23 October 2006

A Map of the Commons

Commons are things that are held, well, in common, for the benefit of all. The traditional commons is the common land, many of which still exist in England - Clapham Common, for example. But commons can be anything. For example, free software is a commons, as is open content. The air we breathe is clearly a commons, as are the world's oceans.

Less obvious, perhaps, is the commons of tranquillity. Like other commons, it can be destroyed for all by the selfish actions of a few. But what exactly is the state of this commons today? Here in England, we now know, thanks to a neat map of this commons put together by the Council for the Preservation of Rural England.

This actually quite useful because, as they say, if you can't measure it, you can't manage it: if you don't know where the commons is most threatened, you can't take action to protect it. Well done CPRE. (Via BBC News.)

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