/landshare-hugh-fearnley-whittingstall. 17. “Commons Sense,” Economist (July 31, 2008), www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/d.quercia/others/commons.pdf. 18. “The Tragedy of the Commons” is an influential article written by Garrett Hardin. First published in Science 162, no. 3859 (December 13, 1968): 1243–1248. 19. The idea of traffic congestion and “The Tragedy of the Commons” is documented in Garrett Hardin, Living Within Means (Oxford University Press, 1993). It is also well described in a blog post on Seed, www.seed.slb.com/subcontent.aspx?id=4110. 20. David Bollier, “Elinor Ostrom and the Digital Commons,” Forbes (October 13, 2009), www.forbes.com/2009/10/13/open-source-net-neutrality-elinor-ostrom-nobel-opinions-contributors-david-bollier.html. 21.

The concept of private property and enclosures accelerated across Europe and America throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Privatization was justified by the rationale that shared resources were subject to overuse and misuse by individuals, who will always act in their own short-term self-interests, a scenario popularized by microbiologist Garrett Hardin centuries later in a 1968 Science article, “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Hardin drew on the parable of a field used for grazing cattle. “Picture a pasture open to all,” he wrote. “A herdsman grazing his animals on the land will have an incentive to “add another animal to his herd. And another; and another. . . . But this is the conclusion reached by each and every rational herdsman sharing a commons.

All the people seeking to minimize their own driving time add up to a longer commute for everyone.19 Doing what’s rational results in a negative outcome to the collective interest of all drivers, including you. On a global scale, Hardin’s logic can explain environmental issues such as overfished seas and rivers, air pollution, and water scarcity. Since its publication, “The Tragedy of the Commons” has become one of the most reprinted articles to appear in a scientific journal and is widely cited in hundreds of books. Indeed, individuals competing for resources are at the heart of one of the most discussed and debated questions of economic theory and free markets: How can we balance the interest of individuals and the interest of the group?


pages: 753 words: 233,306

Collapse by Jared Diamond

Biosphere 2, clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, Donner party, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, Garrett Hardin, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, means of production, new economy, North Sea oil, Piper Alpha, polynesian navigation, prisoner's dilemma, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Stewart Brand, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transcontinental railway, unemployed young men

Any people can fall into the trap of overexploiting environmental resources, because of ubiquitous problems that we shall consider later in this book: that the resources initially seem inexhaustibly abundant; that signs of their incipient depletion become masked by normal fluctuations in resource levels between years or decades; that it's difficult to get people to agree on exercising restraint in harvesting a shared resource (the so-called tragedy of the commons, to be discussed in later chapters); and that the complexity of ecosystems often makes the consequences of some human-caused perturbation virtually impossible to predict even for a professional ecologist. Environmental problems that are hard to manage today were surely even harder to manage in the past.

For that and other reasons, the real control of Japan's forests fell increasingly into the hands of people with a vested long-term interest in their forest: either because they thus expected or hoped their children would inherit the rights to its use, or because of various long-term lease or contract arrangements. For instance, much village common land became divided into separate leases for individual households, thereby minimizing the tragedies of the common to be discussed in Chapter 14. Other village forests were managed under timber sale agreements drawn up long in advance of logging. The government negotiated long-term contracts on government forest land, dividing eventual timber proceeds with a village or merchant in return for the latter managing the forests.

Innumerable other examples of such behavior in the business world could be cited, but it is not as universal as some cynics suspect. In the next chapter we shall examine how that range of outcomes results from the imperative for businesses to make money to the extent that government regulations, laws, and public attitudes permit. One particular form of clashes of interest has become well known under the name "tragedy of the commons," in turn closely related to the conflicts termed "the prisoner's dilemma" and "the logic of collective action." Consider a situation in which many consumers are harvesting a communally owned resource, such as fishermen catching fish in an area of ocean, or herders grazing their sheep on a communal pasture.


pages: 740 words: 217,139

The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution by Francis Fukuyama

Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, currency manipulation / currency intervention, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, double entry bookkeeping, endogenous growth, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, Garrett Hardin, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, invention of agriculture, invention of the printing press, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, means of production, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Scramble for Africa, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), spice trade, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, zero-sum game

A good deal of theorizing about the importance of private property rights concerns what is called the tragedy of the commons. Grazing fields in traditional English villages were collectively owned by the village’s inhabitants; since no one could be excluded from access to these fields, whose resources were depletable, they were overused and made worthless. The solution to the risk of depletion was to turn the commons into private property, whose owners would then have a strong incentive to invest in its upkeep and exploit its resources on a long-term, sustainable basis. In an influential article, Garrett Hardin argued that the tragedy of the commons exists with respect to many global resources, such as clean air, fisheries, and the like, and that in the absence of private ownership or strong regulation they would be overexploited and made useless.3 In many contemporary ahistorical discussions of property rights, one often gets the impression that in the absence of modern individual property rights, human beings always faced some version of the tragedy of the commons in which communal ownership undermined incentives to use property efficiently.4 The emergence of modern property rights was then postulated to be a matter of economic rationality, in which individuals bargained among themselves to divide up the communal property, much like Hobbes’s account of the emergence of the Leviathan out of the state of nature.

In an influential article, Garrett Hardin argued that the tragedy of the commons exists with respect to many global resources, such as clean air, fisheries, and the like, and that in the absence of private ownership or strong regulation they would be overexploited and made useless.3 In many contemporary ahistorical discussions of property rights, one often gets the impression that in the absence of modern individual property rights, human beings always faced some version of the tragedy of the commons in which communal ownership undermined incentives to use property efficiently.4 The emergence of modern property rights was then postulated to be a matter of economic rationality, in which individuals bargained among themselves to divide up the communal property, much like Hobbes’s account of the emergence of the Leviathan out of the state of nature.

The first is that many alternative forms of customary property existed before the emergence of modern property rights. While these forms of land tenure may not have provided the same incentives for their efficient use as do their modern counterparts, very few of them led to anything like the tragedy of the commons. The second problem is that there aren’t very many examples of modern property rights emerging spontaneously and peacefully out of a bargaining process. The way customary property rights yielded to modern ones was much more violent, and power and deceit played a large role.5 KINSHIP AND PRIVATE PROPERTY The earliest forms of private property were held not by individuals but by lineages or other kin groups, and much of their motivation was not simply economic but religious and social as well.


pages: 403 words: 111,119

Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Asian financial crisis, bank run, basic income, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blockchain, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, Garrett Hardin, global supply chain, global village, Henri Poincaré, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, loss aversion, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, megacity, mobile money, Money creation, Mont Pelerin Society, Myron Scholes, neoliberal agenda, Network effects, Occupy movement, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Paul Samuelson, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, price mechanism, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, salary depends on his not understanding it, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, smart meter, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, Tragedy of the Commons, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, wikimedia commons

Mainstream economics depicts the whole economy with just one, extremely limited image, the Circular Flow diagram. Its limitations have, furthermore, been used to reinforce a neoliberal narrative about the efficiency of the market, the incompetence of the state, the domesticity of the household, and the tragedy of the commons. It is time to draw the economy anew, embedding it within society and within nature, and powered by the sun. This new depiction invites new narratives – about the power of the market, the partnership of the state, the core role of the household, and the creativity of the commons. Third, nurture human nature.

The household supplies labour and capital to the market, but there’s no need to lift the roof and ask what goes on within its four walls: wives and daughters kindly take care of domestic affairs and they belong in the home, as does this matter. THE COMMONS, which are tragic – so sell them off. In the 1960s, Garrett Hardin described ‘the tragedy of the commons’ in which shared resources – such as grazing land and fish stocks – tend to be over-exploited by individual users and so are depleted for all.12 Managing such resources sustainably therefore calls for government regulation or, better still, private ownership. SOCIETY, which is non-existent – so ignore it.

Ricardo, D. (1817) On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, in Piero Sraffa (ed.), Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. I, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951, p. 135. 11. Friedman, M. (1962) Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 12. Hardin, G. (1968) ‘The tragedy of the commons’, Science 162: 3859. 13. Interview with Margaret Thatcher by Douglas Keay, Woman’s Own, 23 September 1987, http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/106689 14. Simon, J. and Kahn, H. (1984) The Resourceful Earth: a response to Global 2000. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. 15. Friedman, M. (1978) ‘The Role of Government in a Free Society’.


pages: 170 words: 42,196

Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

collective bargaining, Garrett Hardin, iterative process, pets.com, Silicon Valley, Tragedy of the Commons, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

The section that’s being promoted gets a huge gain in traffic, while the overall loss in effectiveness of the Home page as it gets more cluttered is shared by all sections. It’s a perfect example of the tragedy of the commons.9 The premise is simple: Any shared resource (a “commons”) will inevitably be destroyed by overuse. 9 The concept, originated by nineteenth-century amateur mathematician William Forster Lloyd, was popularized in a classic essay on overpopulation by biologist Garrett Hardin (“The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science, December 1968). Take a town pasture, for example. For each animal a herdsman adds to the common pasture, he receives all proceeds from the sale of the animal—a positive benefit of +1.

See subsections Section 508, 169 section fronts, 46 Sections, 65 Site ID, 63 sizzle, 184 slow-loading pages, 59 Spool, Jared, 7 Stanwick, Victor, 189 street signs, 72 subsections, 65 Synectics, 188 T tabs, 79 color coding, 83 importance of drawing correctly, 82 tagline, 101, 103–106 Talking Heads, 51 teleportation, 58, 63 Theofanos, Mary, 175 tragedy of the commons, 112 trunk test, 85 U Underhill, Paco, 187 URLs, typed in search box, 27 usability, defined, 5 usability lab, 142 usability testing, 3, 135 number of users to test, 138 recruiting participants, 139, 141 reviewing results, 156 sample session, 146 value of starting early, 134 what to test, 144 Utilities, 65 V–Z validator, accessibility, 173 visual hierarchy, 31 parsing, 33 visual noise, 38 Welcome blurb, 101 White, E.


pages: 463 words: 105,197

Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society by Eric Posner, E. Weyl

3D printing, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, anti-communist, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Branko Milanovic, business process, buy and hold, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, commoditize, Corn Laws, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, feminist movement, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, global supply chain, guest worker program, hydraulic fracturing, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, index fund, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, Lyft, market bubble, market design, market friction, market fundamentalism, mass immigration, negative equity, Network effects, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, Pareto efficiency, passive investing, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Plutocrats, plutocrats, pre–internet, random walk, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Rory Sutherland, Second Machine Age, second-price auction, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, special economic zone, spectrum auction, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, telepresence, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, Zipcar

At the time, investment inefficiency for land was not considered a problem, because people thought that land did not need maintenance and the only value that could be added to land was through above-ground structures like houses. But these assumptions ignored environmental damage. As ecologist Garrett Hardin observed many years later, land without a single owner often becomes overgrazed, eroded, and polluted in what he labeled the “tragedy of the commons.”19 George’s scheme ran into even greater problems with natural resources that can be depleted, like metal from mines or oil from wells. If all the value of land is taxed away, the possessor of such a resource will remove the oil or ore as quickly as possible, leading to waste. FIGURE 1.1: Billboard promoting Henry George’s ideas.

Walras, Studies in Social Economics, 234. 15. George, Progress and Poverty, 223. 16. George, Progress and Poverty, 244. 17. http://landlordsgame.info/. 18. George R. Geiger, The Philosophy of Henry George. Introduction by John Dewey xxii (MacMillan Co., 1933). 19. Garrett Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons, 162 Science 1243 (1968). 20. Harold Schiffrin, Sun Yat-sen’s Early Land Policy: The Origin and Meaning of “Equalization of Land Rights,” 16 Journal of Asian Studies 549, 555 (1957). 21. Joseph A. Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (Harper & Brothers, 1942). 22. Oskar Lange & Fred M.

., 78 Cabral, Luís, 202 Cadappster app, 31 Caesar, Julius, 84 Canada, 10, 13, 159, 182 capitalism, xvi; basic structure of, 24–25; competition and, 17 (see also competition); corporate planning and, 39–40; cultural consequences of, 270, 273; Engels on, 239–40; freedom and, 34–39; George on, 36–37; growth and, 3 (see also growth, economic); industrial revolution, 36, 255; inequality and, 3 (see also inequality); labor and, 136–37, 143, 159, 165, 211, 224, 231, 239–40, 316n4; laissez-faire, 45; liberalism and, 3, 17, 22–27; markets and, 278, 288, 304n36; Marx on, 239–40; monopolies and, 22–23, 34–39, 44, 46–49, 132, 136, 173, 177, 179, 199, 258, 262; monopsony and, 190, 199–201, 223, 234, 238–41, 255; ownership and, 34–36, 39, 45–49, 75, 78–79; property and, 34–36, 39, 45–49, 75, 78–79; Radical Markets and, 169, 180–85, 203, 273; regulations and, 262; Schumpeter on, 47; shareholders and, 118, 170, 178–84, 189, 193–95; technology and, 34, 203, 316n4; wealth and, 45, 75, 78–79, 136, 143, 239, 273 Capitalism and Freedom (Friedman), xiii Capitalism for the People, A (Luigi), 203 Capra, Frank, 17 Carroll, Lewis, 176 central planning: computers and, 277–85, 288–93; consumers and, 19; democracy and, 89; governance and, 19–20, 39–42, 46–48, 62, 89, 277–85, 288–90, 293; healthcare and, 290–91; liberalism and, 19–20; markets and, 277–85, 288–93; property and, 39–42, 46–48, 62; recommendation systems and, 289–90; socialism and, 39–42, 47, 277, 281 Chetty, Raj, 11 Chiang Kai-shek, 46 China, 15, 46, 56, 133–34, 138 Christensen, Clayton, 202 Chrysler, 193 Citigroup, 183, 184, 191 Clarke, Edward, 99, 102, 105 Clayton Act, 176–77, 197, 311n25 Clemens, Michael, 162 Coase, Ronald, 40, 48–51, 299n26 Cold War, xix, 25, 288 collective bargaining, 240–41 collective decisions: democracy and, 97–105, 110–11, 118–20, 122, 124, 273, 303n17, 304n36; manipulation of, 99; markets for, 97–105; public goods and, 98; Quadratic Voting (QV) and, 110–11, 118–20, 122, 124, 273, 303n17, 304n36; Vickrey and, 99, 102, 105 colonialism, 8, 131 Coming of the Third Reich, The (Evans), 93 common ownership self-assessed tax (COST): broader application of, 273–76; cybersquatters and, 72; education and, 258–59; efficiency and, 256, 261; equality and, 258; globalization and, 269–70; growth and, 73, 256; human capital and, 258–61; immigrants and, 261, 269, 273; inequality and, 256–59; international trade and, 270; investment and, 258–59, 270; legal issues and, 275; markets and, 286; methodology of, 63–66; monopolies and, 256–61, 270, 300n43; objections to, 300n43; optimality and, 61, 73, 75–79, 317n18; personal possessions and, 301n47, 317n18; political effects of, 261–64; predatory outsiders and, 300n43; prices and, 62–63, 67–77, 256, 258, 263, 275, 300n43, 317n18; property and, 31, 61–79, 271–74, 300n43, 301n47; public goods and, 256; public leases and, 69–72; Quadratic Voting (QV) and, 123–25, 194, 261–63, 273, 275, 286; Radical Markets and, 79, 123–26, 257–58, 271–72, 286; taxes and, 61–69, 73–76, 258–61, 275, 317n18; technology and, 71–72, 257–59; true market economy and, 72–75; voting and, 263; wealth and, 256–57, 261–64, 269–70, 275, 286 communism, 19–20, 46–47, 93–94, 125, 278 competition: antitrust policies and, 23, 48, 174–77, 180, 184–86, 191, 197–203, 242, 255, 262, 286; auctions and, xv–xix, 49–51, 70–71, 97, 99, 147–49, 156–57; bargaining and, 240–41, 299n26; democracy and, 109, 119–20; by design, 49–55; elitism and, 25–28; equilibrium and, 305n40; eternal vigilance and, 204; horizontal concentration and, 175; imperfect, 304n36; indexing and, 185–91, 302n63; innovation and, 202–3; investment and, 196–97; labor and, 145, 158, 162–63, 220, 234, 236, 239, 243, 245, 256, 266; laissez-faire and, 253; liberalism and, 6, 17, 20–28; lobbyists and, 262; monopolies and, 174; monopsony and, 190, 199–201, 223, 234, 238–41, 255; ownership and, 20–21, 41, 49–55, 79; perfect, 6, 25–28, 109; prices and, 20–22, 25, 173, 175, 180, 185–90, 193, 200–201, 204, 244; property and, 41, 49–55, 79; Quadratic Voting (QV) and, 304n36; regulations and, 262; resale price maintenance and, 200–201; restoring, 191–92; Section 7 and, 196–97, 311n25; selfishness and, 109, 270–71; Smith on, 17; tragedy of the commons and, 44 complexity, 218–20, 226–28, 274–75, 279, 281, 284, 287, 313n15 “Computer and the Market, The” (Lange), 277 computers: algorithms and, 208, 214, 219, 221, 281–82, 289–93; automation of labor and, 222–23, 251, 254; central planning and, 277–85, 288–93; data and, 213–14, 218, 222, 233, 244, 260; Deep Blue, 213; distributed computing and, 282–86, 293; growth in poor countries and, 255; as intermediaries, 274; machine learning (ML) and, 214 (see also machine learning [ML]); markets and, 277, 280–93; Mises and, 281; Moore’s Law and, 286–87; Open-Trac and, 31–32; parallel processing and, 282–86; prices of, 21; recommendation systems and, 289–90 Condorcet, Marquis de, 4, 90–93, 303n15, 306n51 conspicuous consumption, 78 Consumer Reports magazine, 291 consumers: antitrust suits and, 175, 197–98; central planning and, 19; data from, 47, 220, 238, 242–44, 248, 289; drone delivery to, 220; as entrepreneurs, 256; goods and services for, 27, 92, 123, 130, 175, 280, 292; institutional investment and, 190–91; international culture for, 270; lobbyists and, 262; machine learning (ML) and, 238; monopolies and, 175, 186, 197–98; preferences of, 280, 288–93; prices and, 172 (see also prices); recommendation systems and, 289–90; robots and, 287; sharing economy and, 117; Soviet collapse and, 289; technology and, 287 cooperatives, 118, 126, 261, 267, 299n24 Corbyn, Jeremy, 12, 13 corruption, 3, 23, 27, 57, 93, 122, 126, 157, 262 Cortana, 219 cost-benefit analysis, 2, 244 “Counterspeculation, Auctions and Competitive Sealed Tenders” (Vickrey), xx–xxi Cramton, Peter, 52, 54–55, 57 crowdsourcing, 235 crytocurrencies, 117–18 cybersquatters, 72 data: algorithms and, 208, 214, 219, 221, 281–82, 289–93; big, 213, 226, 293; computers and, 213–14, 218, 222, 233, 244, 260; consumer, 47, 220, 238, 242–44, 248, 289; diamond-water paradox and, 224–25; diminishing returns and, 226, 229–30; distribution of complexity and, 228; as entertainment, 233–39, 248–49; Facebook and, 28, 205–9, 212–13, 220–21, 231–48; feedback and, 114, 117, 233, 238, 245; free, 209, 211, 220, 224, 231–35, 239; Google and, 28, 202, 207–13, 219–20, 224, 231–36, 241–42, 246; investment in, 212, 224, 232, 244; labeled, 217–21, 227, 228, 230, 232, 234, 237; labor movement for, 241–43; Lanier and, 208, 220–24, 233, 237, 313n2, 315n48; marginal value and, 224–28, 247; network effects and, 211, 236, 238, 243; neural networks and, 214–19; online services and, 211, 235; overfitting and, 217–18; payment systems for, 210–13, 224–30; photographs and, 64, 214–15, 217, 219–21, 227–28, 291; programmers and, 163, 208–9, 214, 217, 219, 224; Radical Markets for, 246–49; reCAPTCHA and, 235–36; recommendation systems and, 289–90; rise of data work and, 209–13; sample complexity and, 217–18; siren servers and, 220–24, 230–41, 243; social networks and, 202, 212, 231, 233–36; technofeudalism and, 230–33; under-employment and, 256; value of, 243–45; venture capital and, 211, 224; virtual reality and, 206, 208, 229, 251, 253; women’s work and, 209, 313n4 Declaration of Independence, 86 Deep Blue, 213 DeFoe, Daniel, 132 Demanding Work (Gray and Suri), 233 democracy: 1p1v system and, 82–84, 94, 109, 119, 122–24, 304n36, 306n51; artificial intelligence (AI) and, 219; Athenians and, 55, 83–84, 131; auctions and, 97, 99; basic structure of, 24–25; central planning and, 89; check and balance systems and, 23, 25, 87, 92; collective decisions and, 97–105, 110–11, 118–20, 122, 124, 273, 303n17, 304n36; collective mediocrity and, 96; competition and, 109, 119–20; Declaration of Independence and, 86; efficiency and, 92, 110, 126; elections and, 22, 80, 93, 100, 115, 119–21, 124, 217–18, 296n20; elitism and, 89–91, 96, 124; Enlightenment and, 86, 95; Europe and, 90–96; France and, 90–95; governance and, 84, 117; gridlock and, 84, 88, 122–24, 261, 267; Hitler and, 93–94; House of Commons and, 84–85; House of Lords and, 85; impossibility theorem and, 92; inequality and, 123; Jury Theorem and, 90–92; liberalism and, 3–4, 25, 80, 86, 90; limits of, 85–86; majority rule and, 27, 83–89, 92–97, 100–101, 121, 306n51; markets and, 97–105, 262, 276; minorities and, 85–90, 93–97, 101, 106, 110; mixed constitution and, 84–85; multi-candidate, single-winner elections and, 119–20; origins of, 83–85; ownership and, 81–82, 89, 101, 105, 118, 124; public goods and, 28, 97–100, 107, 110, 120, 123, 126; Quadratic Voting (QV) and, 105–22; Radical Markets and, 82, 106, 123–26, 203; supermajorities and, 84–85, 88, 92; tyrannies and, 23, 25, 88, 96–100, 106, 108; United Kingdom and, 95–96; United States and, 86–90, 93, 95; voting and, 80–82, 85–93, 96, 99, 105, 108, 115–16, 119–20, 123–24, 303n14, 303n17, 303n20, 304n36, 305n39; wealth and, 83–84, 87, 95, 116 Demosthenes, 55 Denmark, 182 Department of Justice (DOJ), 176, 186, 191 deregulation, 3, 9, 24 Desmond, Matthew, 201–2 Dewey, John, 43 Dickens, Charles, 36 digital economy: data producers and, 208–9, 230–31; diamond-water paradox and, 224–25; as entertainment, 233–39; facial recognition and, 208, 216, 218–19; free access and, 211; Lanier and, 208, 220–24, 233, 237, 313n2, 315n48; machine learning (ML) and, 208–9, 213–14, 217–21, 226–31, 234–35, 238, 247, 289, 291, 315n48; payment systems for, 210–13, 221–30, 243–45; programmers and, 163, 208–9, 214, 217, 219, 224; rise of data work and, 209–13; siren servers and, 220–24, 230–41, 243; spam and, 210, 245; technofeudalism and, 230–33; virtual reality and, 206, 208, 229, 251, 253 diversification, 171–72, 180–81, 185, 191–92, 194–96, 310n22, 310n24 dot-com bubble, 211 double taxation, 65 Dupuit, Jules, 173 Durkheim, Émile, 297n23 Dworkin, Ronald, 305n40 dystopia, 18, 191, 273, 293 education, 114; common ownership self-assessed tax (COST) and, 258; data and, 229, 232, 248; elitism and, 260; equality in, 89; financing, 276; free compulsory, 23; immigrants and, 14, 143–44, 148; labor and, 140, 143–44, 148, 150, 158, 170–71, 232, 248, 258–60; Mill on, 96; populist movements and, 14; Stolper-Samuelson Theorem and, 143 efficient capital markets hypothesis, 180 elections, 80; data and, 217–18; democracy and, 22, 93, 100, 115, 119–21, 124, 217–18, 296n20; gridlock and, 124; Hitler and, 93; multi-candidate, single-winner, 119–20; polls and, 13, 111; Quadratic Voting (QV) and, 115, 119–21, 268, 306n52; U.S. 2016, 93, 296n20 Elhauge, Einer, 176, 197 elitism: aristocracy and, 16–17, 22–23, 36–38, 84–85, 87, 90, 135–36; bourgeoisie and, 36; bureaucrats and, 267; democracy and, 89–91, 96, 124; education and, 260; feudalism and, 16, 34–35, 37, 41, 61, 68, 136, 230–33, 239; financial deregulation and, 3; immigrants and, 146, 166; liberalism and, 3, 15–16, 25–28; minorities and, 12, 14–15, 19, 23–27, 85–90, 93–97, 101, 106, 110, 181, 194, 273, 303n14, 304n36; monarchies and, 85–86, 91, 95, 160 Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, 121 eminent domain, 33, 62, 89 Empire State Building, 45 Engels, Friedrich, 78, 240 Enlightenment, 86, 95 entrepreneurs, xiv; immigrants and, 144–45, 159, 256; labor and, 129, 144–45, 159, 173, 177, 203, 209–12, 224, 226, 256; ownership and, 35, 39 equality: common ownership self-assessed tax (COST) and, 258; education and, 89; immigrants and, 257; labor and, 147, 166, 239, 257; liberalism and, 4, 8, 24, 29; living standards and, 3, 11, 13, 133, 135, 148, 153, 254, 257; Quadratic Voting (QV) and, 264; Radical Markets and, 262, 276; trickle down theories and, 9, 12 Espinosa, Alejandro, 30–32 Ethereum, 117 Europe, 177, 201; democracy and, 88, 90–95; European Union and, 15; fiefdoms in, 34; government utilities and, 48; income patterns in, 5; instability in, 88; labor and, 11, 130–31, 136–47, 165, 245; social democrats and, 24; unemployment rates in, 11 Evans, Richard, 93 Evicted (Desmond), 201–2 Ex Machina (film), 208 Facebook, xxi; advertising and, 50, 202; data and, 28, 205–9, 212–13, 220–21, 231–48; monetization by, 28; news service of, 289; Vickrey Commons and, 50 facial recognition, 208, 216–19 family reunification programs, 150, 152 farms, 17, 34–35, 37–38, 61, 72, 135, 142, 179, 283–85 Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 50, 71 Federal Trade Commission (FTC), 176, 186 feedback, 114, 117, 233, 238, 245 feudalism, 16, 34–35, 37, 41, 61, 68, 136, 230–33, 239 Fidelity, 171, 181–82, 184 financial crisis of 2008, 3, 121 Fitzgerald, F.


pages: 364 words: 101,193

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet by Mark Lynas

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Biosphere 2, Climatic Research Unit, Deng Xiaoping, failed state, Garrett Hardin, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Live Aid, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, price stability, South China Sea, supervolcano, Tragedy of the Commons

., 1993: ‘The tightening conflict: Population, energy use, and the ecology of agriculture’, NPG Forum Series, October 1993,1-8 p. 261 ‘remarkable level of co-option’: Imhoff, M., et al., 2004: ‘Global patterns in human consumption of net primary production’, Nature, 429, 870-3 p. 264 ‘tragedy of the commons’: Hardin, G., 1968: ‘The tragedy of the commons’, Science, 162,1243-8 p. 264 focus groups in Switzerland: Stoll-Kleemann, S., et al., 2001: ‘The psychology of denial concerning climate mitigation measures: evidence from Swiss focus groups’, Global Environmental Change, 11,107-17 p. 267 consumed more oil: Leggett, J., 2005: Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis, Portobello Books, p. 59 p. 268 ‘these things came together’: 2005: ‘Saudi Arabia's Ghawar Field: the elephant of all elephants’, AAPG Explorer, http://www.aapg.org/explorer/2005/01jan/ghawar.cfm p. 268 global economic crash: Leggett, J., 2005: Half Gone: Oil, Gas, Hot Air and the Global Energy Crisis, Portobello Books, pp. 95-6 p. 269 ‘powerdown’: Heinberg, R., 2004: Powerdown: Options and Actions for a Post-Carbon World, Clairview Books p. 271 wedges: Pacala, S., and Socolow, R., 2004: ‘Stabilization wedges: Solving the climate problem for the next 50 years with current technologies’, Science, 305, 968-72 p. 272 birds perish: Marris, E., and Fairless, D., 2007: ‘Wind farms’ deadly reputation hard to shift', Nature, 447, 126 p. 273 wiped out permanently: Kempton, W., et al., 2007: ‘Large CO2 reductions via offshore wind power matched to inherent storage in energy end-uses’, Geophysical Research Letters, 34, L02817 p. 273 Carbon capture and storage: IPCC, 2005: Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage: Summary for Policymakers and Technical Summary, WMO/UNEP p. 274 save the same: Gullison, R., et al., 2007: ‘Tropical forests and climate policy’, Science, 316, 985-6 p. 275 a few hundredths: Monbiot, G., 2004: ‘Fuel for nought’, The Guardian, 23 November 2004; http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,1357462,00.html p. 276 south-east Asian forests: Ibid.

For policymakers, this might mean blaming entire countries: the Byrd-Hagel resolution in the US Senate refused to countenance any change to American lifestyles unless developing countries also cut back their emissions. (In effect, it was the US blaming China.) Even environmentalists can be tempted by displacement: the vilification of George Bush-indefensible though his stance might be-is easier for most of us than having to face more tricky challenges closer to home. Climate change is a classic ‘tragedy of the commons’ problem, where behaviour which makes sense at an individual level ultimately proves disastrous to society when repeated by everyone. The concept's originator, Garrett Hardin, gives the example of cattle herders using a shared pasture to illustrate the problem. Each herder stands to gain individually by adding another cow to the common-he gets more milk and beef.

Psychological denial is integral to the process, Hardin writes: ‘The individual benefits as an individual from his ability to deny the truth, even though society as a whole, of which he is a part, suffers’. One intriguing study on this issue used random-sample focus groups in Switzerland to investigate attitudes to climate change amongst the general public. Its results showed clearly how the ‘tragedy of the commons’ is reflected in people's belief ‘in the insignificance of individual action to change the order of things’, with the result that perceived ‘costs to the self are greater than benefits to others’. However, the researchers found that the most powerful motivator of denial was more straightforwardly selfish-an unwillingness to abandon personal comforts and consumption patterns.


pages: 170 words: 45,121

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

collective bargaining, game design, Garrett Hardin, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Tragedy of the Commons

The section that’s being promoted gets a huge gain in traffic, while the overall loss in effectiveness of the Home page as it gets more cluttered is shared by all sections. It’s a perfect example of the tragedy of the commons.4 The premise is simple: 4 The concept, originated by nineteenth-century amateur mathematician William Forster Lloyd, was popularized in a classic essay on overpopulation by biologist Garrett Hardin (“The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science, December 1968). Any shared resource (a “commons”) will inevitably be destroyed by overuse. Take a town pasture, for example. For each animal a herdsman adds to the common pasture, he receives all proceeds from the sale of the animal—a positive benefit of +1.

See subsections section fronts, 50 Sections, 69–70 signifiers, 151 Site ID, 67–68 sizzle, 169 slow-loading pages, 59 stop signs, 29 street signs, 64, 74 subsections, 68–69 T tabs, 80–81 color coding, 81 importance of drawing correctly, 81 tagline, 93, 95–98 Talking Heads, 55 teleportation, 62, 67, 92 Theofanos, Mary, 179 tradeoffs, 145–47 tragedy of the commons, 100 trunk test, 82–83 U usability attributes of, 155 defined, 9 usability lab, 115 usability testing, 3, 110 do-it-yourself, 115 vs. focus groups, 112–13 of mobile devices, 160–63 number of users to test, 119 observers, 124 recruiting participants, 120–21 remote, 140 reviewing results, 137–39 sample session, 127 unmoderated, 140 value of starting early, 115 what to test, 124 User Experience Design (UXD, UX), x, 183 UserTesting.com, 140 Utilities, 65, 69–70 V–Z validator, accessibility, 177 visual hierarchy, 33–36 visual noise, 38 Welcome blurb, 93 White, E.


pages: 1,136 words: 73,489

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software by Nadia Eghbal

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, death of newspapers, Debian, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, Firefox, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, Induced demand, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, node package manager, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, pull request, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, two-sided market, urban planning, web application, wikimedia commons, Yochai Benkler, Zimmermann PGP

A THEORY OF THE COMMONS In the second half of the twentieth century, the economist Elinor Ostrom spent decades studying the conditions that lead to a flourishing commons, such as forests, fisheries, irrigation systems, and other common pool resources.* She tried to understand how people produce in a commons, and why some resources are successfully self-managed, thus avoiding the so-called “tragedy of the commons” (wherein resources are depleted by people acting in their own self-interest, rather than in the collective interest) and the need for either market or government intervention. Through her research, Ostrom identified eight design principles that contribute to a well-managed, successful commons: Membership boundaries are clearly defined.

—JANE JACOBS, The Death and Life of Great American Cities261 When explaining why nobody wants to pay for software, people often cite the free-rider problem, which is the idea that if you can’t exclude others from consuming a good they’ll use it without paying. Eventually, the good becomes overused, as producers lack the resources—usually provided by consumers—to supply it. It’s easiest to see how free-rider problems apply to non-excludable, rivalrous goods, a situation better known as the tragedy of the commons. If a public park is free to access, people will use it without paying for maintenance and upkeep. As more people flock to the park, its quality is diminished. The trash cans will overflow, the crowds get packed, the grass ground down to mud. To address this problem, we typically pay for public parks with our taxes; some national parks also charge an entrance fee.

When I knock on his door and make requests, or otherwise try to “help” him, I draw from the attention he’s allocated to decorating his house, which is just one of many things he has to do with his day. When attention is over-appropriated—say, there’s a crowd of people lined up outside, ringing his doorbell—a tragedy of the commons occurs, in which my neighbor no longer wants to put up his annual Christmas decorations (a tragedy indeed). The value of the commons is derived from the reputation of its members, meaning the person or people who produce it. If my neighbor were to stop putting up his decorations, I would be a poor replacement.


pages: 742 words: 137,937

The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Andrew Keen, Atul Gawande, Automated Insights, autonomous vehicles, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Bill Joy: nanobots, business process, business process outsourcing, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, Clapham omnibus, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, Computer Numeric Control, computer vision, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, death of newspapers, disintermediation, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Filter Bubble, full employment, future of work, Garrett Hardin, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hacker Ethic, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, lifelogging, lump of labour, Marshall McLuhan, Metcalfe’s law, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, optical character recognition, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, Shoshana Zuboff, Skype, social web, speech recognition, spinning jenny, strong AI, supply-chain management, telepresence, The Future of Employment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler, young professional

The first is the most basic—why on earth would people or institutions give up ownership or control of their valuable practical expertise and willingly share it with others in the commons? For the reasons just discussed, would they not want to maintain exclusivity? Would this not be to forgo an opportunity for profit? The second misgiving is that the practical expertise, if held in a commons, might be overused. Garrett Hardin, an ecologist, called this phenomenon the ‘tragedy of the commons’. In a widely cited article in Science in 1968, Hardin invited readers to imagine a group of shepherds who share a pasture, where each shepherd must decide how many sheep to put out to graze. If shepherds act out of self-interest alone, the result would be a ‘tragedy’—each shepherd would enjoy the full benefit of putting each extra sheep out to graze (plumper and healthier sheep), but only suffer part of the cost of doing so (more arid and slightly less verdant pasture, the full cost of which would be borne by all the shepherds, and not just by one).

At a certain stage in this process of evolution it may be that profit-seeking professionals will recognize that the practical expertise involved can no longer yield a profit and yet may still be of great use to the communities within which they work. In that event, they may choose to make this expertise available on a commons on a pro-bono or charitable basis. What, then, of the ‘tragedy’ of the commons? On closer inspection, Hardin’s classical account of the ‘tragedy’ does not map easily onto a commons of practical expertise. His analysis focused on physical goods, and his story was about a pasture that is depleted by a surfeit of sheep. In the language of section 5.1, his focus is on goods that are ‘rival’ in consumption—the more a shepherd uses it, the less fertile it becomes for the shepherds who follow.

Not only is practical expertise ‘non-rival’—it does not get worn down with use—but it is often ‘cumulative’, becoming more and more valuable with use and reuse. Hardin feared that a commons would lead to overuse and so to ‘tragedy’, but the notion of overuse makes little sense in respect of practical expertise. Far from eroding with use, expertise often increases in value. Rather than our commons leading to a ‘tragedy of the commons’, then, it appears that it might lead instead to what Carol Rose describes as the ‘comedy of commons’.41 The commons lets us take advantage of the special economic characteristics of practical expertise. Exclusivity revisited It may be that we are too bullish. The latent market might not be as large as we expect, or the commons of practical expertise may turn out to be less feasible than we argue.


pages: 474 words: 136,787

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, assortative mating, Atahualpa, Bonfire of the Vanities, demographic transition, double helix, Drosophila, feminist movement, invention of agriculture, Menlo Park, phenotype, rent control, theory of mind, Tragedy of the Commons, twin studies, University of East Anglia, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

The result was that the common was often overgrazed until it could support only a few cattle. Had each villager been encouraged to exercise a little restraint, the common could have supported far more cattle than it did. This ‘tragedy of the commons’1 has been repeated again and again throughout the history of human affairs. Every sea fishery that has ever been exploited is soon overfished and the fishermen are driven into penury. Whales, forests and aquifers have been treated in the same way. The tragedy of the commons is, for economists, a matter of ownership. The lack of a single ownership of the commons or the fishery means that everybody shares equally in the cost of overgrazing or overfishing.

Consequently, a Cain gene on an X chromosome can safely kill the Y chromosome and not risk suicide. It biases the sex ratio of the next generation in favour of females, but that is a cost borne by the whole population equally, whereas the benefit of monopolizing the offspring is received by the Cain gene itself – just as in the case of free-riders causing the tragedy of the commons.18 In Praise of Unilateral Disarmament By and large, however, the common interest of the genes prevails over the ambitions of the outlaws. As Egbert Leigh has put it, a ‘parliament of genes’ asserts its will.19 Yet the reader is surely restless. ‘This little tour of the cellular bureaucracy,’ he says, ‘fun though it was, has brought us no closer to the question asked at the beginning of the chapter – why there are two genders.’

