The existence and degrees of influence and impact of COMMONS are on a 4 degree scale. We will use these scales and denominations to categorize the studies and proposals of COMMONS, Physical or Digital, that will be discussed on this site. This allows us to have a common vocabulary and references during the exchanges and thoughts that will be conducted.
- By definition, all Physical COMMONS, are local. They are always anchored in a territory. It can have a radius of influence on humans living near it from a few hundred meters (Pond) to several kilometers (Lake). The geometric notion of a circle represents this sphere of influence.
- For Production COMMONS (shared 3D printer for example), the local area, by its proximity to the inhabitants, producers and consumers of the goods produced by these COMMONS, is the ideal and sought-after size.
- There may be digital COMMONS only local. But their influence is by nature weak. And their existence is less relevant than, at least, National Digital COMMONS.
- The area of influence of such Physical COMMONS is the country in which they reside, in whole or in part. The Rhône is a national resource for Switzerland. But also for France. So is the Nile for Egypt and Sudan. In this level of influence, the geometric area is more a rectangle (for instance the edges of a river along its course) than a circle.
- This is the level at which digital COMMONS are beginning to have a strong impact because they potentially address all the inhabitants of a country, without limitation of use due to a particular geographical presence (Excluding the problem of Internet connection)
- They are COMMONS whose influence is at the size and scale of one of the 7 continents known as Africa, North America, South America (separated by the Panama Canal), Asia, Europe, Oceania and Antarctica. The 7 continents can be reduced to 6 or 5. The important thing is to understand the size and influence that COMMONS in this category must have. The Iguazú Falls can be considered as a COMMONS of Continent. Whether it is only for South America or for an American Continent including the South and the North.
- This is the COMMONS stage that potentially concerns all the inhabitants of the Earth. And the Planet.
- More than in previous degrees, Digital COMMONS take all their usefulness and power from this Universal level. These are all the tools and services that can be used by all the inhabitants of the Earth in a digital and virtual form, with all the advantages of the Digital. Knowledge, shared and evolving, at the service of all, diffused by the Digital is a form of Universal Digital COMMONS. But we are not yet at this stage. The concept of a Library and the presence of “Text” are completely outdated in relation to the issues and needs. But this example is typically a Universal COMMONS. It should be noted that this Digital COMMONS of Knowledge is to be distinguished from a Universal COMMONS of the History of Humanity, civilizations, countries, regions, cities, families. This can be done now with the available tools and in a more classic library concept. Another possible Universal Digital COMMONS is that of Inventions and Patents to be shared among all the inhabitants of the Earth.
- Universal level physical COMMONS are of key importance to Humanity. Note that for Physical COMMONS, the size of Universal COMMONS is not identical to the size of the Planet. But they are, for different reasons, and on different levels, of vital importance to Human Civilization. We can take the example of Amazonia as a universal COMMONS, with the cliché, of the Earth’s green lung. But Greenland, Antarctica and their masses of glaciers, and therefore of fresh water, can also be considered as Universal COMMONS. But rare metal nodules found, in particular, in the South Pacific, can and should be considered as Universal COMMONS. It is neither prudent nor appropriate to let them be managed solely by the Private Sector. Also, all Oil and Gas resources outside the territorial waters of the countries must be considered as Universal COMMONS. And moreover, all Raw Materials Resources in the broadest sense of the term, present on Earth (and in space) must be considered as Universal COMMONS to be exploited for the greater good of the greatest number.
P.S. There is no Regional scale because it is not, in any case, currently relevant, in the degrees of impact and influence of COMMONS. A Regional Physical COMMONS does not really exist. And a digital regional is also not relevant because of its potential to move to a national impact.