In the economical sense, a public good is any good where no individual can be stopped from accessing it, and one individual accessing the good does not exclude another individual from using it.
A good example of a public good is software/information. Once a piece of code is written, it can be replicated and reused without being zero-sum.
Common goods are goods where no individual can be stopped from accessing it, but it does cause someone else to lose access to it. Common goods typically observe the tradedy of the commons.
In the web3 ecosystem, some smart contract deployments are considered public goods, as they are both permissionless (non-excludable), and non-rivalrous (one person using it doesn’t take away from another person). An example is Uniswap.
This more broadly leads to conversations like
- Hyperstructures which propose that humanity evolves towards playing more positive-sum games.
Other Related Meanderings: