“What’s Mine is Mine;What’s Yours is on the Table”: Tragedy Of The Commons

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One important phenomenon evident in every society is the Tragedy of The Commons:

Individuals pursuing their own self-interest will completely diminish a common good over time, unless behavior is regulated.

Even though we understand that a group resource may need to be protected, we are unwilling to sacrifice our own self-interest for the good of the group. We take good care of what’s ours. What’s owned by everyone is protected by no one.

How can we apply this knowledge to real life?

If you can get past romanticized notions of what constitutes animal welfare, we can make a huge dent in the endangered species list .

On the career front, look for ways to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Since you can’t moderate the behavior of others, you will have to get creative. Avoid relying solely on programs, applications and methods that everyone else is using.

When a new program is first instituted, early adopters reap the benefit of being ahead of the curve. However, that advantage will quickly evaporate when competitors start to pour in.

For instance, much was made of the six-figure paydays generated by programmers who created apps for the iPhone market a few years ago. When their stories hit the papers, the market became over-saturated with “me-too” developers. Now, with millions of programmers creating millions of programs, the chances of runaway success have shrunk significantly.

The Internet has made it easy to send out dozens of resumes with the touch of a button. Contact prospective employers over the phone or in person. Seek out the people in charge of hiring and ask questions about the position. It demonstrates a sincere effort and interest in the position and helps employers put a face to your resume.

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I’m an entrepreneur-among other things-specializing in helping people build businesses and develop fulfilling relationships.


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