Persistent Nice Things
Two years ago I wrote in the blog about a naming party for Twin Oaks’ new Prius. We called the car “This is why we can’t have Nice Things.” When someone asked Kathryn, who was helping facilitate the naming party, why we selected this name she simply said:
Come back in a year and look at this car and you will understand why we decided to call it this.
Collectively, we are hard on things. Shared items (like cars and bikes and clothes) can get rough treatment sometimes, in part because there are a lot of users and in part because people often take better care of things they personally own. Communal property often has a rough ride with many owners/operators. But a funny thing happened on the way to the predicted tragedy of the commons. It did not happen.
Instead it seemed the communards were willing to take some greater responsibility for things which perhaps needed it. Now after over 2 years, Nice Things (as it is called for short) is in fine condition. And our intrepid vehicle manager Trout has taken advantage of this better-than-expected behavior.
He has bought 3 more hybrids.
Over 1/4 of the current car fleet at Twin Oaks is high fuel efficiency hybrid cars. Trout calculates that this saves us over $2K per hybrid per year.
So when someone tells you, “Sharing does not work, tragedy of the commons, and all that,” you can tell them about Nice Things.