OASIS Mailing List ArchivesView the OASIS mailing list archive below
or browse/search using MarkMail.


Help: OASIS Mailing Lists Help | MarkMail Help

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: The tragedy of the commons

On Mon, Sep 10, 2001 at 09:49:00AM -0500, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
>"Public Assets, Private Profits:  Reclaiming the 
>American Commons in an Age of Market Enclosure"; 
>David Bollier, New American Foundation, Washington DC.

Thanks for the reference; sounds interesting.

>reading.  It is hard to figure out if the WWW 
>is a commons or an enclosure of the Internet.
>Did a commons exist before Bolt Beranek and 
>Newman invented the Internet?  Perhaps the rush 

Who invented the Internet?

Early RFCs are fascinating reading.  Even the *name* of these
recommendations (Request For Comments) is interesting.  The motto of
the folk who were actually building the 'net (rough consensus and
running code) is strikingly within the pattern of commons building.

>to put all information on it to meet the crazy 
>statements that any idea without a URL no longer 
>existed was the greatest sucker response of all 
>time.  Is it possible that the ground is common 
>but the grass is private?   Who reseeds the commons?

Umm.  If BB&N had actually invented, built, subsidized, underwritten,
or in fact done anything more than maintain the main routers and
provide technical input into the development of the internet, then this
would be a much more effective argument, I think.  But there are a
large number of other early stakeholders with at least as strong a
claim to have "invented" the internet (ARPA/DARPA, the folks at NSF,
the various academic and commercial engineers who devoted their time to
talking about code and writing it and sharing it, the institutions that
supported those engineers ...), so I think that this argument, which I
read as "privately created then nationalized and now facing the usual
danger of decay common to nationalized property" is tendentious, at

Amelia A. Lewis          alicorn@mindspring.com          amyzing@talsever.com
There are two major products that came out of Berkeley: LSD and BSD Unix.
We don't believe this to be a coincidence.