Common Tragedies

Thoughts on Environmental Economics

Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

im in ur city, drinking ur b00z

Posted by Daniel Hall on November 20, 2008

The Environmental Economics guys are invading DC!  First, John is presenting over at the EPA today, and then Tim and John will be at the AERE sessions of the Southern Economic Association meetings that run from Friday to Sunday.

But all that pales in comparison to the main event:

Per previous arrangements, we’ll see everyone for the #2 ranked social event of the Southern Economic Association meetings (ranked right behind the UK cocktail party):

Where: The Big Hunt
When: Saturday, November 22
Time: +/- 4 pm (OSU vs UM runs to 3:30 or so) to +/- 6 pm (UK cocktail party begins at 6 pm)

Evan, Rich, and I will be at Big Hunt at 4 pm ready to get our drink on with the godfathers of environmental economics blogging.

And John should add one more event to his already-full Saturday social calendar: the These United States show at the Black Cat on Saturday night.  Based on his revealed and stated preferences I think he will really like these guys.  Right now they are the best thing in the DC local music scene.

Update: By the way, doesn’t look like the Big Hunt opens until 4 pm on Saturdays so you might want to make sure that you err on the + side of 4 pm.

Posted in Culture, Events, Random | 1 Comment »

The Stand Ins

Posted by Daniel Hall on July 23, 2008

Long time readers of this blog may suspect — and close friends of this blogger probably know — that Okkervil River is one of my favorite bands.  This post has nothing to do with environmental economics so the rest of it goes below the fold…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Culture | 1 Comment »

If you’re so inclined…

Posted by Rich Sweeney on February 5, 2008

Forget chocolate, beer and other trite abstentions. How bout cutting back on your carbon for Lent?  From across the pond.

Posted in Climate Change, Culture | Leave a Comment »

Common pool movies

Posted by Daniel Hall on November 13, 2007

From the inbox:

It’s a non-profit film library that works like Netflix or Blockbuster online, but is for free and with an emphasis on documentaries and global and social issues. Just sign up and start browsing for films and they’ll mail it to you no charge!

I checked the website FAQ and they really do appear to run on the honor system — no membership dues and no late fees — although they incentivize donations by allowing members who make a one-time $110 donation to check out three movies at a time, rather than only 1 for non-contributing members. Either way, however, there are not incentives for marginal behavior; they are relying on the good will of their members to prevent abuse of the commons. I wonder actually if donors may turn out to behave ‘worse’ — late returns, checking out movies they don’t intend to watch in a timely fashion — because they feel they have paid for the right to be boorish some leniency.

They seem to have a wide selection of films that I suspect may interest this blog’s readership.

Posted in Culture | Leave a Comment »

Tragedy of the art commons

Posted by Daniel Hall on October 13, 2007

I recently read Tyler Cowen‘s new book Discover Your Inner Economist. (Short review: Thought provoking, life affirming, and funny. Read it.) In a chapter on appreciating culture, he notes the dangers that overexposure poses to our appreciation for great art:

…honestly I don’t know how good the Mona Lisa is, and I don’t even know how I could know.

I am not invoking postmodern skepticism about the arbitrariness of objective value standards. … When it comes to the Mona Lisa, it is hard for any American or European today to look at the picture with fresh eyes. …

Economists call this phenomenon “the tragedy of the commons.” A tragedy of the commons occurs when individual actions, taken together, destroy the value of an asset or resource.

Tragedy of the commons problems arise among common pool resources, whose defining characteristics are that they are non-excludable (everyone has access to them) and rivalrous (my use of the resource diminishes everyone else’s ability to use it). Fisheries are a classic example: they are an open-access resource which anyone can take from, but the more fish I take, the less there are left for you to take (and, what’s worse, the less there are left for everyone (both you and me) next year when the now-reduced population can’t produce as many offspring).

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Books, Culture, Public Goods | Leave a Comment »

Wow [update]

Posted by Daniel Hall on October 1, 2007

If you want to know what a public good sounds like, please check out Okkervil River.

I just got back from hearing them blow the doors off Rock and Roll Hotel. Amazing.

Update: More public good-ness from they webcast last night’s show live, and you can listen here.

Posted in Culture, Public Goods, Random | Leave a Comment »