I’ve lost the fork that was given as part of the cooking utensils for each student in Seminar House. Even though I’ve bought a pair of chopsticks, I still cook and eat meals that are most suited to a knife and fork. You may wonder how I manage to eat without a fork – the simple answer is “With great difficulty”. This is why communal property is a mistake. Without an individual feeling they have a stake in something, they won’t invest the effort needed for its upkeep and continued respect. They won’t clean stuff, and they’ll steal other stuff to make up for it. The maintenance of publicly owned goods (common land and such) is one of the bigger dilemnas of any community. To the best of my knowledge, no one has yet come up with a perfect solution, but if one exists, it probably steers a course between individual rights and community responsibilities.
The political philosophy section of the post over, I’ll now talk about the weather. It got warmer today, for the first time in a long while. This may be the start of spring. I hope it is, as I’m taking a trip with some friends to an onsen this weekend. Ah, the first blush of spring, when nature is reborn anew. What better time to sit back in a big steaming tub full of naked, middle-aged Japanese men?