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Failure to communicate as a tragedy of the commons

Bruce Schneier suggests that incompatibility among communication systems used by emergency workers is the result of a tragedy of the commons. He calls it a "collective action problem."

Although there may be subtle differences, "tragedy of the commons", "collective action problem", "prisoners' dilemma", "coordination problem", and the "free-rider problem" all seem similar enough that a solution to any of them would be at least a partial solution to all of them. It's a shame that researchers working on similar problems can't all agree to use the same terminology, to facilitate communication among disciplines. But the first brave researchers to switch to the common terminology would find their papers dropping into obscurity within their own disciplines, where decisions about grants and promotions are made...

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