The Commons
October 3, 2008 1:30 PM   Subscribe

It's the commons, our right of birth
And to you who would own everything all around the Earth
Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain
You who'd sacrifice the public good for your private gain
posted by finite (11 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
by David Rovics
posted by finite at 1:31 PM on October 3, 2008

Amen to that. We need the commons more then ever these days.
posted by wheelieman at 1:35 PM on October 3, 2008

This neo-Georgist approves of the sentiment, of course.
posted by troy at 1:38 PM on October 3, 2008

Exactly! I no longer donate blood or tissues for research unless the PI disclosure clearly states that the results will be open sourced and not patented.
posted by francesca too at 1:52 PM on October 3, 2008 [2 favorites]

I've just given up a far more lucrative but NDA compliant project for one that will allow me to document everything online that I learn about the way the poor manage money. Understanding other peoples and cultures is not IP to be protected, imho
posted by infini at 2:03 PM on October 3, 2008

He's no Woodie Guthrie.

Dug the lyrics, support the sentiment, hated the execution. Trent Rezno needs to remake this song. Of course if would have about 1/3 of the amount of lyrics.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:18 PM on October 3, 2008

Nice sentiments, yes, but when a poet is willing to be that loose with scansion it just gets on my nerves, and I start paying more attention to the talent in the execution than in the idea behind the work.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:48 PM on October 3, 2008

Yep, been a battle between public good and private gain for a long time - the two phrases were frequently juxtaposed in the 17th century (as show in mwhybark's link).

Sometimes it's more confusing though - what about a case where something is a private gain, and a bad thing for a small public, but a good for a large public? (working on this in some of my research - a debate over which side in a dispute could really claim to represent the "public good" - and both accusing the other of acting for "private gain").
posted by jb at 3:33 PM on October 3, 2008

Nice lyrics, but it's really a shame he chose to do it in a style that most people wouldn't listen to-- Can you really get angry listening to that?

Seconding the Trent Reznor cover.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:59 AM on October 4, 2008

jb, I'd be interested in your research if its open source. I'm looking at business models for 'serving hte poor profitably' and this issue comes up as one side you have for profit consumer product companies and on the other those at the bottom of the pyramid.
posted by infini at 4:24 AM on October 4, 2008

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