There is something at the very heart of modern digital technology that is mostly overlooked which is actually quite ancient and profound. It is the concept of The Commons.

Humans inherently share the air, the water, the land, and sky collectively but we often forget that in our world currently ruled by the notion of private ownership. Though our opinions on how to steward these resources may cause division sometimes, we can not escape the omnipresence of our responsibility to shared spaces both physical, and virtual.

Technologies like the internet and blockchain give us an unprecedented opportunity to transform our understanding of the commons in a global community. In many ways the concept of The Commons is central to the evolution of human culture, economics, and governing systems. Emerging technologies like the internet, which is still in its’ infancy-stage, and blockchain have simultaneously caused us to awaken to and reconsider how to negotiate the grey area between what is publicly shared and what is privately owned.

This potent topic, which has been buried in social media noise or Bitcoin hype, literally has the capacity to make us rethink the rules governing our society and social relationships. In 1833 William Forster Lloyd wrote a theory about the failure of The Commons now called Tragedy of the Commons.

Basically he theorized that if numerous ranchers allowed their cattle to graze on the same land that the land would eventually be destroyed and depleted as a result of collective usage. This idea is embedded in the adoption of the privatized model which holds land owners responsible for the management of land and resources. Read more from…

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