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The Common Tragedy of Ignoring the Tragedy of the Commons

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  • NamoAmituofo
    TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 29.06.07 Get this newsletter | TDE-Weekly Archive Click here if you do not see the pictures
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 29, 2007
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      TheDailyEnlightenment.comWeekly 29.06.07

      Get this newsletter | TDE-Weekly Archive

      Click here if you do not see the pictures

      Realisation: The Common Tragedy of Ignoring the Tragedy of the Commons

      http://thedailyenlightenment.com/pics/18.gifAlways be one of the crowd - the right one - even if it isn't crowded. - Stonepeace

      From "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug... "As coined in by 19th century mathematician William Forster Lloyd, the 'Tragedy of the Commons' states that 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 recieves all proceeds from the sale of the animal - a positive benefit of '+1'. But the negative impact of adding an animal - its contribution to overgrazing - is shared by all, so the impact on the individual herdsman is less than '-1'. The only sensible course for each herdsman is to add another animal to the herd. And another, and another - preferably before someone else does. And since each rational herdsman will reach the same conclusion, the commons is doomed." The herdsmen are then doomed together.

      This is a terrific example of how individual karma (via intentions and in/actions) compounds and becomes part of collective karma, which in turn affects individual karma. It illustrates the reality of how individual selfishness will destroy oneself while harming others, and how collective selfishness destroys everyone even much faster! It shows why being compassionate to others is being compassionate to oneself too. We share one great commons - the Earth. We, the commoners are not separate from the commons, being intricately interdependent. The environment around us is part of us, as we cannot exist without it, and we affect each other's environment. As Buddhists, let's not be ignorant commoners in the great scheme of life. We have a global climate in crisis. What are you doing to add to it? What can you do to save it?

      To think the environment is unimportant is to forget
      the land you stand, the water you drink, the sun you feel, the air you breathe...
       - Stonepeace

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