January 27, 2015 Kosmos Community News

The Commons Are Making a Comeback

By Nathan Schneider, from the blog of the P2P Foundation

The commons is an old, simple idea but one that we have never needed so urgently. It’s whatever a community of people shares and manages together. A commons can be anything from a lake that has been fished for centuries to a folk song no one owns to a neighborhood garden to the planet itself. Commoning goes back as long as human history, and it was a basic assumption of the Byzantine emperor Justinian’s legal code and the Magna Carta. It forms the basis for a kind of economics run by neither state nor market but rather by community relationships in which everyone has a personal stake in a shared property or project.

Economics for the Anthropocene

By Peter Barnes, in the current issue of Kosmos Journal

Let me ask a question now. How many of you have heard the term ‘Anthropocene’ before? …So most of you know that the term refers to the geological era we are now living in, as opposed to earlier geological eras such as the Jurassic, Cenozoic, and so on. The term was coined in 2000 by chemist Paul Crutzen from the Greek root for human, anthropos, and it means the Current Human Age.

What distinguishes the Anthropocene from the Holocene—the era that began when the last Ice Age ended—is that we humans have become a dominant geological force on our planet, if not the dominant geological force. Our impacts on oceans, forests, fresh water, topsoil, biodiversity, and the atmosphere have been devastating, and they continue getting worse at an accelerating rate. In short, the human species is out of control.

A basic dictionary of the “Sharing Economy,” “Sharing Cities,” and communitarianism

By David de Ugarte, originally in Las Indias, (Translated by Steve Herrick from the original (in Spanish)

“Sharing” is more than a trend: for some, it is the engine of their businesses, for others, the touchstone from which to design cities to live in; for some, a way of life. But in any case, it would be good to differentiate these three environments to understand what they really represent and their limits. We must not let the good feelings and words that really mean things end up being emptied and defrauding us