The Tragedy of the Commons and Decentralization

The post yesterday wasn’t up to the mark. Unfortunately, I feel like I was probably under the influence when I wrote it. The truth is that I was not. That would be a romantic idea of how a blog or book could be written. The fact is that I was just under the influence of the noise that there exists because of the world around me.

What should be the public policy to regulate the dissemination of information? In my opinion, the answer to that question can come either from an expert or simply a person who is observant about the world around them. However one needs to be mindful of all the factors and drivers of such a decision. This is the question about a policy for a policy. As someone recently told me it’s not a unitary or binarily dimensioned problem but rather a multidimensional problem. That is a very accurate description of many challenges that need to be solved in the world today. Identification of those factors that make the problem multidimensional should be step one of problem-solving. That also means defining the problem so that it could be understood by someone not familiar with the subject. This is almost thinking like a consultant. Perhaps a part of me is happy about this realization.

The topic in question is ‘the dissemination of information.’ The first question that comes to mind is dissemination to whom? Is it the people of the nation, is it the people in authority who may or may not have a certain political affiliation (‘always‘ would be the answer to that wonderment). Dissemination for the purposes of my examination here will be the spread of information to the common public. Even within the common public, it is specifically that part of the population that lacks a sense of determination. I particularly call it determination because not only does that take some sort of fortitude but also a sense and skill of separating what needs to be evaluated from what doesn’t. In some sections of the audience reading this that specification could be applied in a meta way on this topic and one could almost apply that filter to the very question that I raised.

In order to understand public policy one almost needs to understand what impact certain regulations or laws can potentially have on the public. If not in a prolonged sense of time at least in the near future. That understanding in itself needs the discernment of people and systems. Interactions of these drivers and an understanding of those drivers independently. Maybe not an exhaustive understanding of Jungian and Freudian psychology but just what drives people to behave a certain way. The outcomes that people desire are another topic of consideration.

I am afraid to introduce any topic in most discussions because I find that people lack a basic understanding of most things. This of course seems very egoistic of me but here I will also admit that there are others with whom I would very much engage in such debate very willingly as well. Most of the people that I pull into a debate wither away at the slightest thought of what it would mean if they were wrong about the position they hold. I, on the other hand, enter into conversations with the utmost confidence in my abilities to derive a conclusion from a given set of facts. My position might be incorrect due to the number of facts that I have taken into consideration but that understanding can always be updated and I am conscious of that result. Drawing conclusions is not the hard part for me. Neither is the emotional turmoil of being caught on the ‘wrong’ side of the debate.

So how does all this relate to the dissemination of information? I many times have experienced people failing to draw conclusions from a given set of facts. It is not the failure of their awareness but the failure to be curious or draw conclusions once those facts come to light during a conversation. This leaves me with a sense of concern about people deriving accurate conclusions from the information when presented to them. This concern was raised out of something that is now also a promise of the decentralization movement. The decentralization of information, technology, and resources among other things. However, I think it’s a valid question to ask – Is decentralization of information a good thing or bad when one is aware about ‘the tragedy of the commons’. A resource of any type gets optimized for individual consumption when released to the commons. This conversation will continue, perhaps for a few more units of measurable time in my head, at the very least.

Let us converse about this beautiful and insane life!

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