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01 March 2007

Tragedy of the commons

Wikipedia: The tragedy of the commons is a class of social trap that involves a conflict over resources between individual interests and the common good. The term derives originally from a parable published by William Forster Lloyd in his 1833 book on population. It was then popularized and extended by Garrett Hardin in his 1968 Science essay "The Tragedy of the Commons". However, the theory itself is as old as Aristotle who said: "That which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it".
I have been accused by DH, who is very literate, fairly widely-read, and by no means ill-educated (although he is a university dropout, and he tends to zone out whenever a conversation takes a philosophical turn) of elitist language in using the phrase "tragedy of the commons" in my WWW article below. I would appreciate feedback on this, as I thought it was a fairly well-known concept but maybe I really do live in my own little ivory tower as my dear Mum always said. I have edited the article to place the possibly offending phrase in quotes.

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