• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Buried in cloud files? We can help with Spring cleaning!

    Whether you use Dropbox, Drive, G-Suite, OneDrive, Gmail, Slack, Notion, or all of the above, Dokkio will organize your files for you. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free today.

  • Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) was #2 on Product Hunt! Check out what people are saying by clicking here.


Whole Earth Catalog (Idea Items)

Page history last edited by Katherine Pandora 3 years, 9 months ago

Tragedy of the Commons-Elliot Springer


While searching through The (Updated) Last Whole Earth Catalog published in 1975 I stumbled across an article entitled “Population, Evolution, and Birth Control” which I found interesting because of its relevancy today. The article was excerpts from an essay written by Garrett Hardin called “Tragedy of the Commons” written in 1968 and published in the journal Science. Hardin describes this social dilemma as the depletion of a shared resource by individuals, acting independently and rationally according to each one's self-interest, despite their understanding that depleting the common resource is contrary to the group's long-term best interests. Historically this became a problem after WWII when American soldiers were returning home from war and starting having families increasing the population dramatically, entering a period known as the “baby boom.”  So what does this mean for people of the 1970’s and future generations? Hardin along with many others saw what was happening around them and published “Tragedy of the Commons” in order to encourage the preservation of resources by limiting population increase. Statistics today show us we should have heeded Hardin’s warning and taken more precaution for inventing a new future for our society. With a global population increasing daily the issues of sustainability over resources is a critical topic. All of this stems from the population problem and in order to reverse the effects, the public must be educated on the devastating effects and invest in alternative technologies.


While rapid population increase is still a serious problem, certain technological advancements have assisted in curbing the problem. During 1960, the birth control pill, a combination between estrogen and progestogen, was approved as an acceptable contraceptive. Another alternative method for preventing population increase is by terminating unwanted pregnancies. While both of these methods accomplish the task of population control, they’re still greatly disputed over because of moral and ethical implications. The reality of the situation is only with both sex education and access to contraceptives can the issue of population control be tackled. While many countries are recognizing the reality of the problem, only can it be resolved when we all take the initiative to limit population in order to preserve our resources. Hardin saw the outcome of the Tragedy of the Commons and the way it would shape the global society for future generations. He gave us the information and we have neglected or denied access to education and technological advances that would resolve the issue until something must be done. I have included a video link to further explain the idea and describe the consequences that result from it.







To predict the futuro, we only need to look at the past...


     Through the course of human events in the late 1960's, great minds came together to create an idea for improving the world through science. Four years later the result from their work was on display in the World Earth Catalog. A concept was published that pre-dated the green movement which today is reinforcing its ideas and gaining momentum through the outlets of mass media. Futuro is the name of the idea that represented to me a concept that could be examined more thoroughly for its possible contributions to the advancement of scientific ideas in creating a better world for tomorrow.

     It has been said that in order to predict the future, we only need to look at the past. The year is 1968, the Futuro designers identified a new direction within the residential architectural industry. Futuro initiated a mathematical, scientific, yet unique product that could demonstrate advancements in present day residential housing structures. " Architect Matti Suuronen holds that the design of the Futuro House sprung naturally from pure mathematics."(Home and Taanila 13)

    The elliptical shaped home cost $10,000 in 1972 and $14,000 fully furnished. Within these selling points a certain appealing phrase informs the reader that along with the actual housing unit comes an intangible asset as well. This tiny ad along with the few selling points has the capability to improve our society and then change the world.

     The listed price presents an affordable way to help make a dent in the rising homeless levels in America. Government assistance could provide housing for low income families while taking a smaller toll on the national budget. A person could buy a house for the same price as a car. The gap between rich and poor in America is always getting wider. However the blow caused  by this expanse could be softened with the possible ownership of a home for poverty stricken families. The never ending social class conflict between the "haves" of our society versus the "have nots" could be subject to a form of dilution. The first argument against the pre-fabricated home might possibly be a materialistic one, pointing out any types of differences from the homes of our youth. In rebuttal, I would only want to point out that America has already demonstrated a capacity for change when the ideal is one that benefits the future of the country. The Toyota Prius gives up many things both above and under the hood in order to put an ideologically advanced product that claims to cause less damage to the Earth, all while remaining very affordable.

     A house that can be transported by helicopter and delivered into place from the air such as the Futuro House has the capabilities to protect the surrounding environment immensely through the minimizing of construction. The original designers of the Futuro House have created a product that pre-dated the Green Movement in America, the torch has been lit and the passing of that torch is taking place today as the Futuro House is still advertised, still for sale, and still representing a scientific avenue for demonstrating that we have the tools and ideas to create a better world, and we just may not be afraid to use them.

John Bradshaw



Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.