So let’s discuss the long readings I had to read last week for class. I alternately read them in the drive-thru bank, home, and in the lobby at work.
It was satisfyingly fun to read the stuff at the lobby. I had out 1 page at a time, and my manager was one station away from me. Every time he got up to give someone an approval, or really any time I heard him get up from his chair (the chairs squeak at work), I slipped the paper underneath my coin tray (the organizer we use for keeping loose coins). It was perfect: I got 5 pages read, and I got 2 sales! Genius!
This “Tragedy of the Commons” reading was not too terrible of a read. Basically, it discusses the problem of overpopulation and how none of the solutions are really palatable to anyone involved. We live in a world with finite resources, and we act like the world can support an infinite population with infinite resources. What resources? Last I checked, there were wildfires across California, all the rainforests are being chopped down, there is no ice left at the icecaps, and all the weather around the world is going crazy. If this is some kind of prelude to a “reset” or some kind of Ice Age, bring it on. Just make sure and let me die before the Great Flood comes, please. I don’t want to die a drowning death.
Either way, the reading discusses population growth in particular, talking about how individuals pursue what is best for their individual selves, which is the “tragedy of the commons” itself. Everyone aims for their own productivity to improve, no one considers economics laws like the Rule of Diminishing Returns (that is part of economics, I think. I don’t think I’m making up crap.). After a while, the more people you add, the less productive you are! For example, when you have too many factory workers, they start to stand around and get in each other’s way. Then no work gets done.
Fishing is another example. People believe there is an infinite supply of fish, and there isn’t. Maybe trite phrases like, “There’s more fish in the sea,” used to comfort people who have broken up with a sweetheart, are being taken too literally? Or maybe it is 11 o’clock at night, and I am getting incoherent. Who knows. The point is, when you fish fish fish fish fish and don’t put back put back put back put back, you will run out of things to eat! I hope some of these genetic engineered salmon I keep hearing talk about will take off and not mutate.
One solution presented was to not forbid actions but to simply make it increasingly expensive to keep doing a certain action. (This works for things like traffic violations…) I wish this could work. You’d think the cost of raising a child alone would be preventive, but no, I guess not. I barely make enough to support myself, I can’t imagine someone else in my shoes having a child and supporting it! Plus, I am also unmarried and un-degreed, so it would be extra dumb for me to have children now. Children needs lots of love, attention, and money, and a family, none of which I really have lined up right now. Give me 5 years, I probably will be ready by then.
Also, the other solution was to relinquish the freedom to breed. That seems like the eugenics thing to me, and that never goes over well, so it probably isn’t an option. Many women choose to neuter themselves at the proper time, but as for now, it is voluntary and should stay that way.
And can I say that I had lots of difficulty reading about Unix and GNU because I have never used Unix or anything like it? I like to picture the software I read about in my head, and there was no mental picture! When the readings discussed Red Hat Linux, all I could think about was some childhood book called “Caps for Sale.” Clearly, in all my spare time that I don’t have, I need to research this stuff.