Value in the Commons (was: The Emergence of a Global Public Commons: Internet and Usenet:)

Cameron Laird (claird@Starbase.NeoSoft.COM)
16 Oct 1996 14:20:15 -0500

In article <541ve8$>, Edward Green <> wrote:
>Obviously the net is being overwhelmed by Gresham's Law. It's also like a
>street where lots of people have been throwing garbage. Confronted with a
>Am I too cynical?

No. In fact, you honor Michael's metaphor of a
Commons by showing that it works in more than one
dimension: not only is it available to all for
"free speech", but it also exhibits the character-
istic dynamics--overuse, degraded quality,
conflicting mores, and "trashiness"--of the
histories of commons.

Incidentally, has everyone read

Thompson, Michael
1979 Rubbish theory: the creation and
destruction of value; with a fore-
word by E.C. Zeeman. Oxford
University Press, Oxford and New

? I recommend it. Thompson has a strong under-
standing of the application of his ideas to novel
media and other resources; another of his books
expounds his "institutional theory of environmental
perception and a strategic framework for the
sustainable development of the Himalaya," for


Cameron Laird +1 713 623 8000 #227
+1 713 996 8546 FAX