Saturday, October 12, 2013
#285 / Sharing
An article in the October 11, 2013 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle discussed "sharing" in the context of transportation. The headline in the printed edition of the article (by business reporter Benny Evangelista) says "Sharing rides now a global trend." The article was stimulated by a Shared-Use Mobility Summit, held this last week on October 10th and 11th, and organized by UC Berkeley's Transportation Sustainability Research Center.
While the article focused on how the "shared use" principle is becoming important in the context of our transportation system, we know that the same kind of approach is also being tried in other contexts, too. Think of Airbnb as one example. Tool sharing cooperatives are also becoming popular.
"Sharing," in other words, might start supplementing the most typical approach our society uses to determine how resources are allocated, the "ownership" principle. It is conceivable that our society might someday "depend" on sharing, and when that happens, the idea of what actually constitutes legal "ownership" might change.
Could it be that our system of social relationships, established through law, might start recognizing an actual "obligation" to share?
It is certainly not impossible that we might ultimately find a way to transform our idea of what it means to live in society. Maybe the existing legal system, which justifies and is built upon the personal confiscation of wealth by individuals, utilizing the principle we call "ownership," can be reconfigured.
Do we fancy that thought?