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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 46 of the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom’s important 1990 book, Governing the Commons:

Predictions that individuals will not devise, precommitt to, and monitor their own rules to change the structure of interdependent situations so as to obtain joint benefits are not consistent with evidence that some individuals have overcome these problems, although others have not.

DBx: The book from which this quotation is drawn is the one that likely won for Lin Ostrom the Nobel Prize.  In it she offers compelling empirical evidence that the real world, while not close to any of many imagined ‘ideals,’ does indeed contain many actual instances of ordinary individuals solving collective-action problems on their own, without central direction, and in ways that arguably are about as good as any real-world human institutions are able to deal with such challenges.