In one Indian hospital, ninety-six per cent of women told they were carrying daughters aborted them while nearly one hundred per cent of women carrying sons carried them to term.80 This implies that a cheap technology allowing people to choose the gender of their children would indeed unbalance the population sex ratio. Choosing the gender of your baby would be an individual decision of no consequence to anybody else. Why then is the idea inherently unpopular? It is a tragedy of the commons: a collective harm that results from the rational pursuit of self-interest by individuals. One person choosing to have only sons does nobody else any harm. But if everybody does it, everybody suffers. The dire predictions range from a male-dominated society in which rape, lawlessness and a general frontier mentality would hold sway to further increases in male domination of positions of power and influence.


The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly

airport security, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Edward Glaeser, end world poverty, European colonialism, failed state, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, George Akerlof, Gunnar Myrdal, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land tenure, Live Aid, microcredit, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, publication bias, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, structural adjustment programs, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, War on Poverty, Xiaogang Anhui farmers

Customary arrangements can also deal with property owned by the community, like common pastureland on which all can graze their cows. Common property is subject to the “tragedy of the commons” problem, in which each herdsman overgrazes the pasture because the costs are borne by the community rather than by the herdsman. (I want my cow to eat the grass before your cow does.) However, if population density is low and land abundant, the tragedy of the commons does not arise, and community ownership works fine. Even when pressure on the land tightens up, informal community arrangements can still control overgrazing (say the village elders decide that you and I may let our cows into the pasture on alternating days).

Even when pressure on the land tightens up, informal community arrangements can still control overgrazing (say the village elders decide that you and I may let our cows into the pasture on alternating days). NYU professor Leonard Wantchekon offered this account of how his village in Benin managed a common property resource, the fishing pond (overfishing is a classic example used for the tragedy of the commons), when he was growing up: To open the fishing season, elders performed ritual tests at Amlé, a lake fifteen kilometers from the village. If the fish were large enough, fishing was allowed for two or three days. If they were too small, all fishing was forbidden, and anyone who secretly fished the lake at this time was outcast, excluded from the formal and informal groups that formed the village’s social structure.

An unintended side effect of the increased activity of NGO issue lobbies has been to expand even further the set of goals that foreign assistance has been trying to achieve. Since no issue lobby takes into account the effect on other issue lobbies of its demands on the scarce aid and administrative resources of agencies, each lobby overemphasizes its goals. This is analogous to the “tragedy of the commons” problem in which too many cows overgraze pastures held in common. To make things worse, each separate aid agency has felt the political pressure to add all of these goals in response to its own rich-country constituency. This is because bilateral aid agencies each have their rich-country publics with multiple goals, and a multilateral agency like the World Bank is fair game for lobbies worldwide.


pages: 416 words: 112,268

Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russell

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic bias, Andrew Wiles, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, blockchain, brain emulation, Cass Sunstein, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, computer vision, connected car, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, Garrett Hardin, Gerolamo Cardano, ImageNet competition, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the wheel, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mark Zuckerberg, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, NP-complete, openstreetmap, P = NP, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Pierre-Simon Laplace, positional goods, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit maximization, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, RFID, Richard Thaler, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, robotic process automation, Rodney Brooks, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, surveillance capitalism, Thales of Miletus, The Future of Employment, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thomas Bayes, Thorstein Veblen, Tragedy of the Commons, transport as a service, Turing machine, Turing test, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, Von Neumann architecture, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, zero-sum game

For an interesting trust-based solution to the prisoner’s dilemma and other games, see Joshua Letchford, Vincent Conitzer, and Kamal Jain, “An ‘ethical’ game-theoretic solution concept for two-player perfect-information games,” in Proceedings of the 4th International Workshop on Web and Internet Economics, ed. Christos Papadimitriou and Shuzhong Zhang (Springer, 2008). 28. Origin of the tragedy of the commons: William Forster Lloyd, Two Lectures on the Checks to Population (Oxford University, 1833). 29. Modern revival of the topic in the context of global ecology: Garrett Hardin, “The tragedy of the commons,” Science 162 (1968): 1243–48. 30. It’s quite possible that even if we had tried to build intelligent machines from chemical reactions or biological cells, those assemblages would have turned out to be implementations of Turing machines in nontraditional materials.

This form of reasoning acknowledges that, as rational agents, Alice and Bob will make choices that are correlated rather than independent. It’s just one of many approaches that game theorists have tried in their efforts to obtain less depressing solutions to the prisoner’s dilemma.27 Another famous example of an undesirable equilibrium is the tragedy of the commons, first analyzed in 1833 by the English economist William Lloyd28 but named, and brought to global attention, by the ecologist Garrett Hardin in 1968.29 The tragedy arises when several people can consume a shared resource—such as common grazing land or fish stocks—that replenishes itself slowly.

Machines may well understand that human autonomy and competence are important aspects of how we prefer to conduct our lives. They may well insist that humans retain control and responsibility for their own well-being—in other words, machines will say no. But we myopic, lazy humans may disagree. There is a tragedy of the commons at work here: for any individual human, it may seem pointless to engage in years of arduous learning to acquire knowledge and skills that machines already have; but if everyone thinks that way, the human race will, collectively, lose its autonomy. The solution to this problem seems to be cultural, not technical.


pages: 375 words: 105,586

A Small Farm Future: Making the Case for a Society Built Around Local Economies, Self-Provisioning, Agricultural Diversity and a Shared Earth by Chris Smaje

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, collaborative consumption, Corn Laws, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, energy transition, European colonialism, failed state, financial deregulation, financial independence, Food sovereignty, future of work, garden city movement, Garrett Hardin, global pandemic, Hans Rosling, hive mind, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, land reform, mass immigration, megacity, Naomi Klein, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, post-industrial society, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, rent-seeking, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

In an influential though widely criticised paper, the controversial ecologist Garrett Hardin discussed what he called the ‘tragedy of the commons,’ in which a resource open to all, like a common pasture, might be depleted if its users each pursued their own self-interest without regard to the wider common interest.28 His critics correctly pointed out that this isn’t how a commons actually works, although private property or state control have generally been favoured over common resource management in modern times anyway. Ironically, the result has arguably been a global tragedy of the commons, in which various agencies and individuals pursuing numerous ends through the medium of fossil fuels have offloaded the consequences onto the wider world and prevented collective action against their effects on Earth’s climate.

But then the wealthy landowners enclosed the commons for their own private use, turfing the peasants off the land so they became landless labourers – a rural and, later, an urban proletariat, the foot-soldiers of the new capitalist economy. In 1968, ecologist Garret Hardin published an influential article called ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ in which he argued that commons were a disastrous – a ‘tragic’ – way of organising economies, because in a commons it’s in nobody’s individual interest to limit one’s resource use to safeguard long-term sustainability. Hardin’s intervention further fuelled the already well-advanced process of converting commons into private property.

Selfish individualism isn’t limited to capitalist societies or Western societies.20 Successful commons needed to devise effective sanctions against free-riding … … which sometimes fail Effective sanctions aren’t easy to achieve, particularly in large-scale, differentiated societies like most modern ones, where reputational status is less total. The historical record is also full of cases where commons have failed. While Elinor Ostrom’s work is often invoked as a disproof of Hardin’s tragedy of the commons, she herself stated that his model isn’t wrong; it’s simply one possible outcome among several.21 A commons involves input/extraction rules to achieve locally specific ends … Agricultural commons always have a specific, practical and local aim: What is the best way to nourish enough cows from these fields?


pages: 524 words: 120,182

Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, dark matter, discrete time, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Garrett Hardin, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Network effects, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, Paul Erdős, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Ray Kurzweil, reversible computing, scientific worldview, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing machine

“Merrill Flood and Melvin Drescher, invented the Prisoner’s Dilemma”: For an entertaining and enlightening discussion of the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and, more generally, game theory and its history and applications, see Poundstone, W., Prisoner’s Dilemma. New York: Doubleday, 1992. “the pursuit of self-interest for each”: Axelrod, R., The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books, 1984, p. 7. “the tragedy of the commons”: Hardin, G., The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162, 1968, pp. 1243–1248. “Under what conditions will cooperation emerge”: Axelrod, R., The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books, 1984, p. 3. “Thomas Hobbes, who concluded that cooperation could develop”: Hobbes’ arguments about centralized governments can be found in Hobbes, T., Leviathan.

This paradox also applies to the all too familiar case of a group of individuals who, by selfishly pursuing their own interests, collectively bring harm to all members of the group (global warming is a quintessential example). The economist Garrett Hardin has famously called such scenarios “the tragedy of the commons.” The Prisoner’s Dilemma and variants of it have long been studied as idea models that embody the essence of the cooperation problem, and results from those studies have influenced how scholars, businesspeople, and governments think about real-world policies ranging from weapons control and responses to terrorism to corporate management and regulation.

Journal of the History of Biology, 18(1), 1985, pp. 51–70. Grosshans, H. and Filipowicz, W. The expanding world of small RNAs. Nature, 451, 2008, pp. 414–416. Hales, D. and Arteconi, S. SLACER: A Self-Organizing Protocol for Coordination in Peer-to-Peer Networks. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 21(2), 2006, pp. 29–35. Hardin, G. The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162, 1968, pp. 1243–1248. Heims, S. The Cybernetics Group. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1991. Heims, S. J. John von Neumann and Norbert Wiener: From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1980. Hobbes, T. Leviathan. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, (1651/1991).


pages: 379 words: 113,656

Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age by Duncan J. Watts

Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, business process, corporate governance, Drosophila, Erdős number, experimental subject, fixed income, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, independent contractor, industrial cluster, invisible hand, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, Milgram experiment, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Murray Gell-Mann, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, peer-to-peer, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Savings and loan crisis, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, supply-chain management, The Nature of the Firm, the strength of weak ties, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Toyota Production System, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, Vilfredo Pareto, Y2K

Paying taxes then is clearly to everyone’s benefit, to the extent that we’d be crazy not to pay them. Yet as Glance and Huberman point out, in not one country in the world is the payment of taxes a voluntary exercise. Can we not be trusted to do even those things that are obviously in our (collective) best interests? According to the tragedy of the commons, an influential theory proposed in the 1970s by the political scientist Garret Hardin, the answer appears to be no. Picture a village arranged in a preindustrial style around a large, central, shared plot of land called a commons. The villagers use this land mostly for grazing sheep and cattle, which they subsequently shear, milk, or slaughter for their own sustenance or profit.

As its name suggests, Hardin’s theory presents a grim view of the world but one that is hard to ignore, reminiscent as it is of so many real-world tragedies—pointless wars prolonged, despicable customs perpetuated, and irreplaceable environments eroded. As much as we would wish these things away if we could, the sad fact is that they are outcomes wrought of our own volition. Like the diner’s dilemma, the tragedy of the commons expresses the inescapable conundrum of individuals who have their own interests at heart and who can control only their own decisions, but who have to live with the consequences of everyone else’s decisions as well. INFORMATION CASCADES BUT NOT EVERY DILEMMA HAS TO END IN TEARS. JUST AS CULTURAL fads can sweep through a routinely indifferent population, so can social norms and institutions change, sometimes seemingly overnight.

Externalities can also arise in the absence of uncertainty, simply because the object of the decision itself is subject to increasing returns (market externalities). But there is yet another distinct class of decision externalities that arises out of the structure of public goods games like the diner’s dilemma and the tragedy of the commons. Remember that the way these games work is that “doing the right thing”—whether recycling your plastic and glass, choosing not to double-park on a busy street (even “just for a minute”), or filling up the coffee urn after taking the last cup—is individually costly but collectively beneficial.


pages: 441 words: 113,244

Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the Environment, Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Liberate Humanity From Politicians by Joe Quirk, Patri Friedman

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, addicted to oil, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Biosphere 2, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, Celtic Tiger, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, Dean Kamen, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, financial intermediation, Garrett Hardin, Gini coefficient, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, paypal mafia, peak oil, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, stem cell, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, undersea cable, young professional

Though the lack of defined property rights on the ocean has certainly contributed to overfishing in a classic “Tragedy of the Commons” situation: “In Deep Water,” Economist, February 22, 2014, www.economist.com/news/international/21596990-humans-are-damaging-high-seas-now-oceans-are-doing-harm-back-deep-water. See also “A Rising Tide: Scientists Find Proof That Privatising Fishing Stocks Can Avert a Disaster,” Economist, September 18, 2008, www.economist.com/node/12253181. See also Daniel K. Benjamin, “Fisheries Are Classic Example of the Tragedy of the Commons,” PERC Reports 19, no. 1 (March 2001): https://web.archive.org/web/20050219192447/http://perc.org/publications/percreports/march2001/tangents.php.

So you set an island-wide quota, and you set up size limits, and you set aside a reserve area, and it’s all ignored. You open up the lagoon, and it’s just mayhem. People will go and plunder as much as they can. It’s a natural human reaction to the common property resource. As soon as you put a dollar value on a shared resource, all of a sudden all hell breaks loose, and Garrett Hardin’s “The Tragedy of the Commons” comes charging to the fore.” He asks if we’ve read the classic 1968 essay by the famous ecologist elucidating the economic reasons why people care for their private property but ravage public property. “Everybody should read it!” he says. For those who don’t get the economic principle, Neil tells a story that, in retrospect, represents for him his breaking point.

Eventually we expect sea residents to ask land folk, “How do cities stranded deep inside continents provide energy? They have to drill into rock? How primitive!” Q: Do you want to privatize the oceans? Though the lack of defined property rights on the ocean has certainly contributed to overfishing in a classic “Tragedy of the Commons” situation, the law of the sea forbids any group or nation from claiming an area of the high seas to be under their ownership. By law, the sea remains free. Q: What about overfishing? Don’t we need land governments to protect the oceans? Sadly, governments don’t protect the oceans; governments provide incentives to abuse the oceans.


pages: 79 words: 24,875

Are Trams Socialist?: Why Britain Has No Transport Policy by Christian Wolmar

active transport: walking or cycling, Beeching cuts, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, BRICs, congestion charging, Diane Coyle, financial independence, full employment, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Network effects, railway mania, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, urban sprawl, wikimedia commons, Zipcar

British city rulers tended not to interfere in that way, and in Britain there appears to have been (and still is) a greater acceptance of wheeled, and later motor, traffic as a way of life from very early on and a possible fear of conflicts of ‘equal rights’ of all participants were not provided.⁶ This attitude was later encapsulated by Nicholas Ridley in clear ideological terms: The private motorist … wants the chance to live a life that gives him [sic] a new dimension of freedom – freedom to go where he wants, when he wants, and for as long as he wants.⁷ There is only one thing wrong with this argument, but it is a rather fundamental point: one person’s freedom may require another’s imprisonment. It is the ­tragedy of the commons. Road space is a scarce resource and yet there is no price control on it. As has been argued before, in a world of infinite resources and land, the car would be perfect. Traffic jams in space are rare. However, on this planet, and particularly in urban areas, the space available for cars is not limitless.

There are exceptions, of course, such as the London and Stockholm congestion charge zones, motorways in countries like Italy and France, various bridges and tunnels, and even the odd turnpike in the US, but they represent a tiny fraction of the world’s road network. However, for the most part, roads suffer from the tragedy of the commons. Rationing is by congestion rather than price. Their usefulness in economic terms is eroded away by congestion and overuse. Free roads ensure that transport provision is suboptimal. This is, though, a political rather than a technological failure. The government in Singapore has managed to impose a comprehensive road pricing system thanks to the fact that, according to The Economist, the city state has both ‘democratic’ and ‘authoritarian’ aspects.


pages: 350 words: 90,898

A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload by Cal Newport

Cal Newport, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, collaborative editing, computer age, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, fault tolerance, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Garrett Hardin, hive mind, Inbox Zero, interchangeable parts, James Watt: steam engine, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Marshall McLuhan, Nash equilibrium, passive income, Paul Graham, place-making, remote work: asynchronous communication, remote working, Richard Feynman, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, social graph, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Tragedy of the Commons, web application, Y Combinator

(New York: Harper Business, 2006), 4. 35. Peter F. Drucker, “Knowledge-Worker Productivity: The Biggest Challenge,” California Management Review 41, no. 2 (Winter 1999): 79–94. Italics in the original. 36. Lloyd didn’t use the phrase “tragedy of the commons.” This label was introduced later in a now famous article that rigorously analyzes the scenario: Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162, no. 3859 (December 1968): 1243–48. Chapter 4: The Attention Capital Principle 1. Joshua B. Freeman, Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World (New York: W. W. Norton, 2019), 124. 2.

It’s in this context that the hyperactive hive mind, once in place, became devilishly difficult to eradicate, as it’s hard to fix a broken workflow when it’s no one’s job to make sure the workflow functions. In 1833, the British economist William Forster Lloyd proposed a hypothetical scenario, now a classical example in game theory, that can help us better understand this dynamic. The scenario, which eventually became known as the tragedy of the commons,36 considers a town that maintains common grazing land for cattle and sheep, as was typical in Great Britain in the nineteenth century. Lloyd pointed out an interesting tension: it’s in the individual interest of each herder to graze his animals as much as possible on the commons, and yet when all herders act in their best interest, they’ll inevitably overgraze the commons, rendering it useless to everyone.

The negative consequences of the hyperactive hive mind, in other words, are unlikely to be resolved by small shifts in individual habits. Even good-natured attempts to nudge the behavior of an entire organization, such as promulgating better norms around email responsiveness or attempting one-off experiments like email-free Fridays, are doomed to fail. As 150 years of economic theory has taught us, to solve the tragedy of the commons, you cannot expect substantially better behavior from the herders; you need instead to replace the free-for-all grazing system with something more efficient. The same holds for the hyperactive hive mind: we cannot tame it with minor hacks—we need to replace it with a better workflow. And to do so, we must soften Peter Drucker’s stigma against engineering office work.


pages: 421 words: 125,417

Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey Sachs

agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, Edward Glaeser, energy security, failed state, Garrett Hardin, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, impact investing, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, mass immigration, microcredit, oil shale / tar sands, old age dependency ratio, peak oil, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Skype, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, unemployed young men, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working-age population

Holdren, “One-Dimensional Ecology,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, June 1972, pp. 16–27. 34 innovations systems: My colleague Richard Nelson has been the world’s leading scholar on mapping the structure and performance of these innovation systems in many parts of the world. For further reading see: Richard Nelson, ed., National Innovation Systems: A Comparative Analysis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993). 38 “tragedy of the commons”: Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (1968): 1243–48. 38 variety of quota systems: J. R. Beddington et al., “Current Problems in the Management of Fisheries,” Science 316 (June 22, 2007): 1713–16. 39 Community-based management: See Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons: The Economics of Institutions for Collective Action (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990) and Partha Dasgupta, “Common Property Resources: Economic Analytics,” in N.

The rate of harvesting (fishing, logging, or grazing) can dramatically exceed the natural regrowth rate of the natural population of fish, trees, or grasses. In this case, the commons will be depleted. This recognition that an open-access resource will give rise to rapid depletion was famously termed the “tragedy of the commons” by Garrett Hardin in 1968. Just as with pollution control, there are many mechanisms to limit the rate of harvesting to a sustainable level. One method is to introduce tradable permits for harvesting, akin to the tradable permits for pollution emissions. The most efficient fishing fleets, which stand to make the highest profits on fishing, will buy more permits.

When a community drills boreholes for irrigation, the consequences can easily be a reduction in the flow of water to other neighboring wells or even far downstream. A tradition of first come, first served to the use of water can lead to massive losses for all—one of the greatest manifestations of the tragedy of the commons. Yet simply privatizing water without strong protections for the poor can end up denying the weakest part of the population the access to safe water it needs to stay alive. Privatization of water rights may be contrary to basic ecological good management as well, for example, through overexploitation of groundwater.


pages: 533 words: 125,495

Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters by Steven Pinker

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, backpropagation, basic income, butterfly effect, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, coronavirus, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Attenborough, delayed gratification, disinformation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, en.wikipedia.org, Erdős number, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, feminist movement, framing effect, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, high batting average, index card, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, microaggression, Monty Hall problem, Nash equilibrium, New Journalism, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Peter Singer: altruism, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, QAnon, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, replication crisis, Richard Thaler, scientific worldview, selection bias, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Bannon, Steven Pinker, sunk-cost fallacy, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Tragedy of the Commons, twin studies, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Walter Mischel, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

Students forget it as soon as the exam is over and they sell their textbooks, and even when they remember the material, almost no one makes the leap from abstract principles to everyday pitfalls.83 But well-designed courses and video games—ones that single out cognitive biases (the gambler’s fallacy, sunk costs, confirmation bias, and so on), challenge students to spot them in lifelike settings, reframe problems in mind-friendly formats, and provide them with immediate feedback on their errors—really can train them to avoid the fallacies outside the classroom.84 * * * • • • Rationality is a public good, and a public good sets the stage for a tragedy of the commons. In the Tragedy of the Rationality Commons, motivated reasoning for the benefit of oneself and one’s side produces an opportunity to free ride on our collective understanding.85 Each of us has a motive to prefer our truth, but together we’re better off with the truth. Tragedies of the commons can be mitigated with informal norms in which members of a community police the grazing lands or fishing grounds by recognizing good citizens and stigmatizing exploiters.86 The suggestions I have made so far can, at best, fortify individual reasoners and inculcate the norm that sound reasoning is a virtue.

On the other side, eBay user sites advise bidders to decide beforehand how much the item is worth to them and bid no higher. Some sell a form of Odyssean self-control: they robo-bid up to a limit the bidder sets in advance, tying him to the mast for his own good during the frenzy of an Ego Escalation Game. The Prisoner’s Dilemma and the Tragedy of the Commons Consider a familiar plot from Law and Order. A prosecutor detains partners in crime in separate cells, lacks the evidence to convict them, and offers them a deal. If one agrees to testify against the other, he will go free and his partner will go to prison for ten years. If each rats out the other, they both get six years.

* * * • • • Many of the dramas of political and economic life may be explained as Prisoner’s Dilemmas with more than two players, where they are called Public Goods games.20 Everyone in a community benefits from a public good such as a lighthouse, roads, sewers, police, and schools. But they benefit even more if everyone else pays for them and they are free riders—once a lighthouse is built, anyone can see it. In a poignant environmental version called the Tragedy of the Commons, every shepherd has an incentive to add one more sheep to his flock and graze it on the town commons, but when everyone fattens their flock, the grass is grazed faster than it can regrow, and all the sheep starve. Traffic and pollution work the same way: my decision to drive won’t clog the roads or foul the air, just as my decision to take the bus won’t spare them, but when everyone chooses to drive, everyone ends up bumper to bumper on a smoggy freeway.


pages: 199 words: 61,648

Having and Being Had by Eula Biss

Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, David Graeber, Donald Trump, Garrett Hardin, glass ceiling, Haight Ashbury, index fund, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, job satisfaction, Landlord’s Game, means of production, moral hazard, new economy, Norman Mailer, Occupy movement, precariat, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tragedy of the Commons, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, wage slave, wages for housework

Why is gang violence such a problem in Chicago, my dinner companions are wondering as I sit down at the long banquet table. Someone says something about bad families. At the suggestion of my host, I move to the other end of the table, where a man mentions that I might be interested in an essay titled “The Tragedy of the Commons.” I’ve just read that essay, I tell him, yesterday. He hesitates and then explains it to me. The tragedy, he says, is that everyone will always take as much as they can from the commons. This isn’t my sense of the tragedy—the tragedy is that by the time that essay was written the commons had already been lost and the regulations that once prevented everyone from taking as much as they could from the commons had been forgotten.

Its veracity is less important than its influence, one of my colleagues once said of that essay. Meaning, the lies we want to believe tell us something about ourselves. I excuse myself to join a group of women gathered by the dessert table. One of them tells me that she invests in medical technology. Investment, I’m reminded, is a line of work for the wealthy. I still have “The Tragedy of the Commons” on my mind. I tell her about the work I do in the garden at the elementary school. As I weed and water there, I say, I watch other women coming and going from their volunteer work inside. They do homework with the children who come in early for the free breakfast and they run a book exchange and they give talks about art and they share the work of supporting the school.

Parkwood, Sony, Roc Nation, 2018. The Raft of the Medusa, Théodore Géricault. 1818–1819. The Massacre at Chios, Eugène Delacroix. 1824. Venus de Milo, Alexandros of Antioch. 101 BC. “Art and Property Now,” John Berger. Landscapes: John Berger on Art. Verso, 2016. BLOOD “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Garrett Hardin. Science, December 13, 1968. BICYCLE MANIFESTO “Interview with Cauleen Smith and Brandon Breaux,” Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Cauleen Smith, Brandon Breaux. Creative Chicago: An Interview Marathon, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Alison Cuddy. Terra Foundation for American Art, 2019.


pages: 486 words: 139,713

Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World by Simon Winchester

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Donald Trump, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, Garrett Hardin, glass ceiling, Haight Ashbury, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, Jones Act, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, Tragedy of the Commons, white flight, white picket fence

So far as justification is concerned, the official reasons can be inferred from the long title of the enabling act that Parliament passed in 1773, that “inclosure” was a process designed “for the better Cultivation, Improvement, and Regulation of the Common Arable Fields, Waste and Commons of Pasture in this Kingdom.” The unstated reason, however, was suggested by an infamous paper published in Science magazine very much later, in 1968, which had a title that has since become a catchphrase: “The Tragedy of the Commons.” The essay’s author, an American ecologist named Garrett Hardin who was a devout anti-immigrationist and eugenicist and a believer in the dangers of overpopulation, declared that commonly used land would inevitably be badly used land, because people were greedy or careless, wouldn’t cooperate or take care of their land, would push as many of their own cattle to graze on fields that were already overgrazed, would take more than their fair share, and so on—would, in other words, ruin the bounty that God and Nature had so generously offered to them.

If a person puts more cattle into his own field, the amount of the subsistence which they consume is all deducted from that which was at the command of his original stock; and if, before, there was no more than a sufficiency of pasture, he reaps no benefit from the additional cattle, what is gained one way, being lost in another. But if he puts more cattle on a common, the food which they consume forms a deduction which is shared between all the cattle, as well that of others as his own, and only a small part of it is taken from his own cattle. This, as Hardin described it, was the true tragedy of the commons, and the only sure way to avert it was to make the land private. “Common ownership remorselessly generates tragedy,” he wrote, and then with a final flourish, offered a paragraph memorized by all who have strong views about enclosure and common ownership: An alternative to the commons need not be perfectly just to be preferable.

., 5, 179, 386, 389 Charles River vista, 385 Boudinot, Elias Cornelius, 148–49 boundaries, borders, 39–50, 73–92 accuracy of, 50 Afghanistan-Pakistan border (Durand line), 81 Albania-Montenegro border, 75 ancient Britain, 44–46, 167, 171, 172 ancient field patterns and, 44–47, 45 Andorra-France border, 75–76 Argentina-Chile border, 77 Argentina-Uruguay border, 75 awareness of marked and unmarked, 46–47 Balkan conflicts and, 76 barbed wire and, 218–19n, 218–21, 219 as basis of land possession, 46 Canadian-U.S. border, 73–74, 77, 87–89, 88 ceremonies and celebrations of, 47, 47n, 48 China-India border, 77 of cities and towns, 47 earliest, 75–76 farming, animal husbandry, and, 40–42 of frontiers, 49, 49n, 73–92 governance and, 47 India-Pakistan frontier, 49, 77–85 international land borders, 74–75 Ireland-Britain border, 75 islands and, 74 measuring and mapping of, 47–48 most granular land divisions, 46–47 Myanmar-Manipur border, 75 of nations, 48–49, 73–92 Paris Peace Conference and, 67, 76 Powell’s ideas about, 66 private ownership of land and, 172 unconformity and placement, 45–46 ways to mark, 47 West Bank “separation barrier,” 281 World War II and, 76 Boy Scouts of America, 204, 204n Brasher, Rex, 30, 33, 34 Brasher family, 30 Briscoe and King ranches, Texas, 201 Britain ancient field systems, 45, 167, 171 Anglo-Saxon England, 165–66, 167 animal husbandry in, 41 Balfour Declaration and, 273 “beating the bounds” ceremonies, 47n, 48 birth of the iron plough, 43–44 Boadicea’s uprising, 166, 166n bookland and folkland in, 165–66 boundaries begin in, 44–46, 167, 171 Bronze Age farmers, 40, 42–43, 172 Celts of, 167 class system in, 160 colonial Africa and, 98–99, 366, 367 colonization of North America, 129–31, 133–34, 136–37 common land system, 173–74, 177–78 community land trusts, 392, 393, 395 CROW (Countryside and Rights of Way Act), 223 customary law and assignment of village land, 173 Deverel-Rimbury field patterning, 44, 82–83, 172 Doctrine of Discovery and, 132 Drake’s claim to California, 128 early agriculture, Wiltshire and Dorset, 44, 46 Empire of, Africa, 98–99 enclosure, enclosure acts, 172–81 England-Scotland border, 76 enslavement of Native Americans, 132 growth of cities, 175, 183 Hadrian’s Wall, 76, 166 Industrial Revolution in, 174–75, 179, 183–84 Ireland-Britain border, 75 landed gentry, 159–68, 196 land ownership and the Crown, 195, 272 land ownership in antiquity, 166–67 largest private landowners, 196 maps and free wandering, 98 Murders Abroad Act and, 328, 328n Norman Conquest, 162–65, 167 Norman kings, 164 ocean expansion and land loss in, 400 oldest words in the language, 165 Ordnance Survey Maps, 94–97 Ordnance Survey of, 97 Palestinian Mandate, 272–78, 274n Petty’s thoughts on land and, 133 Plantagenet kings, 164 revolts, land and, 166, 174, 175 as Roman Britannia, 166–67 royal estates of, 249 strip lynchets of, 45, 45 Suez Canal and, 273 trope on British missionary behavior in Africa, 98, 326 Tudor era enclosures, 173 utopian cities of Welwyn and Port Sunlight, 251 wheat grown in antiquity, 40 wilding, rewilding in, 229–32, 234 World War II and, 273 Zionist movement in, 273 British East India Company, 327n Bronze Age, 40, 43, 46, 172 Buccleuch, Duke of, 196 Buchanan, James, 144 Bundle of Rights, 4n, 35, 215 right of exclusion (trespass), 35, 215 Bunnell, Lafayette Houghton, 380–81 Burlington & Missouri River Railroad Company, 141 Burrell, Charles, and Isabella Tree, 230–32, 231 Burton, Sir Richard, 364 Busby, James, 328, 331, 333, 340 Byron, George Gordon, Lord, 247 Cabrillo, Juan Rodríguez, 127 Cade, Jack, 174 California, 7n, 18, 201, 221, 307 Drake lands in, 127 forty-niners, 379 Japanese-American incarceration and land confiscated, 312, 313, 313n, 317 Japanese in, 1940s, 309, 311, 311n Miwok and Mono people of, 378–79, 382 nuclear laboratory in, 255 Savage and Indian clearance, 378–80 Spanish territory, 138 Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, 376–77, 378, 382, 383 Calusa people, 126 Canada, 69 explorers and mapmakers of, 90, 90n Irving family as landowners in, 201–2 Manitoba land fights, 192 métis people in, 192 Northern Plains Indians and, 192 Red River Settlement, 191–92 Scottish clearances and emigration to, 172, 191–92, 191n, 352 See also specific provinces, places Canadian-U.S. border, 73–74, 77, 87–92, 88, 89n 49th parallel, 77, 87, 90, 91 Northwest Angle, 88–90, 91 Capital (Marx), 179 Carse, Duncan, 99–100 Catawba people, 136n Catus, Decianus, 166n Cuyahoga River, 396 Chamberlain, Neville, 353 Charles, Prince of Britain, 78 Charles II, King of England, 25, 34 Charles River, 385–86 Gates of the Charles, 386 Cherokee nation, 136n, 146, 148–50, 404 Indian Territory and, 148 removal plan for, 146 slavery and, 147n Trail of Tears, 145 Cheyenne people, 149, 261 Chickasaw people, 145, 146, 149 Chile, Argentina’s border with, 77 China ancient attitudes on land ownership, 130n, 365 cities with over one million inhabitants, 251 Great Wall, 76 IMW and, 67 Indian border with, 77 most polluted cities, 251 ocean expansion and land loss in, 400 Opium Wars, 327n Wade-Giles system for the Chinese language, 163n Choctaw people, 124, 146, 404 Trail of Tears, 145, 147–48, 147n Churchill, Winston, 180, 282 cities, 247–53 circumferential highways of, 253 Denver and Rocky Flats plutonium plant, 253–60, 254, 257 global migration from rus to urbs, 247 Industrial Revolution and, 247 land degradation and, 247, 248, 252–53 most polluted, 251 over one million inhabitants, 251 public spaces, parks, 248–50, 250 redlining and, 251 today’s “dreadful night,” 250–51 use of eminent domain in, 251–52 well-planned vs. ill-conceived, 250–51 See also specific cities Clare, John, 6, 51 clearance, the clearances, 171–72, 181–93 compared to the Holocaust, 184 population migration and, 171–72, 191–92, 191n resistance of Kildonan, 189–91 Sellar carrying out, 185–86, 188–90 Sutherland family and, 183–85, 183n wretched and miserable results, 181 Cleveland, Ohio, Evergreen Cooperative, 395–96 climate change, 198, 213, 375 cattle population and, 220 extreme weather and, 115 planetary warming, 399–400 rising sea level and, 1, 108, 115, 120, 398–402 Clinton, Bill, 84 Colorado radioactivity and, 254–60, 257 reservations and tribal peoples, 261 Comanche people, 150n common land, 173, 177–78, 272 Barton-upon-Humber, 179–80 enclosure of, in Britain, 175–80 Hebrides, 348, 348–61, 352n, 353 political left’s support of, 178–79 “The Tragedy of the Commons,” 177–78 See also land trusts Connecticut, 3, 17, 207 iron ore and iron goods in, 23–24 surveys and land disputes with N.Y. state, 21n Conquest, Robert, 295–96, 298 conservation, 375 Bhave and Bhoodan movement, 390–92, 391 conservation restrictions or easements, 387–90 land trusts and, 386–90 Muir and, 375, 376, 377 native people’s land claims and, 375–83, 382 nineteenth-century conservation movement, 377 Questing Reserve, Mass., 388–89 Rocky Narrows Reserve, Mass., 386–87 Yosemite Land Grant Act (1864), 378, 382 Cooch Behar, 85, 87 Cook, Captain James, 235–39 lands claimed for Britain, 326, 326, 329 legacy with aboriginal peoples, 239 Cooper, James Fenimore, 17 Cooper, Whina, 337, 338 Cornell University, 203n Cosmopolitan magazine, Wicks article on Guthrie, Okla., 155 Craig, David, 184 Creek people, 145, 146, 148 Cunningham, Sir Alan, 278 Custer, George Armstrong, 143 Czechoslovakia, 353n Dead Sea, shores of, 7n Death Valley, Calif., 7n Defoe, Daniel, 110 Deloria, Philip, 142, 143–44, 144n Denman, Donald R., 39 Denver, Colo.


pages: 414 words: 101,285

The Butterfly Defect: How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do About It by Ian Goldin, Mike Mariathasan

"Robert Solow", air freight, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, butterfly effect, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, connected car, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, diversification, diversified portfolio, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jean Tirole, John Snow's cholera map, Kenneth Rogoff, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, moral hazard, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open economy, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reshoring, risk free rate, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, tail risk, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, trade liberalization, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, uranium enrichment

In a complex system, resilience becomes a separate goal and has to be considered separately from other goals.4 Two interrelated problems arise. The first is that although each of our individual actions may be rational, collectively they may lead to failure. Economists and social scientists have studied the “tragedy of the commons” for centuries. The problem is compounded as the population grows and as incomes rise and individuals become freer to choose what they want to consume. Bluefin tuna fishing was once sustainable, but in January 2013 one such tuna sold for $1.7 million.5 As in the case of rhinoceros horn, it is simply a question of time until the market mechanisms lead to extinction.

Our focus is on the systemic risk that is embedded in the current wave of globalization and the complexity it engenders, which give rise to uncertainty and unintended consequences, including the erosion of the responsibilities of individuals and firms. These unintended outcomes are “externalities” because profit-maximizing agents do not incorporate these social costs in their cost–benefit analyses. Systemic risks may thus be considered a contemporary manifestation of the tragedy of the commons. Exploiting Ricardo’s comparative advantage creates efficiency gains but simultaneously fosters interdependence.55 Using the benefits of trade leads to output growth but also to inequality. The Internet has increased transparency and the flow of information but equally has the potential to facilitate the spread of rumors and panics as well as cybercrime and aggression.

One reason for the failure to identify and contain the financial crisis of 2007/2008 in a timely manner was that the approach to governance was largely guided by thinking in linear and one-dimensional relationships. In a complex and highly nonlinear world, such thinking generates unintended consequences. We have seen that systemic risk is a modern manifestation of the tragedy of the commons. This goes beyond the suggestions of Dani Rodrik, who prominently argues that systemic risk can be better managed by national governments.71 The risks transcend national boundaries, they impact the global commons,72 and they can be time delayed as a result of indirect causation.73 To deal with the twenty-first century’s new systemic risk, therefore, we see the need for greater responsibility coupled with fundamental reforms of global governance.


The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us by Robert H. Frank, Philip J. Cook

accounting loophole / creative accounting, air freight, Alvin Roth, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, business cycle, compensation consultant, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Garrett Hardin, global village, haute couture, income inequality, independent contractor, invisible hand, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, Network effects, positional goods, prisoner's dilemma, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, school choice, Shoshana Zuboff, Stephen Hawking, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, winner-take-all economy

More specifically, it implies that even if we control for age, educa­ tion, experience, ability, and other individual characteristics thought to influence productivity and hence income, we should see greater in­ come variability now than in the past. In chapter 5 we saw evidence of just such a change in income variability in the American economy. Implications for Tax Policy The similarity between winner-take-all markets and the tragedy of the commons suggests a straightforward way of reducing the efficiency losses associated with excessive entry into winner-take-all markets. In the tragedy of the commons, recall, the problem was that individual market incentives called forth too many steers onto the commonly owned pastureland. If the problem is that the individual market re­ wards for an activity are too high from a social perspective, the sim­ plest solution is to tax that activity, thus making it less attractive.

