Lovely comment thread – we can have nice things on the internet 🙂
I know part of your point was a more practical one about how can ppl without credit cards get domains, but the general points you (and then Audrey) raise about ownership are interesting and something I’ve pondered a few times. There are cultural perspectives on it too I think – for instance in Germany home ownership is quite unusual (or it was when I was there), but people had very long tenancy agreements (20 plus years). So people did feel that they ‘owned’ the house to some extent ie they viewed it as their home and would put resource into it. And of course some cultures believe that you should leave the smallest impact on the planet, so ownership isn’t really promoted.
Maybe ownership isn’t a binary but a continuum – after all I don’t own my house if I’m paying the mortgage, but I own it more than someone on a 6 month rental contract. Sorry, I think I’m rambling now – I will go away and think about it. Thanks for kicking it off