Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Tragedy of The Commons Explained

An open meadow, green and thick
Makes every shepherd wild
To gather his whole wooly flock
And graze the free land mild.

But where one herdsman tarries
The land will soon be full
Of other shepherds gathered
To deplore the price of wool.

And soon they bring their flocks and kin
To reap each blade, leaf, root and feather
And gather up to drink rum
And to predict the weather.

And once the lea has been stripped bare
And no-one's left for thanking,
The flock is left to starve or
Follow graziers into banking.

The tragedy's a common one,
Cultivated from these roots:
Too many open ovine mouths
Near surplus farmers' boots.
-Anatole Idyll

COMMONS, n. A pastoral resource held collectively in trust by the parents of malthusian libertarians.

15 comments:

the amoeba said...

"Hey dude!"

"What?"

"How do you divvy up a pasture fairly?"

"A really big bulldozer?"

"A commons denominator."

"Haven't you already cause enough trouble tonight?"

Omnipotent Poobah said...

Commons - The place everyone goes to complain about the crowds.

Jim said...

You guys were up early this morning, I do hope you both went back to bed. Ask your doctors for some Flomax.

Commons: We's commons peoples grew up on the farm all telling Mr. Malthus' believers that we believe in survival of the fittest along with all the other red neck conservatives that moved into this here town.
..

Tom & Icy said...

I saw an old episode of Gunsmoke where Festus explained banking by saying a person puts in $1000 and the bank loans it and they put it in his bank so he then has $2000 and he loans that $2000 and they deposit it and so the bank has $4000 on paper based on the actual $1000 cash.

Nessa said...

``If they would rather die,'' said Scrooge, ``they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population..." and leave the commons to the rest of us.

TLP said...

Oh poop. I can't believe I missed FIDELITY yesterday. That would be so much fun. Not fidelity itself of course, but defining it.

Good job today. Could you just once do a lousy job so that I could complain more? I just love to complain.

TLP said...

Commons: muliple ordinarinesses.

quilly said...

COMMONS n. gathering areas, sometimes also called town square or maul, uhm, mall.

actonbell said...

One more fabulous poem for Doug's eloquent educational blog! I didn't know about Garrett Hardin's theory. Of course I didn't.

cooper said...

A creative license that allows people to use your words as is, with attribution, or not so much, whatever strikes your fancy.

sauerkraut said...

You have farm land you'd like to have preserved for future generations of dogs who like to go on long walks? Or has the odor of whatever has collected on my farmer's boots invaded the depths of my nostrils?

The Grim Reaper said...

Move along please, nothing to see here ... Live to die another day.

Doug said...

Dusting off your golden propellor beanie, Amoeba?

Right you are, Poobah! Now shhhhhhh.

Jim, it's a lucky thing survival of the fittest is portable.

Tom, I hadn't realized Festus was an economist. Although he looked like one.

Nessa, Scrooge McDuck, moral philosopher?

Good definition, TLP. I'd be glad to do a miserable job if you'd promise to complain about it.

Maul after mall, Quilly, you get there.

Learning is not recommended on this site, A-bell.

Yeah, Coop. I've wondered about that. People sure like to put the link up, though.

Breathe deep, Sauerkraut. That's the cure.

Grim, aren't you supposed to talk in all caps?

weirsdo said...

Very pithy.

Doug said...

Thanks, Weirsdo. Cogency is usually an accident, in my case.