Be­ cause he ignores the cost to others, the prospect of sending an addi­ tional steer seems more attractive to him than it is, in fact, to the village as a whole. Similarly, when an additional singer enters the recording contest, she makes each existing contestant less likely to win, and because she ignores that cost, entry into the recording con­ test is misleadingly attractive. The tragedy of the commons-and, by extension, the overcrowding problem in winner-take-all markets-is also analogous to the problem of environmental pollution. When people respond only to individual Too Many Contestants? 1 09 market incentives, too much pollution results because people ignore the costs of the pollution they impose on one another.

The individual will now compete for the record­ ing contract as long as the expected after-tax payoff is at least as large as the potter's wage. With the effective reward to the winning singer thus reduced, the number of competing singers will fall. Of course, taxation is not the only way of curtailing an activity that is misleadingly attractive to individuals. An alternative solution to the tragedy of the commons is to auction a limited number of grazing permits to the highest bidders. Here, too, an alternative solution would be to auction 122 The Winner-Take-All Society licenses to compete for the recording contract. In a world of perfect capital markets and no transaction costs, the tax and auction alterna­ tives would be equivalent.


pages: 422 words: 104,457

Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance by Julia Angwin

AltaVista, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, bitcoin, Chelsea Manning, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Graeber, Debian, disinformation, Edward Snowden, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Garrett Hardin, GnuPG, Google Chrome, Google Glasses, Ida Tarbell, informal economy, Jacob Appelbaum, John Markoff, Julian Assange, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, market design, medical residency, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, prediction markets, price discrimination, randomized controlled trial, RFID, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, security theater, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, Steven Levy, Tragedy of the Commons, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, Y2K, zero-sum game, Zimmermann PGP

Hirsch compared institutions that mine individuals’ personal data to ranchers who overgraze their cattle on commonly owned grasslands, as portrayed in Garrett Hardin’s seminal 1968 essay in Science magazine, “Tragedy of the Commons.” Hardin described how each rancher seeks to increase profits by adding cattle to his herd, even though too many cattle will overgraze and ruin the pasture for all. “Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all,” Hardin wrote. Hirsch described excessive data mining as a similar tragedy of the commons. Like the cattle herders, he said, companies that mine data have an incentive to use more and more data to gain a competitive advantage. But each time they do so, they undermine users’ trust that their data will be appropriately cared for and protected.

even a few freshwater mussels: Michael Scott, “Freshwater Mussels Found in Cuyahoga River, Indicating Improved Water Quality,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 22, 2009, http://www.cleveland.com/science/index.ssf/2009/08/freshwater_mussels_found_in_cu.html. To understand the links: Dennis Hirsch, in discussion with author, July 26, 2011. as portrayed in Garrett Hardin’s: Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162, no. 3859 (December 13, 1968): 1423–48, http://www.sciencemag.org/content/162/3859/1243.full. “The risk here is that eventually”: Dennis Hirsch, in discussion with author, July 26, 2011. This is the argument put forth: David Brin, The Transparent Society (New York: Basic Books, 1999).

See dragnets Surveillance Catalog surveillance flexitarians Surveillance in the Stacks (Foerstel) surveillance theater surveillance vegans Sussmann, Michael Sweeney, Latanya TACODA Tarbell, Ida (fake identity) tax fraud Taylor, Wendy TECS database telecommunications providers Te’o, Manti terms of service terrorism terrorist watch lists text messages encrypted TextSecure The Amnesic Incognito Live System (Tails) ThinThread Third-Party Doctrine Thomson Reuters’s Westlaw threat models assessing vulnerabilities and identifying threats self-defense tactics vs. thumb drives Thunderbird Tiffany, Michael J. J. Time TLO (The Last One) Todesco, Gaebriella Töpfer, Eric Toporoff, Steve Tor Toxics Release Inventory tracker blockers tracker lists traffic analysis “Tragedy of the Commons” (Hardin) Trailblazer transparency Transparent Society, The (Brin) TransUnion travel. See also airlines; border searches; no-fly lists; terrorist watch lists Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) Treasury Department Treasury Enforcement Communications System TrueRep.com trust Truth in Caller ID Act (2010) Tsarnaev, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Tamerlan Twitter auditing your data on password and two-factor authentication Twombly, Linda Tynan, Dan Union Square Ventures United Kingdom United Nations Declaration of Human Rights U.S.


pages: 319 words: 108,797

Dark, Salt, Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town by Lamorna Ash

Garrett Hardin, hive mind, invisible hand, Joan Didion, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Tragedy of the Commons, Year of Magical Thinking

It is all these things at once, every contradiction and inconsistency. In 1968 the biologist and ecologist Garrett Hardin published a paper called ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, in which he argued that individuals are motivated by their own self-interest to overuse common property. If the seas are left unchecked as a communal resource, Hardin explains, each man will ensure he spends as much time and effort at sea as to be certain no one else can take his share. The tragedy of the commons, as with most economic theories designed to make sense of an unpredictable world, is not as simplistic as first outlined; humans cannot simply be reduced to inherently selfish agents, as they cannot be reduced to purely good or evil.

Rather, it seems clearer now that the rising competition over the produce of the seas is also intrinsically tied to the expansion of capitalism around Europe, the advancement in fishing technology and the more desperate conditions created by post-war austerity. The introduction of individual fishing quotas (IFQs) throughout Europe during the 1960s was an attempt to tackle the tragedy of the commons, each fishing boat being allowed to catch their appropriate share of fish within the seas they hunted. Privatisation became a quick fix to the problems of commonly owned resources. The assumption went: if each fisherman had a property right over their share of the fish in the sea, instead of believing they were all chasing the same stocks, they would be more likely to conserve fish for the future.

When the sea-faring peoples of Oceania consider their world, he writes, they do not think only of the islands, but ‘the surrounding ocean as far as they could traverse and exploit it, the underworld with its fire-controlling and earth-shaking denizens and the heavens above with their hierarchies of powerful gods and named stars and constellations that people could count on to guide their way across the seas’ – a sea of islands. Though Cornwall is a county in the UK and not a continent, I found Hau’Ofa’s image of a land that does not end with the land but extends out into the waters a powerful tool with which to consider Newlyn and Cornwall more generally. For Garrett Hardin, see ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, in Science, Vol. 162, no. 2859 (1968). For Elizabeth Bishop, see ‘The Fish’, in The Complete Poems. For Joseph Conrad, see The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’. CAREWORN For Dylan Thomas, see ‘Quite Early One Morning’, in Collected Stories (New York: New Directions, 1945, 1967, and London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2014).


pages: 1,261 words: 294,715

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

autonomous vehicles, Bernie Madoff, biofilm, blood diamonds, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Brownian motion, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, desegregation, different worldview, domesticated silver fox, double helix, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Flynn Effect, framing effect, fudge factor, George Santayana, global pandemic, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, income inequality, John von Neumann, Loma Prieta earthquake, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, microaggression, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mouse model, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, out of africa, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, publication bias, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, theory of mind, Tragedy of the Commons, transatlantic slave trade, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, twin studies, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, wikimedia commons, zero-sum game

Slow and Fast: The Separate Problems of “Me Versus Us” and “Us Versus Them” The contrast between rapid, automatic moral intuitionism and conscious, deliberative moral reasoning plays out in another crucial realm and is the subject of Greene’s superb 2014 book Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them.33 Greene starts with the classic tragedy of the commons. Shepherds bring their flocks to a common grazing field. There are so many sheep that there is the danger of destroying the commons, unless people decrease the size of their herds. And the tragedy is that if it is truly a commons, there is no incentive to ever cooperate—you’d range from being a fool if no one else was cooperating to being a successful free rider if everyone else was.

This issue, namely how to jump-start and then maintain cooperation in a sea of noncooperators, ran through all of chapter 10 and, as shown in the widespread existence of social species that cooperate, this is solvable (stay tuned for more in the final chapter). When framed in the context of morality, averting the tragedy of the commons requires getting people in groups to not be selfish; it is an issue of Me versus Us. But Greene outlines a second type of tragedy. Now there are two different groups of shepherds, and the challenge is that each group has a different approach to grazing. One, for example, treats the pasture as a classic commons, while the other believes that the pasture should be divided up into parcels of land belonging to individual shepherds, with high, strong fences in between.

The thing that makes the tragedy of commonsense morality so tragic is the intensity with which you just know that They are deeply wrong. In general, our morally tinged cultural institutions—religion, nationalism, ethnic pride, team spirit—bias us toward our best behaviors when we are single shepherds facing a potential tragedy of the commons. They make us less selfish in Me versus Us situations. But they send us hurtling toward our worst behaviors when confronting Thems and their different moralities. The dual process nature of moral decision making gives some insights into how to avert these two very different types of tragedies.


The State and the Stork: The Population Debate and Policy Making in US History by Derek S. Hoff

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, back-to-the-land, British Empire, business cycle, clean water, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, feminist movement, full employment, garden city movement, Garrett Hardin, George Gilder, Gunnar Myrdal, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, New Economic Geography, new economy, old age dependency ratio, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tragedy of the Commons, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, War on Poverty, white flight, zero-sum game

Stationary Population Growth,” Population Studies 22 (November 1968): 379–97. 65. Davis, “Zero Population Growth.” 66. Rienow and Rienow, Moment in the Sun, 211–12. 67. Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (December 13, 1968): 1243–48. 68. Ibid., 1246. 69. Ibid., 1247. 70. Garrett Hardin, “Living on a Lifeboat,” BioScience 24 (October 1974): 561–68. 71. Hardin wrote that “those who are biologically more fit to be the custodians of property and power should legally inherit more” (“Tragedy of the Commons,” 1247). Still, he rejected the notion that genetics should guide such transfers and never suggested that members of various ethnic groups have different innate abilities.

Let all lovers of life plead for a new philosophy, a transformed social code, so that this nation and the world may survive.”66 A famous proponent of draconian population control was biologist Garrett Hardin, an enormously polarizing figure whose radicalism encouraged many to view the population movement as nothing more than the old wine of eugenics in new bottles. In “The Tragedy of the Commons,” which appeared in Science in 1968, Hardin called for a “new morality” to solve the population problem.67 He invoked a classic market failure: when land (in his example, a pasture) is owned in common, any one individual has every incentive to work this land as hard as possible because the grass is free.

For a summary of Blake’s thesis and reaction to it (which depicts a more intractable divide between Blake and the population movement than do I), see Critchlow, Intended Consequences, 159–60. Also see Oscar Harkavy, Frederick S. Jaffe, and Samuel M. Wishik, “Family Planning and Public Policy: Who Is Misleading Whom?” Science 165 (July 25, 1969): 367–73. 162. Hardin, “Tragedy of the Commons,” 1245. 163. This camp also held that a fairer distribution of resources would ameliorate many of the problems incorrectly attributed to population growth, even though a more even distribution of resources would in fact increase consumption and pollution. 164. For the chasm between environmentalists and the New Left, see Beck and Kolankiewicz, “Environmental Movement’s Retreat,” 136–38.


pages: 246 words: 116

Tyler Cowen-Discover Your Inner Economist Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist-Plume (2008) by Unknown

airport security, Andrei Shleifer, big-box store, British Empire, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, cross-subsidies, fundamental attribution error, George Santayana, haute cuisine, market clearing, microcredit, money market fund, pattern recognition, Ralph Nader, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs

Munch's The Scream (we will see whether its recent theft, return, and damage will resurrect its aesthetic oomph) 58 I DISCOVER YOUR INNER ECONOMIST I'll add Gilbert Stuart's portrait of George Washington-which adorns the $1 bill-to the list. Nor am I happy about the "Mondrian bag" and the "Mondrian shampoo." Twitchell goes further and suggests that: "Monet, Picasso, Degas, Cezanne, Gauguin, and van Gogh are just on the edge of becoming cliches." Economists call this phenomenon "the tragedy of the commons." A tragedy of the commons occurs when individual actions, taken together, destroy the value of an asset or resource. In this case the lost value is the surprise and power of art. Many sources, such as authors, editors, and advertisers, display an image, but in the process the famous starts to look ordinary.

See sin and human failings terrorism, 129-30, 172, 174,220-21 Thomas, Sonya, 172 time and relationships, 87-88 scarcity of, 48, 50, 54 value of, 43-44 tipping point, 199 tipping practices, 121, 208-10 titles, 108, 109-10 To, Theodore, 109-10 toilet seats, 81, 91 Index torture, 99-107 tourism, 156 trade, 2,15-16,163-64 "tragedy of the commons," 58 transaction costs, 176, 181 Tropic of Cancer (Miller), 65 truth-telling, 104-7 tsunami of 2004, 197,200 Twitchell, James, 57-58 Ulysses (Joyce), 64 United Kingdom, 149, 186 United Nations diplomats, 16-19, 22 United States, 103-4, 149 United Way, 205 values, 166, 219-22 vanity, 175-76 Vincent, Gene, 58 virtues, 117, 136-37, 183 volunteerism, 186 I 245 Waldfogel, Joel, 185,210,211 warranties, 90-91 Washington, George, 57 Washington Crossing the Delaware (Leutze), 57 weaknesses.


pages: 379 words: 114,807

The Land Grabbers: The New Fight Over Who Owns the Earth by Fred Pearce

activist lawyer, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, British Empire, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Cape to Cairo, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate raider, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, Garrett Hardin, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, megacity, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, Nikolai Kondratiev, offshore financial centre, out of africa, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, smart cities, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, undersea cable, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks

Pastoralists are seen as the big villains in the environmentalists’ narrative of the “tragedy of the commons,” in which the American ecologist Garrett Hardin posited that sharing the environment doesn’t work. According to Hardin, when there are common pastures, those with the most animals will make the most profit, while everyone, however many or few animals they have, will share in the suffering as the pasture is overgrazed. The only rational response is therefore to graze as many animals as you can till the pasture turns to dust. Remedy: privatize the lot. The tragedy of the commons is a land grabbers’ charter. Nice theory; shame about the facts.

And to balk at the patina of virtue that often surrounds environmentalists eagerly taking other people’s land in the interests of protecting wildlife. What right do “green grabbers” have to take peasant fields and pastures to grow biofuels, cordon off rich pastures for nature conservation, shut up forests as carbon stores, and fence in wilderness as playpens and hunting grounds for rich sponsors? They are cooking up a “tragedy of the commons” in reverse. Over the next few decades I believe land grabbing will matter more, to more of the planet’s people, even than climate change. The new land rush looks increasingly like a final enclosure of the planet’s wild places, a last roundup on the global commons. Is this the inevitable cost of feeding the world and protecting its surviving wildlife?

Zwarts’s hydrology is discussed in more detail in “The Niger, a Lifeline,” http://www.altwym.nl (2005), and “Will the Inner Niger Delta Shrivel Up Due to Climate Change and Water Use Downstream?” http://www.wetlands.org (2009). Chapter 26: Badia, Jordan I visited the Jordanian Badia in 1995 and wrote about the journey in “Shepherds Wise Men,” http://www.newscientist.com. Garrett Hardin’s “The Tragedy of the Commons,” is at http://www.sciencemag.org (1968). IUCN reports are discussed in “Global Review of the Economics of Pastoralism,” cmsdata.iucn.org (2006). Further details about Oromia are provided in “Putting Pastoralists on the Policy Agenda: Land Alienation in Southern Ethiopia,” http://pubs.iied.org (2010); “Pastoralists in Southern Ethiopia,” http://www.drylands-group.org (2008); and “Indian Company Given Oromia Land Twice the Size of Singapore,” http://www.jimmatimes.com (2011).


pages: 374 words: 114,660

The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, Columbian Exchange, compensation consultant, creative destruction, declining real wages, Downton Abbey, end world poverty, financial innovation, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, new economy, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, structural adjustment programs, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, very high income, War on Poverty

We might worry that a few parents have children only to exploit or otherwise abuse them, but even this does not makes the case that other people will make better choices on their behalf. The more serious argument comes when costs fall on others—more crowded schools or clinics; less common land, firewood, or clean water; or global warming. This argument, often described as the tragedy of the commons, implies that people will have too many children, and it has long been a key plank of the argument for population control. There are various ways around the tragedy of the commons. Economists like to use prices to solve such problems, and it will sometimes be possible to use a tax to make people pay attention to a social cost that they would otherwise ignore. A classic example is a global tax on carbon, which would do much to combat global warming.

The provision of clinics and schools can also be dealt with through local or national politics. The appropriate political institutions may include some sort of economic or social incentives to limit family size, and this sort of population control—if arrived at in a democratic way—is an appropriate solution to the tragedy of the commons and related difficulties. What such arguments do not support is population control by outsiders such as foreign governments, international institutions, or foundations, especially when those organizations have their own interests and an often too limited understanding of the lives of the people they are nominally trying to help.

., 234 South Africa: foreign aid received by, 296; HIV/AIDS in, 40; inequality in, 34–35, 40 Stevenson, Betsey, 50 Stone, Richard, 229 Suez Canal, 297 Summers, Robert, 222 Sweden: life evaluation scores in, 48; life expectancies in, 67–68, 70; mortality rates in, 68–70, 68f, 72; smallpox in, 84; vital registration system of, 72 Szreter, Simon, 97 taxes: carbon, 242; in democracies, 295; income, 199–200, 203, 204–5, 212; progressive, 199–200, 261 Taya, Maaouya Ould Sid’Ahmed, 301 technical assistance, 278, 321–22 technological change: in medicine, 99; skill-biased, 191–93; wages and, 194–95; wellbeing increased by, 327–28 Terry, Luther, 131–32 Thomas, Keith, 55 Tinbergen, Jan, 191 tobacco, 7, 66, 131–35, 137, 152 Togo, 48, 296 Tonga, 277, 278 trachoma, 98–99, 103 trade, 313, 322, 323. See also commodities trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS), 319 tragedy of the commons, 242–43 TRIPS. See trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights tuberculosis, ix–x, 63, 79, 90, 99, 103, 104, 120, 320. See also diseases Uganda: foreign aid received by, 296; health aid in, 311 UN. See United Nations UNICEF, 103, 269, 307, 309 unions, decline of, 198 United Nations (UN): charter, 306; Food and Agriculture Organization, 307; Millennium Development Goals, 276; Millennium Development Villages, 314 United Nations Development Program, 223–24, 276–77, 289–90, 302, 307 United States: agricultural subsidies of, 323; cardiovascular disease in, 136–37, 136f; Civil War, 297, 298; economic growth in, 169–72, 169f, 178–79, 186, 214–15; emotional wellbeing in, 53–54; foreign aid of, 272, 275, 278, 279, 286, 307–8; health care spending in, 35, 121, 144, 145–47, 195; health care system of, 122–23, 138; heights in, 159; immigrants to, 98–99, 198; income inequality in, 175, 187–89, 188f, 200–206, 204f, 207, 260–61, 327; incomes in, 227–28; life expectancies in, 24–25, 27, 35, 60–62, 61f, 63, 65–67, 135; lung cancer mortality rates in, 134–35, 134f; mortality rates in, 68–69, 68f, 71; poverty in, 27, 179–81, 180f, 184–86; poverty line in, 181–84, 185–86, 197, 256–57; smallpox in, 86; surgeon general’s report on smoking, 131–32; vital registration system of, 72 United States Agency for International Development, 72, 243 U.S.


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Buying Time: The Delayed Crisis of Democratic Capitalism by Wolfgang Streeck

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, banking crisis, basic income, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial repression, fixed income, full employment, Garrett Hardin, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, late capitalism, liberal capitalism, means of production, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, profit maximization, risk tolerance, shareholder value, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, union organizing, winner-take-all economy, Wolfgang Streeck

Its favourite narrative is of excessive demands on the ‘common pool’1 – an old, though perhaps not venerable, concept invented in the nineteenth century to justify in the name of efficiency the usually forcible privatization of the medieval commons in the transition to modern capitalism.2 Marx described this process of ‘primitive accumulation’ in Capital Volume 1.3 FINANCIAL CRISIS: A FAILURE OF DEMOCRACY? In short, the many different variants of the story of the ‘tragedy of the commons’4 boil down to the idea that if a resource is not individually owned and freely available to all the members of a community, it will soon be exhausted through overgrazing, overfishing, and so on. People acting in accordance with individual rationality will not be able to resist the temptation to take more from the common pool than they give to it, and more than that pool is able to provide in the long run.

Poterba and Jürgen von Hagen (eds), Institutions, Politics and Fiscal Policy, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1999. 2 D. North and R. Thomas, The Rise of the Western World: A New Economic History, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973. 3 K. Marx, Capital, Volume One, London: Penguin/New Left Books, 1976 [1867], Part 8. 4 G. Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science, vol. 162/3859, 1968, pp. 1243–8. 5 On the ‘inflated demands of the economic system’, see J. Beckert, Die Anspruchsinflation des Wirtschaftssystems, Cologne: Max-Planck-Institut für Gesellschaftsforschung, 2009. By now the literature on Goldman Sachs would fill whole book shelves.

Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer – and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011. Hall, Peter A. and David Soskice, ‘An Introduction to Varieties of Capitalism’, in Peter A. Hall et al. (eds), Varieties of Capitalism: The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 1–68. Hardin, Garrett, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science, vol. 162/3859, 1968, pp. 1243–8. Hassel, Anke, ‘The Erosion of the German System of Industrial Relations’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 37/3, 1999, pp. 483–505. Hayek, Friedrich A., ‘Full Employment, Planning and Inflation’, in Studies in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1967 [1950], pp. 270–79. ———.


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Extreme Economies: Survival, Failure, Future – Lessons From the World’s Limits by Richard Davies

agricultural Revolution, air freight, Anton Chekhov, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big-box store, cashless society, clean water, complexity theory, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial innovation, Garrett Hardin, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, large denomination, Livingstone, I presume, Malacca Straits, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, school choice, school vouchers, Scramble for Africa, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, the payments system, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, Travis Kalanick, uranium enrichment, urban planning, wealth creators, white picket fence, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

The conversion of rainforest to farmland and the policies adopted to prevent deforestation are discussed and evaluated in Nelson et al. (2001); maps of the forest cover over time and the impact of logging are provided in Gutierrez (1989); the problem of deforestation and the rise of cattle-ranching are discussed in Arcia (2017) and Belisle (2018). The ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ Ecologist Garrett Hardin coined the term ‘Tragedy of the Commons’ in the 1960s in a discussion of overpopulation and the environment – Hardin (1968). Failures of free markets The example of common ground that is damaged by overuse is set out in the first of William Forster Lloyd’s ‘Two Lectures on the Checks to Population’ delivered in Oxford in 1832.

Absent of rules and regulations, markets can arise that destroy resources, reduce the value of a human settlement and undermine its long-term prospects. The puzzle is why, in a region where everyone knows the environment is being degraded, the people of Darien can’t manage the economy in a way that stops it happening. Economists have worried about this problem, often called the ‘Tragedy of the Commons’, for centuries. Darien’s extractive jungle economy is a striking modern example of those concerns and a reminder of why, despite economists’ tendency to be enthusiastic about the power markets have to create value, they cannot be trusted to do so. The fact that trade might be destructive was first set out by William Forster Lloyd in a pair of lectures delivered at Oxford University in 1832.

An Economic Estimation’, New Forests, 41, 13–39. Gutierrez, R. (1989), ‘La deforestación, principal causa del problema ecología ambiental de Pánama’, Dirección Nacional de Desarollo Forestal. Hall, J. (2018), ‘Curing “Teak Fever” in Panama through Smart Reforestation’, UN-REDD, 4 September. Hardin, G. (1968), ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science, 162 (3859), 1243–8. Harris, W. (1700), A Defence of the Scots Abdicating Darien (Edinburgh). Herlihy, P. (1989), ‘Opening Panama’s Darien Gap’, Journal of Cultural Geography, 9 (2), 42–59. ———— (2003), ‘Participatory Research Mapping of Indigenous Lands in Darién, Panama’, Human Organization, 62 (4).


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Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman

Airbnb, Anton Chekhov, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Broken windows theory, call centre, David Graeber, domesticated silver fox, Donald Trump, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Garrett Hardin, Hans Rosling, invention of writing, invisible hand, knowledge economy, late fees, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, placebo effect, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, surveillance capitalism, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tragedy of the Commons, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, universal basic income, World Values Survey

., ‘Assessment of Participatory Budgeting in Brazil’. 25Michael Touchton and Brian Wampler, ‘Improving Social Well-Being Through New Democratic Institutions’, Comparative Political Studies, Vol. 47, Issue 10 (2013). 26‘Back to the Polis: Direct Democracy’, The Economist (17 September 1994). 27David Van Reybrouck, Against Elections. The Case for Democracy (London, 2016). 28‘Communism’, oxforddictionaries.com. 29Graeber, Debt, pp. 94–102. 30Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science, Vol. 162, Issue 3859 (13 December 1968). 31John Noble Wilford, ‘A Tough-minded Ecologist Comes to Defense of Malthus’, New York Times (30 June 1987). 32Ian Angus, ‘The Myth of the Tragedy of the Commons’, Climate & Capitalism (25 August 2008). 33John A. Moore, ‘Science as a Way of Knowing – Human Ecology’, American Zoologist, Vol. 25, Issue 2 (1985), p. 602. 34Tim Harford, ‘Do You Believe in Sharing?’

The concept of the commons gained currency with a piece published in the journal Science by American biologist Garrett Hardin. This was 1968, a time of revolution. Millions of demonstrators around the world took to the streets in protest, rallying to the cry: ‘Be realistic. Demand the impossible.’ But not the conservative Garrett Hardin. His six-page paper made short work of hippie idealism. Title? ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’. ‘Picture a pasture open to all,’ Hardin wrote. ‘It is to be expected that each herdsman will try to keep as many cattle as possible on the commons.’ But what makes sense at the individual level results in a collective disaster, with overgrazing leaving nothing but barren wasteland. Hardin used the term ‘tragedy’ in the Greek sense, to mean a regrettable but inevitable event: ‘Freedom in a commons,’ he said, ‘brings ruin to all.’30 Hardin was not afraid to reach harsh conclusions.

It’s hard to overstate the impact of Hardin’s paper, which went on to become the most widely reprinted ever published in a scientific journal, read by millions of people across the world.32 ‘[It] should be required reading for all students,’ declared an American biologist in the 1980s, ‘and, if I had my way, for all human beings.’33 Ultimately, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ would prove among the most powerful endorsements for the growth of the market and the state. Since common property was tragically doomed to fail, we needed either the visible hand of the state to do its salutary work, or the invisible hand of the market to save us. It seemed these two flavours – the Kremlin or Wall Street – were the only options available.


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Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, Food sovereignty, Garrett Hardin, Haber-Bosch Process, household responsibility system, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Just-in-time delivery, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, Northern Rock, Panamax, peak oil, refrigerator car, scientific mainstream, sexual politics, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, Tragedy of the Commons, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Hardin’s observation that common rights can be exploited for individual gain has long been common knowledge to all who share common resources, and any society that survives has, almost by definition, found a means of mediating unsustainable acquisitiveness. Arthur McEvoy remarks ‘Farmers in Garret Hardin’s ‘Tragedy of the Commons’, are as radically alienated from each other as they are from the grass on which they feed their cows … Hardin’s commoners don’t know how to talk to each other.’ Another anthropologist, James McGoodwin, adds: ‘What I find most objectionable about the Tragedy of the Commons model, at least when it is applied to the fisheries, is the cynical view of the mentality, character and personality of fishers implied in the explanation of how the tragedy develops.’19 Throughout the 1980s and the 1990s in particular, anthropologists working in the field consistently reported that the communities they studied had developed often sophisticated methods for managing resources to ensure that they were not over exploited and were distributed reasonably equitably – though this generosity did not necessarily extend to everybody in the community; in some cases a resource may have been kept common only to an elite or a particular social group.

This dispute, waged on the high seas and in the corridors of bureaucracies such as the World Bank, the FAO and the European Commission, sometimes pits nation against nation – but it more commonly pits large corporate fleets represented by economists against small local fishing fleets represented by anthropologists. It is not hard to determine who has the upper hand, but the battle has not been entirely one-sided. The economists take their philosophical standpoint from Garret Hardin who, in a much cited article published in Science in 1968 coined the term, ‘Tragedy of the Commons’. 15 In fact fishery economists such as H Scott Gordon and Francis Christy had arrived at the same conclusion some years before. Hardin’s paper described how individual ‘rational’ graziers sharing a common pasture would inevitably overstock the common with their own cattle in order to derive more private gain at public expense.

Thompson, E P (1976), Whigs and Hunters, Allen Lane. 8 Hammond, J L and Barbara (1911), The Village Labourer, Guild, 1948. 9 See for example the magnificent collection of material at the poaching museum in St Pancraz, Austria. 10 Ortega y Gasset, José (1942), Meditations on Hunting, Wildlife Adventures Press, 1995, p 40. 11 Gadgil, Madhav and Guha, Ramachandra (1993), This Fissured Land, Oxford University Press. 12 Goodall, J (2004), ‘When Primates become Bushmeat’, World Watch, July/August 2004. 13 United Fishermen of Alaska (2007), ‘Subsistence Basics’, Subsistence Management Information, http://www.subsistmgtinfo.org/index.htm 14 United Fishermen of Alaska (2007),‘Federal or State’, Subsistence Management Information, http://www.subsistmgtinfo.org/index.htm 15 Hardin, Garrett (1968), ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science, December 1968. Gordon, H Scott (1954), ‘The Economic Theory of a Common Property Resource: The Fishery’, Journal of Political Economy, 62:2, pp 124-42; and Christy, F and Scott, A (1965), The Commonwealth in Ocean Fisheries, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. 16 Edward Loayza, cited in The Ecologist, Vol No 2/3 March-June 1995, p 42; exactly the same words are used by FAO Director General Jacques Diouf in J Diouf (2001), FAO Director General: Too Many Vessels Chasing Too Few Fish, Reykjavik Conference on Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem, 2 October 2001, reported at http://www.waddenzee.nl 17 The ultimate form of marine enclosure is fish-farming.


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How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities by John Cassidy

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, asset allocation, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, Blythe Masters, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, different worldview, diversification, Elliott wave, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Gunnar Myrdal, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, incomplete markets, index fund, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Landlord’s Game, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, mental accounting, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, Nick Leeson, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Northern Rock, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Ponzi scheme, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, tail risk, Tax Reform Act of 1986, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, unorthodox policies, value at risk, Vanguard fund, Vilfredo Pareto, wealth creators, zero-sum game

When there are ten, or twenty, or a hundred players, it is virtually impossible—a fact highly germane to the overexploitation of natural resources, such as tropical rain forests, the fish in the sea, and the sub-Saharan plains. In 1968, Garrett Hardin, a Texan ecologist who died in 2003, tackled this problem in a famous article, “The Tragedy of the Commons.” The example Hardin used was that of a pasture shared by local herders. The pasture is limited in size, and all the herders know that overgrazing will render it useless for everybody. At the same time, though, the herders’ incomes are determined by the size of their herds, which gives them an incentive to add more animals to the pasture.

A player in the human game of life isn’t some abstract entity called “everybody.” We are all separate individuals, each with our own aims and purposes. Even when our capacity for love moves us to make sacrifices for others, we each do so in our own way and for our own reasons. If we pretend otherwise, we have no hope of ever getting to grips with the Tragedy of the Commons. 12. HIDDEN INFORMATION AND THE MARKET FOR LEMONS In the late summer of 1966, significant things were happening in California’s Bay Area. In Haight-Ashbury, a run-down neighborhood of cheap apartments and vacant buildings just east of Golden Gate State Park, a vibrant subculture was developing around marijuana, LSD, and the psychedelic music of Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, two local bands; in Candlestick Park, out near the airport, which was then home to the San Francisco Giants football team, the Beatles played what turned out to be their final concert before paying fans; across the water in Oakland, Bobby Seale and Huey P.

THE PRISONER’S DILEMMA AND RATIONAL IRRATIONALITY 143 Flood’s babysitting experiment: See William Poundstone, The Prisoner’s Dilemma: John Von Neumann, Game Theory, and the Puzzle of the Bomb (New York: Doubleday, 1992), 103. 143 Non-cooperative pair experiment: Ibid., 106–107. 145 “Both Flood and Dresher . . .”: Ibid., 122. 147 90 percent of the players choose: Ken Binmore, Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 21. 149 “Adding together the component . . .”: Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (1968): 1244. 150 “Game theorists get . . .”: Binmore, Game Theory, 67. 12. HIDDEN INFORMATION AND THE MARKET FOR LEMONS 151 “I belonged to . . .”: From George Akerlof’s Nobel autobiography, available at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/laureates/2001/akerlof-autobio.html. 152 “a major reason as to why . . .”: George Akerlof, “Writing ‘The Market for Lemons’: A Personal and Interpretive Essay,” available at http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economics/articles/akerlof/index.html. 153 “[M]ost cars traded . . .”: George Akerlof, “The Market for ‘Lemons’: Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism,” Quarterly Journal of Economics 84 (1970): 489. 154 “was potentially an issue . . .”: Akerlof, “Writing ‘The Market for Lemons.’ ” 155 “marginally attached”: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Issues in Labor Statistics, Summary 90–04 (April 2009): 1. 156 “it is quite possible . . .”: Akerlof, “The Market for ‘Lemons,’ ” 494. 157 2006 health care spending: “National Health Spending in 2006: A Year of Change for Prescription Drugs,” Health Affairs 27, no. 1 (2008): 14. 158 “The most obvious . . .”: Kenneth J.


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Against Intellectual Monopoly by Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, agricultural Revolution, barriers to entry, business cycle, cognitive bias, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, experimental economics, financial innovation, independent contractor, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of radio, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jean Tirole, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, linear programming, market bubble, market design, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, new economy, open economy, peer-to-peer, pirate software, placebo effect, price discrimination, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Richard Stallman, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, the market place, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Y2K

Economists argue that some form of government intervention is needed for the provision of public goods: because you will benefit from my contribution to the public good, there is a tendency for you to free ride off of my contribution and for me to undercontribute. This is sometimes called the tragedy of the commons – when something is commonly owned but privately enjoyed, everyone tries to consume without contributing. Ideas, it is argued, are nonrivalrous like public defense or the beauty of a sunset in Capri – your use of the fundamental theorem of calculus in no way interferes with my use of it. Ideas, it is argued, are prone to suffer the tragedy of the commons: everyone trying to use common ideas without ever contributing to the common pool. However, this same line of reasoning goes, ideas, unlike sunsets, are “excludable,” meaning that we do not have to share ideas with other people if we do not choose to.

For example, if a pasture is public, I do not take account of the negative effect my grazing sheep have on the availability of grass for your sheep. Because roads are public, I do not consider that my driving on the road makes it more difficult for you to get to work. Because the ocean is public, I do not consider that catching fish leaves fewer for you. This is known as the tragedy of the commons, and in each case it means that the pasture, road, or ocean will be overused. Is the public domain for ideas like a common? Does my using ideas in the public domain have an adverse effect on your ability to use them? Certainly common sense suggests that “there can be no overgrazing of intellectual property . . . because intellectual property is not destroyed or even diminished by consumption.

Norton, 24–25 diffusion of, 164–166 war, 82 history of, 64 Watt, James, 1–3, 4–5, 11–12 reduction of fixed cost by, 176 web browser, 17 Tesla, Nikola, 203, 205–206 webscriptions, 35–36 textile coloring products, 88 Weisburst, Sandy, 222 Tirole, Jean, 158 welfare triangle, 68, 69–70 Total Factor Productivity (TFP), 54, 72 Whitney, Eli, 51 trademarks, 7, 259–260 World Fairs, 190–191 trade restrictions, 244, 245, 265–267 Wright brothers, 87–88, 206–207 trade secrets, 163–164, 166–169. See also non-compete clauses x-inefficiency, 68 tragedy of the commons, 156, 177 transaction costs, 254 Zimbabwe, 151–152 Document Outline Cover Half-title Title Copyright Contents Acknowledgments ONE Introduction Comments Notes TWO Creation under Competition Software �� �� Copyrightables: Books, News, Movies, and Music �� �� The Modern American Newspaper The World Before Copyright �� The Birth of the Movie and of the Recording Industries �� �� Comments Notes THREE Innovation under Competition World without Patent The Industrial Revolution and the Steam Engine Agriculture Spanish Hortalezas and Italian Maglioni Financial Markets Design Sports Profits without Patents Patent Pools Comments Notes FOUR The Evil of Intellectual Monopoly The Cost of Patent �� �� �� Undoing Progress �� �� �� �� �� Comments Notes FIVE The Devil in Disney Everlasting Copyright The Economics ofMusic The Digital Millennium Copyright Act Freedom of Expression From Policy Error to Policy Blunder: Mandating Encryption Rent Seeking and Taxes Notes SIX How Competition Works The Fruits of the Idea Tree Fixed Costs and Competition Indivisibility The Collaborative Advantage The First-Mover Advantage �� �� Ideas of Uncertain Value The Social Value of Imitation Notes SEVEN Defenses of Intellectual Monopoly Private Property and Public Goods Economic Arguments for Intellectual Monopoly Fixed Cost and Constant Marginal Cost �� The Imitative Externality Quantifying Unpriced Spillovers Secrecy and Patents Schumpeterian Good Monopoly The Idea Economy The Global Economy The Public Domain and the Commons Notes EIGHT Does Intellectual Monopoly Increase Innovation?


The New Enclosure: The Appropriation of Public Land in Neoliberal Britain by Brett Christophers

Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Corn Laws, credit crunch, cross-subsidies, Diane Coyle, estate planning, Garrett Hardin, ghettoisation, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, income inequality, invisible hand, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, late capitalism, market clearing, Martin Wolf, New Journalism, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, price stability, profit motive, Right to Buy, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tragedy of the Commons, urban sprawl, wealth creators

I could have made this observation at more or less any point in this section, but this seems as good a place as any: our use of the land for enjoyment, as well as economic production, has ecological implications. Landownership always intermediates these effects. That it does so is, in fact, the central claim of one of the most famous interventions in the literature on environmental management, Garrett Hardin’s famous ‘tragedy of the commons’ thesis.3 Hardin claimed that holding land communally tends to have tragic ecological consequences because individuals lack incentives to use the land sustainably. I will say no more here about that thesis, or counter-arguments to it. It resurfaces in Chapter 3. The Privatization of Landownership For the remainder of this chapter, I move from the question of landownership and its importance generally to questions of public (state-based) and private landownership more specifically.

