Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The tragedy of the commons

Our selfish interests are often at odds with the interests of society as a whole. This can often lead to social losses. I won't describe the tragedy of the commmons, but webspace is one of those common spaces that can be destroyed by selfish interests.

Someone left a comment on this blog recently that I removed because of high spam content. I'm glad the comment said they liked my blog, but my blog is not a blog even remotely related to cellular telephones in Brazil, which the commenter was selling (in Portuguese, no less).

I chose to make this blog commentable by anyone (or at least anyone on blogger), even at risk of being spammed, in hopes that someone who had something relevant to say could say it.

I'd like to be able to share this space without having it destroyed by selfish interests (of course that's just my selfish interest).

The sad irony of the tragedy of the commons is that, by acting in our selfish interest in the short run, we act against our selfish interest in the long run. It has been said that in the long run, we're all dead, but sometimes the long run is in our own lifetime.

The common space of this blog, obviously, has not been compromised yet. I'd love to be able to hear from readers with questions.

No comments: