On the Commons

Commons Magazine

On the Commons
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Commons Magazine

Commons Magazine is your gateway to the latest thinking and action in the commons movement. We pay close attention to how communities around the world are discovering the commons as a way to solve problems and to share what belong to all of us equitably – including future generations. You’ll find profiles of everyday people making a difference, groundbreaking ideas that will prove useful in your own life, as well as current news examined in fresh ways through a commons lens.

January 2006 Edition

Is It Still Possible to Make Great Public Places Today?

Is it still possible to make great public places today? Yes, but we must unlearn many of the modern era's design rules.

On the Value of Public Spaces

A new movement arises to champion public spaces, and it's about more than aesthetics. Without congenial places to gather, democracy withers, and our sense of community disappears.

Whose Atmosphere Is It?

A plan to curb greenhouse gases essentially gives the sky above seven U.S. states to polluting companies.

Nanotechnology: For Richer or Poorer?

Nanotechnology is getting the biggest push from the U.S. government of any science project since the Apollo space program. But little thought has gone into the possible side effects of this revolutionary technology.

December 2005 Edition

Open Source Celebration

Open-source celebration: ringing in the new year as a commons.

How They Broke the Peace

A World War I Christmas truce called by the troops, not the generals, shows the magical power of cooperation and basic humanity.

Coming Soon: Land Grab At Amtrak

No way to run a railroad. Amtrak undermined by the Bush Administration.

Oligopoly, Inc. 2005: New Report on Concentration in Corporate Power

Oligopoly rising: the concentration of corporate wealth and power rises to new, alarming levels.

Tech Businesses Recognize the Power of a Knowledge Commons

Tech businesses recognize the power of the commons to spread knowledge and boost new businesses.

The Public Trust Doctrine: Venerable and Besieged

The ancient public trust doctrine protects our drinking water, beach access, and other public rights in our own resources. But it is being challenged in the courts today.

Our Public Lands Remain Safe – For Now

A scandalous bill to practically give away millions of acres of public land fails.

Creationism, Evolution and "Metaphysical Repression"

Questions about evolution, creationism, the creator, and the origins of life.

The Best Science That Money Can Buy

The best science that money can buy. A new scandal about drug companies placing positive articles about their products in respected medical journals.

Seedy Business: Plant Preemption Bills Stalking State Capitals

Biotech giants throw their weight around to stop local communities from restricting use of GMO crops and products.

Online Commons and the Reinvention of Journalism

As the mainstream media struggles with declining audiences, the commons of online journalism flourishes.

US Rejects Generics Even for Public Health Emergencies

Under drug industry influence, U.S. policy rejects the use of generic drugs, even for public health emergencies.

Who Decides Who's Sick?

Is shortness a disease? How about shyness? In search of fatter profits, the drug industry invents new diseases.

Unpaid Work as a Form of Social Wealth

Unpaid work in the home and the community – often done by women – is an immense form of social wealth overlooked by economists.

Terminator Technology and Seed Industry Consolidation

Farmers around the world are increasingly forced to use GMO seeds.

Terminator Seed Technology - It's Back!

Terminator seeds are back. Despite passionate protests from every corner of the globe, biotech corporations are introducing sterile seeds that cannot be saved for next year's crop.

Umatilla County, Oregon network for emergency, public safety and onion farming

One of the largest wi-fi networks in the U.S. was installed in rural Oregon as a safety precaution in case of a spill at a military nerve gas storage depot.

November 2005 Edition

The End of a Long, Strange Journey?

In a controversial move for a band that viewed its fans as family, the Grateful Dead is trying to stop unauthorized computer downloads of its music.

Macedonia gets countrywide Wi-Fi

Macedonia is the first country in the world to get a nationwide wireless network.

Market Boundaries and the Commons of a Conservative

Ideas associated with the commons find surprising support among some political conservatives.