‘We believe’, said the enquiry team that in 1983 accused NHS property managers of a ‘casual’ attitude towards their assets, ‘that this attitude derives largely from the fact that property in the NHS is a “free good”’.2 A free good is a good that is, by definition, not scarce, the consumption or use of which therefore incurs no opportunity cost; thus there is, in essence, no incentive to ration one’s usage or not to use the good ‘casually’. Why, after all, would one be parsimonious in using land if no cost is incurred through not doing so? This argument can be thought of as a version of Garrett Hardin’s famous ‘tragedy of the commons’ thesis.3 Hardin argued that communally owned environmental resources are used inefficiently, and are ultimately degraded, because in such a context individuals lack the incentives necessary to encourage sustainable use. Critics of public landownership make much the same case: it is the nature of the system of ownership, and the attendant misalignment of incentives, that engenders inefficiency.

., p. 83. 2 H. de Soto, The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else (New York: Basic Books, 2000), p. 6. 1 Marx, Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, p. 27. 2 Polanyi, Great Transformation, pp. 187, 193. 1 M. Adams, Land: A New Paradigm for a Thriving World (Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 2015), p. 1. 2 Polanyi, Great Transformation, p. 75. 3 G. Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science 162 (1968), pp. 1243–8. 1 D. Massey, ‘The Pattern of Landownership and Its Implications for Policy’, Built Environment 6 (1980), pp. 263–71, at p. 269. 1 Ibid., p. 270. 2 A. Chakrabortty, ‘We Need the State Now More Than Ever. But Our Belief in It Has Gone’, Guardian, 1 February 2017. 1 M.


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Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus: How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity by Douglas Rushkoff

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business process, buy and hold, buy low sell high, California gold rush, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, centralized clearinghouse, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, corporate personhood, corporate raider, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, fiat currency, Firefox, Flash crash, full employment, future of work, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, Google bus, Howard Rheingold, IBM and the Holocaust, impulse control, income inequality, independent contractor, index fund, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, medical bankruptcy, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, passive investing, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software patent, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transportation-network company, Turing test, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Y Combinator, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

There were strict sets of rules about how much land one could graze and how often, which kept the commons capable of sustaining everyone’s flocks in a fair fashion. After King Henry VIII rejected the authority of the pope, those common lands became privatized, or “enclosed.”76 Over the next couple of centuries, the myth of the “tragedy of the commons” was employed to bring the remaining common lands under private control. The premise that economists and early agricultural investors put forth was that if no one owns something, there’s no one to protect it. So common lands will supposedly get overgrazed, and common fisheries will run out of fish.

Never mind that there’s no evidence of either happening in the maintained commons of England. The supposed tragedy became an accepted truth taught in basic economics courses, and as easy to prove as the condition of most public restrooms in the United States. As recently as 1968, ecologist Garrett Hardin convinced the remaining holdouts of the tragedy of the commons by arguing that Darwinian selection favors privatization by the strong, and that if the world’s land is not privatized, the results would be “horrifying.” In his words, “injustice is preferable to total ruin.”77 The false assumption is that people are incapable of recognizing the value of their shared resources and then organizing to protect them—and in doing so, create great value for everyone involved.

See investors/investing sharing economy, 44–54, 218 crowdsharing apps and, 45–49 crowdsourcing platforms and, 49–50 employment opportunities, technology as replacing and obsolescing, 51–54 getting paid for our data and, 44–45 great decoupling and, 53 jobs assisting with transition to computerized society and, 51–52 learning to code and, 51 Shift Happens (Hagel), 76–77 Shirky, Clay, 27 Sidecar, 93–94 Silk Road, 145 singularity, 91 Slay, Julia, 58 Smith, Adam, 212–13 Snapchat, 32 social branding, 35–37 social graphs, 40 social media, and “likes” economy, 31–37 Somerhalder, Ian, 36 South by Southwest, 19 specialists, 178–79 Spotify, 218 Square, 141 Stallman, Richard, 216 stamp scrip, 158–59 startups, 184–205 angel investors and, 187, 188 burn rate and, 190 crowdfunding and, 198–201 direct public offerings (DPOs) and, 205–6 Google’s IPO, 194–95 hypergrowth expected of, 187–91 microfinancing platforms and, 202–4 model for building real and sustainable businesses, 196–98 playbook for establishing, 187 reverse engineering of, 184–86 Series A round of investment and, 188–89 venture capital and, 189–95 steady-state enterprises, 98–123 alternative corporate structures and, 118–23 appropriate size for business, finding, 104–5 benefit corporations and, 119 contracting with small and medium-sized enterprises and, 112 dividends as means of rewarding shareholders and, 113–14 dual transformation and, 108–9 ecosystem as model for assembling, 105 employee ownership of company and, 116–18 extractive bias of traditional corporate model, eschewing, 104 family business model and, 103–4, 231–32 flexible purpose corporations and, 119–20 growth, shifting away from, 103–6 hybrid approaches to attaining, 106–12 inclusive capitalism and, 111–12 low-profit limited liability company (L3C) and, 120–21 not-for-profits (NFPs) and, 121–23 open sharing and collaborative corporate strategies and, 106–7 privatization and, 114–16 shareholder mentality, changing, 112–18 technological revolutions, phases of, 98–102 stimulative economic policies, 136, 137 stock market crash of 1929, 99 storytelling, 236 Strickler, Yancey, 198 student debt, 153 subsidiarity, 231–32 supermarket chains, hybrid strategies for, 109–10 Supplier Connection, 112 surge pricing, 86 synergy, 99 Talmud, 208 Tapscott, Don, 49n Target, 142 TaskRabbit, 222 tax anticipation scrip, 159 taxi industry, 85–86 TD Waterhouse, 176 Tea Party, 99–100 technological revolutions, 98–102 creative destruction and, 83–87 destructive destruction and, 100 frenzy phase of, 98–99 government intervention and, 99–100 irruption phase of, 98 maturity phase of, 98–99 synergy phase of, 99 turning point phase of, 99 Thatcher, Margaret, 64 theAudience, 36 Thiel, Peter, 120, 191–92 This Changes Everything (Klein), 135 3-d printing, 62–63 360 deals, 34 time dollar systems, 161–63 toy industry, 85 Toyoda, Akio, 105–6 Toyota Motor Corporation, 105–6 tragedy of the commons, 215–16 Treehouse, 59 Tumblr, 32 turning point, 99 Twitter, 7, 8–9, 195 tyranny of choice, 30 Uber, 4, 93, 94, 98–99, 188, 213, 219, 222, 229 peer-to-peer commerce enabled by, 45, 46 as platform monopoly, 85–87 pricing power of, 47–48 unemployment insurance, 99 unemployment solution, 54–67 guaranteed minimum income programs and, 62–65 guaranteed minimum wage public jobs and, 65–66 hourly-wage employment, history of, 56 joblessness as feature of new digital economy and, 55–56 questioning need for work and, 56–58 real needs, getting paid to address, 65–67 reducing 40-hour workweek and, 58–60 sharing productivity gains with employees and, 60–62 Unilever, 112, 205 United Steel Workers, 220 Upwork, 51, 200 USA Today,173 velocity of money, 140–41 venture capital, 189–95 Vicarious, 119–20 Victorian exhibition, 20 Volkswagen, 106 Wall Street Journal,7, 8, 37–38 Walmart, 47, 73–75, 110–11 Watson, 90–91 wealth inequality.


pages: 372 words: 94,153

More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources – and What Happens Next by Andrew McAfee

back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Garrett Hardin, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, humanitarian revolution, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Landlord’s Game, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Tragedy of the Commons, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, World Values Survey

Here, recent news is mixed. Overhunting continues, especially of marine life. As Jesse Ausubel points out, “Fish biomass in intensively exploited fisheries appears to be about one-tenth the level of the fish in those seas a few decades… ago.” Ocean overfishing is a classic example of the “tragedy of the commons,” an unhappy phenomenon named in a 1968 Science article by the ecologist Garrett Hardin. Hardin defined a commons as a shared resource, such as a pasture or a body of water, that is available to many but owned by none. That open access sounds great but has a big problem: everyone has ample incentive to exploit the commons (by grazing cows on the pasture or taking fish from the water), but because no one owns it, no one has the incentive to protect or sustain it.

That open access sounds great but has a big problem: everyone has ample incentive to exploit the commons (by grazing cows on the pasture or taking fish from the water), but because no one owns it, no one has the incentive to protect or sustain it. So the strong tendency is for everyone to do the economically rational thing, which is to try to exploit it before it’s stripped bare. As they do this, they help strip it bare.III We have many ways to deal with the tragedy of the commons. Elinor Ostrom, to date the only woman to win the Nobel Prize in economics, developed principles for managing commons successfully. One of the most fruitful for helping severely depleted species, and the fourth way that we’re helping our fellow creatures survive and thrive, is to simply declare by law that large areas of land or water—large commons—can’t be exploited.

Seebohm, 24 Royal Crown Cola, 101 Russia, 185 Safe Drinking Water Act (1974), 66 Salemi, Jason, 216 Salesforce, 256–57 Samasource, 255–56 sanitation, 22–23, 194 Saudi Arabia, 104 Save the Elephants, 154 Schmidt, Christian, 148 Schnakenberg, Keith, 175 Schumpeter, Joseph, 122 Scientific American, 59–60 Scotland, 38 Scramble for Africa, 39 sea otters, 43, 96, 152 Second Enlightenment, 123, 141, 238–39, 265 Second Machine Age, 112–13, 114–15, 122–23, 141, 162, 168, 177, 200, 206, 213, 231 Second Machine Age, The (Brynjolfsson), 112 self-employment, 138–39 self-healing cities, 21–23 self-interest, 127 Sen, Amartya, 68–69, 94 service industry, 88, 200–201 Shapiro, David, 190 Shell Oil, 103, 104–05 Shellenberger, Michael, 251 Sherman, Brad, 107 Sheskin, Mark, 210 Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies (las Casas), 39–40 Sidgwick, Henry, 142n silver, 120 Simon, Julian, 69–70, 71–72, 75, 151, 179, 244–45 Singapore, 148 Singh, Manmohan, 171–72 Skeptical Environmentalist (Lomborg), 179, 181 slash-and-burn agriculture, 148 slavery, 35, 36, 37–38, 181 Sloman, Steven, 226 smartphones, 102, 111, 113, 168–69, 205, 235, 236 Smil, Vaclav, 31, 101 Smith, Adam, 125–39, 128–29 Smith, Noah, 191 smog, 42, 55, 186 Snow, John, 22–23 social capital, 212–13, 216–17, 228–29, 247, 254, 255, 270 social democracy, 133–34 social development, 24–25, 26 social development index, 60n social safety nets, 131–32 socialism, 132–38, 192 sodium nitrate, 17 solar power, 111, 240, 250, 269 Song, Jian, 93 Sørlle, Petter, 47 Soros, George, 132 South Korea, 117–18, 174 Soviet Union, 133, 163–64, 170–71 “Spaceship Earth”, 64–65 Staggers Act (1980), 109 Starmans, Christina, 210 steam engine, 16, 17, 27, 30, 36, 44, 48–49, 205, 206, 237 steamships, 17–18, 26 steel, 80 Steller, Georg Wilhelm, 273 Steller’s sea cow, 273 Stenner, Karen, 217 Sterba, Jim, 43–44 Stigler, George, 126 Strangers in Their Own Land (Hochschild), 221 Suicide (Durkheim), 215–16, 219 sulfur dioxide, 54–55, 95, 186, 249 Sullivan, Andrew, 219 Summers, Larry, 254 sustainability, 64 taxation, 5, 130, 250 tech progress, 2–3, 4, 36, 67, 99–123, 113, 141, 151, 158–59, 167–68, 169–70 defining of, 114–15 Tesla, Nikola, 27 Texas, Hill Country of, 29, 205 Thatcher, Margaret, 132, 138 Theory of Moral Sentiments (Smith), 129 Thomas, Chris, 182–83 3-D printing, 239 tin, 72 tin cans, 101 Tocqueville, Alexis de, 89–90, 212–13 Toxic Substances Control Act (1976), 66 tragedy of the commons, 183 transportation, 241–42 Trump, Donald, 158, 201 trust, 212, 213, 217 Truth About Soviet Whaling, The (Berzin), 164 Ulam, Stanislaw, 19n Ultimate Resource, The (Simon), 69, 179 unfairness, 210, 220–24 Union Oil, 54 United Airlines, 257 United Kingdom, 76, 85 United Nations, 40, 58, 199 United States, 117–18 agriculture in, 81–82, 100 coal consumption in, 102–03 cropland acreage in, 201–02 dematerialization in, 76–85 industrial production in, 88–89 mortality rates in, 213–14 slavery in, 37–38 suicide rate in, 214–16 water pollution in, 189–90 urbanization, 91–92, 199–200 Utopia or Oblivion (Fuller), 70 vaccination, 227 Van Reenen, John, 203, 204, 207 Varian, Hal, 236 Veblen goods, 152–53 Veblen, Thorstein, 152 Venezuela, 118, 134–38, 172 voluntary exchange, 117 wages, 20–21 Waggoner, Paul, 76 Wagner, Stephan, 148 Wald, George, 61 water, drinking, 194 water pollution, 189–90 Watt, James, 15–16, 20, 121, 206, 237 Watt, Kenneth, 58 Wealth of Nations (Smith), 127, 131 Weeks-McLean Law Act (1913), 96 Welzel, Christian, 176, 177 Wernick, Iddo, 76 whales, 44, 46–47, 163–65 wheat, 31–32 Wheelwright, William, 17–18 Whole Earth Catalog, 68 Why Nations Fail (Acemoglu and Robinson), 159 Wilson, James, 19n wind power, 111, 240, 250 Winship, Scott, 215 Wolff, Edward, 206 Woodbury, N.J., 65 wooly mammoth, 180 World Bank, 118, 168, 169, 192 World Values Survey, 176 Yao Ming, 154, 161 Yellowstone National Park, 46, 153 YouTube, 236 Zoorob, Michael, 216 First published in the United States by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2019 First published in Great Britain by Simon & Schuster UK, Ltd, 2019 A CBS COMPANY Copyright © 2019 by Andrew McAfee The right of Andrew McAfee to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.


Who Rules the World? by Noam Chomsky

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate personhood, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Garrett Hardin, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, liberation theology, Malacca Straits, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, one-state solution, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Stanislav Petrov, structural adjustment programs, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, union organizing, uranium enrichment, wage slave, WikiLeaks, working-age population

Environmental constraints threaten to deprive the company of future profits, a crime that can be punished under the rules of the investor-rights regime mislabeled as “free trade.”8 And this is only a tiny sample of struggles underway over much of the world, some involving extreme violence, as in the eastern Congo, where millions have been killed in recent years to ensure an ample supply of minerals for cell phones and other uses, and, of course, ample profits.9 The rise of capitalist practice and morality brought with it a radical revision of how the commons are treated, and also how they are conceived of. The prevailing view today is captured by Garrett Hardin’s influential argument that “freedom in a commons brings ruin to us all,” the famous “tragedy of the commons”: what is not owned will be destroyed by individual avarice.10 An international counterpart was the concept of terra nullius, employed to justify the expulsion of indigenous populations in the settler-colonial societies of the Anglosphere, or their “extermination,” as the founding fathers of the American republic described what they were doing, sometimes with remorse, after the fact.

As a colonial administrator, he understood what was happening, and there is no basis for the attribution in his writings, as contemporary scholarship has shown convincingly, notably the work of the Australian scholar Paul Corcoran. (It was in Australia, in fact, that the doctrine has been most brutally employed.)11 The grim forecasts of the tragedy of the commons are not without challenge. The late Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2009 for her work showing the superiority of user-managed fish stocks, pastures, woods, lakes, and groundwater basins. But the conventional doctrine has force if we accept its unstated premise: that humans are blindly driven by what American workers, at the dawn of the industrial revolution, bitterly called “the New Spirit of the Age, Gain Wealth forgetting all but Self.”12 Like peasants and workers in England before them, American workers denounced this new spirit that was being imposed upon them, regarding it as demeaning and destructive, an assault on the very nature of free men and women.

Emily Achtenberg, “From Water Wars to Water Scarcity: Bolivia’s Cautionary Tale,” NACLA Report on the Americas, 6 June 2013, https://nacla.org/blog/2013/6/5/water-wars-water-scarcity-bolivia%E2%80%99s-cautionary-tale.   8. Randal C. Archibold, “El Salvador: Canadian Lawsuit over Mine Allowed to Proceed,” New York Times, 5 June 2012.   9. Erin Banco, “Is Your Cell Phone Fueling Civil War in Congo?,” Atlantic, July 11, 2011. 10. Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162, no. 3859 13 December 1968, 1243–48. 11. See Paul Corcoran, “John Locke on the Possession of Land: Native Title vs. the ‘Principle’ of Vacuum domicilium.” Paper presented at the Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference, September 2007, https://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/2440/44958/1/hdl_44958.pdf. 12.


pages: 357 words: 100,718

The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update by Donella H. Meadows, Jørgen Randers, Dennis L. Meadows

agricultural Revolution, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, demographic transition, financial independence, game design, Garrett Hardin, income per capita, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), longitudinal study, means of production, new economy, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Tragedy of the Commons, University of East Anglia, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review

Fact sheets of the World Wide Fund for Nature Endangered Seas Campaign, 2003, www.panda.org/campaigns/marine/sturgeon. 11. The classic analysis of this phenomenon is Garrett Hardin's "The Tragedy of the Commons," Science, 162(1968):1243-1248. 12. Audubon (September-October 1991), 34. 13. Dagens Naeringsliv (Norwegain business journal), Oslo (December 9, 2002), 10. 14. Japanese journalist to Paul Ehrlich, in Animal Extinctions: What Everyone Should Know, edited by R. J. Hoage (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1985), 163. 15. Erling Moxness, "Not Only the Tragedy of the Commons: Misperceptions of Feedback and Policies for Sustainable Development," System Dynamics Review 16, no. 4 (Winter 2000): 325-348.

After that, the money will be moved to exterminating some other resource.14 Only political constraints of some kind can protect the resource, and those political constraints are not easy to attain. Regulation does not necessarily work well, either. Recent research indicates that overexploitation also tends to occur when there is full private ownership of the renewable resource, and thus no opportunity for a "tragedy of the commons" syn- drome.15 Overshoot occurs simply because the information about the resource base-such as stock estimates, catch volumes, and growth ratesis uncertain and noisy and not suited to traditional management decision rules. The typical result is overinvestment in harvesting capital and overharvesting of the resource.


pages: 304 words: 22,886

Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein

Al Roth, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, availability heuristic, call centre, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, continuous integration, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, diversification, diversified portfolio, endowment effect, equity premium, feminist movement, fixed income, framing effect, full employment, George Akerlof, index fund, invisible hand, late fees, libertarian paternalism, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, Mason jar, medical malpractice, medical residency, mental accounting, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, money market fund, pension reform, presumed consent, price discrimination, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Saturday Night Live, school choice, school vouchers, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Vanguard fund, Zipcar

Markets are a big part of this system, and for all their virtues, they face two problems that contribute to environmental problems. First, incentives are not properly aligned. If you engage in environmentally costly behavior next year, through your consumption choices, you will probably pay nothing for the environmental harms that you inflict. This is what is often called a “tragedy of the commons.” Each dairy farmer has an incentive to add more cows to his herd, because he obtains the benefits of the additional cows while suffering only a fraction of the costs; but collectively the cows ruin the pasture. Dairy farmers need to find some way to avert this tragedy, perhaps through an agreement to limit the number of cows that each will be permitted to add.

defined-benefit retirement plans defined-contribution retirement plans design: controlled by choice architects, details of, human factors incorporated into, informed, neutral, starting points inherent in, user-friendly Design of Everyday Things, The (Norman) Destiny Health Plan difficulty, degree of digital cameras discount pricing discrimination, laws against Disulfiram (antabuse) diversification heuristic divorce: and “above average” effect, and children, difficulty of obtaining, economic prospects affected by, law of, mandatory waiting period for, obtainable at will Doers dog owners, social pressures on Dollar a day incentive domestic partnership agreements “Don’t Mess with Texas,” eating: and conformity, and food display, and food selection, gender differences in Economist Econs: easy choices for, homo economicus, incentives for, investment decisions by, and money, not followers of fashion, Reflective Systems used by, unbiased forecasts made by, use of term education, accountability in, in Boston, in Charlotte, charter schools, child’s right to, and competition, complex choices in, controlled choice in, desegregation of, incentive conflicts in, No Child Left Behind, in San Marcos, Texas, school choice vouchers, status quo bias in, testing standards, test scores, underperforming in, in Worcester “efficient frontier,” Einstein, Albert elimination by aspects emails, Civility Check for Emanuel, Rahm Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (1986) “emoticons,” employers: employee benefits offered by, profit-sharing plans of, and retirement plans endowment effect energy, invisibility of energy conservation: and cost-disclosing thermostats, and framing, and home-building industry, and social influences, voluntary participation programs in energy efficiency Energy Star Office Products Enron Corporation environmental issues, acid deposition program, air pollution, auto emissions, auto fuel economy, cap-and-trade system in, Clean Air Act, climate change, command-and-control regulation of, energy conservation, energy efficiency, energy use, feedback and information, greenhouse gas emissions, incentives for, international, Kyoto Protocol, nudges proposed for, ozone layer, recycling, risk labeling, and social influences, trading systems in, and tragedy of the commons, transparent costs of, voluntary participation programs Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and auto fuel economy, Energy Star Office Products program, Green Lights program of, Toxic Release Inventory of Equities (stocks) equity premium ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act of) error, expecting “everything matters,” evil nudgers expectations Experion Systems externalities FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) families, dispersion of Family and Medical Leave Act Federal Express, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Federal Trade Commission (FTC) feedback, plans (college savings accounts) flexible spending accounts follow through failure to, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food display food selection footnotes, uses of forced choice forcing function Ford, Harrison (k) plans framing France, organ donations in Franklin, Benjamin freedom of choice, danger of overreaching, elimination of, Just Maximize Choices, opposition to, and presumed consent, and required choice frequency Friedman, Milton friendly discouragement fungibility gains and losses gambling, low stakes, mental accounting in, self-bans, and strategy Gandhi, Mohandas gas tank caps Gateway Arch, St.

., quitting without a patch, risks of, and self-control, and social influence Snow, Tony social influences, as choice architecture, conformity, and cultural change, in health care, and information, in Jonestown, learning from others, in peer pressure, power of, priming, spotlight effect, and unpredictability “social norms” approach Social Security, and advertising, default fund for, lessons learned from the Swedish experience, simplified choice process, Swedish privatization of, and timing Souleles, Nick Southern California Edison Spain, organ donations in spotlight effect Stafford loans status quo bias: and default option, in education, as inertia, and lack of attention, and magazine subscriptions, in marriage, in retirement savings Stewart, Potter Stickk.com Stigler, George stimulus response compatibility stocks and bonds, company stock, diversification of, and environmental blacklist, market timing, Sell More Tomorrow strategic misrepresentation Stroop test student loans, avoiding, college savings accounts (529 plans), expected family contribution in, FAFSA for, as opportunity to fleece confused consumers, from private sector, RECAP applied to subliminal advertising subprime mortgages sunlamps supply and demand Sweden, in world economy Swedish Social Security, active choosers in, advertising, asset allocation in, availability bias in, default fund of, inertia in, Just Maximize Choices in, lessons learned from table test “target maturity funds,” tax-favored savings accounts Tax Return, Automatic teenage pregnancy television, default option in temptation, and arousal, cashew phenomenon, and “hot-cold empathy gap,”; and mental accounting, and mindless choosing, and packaging, and self-control, sinful goods, of Ulysses terror alert system tetanus shots Texas, anti-littering campaign in Thaler, Richard H., and Save More Tomorrow thinking, in Reflective System Third Way Thompson, Clive TIAA-CREF Tierney, John Toxic Release Inventory tragedy of the commons transparency Truth in Lending Act (Regulation Z) Tversky, Amos Ulysses, resisting temptation unpredictability, user ratings, U.S. Treasury bills Varian, Hal Veterans Affairs, Department of Villarreal, E. Linda Vitality Bucks vouchers, school choice Wansink, Brian Watts, Duncan weight loss, strategy for Wilkins, Lauren Woodward, Susan Worcester, Massachusetts, schools in workers’ compensation work safety WorldCom World War II, London bombed in Yale University, tetanus shots at “yeah, whatever,” heuristic Yunus, Muhammad Zeckhauser, Richard Zhe Jin, Ginger Zipcar


pages: 346 words: 97,330

Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley From Building a New Global Underclass by Mary L. Gray, Siddharth Suri

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, big-box store, bitcoin, blue-collar work, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, computer vision, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, deindustrialization, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial independence, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, future of work, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, hiring and firing, ImageNet competition, independent contractor, industrial robot, informal economy, information asymmetry, Jeff Bezos, job automation, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, market friction, Mars Rover, natural language processing, new economy, passive income, pattern recognition, post-materialism, post-work, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, sentiment analysis, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, speech recognition, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, two-sided market, union organizing, universal basic income, Vilfredo Pareto, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator, Yochai Benkler

Developing a sustainable model for on-demand work will require more than attention to the technical design of APIs, platforms, and software. It will also demand rethinking how we shore up the economic and social development of people’s capacity to participate in a global economy that’s not going to be fully automated anytime soon. Tragedy of the Commons A cynic might read the efforts of CloudFactory, LeadGenius, Amara, and other companies espousing double bottom lines as using the trappings of their B Corp or nonprofit corporate status to look like the heroes in an economy with easy-to-find villains. Despite the shortcomings of companies like these, they are willing to call out their responsibilities as sources of employment for tens of thousands of people around the world.

See college education demographics, on-demand employment Amara, 29 LeadGenius, 23–24, 224 n27 MTurk, 3–4, 10, 11, 126 UHRS, 18, 19 Upwork, 169 Department of Labor, 11, 168 design flaws, 91–93 Diane, 78–79 Dietterich, Tom, xx–xxi, 220 n15 Digital Divide, 162 disability captioning for, xxix, 28, 152–55, 225 n29 on-demand work perceived as, xxx employment, 113–17, 175 insurance for, 60 laws pertaining to, 237 n35 discrimination APIs, 172 collaboration, 135–37 digital access, 161–62 glass ceilings, 113–17 marital status, 53–54 skin color, 226 n3 slavery, 40–41, 226 n2 See also women disenfranchisement, 86 Disney, scheduling, 100 “dollars for dicks,” x DoorDash, 157–58, 162, 189 double bottom line, 140–65 Amara and, 153–55 defined, 141 by design, 148–52, 240 n9 Good Work Code, 156–58 overview of, 140–43 peer-to-peer sharing company, 155–56 platform cooperatives, 158–59 shortcomings of, 159–63 vs single bottom line, 144–47 social entrepreneurship and, 147 tragedy of the commons, 164–65 driver-partners (Uber), 145–46, 240 n5 Dynamo, 136–37 E Economic Policy Institute, xxv education college, xxix, 50, 97, 98, 101, 190 recommendations for, 190 requirement of, 10, 161–62 skill development, 110–13 for women, 114 See also training empathy, 184–85 employees.

., 48 Taft-Hartley Act, 48–49, 54, 228 n20 Taste of the World, 14 Taylor, Frederick, 227 n6 Team Genius, 88–90 teamwork, 24, 28, 160–61, 164, 182–83 technology AI. see artificial intelligence (AI) APIs. see application programming interface (API) automation, xviii–xxiii, 173–77, 176–77, 243 n5 computers. see computers machinery, 42, 43–44, 58–59, 227 n5 paradox of automation, xxii, 36, 170, 173, 175 Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED). See TED Talks TED Talks, 27, 113, 152–53, 226 n30 temporary work. See contract (temporary) work terms of agreement, xxiv, 85–86, 88, 93 Tesla, xviii tools and software, 23, 73–74, 180–81 trade guilds, 41–45 tragedy of the commons, 164–65 training of AI, xxiii, 6–8, 16, 170, 222 n11 lack of, 71 on LeadGenius, 23 need for, 182–83, 230 n26 workers commitment to, 87–88 transaction costs, 69–75 defined, 69–70 hypervigilance, 76–80 inequality in, 91–93 isolation and training, 80–84 payment, lack of, 85–91 reduction of through collaboration, 121–28 of requesters, 70–75 up-front costs for workers, 108 of workers, 32, 75–76, 173 translation, 18–19, 153–55, 226 n30 transparency bait-and-switch strategy, 83 need for, 138–39, 180 requesters and, 71 worker misinformation, 134 Treaty of Detroit, 47–48 TripAdvisor, xiii, 14 Truman, Harry, 48 trust, 71–72, 74, 133 TurkerNation, 239 n8 Turkopticon, 223 n18 Twine Health, 167 Twitter, ix, x, xii, xiii, xxi, 17 U Uber Real-Time ID Check, xv–xvi, 35 as single bottom line company, 145–46 study of, xxv worker, view of, 75 worker status, 240 n5 UHRS content moderation, xi corporate firewalls, 16–21 equality in, 115–16 nondisclosure agreements, 224 n21 sharing work on, 128 See also Microsoft underemployment, 95 unions full-time employment and, 60 future of, 188–89 Industrial Revolution, 44 legal right to form, 38, 47, 228 n20 outsourcing and, 55 platforms and, 158–59 United Auto Workers (UAW), 47 United Garment Workers (UGW), 44–45, 47 U.S., the Amazon.com, 1–2 census of, 168 demographics, 169 discrimination, workplace, 113–17, 133 Fair Food Program, 193 map of MTurk participants, figure 1A reasons for ghost work, 96 slavery in, 40–41 underemployment, 95 women and, 106–10 U.S.


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The Second Intelligent Species: How Humans Will Become as Irrelevant as Cockroaches by Marshall Brain

Amazon Web Services, basic income, clean water, cloud computing, computer vision, digital map, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, Garrett Hardin, income inequality, job automation, knowledge worker, low earth orbit, mutually assured destruction, Occupy movement, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Stephen Hawking, Tragedy of the Commons, working poor

If there is any economic advantage to be gained by killing and/or harvesting another species, humans will as a general rule kill it or harvest it without any remorse, all the way to extinction if given the chance. As a species we will often do this even if it is not in our own best interest as a group, a fact succinctly captured in the essay “The Tragedy of the Commons” [1] by Garrett Hardin in 1968, and first explored by William Forster Lloyd in 1833. The natural system on earth can be appalling, and human beings as a product of this process can be shockingly appalling – the fact that we are sentient often makes us more appalling rather than less. This fact is made obvious if we imagine the arrival of a hypothetical extraterrestrial species to planet earth.

But at least, in the decades leading up to that point, we will achieve a level of humane and rational behavior that will make a super-intelligent robotic species proud of its creators, rather than disgusted with us. Robots give humanity an amazing opportunity over the next several decades. We should make the most of it for every person on the planet. References [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy_of_the_commons [2] https://wiki.rit.edu/display/smfl/Rubylith [3] http://gizmodo.com/a-humans-guide-to-googles-many-robots-1509799897# [4] http://braininitiative.nih.gov/ [5] https://www.humanbrainproject.eu/ [6] http://www.computershopper.com/components/reviews/intel-core-i7-4790k [7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_Core_i7_microprocessors [8] http://www.naplestech.com/shopcart/intel_i7_processors.asp#gsc.tab=0 [9] http://nvidianews.nvidia.com/news/nvidia-launches-tegra-x1-mobile-super-chip [10] http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/27/toshiba-intel-3d-nand-chips [11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?


pages: 473 words: 154,182

Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them by Donovan Hohn

carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, Exxon Valdez, Filipino sailors, Garrett Hardin, Google Earth, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, intermodal, Isaac Newton, means of production, microbiome, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, post-Panamax, profit motive, Skype, standardized shipping container, statistical model, Thorstein Veblen, Tragedy of the Commons, traveling salesman

“One picture is worth a thousand words,” said an ancient Chinese; but it may take 10,000 words to validate it. It is as tempting to ecologists as it is to reformers in general to try to persuade others by way of the photographic shortcut. But the essence of an argument cannot be photographed: it must be presented rationally—in words. —Garrett Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons Mark, how when sailors in a dead calm bathe in the open sea—mark how closely they hug their ship and only coast along her sides. —Herman Melville, Moby-Dick SOUTH POINT The southernmost edge of Hawaii is also the southernmost edge of the United States of America and feels like the southernmost edge of the world.

In theory, every region in the country could follow suit, but already cash-strapped governments in Southern California are complaining that these “zero-trash TMDLs” are too costly and ambitious to implement. Moore, meanwhile, has collected data showing that even full-capture systems would allow tens of thousands of plastic particles to escape the Los Angeles River every day. Forty years ago, Science published an essay called “The Tragedy of the Commons” in which the ecologist Garrett Hardin challenged what might be called the American Comedy of Progress—the cherished notion that with time, technology, entrepreneurialism, and, if need be, activism, all problems can be solved. In America, even prophets of environmental doom subscribe to the Comedy of Progress.

“Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit, “Hardin concluded. “In a world that is limited, freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.” In twenty-first-century America, there are still resources that we share, air and water being the best examples, and so the tragedy of the commons still obtains. It explains the depletion of fisheries and aquifers. It explains the pollution of skies and seas. Technology may forestall the tragedy—by increasing crop yields or fuel efficiency, for instance—but so long as the human population continues to grow it cannot in the long run avert it.


pages: 462 words: 150,129

The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, food miles, Garrett Hardin, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, hedonic treadmill, Herbert Marcuse, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Kula ring, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, packet switching, patent troll, Pax Mongolica, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Silicon Valley, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, technological singularity, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, working poor, working-age population, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

When President Lyndon Johnson’s adviser Joseph Califano suggested that an increase in famine relief should be announced before a visit by Indira Gandhi to the United States, Johnson supposedly replied that he was not going to ‘piss away foreign aid in nations where they refuse to deal with their own population problems’. Garrett Hardin, in his famous essay ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’ (remembered these days as being about collective action, but actually a long argument for coerced population control), found ‘freedom to breed intolerable’, coercion ‘a necessity’ and that ‘the only way we can preserve and nurture other and more precious freedoms is by relinquishing the freedom to breed, and that very soon.’

Give local people the power to own, exploit and profit from natural resources in a sustainable way and they will usually preserve and cherish those resources. Give them no share in a wildlife resource that is controlled – nay ‘protected’ – by a distant government and they will generally neglect, ruin and waste it. That is the real lesson of the tragedy of the commons.) Property rights are not a silver bullet. In some countries, their formalisation simply creates a rentier class. And China experienced an explosion of enterprise after 1978 without ever giving its people truly secure property rights. But it did allow people to start businesses with relatively little bureaucratic fuss, so another of De Soto’s recommendations is to free up the rules governing business.

p. 200 ‘On average a merchant in Britain who left £1,000 in his will had four surviving children, while a labourer who left £10 had only two’. Clark, G. 2007. A Farewell to Alms. Princeton University Press. p. 203 ‘Johnson supposedly replied’. Epstein, H. 2008. The strange history of birth control. New York Review of Books, 18 August 2008. p. 203 ‘Garrett Hardin, in his famous essay’. Hardin, G. 1968. The tragedy of the commons. Science 162:1243–8. p. 203 ‘Hardin’s view was nearly universal’. An exception was Barry Commoner, who argued at the UN conference on population in Stockholm in 1972 that the demographic transition would solve population growth without coercion. p. 203 ‘wrote John Holdren (now President Obama’s science adviser) and Paul and Anne Ehrlich in 1977’.


pages: 513 words: 152,381

The Precipice: Existential Risk and the Future of Humanity by Toby Ord

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, availability heuristic, Columbian Exchange, computer vision, cosmological constant, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, defense in depth, delayed gratification, demographic transition, Doomsday Clock, Drosophila, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ernest Rutherford, global pandemic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, nuclear winter, p-value, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, survivorship bias, the scientific method, Tragedy of the Commons, uranium enrichment

These are all dynamics that push humanity toward a new equilibrium, where these forces are finally in balance. But there is no guarantee this equilibrium will be good. For example, consider the tension between what is best for each and what is best for all. This is studied in the field of game theory through “games” like the prisoner’s dilemma and the tragedy of the commons, where each individual’s incentives push them toward producing a collectively terrible outcome. The Nash equilibrium (the outcome we reach if we follow individual incentives) may be much worse for everyone than some other outcome we could have achieved if we had overcome these local incentives.

We could have nations, ideological blocs, or even planets or descendent species of Homo sapiens locked in harmful competition—doing what is best for their group, but bad for groups on the whole. I don’t know how likely it is that we suffer a sufficiently bad (and sufficiently intractable) tragedy of the commons like this. Or that we are degraded by evolutionary pressures, or driven to lives of very low quality by Malthusian population dynamics, or any other such situation. I’d like to hope that we could always see such things coming and coordinate to a solution. But it’s hard to be sure that we could.

The incentives of a nation are only aligned with the incentives of humanity if we share the costs of these policies just as we share the benefits. While nations occasionally act for the greater interest of all humankind, this is the exception rather than the rule. Multilateral action can resolve this tragedy of the commons, replacing a reliance on countries’ altruism with a reliance on their prudence: still not perfect, but a much better bet. And there would be benefits to centralizing some of this international work on safeguarding humanity. This would help us pool our expertise, share our perspectives and facilitate coordination.


pages: 344 words: 104,077

Superminds: The Surprising Power of People and Computers Thinking Together by Thomas W. Malone

agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asperger Syndrome, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, clean water, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Garrett Hardin, gig economy, happiness index / gross national happiness, independent contractor, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Rulifson, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Occupy movement, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, prediction markets, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Coase, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tim Cook: Apple, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Being part of a group that restricts other individuals from harming you can be a very significant benefit. For instance, even though the winner usually gains something in a fight, both parties may have been better off if the fight had never happened in the first place. Cooperation can avoid other kinds of problems, too. In a scenario that economists call the tragedy of the commons, for example, villagers in a small town let their sheep graze in the town commons without any restrictions. As a result, the sheep eat all the grass. No more grass can grow, so no one has grass anymore. But if the villagers had cooperated to limit the amount of grazing each one’s animals could do, they could still have had grass.10 This problematic pattern also occurs in many other group situations, resulting in such problems as environmental pollution and climate change.

