THE INDIVIDUAL VS. THE COMMUNITY
I'm adding these links after talking with Eric Schoppen and Peter Sloots over the role of the browser/polluter in their Garbage Park project.
Often refered to, The Tragedy of the Commons is the classic paper on individual gain vs. community gain dilemma.
"The Tragedy of the Commons" posits a free-market grazing pasture open to all herdsmen, each of whom seeks to maximize his own gain. As rational beings, each individual herdsman will conclude that it is to his benefit to add more animals to his herd, even though he also knows that this may cause overgrazing and destruction of the common pasture.
That's because he alone will receive the benefits of the sale of his animals grown fat off the commons, whereas the negative effects of overgrazing will be shared by all the herdsmen. In other words, the positive result of overgrazing to each herdsman is +1, whereas the negative result of the destruction of the common pasture is only a fraction of -1."
Hardin, Garrett: The Tragedy of the Commons
Science, December 1968
Felkins, Leon: The Voter's Paradox, An introduction to the Theory of Social Dilemmas
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This page was last modified on --> 9/3/98; 7:16:36 CET