Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Topic 17: Tragedy of the Commons Experiment

Consider the fishing game we did in class last week and write about your experience. Use the questions below to guide your writing. Due Monday, Dec. 24.
  1. Did anyone at your lake take too many fish?  How did that make you feel?  Did everyone try to take as many as possible? Why or Why not?  Does society reward those with the “most”?
  2. Did anyone sacrifice the number of fish he or she took for the good of the community?  Why or why not?  Does society ever reward that type of person?
  3. How did your strategy change in game 2 (if at all)? Does it make a difference to know what the rewards are?
  4. Is it possible to maximize the number of fish caught per person as well as the number of fish remaining in the pond at the same time?Why or Why not?
  5. Think of a local commons that you are familiar with (a park, sidewalk, or the sofa area or cafeteria at PAS) Do similar situations arise? Explain. HOW might those problems be solved?
  6. What are some natural resources that are common resources?
  7. What are the global commons? Are these being used wisely? Why or why not?
  8. What can people do to use these resources most wisely?
  1. The people in my group all tried to take as many fish as possible. When I saw someone else taking a large amount of fish, I automatically tried to take as many fish as possible as well in order to "not lose". People had a feeling of competitiveness, and think that if we don't take the fish, someone else will, so why not just take it? At first, society rewards those with the most fish, but later on, when the resource depletes, everyone will die.
  2. Later on during the experiment, when we found out that the resource was being depleted, some people did release some fish back into the lake. They did so because they remembered that they shouldn't deplete the resources now, or else there will be no available resources in the future and everyone will starve. However, society doesn't reward them, and some other fisherman even wanted to fish for the ones released back into the lake.
  3. Our strategies in the 2nd round completely changed. Everyone followed the agreed rules and fished only a certain amount. Because of this, we had an ample amount of remaining fish. It does make a difference, and a big one at that, to know that the reward would be to have fish available for the coming years.
  4. It is possible to maximize the number of fish caught per person as well as the number of fish remaining by creating a formula and calculating how many fish can be caught and how many must remain in order for enough to be available in the future.
  5. When I think about some of the local commons, such as parks, sidewalks, sofa area, or cafeteria, I cannot think of similar situations, since these areas cannot be used "too many time", and the resources don't exhaust as they are being used.
  6. Some common natural resources include food supplies such as fish.
  7. As said before, fish is global common because people anywhere, as long as they are on the cost, can fish and use these resources. Currently, the global community do face these problems and these resources aren't being used wisely. However, there are regulations now to help solve this problem.
  8. To use resources most wisely, there must be regulations.

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