John Locke, Two Treatises of Government and a Letter Concerning Toleration (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003); Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. C. B. Macpherson (London: Penguin Books, 1985); Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Basic Political Writings, translated by Donald A. Cress (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1987); John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971). 4. Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162, no. 3,859 (1968): 1,243–48; Robert L. Trivers, “The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism,” Quarterly Review of Biology 46 (1971): 35–57, doi:10.1086/406755; Christopher Stephens, “Modelling Reciprocal Altruism,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47, no. 4 (1996): 533–51, doi:10.1093/bjps/47.4.533. 5.

Hart, “The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration,” Journal of Political Economy 94, no. 4 (1986): 691–719, doi:10.1086/261404; Hart, “Theory of Contracts,” 71–155. For a comparison of the two perspectives on why markets can sometimes be more expensive and sometimes less expensive than hierarchies, see Gibbons, “Organization and Information,” 1,813–41. 9. Hobbes, Leviathan, XIII.9. 10. Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons.” 11. Trivers, “The Evolution of Reciprocal Altruism”; Stephens, “Modelling Reciprocal Altruism.” 12. See a useful summary of work on this topic in Christian List, “Social Choice Theory,” in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2013 edition), ed. Edward N. Zalta (Stanford, CA: Stanford University, 2013), http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2013/entries/social-choice. 13.


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The Penguin and the Leviathan: How Cooperation Triumphs Over Self-Interest by Yochai Benkler

business process, California gold rush, citizen journalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, East Village, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental economics, experimental subject, framing effect, Garrett Hardin, informal economy, invisible hand, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, Murray Gell-Mann, Nicholas Carr, peer-to-peer, prediction markets, Richard Stallman, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, Toyota Production System, Tragedy of the Commons, twin studies, ultimatum game, Washington Consensus, Yochai Benkler, zero-sum game, Zipcar

My point is, norms matter. People seen to flock to behavior they consider “normal.” So if we want to encourage good social habits, we need to do more than institute norms; we also need to set clear signals of what counts as normal and appropriate behavior. Spanish Farmers and Lobster Gangs: The (un)Tragedy of the Commons The question of just how much official regulation is needed to keep a system running smoothly is obviously a critical one for those interested in the study of cooperation. Particularly pressing for politicians, lawmakers, and social scientists is the question of how much intervention is needed to successfully regulate common property or resources—shared public spaces, municipal stores of water, and so on.

The question at the heart of this debate is one that we’ve seen in some form or another many times before: Can humans be trusted, in the absence of strict rules and limits, to share a common resource in a way that is fair to everyone? In 1968 biologist turned ecologist Garrett Hardin published his famous parable, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” the story of a village that had in its center a piece of land that was shared by all the village farmers. The problem was, there was a finite amount of grass on that commons and no laws or limits on how many cattle each farmer could allow on the land to graze. So farmers, each trying to maximize their own gain, kept letting more and more of their own cattle graze on the land, until the grass was depleted, leaving nothing for anyone.


pages: 202 words: 62,901

The People's Republic of Walmart: How the World's Biggest Corporations Are Laying the Foundation for Socialism by Leigh Phillips, Michal Rozworski

Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, call centre, carbon footprint, central bank independence, Colonization of Mars, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, corporate raider, decarbonisation, discovery of penicillin, Elon Musk, G4S, Garrett Hardin, Georg Cantor, germ theory of disease, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, independent contractor, index fund, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, linear programming, liquidity trap, mass immigration, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, Norbert Wiener, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, post scarcity, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, sovereign wealth fund, strikebreaker, supply-chain management, surveillance capitalism, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Turing machine, union organizing

Across history, however, people have also found ways to plan and act together without bosses to tell them what to do. In response to any mention of durable human cooperation that is not mediated by markets, in particular by the undisguised incentives provided by the labor market—at their most basic, work or starve—defenders of the market system often bring up the notion of the “tragedy of the commons.” The phrase, coined by ecologist Garrett Hardin in a 1968 article in the journal Science, refers to a shared resource inevitably depleted through overuse by individuals acting in their self-interest. The prototypical commons employed to illustrate this tragedy is a plot of open, shared pastureland in a village.

Based on this and other case studies, Ostrom went on to identify conditions that helped protect common resources—among them, participation in decision making by users of the resources, the capacity for monitoring usage, meaningful social sanctions and conflict-resolution mechanisms. Findings that question the tragedy of the commons, just like the idea of planning itself, can be initially jarring. It is an implicit belief of our age that the only real incentives are pecuniary ones—that despotism is a necessary part of work, and that it is largely out of fear of losing their incomes that people work toward common goals.


pages: 434 words: 117,327

Can It Happen Here?: Authoritarianism in America by Cass R. Sunstein

active measures, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, anti-communist, anti-globalists, availability heuristic, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, David Brooks, disinformation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Estimating the Reproducibility of Psychological Science, failed state, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Garrett Hardin, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Isaac Newton, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Long Term Capital Management, microaggression, Nate Silver, Network effects, New Journalism, night-watchman state, obamacare, Potemkin village, random walk, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Steve Bannon, the scientific method, Tragedy of the Commons, War on Poverty, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey

Finally, social systems can suffer from collective action problems (Olson 1965; Schelling 1973) in which the outcome that everyone would prefer (e.g., clean air, pristine wilderness, reliable infrastructure, safe neighborhoods) fails because no one individual has the ability or incentive to provide it—a situation that is sometimes called a tragedy of the commons (Hardin 1968). Following Granovetter’s logic, the gravest danger of Trump’s recent decision to exit the Paris Climate Accord is not the direct impact that US noncompliance would have on global temperatures—although that could indeed be grave—but rather the second, third, and higher-order effects of the move.

Gilovich, Thomas, Dale Griffin, and Daniel Kahneman, eds. Heuristics and Biases: The Psychology of Intuitive Judgment. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Granovetter, M. S. “Threshold Models of Collective Behavior.” American Journal of Sociology 83, no. 6 (1978): 1420–43. Hardin, Garrett. “The Tragedy of the Commons.” Science 162, no. 3859 (1968): 1243–48. Holmes, Richard. The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science. New York: Vintage Books USA, 2010. Imbens, Guido W., and Donald B. Rubin. Causal Inferences in Statistics, Social, and Biomedical Science.

Adams, 378 Thai coup d’état of 2014, 142–43 Thatcher, Margaret, 83, 398 Third Wave Democracy, 141, 141 Thomas, Clarence, 320 Threshold effect, 343–44 Thrush, Glenn, 283–84 Tocqueville, Alexis de, 142, 236, 237, 263, 402, 403 Louis Bonaparte and, 284, 285, 289–92, 296, 299, 300, 307–10 Totalitarianism, 41, 43, 44, 45, 51 Tragedy of the commons, 345 Treaty Clause of the Constitution, 10 Trigger warnings, 241 Truman, Harry, 9, 78, 108, 441–42 Trump, Donald arts of distraction, 418–19 can-it-happen here question, x–xi commonsense posture of, 329–30, 333–34, 345–46, 358 Deep State leaks and, 121–27 executive orders, 40–41, 235, 369–70, 371–73, 380, 381 Louis Bonaparte compared with, 304–7 narcissistic megalomania of, 283–84, 304 policies, 265–68 as populist turncoat, 29–32 as symptom of constitutional rot, 27–29, 34 tactics of.


pages: 573 words: 115,489

Prosperity Without Growth: Foundations for the Economy of Tomorrow by Tim Jackson

"Robert Solow", bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, basic income, bonus culture, Boris Johnson, business cycle, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, critique of consumerism, David Graeber, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, financial deregulation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, Garrett Hardin, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hans Rosling, Hyman Minsky, impact investing, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, means of production, meta-analysis, Money creation, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, Philip Mirowski, Post-Keynesian economics, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, secular stagnation, short selling, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, universal basic income, Works Progress Administration, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Since many ecological resources (including the climate) can be classed as ‘common pool resources’, her work is of particular interest to the aims of this book.9 Working as a political scientist in the US, Ostrom had for some years been studying how small communities managed local resources when she happened to attend a lecture by the ecologist Garrett Hardin. It was 1968 – the same year in which Hardin published his landmark ‘Tragedy of the commons’. Hardin’s primary interest was in the problem of unchecked population growth. Like Malthus before him, he became convinced that the earth could not continue to provide resources at the same rate that the population was growing.10 Somewhere along the way, Hardin came across a couple of lectures first published in 1833 by the Victorian economist William Forster Lloyd.

‘The genetical evolution of social behaviour’. Journal of Theoretical Biology 7: 1–52. Hamilton, William 1963. ‘The evolution of altruistic behaviour’. American Naturalist 97: 354–356. Hansen, Alvin 1939. ‘Economic progress and declining population growth’. American Economic Review 29(1): 1–15. Hardin, Garrett 1968. ‘The tragedy of the commons’. Science 162(3859): 1243–1248. doi:10.1126/science.162.3859.1243. Harford, Tim 2013. ‘Do you believe in sharing? The undercover economist’. Online at http://timharford.com/2013/08/do-you-believe-in-sharing/ (accessed 9 March 2016). Hart, Stuart 2007. Capitalism at the Crossroads, 2nd edition.

INDEX Locators in italic refer to figures absolute decoupling 84–6; historical perspectives 89–96, 90, 92, 94, 95; mathematical relationship with relative decoupling 96–101, 111 abundance see opulence accounting errors, decoupling 84, 91 acquisition, instinctive 68 see also symbolic role of goods adaptation: diminishing marginal utility 51, 68; environmental 169; evolutionary 226 advertising, power of 140, 203–4 Africa 73, 75–7; life-expectancy 74; philosophy 227; pursuit of western lifestyles 70; growth 99; relative income effect 58, 75; schooling 78 The Age of Turbulence (Greenspan) 35 ageing populations 44, 81 agriculture 12, 148, 152, 220 Aids/HIV 77 algebra of inequality see inequality; mathematical models alienation: future visions 212, 218–19; geographical community 122–3; role of the state 205; selfishness vs. altruism 137; signals sent by society 131 alternatives: economic 101–2, 139–40, 157–8; hedonism 125–6 see also future visions; post-growth macroeconomics; reform altruism 133–8, 196, 207 amenities see public services/amenities Amish community, North America 128 An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Smith) 123, 132 angelised growth see green growth animal welfare 220 anonymity/loneliness see alienation anthropological perspectives, consumption 70, 115 anti-consumerism 131 see also intrinsic values anxiety: fear of death 69, 104, 115, 212–15; novelty 116–17, 124, 211 Argentina 58, 78, 78, 80 Aristotle 48, 61 The Art of Happiness (Dalai Lama) 49 arts, Baumol’s cost disease 171–2 assets, stranded 167–8 see also ownership austerity policies xxxiii–xxxv, 189; and financial crisis 24, 42–3; mathematical models 181 Australia 58, 78, 128, 206 authoritarianism 199 autonomy see freedom/autonomy Ayres, Robert 143 backfire effects 111 balance: private interests/common good 208; tradition/innovation 226 Bank for International Settlements 46 bank runs 157 banking system 29–30, 39, 153–7, 208; bonuses 37–8 see also financial crisis; financial system basic entitlements: enterprise as service 142; income 67, 72–9, 74, 75, 76, 78; limits to growth 63–4 see also education; food; health Basu, Sanjay 43 Baumol, William 112, 147, 222, 223; cost disease 170, 171, 172, 173 BBC survey, geographical community 122–3 Becker, Ernest 69 Belk, Russ 70, 114 belonging 212, 219 see also alienation; community; intrinsic values Bentham, Jeremy 55 bereavement, material possessions 114, 214–15 Berger, Peter 70, 214 Berry, Wendell 8 Better Growth, Better Climate (New Climate Economy report) 18 big business/corporations 106–7 biodiversity loss 17, 47, 62, 101 biological perspectives see evolutionary theory; human nature/psyche biophysical boundaries see limits (ecological) Black Monday 46 The Body Economic (Stuckler and Basu) 43 bond markets 30, 157 bonuses, banking 37–8 Bookchin, Murray 122 boom-and-bust cycles 157, 181 Booth, Douglas 117 borrowing behaviour 34, 118–21, 119 see also credit; debt Boulding, Elise 118 Boulding, Kenneth 1, 5, 7 boundaries, biophysical see limits (ecological) bounded capabilities for flourishing 61–5 see also limits (flourishing within) Bowen, William 147 Bowling Alone (Putnam) 122 Brazil 58, 88 breakdown of community see alienation; social stability bubbles, economic 29, 33, 36 Buddhist monasteries, Thailand 128 buen vivir concept, Ecuador xxxi, 6 built-in obsolescence 113, 204, 220 Bush, George 121 business-as-usual model 22, 211; carbon dioxide emissions 101; crisis of commitment 195; financial crisis 32–8; growth 79–83, 99; human nature 131, 136–7; need for reform 55, 57, 59, 101–2, 162, 207–8, 227; throwaway society 113; wellbeing 124 see also financial systems Canada 75, 206, 207 capabilities for flourishing 61–5; circular flow of the economy 113; future visions 218, 219; and income 77; progress measures 50–5, 54; role of material abundance 67–72; and prosperity 49; relative income effect 55–61, 58, 71, 72; role of shame 123–4; role of the state 200 see also limits (flourishing within); wellbeing capital 105, 107–10 see also investment Capital in the 21st Century (Piketty) 33, 176, 177 Capital Institute, USA 155 capitalism 68–9, 80; structures 107–13, 175; types 105–7, 222, 223 car industry, financial crisis 40 carbon dioxide emissions see greenhouse gas emissions caring professions, valuing 130, 147, 207 see also social care Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Williams) 213 causal path analysis, subjective wellbeing 59 Central Bank 154 central human capabilities 64 see also capabilities for flourishing The Challenge of Affluence (Offer) 194 change see alternatives; future visions; novelty/innovation; post-growth macroeconomics; reform Chicago school of economics 36, 156 children: advertising to 204; labour 62, 154; mortality 74–5, 75, 206 Chile xxxiii, xxxvii, 58, 74, 74, 75, 76 China: decoupling 88; GDP per capita 75; greenhouse gas emissions 91; growth 99; life expectancy 74; philosophy 7; post-financial crisis 45–6; pursuit of western lifestyles 70; relative income effect 58; resource use 94; savings 27; schooling 76 choice, moving beyond consumerism 216–18 see also freedom/autonomy Christian doctrine see religious perspectives chromium, commodity price 13 Cinderella economy 219–21, 224 circular economy 144, 220 circular flow of the economy 107, 113 see also engine of growth citizen’s income 207 see also universal basic income civil unrest see social stability Clean City Law, São Paulo 204 climate change xxxv, 22, 47; critical boundaries 17–20; decoupling 85, 86, 87, 98; fatalism 186; investment needs 152; role of the state 192, 198, 201–2 see also greenhouse gas emissions Climate Change Act (2008), UK 198 clothing see basic entitlements Club of Rome, Limits to Growth report xxxii, xxxiii, 8, 11–16, Cobb, John 54 collectivism 191 commercial bond markets 30, 157 commitment devices/crisis of 192–5, 197 commodity prices: decoupling 88; financial crisis 26; fluctuation/volatility 14, 21; resource constraints 13–14 common good: future visions 218, 219; vs. freedom and autonomy 193–4; vs. private interests 208; role of the state 209 common pool resources 190–2, 198, 199 see also public services/amenities communism 187, 191 community: future visions of 219–20; geographical 122–3; investment 155–6, 204 see also alienation; intrinsic values comparison, social 115, 116, 117 see also relative income effect competition 27, 112; positional 55–61, 58, 71, 72 see also struggle for existence complexity, economic systems 14, 32, 108, 153, 203 compulsive shopping 116 see also consumerism Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (CoP21) 19 conflicted state 197, 201, 209 connectedness, global 91, 227 conspicuous consumption 115 see also language of goods consumer goods see language of goods; material goods consumer sovereignty 196, 198 consumerism 4, 21, 22, 103–4, 113–16; capitalism 105–13, 196; choice 196; engine of growth 104, 108, 120, 161; existential fear of death 69, 212–15; financial crisis 24, 28, 39, 103; moving beyond 216–18; novelty and anxiety 116–17; post-growth economy 166–7; role of the state 192–3, 196, 199, 202–5; status 211; tragedy of 140 see also demand; materialism contemplative dimensions, simplicity 127 contraction and convergence model 206–7 coordinated market economies 27, 106 Copenhagen Accord (2009) 19 copper, commodity prices 13 corporations/big business 106–7 corruption 9, 131, 186, 187, 189 The Cost Disease: Why Computers get Cheaper and Health Care Doesn’t (Baumol) 171, 172 Costa Rica 74, 74, 76 countercyclical spending 181–2, 182, 188 crafts/craft economies 147, 149, 170, 171 creative destruction 104, 112, 113, 116–17 creativity 8, 79; and consumerism 113, 116; future visions 142, 144, 147, 158, 171, 200, 220 see also novelty/innovation credit, private: deflationary forces 44; deregulation 36; financial crisis 26, 27, 27–31, 34, 36, 41; financial system weaknesses 32–3, 37; growth imperative hypothesis 178–80; mortgage loans 28–9; reforms in financial system 157; spending vs. saving behaviour of ordinary people 118–19; and stimulation of growth 36 see also debt (public) credit unions 155–6 crises: of commitment 192–5; financial see financial crisis critical boundaries, biophysical see limits (ecological) Csikszentmihalyi, Mihalyi 127 Cuba: child mortality 75; life expectancy 74, 77, 78, 78; response to economic hardship 79–80; revolution 56; schooling 76 Cushman, Philip 116 Dalai Lama 49, 52 Daly, Herman xxxii, 54, 55, 160, 163, 165 Darwin, Charles 132–3 Das Kapital (Marx) 225 Davidson, Richard 49 Davos World Economic Forum 46 Dawkins, Richard 134–5 de Mandeville, Bernard 131–2, 157 death, denial of 69, 104, 115, 212–15 debt, public-sector 81; deflationary forces 44; economic stability 81; financial crisis 24, 26–32, 27, 37, 41, 42, 81; financial systems 28–32, 153–7; money creation 178–9; post-growth economy 178–9, 223 Debt: The First Five Thousand Years (Graeber) 28 decoupling xix, xx, xxxvii, 21, 84–7; dilemma of growth 211; efficiency measures 84, 86, 87, 88, 95, 104; green growth 163, 163–5; historical perspectives 87–96, 89, 90, 92, 94, 95; need for new economic model 101–2; relationship between relative and absolute 96–101 deep emission and resource cuts 99, 102 deficit spending 41, 43 deflationary forces, post-financial crisis 43–7, 45 degrowth movement 161–3, 177 demand 104, 113–16, 166–7; post-financial crisis 44–5; post-growth economy 162, 164, 166–9, 171–2, 174–5 dematerialisation 102, 143 democratisation, and wellbeing 59 deposit guarantees 35 deregulation 27, 34, 36, 196 desire, role in consumer behaviour 68, 69, 70, 114 destructive materialism 104, 112, 113, 116–17 Deutsche Bank 41 devaluation of currency 30, 45 Dichter, Ernest 114 digital economy 44, 219–20 dilemma of growth xxxi, 66–7, 104, 210; basic entitlements 72–9, 74, 75, 76, 78; decoupling 85, 87, 164; degrowth movement 160–3; economic stability 79–83, 174–6; material abundance 67–72; moving beyond 165, 166, 183–4; role of the state 198 diminishing marginal utility: alternative hedonism 125, 126; wellbeing 51–2, 57, 60, 73, 75–6, 79 disposable incomes 27, 67, 118 distributed ownership 223 Dittmar, Helga 126 domestic debt see credit dopamine 68 Dordogne, mindfulness community 128 double movement of society 198 Douglas, Mary 70 Douthwaite, Richard 178 downshifting 128 driving analogy, managing change 16–17 durability, consumer goods 113, 204, 220 dynamic systems, managing change 16–17 Eastern Europe 76, 122 Easterlin, Richard 56, 57, 59; paradox 56, 58 eco-villages, Findhorn community 128 ecological investment 101, 166–70, 220 see also investment ecological limits see limits (ecological) ecological (ecosystem) services 152, 169, 223 The Ecology of Money (Douthwaite) 178 economic growth see growth economic models see alternatives; business-as-usual model; financial systems; future visions; mathematical models; post-growth macroeconomics economic output see efficiency; productivity ‘Economic possibilities for our grandchildren’ (Keynes) 145 economic stability 22, 154, 157, 161; financial system weaknesses 34, 35, 36, 180; growth 21, 24, 67, 79–83, 174–6, 210; post-growth economy 161–3, 165, 174–6, 208, 219; role of the state 181–3, 195, 198, 199 economic structures: post-growth economy 227; financial system reforms 224; role of the state 205; selfishness 137 see also business-as-usual model; financial systems ecosystem functioning 62–3 see also limits (ecological) ecosystem services 152, 169, 223 Ecuador xxxi, 6 education: Baumol’s cost disease 171, 172; and income 67, 76, 76; investment in 150–1; role of the state 193 see also basic entitlements efficiency measures 84, 86–8, 95, 104, 109–11, 142–3; energy 41, 109–11; growth 111, 211; investment 109, 151; of scale 104 see also labour productivity; relative decoupling Ehrlich, Paul 13, 96 elasticity of substitution, labour and capital 177–8 electricity grid 41, 151, 156 see also energy Elgin, Duane 127 Ellen MacArthur Foundation 144 emissions see greenhouse gas emissions employee ownership 223 employment intensity vs. carbon dioxide emissions 148 see also labour productivity empty self 116, 117 see also consumerism ends above means 159 energy return on investment (EROI) 12, 169 energy services/systems 142: efficiency 41, 109–11; inputs/intensity 87–8, 151; investment 41, 109–10, 151–2; renewable xxxv, 41, 168–9 engine of growth 145; consumerism 104, 108, 161; services 143, 170–4 see also circular flow of the economy enough is enough see limits enterprise as service 140, 141–4, 158 see also novelty/innovation entitlements see basic entitlements entrepreneur as visionary 112 entrepreneurial state 220 Environmental Assessment Agency, Netherlands 62 environmental quality 12 see also pollution environmentalism 9 EROI (energy return on investment) 12, 169 Essay on the Principle of Population (Malthus) 9–11, 132–3 evolutionary map, human heart 136, 136 evolutionary theory 132–3; common good 193; post-growth economy 226; psychology 133–5; selfishness and altruism 196 exchange values 55, 61 see also gross domestic product existential fear of death 69, 104, 115, 212–15 exponential expansion 1, 11, 20–1, 210 see also growth external debt 32, 42 extinctions/biodiversity loss 17, 47, 62, 101 Eyres, Harry 215 Fable of the Bees (de Mandeville) 131–2 factor inputs 109–10 see also capital; labour; resource use fast food 128 fatalism 186 FCCC (Framework Convention on Climate Change) 92 fear of death, existential 69, 104, 115, 212–15 feedback loops 16–17 financial crisis (2008) 6, 23–5, 32, 77, 103; causes and culpability 25–8; financial system weaknesses 32–7, 108; Keynesianism 37–43, 188; nationalisation of financial sector 188; need for financial reforms 175; role of debt 24, 26–32, 27, 81, 179; role of state 191; slowing of growth 43–7, 45; spending vs. saving behaviour of ordinary people 118–21, 119; types/definitions of capitalism 106; youth unemployment 144–5 financial systems: common pool resources 192; debt-based/role of debt 28–32, 153–7; post-growth economy 179, 208; systemic weaknesses 32–7; and wellbeing 47 see also banking system; business-as-usual model; financial crisis; reform Findhorn community 128 finite limits of planet see limits (ecological) Fisher, Irving 156, 157 fishing rights 22 flourishing see capabilities for flourishing; limits; wellbeing flow states 127 Flynt, Larry 40 food 67 see also basic entitlements Ford, Henry 154 forestry/forests 22, 192 Forrester, Jay 11 fossil fuels 11, 20 see also oil Foucault, Michel 197 fracking 14, 15 Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) 92 France: GDP per capita 58, 75, 76; inequality 206; life-expectancy 74; mindfulness community 128; working hours 145 free market 106: financial crisis 35, 36, 37, 38, 39; ideological controversy/conflict 186–7, 188 freedom/autonomy: vs. common good 193–4; consumer 22, 68–9; language of goods 212; personal choices for improvement 216–18; wellbeing 49, 59, 62 see also individualism Friedman, Benjamin 176 Friedman, Milton 36, 156, 157 frugality 118–20, 127–9, 215–16 fun (more fun with less stuff) 129, 217 future visions 2, 158, 217–21; community banking 155–6; dilemma of growth 211; enterprise as service 140, 141–4, 147–8, 158; entrepreneur as visionary 112; financial crisis as opportunity 25; and growth 165–6; investment 22, 101–2, 140, 149–53, 158, 169, 208; money as social good 140, 153–7, 158; processes of change 185; role of the state 198, 199, 203; timescales for change 16–17; work as participation 140, 144–9, 148, 158 see also alternatives; post-growth macroeconomics; reform Gandhi, Mahatma 127 GDP see gross domestic product gene, selfish 134–5 Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) 54, 54 geographical community 122–3 Germany xxxi; Federal Ministry of Finance 224–5; inequality 206; relative income effect 58; trade balance 31; work as participation 146 Glass Steagal Act 35 Global Commodity Price Index (1992–2015) 13 global corporations 106–7 global economy 98: culture 70; decoupling 86–8, 91, 93–5, 95, 97, 98, 100; exponential expansion 20–1; inequality 4, 5–6; interconnectedness 91, 227; post-financial crisis slowing of growth 45 Global Research report (HSBC) 41 global warming see climate change Godley, Wynne 179 Goldman Sachs 37 good life 3, 6; moral dimension 63, 104; wellbeing 48, 50 goods see language of goods; material goods; symbolic role of goods Gordon, Robert 44 governance 22, 185–6; commons 190–2; crisis of commitment 192–5, 197; economic stability 34, 35; establishing limits 200–8, 206; growth 195–9; ideological controversy/conflict 186–9; moving towards change 197–200, 220–1; post-growth economy 181–3, 182; power of corporations 106; for prosperity 209; signals 130 government as household metaphor 30, 42 governmentality 197, 198 GPI (Genuine Progress Indicator) 54, 54 Graeber, David 28 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act 35 Great Depression 39–40 Greece: austerity xxxiii–xxxiv, xxxvii, 43; energy inputs 88; financial crisis 28, 30, 31, 77; life expectancy 74; schooling 76; relative income effect 58; youth unemployment 144 Green Economy initiative 41 green: growth xxxvii, 18, 85, 153, 166, 170; investment 41 Green New Deal, UNEP 40–1, 152, 188 greenhouse gas emissions 18, 85, 86, 91, 92; absolute decoupling 89–92, 90, 92, 98–101, 100; dilemma of growth 210–11; vs. employment intensity 148; future visions 142, 151, 201–2, 220; Kyoto Protocol 18, 90; reduction targets 19–20; relative decoupling 87, 88, 89, 93, 98–101, 100 see also climate change Greenspan, Alan 35 gross domestic product (GDP) per capita 3–5, 15, 54; climate change 18; decoupling 85, 93, 94; financial crisis 27, 28, 32; green growth 163–5; life expectancy 74, 75, 78; as measure of prosperity 3–4, 5, 53–5, 54, 60–1; post-financial crisis 43, 44; post-growth economy 207; schooling 76; wellbeing 55–61, 58 see also income growth xxxvii; capitalism 105; credit 36, 178–80; decoupling 85, 96–101; economic stability 21, 24, 67, 80, 210; financial crisis 37, 38; future visions 209, 223, 224; inequality 177; labour productivity 111; moving beyond 165, 166; novelty 112; ownership 105; post-financial crisis slowing 43–7, 45; prosperity as 3–7, 23, 66; role of the state 195–9; sustainable investment 166–70; wellbeing 59–60; as zero sum game 57 see also dilemma of growth; engine of growth; green growth; limits to growth; post-growth macroeconomy growth imperative hypothesis 37, 174, 175, 177–80, 183 habit formation, acquisition as 68 Hall, Peter 106, 188 Hamilton, William 134 Hansen, James 17 happiness see wellbeing/happiness Happiness (Layard) 55 Hardin, Garrett 190–1 Harvey, David 189, 192 Hayek, Friedrich 187, 189, 191 health: Baumol’s cost disease 171, 172; inequality 72–3, 205–6, 206; investment 150–1; and material abundance 67, 68; personal choices for improvement 217; response to economic hardship 80; role of the state 193 see also basic entitlements Heath, Edward 66, 82 hedonism 120, 137, 196; alternatives 125–6 Hirsch, Fred xxxii–xxxiii historical perspectives: absolute decoupling 86, 89–96, 90, 92, 94, 95; relative decoupling 86, 87–9, 89 Holdren, John 96 holistic solutions, post-growth economy 175 household finances: house purchases 28–9; spending vs. saving behaviour 118–20, 119 see also credit household metaphor, government as 30, 42 HSBC Global Research report 41 human capabilities see capabilities for flourishing human happiness see wellbeing/happiness human nature/psyche 3, 132–5, 138; acquisition 68; alternative hedonism 125; evolutionary map of human heart 136, 136; intrinsic values 131; meaning/purpose 49–50; novelty/innovation 116; selfishness vs. altruism 133–8; short-termism/living for today 194; spending vs. saving behaviour 34, 118–21, 119; symbolic role of goods 69 see also intrinsic values human rights see basic entitlements humanitarian perspectives: financial crisis 24; growth 79; inequality 5, 52, 53 see also intrinsic values hyperbolic discounting 194 hyperindividualism 226 see also individualism hyper-materialisation 140, 157 I Ching (Chinese Book of Changes) 7 Iceland: financial crisis 28; life expectancy 74, 75; relative income effect 56; response to economic hardship 79–80; schooling 76; sovereign money system 157 identity construction 52, 69, 115, 116, 212, 219 IEA (International Energy Agency) 14, 152 IMF (International Monetary Fund) 45, 156–7 immaterial goods 139–40 see also intrinsic values; meaning/purpose immortality, symbolic role of goods 69, 104, 115, 212–14 inclusive growth see inequality; smart growth income 3, 4, 5, 66, 124; basic entitlements 72–9, 74, 75, 76, 78; child mortality 74–5, 75; decoupling 96; economic stability 82; education 76; life expectancy 72, 73, 74, 77–9, 78; poor nations 67; relative income effect 55–61, 58, 71, 72; tax revenues 81 see also gross domestic product INDCs (intended nationally determined commitments) 19 India: decoupling 99; growth 99; life expectancy 74, 75; philosophy 127; pursuit of western lifestyles 70; savings 27; schooling 76 indicators of environmental quality 96 see also biodiversity; greenhouse gas emissions; pollution; resource use individualism 136, 226; progressive state 194–7, 199, 200, 203, 207 see also freedom/autonomy industrial development 12 see also technological advances inequality 22, 67; basic entitlements 72; child mortality 75, 75; credible alternatives 219, 224; deflationary forces 44; fatalism 186; financial crisis 24; global 4, 5–6, 99, 100; financial system weaknesses 32–3; post-growth economy 174, 176–8; role of the state 198, 205–7, 206; selfishness vs. altruism 137; symbolic role of goods 71; wellbeing 47, 104 see also poverty infant mortality rates 72, 75 inflation 26, 30, 110, 157, 167 infrastructure, civic 150–1 Inglehart, Ronald 58, 59 innovation see novelty/innovation; technological advances inputs 80–1 see also capital; labour productivity; resource use Inside Job documentary film 26 instant gratification 50, 61 instinctive acquisition 68 Institute for Fiscal Studies 81 Institute for Local Self-Reliance 204 institutional structures 130 see also economic structures; governance intended nationally determined commitments (INDCs) 19 intensity factor, technological 96, 97 see also technological advances intentional communities 127–9 interconnectedness, global 91, 227 interest payments/rates 39, 43, 110; financial crisis 29, 30, 33, 39; post-growth economy 178–80 see also credit; debt Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 18, 19, 201–2 International Energy Agency (IEA) 14, 152 International Monetary Fund (IMF) 45, 156–7 intrinsic values 126–31, 135–6, 212; role of the state 199, 200 see also belonging; community; meaning/purpose; simplicity/frugality investment 107–10, 108; ecological/sustainable 101, 152, 153, 166–70, 220; and innovation 112; loans 29; future visions 22, 101–2, 140, 149–53, 158, 169, 208, 220; and savings 108; social 155, 156, 189, 193, 208, 220–3 invisible hand metaphor 132, 133, 187 IPAT equation, relative and absolute decoupling 96 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) 18, 19, 201–2 Ireland 28; inequality 206; life expectancy 74, 75; schooling 76; wellbeing 58 iron cage of consumerism see consumerism iron ore 94 James, Oliver 205 James, William 68 Japan: equality 206; financial crisis 27, 45; life expectancy 74, 76, 79; relative income effect 56, 58; resource use 93; response to economic hardship 79–80 Jefferson, Thomas 185 Jobs, Steve 210 Johnson, Boris 120–1 Kahneman, Daniel 60 Kasser, Tim 126 keeping up with the Joneses 115, 116, 117 see also relative income effect Kennedy, Robert 48, 53 Keynes, John Maynard/Keynesianism 23, 34, 120, 174, 181–3, 187–8; financial crisis 37–43; financial system reforms 157; part-time working 145; steady state economy 159, 162 King, Alexander 11 Krugman, Paul 39, 85, 86, 102 Kyoto Protocol (1992) 18, 90 labour: child 62, 154; costs 110; division of 158; elasticity of substitution 177, 178; intensity 109, 148, 208; mobility 123; production inputs 80, 109; structures of capitalism 107 labour productivity 80–1, 109–11; Baumol’s cost disease 170–2; and economic growth 111; future visions 220, 224; investment as commitment 150; need for investment 109; post-growth economy 175, 208; services as engine of growth 170; sustainable investment 166, 170; trade off with resource use 110; work-sharing 145, 146, 147, 148, 148, 149 Lahr, Christin 224–5 laissez-faire capitalism 187, 195, 196 see also free market Lakoff, George 30 language of goods 212; material footprint of 139–40; signalling of social status 71; and wellbeing 124 see also consumerism; material goods; symbolic role of goods Layard, Richard 55 leadership, political 199 see also governance Lebow, Victor 120 Lehman Brothers, bankruptcy 23, 25, 26, 118 leisure economy 204 liberal market economies 106, 107; financial crisis 27, 35–6 life expectancy: and income 72, 73, 74, 77–9, 78; inequality 206; response to economic hardship 80 see also basic entitlements life-satisfaction 73; inequality 205; relative income effect 55–61, 58 see also wellbeing/happiness limits, ecological 3, 4, 7, 11, 12, 20–2; climate change 17–20; decoupling 86; financial crisis 23–4; growth 21, 165, 210; post-growth economy 201–2, 226–7; role of the state 198, 200–2, 206–7; and social boundaries 141; wellbeing 62–63, 185 limits, flourishing within 61–5, 185; alternative hedonism 125–6; intrinsic values 127–31; moving towards 215, 218, 219, 221; paradox of materialism 121–23; prosperity 67–72, 113, 212; role of the state 201–2, 205; selfishness 131–8; shame 123–4; spending vs. saving behaviour 118–21, 119 see also sustainable prosperity limits to growth: confronting 7–8; exceeding 20–2; wellbeing 62–3 Limits to Growth report (Club of Rome) xxxii, xxxiii, 8, 11–16 ‘The Living Standard’ essay (Sen) 50, 123–4 living standards 82 see also prosperity Lloyd, William Forster 190 loans 154; community investment 155–6; financial system weaknesses 34 see also credit; debt London School of Economics 25 loneliness 123, 137 see also alienation long-term: investments 222; social good 219 long-term wellbeing vs. short-term pleasures 194, 197 longevity see life expectancy love 212 see also intrinsic values low-carbon transition 19, 220 LowGrow model for the Canadian economy 175 MacArthur Foundation 144 McCracken, Grant 115 Malthus, Thomas Robert 9–11, 132–3, 190 market economies: coordinated 27, 106; liberal 27, 35–6, 106, 107 market liberalism 106, 107; financial crisis 27, 35–6; wellbeing 47 marketing 140, 203–4 Marmot review, health inequality in the UK 72 Marx, Karl/Marxism 9, 189, 192, 225 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) 11, 12, 15 material abundance see opulence material goods 68–9; identity 52; language of 139–40; and wellbeing 47, 48, 49, 51, 65, 126 see also symbolic role of goods material inputs see resource use materialism: and fear of death 69, 104, 115, 212–15; and intrinsic values 127–31; paradox of 121–3; price of 126; and religion 115; values 126, 135–6 see also consumerism mathematical models/simulations 132; austerity policies 181; countercyclical spending 181–2, 182; decoupling 84, 91, 96–101; inequality 176–8; post-growth economy 164; stock-flow consistent 179–80 Mawdsley, Emma 70 Mazzucato, Mariana 193, 220 MDG (Millennium Development Goals) 74–5 Meadows, Dennis and Donella 11, 12, 15, 16 meaning/purpose 2, 8, 22; beyond material goods 212–16; consumerism 69, 203, 215; intrinsic values 127–31; moving towards 218–20; wellbeing 49, 52, 60, 121–2; work 144, 146 see also intrinsic values means and ends 159 mental health: inequality 206; meaning/purpose 213 metaphors: government as household 30, 42; invisible hand 132, 133, 187 Middle East, energy inputs 88 Miliband, Ed 199 Mill, John Stuart 125, 159, 160, 174 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 74–5 mindfulness 128 Minsky, Hyman 34, 35, 40, 182, 208 MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 11, 12, 15 mixed economies 106 mobility of labour, loneliness index 123 Monbiot, George 84, 85, 86, 91 money: creation 154, 157, 178–9; and prosperity 5; as social good 140, 153–7, 158 see also financial systems monopoly power, corporations 106–7 The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth (Friedman) 82, 176 moral dimensions, good life 63 see also intrinsic values moral hazards, separation of risk from reward 35 ‘more fun with less stuff’ 129, 217 mortality fears 69, 104, 115, 212–15 mortality rates, and income 74, 74–6, 75 mortgage loans 28–9, 35 multinational corporations 106–7 national debt see debt, public-sector nationalisation 191; financial crisis 38, 188 natural selection 132–3 see also struggle for existence nature, rights of 6–7 negative emissions 98–9 negative feedback loops 16–17 Netherlands 58, 62, 206, 207 neuroscientific perspectives: flourishing 68, 69; human behaviour 134 New Climate Economy report Better Growth, Better Climate 18 New Deal, USA 39 New Economics Foundation 175 nickel, commodity prices 13 9/11 terrorist attacks (2001) 121 Nordhaus, William 171, 172–3 North America 128, 155 see also Canada; United States Norway: advertising 204; inequality 206; investment as commitment 151–2; life expectancy 74; relative income effect 58; schooling 76 novelty/innovation 104, 108, 113; and anxiety 116–17, 124, 211; crisis of commitment 195; dilemma of growth 211; human psyche 135–6, 136, 137; investment 150, 166, 168; post-growth economy 226; role of the state 196, 197, 199; as service 140, 141–4, 158; symbolic role of goods 114–16, 213 see also technological advances Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (Thaler and Sunstein) 194–5 Nussbaum, Martha 64 nutrient loading, critical boundaries 17 nutrition 67 see also basic entitlements obesity 72, 78, 206 obsolescence, built in 113, 204, 220 oceans: acidification 17; common pool resources 192 Offer, Avner 57, 61, 71, 194, 195 oil prices 14, 21; decoupling 88; financial crisis 26; resource constraints 15 oligarchic capitalism 106, 107 opulence 50–1, 52, 67–72 original sin 9, 131 Ostrom, Elinor and Vincent 190, 191 output see efficiency; gross domestic product; productivity ownership: and expansion 105; private vs. public 9, 105, 191, 219, 223; new models 223–4; types/definitions of capitalism 105–7 Oxfam 141 paradoxes: materialism 121–3; thrift 120 Paris Agreement 19, 101, 201 participation in society 61, 114, 122, 129, 137; future visions 200, 205, 218, 219, 225; work as 140–9, 148, 157, 158 see also social inclusion part-time working 145, 146, 149, 175 Peccei, Aurelio 11 Perez, Carlota 112 performing arts, Baumol’s cost disease 171–2 personal choice 216–18 see also freedom/autonomy personal property 189, 191 Pickett, Kate 71, 205–6 Piketty, Thomas 33, 176, 177 planetary boundaries see limits (ecological) planning for change 17 pleasure 60–1 see also wellbeing/happiness Plum Village mindfulness community 128 Polanyi, Karl 198 policy see governance political leadership 199 see also governance Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts 41 pollution 12, 21, 53, 95–6, 143 polycentric governance 191, 192 Poor Laws 10 poor nations see poverty population increase 3, 12, 63, 96, 97, 190; Malthus on 9–11, 132–3 porn industry 40 Portugal 28, 58, 88, 206 positional competition 55–61, 58, 71, 72 see also social comparison positive feedback loops 16–17 post-growth capitalism 224 post-growth macroeconomics 159–60, 183–4, 221; credit 178–80; degrowth movement 161–3; economic stability 174–6; green growth 163–5; inequality 176–8; role of state 181–3, 182, 200–8, 206; services 170–4; sustainable investment 166–70 see also alternatives; future visions; reform poverty 4, 5–6, 216; basic entitlements 72; flourishing within limits 212; life expectancy 74, 74; need for new economic model 101; symbolic role of goods 70; wellbeing 48, 59–60, 61, 67 see also inequality; relative income effect power politics 200 predator–prey analogy 103–4, 117 private credit see credit private vs. public: common good 208; ownership 9, 105, 191, 219, 223; salaries 130 privatisation 191, 219 product lifetimes, obsolescence 113, 204, 220 production: inputs 80–1; ownership 191, 219, 223 productivity: investment 109, 167, 168, 169; post-growth economy 224; services as engine of growth 171, 172, 173; targets 147; trap 175 see also efficiency measures; labour productivity; resource productivity profits: definitions of capitalism 105; dilemma of growth 211; efficiency measures 87; investment 109; motive 104; post-growth economy 224; and wages 175–8 progress 2, 50–5, 54 see also novelty/innovation; technological advances progressive sector, Baumol’s cost disease 171 progressive state 185, 220–2; contested 186–9; countering consumerism 202–5; equality measures 205–7, 206; governance of the commons 190–2; governance as commitment device 192–5; governmentality of growth 195–7; limit-setting 201–2; moving towards 197–200; post-growth macroeconomics 207–8, 224; prosperity 209 prosocial behaviour 198 see also social contract prosperity 1–3, 22, 121; capabilities for flourishing 61–5; and growth 3–7, 23, 66, 80, 160; and income 3–4, 5, 66–7; limits of 67–72, 113, 212; materialistic vision 137; progress measures 50–5, 54; relative income effect 55–61, 58, 71, 72; social perspectives 2, 22, 48–9; state roles 209 see also capabilities for flourishing; post-growth macroeconomics; sustainable prosperity; wellbeing prudence, financial 120, 195, 221; financial crisis 33, 34, 35 public sector spending: austerity policies 189; countercyclical spending strategy 181–2, 182; welfare economy 169 public services/amenities: common pool resources 190–2, 198, 199; future visions 204, 218–20; investment 155–6, 204; ownership 223 see also private vs. public; service-based economies public transport 41, 129, 193, 217 purpose see meaning/purpose Putnam, Robert 122 psyche, human see human nature/psyche quality, environmental 12 see also pollution quality of life: enterprise as service 142; inequality 206; sustainable 128 quality to throughput ratios 113 quantitative easing 43 Queen Elizabeth II 25, 32, 34, 37 quiet revolution 127–31 Raworth, Kate 141 Reagan, Ronald 8 rebound phenomenon 111 recession 23–4, 28, 81, 161–3 see also financial crisis recreation/leisure industries 143 recycling 129 redistribution of wealth 52 see also inequality reforms 182–3, 222; economic structures 224; and financial crisis 103; financial systems 156–8, 180 see also alternatives; future visions; post-growth economy relative decoupling 84–5, 86; historical perspectives 87–9, 89; relationship with absolute decoupling 96–101, 111 relative income effect 55–61, 58, 71, 72 see also social comparison religious perspectives 9–10, 214–15; materialism as alternative to religion 115; original sin 9, 131; wellbeing 48, 49 see also existential fear of death renewable energy xxxv, 41, 168–169 repair/renovation 172, 220 resource constraints 3, 7, 8, 11–15, 47 resource productivity 110, 151, 168, 169, 220 resource use: conflicts 22; credible alternatives 101, 220; decoupling 84–9, 92–5, 94, 95; and economic output 142–4; investment 151, 153, 168, 169; trade off with labour costs 110 retail therapy 115 see also consumerism; shopping revenues, state 222–3 see also taxation revolution 186 see also social stability rights: environment/nature 6–7; human see basic entitlements risk, financial 24, 25, 33, 35 The Road to Serfdom (Hayek) 187 Robinson, Edward 132 Robinson, Joan 159 Rockström, Johan 17, 165 romantic movement 9–10 Roosevelt, Franklin D. 35, 39 Rousseau, Jean Jacques 9, 131 Russia 74, 76, 77–80, 78, 122 sacred canopy 214, 215 salaries: private vs. public sector 130, 171; and profits 175–8 Sandel, Michael 150, 164, 218 São Paulo, Clean City Law 204 Sardar, Zia 49, 50 Sarkozy, Nicolas xxxi, 53 savage state, romantic movement 9–10 savings 26–7, 28, 107–9, 108; investment 149; ratios 34, 118–20, 119 scale, efficiencies of 104 Scandinavia 27, 122, 204 scarcity, managing change 16–17 Schumpeter, Joseph 112 Schwartz, Shalom 135–6, 136 schooling see education The Science of Desire (Dichter) 114 secular stagnation 43–7, 45, 173 securitisation, mortgage loans 35 security: moving towards 219; and wellbeing 48, 61 self-development 204 self-expression see identity construction self-transcending behaviours see transcendence The Selfish Gene (Dawkins) 134–5 selfishness 133–8, 196 Sen, Amartya 50, 52, 61–2, 123–4 service concept/servicization 140–4, 147–8, 148, 158 service-based economies 219; engine of growth 170–4; substitution between labour and capital 178; sustainable investment 169–70 see also public services SFC (stock-flow consistent) economic models 179–80 shame 123–4 shared endeavours, post-growth economy 227 Sheldon, Solomon 214 shelter see basic entitlements shopping 115, 116, 130 see also consumerism short-termism/living for today 194, 197, 200 signals: sent out by society 130, 193, 198, 203, 207; social status 71 see also language of goods Simon, Julian 13 simplicity/simple life 118–20, 127–9, 215–16 simulations see mathematical models/simulations slow: capital 170; movement 128 smart growth 85, 163–5 see also green growth Smith, Adam 51, 106–7, 123, 132, 187 social assets 220 social boundaries (minimum standards) 141 see also basic entitlements social care 150–1 see also caring professions social comparison 115, 116, 117 see also relative income effect social contract 194, 198, 199, 200 social inclusion 48, 69–71, 114, 212 see also participation in society social investment 155, 156, 189, 193, 208, 220–3 social justice 198 see also inequality social logic of consumerism 114–16, 204 social stability 24, 26, 80, 145, 186, 196, 205 see also alienation social status see status social structures 80, 129, 130, 137, 196, 200, 203 social tolerance, and wellbeing 59, 60 social unrest see social stability social wage 40 social welfare: financial reforms 182–3; public sector spending 169 socialism 223 Sociobiology (Wilson) 134 soil integrity 220 Solon, quotation 47, 49, 71 Soper, Kate 125–6 Soros, George 36 Soskice, David 106 Soviet Union, former 74, 76, 77–80, 78, 122 Spain 28, 58, 144, 206 SPEAR organization, responsible investment 155 species loss/extinctions 17, 47, 62, 101 speculation 93, 99, 149, 150, 154, 158, 170; economic stability 180; financial crisis 26, 33, 35; short-term profiteering 150; spending: behaviour of ordinary people 34, 119, 120–1; countercyclical 181–2, 182, 188; economic stability 81; as way out of recession 41, 44, 119, 120–1; and work cycle 125 The Spirit Level (Wilkinson and Pickett) 71, 205–6 spiritual perspectives 117, 127, 128, 214 stability see economic stability; social stability stagflation 26 stagnant sector, Baumol’s cost disease 171 stagnation: economic stability 81–2; labour productivity 145; post-financial crisis 43–7, 45 see also recession state capitalism, types/definitions of capitalism 106 state revenues, from social investment 222–3 see also taxation state roles see governance status 207, 209, 211; and possessions 69, 71, 114, 115, 117 see also language of goods; symbolic role of goods Steady State Economics (Daly) xxxii steady state economies 82, 159, 160, 174, 180 see also post-growth macroeconomics Stern, Nicholas 17–18 stewardship: role of the state 200; sustainable investment 168 Stiglitz, Joseph 53 stock-flow consistent (SFC) economic models 179–80 Stockholm Resilience Centre 17, 201 stranded assets 167–8 see also ownership structures of capitalism see economic structures struggle for existence 8–11, 125, 132–3 Stuckler, David 43 stuff see language of goods; material goods; symbolic role of goods subjective wellbeing (SWB) 49, 58, 58–9, 71, 122, 129 see also wellbeing/happiness subprime lending 26 substitution, between labour and capital 177–178 suffering, struggle for existence 10 suicide 43, 52, 77 Sukdhev, Pavan 41 sulphur dioxide pollution 95–6 Summers, Larry 36 Sunstein, Cass 194 sustainability xxv–xxvi, 102, 104, 126; financial systems 154–5; innovation 226; investment 101, 152, 153, 166–70, 220; resource constraints 12; role of the state 198, 203, 207 see also sustainable prosperity Sustainable Development Strategy, UK 198 sustainable growth see green growth sustainable prosperity 210–12; creating credible alternatives 219–21; finding meaning beyond material commodities 212–16; implications for capitalism 222–5; personal choices for improvement 216–18; and utopianism 225–7 see also limits (flourishing within) SWB see subjective wellbeing; wellbeing/happiness Switzerland 11, 46, 157; citizen’s income 207; income relative to wellbeing 58; inequality 206; life expectancy 74, 75 symbolic role of goods 69, 70–1; existential fear of death 212–16; governance 203; innovation/novelty 114–16; material footprints 139–40; paradox of materialism 121–2 see also language of goods; material goods system dynamics model 11–12, 15 tar sands/oil shales 15 taxation: capital 177; income 81; inequality 206; post-growth economy 222 technological advances 12–13, 15; decoupling 85, 86, 87, 96–8, 100–3, 164–5; dilemma of growth 211; economic stability 80; population increase 10–11; role of state 193, 220 see also novelty/innovation Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre 8 terror management, and consumption 69, 104, 115, 212–15 terrorist attacks (9/11) 121 Thailand, Buddhist monasteries 128 Thaler, Richard 194 theatre, Baumol’s cost disease 171–2 theology see religious perspectives theory of evolution 132–3 thermodynamics, laws of 112, 164 Thich Nhat Hanh 128 thrift 118–20, 127–9, 215–16 throwaway society 113, 172, 204 timescales for change 16–17 tin, commodity prices 13 Today programme interview xxix, xxviii Totnes, transition movement 128–9 Towards a Green Economy report (UNEP) 152–3 Townsend, Peter 48, 61 trade balance 31 trading standards 204 tradition 135–6, 136, 226 ‘Tragedy of the commons’ (Hardin) 190–1 transcendence 214 see also altruism; meaning/purpose; spiritual perspectives transition movement, Totnes 128–9 Triodos Bank 156, 165 Trumpf (machine-tool makers) Germany 146 trust, loss of see alienation tungsten, commodity prices 13 Turkey 58, 88 Turner, Adair 157 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (2015) 19 UBS (Swiss bank) 46 Ubuntu, African philosophy 227 unemployment 77; consumer goods 215; degrowth movement 162; financial crisis 24, 40, 41, 43; Great Depression 39–40; and growth 38; labour productivity 80–1; post-growth economy 174, 175, 183, 208, 219; work as participation 144–6 United Kingdom: Green New Deal group 152; greenhouse gas emissions 92; labour productivity 173; resource inputs 93; Sustainable Development Strategy 198 United Nations: Development Programme 6; Environment Programme 18, 152–3; Green Economy initiative 41 United States: credit unions 155–6; debt 27, 31–32; decoupling 88; greenhouse gas emissions 90–1; subprime lending 26; Works Progress Administration 39 universal basic income 221 see also citizen’s income University of Massachusetts, Political Economy Research Institute 41 utilitarianism/utility, wellbeing 50, 52–3, 55, 60 utopianism 8, 38, 125, 179; post-growth economy 225–7 values, materialistic 126, 135–6 see also intrinsic values Veblen, Thorstein 115 Victor, Peter xxxviii, 146, 175, 177, 180 vision of progress see future visions; post-growth economy volatility, commodity prices 14, 21 wages: and profits 175–8; private vs. public sector 130, 171 walking, personal choices for improvement 217 water use 22 Wealth of Nations, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes (Smith) 123, 132 wealth redistribution 52 see also inequality Weber, Axel 46 welfare policies: financial reforms 182–3; public sector spending 169 welfare of livestock 220 wellbeing/happiness 47–50, 53, 121–2, 124; collective 209; consumer goods 4, 21, 22, 126; growth 6, 165, 211; intrinsic values 126, 129; investment 150; novelty/innovation 117; opulence 50–2, 67–72; personal choices for improvement 217; planetary boundaries 141; relative income effect 55–61, 58, 71, 72; simplicity 129; utilitarianism 50, 52–3, 55, 60 see also capabilities for flourishing western lifestyles 70, 210 White, William 46 Whybrow, Peter 68 Wilhelm, Richard 7 Wilkinson, Richard 71, 205–6 Williams, Tennessee 213 Wilson, Edward 134 wisdom traditions 48, 49, 63, 128, 213–14 work: as participation 140–9, 148, 157, 158; and spend cycle 125; sharing 145, 146, 149, 175 Works Progress Administration, USA 39 World Bank 160 World Values Survey 58 youth unemployment, financial crisis 144–5 zero sum game, growth as 57, 71


pages: 1,535 words: 337,071

Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World by David Easley, Jon Kleinberg

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, clean water, conceptual framework, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Douglas Hofstadter, Erdős number, experimental subject, first-price auction, fudge factor, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, Gerard Salton, Gerard Salton, Gödel, Escher, Bach, incomplete markets, information asymmetry, information retrieval, John Nash: game theory, Kenneth Arrow, longitudinal study, market clearing, market microstructure, moral hazard, Nash equilibrium, Network effects, Pareto efficiency, Paul Erdős, planetary scale, prediction markets, price anchoring, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, random walk, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, sealed-bid auction, search engine result page, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, Simon Singh, slashdot, social web, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, the strength of weak ties, The Wisdom of Crowds, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, two and twenty, ultimatum game, Vannevar Bush, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

As we noted in the smoking example this is not plausible when many individuals are involved in the negotiation. Similarly, in the case of pollution, establishing marketable pollution rights is more likely to minimize transaction costs and lead to socially optimal outcomes. 24.2 The Tragedy of the Commons In a 1968 article in Science, entitled “The Tragedy of the Commons” [204], Garrett Hardin offered a compelling story about the inevitable “tragedy” of commonly shared resources. In his story there is a village commons on which any herdsman can freely graze his cattle.3 Hardin noted that inevitably the commons will be overused to the detriment of all the villagers.

If the goal of using the commons is to generate revenue from the cattle that graze there, then the socially optimal fraction of cattle on the commons is the value x∗ that maximizes the function f (x) · xN ; in our case, as we see from the figure, this maximum 3The term “commons” comes from the common use of a village green in Europe and the UK. Many old villages still have them, although generally not for use by cattle any more. 24.2. THE TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS 791 Total Revenue Optimal utilization Over-utilization Fraction of population 0 c/2 c using commons Figure 24.1: In the Tragedy of the Commons, a freely shared resource can easily be overused unless some form of property rights are established. is achieved midway between the two points where the curve crosses the x-axis, at x∗ = c/2. Thus the maximum revenue is c c c2N f (x∗) · x∗N = c − · N = . 2 2 4 We analyzed a similar function in Chapter 17 to describe the maximum price that users would pay for a good with network effects when an x fraction of the population is using it.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299 10.6 Advanced Material: A Proof of the Matching Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . 300 10.7 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 310 11 Network Models of Markets with Intermediaries 319 11.1 Price-Setting in Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319 11.2 A Model of Trade on Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323 11.3 Equilibria in Trading Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 330 11.4 Further Equilibrium Phenomena: Auctions and Ripple Effects . . . . . . . . 334 11.5 Social Welfare in Trading Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 338 11.6 Trader Profits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 339 11.7 Reflections on Trade with Intermediaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 342 11.8 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 342 12 Bargaining and Power in Networks 347 12.1 Power in Social Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347 12.2 Experimental Studies of Power and Exchange . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350 12.3 Results of Network Exchange Experiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 352 12.4 A Connection to Buyer-Seller Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356 12.5 Modeling Two-Person Interaction: The Nash Bargaining Solution . . . . . . 357 12.6 Modeling Two-Person Interaction: The Ultimatum Game . . . . . . . . . . . 360 12.7 Modeling Network Exchange: Stable Outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362 12.8 Modeling Network Exchange: Balanced Outcomes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 366 12.9 Advanced Material: A Game-Theoretic Approach to Bargaining . . . . . . . 369 12.10Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376 IV Information Networks and the World Wide Web 381 13 The Structure of the Web 383 13.1 The World Wide Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 384 13.2 Information Networks, Hypertext, and Associative Memory . . . . . . . . . . 386 13.3 The Web as a Directed Graph . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 394 13.4 The Bow-Tie Structure of the Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 397 13.5 The Emergence of Web 2.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 400 13.6 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 403 6 CONTENTS 14 Link Analysis and Web Search 405 14.1 Searching the Web: The Problem of Ranking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 405 14.2 Link Analysis using Hubs and Authorities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 407 14.3 PageRank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 414 14.4 Applying Link Analysis in Modern Web Search . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 420 14.5 Applications beyond the Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 423 14.6 Advanced Material: Spectral Analysis, Random Walks, and Web Search . . . 425 14.7 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 437 15 Sponsored Search Markets 445 15.1 Advertising Tied to Search Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 445 15.2 Advertising as a Matching Market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 448 15.3 Encouraging Truthful Bidding in Matching Markets: The VCG Principle . . 452 15.4 Analyzing the VCG Procedure: Truth-Telling as a Dominant Strategy . . . . 457 15.5 The Generalized Second Price Auction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 460 15.6 Equilibria of the Generalized Second Price Auction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 464 15.7 Ad Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 467 15.8 Complex Queries and Interactions Among Keywords . . . . . . . . . . . . . 469 15.9 Advanced Material: VCG Prices and the Market-Clearing Property . . . . . 470 15.10Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 486 V Network Dynamics: Population Models 489 16 Information Cascades 491 16.1 Following the Crowd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 491 16.2 A Simple Herding Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 493 16.3 Bayes’ Rule: A Model of Decision-Making Under Uncertainty . . . . . . . . . 497 16.4 Bayes’ Rule in the Herding Experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 502 16.5 A Simple, General Cascade Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 504 16.6 Sequential Decision-Making and Cascades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 508 16.7 Lessons from Cascades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 511 16.8 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 513 17 Network Effects 517 17.1 The Economy Without Network Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 518 17.2 The Economy with Network Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 522 17.3 Stability, Instability, and Tipping Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 525 17.4 A Dynamic View of the Market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 527 17.5 Industries with Network Goods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 534 17.6 Mixing Individual Effects with Population-Level Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . 536 17.7 Advanced Material: Negative Externalities and The El Farol Bar Problem . 541 17.8 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 549 CONTENTS 7 18 Power Laws and Rich-Get-Richer Phenomena 553 18.1 Popularity as a Network Phenomenon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 553 18.2 Power Laws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 555 18.3 Rich-Get-Richer Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 557 18.4 The Unpredictability of Rich-Get-Richer Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 559 18.5 The Long Tail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 561 18.6 The Effect of Search Tools and Recommendation Systems . . . . . . . . . . . 564 18.7 Advanced Material: Analysis of Rich-Get-Richer Processes . . . . . . . . . . 565 18.8 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 569 VI Network Dynamics: Structural Models 571 19 Cascading Behavior in Networks 573 19.1 Diffusion in Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 573 19.2 Modeling Diffusion through a Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 575 19.3 Cascades and Clusters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 583 19.4 Diffusion, Thresholds, and the Role of Weak Ties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 588 19.5 Extensions of the Basic Cascade Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 590 19.6 Knowledge, Thresholds, and Collective Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 593 19.7 Advanced Material: The Cascade Capacity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 597 19.8 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613 20 The Small-World Phenomenon 621 20.1 Six Degrees of Separation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 621 20.2 Structure and Randomness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 622 20.3 Decentralized Search . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 626 20.4 Modeling the Process of Decentralized Search . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 629 20.5 Empirical Analysis and Generalized Models . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 632 20.6 Core-Periphery Structures and Difficulties in Decentralized Search . . . . . . 638 20.7 Advanced Material: Analysis of Decentralized Search . . . . . . . . . . . . . 640 20.8 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 652 21 Epidemics 655 21.1 Diseases and the Networks that Transmit Them . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 655 21.2 Branching Processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 657 21.3 The SIR Epidemic Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 660 21.4 The SIS Epidemic Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 666 21.5 Synchronization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 669 21.6 Transient Contacts and the Dangers of Concurrency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 672 21.7 Genealogy, Genetic Inheritance, and Mitochondrial Eve . . . . . . . . . . . . 676 21.8 Advanced Material: Analysis of Branching and Coalescent Processes . . . . . 682 21.9 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 695 8 CONTENTS VII Institutions and Aggregate Behavior 699 22 Markets and Information 701 22.1 Markets with Exogenous Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 702 22.2 Horse Races, Betting, and Beliefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 704 22.3 Aggregate Beliefs and the “Wisdom of Crowds” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 710 22.4 Prediction Markets and Stock Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 714 22.5 Markets with Endogenous Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 717 22.6 The Market for Lemons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 719 22.7 Asymmetric Information in Other Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 724 22.8 Signaling Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 728 22.9 Quality Uncertainty On-Line: Reputation Systems and Other Mechanisms . 729 22.10Advanced Material: Wealth Dynamics in Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 732 22.11Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 740 23 Voting 745 23.1 Voting for Group Decision-Making . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 745 23.2 Individual Preferences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 747 23.3 Voting Systems: Majority Rule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 750 23.4 Voting Systems: Positional Voting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 755 23.5 Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 758 23.6 Single-Peaked Preferences and the Median Voter Theorem . . . . . . . . . . 760 23.7 Voting as a Form of Information Aggregation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 766 23.8 Insincere Voting for Information Aggregation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 768 23.9 Jury Decisions and the Unanimity Rule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 771 23.10Sequential Voting and the Relation to Information Cascades . . . . . . . . . 776 23.11Advanced Material: A Proof of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem . . . . . . . . 777 23.12Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 782 24 Property Rights 785 24.1 Externalities and the Coase Theorem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 785 24.2 The Tragedy of the Commons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 790 24.3 Intellectual Property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 793 24.4 Exercises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 796 Chapter 1 Overview Over the past decade there has been a growing public fascination with the complex “connectedness” of modern society.


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Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy by Robert A. Sirico

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, corporate governance, creative destruction, delayed gratification, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, Herbert Marcuse, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, Internet Archive, liberation theology, means of production, moral hazard, obamacare, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, profit motive, road to serfdom, Tragedy of the Commons, zero-sum game

Despite what the Marxist protesters I met in Nicaragua may have thought as they packed their duffle bags to go join the environmental movement in the United States, it isn’t socialism. In fact, it’s precisely those systems that fail to defend private property rights that are most inclined to abuse the earth. There’s a name for this in economics—“the tragedy of the commons.” Private property is the best preserver of creation, and no greater environmental spoilage has been witnessed than in the old socialist Eastern bloc countries, where private property was abolished. Indeed, the communist regime in China has also had a horrendous track record on environmental protection.

There is no more efficient, natural, and elegant way to encourage real conservation and progress at the same time. However—and this bears repeating—for prices to do their job, there must be a functional market and defined property rights. Where these institutions are not in place, what occurs is another instance of the tragedy of the commons. When nobody owns the resources in question but all are permitted to make use of them, people race to devour the resource in order to get as much as possible before it runs out. The incentive is to deplete rather than conserve. The plight of many endangered species can be understood in this way.


Bulletproof Problem Solving by Charles Conn, Robert McLean

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset allocation, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Black Swan, blockchain, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, endowment effect, future of work, Garrett Hardin, Hyperloop, Innovator's Dilemma, inventory management, iterative process, loss aversion, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, nudge unit, Occam's razor, pattern recognition, pets.com, prediction markets, principal–agent problem, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, smart contracts, stem cell, sunk-cost fallacy, the rule of 72, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, time value of money, Tragedy of the Commons, transfer pricing, Vilfredo Pareto, walkable city, WikiLeaks

But this work shows a large number of promising avenues to fight obesity that have a strong evidence base, and reasonable costs relative to the economic burdens this epidemic imposes on society. Overfishing: The Quintessential Wicked Problem Environmental degradation is one of the most pervasive wicked problems. The famous article by Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” written in 1968,10 influenced many to reach the view that so‐called common‐pool resources, such as public land, water, or fisheries, required either government intervention or private ownership to avoid overuse. Elinor Ostrom, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, showed that there are solutions available to the problems of the commons, some of which are long‐standing arrangements among resource users that have elements of community management via norms, and elements that mimic private ownership via certain kinds of harvest rights.11 Let's look at an example of fisheries reform that employed clever problem solving to achieve much better outcomes.

., “Risk of Childhood Overweight or Obesity Associated with Excessive Weight Gain During Pregnancy: A Meta‐Analysis,” Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 289, no. 2 (2014): 247–257. 7  US data source provided by Professor Desiree Silva, the ORIGINS project at Joondalup Health Campus, Western Australia. 8  Submission 10 to Senate Select Enquiry into the Obesity Epidemic in Australia, July 2018. 9  Walk Economy, The Place Report (2016), 7. 10  Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science (December 13, 1968). 11  Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons (Cambridge University Press, 1990). 12  Oral communications, Chuck Cook and Charles Conn, August–October, 2017. 13  Mark Tercek and Jonathan Adams, Nature's Fortune (Island Press, 2015). 14  Morro Bay Commercial Fisheries. 2015 Economic Impact Report Working Waterfront Edition. 15  Morro Bay Commercial Fisheries. 2015 Economic Impact Report Working Waterfront Edition.


pages: 1,351 words: 385,579

The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker

1960s counterculture, affirmative action, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, Broken windows theory, business cycle, California gold rush, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, clean water, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, Columbine, computer age, conceptual framework, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, crack epidemic, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, delayed gratification, demographic transition, desegregation, Doomsday Clock, Douglas Hofstadter, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, experimental subject, facts on the ground, failed state, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fudge factor, full employment, Garrett Hardin, George Santayana, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, global village, Henri Poincaré, Herbert Marcuse, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, impulse control, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, lake wobegon effect, libertarian paternalism, long peace, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, McMansion, means of production, mental accounting, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, Republic of Letters, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, security theater, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanford prison experiment, statistical model, stem cell, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, sunk-cost fallacy, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Tragedy of the Commons, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, twin studies, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

A game of attrition is mathematically equivalent to an auction in which the highest bidder wins the prize and both sides have to pay the loser’s low bid. And of course it can be analogized to a war in which the expenditure is reckoned in the lives of soldiers. The War of Attrition is one of those paradoxical scenarios in game theory (like the Prisoner’s Dilemma, the Tragedy of the Commons, and the Dollar Auction) in which a set of rational actors pursuing their interests end up worse off than if they had put their heads together and come to a collective and binding agreement. One might think that in an attrition game each side should do what bidders on eBay are advised to do: decide how much the contested resource is worth and bid only up to that limit.

The men do not live in all-boy treehouses in which no girls are allowed; they depend on women for sex, children, child-rearing, and the gathering or preparation of most of their food. Families that kill their daughters want there to be women around. They just want someone else to raise them. Female infanticide is a kind of social parasitism, a free rider problem, a genealogical tragedy of the commons.129 Free rider problems arise when no one owns a common resource, in this case, the pool of potential brides. In a free market in marriages in which parents wielded property rights, sons and daughters would be fungible, and neither sex would be favored across the board. If you really needed a fierce warrior or brawny field hand around the house, it shouldn’t matter whether you raised a son for the job or raised a daughter who would bring you a son-in-law.

But the best outcome for an individual is to stint on his own contribution and be a free rider on the profits from everyone else’s. The tragedy is that contributions will dwindle to zero and everyone ends up worse off. (The biologist Garrett Hardin proposed an identical scenario called the Tragedy of the Commons. Each farmer cannot resist grazing his own cow on the town commons, stripping it bare to everyone’s loss. Pollution, overfishing, and carbon emissions are equivalent real-life examples.)190 But if players have the opportunity to punish free riders, as if in revenge for their exploitation of the group, then the players have an incentive to contribute, and everyone profits.


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Everything should be made as simple as possible, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta-analysis, Metcalfe’s law, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

If everyone were getting better options, wouldn’t everyone be doing better as well? *This isn’t quite the famous “tragedy of the commons.” That model of tragedy is based on the long-term futility of rational self-interest in certain poorly designed circumstances, and so bears a similarity to the problem of Siren Servers. The Sirenic Age is more a tragedy of the commotion, more mania than myopia. Information technology can cause things to move so fast that there’s a rush, a thrill that distracts. Garrett Hardin’s classic 1968 paper “The Tragedy of the Commons” explained how cows were allowed to overgraze on common property, while private property was well maintained.

., 104–5 surgery, 11–13, 17, 18, 98, 157–58, 363 surveillance, 1–2, 11, 14, 50–51, 64, 71–72, 99, 108–9, 114–15, 120–21, 152, 177n, 199–200, 201, 206–7, 234–35, 246, 272, 291, 305, 309–11, 315, 316, 317, 319–24 Surviving Progress, 132 sustainable economies, 235–37, 285–87 Sutherland, Ivan, 221 swarms, 99, 109 synthesizers, 160 synthetic biology, 162 tablets, 85, 86, 87, 88, 113, 162, 229 Tahrir Square, 95 Tamagotchis, 98 target ads, 170 taxation, 44, 45, 49, 52, 60, 74–75, 77, 82, 149, 149, 150, 151, 202, 210, 234–35, 263, 273, 289–90 taxis, 44, 91–92, 239, 240, 266–67, 269, 273, 311 Teamsters, 91 TechCrunch, 189 tech fixes, 295–96 technical schools, 96–97 technologists (“techies”), 9–10, 15–16, 45, 47–48, 66–67, 88, 122, 124, 131–32, 134, 139–40, 157–62, 165–66, 178, 193–94, 295–98, 307, 309, 325–31, 341, 342, 356n technology: author’s experience in, 47–48, 62n, 69–72, 93–94, 114, 130, 131–32, 153, 158–62, 178, 206–7, 228, 265, 266–67, 309–10, 325, 328, 343, 352–53, 362n, 364, 365n, 366 bio-, 11–13, 17, 18, 109–10, 162, 330–31 chaos and, 165–66, 273n, 331 collusion in, 65–66, 72, 169–74, 255, 350–51 complexity of, 53–54 costs of, 8, 18, 72–74, 87n, 136–37, 170–71, 176–77, 184–85 creepiness of, 305–24 cultural impact of, 8–9, 21, 23–25, 53, 130, 135–40 development and emergence of, 7–18, 21, 53–54, 60–61, 66–67, 85–86, 87, 97–98, 129–38, 157–58, 182, 188–90, 193–96, 217 digital, 2–3, 7–8, 15–16, 18, 31, 40, 43, 50–51, 132, 208 economic impact of, 1–3, 15–18, 29–30, 37, 40, 53–54, 60–66, 71–74, 79–110, 124, 134–37, 161, 162, 169–77, 181–82, 183, 184–85, 218, 254, 277–78, 298, 335–39, 341–51, 357–58 educational, 92–97 efficiency of, 90, 118, 191 employment in, 56–57, 60, 71–74, 79, 123, 135, 178 engineering for, 113–14, 123–24, 192, 194, 217, 218, 326 essential vs. worthless, 11–12 failure of, 188–89 fear of (technophobia), 129–32, 134–38 freedom as issue in, 32–33, 90–92, 277–78, 336 government influence in, 158, 199, 205–6, 234–35, 240, 246, 248–51, 307, 317, 341, 345–46, 350–51 human agency and, 8–21, 50–52, 85, 88, 91, 124–40, 144, 165–66, 175–78, 191–92, 193, 217, 253–64, 274–75, 283–85, 305–6, 328, 341–51, 358–60, 361, 362, 365–67 ideas for, 123, 124, 158, 188–89, 225, 245–46, 286–87, 299, 358–60 industrial, 49, 83, 85–89, 123, 132, 154, 343 information, 7, 32–35, 49, 66n, 71–72, 109, 110, 116, 120, 125n, 126, 135, 136, 254, 312–16, 317 investment in, 66, 181, 183, 184, 218, 277–78, 298, 348 limitations of, 157–62, 196, 222 monopolies for, 60, 65–66, 169–74, 181–82, 187–88, 190, 202, 326, 350 morality and, 50–51, 72, 73–74, 188, 194–95, 262, 335–36 motivation and, 7–18, 85–86, 97–98, 216 nano-, 11, 12, 17, 162 new vs. old, 20–21 obsolescence of, 89, 97 political impact of, 13–18, 22–25, 85, 122, 124–26, 128, 134–37, 199–234, 295–96, 342 progress in, 9–18, 20, 21, 37, 43, 48, 57, 88, 98, 123, 124–40, 130–37, 256–57, 267, 325–31, 341–42 resources for, 55–56, 157–58 rupture as concept in, 66–67 scams in, 119–21, 186, 275n, 287–88, 299–300 singularity of, 22–25, 125, 215, 217, 327–28, 366, 367 social impact of, 9–21, 124–40, 167n, 187, 280–81, 310–11 software-mediated, 7, 11, 14, 86, 100–101, 165, 234, 236, 258, 347 startup companies in, 39, 60, 69, 93–94, 108n, 124n, 136, 179–89, 265, 274n, 279–80, 309–10, 326, 341, 343–45, 348, 352, 355 utopian, 13–18, 21, 31, 37–38, 45–46, 96, 128, 130, 167, 205, 207, 265, 267, 270, 283, 290, 291, 308–9, 316 see also specific technologies technophobia, 129–32, 134–38 television, 86, 185–86, 191, 216, 267 temperature, 56, 145 Ten Commandments, 300n Terminator, The, 137 terrorism, 133, 200 Tesla, Nikola, 327 Texas, 203 text, 162, 352–60 textile industry, 22, 23n, 24, 135 theocracy, 194–95 Theocracy humor, 124–25 thermodynamics, 88, 143n Thiel, Peter, 60, 93, 326 thought experiments, 55, 139 thought schemas, 13 3D printers, 7, 85–89, 90, 99, 154, 162, 212, 269, 310–11, 316, 331, 347, 348, 349 Thrun, Sebastian, 94 Tibet, 214 Time Machine, The (Wells), 127, 137, 261, 331 topology, network, 241–43, 246 touchscreens, 86 tourism, 79 Toyota Prius, 302 tracking services, 109, 120–21, 122 trade, 29 traffic, 90–92, 314 “tragedy of the commons,” 66n Transformers, 98 translation services, 19–20, 182, 191, 195, 261, 262, 284, 338 transparency, 63–66, 74–78, 118, 176, 190–91, 205–6, 278, 291, 306–9, 316, 336 transportation, 79–80, 87, 90–92, 123, 258 travel agents, 64 Travelocity, 65 travel sites, 63, 64, 65, 181, 279–80 tree-shaped networks, 241–42, 243, 246 tribal dramas, 126 trickle-down effect, 148–49, 204 triumphalism, 128, 157–62 tropes (humors), 124–40, 157, 170, 230 trust, 32–34, 35, 42, 51–52 Turing, Alan, 127–28, 134 Turing’s humor, 127–28, 191–94 Turing Test, 330 Twitter, 128, 173n, 180, 182, 188, 199, 200n, 201, 204, 245, 258, 259, 349, 365n 2001: A Space Odyssey, 137 two-way links, 1–2, 227, 245, 289 underemployment, 257–58 unemployment, 7–8, 22, 79, 85–106, 117, 151–52, 234, 257–58, 321–22, 331, 343 “unintentional manipulation,” 144 United States, 25, 45, 54, 79–80, 86, 138, 199–204 universities, 92–97 upper class, 45, 48 used car market, 118–19 user interface, 362–63, 364 utopianism, 13–18, 21, 30, 31, 37–38, 45–46, 96, 128, 130, 167, 205, 207, 265, 267, 270, 283, 290, 291, 308–9, 316 value, economic, 21, 33–35, 52, 61, 64–67, 73n, 108, 283–90, 299–300, 321–22, 364 value, information, 1–3, 15–16, 20, 210, 235–43, 257–58, 259, 261–63, 271–75, 321–24, 358–60 Values, Attitudes, and Lifestyles (VALS), 215 variables, 149–50 vendors, 71–74 venture capital, 66, 181, 218, 277–78, 298, 348 videos, 60, 100, 162, 185–86, 204, 223, 225, 226, 239, 240, 242, 245, 277, 287, 329, 335–36, 349, 354, 356 Vietnam War, 353n vinyl records, 89 viral videos, 185–86 Virtual Reality (VR), 12, 47–48, 127, 129, 132, 158, 162, 214, 283–85, 312–13, 314, 315, 325, 343, 356, 362n viruses, 132–33 visibility, 184, 185–86, 234, 355 visual cognition, 111–12 VitaBop, 100–106, 284n vitamins, 100–106 Voice, The, 185–86 “voodoo economics,” 149 voting, 122, 202–4, 249 Wachowski, Lana, 165 Wall Street, 49, 70, 76–77, 181, 184, 234, 317, 331, 350 Wal-Mart, 69, 70–74, 89, 174, 187, 201 Warhol, Andy, 108 War of the Worlds, The (Wells), 137 water supplies, 17, 18 Watts, Alan, 211–12 Wave, 189 wealth: aggregate or concentration of, 9, 42–43, 53, 60, 61, 74–75, 96, 97, 108, 115, 148, 157–58, 166, 175, 201, 202, 208, 234, 278–79, 298, 305, 335, 355, 360 creation of, 32, 33–34, 46–47, 50–51, 57, 62–63, 79, 92, 96, 120, 148–49, 210, 241–43, 270–75, 291–94, 338–39, 349 inequalities and redistribution of, 20, 37–45, 65–66, 92, 97, 144, 254, 256–57, 274–75, 286–87, 290–94, 298, 299–300 see also income levels weather forecasting, 110, 120, 150 weaving, 22, 23n, 24 webcams, 99, 245 websites, 80, 170, 200, 201, 343 Wells, H.


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A World of Three Zeros: The New Economics of Zero Poverty, Zero Unemployment, and Zero Carbon Emissions by Muhammad Yunus

active measures, Bernie Sanders, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, distributed generation, Donald Trump, financial independence, fixed income, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Lean Startup, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, microcredit, new economy, Occupy movement, profit maximization, Silicon Valley, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban sprawl, young professional

Another important role for good governance lies in the area of environmental protection. Free, fair markets alone cannot prevent businesses and other organizations—including government agencies themselves—from polluting the air and water, wasting natural resources, and making the catastrophic problem of global climate change even worse. The well-known dilemma called the tragedy of the commons explains why. Environmental protection is a case in which individual interests and group interests sharply diverge. Any single person or organization—a for-profit company, let’s say—may benefit from hurting the environment: by cutting corners on carbon emission rules, for example, or by catching an excessive supply of an endangered fish, using plastic in packaging and other consumer products like straws and water bottles, and so on.

., and, 179 Doctor in a Box and, 197 elections and, 202 entrepreneurs and, 40 environmental problems and, 96 globalization and, 176 good governance and, 212 Grameen Phone and, 175 human creativity and, 266 Internet of Things and, 156 marketplace gap of, 177 Mrittikā and, 194 new civilization and, 173 poor people and, 177, 190–198 privet sector and, 212 renewable energy sources and, 99 social change and, 174, 190 social direction for, 178 voting and, 203 See also automation; data usage terrestrial ecosystem, 129 The Theory of Moral Sentiments (Smith), 260–261, 262 TI. See Transparency International tragedy of the commons, 218–219 Transparency International (TI), 208 travel, 241, 242 Trump, Donald, 20, 21, 84 trust-based banks, 13, 233, 235 Udruzene, 134, 135 Uganda, 117 entrepreneurs and, 36 environmental problems and, 109–115 GEM and, 35 Golden Bees and, 37 pollution and, 110 ultrapriviledged class, 5–6 unemployment automation and, 72 in Bosnia, 133 in economic system, 70–71 entrepreneurs and, 91–92 inequality and, 68 myths of, 71 Nobin Udyokta program and, 73–81 poverty and, 68 problems of, 69–71 share transfer fee and, 82 solution for, 73–74 UNFCCC.


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The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone, Especially Ourselves by Dan Ariely

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, Broken windows theory, cashless society, clean water, cognitive dissonance, Credit Default Swap, Donald Trump, fudge factor, new economy, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Shai Danziger, shareholder value, Steve Jobs, Tragedy of the Commons, Walter Mischel

She told me about a problem she’d had in her house and how a little ethical reminder helped her solve it. She was living near campus with several other people—none of whom knew one another. When the cleaning people came each weekend, they left several rolls of toilet paper in each of the two bathrooms. However, by Monday all the toilet paper would be gone. It was a classic tragedy-of-the-commons situation: because some people hoarded the toilet paper and took more than their fair share, the public resource was destroyed for everyone else. After reading about the Ten Commandments experiment on my blog, Rhonda put a note in one of the bathrooms asking people not to remove toilet paper, as it was a shared commodity.

., 188 Prada bags: fake, 119, 122 real, given to author, 118–19, 122, 140 Predictably Irrational (Ariely), illegal downloads of, 137–39 preferences, creating logical-sounding reasons for, 163–64 prefrontal cortex, 169–70 Princeton University, honor code study at, 42–44 probabilistic discounting, 194 prostitutes, external signaling of, 120 prudence, principle of, 220n punishment, 13, 52 cost-benefit analysis and, 5, 13, 14 self-cleansing, in resetting rituals, 250–52 Rather, Dan, 152 rationalization of selfish desires: of Austen characters, 154–55 fake products and, 134–35 fudge factor and, 27–28, 53, 237 link between creativity and dishonesty and, 172 revenge and, 177–84 tax returns and, 27–28 see also self-justification reason vs. desire, 97–106 cognitive load and, 99–100 ego depletion and, 100–106 exhaustion and, 97–98 “Recollections of the Swindle Family” (Cary), 246 religion: reminders of moral obligations and, 45, 249–50; see also Ten Commandments resetting rituals and, 249, 250–52 reminders: of made-up achievements, 153–54, 238 see also moral reminders resetting rituals, 249, 250–54 to change views on stealing, 252–53 self-inflicted pain and, 249, 250–52 Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa and, 253–54 résumés, fake credentials in, 135–36, 153 revenge, 177–84 annoyance at bad service and, 177–80 author’s tale of, during European travels, 180–84 Rich, Frank, 150 right brain, 164–65 Roberts, Gilbert, 224 Rogers, Will, 55, 57 Rome, ancient: memento mori reminders in, 247 sumptuary laws in, 120 Romeo and Juliet, 98 Rowley, Coleen, 215 Salant, Steve, 115 Salling, John, 152 Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 234 Schrödinger’s cat, 62–63 Schwartz, Janet, 80, 229, 259 Schweitzer, Maurice, 104, 260 scorekeeping, dishonesty in, 61–64 self-deception, 141–61 author’s personal experience of, 143–44 cheating on IQ-like tests and, 145–49, 151, 153–54, 156–57 “I knew it all along” feeling and, 149 Kubrick imitator and, 150–51 negative aspects of, 158–59 people with higher tendency for, 151 positive aspects of, 158 reducing tendency for, 156–57 reminders of made-up achievements and, 153–54, 238 repeating lies over and over and, 142–43 selfishness of Austen characters and, 154–55 in sports, 155–56 veterans’ false claims and, 152 white lies and, 159–61 self-flagellation, 250–52 self-image: amount of cheating and, 23, 27 fudge factor and, 27–29 self-indulgence, rational, 115–16 selfishness, see rationalization of selfish desires self-justification: creation of logical-sounding explanations and, 163–65 link between creativity and dishonesty and, 172 mulligans and, 60–61 repositioning golf ball and, 61 see also rationalization of selfish desires self-signaling, 122–26 basic idea of, 122 charitable acts and, 122–23 fake products and, 123–26, 135 what-the-hell effect and, 127–31 Sense and Sensibility (Austen), 154–55 service providers, long-term relationships with, 228–31 service records, exaggerated, 152–53 Sessions, Pete, 209 Sex and the City, 103–4 Shakespeare, William, 184 shareholder value, maximizing of, 208n Shiv, Baba, 99–100 shopping malls, susceptibility to temptation in, 113 Shu, Lisa, 45, 259 signing forms at top vs. bottom, 46–51 insurance claims and, 49–51 tax reporting and, 46–49 Silverman, Dan, 114–15 Simple Model of Rational Crime (SMORC), 4–6, 11–29, 53, 201, 238, 248 author’s alternative theory to, 27–28; see also fudge factor theory guest lecturer’s satirical presentation on, 11–14 life in hypothetical world based on, 5–6 matrix task and, 15–23 tested in real-life situations, 23–26 sincerity, principle of, 220n Skilling, Jeffrey, 2 social norms, infectious nature of cheating and, 195, 201–3, 205–7, 209 social utility, collaborative cheating and, 222–23 South Africa, Truth and Reconciliation Commission in, 253–54 split-brain patients, 164 sports, self-deception in, 155–56 stealing: Coca-Cola vs. money, 32–33 joke about, 31 resetting mechanisms and, 252–53 from workplace, 31, 33, 193 steroids, in sports, 155–56 storytelling: creation of logical-sounding explanations and, 163–65 reinterpreting information in self-serving way in, 187–88 self-deception and, 142–43 Stroop task, 109–12 opportunity to cheat on, 111–12 Suckers, Swindlers, and an Ambivalent State (Balleisen), 188 sumptuary laws, 120 sunshine policies, 88, 91–92 suspiciousness of others: fake products and, 131–34 self-deception and, 158–59 Tali (research assistant), 21, 24–26 Taliban, 152 Talmud, 45 Tang, Thomas, 44 tax returns, 45–49 IRS reaction to author’s findings on, 47–49 rationalization of exaggerated deductions in, 27–28 signing at top vs. bottom, 46–49 technological frontiers, potential for dishonesty and, 188 temptation, resisting of: cognitive load and, 99–100 dieting and, 98, 109, 112–13, 114–15 ego depletion and, 100–116 evenings as difficult time for, 102 physical exhaustion and, 97–98 removing oneself from tempting situations and, 108–11, 115–16 in shopping malls, 113 Ten Commandments, 39–40, 41, 44, 204, 250 This American Life, 6–7 Three Men in a Boat (to Say Nothing of the Dog) (Jerome), 28 Time, 215 token experiment, 33–34 Tolkien, J. R. R., 223 Tour de France, 155 tragedy-of-the-commons situations, 40–41 travel reimbursements, 46, 47 Truth and Reconciliation Commission, 253–54 Turkey, cheating in, 242 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 39–40 University of Newcastle, 224 University of Pittsburgh, 204–7 University of Waterloo, Canada, 155 Upside of Irrationality, The (Ariely), 177 U.S.


pages: 296 words: 76,284

The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream Is Moving by Leigh Gallagher

Airbnb, big-box store, Burning Man, call centre, car-free, Celebration, Florida, clean water, collaborative consumption, Columbine, commoditize, crack epidemic, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, extreme commuting, helicopter parent, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, New Urbanism, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, Ponzi scheme, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Tony Hsieh, Tragedy of the Commons, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional, Zipcar

“This is like pennies compared to the dollars we’ve spent on the way we’ve arranged ourselves across the landscape.” Marohn and his friends are not the only ones warning about the fix we’ve put ourselves in. In 2010 the financial analyst Meredith Whitney wrote a now-famous report called The Tragedy of the Commons, whose title was taken from the economic principle that individuals will act on their own self-interest and deplete a shared resource for their own benefit, even if that goes against the long-term common good. In her report, Whitney said states and municipalities were on the verge of collapse thanks in part to irresponsible spending on growth.

See New Urbanism; Walkable communities varieties of, 9, 13, 15–16 Suburbs, The (album), 51, 79 Suburgatory (TV series), 91 Susanka, Sarah, 137, 139–140 Swank, Larry, 7 Target, 18, 172 Taxation mortgage interest deduction, 35, 61, 74–75 property, limitations for community, 58–59 Taylor, Kate, 51 Thompson, Boyce, 6 Tinyhouseblog.com, 138 Tiny House movement, 138 Toll, Bob, 68–70 Toll Brothers future projects, 198, 207–8 outer suburban development by, 68–69 urban developments by, 6, 18, 23, 163–66, 172, 190 walkable community by, 129 Top Tier Towns, 204 Touraine, New York City, 164–65 Tragedy of the Commons, The (Whitney), 59 Transit-oriented development, 19 Transportation automobile dependence. See Automobiles; Commuting costs, and household budget, 100–101 mode split, 82 and suburban development, 29–34, 62 Treehugger.com, 139 Tribeca, New York City, 17, 151, 169 Tucker, Raymond, 48 Tumlin, Jeffrey, 93 Twitter, 51 Unleashed (store), 18 Ur (Mesopotamia), 27 Urbanized suburbs.


pages: 288 words: 76,343

The Plundered Planet: Why We Must--And How We Can--Manage Nature for Global Prosperity by Paul Collier

agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, business climate, Doha Development Round, energy security, food miles, G4S, information asymmetry, Kenneth Arrow, megacity, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stewart Brand, Tragedy of the Commons

By the time that the stock of fish is reduced to the point at which mankind cannot find any more, the fish cannot find each other: reproduction ceases. Until recently the wild forests of the Amazon had natural protection because the wood and the land were not sufficiently valuable to warrant being cut down. No more. The government opened up the land for private farming. Economists refer to this as the “common pool” problem, or the “tragedy of the commons.” In the absence of private property rights all natural assets are liable to be plundered unless defended by local social conventions, and such conventions do not usually survive rapid social change. The plunder of renewable assets is even more of a disaster than that of nonrenewables. When a renewable asset becomes extinct not just some future generation, but every future generation is deprived of its rights.

See also specific assets, including coal and oil Sudan, 122, 218 sustainability and economic growth, 98 and extinction, 154, 161 and fisheries, 154, 161, 164, 168–71 of nonrenewable natural assets, 98, 100–102, 154 and Permanent Income, 103 and preservation of nature, 98 of renewable natural assets, 154, 155, 156, 161 Tanzania, 166 taxation and asymmetric information, 88–90 of carbon emissions, 185–88, 192, 198, 199, 241 and corruption, 51–52, 88 in decision chain, 127 excess-profits tax, 88–89 and extraction revenues, 84 of fisheries, 169–70 in low-income countries, 100 low-tax commitments, 85–87, 117 pan-European tax, 27 redistributive taxation, 24, 27, 28, 168 and rents and rent-seeking, 52, 88–89, 127, 143 and time-inconsistency, 85 and volatility in revenues, 117 technology and bottom billion countries, 5 and democratic power, 235 and discovery process, 68 fickleness of, 5 and fishing, 164–65 and modern agriculture, 216–17 and nature, 4 and ocean floors, 167 and oil demand, 106, 194 and prosperity, 4 and resource scarcity, 229 territorial waters, 162, 167 terrorism, 129–30 “Testing the Neo-con Agenda” (Collier and Hoeffer), 49 Thailand, 135 threshold effects, 60 tidal power, 181, 182 timber in Thailand, 135 time-inconsistency, 71–74, 85 Toxic Assets Recovery Program, 176 trade trade negotiations, 237 trade restrictions, 193, 194 trade wars, 237 tragedy of the commons, 161 transparency, 80–82, 94, 122–25, 129–30 Transparency International, 129 trees and custody principle, 157–59 of Eritrea, 158–59 of Haiti, 19 as natural assets, 160 See also forests Ukraine, 218 uncertainty, 18–19 unilateralism, 238 United Arab Emirates, 218 United Nations, 168–71, 218, 238, 240 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 215, 216 United Nations Industrial Development Organization, 184 United Nations Security Council, 238 United States anti-Americanism, 220, 225 and carbon emissions, 189–90, 195 and finders-keepers rule of assets, 46 and social cost of energy, 183 United States Congress, 176–77, 193 universalism, 24, 26, 27–28, 29, 31 urbanization, 209, 211, 217–18 Utilitarianism about, 23–25 and climate change, 200–201 and custody principle, 112 as ethical framework, 10, 25, 26 limitations of, 27 and Permanent Income, 102–3 and universalism, 24, 26, 27–28, 29, 31 value of natural assets, 83–84 vehicles, 182–83 Venables, Tony, xiv, 59, 111, 139 veto points, 135–36 violence and food crises, 211 Wall Street Journal, 128–29 Warnholz, Jean-Louis, 132 Welsh National Party, 30 West, American, 19, 21 West Africa, 94 wind power, 181, 182 worker productivity, 139 World Bank and Cameron, 81 Doing Business survey, 145 and ethanol subsidies, 224 evaluation of development projects, 141–42 and prospecting aid, 76 and subsoil assets, 20, 54, 65, 66 and Zambia, 87 world financial markets, 117, 128 World Food Programme, 170–71, 210–11 world interest rate, 104, 155 World Trade Organization, 164, 193, 219, 237 Wrong, Michaela, 159 Yamani, Ahmed Zaki, 106 Zambia and agriculture, 209 and copper mining, 5, 32, 64, 143 and private investment, 143 prospecting in, 76 and state-owned copper company, 93 and taxation, 86–87, 89 Zedillo, Ernesto, 6, 233–34 Zeufack, Albert, 81, 82 Zimbabwe, 199, 218


pages: 206 words: 9,776

Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution by David Harvey

Bretton Woods, business cycle, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, financial innovation, Garrett Hardin, Guggenheim Bilbao, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, precariat, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Savings and loan crisis, special economic zone, the built environment, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tragedy of the Commons, transcontinental railway, urban planning, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche, Works Progress Administration

L ike the right to the city, the idea sounds catchy and intriguing, but what could it possibly mean? And how does this relate to the long history of 68 R E B E L C I T I ES arguments and debates concerning the creation and utilization of common property resources? I h ave lost count of the number of times I have seen G arrett Hardin's classic article on "The Tragedy of the Commons" c ited as an irrefuta­ ble argument for the superior efficiency of private property rights with respect to land and resource uses, and therefore an irrefutable justifi­ cation for privatization. 1 Th is m istaken reading in part derives from Hardin's appeal to the metaphor of cattle, under the private ownership of several individuals concerned to m aximize their individual utility, pas­ tured on a piece of common land.

See also Occupy Wall Street movement Thomas, Brinley, 42-43, 44 Watts, Los Angeles, 5 1 Thompson, E. P. , 1 32 Webber, Jeffrey, 1 4 1 -43, 1 5 1 Tiananmen Square, 1 1 7 West Bank, Palestine, 1 1 7 Tiebout, Charles, 82 Williamsburg, New York City, 78 Tokyo, 88 Wine Advocate, 98 Works Progress Admin istration Toronto, 1 37 Toxteth, Liverpool, 1 56 "lhe Tragedy of the Commons" ( Hardin), 68 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), 58 (WPA), 52 World Bank, 75, 1 1 9, 1 37 Wo rld Developm ent Report (2009), 28-29, 34, 46, 50, 1 69n4 World Social Forum , xii, I l l , 1 1 9 I N D EX World Urban Forum (20 10), 1 37 Young, I ris, 1 52 World War I I , 9, 49, 50 Yunus, Muham mad, 2 1 World Wide Fund for Nature, 70 WPA.


pages: 290 words: 76,216

What's Wrong With Economics: A Primer for the Perplexed by Robert Skidelsky

"Robert Solow", additive manufacturing, agricultural Revolution, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, cognitive bias, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, full employment, George Akerlof, George Santayana, global supply chain, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, loss aversion, Mahbub ul Haq, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, market friction, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, Modern Monetary Theory, moral hazard, paradox of thrift, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, precariat, price anchoring, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, sunk-cost fallacy, survivorship bias, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, Wolfgang Streeck, zero-sum game

Polanyi’s thesis, in a nutshell, is that in pre-modern societies markets could only exist on the edges of the economy, since the ‘factors’ of production – labour, land, and capital – were not marketable. Their transformation into ‘fictitious commodities’, as much subject to buying and selling as food, clothes, and furniture, was the result of state power. It was essential to establish ‘national’ economies, so that rulers could mobilise their resources for wars. The ‘tragedy of the commons’ – the private enclosure of previously shared land in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century England – was a notable signpost on the road to creating the first national market. However, the attempt to create a ‘market society’ produced a reaction, as society resisted incorporation into the market economy.

North then goes on to explain how the modernisation of property rights in Britain set it on its growth path, by making it profitable for ‘improving’ landlords to capture the profits of their improvements, thus equalising the private and social rates of return. While British social historians lament the ‘tragedy of the commons’ – privatisation through ‘enclosure’ of common lands on which agricultural workers grazed their sheep and cattle – North commends it as providing for ‘easier transfer of property and protection of the peasant’.6 By contrast, in Spain, the Crown failed to curtail the right of the Mesta (the shepherds’ guild) to drive their sheep across the land wherever they wanted.


pages: 505 words: 133,661

Who Owns England?: How We Lost Our Green and Pleasant Land, and How to Take It Back by Guy Shrubsole

back-to-the-land, Beeching cuts, Boris Johnson, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, centre right, congestion charging, deindustrialization, digital map, do-ocracy, Downton Abbey, financial deregulation, fixed income, Garrett Hardin, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Google Earth, housing crisis, James Dyson, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, linked data, loadsamoney, mega-rich, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, openstreetmap, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tragedy of the Commons, trickle-down economics, urban sprawl, web of trust, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Three of the largest For a discussion of some of the complexities around common land registration and the New Forest, see the website of the New Forest Verderers (commoners), http://www.verderers.org­.uk/rights.html­ A fascinating survey https://data.gov­.uk/dataset/05c61ecc­-efa9­-4b7f­-8fe6­-9911afb44e1a/database-of-registered-common-land-in-england – see spreadsheet labelled ‘Commons register England, 2000’, from which I have drawn the examples cited, including that of Worms Heath common at Tandridge in Surrey, part-owned by the Worms Heath Gravel Company. appears to have been Aitchison et al., ‘The Common Lands of England’. This slander Garrett Hardin, ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science 162: 3859 (13 December 1968), pp. 1243–8. One of the many critiques of Hardin’s ‘tragedy of the commons’ is Simon Fairlie, ‘A Short History of Enclosure in Britain’, The Land 7 (Summer 2009), http://www.thelandmagazine.org­.uk/articles/short­-history­-enclosure­-britain­ Piecemaster of Atherstone The commons officials listed here all appear in the ownership column in the Common Register of England (2000), https://data.gov­.uk/dataset/05c61ecc­-efa9­-4b7f­-8fe6­-9911afb44e1a/database-of-registered-common-land-in-england.

Appallingly, some commons have fallen into the hands of banks, chemical manufacturers and mining companies: one common in Surrey, for instance, is part-owned by the Worms Heath Gravel Company, and the site ‘appears to have been used partially as landfill’. The pillage of the commons by private owners and corporations gives the lie to the modern myth about the ‘tragedy of the commons’. This slander, that common land was a free-for-all where self-interested commoners depleted a shared resource, was propagated by the right-wing ecologist Garrett Hardin as a reason for extending private property rights. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Commons were closely regulated by local communities – a fact that can still be glimpsed in the modern registers of ownership, where occasional references to archaic commons officials open windows onto a forgotten world.


pages: 1,034 words: 241,773

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, Garrett Hardin, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hacker Conference 1984, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Herbert Marcuse, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Mahbub ul Haq, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta-analysis, microaggression, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Bannon, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, Tragedy of the Commons, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

Even in modern societies—according to studies I’ve done with the psychologists Jason Nemirow, Max Krasnow, and Rhea Howard—people esteem others according to how much time or money they forfeit in their altruistic acts rather than by how much good they accomplish.59 Much of the public chatter about mitigating climate change involves voluntary sacrifices like recycling, reducing food miles, unplugging chargers, and so on. (I myself have posed for posters in several of these campaigns led by Harvard students.)60 But however virtuous these displays may feel, they are a distraction from the gargantuan challenge facing us. The problem is that carbon emissions are a classic public goods game, also known as a Tragedy of the Commons. People benefit from everyone else’s sacrifices and suffer from their own, so everyone has an incentive to be a free rider and let everyone else make the sacrifice, and everyone suffers. A standard remedy for public goods dilemmas is a coercive authority that can punish free riders. But any government with the totalitarian power to abolish artistic pottery is unlikely to restrict that power to maximizing the common good.

Economists across the political spectrum endorse carbon pricing because it combines the unique advantages of governments and markets.74 No one owns the atmosphere, so people (and companies) have no reason to stint on emissions that allow each of them to enjoy their energy while harming everyone else, a perverse outcome that economists call a negative externality (another name for the collective costs in a public goods game, or the damage to the commons in the Tragedy of the Commons). A carbon tax, which only governments can impose, “internalizes” the public costs, forcing people to factor the harm into every carbon-emitting decision they make. Having billions of people decide how best to conserve, given their values and the information conveyed by prices, is bound to be more efficient and humane than having government analysts try to divine the optimal mixture from their desks.

See coal; energy; petroleum Foucault, Michel, 39–40, 397, 406, 446, 447 fracking, 143 France calories available per person, 70, 70 emancipative values in, 225–7, 226, 227 famine in, 69 nuclear power and, 147, 148 nuclear weapons and, 317, 318, 320 populism and, 338–9, 341 poverty and, 79 rights, declaration of, 411 Second French War of Religion, 484n77 secularization and, 436, 437 social spending in, 108, 109 suicide and, 278 terrorism and, 219 Francis, Pope, 97, 122, 129, 142 Frankfurt, Harry, 98–9 Franklin, Benjamin, 359 Frank, Robert, 124 freedom anxiety and, 285 happiness in relation to, 265–6, 271 hierarchy of needs and, 224 of modernity, 284–5 negative vs. positive, 265 to screw up your life, 344 See also democracy; emancipative values freedom of religion, 417 freedom of speech bioethics violating, 402 education and appreciation for, 235 as emancipative value, 224 populism and devaluing of, 333 as remedy for cognitive biases, 28, 202, 353, 390 utilitarianism and, 417 wealth of countries and, 96 freedom of the press, 336 Friedman, Milton, 119 Friends of the Earth, 465n76 Fukushima accident (2011), 146 Fukuyama, Francis, 201, 203 Furman, Jason, 117 Gaddafi, Muammar, 447 Galbraith, John Kenneth, 206 Galileo, 24 Galton, Francis, 399 Galtung, John, 41 game theory, 164, 386 See also Hobbesian trap (security dilemma); pacifist’s dilemma; Tragedy of the Commons Gandhi, Indira, 131 Gandhi, Mohandas, 405, 418. See also nonviolent resistance Gapminder (Web site), xviii, 52 Gates, Bill, 66, 67, 330, 481n16 gay rights. See homosexuality and homophobia GDP (Gross Domestic Product), 85, 95–6, 461n7 carbon emissions per dollar of, 143, 143 emancipative values as correlated with, 228 Flynn effect as increasing, 242, 244–5 and global well-being, 245–6, 246, 473n45 happiness as increasing with, 269–71, 269, 272 information technology invisible in, 332–3 misleading, potentially.


pages: 789 words: 207,744

The Patterning Instinct: A Cultural History of Humanity's Search for Meaning by Jeremy Lent

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Atahualpa, Benoit Mandelbrot, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, complexity theory, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, demographic transition, different worldview, Doomsday Book, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Garrett Hardin, Georg Cantor, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of gunpowder, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Johannes Kepler, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, Metcalfe's law, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pierre-Simon Laplace, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Kurzweil, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Scientific racism, scientific worldview, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social intelligence, South China Sea, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, technological singularity, the scientific method, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing test, ultimatum game, urban sprawl, Vernor Vinge, wikimedia commons

It is as though we live in a world of not one but many sorcerers’ apprentices, each competing with the others, so that even if each of them knew the spell to stop his own runaway broom, he would immediately be outcompeted by the others, so each therefore continues in the group folly.66 This self-defeating collective dynamic, known in economics as the “tragedy of the commons,” highlights a crucial flaw in capitalist ideology: the notion that it is inevitably beneficial for society when each person seeks to maximize his own gain. Underlying this notion is an even more fundamental defect of classical economic theory: the assumption that nature is inexhaustible.

(Carbon Tracker Initiative, 2012), http://www.carbontracker.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Unburnable-Carbon-Full-rev2-1.pdf (accessed February 5, 2017); McKibben, “Global Warming's Terrifying New Math.” 66. Boyd, “Economic Growth”; Peter Victor, “Questioning Economic Growth,” Nature 468 (2010): 370–71. 67. See Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science 162 (1968): 1243–48; Ponting, New Green History, 132–33; Boyd, “Economic Growth”; Royal Society, People and the Planet, 73; Boulding's quote cited in Mark Bittman, “A Banker Bets on Organic Farming,” New York Times, August 28, 2012. 68. McNeill, Something New, locs. 4910–19. The assumption of inexhaustible natural resources is only one of the fundamental problems with classical economics that drive our civilization on an unsustainable path.

Additionally, the rise in B Corporations (where “B” stands for “Benefit”), which aim to benefit all stakeholders, not just shareholders, demonstrates that it's possible for companies to succeed commercially within the current capitalist system while maintaining values consistent with the Great Transformation. See https://www.bcorporation.net/. 87. Jeremy Rifkin, “The Rise of Anti-Capitalism,” New York Times, March 15, 2014. It's worth noting that the internet also offers the opportunity for humanity to overcome the “Tragedy of the Commons,” the collective dynamic that causes people to maximize their own profit at the expense of the larger community. A study of this dilemma around the world has shown that groups of people who can personally identify one another tend to rely on trust, reciprocity, and reputation to overcome this dynamic and make decisions that prioritize the community over individuals.


The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier by Ian Urbina

9 dash line, Airbnb, British Empire, clean water, Costa Concordia, crowdsourcing, disinformation, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Filipino sailors, forensic accounting, Garrett Hardin, global value chain, illegal immigration, independent contractor, invisible hand, John Markoff, Jones Act, Julian Assange, Malacca Straits, Maui Hawaii, New Journalism, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, standardized shipping container, statistical arbitrage, Tragedy of the Commons, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

Lloyd’s lecture inspired the phrase “tragedy of the commons,” which was popularized by the ecologist Garrett Hardin in 1968 and came to refer to the notion that when everyone owns something, no one does, resulting in misuse and neglect. International law identifies four global commons: the High Seas; the Atmosphere; Antarctica; and Outer Space. Historically, access to the resources found within the global commons has been difficult. The advancement of science and technology in recent decades, however, has changed that. See Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons,” Science, Dec. 13, 1968. But in practice, flags: There are thirty-five countries that the International Transport Workers’ Federation deems “flags of convenience.”

“Why would they take on this headache and cost when no one even requested their help?” the South Africans asked. In failing to force the Thunder to return to port for inspection, and declining to request help from the Australian military, Nigeria released what loose grip it might have had on the scofflaw ship. It was the clearest example I could find of the so-called tragedy of the commons, or the idea that something owned by everyone is more likely to be neglected than it is to be protected. That Nigeria so readily relinquished its duty as a flag registry is an example of all that is flawed with the modern way that ships are flagged. For centuries, the world’s merchant and fishing fleets flew the flag of the country of their home port.

Celia Robelo, the woman who told Eril Andrade about the job on the Taiwanese tuna long-liner ship, where he died under suspicious circumstances, sits in a rural prison called the Aklan Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines. Her nine-year-old son, Xavier, stands in the background. The failure to prosecute anyone other than Robelo was a powerful reminder of the so-called tragedy of the commons, the idea that we neglect what we don’t own individually. Because the high seas belong to everyone and no one, governments fail to cooperate in protecting marine workers or investigating abuses. International waters are a margin for error, a frontier to pass through at your own peril. This place lends itself to a bystander’s syndrome: a pathological and unshakable assumption that someone else will police those crimes or fix those wrongdoings.


pages: 398 words: 86,023

The Wikipedia Revolution: How a Bunch of Nobodies Created the World's Greatest Encyclopedia by Andrew Lih

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Benjamin Mako Hill, Bill Atkinson, c2.com, Cass Sunstein, citation needed, crowdsourcing, Debian, disinformation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, index card, Jane Jacobs, Jason Scott: textfiles.com, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, optical character recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Stallman, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social software, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tragedy of the Commons, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, wikimedia commons, Y2K, Yochai Benkler

How these communities interact and how well they avoid claiming ownership over groups of articles (and what happens when they don’t avoid it) are key factors in how the community goes forward. Wikipedia’s shift toward a partitioned community risks stifling some of its revolutionary features and inevitably changes the dynamic of the community, though this “tragedy of the commons” is not unique to Wikipedia. The problem of scaling up is one many online communities have had to deal with, from Usenet to DMOZ. But it’s especially acute with a massive project where maintenance of articles (more than 2.5 million in the case of English Wikipedia) is paramount, and deterioration in quality shows quite quickly.

., 43, 85, 172–73, 175 Nupedia-L, 63 Reagle, Joseph, 82, 96, 112 Nupedia Open Content License, 35, 72 Rec.food.chocolate, 84–85 RickK, 120, 185–88 rings, Web site, 23, 31 objectivism, 32, 36–37 robots, software, 88, 99–106, 145, 147, OCR (optical character recognition), 35 177, 179 Open Directory Project (ODP), 30–31, Rosenfeld, Jeremy, 45 33, 35 Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, 15 Ota, Takashi, 146 Russell, Bertrand, 13, 81 Oxford English Dictionary (OED), 70–72 Russian language, 152 peer production, 108–9 Sandbox, 97, 115 Pellegrini, Mark (Raul654), 180–81 Sanger, Larry, 6–7, 32–34, 36–38, Perl, 56, 67, 101, 140 40–41, 43–45, 61–65, 67, 88, 89, Peul language, 158 115, 184, 202, 210–11 phantom authority, 175–76 boldness directive and, 91, 113 Philological Society, 70 Citizendium project of, 190, 211–12 PHP, 74, 101 Essjay and, 197 Pike, Rob, 144 memoir of, 174, 190, 225 piranha effect, 83, 106, 109, 113, 120 resignation from Wikipedia, 174–75, Plautus Satire, 181 210 Pliny the Elder, 15 on rules, 76, 112 Poe, Marshall, 171 Spanish Wikipedia and, 9, 136–38 Polish Wikipedia, 146, 147 trolls and, 170–75, 189–90 Popular Science, 126 Wikipedia license and, 72 Portland Pattern Repository, 59 Y2K bug and, 32–33 Portuguese language, 136 San Jose Mercury News, 126 PostScript, 52 Schechter, Danny, 8–9 “Potato chip” article, 136 Schiff, Stacy, 196 Professor and the Madman, The Schlossberg, Edwin, 46 (Winchester), 70, 71 schools, 177–78 Project Gutenberg, 35 Scott, Jason, 131, 189 public domain content, 26, 111 search engines, 11, 22, 34 Pupek, Dan, 58 Google, see Google Seigenthaler, John, 9–10, 191–94, 200, 220 Quickpolls, 126–27 Senegal, 158 Quiz Show, 13 Serbian Wikipedia, 155–56 Index_243 servers, 77–79, 191 Tagalog language, 160 Sethilys (Seth Anthony), 106–11 Taiwan, 150, 151, 154 Shah, Sunir, 59–60, 64 “Talossan language” article, 120 Shaw, George Bernard, 135 Tamil language, 160 Shell, Tim, 21–22, 32, 36, 66, 174, Tawker, 177, 179, 186 184 Tektronix, 46, 47, 50, 55, 56 sidewalks, 96–97 termites, 82 Sieradski, Daniel, 204 Thompson, Ken, 143–44 Signpost, 200 Time, 9, 13 Silsor, 186 Torvalds, Linus, 28–29, 30, 173, 175 Sinitic languages, 159 Tower of Babel, 133–34 see also China tragedy of the commons, 223 Skrenta, Rich, 23, 30 Trench, Chenevix, 70 Slashdot, 67–69, 73, 76, 88, 205, trolls, 170–76, 179, 186, 187, 189–90 207, 216 Truel, Bob, 23, 30 Sanger’s memoir for, 174, 190, 225 2channel, 145 Sneakernet, 50 Snow, Michael, 206–7 Socialtext, 207 “U,” article on, 64 sock puppets, 128, 178–79 Unicode, 142, 144 software, open-source, 5, 23–28, 30, 35, UTF-8, 144–45 62, 67, 79, 216 UTF-32, 142, 143 design patterns and, 55, 59 UNIX, 27, 30–31, 54, 56, 143 Linux, 28–30, 56, 108, 140, 143, 173, Unregistered Words Committee, 70 216, 228 urban planning, 96–97 software robots, 88, 99–106, 145, 147, URL (Uniform Resource Locator), 53, 54 177, 179 USA Today, 9, 191, 220 Souren, Kasper, 158 UseModWiki, 61–63, 66, 73–74, 140–41 South Africa, 157–58 Usenet, 35, 83–88, 114, 170, 190, 223 spam, 11, 87, 220 Usenet Moderation Project (Usemod), 62 Spanish Wikipedia, 9, 136–39, 175, 183, USWeb, 211 215, 226 squid servers, 77–79 Stallman, Richard, 23–32, 74, 86, 217 vandalism: GNU Free Documentation License of, on LA Times Wikitorial, 207–8 72–73, 211–12 on Wikipedia, 6, 93, 95, 125, 128, GNU General Public License of, 27, 72 176–79, 181, 184–88, 194, 195, GNU Manifesto of, 26 202, 220, 227 GNUpedia of, 79 Van Doren, Charles, 13–14 Steele, Guy, 86 verein, 147 Stevertigo, 184 VeryVerily, 128 stigmergy, 82, 89, 92, 109 Vibber, Brion, 76 Sun Microsystems, 23, 27, 29–30, 56 Viola, 54 Sun Tzu, 169 ViolaWWW, 54–55 Swedish language, 140, 152 Voltaire, 15 244_Index WAIS, 34, 53 Wik, 123–25, 170, 180 Wales, Christine, 20–21, 22, 139 Wikia, 196, 197 Wales, Doris, 18, 19 Wiki Base, 62 Wales, Jimmy, 1, 8, 9, 18–22, 44, 76, Wikibooks, 216 88, 115, 131, 184, 196, 213, 215, Wikimania, 1–3, 8, 146, 147–48 220 WikiMarkup, 90 administrators and, 94, 185 Wikimedia Commons, 216 background of, 18–19 Wikimedia Foundation, 146, 157, 183–84, at Chicago Options Associates, 20, 196, 199, 213–15, 225–26, 227 21, 22 Wikipedia: Cunctator essay and, 172 administrators of, 67, 93–96, 119, 121, and deletion of articles, 120 125, 127, 148, 178, 185–86, dispute resolution and, 179–80, 181, 195–96, 224–25 223 advertising and, 9, 11, 136–38, 215, Essjay and, 197, 199 226 languages and, 139, 140, 157–58 amateurs and professionals in, 225 neutrality policy and, 6, 7, 113 Arbitration Committee of, 180–81, 184, objectivism and, 32, 36–37 197, 223 Nupedia and, 32–35, 41, 43–45, “assume good faith” policy in, 114, 187, 61–63 195, 200 on piranha effect, 83 blocking of people from, 93 role of, in Wikipedia community, 174–76, boldness directive in, 8, 91, 102, 179–80, 223 113–14, 115, 122, 221 Seigenthaler incident and, 192, 194 categories in, 97–98, 221 Spanish Wikipedia and, 137, 175 “checkuser” privilege in, 179, 196, 199 Stallman and, 30–32 database for, 73–74, 77, 78, 94 three revert rule and, 127–28 discussions in, 7–8, 65–66, 75–76, 89, Wikimania and, 146 121–22 Wikipedia license and, 72 DMOZ as inspiration for, 23 Wikitorials and, 206–7 five pillars of, 113, 216 Wales, Jimmy, Sr., 18 future of, 213–17, 219–29 Wall Street Journal, 126 growth of, 4, 9, 10, 77, 88–89, 95–97, “War and Consequences” Wikitorial, 99–100, 126, 184, 215, 219, 220 206–7 how it works, 90–96 wasps, 82 influence of, 201–212 Weatherly, Keith, 106 launch of, 64, 69, 139, 171 Web browsers, 51–55 legal issues and, 94, 111, 186, 191–92, Weblogs Inc., 215 227; see also copyright; libel WebShare, 209 linking in, 66–67, 73 Webster, Noah, 70, 133 mailing list for, 89, 95 Web 2.0, 68, 111, 114, 201 main community namespace in, 76 Wei, Pei-Yan, 54–55 main page of, 95 Weinstock, Steven, 202–3 MeatballWiki and, 60, 114, 119, 187–88 “Why Wikipedia Must Jettison Its mediation of disputes in, 180, 181, 195 Anti-Elitism” (Sanger), 189–90 meta pages in, 91 Index_245 name of, 45 “diff” function and, 74, 75, 93, 99 namespaces in, 75–76 edit histories of, 64–65, 71, 82, 91–93 number of editors in, 95–96 editing of, 3–4, 6, 38, 64–66, 69, 73, Nupedia and, 64–65, 88, 136, 171, 172 88, 114–15, 131, 194 openness of, 5–6, 9 edit wars and, 95, 122–31, 136, 146 origins of, 43–60 eventualism and, 120–21, 129, 159 policies and rules of, 76, 112–14, first written, 64 127–28, 170, 171, 192, 221, flagged revisions of, 148–49, 215–16, 224–25 227 popularity of, 4 inclusion of, 115–21 Quickpolls in, 126–27 inverted pyramid formula for, 90 Recent Changes page in, 64–65, 82, license covering content of, 72–73, 98, 104, 109, 176–77 211–12 schools and, 177–78 locking of, 95 servers for, 77–79, 191 maps in, 107, 109–11 Slashdot and, 69, 73, 76, 88 neutral point of view in, 6–7, 82, 89, 111, sock puppets and, 128, 178–79 112–13, 117, 140, 174, 203–4, 217, SOFIXIT directive in, 114–15, 122, 221 228 software robots and, 88, 99–106, 145, news and, 7 147, 177, 179 original research and, 112–13, 117, 174 spam and self-promotion on, 11, 220 protection and semi-protection of, 194, talk pages in, 75–76, 89, 93, 98 216 templates in, 97–98, 113, 221 reverts and, 125, 127–28 trolls and, 170–76, 179, 186, 187, single versions of, 6 189–90 spelling mistakes in, 104–5 user pages in, 76, 89 stability of, 227–28 vandalism and, 6, 93, 95, 125, 128, stub, 92, 97, 101, 104, 148 176–79, 181, 184–88, 194, 195, talk pages for, 75–76, 89, 93, 98 202, 220, 227 test edits of, 176 watchlists in, 74, 82, 98–99, 109 “undo” function and, 93 wiki markup language for, 221–22 uneven development of, 220 wiki software for, 64–67, 73, 77, 90, 93, unusual, 92, 117–18 140–41, 216 verifiability and, 112–13, 117 Wikipedia articles: watchlists for, 74, 82, 98–99, 109 accuracy of, 10, 72, 188–89, 194, 208 Wikipedia community, 7–8, 81–132, 174, attempts to influence, 11–12 175, 183–200, 215–17, 222–23 biographies of living persons, 192, Essjay controversy and, 194–200 220–21 Missing Wikipedians page and, 184–85, census data in, 100–104, 106 188 citations in, 113 partitioning of, 223 consensus and, 7, 94, 95, 119–20, 122, Seigenthaler incident and, 9–10, 222–23 191–94, 220 consistency among, 213 stress in, 184 creation of, 90–93, 130–31, 188–89 trolls and, 170 deletion of, 93–94, 96, 119–21, 174 Wales’s role in, 174–76, 179–80, 223 246_Index Wikipedia international editions, 12, 77, Wikitorials, 205–8 100, 131–32, 133–67 Wikiversity, 216 African, 157–58 WikiWikiWeb, 44–45, 58–60, 61, 62 Chinese, 10, 141–44, 146, 150–55 Willy on Wheels (WoW), 178–79 encoding languages for, 140–45 Winchester, Simon, 70, 71 French, 83, 139, 146, 147 Wizards of OS conference, 211 German, 11, 139, 140, 147–49, 215, Wolof language, 158 220, 227 Wool, Danny, 3, 158, 199 Japanese, 139, 140, 141–42, 144, World Book, 16–19 145–47 World Is Flat, The (Friedman), 11 Kazakh, 155–57 World Wide Web, 34, 35, 47, 51–55 links to, 134–35, 140 Web 2.0, 68, 111, 114, 201 list of languages by size, 160–67 WYSIWYG, 222 Serbian, 155–56 Spanish, 9, 136–39, 175, 183, 215, 226 Yahoo, 4, 22, 23, 30, 191, 214 Wikipedia Watch, 192 “Year zero” article, 117 Wikipedia Weekly, 225 Yeats, William Butler, 183 wikis, 44, 51 Yongle encyclopedia, 15 Cunningham’s creation of, 2, 4, 56–60, “You have two cows” article, 118 62, 65–66, 90 YouTube, 58 MeatballWiki, 59–60, 114, 119, 175, Y2K bug, 32–33 187–88 Nupedia and, 61–65 Wikisource, 216 ZhengZhu, 152–57 About the Author Andrew Lih was an academic for ten years at Columbia University and Hong Kong University in new media and journalism.


pages: 261 words: 86,905

How to Speak Money: What the Money People Say--And What It Really Means by John Lanchester

asset allocation, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, David Graeber, disintermediation, double entry bookkeeping, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, forward guidance, Garrett Hardin, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, High speed trading, hindsight bias, income inequality, inflation targeting, interest rate swap, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kodak vs Instagram, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, London Whale, loss aversion, margin call, McJob, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, negative equity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Nick Leeson, Nikolai Kondratiev, Nixon shock, Nixon triggered the end of the Bretton Woods system, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, purchasing power parity, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, security theater, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tragedy of the Commons, trickle-down economics, two and twenty, Washington Consensus, wealth creators, working poor, yield curve

The stereotypes would be that traders are aggressive and testosterone fueled, analysts are earnest, mergers and acquisitions types are smooth and corporate, and quants are nerdy mathematicians with no social skills. The divisions and mutual incomprehension between the different tribes and their different activities is one of the things that make the big banks resemble, in the words of the Manchester anthropologist Karel Williams, “loose federations of money-making franchises.” 76 “The Tragedy of the Commons” A highly influential 1968 essay by the economist Garrett Hardin, on the subject of how to share common land, when it’s in everybody’s interest to maximize his or her own use of the land at the expense of everybody else. His central insight was that when a resouce is communally shared, individuals have no reason to protect other people’s interests in the resource, and every reason to maximize their own use of it.

His central insight was that when a resouce is communally shared, individuals have no reason to protect other people’s interests in the resource, and every reason to maximize their own use of it. If something is owned collectively, it makes sense for you to grab as much as you can for yourself. As a result, the communally owned resource is certain to be exploited to the point of ruin: hence, the tragedy of the commons. Hardin’s ideas had a big impact in the study of how people use scarce or finite resources. They haven’t gone unchallenged, though, and the anthropologically minded economist Lin Ostrom won a Nobel Prize for her 1999 work “Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges,” which extensively studied the reality that, in practice, human beings often do a very good job of collectively managing collective resources.


pages: 296 words: 83,254

After the Gig: How the Sharing Economy Got Hijacked and How to Win It Back by Juliet Schor, William Attwood-Charles, Mehmet Cansoy

1960s counterculture, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Legislative Exchange Council, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, carbon footprint, cleantech, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, Community Supported Agriculture, Covid-19, COVID-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, financial independence, future of work, George Gilder, gig economy, global supply chain, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, independent contractor, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Lyft, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, mass incarceration, Mitch Kapor, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Post-Keynesian economics, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, selection bias, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Skype, smart cities, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, the payments system, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, two-sided market, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban planning, wage slave, walking around money, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, working poor, Yochai Benkler, Zipcar

Eleanor Ostrom’s work on ecosystems showed that holding ownership “in common” (i.e., sharing) could lead to efficient use and long-term sustainability.64 Surveying research on irrigation systems, forests, fisheries, and other natural resources, Ostrom’s analysis put the lie to the claim that any arrangements other than private property or state ownership led to a “tragedy of the commons,” in which the resource would necessarily be degraded by overuse. This research earned Ostrom a Nobel Prize in Economics—an impressive feat given that she was a political scientist and the 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.

See also digital technology: algorithms, 31, 66–70, 169; and counterculture, 22–23; faith in, 21; and idealist discourse, 162; and social change, 23–24, 162, 174; and social connection, 112; and values, 174–75 tech sector, 150–51 Telecommunications Act of 1996, 23 Telles, Rudy, Jr., 192 Thelen, Kathleen, 153 ThredUp, 112 Tim, 168–69 time banks, 125–27, 134–36, 144–46 TimeBanksUSA, 127 TimeRepublik, 8 tips, 65 traffic accidents, 118 tragedy of the commons, 163 trust, 24, 32 Turner, Fred, 21 Turo, 20, 45–46, 107; car owner incomes, 104; environment benefits, 54; income, 73; racial bias, 88–89; renter experience, 53–54 two-sided markets, 31 Tyler, 8, 45, 50, 112 Uber, 2, 9–11, 38, 151; business model, 35–37; decreased earnings, 75–76; education levels, 97; employee classification, 47, 161; European regulation, 152–53; gender discrimination, 87; labor competitor, 59; lobbying, 156–57; network effect, 32; origin story, 25; quiet mode, 114; as sharing economy platform, 193; taking (advantage), 159; traffic congestion, 117; transaction fees, 86; UberPool, 108, 118; worker experience, 58, 62, 76 Uberland, 13 Uber of x, 26, 125 UberPop, 153 Uberworked and Underpaid, 12 unemployment, 3 Union Square Ventures, 171 Up and Go, 170 Upwork, 41 urban sharing, 172 UrbanSitter, 27 used book market, 120 Val, 139 Valeria, 98 value proposition, 124, 143–47 values, 174–75 vehicle miles traveled (VMT), 116 Vinni, 31 Wang, Charley, 38 wealth inequality, 95 Wealth of Networks, The, 163 Wells, Katie, 76 Wengronowitz, Robert, 14, 181–82 Werbach, Adam, 27 Wettlaufer, Brianna, 148–49 What’s Mine Is Yours, 12 What’s Yours Is Mine, 13 “When Your Boss Is an Algorithm,” 66 Whole Earth Catalog, 22 Wikipedia, 164 Will, 53–54 women: discrimination, 87; platform participation, 190; ratings, 92 Wonolo, 110 Wood, Alex, 77 work: and capitalism, 3–4; and corporate culture, 3, 6, 12–13; and digital technology, 1, 6–7; employment classification, 47, 71; and for-profit platforms, 2, 6–11, 13; and labor control, 80; and person-to-person economy, 2; precarious, 70–71 workforce, sharing, 43–45, 77, 190 Woz, 139 xenophobia, 89 Yerdle, 27, 34 Zaarly, 35, 99 Zack, 98 Zelizer, Viviana, 193 Zimmer, John, 25 Zimride, 25 Zipcar, 26, 192 Zysman, John, 194 Founded in 1893, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS publishes bold, progressive books and journals on topics in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences—with a focus on social justice issues—that inspire thought and action among readers worldwide.


India's Long Road by Vijay Joshi

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, barriers to entry, Basel III, basic income, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, business climate, capital controls, central bank independence, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Doha Development Round, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, financial intermediation, financial repression, first-past-the-post, floating exchange rates, foreign exchange controls, full employment, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, hiring and firing, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Induced demand, inflation targeting, invisible hand, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Martin Wolf, means of production, microcredit, moral hazard, obamacare, Pareto efficiency, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, school choice, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Future of Employment, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, universal basic income, urban sprawl, working-age population

It follows that there is a case for a state subsidy for labour training.12 There are many such examples of positive and negative externalities.13 Another related case of market failure can arise when markets attempt to allocate resources that have ownership rights that are undefined or held in common. Relevant examples are minerals under the ground, fish in the sea, the earth’s atmosphere, and telecom spectrum. Here, the state may have to act to prevent a ‘tragedy of the commons’.14 Unfettered markets are likely to lead to chaotic over-​use, even exhaustion, of scarce resources that are un-​owned or under common ownership. One solution is for the state to allocate private property rights (though it may quite properly appropriate the rents created thereby, for example by auctioning the resources).

Kumar (2009), ‘Big Reforms but Small Payoffs: Explaining the Weak Record of Growth in Indian Manufacturing’, India Policy Forum 2008/​ 9, Vol. 5, 59–​124. Gupta, P., and A. Panagariya (2014), ‘Growth and Election Outcomes in a Developing Country’, Economics and Politics, 26(2), 332–​354. Hardin, G. (1968), ‘The Tragedy of the Commons’, Science, Vol. 162(3859), 1243–​1248. Hart, O. (2003), ‘Incomplete Contracts and Public Ownership’, Economic Journal, Vol. 113(486), C69–​76. Hasan R., and K. Jandoc (2013), ‘Labour Regulations and Firm Size Distribution in Indian Manufacturing’, in J. Bhagwati and A. Panagariya (eds.), Reforms and Economic Transformation in India, 15–​48.

., 28, 210–​11, 216 total factor productivity (TFP), 52, 53–​7, 72, 80, 87, 104; see also productivity tradable goods, 88, 117, 291 trade, see international trade Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), 264–​5 Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), 269, 298 trade unions, 66, 79, 82 and political parties, 82 teachers’ unions, 179, 183, 229 ‘traditional public health’ (TPH), 188–​9, 196, 303 tragedy of the commons, 38 Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 265 Trans-​Pacific Partnership (TPP), 265–​6, 298 transparency, 44, 240 UDAY, 296 unemployment, 65 United Progressive Alliance (UPA), 24–​5, 95, 97, 117, 143, 164, 202, 283, 307–​8 United States, 8, 252, 255 and China rivalry, 10 gilded age, 240, 243 as ‘hyper-​power’, 9 and India, civil nuclear agreement, 9 University Grants Commission (UGC), 184–​5 unorganized sector, 66–​7, 69–​70, 76–​7, 78, 99, 288–​9 definition of, 66 low-​labour-​productivity in, 66 low-​quality jobs in, 73 output of, 67, 69 as ‘own account enterprises’, 76 workers in, 65 urban: infrastructure, 97, 120, 123, 292 land, 96, 131 urbanization, 96 347 Vajpayee, Atal Behari, 24 value-​added tax (VAT), 92–​3 vocational and technical education and training (VTET), 185 water, 75, 90–​1, 101–​3, 125–​7, 206, 212, 285, 290, 293, 309 over-​extraction of, 126 pricing, 126–​7 women, 29, 72, 73, 204, 205, 210, 233, 304, 311; see also female labour force participation rate; literacy, female workforce, 66–​7, 77, 80, 94, 292 income of organized, 145 informal, 67, 69 mal-​distributed, 66 non-​farm, 67 poor, 100 in unorganized sector, 66–​7 see also labour/​labour force World Bank, 28, 186 ‘Ease of Doing Business’ reports of, 74, 283 and foreign aid, 18 survey of Indian firms, 74 World Trade Organization (WTO), 263–​4, 267–​8 Yadav, Lalu Prasad, 227 Yadav, Mulayam Singh, 227 zamindari, abolition of, 226 Index [ 347 ] 348


pages: 506 words: 152,049

The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene by Richard Dawkins

Alfred Russel Wallace, assortative mating, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, epigenetics, Gödel, Escher, Bach, impulse control, Menlo Park, Necker cube, p-value, phenotype, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, selection bias, stem cell, Tragedy of the Commons

Entities that pay the costs of furthering the wellbeing of the ecosystem as a whole will tend to reproduce themselves less successfully than rivals that exploit their public-spirited colleagues, and contribute nothing to the general welfare. Hardin (1968) summed the problem up in his memorable phrase ‘The tragedy of the commons’, and more recently (Hardin 1978) in the aphorism, ‘Nice guys finish last’. I have dealt with the BBC Theorem and the Gaia hypothesis, because of the danger that my own language of the extended phenotype and action at a distance may sound like some of the more exuberantly extended networks and webs of the TV ‘ecologists’.

& May R. M. (1977). Dispersal in stable habitats. Nature 269, 578–581. Hamilton, W. J. & Orians, G. H. (1965). Evolution of brood parasitism in altricial birds. Condor 67, 361–382. Hansell M. H. (1984). Animal architecture and building behaviour. London: Longman. Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science 162, 1243–1248. Hardin, G. (1978). Nice guys finish last. In Sociobiology and Human Nature (eds M. S. Gregory et al.). pp. 183–194. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Hardy, A. C. (1954). Escape from specialization. In Evolution as a Process (eds J. S. Huxley, A. C. Hardy & E. B. Ford), pp. 122–140.

‘walking stick’), 97 stigmergie, 204 strategy, 118 conditional, 121, 131 mixed, 121–122 strawberry runners, 259–262 Streptocarpus, 84 strike, slave ants on, 72–73 subroutines, 122, 129–132 Sunday Times, The (newspaper), 101, 165, 171 supergenes, 241, 244 supernormal stimulus, 68–69 survival of the fittest, 179–180 suture lines, 34, 37 swallow, and distant extended phenotype, 233–234 sweat bee, 150 Swiss Army Knife, 56 symphylic substances, 71 tadpoles, 150 tapeworm, 215 tautology, 42, 180–183, 193 team of genes, 239 teleonomy, 81, 113, 132 temperature, 98–99 termites, 144, 200–206 tetraploid extended genetics, 202–203 thought experiments, 3–4 black pigment, 196–197 chimpanzee green beard, 154 lily pad, 256–258 lupin, 244 strawberry, 259–262 swallow, 233–234 time as resource, 128–129 time lags, 35, 55 tinkering, 39 tissue parasites, 226 tits, 109 tonic signals, 63 trade union spirit, 221–222 trade-off, 210–211 ‘tragedy of the commons’, 237 train velocity analogy, 182 transcription vs translation, 168 transformations, D’Arcy Thompson’s, 2 travel bug, 220 Tribolium, 215, 220 Trypoxylon politum, 78–80 unfalsifiability, 35, 42, 74, 172, 180 uniqueness of the individual, 250 unit of selection, 81, 82, 89 use and disuse, 167, 170 uterus, 184 vehicle, 82, 112, 133, 134, 153, 170, 196, 257, 260 defined, 114 group as, 114–115 reproduction of, 114 venereal diseases, 220 viruses, 220, 226 Waddington Effect, 44 ‘war of attrition’, 49 wasps daughterless, 140–141 digger, 43, 48–50, 118, 121–132 mud-daubing, 78–80 Weismannism, 112, 164, 166, 172 whales, 106–107 wings costly, 42 evolution in bats and birds, 44–45 woodlouse, 150 Wright’s Rule, 104–108 xenophobia, 19 Y-chromosome inertness, 35 yellow-fever mosquito, 138, 139 Zygiella-x-notata, 198–199


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Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen special economic zone , Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, Yochai Benkler, young professional, zero day

Bachman, adapted for ebook Cover design: Pete Garceau Cover illustration: Michael Markieta/Moment/Getty Images v4.1_r1 a CONTENTS Cover Title Page Copyright Prologue A Note About Maps PART ONE: CONNECTIVITY AS DESTINY CHAPTER 1 FROM BORDERS TO BRIDGES A Journey Around the World Bridges to Everywhere Seeing Is Believing From Political to Functional Geography Supply Chain World Balancing Flow and Friction CHAPTER 2 NEW MAPS FOR A NEW WORLD From Globalization to Hyper-Globalization The Measure of Things A New Map Legend BOX: From Diplomacy to “Diplomacity” PART TWO: DEVOLUTION AS DESTINY CHAPTER 3 THE GREAT DEVOLUTION Let the Tribes Win Growing Apart to Stay Together From Nations to Federations CHAPTER 4 FROM DEVOLUTION TO AGGREGATION Geopolitical Dialectics The New Grand Trunk Road to Pax Indica From Sphere of Influence to Pax Aseana From “Scramble for Africa” to Pax Africana From Sykes-Picot to Pax Arabia BOX: The Israeli Exception? CHAPTER 5 THE NEW MANIFEST DESTINY United States or Tragedy of the Commons? The Devolution Within Pacific Flows Oil and Water Across the World’s Longest Border The North American Union BOX: A South American Union PART THREE: COMPETITIVE CONNECTIVITY CHAPTER 6 WORLD WAR III—OR TUG-OF-WAR? An Ancient Metaphor for Postmodern Times Was Orwell Right? The Calm Before the Storm?

*12 Iran is promoting the development of a new gas pipeline across Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean Sea to supply European markets. Some call this project the “Islamic pipeline” and view it as a competitor to the planned Nabucco pipeline that would carry gas from Azerbaijan to Austria. CHAPTER 5 THE NEW MANIFEST DESTINY UNITED STATES OR TRAGEDY OF THE COMMONS? Here are some startling facts about how Americans relate to their own country: Sixty percent believe the American Dream is out of reach for themselves and their children, and 40 percent of Americans aged eighteen to twenty-four believe they will need to migrate abroad in search for work.

Does the energy boom in Texas and the Dakotas mean that wealth is shared with depressed states? Does a thriving technology sector mean that enough Americans are qualified for the best jobs? The answers to these questions will reveal whether America rises as a whole or whether it degenerates into a tragedy of the commons, whether it merely continues as a great but crumbling empire or restores itself as a truly United States. One thing is for sure: In the hypercompetitive supply chain world, just being American is no longer enough. The 2013 bankruptcy of Detroit, once America’s richest city, was not merely an event but a symptom of the reality that residing in a world-class competitive country doesn’t assure the competitiveness of the city.


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The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, algorithmic bias, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, commoditize, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, John Markoff, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, old-boy network, packet switching, peer-to-peer, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Bork, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tragedy of the Commons, web application, wikimedia commons, Yochai Benkler, zero-sum game

In either case, the owner of the PC can choose what to do with that last slice of bandwidth, realizing that watching full screen video might, say, slow down a file transfer in the background. (To be sure, on many broadband networks this final link is shared among several unrelated subscribers, causing miniature tragedies of the commons as a file-sharing neighbor slows down the Internet performance for someone nearby trying to watch on-demand video.) The ability to tinker and experiment without watching a meter provides an important impetus to innovate; yesterday’s playful webcams on aquariums and cubicles have given rise to Internet-facilitated warehouse monitoring, citizen-journalist reporting from remote locations, and, as explained later in this book, even controversial experiments in a distributed neighborhood watch system where anyone can watch video streamed from a national border and report people who look like they are trying to cross it illegally7 However, an absence of measurement is starting to have generative drawbacks.

See Harvard University, Berkman Center Berners-Lee, Tim, 95 Bessen, James, 190 Bidder’s Edge, 224, 225 biometric readers, 228 BitTorrent, 90, 121, 287n113 BlackBerries, 57, 101, 118, 176 Black Hat Europe hacker convention (2006), 56–57 blogs: from automated robots, 207–8; captcha boxes of, 207–8; censorship of, 113; Libertarian model in, 131; power of, 88, 95; spread of, 148, 151; of teens, 231 Blossom, 195–96 Bomis search engine, 133, 289n19 bookmarks, 58 books.google.com (Web site), 224–25, 242 Bork, Robert, 202 Bostic, Keith, 38 Boston College, data loss by, 204 botnets, 45–47 Boyle, James, 113 Bricklin, Dan, 2 Brin, David, 209 broadband: PC accessibility via, 4; remote updates of, 53; tragedies of the commons in, 158 Brother, “smart” typewriters, 19, 20, 34 browsers, development of, 29 Burning Man festival, 34 business, “long tail” of, 214 “Bus Uncle” of Hong Kong, 211 cable television, 181–82, 183 Camp, Jean, 160 Cap’n Crunch whistle, 40, 42 captcha boxes, 207–8, 227 cars. See motor vehicles Carter, Tom, 22 Carterfone, 22, 25, 26, 81, 121, 182 CB simulator, 23 censorship, 105, 113–17; amplification of, 114–17; circumventing, 180; by commercial filtering programs, 114–15; and endpoint control, 125; Mill on, 98–99, 100; post hoc scrubs, 116; retroactive, 109 CERT/CC (Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center), 39, 147–48 chaos, in absence of law, 128 Chapman v.

See also AT&T Texas Instruments TI-99/4A, 13 theories of the commons, 78–79 Ticketmaster.com, 207 Timex/Sinclair Z-1000, 13 TiVo, 59, 64, 71, 77, 101, 123, 162, 184; and preemption, 108; and regulator control, 107; and surveillance, 109 TiVo v. EchoStar, 103–4, 107, 108 tolerated uses, 119–22, 190–91 traffic lights: cameras at, 116–17; and verkeersbordvrij, 127–28 tragedies of the commons, 158 transclusion, use of term, 226–27 transferability, 73 transmission speed, irregularity of, 32 trial and error, learning by, 236 Trumpet Winsock, 29 trust: assumptions of, 20–21, 30–32, 39–40, 134, 135, 147; trade-offs with, 33 trusted systems, 105 Tushman, Michael, 24 Twain, Mark (Samuel Clemens), 212, 213 two-factor authentication, 53 typewriters, “smart,” 15, 19, 20, 34 unitary rights holder, 189 United States v.


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The Ape That Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve by Steve Stewart-Williams

Albert Einstein, battle of ideas, carbon-based life, David Attenborough, European colonialism, feminist movement, financial independence, Garrett Hardin, gender pay gap, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, moral panic, out of africa, Paul Graham, phenotype, post-industrial society, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Tragedy of the Commons, twin studies

The tragedy is that both players would do better if they both cooperated: They’d get three points each instead of the one point they end up with when they both defect. Ironically, then, in a one-shot game, the rational pursuit of self-interest makes both parties worse off. This is a hypothetical example of a real-world phenomenon – a phenomenon the ecologist Garrett Hardin called the tragedy of the commons.43 But what if the virtual animals get to encounter each other again and again, like real animals often do? In that case, the best course of action is no longer quite so obvious. And that’s why we need the computer simulations. Back to the main story. After issuing his invitation for programs to compete in his tournament, Axelrod soon had a diverse collection of contestants, each reflecting its creator’s best guess about which strategy would rack up the most points.

Journal of Theoretical Biology, 7, 1–52. Hamilton, W. D. (1996). Narrow roads of gene land: The collected papers of W. D. Hamilton. Oxford, UK: Freeman/Spektrum. Hamilton, W. D., & Zuk, M. (1982). Heritable true fitness and bright birds: A role for parasites? Science, 218, 384–387. Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162, 1243–1248. Hardy, K., Brand-Miller, J., Brown, K. D., Thomas, M. G., & Copeland, L. (2015). The importance of dietary carbohydrate in human evolution. Quarterly Review of Biology, 90, 251–268. Harford, T. (2016). How to be a happier man. Men’s Health. Retrieved March 21, 2017, from www.menshealth.co.uk/healthy/stress/how-to-be-a-happier-man Harpending, H. (2013).

F. 10, 225 Smith, Adam, 235 smoking, 5, 45, 51, 53, 242, 252, 253, 296, 297, 303 snow monkeys, 66, 91 social psychology, 130, 133, 134, 177–178, 240, see also psychology Social Role Theory, 99–100, 106–107, 113, 116, 313n117 social sciences, 39, 42, 62, 64–65, 112, 114, 117, 123, 192, 283, 289–290, 294, see also Standard Social Science Model (SSSM) sociobiology, 40, 65, 68, 77, 289, 293, 310n8 Sociobiology: The New Synthesis, 157 Sommers, Christina Hoff, 102, 117 spandrels, 57, see also by-product hypothesis speciation in cultural evolution, 227 Spencer, Herbert, 20 Sperber, Dan, 298–299 sperm competition, 169–170, 291 spiders, 4, 11, 37, 51, 53, 54, 66, 73, 90, 110, 185, 188 sports, 62, 106, 202, 242, 255 stabilizing selection, 278 Standard Social Science Model (SSSM), 40, 308n32, see also blank slate view of human nature Star Trek, 122 Steinem, Gloria, 56 Stendhal, 139 Stephens, William, 146 stepparental care, 157–161evolution of, 160–161 stink fights, 67 Story of the Human Body, The, 55 strawberry cheesecake hypothesis, 60, see also by-product hypothesis Streep, Meryl, 148 strong reciprocity, 206, 207, 208–209 suicide, 6, 55, 103, 137–138, 142, 143, 176, 185, 192, 213, see also copycat suicide supernormal stimuli, 52, 60 survival of, the fittest, 20 the fittest genes, 31 the fittest memes, 253, 269 the fittest theories, 229 the prettiest, 120–129 the species, 7, 18–20, 141, 156 the weakest, 278–279 swans, 148, 149 Symons, Donald, 58, 78, 81–82, 83, 89 Tallis, Frank, 138 Taylor, Timothy, 279 technology, 13, 49, 234, 236–237, 244, 272–273, 275, 278–279, 294 teddy bears, 13, 227–228, 261 Tennov, Dorothy, 138–139 termites, 13, 132, 176, 231, 232233 testicle size, see sperm competition testosterone, 128, 170–171, see also sex differences theory of mind, 233, 298–299 Thomas, Andrew G. 72, 76 Thought Contagion, 257 throwing, 273 thumb-sucking, 57–58, 61 tigers, 16, 68, 170, 270271 Tit-for-Tat, 198–200, 201 tolerated theft, 204 Tomasello, Michael, 234 Tooby, John, 40, 46, 47, 50 Top Ten sex differences in nonhuman animals, 66–68, 74, 77 toy boys, 94 tragedy of the commons, 197–198 Trivers, Robert, 68, 69, 70, 72, 193, 194, 196, 197, 198–199 Tucker, Philip, 228–229 Tutankhamun, 136 twins, 25, 69, 182–183, 184, 248, 286 Tylor, E. B. 229 unfalsifiability, see criticisms of evolutionary psychology universal Darwinism, 250 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 59 universal gravitation, 137, 234, 250 university, 63, 266 vampire bats, 201, 203, 317n23 van den Berghe, Pierre, 84 van Schaik, Carel, 231–232 Vassilyev, Valentina, 69 vervet monkeys, 175, 201 violence, see aggression visual sexual stimuli, 59, 92, see also pornography WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic), 289, 290, 322n11 Westermarck effect, 132–134, 136, see also incest avoidance Westermarck, Edvard, 133, 134 whales, 193194, 209, 232 what does natural selection select?


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Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, independent contractor, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Post-Keynesian economics, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar

All of these ideas and practices are captured in a different framing by a hero of mine. Well, Elinor Ostrom is not just my hero, but one for others as well, since she won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2009 for her analysis of economic governance especially for commons. Lots of us have heard about the tragedy of the commons: When people share a resource but don’t own it, everything goes to hell because they don’t care. As you know, this was not my experience with Zipcar, which proved to be a shock to investors and business pundits. And it was this reality that led to the founding of dozens of other successful sharing-economy companies.

Drupal is not alone in this regard either, as other well-known FOSS projects, such as Linux and WordPress, have massive communities of peers and a flurry of annual events. Despite these many success stories, the technology landscape is littered with tales of FOSS that failed by not providing engineers with a way to organize and evolve productively, frequently suffering a tragedy of the commons and becoming mere footnotes in the history of the Web. The bigger and more successful the platform, the more it is perceived as a common pool resource, and the more its peers feel entitled to a say. I’ll talk more in Chapter 7 about how and when government might play a role in protecting the rights of peers.


pages: 292 words: 81,699

More Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, barriers to entry, Black Swan, Build a better mousetrap, business process, call centre, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, functional programming, George Gilder, Larry Wall, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mars Rover, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, place-making, price discrimination, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Oldenburg, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, The Great Good Place, Tragedy of the Commons, type inference, unpaid internship, wage slave, web application, Y Combinator

With social interface engineering, you have to look at sociology and anthropology. In societies, there are freeloaders, scammers, and other miscreants. In social software, there will be people who try to abuse the software for their own profit at the expense of the rest of the society. Unchecked, this leads to something economists call the tragedy of the commons. Whereas the goal of user interface design is to help the user succeed, the goal of social interface design is to help the society succeed, even if it means one user has to fail. So a good social interface designer might say, “Let’s not display an error message. Let’s just pretend that the post about Viagra was accepted.

See recruiting developers Software Development Engineers in Test (SDETs), 64 solutions to problems, offering, 151–154 Soul of a New Machine (book), 97 source code, access to, 227–230 specifications, and quality, 6, 63–65 specificity, in design, 96 stamps, 96 standards, web, 125–137, 139–141 Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs (book), 54 style, 218 subpixel rendering, 85–87 sunk costs, 266 Switch User option, 100 Symphony, Lotus, 171 systems creation, 44–45 Systems Hungarian, 196 T Taleb, Nassim, 286 talented software developers, 216–220 tasks creating, 158–159 prioritizing, 292–293 Index 305 teams agendas of, 35 problems of designing as, 95 small, benefits of, 216–217 tech conferences, 11 tech support. See customer service technical beta. See beta testing terminals, smart, 174 testing automated, 61, 63–65 beta, 241–243 text messaging, 106 time estimates. See Evidence-Based Scheduling (EBS) time functions, 4–6 time tracking in schedules, 159–160 Torvalds, Linus, 74 Toyoda, Sakichi, 286 tragedy of the commons, 108 training, vs. bribing, 41–45 U UIs (user interfaces), 65, 89–92 universities. See college courses Unix-Windows cultural war, 65 unlimited licenses, 274 usability, 103, 105–110 Usenet, 106–107, 112–113 User Interface Design for Programmers (book), 103 user interfaces (UIs), 65, 89–92 UsRequest function, 190 V values, social, 29 Variants, 3 velocity, 160–161 versions of software, 272–273 Viacom, 68, 227 Visual Basic for Applications, 71 Visual Basic for Excel, 3 Visual C++, 229 W wages.


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Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life by Daniel C. Dennett

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, assortative mating, buy low sell high, cellular automata, combinatorial explosion, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, Conway's Game of Life, Danny Hillis, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Drosophila, finite state, Garrett Hardin, Gödel, Escher, Bach, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Murray Gell-Mann, New Journalism, non-fiction novel, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, QWERTY keyboard, random walk, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Schrödinger's Cat, selection bias, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, strong AI, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, Turing machine, Turing test

If only those redwoods could get together and agree on some sensible zoning restrictions and stop competing with each other for sunlight, they {255} could avoid the trouble of building those ridiculous and expensive trunks, stay low and thrifty shrubs, and get just as much sunlight as before! [Dennett 1990b, p. 132.] But they can't get together; under these circumstances, defection from any cooperative "agreement" is bound to pay off if ever or whenever it occurs, so trees would be stuck with the "tragedy of the commons" (Hardin 1968) if there weren't an essentially inexhaustible supply of sunshine. The tragedy of the commons occurs when there is a finite "public" or shared resource that individuals will be selfishly tempted to take more of than their fair share — such as the edible fish in the oceans. Unless very specific and enforceable agreements can be reached, the result will tend to be the destruction of the resource.

(Are they denied the vote? Why do they put up with it?) As the biologist David Sloan Wilson and the philosopher of biology Elliot Sober (Wilson and Sober 1994) have suggested, we can learn a lot about our social problems of defection (e.g., promising and then reneging on the promise) and Hardin's tragedy of the commons (see chapter 9) by considering how our ancestors, going back to the first eukaryotes, managed to achieve "harmony and coordination of their parts." The lessons to be learned are tricky, however, because the cells that compose us belong to two very different categories. An average human is normally host to billions of symbiotic organisms belonging to perhaps a thousand different species....

Particularly fascinating in the directions opened up by Kitcher's analysis is the emergence of groups in which the strong and the weak would tend to segregate themselves and prefer to cooperate with their own sort. Could this set the stage for something like the Nietzschean transvaluation of values? Stranger things have happened. Stephen White (unpublished) has begun to investigate the important further complexities of the multi-person Prisoner's Dilemma. (This is the game that leads to the tragedy of the commons, creating both depleted fish stocks in our oceans and forests of tall trees.) As Kitcher points out, the simple scenarios are analytically tractable — the equations of interaction and their expected yields can be solved directly by mathematical calculation — but as we add more realism, and hence complexity, the direct solution of the equations becomes unfeasible, so we have to turn to the indirect methods of computer simulation.


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