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22 SEPTEMBER 2016

Elinor Ostrom and the solution to the tragedy of the commons

Elinor Ostrom's "research concerned the governance of common resources (also known as commons). The commons are natural resources, like land for grazing, fishing areas, forests for timber, water for the irrigation of farmland, and also more intangible resources, like knowledge, for which it is very expensive to control and fence in 'user' consumption. The problem with these types of resources, as shown in 1968 by Garrett Hardin (but Aristotle had already observed a similar phenomenon) is that they are over-exploited, or at least their care and sustainability is overlooked by users. The reason is that people behave opportunistically (like free-riders) and consider the resource they are accessing, without the possibility of being excluded, as a free resource, and they therefore maximize their private benefits but neglect, or collectivize, the costs.

Hardin coined the phrase 'tragedy of the commons' to describe this phenomenon and gave social sciences one of the most evocative metaphors after Adam Smith’s 'invisible hand'. These two metaphors are effective because they capture two essential social situations in marked contrast to one another. When social interactions are guided by an invisible hand, they reconcile individual choice and socially desirable results, whereas in the tragedy of the commons, individuals pursuing their private objectives cause disastrous consequences for themselves and others. The solution to the tragedy of the commons, before the contribution of Ostrom and her studies, was to privatize resources or, in a diametrically opposite view, to form a Leviathan state in order to manage them.

Instead, Ostrom demonstrated that, within communities, rules and institutions of non-market and not resulting from public planning can emerge from the bottom up to ensure a sustainable, shared management of resources, as well as one that is efficient from an economical point of view. Besides the village of Törbel, Ostrom shows examples of common lands in the Japanese villages of Hirano and Nagaike, the huerta irrigation mechanism between Valencia, Murcia and Alicante in Spain, and the zanjera irrigation community in the Philippines. Also, the property in the form of 'vicinale', neighborhoods, typical of regions of Italy like Emilia, the Belluno and the Ticino, are also collective institutions, although not investigated by Ostrom. The argument then has a more modern example if one notices that even the 'Wikipedia community' is a form of successful collective institution of a communal resource (knowledge)."

(Flavio Felice, Massimiliano Vatiero, 27 June 2012)

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Adam Smith • American political economist • assets • Belluno • bottom-up organisation • collective institutions • collective interests • common pool resources (CPR) • common propertycommons • communal resource • economic governance • economic science • Elinor Ostrom • Emilia • English Industrial Revolution • exploitationfencing • Flavio Felice • Garrett Hardin • governance of common resources • Hirano • huerta irrigation mechanism • individual choice • invisible hand • Karl Polanyi • land management • Massimiliano Vatiero • Nagaike • natural resourcesopportunism • over-exploitation • political economics • political economist • political economyprivate control • privatisation • privatisation of land • public government • public planning • resource managementsocial interactionssocial situation • socially desirable results • sustainabilitysustainability thinking • Ticino • Torbel • tragedy of the commons • vicinale • Wikipedia • Wikipedia community • zanjera irrigation community

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
18 SEPTEMBER 2016

The Metaphors That Research Students Live By

"In this paper I report a study of the ways in which research students think about their research. I took a unique approach by using metaphor analysis to study the students' conceptions. The research students in this study were recruited for an on - line survey at an Australian research - intensive university in which they answered questions relating to their conceptions of research. Five categories of metaphors for research were arrived at which I have labelled metaphors of space, metaphors of travel, metaphors of action, metaphors of the body and metaphors of ordeal. These metaphors provide useful information about the ways that the students visualise their research and their conceptions of what it entails."

(Rod Pitcher, 2013)

Pitcher, R. (2013). 'The Metaphors That Research Students Live By'. The Qualitative Report, 18(36), 1-8. Retrieved from http://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol18/iss36/3

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Angela Brew • Australian National University • Claire Gubbins • Daniel Andriessen • George Lakoff • Gerlese Akerlind • Mark Johnsonmetaphor analysis • Metaphor Identification Procedure (MIP) • metaphors of action • metaphors of ordeal • metaphors of space • metaphors of the body • metaphors of travel • metaphors structure our thinking • Pragglejaz Group • research metaphors • research students • Rod Pitcher • Rudolf Schmitt • systematic process • Thomas Steger

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
11 SEPTEMBER 2016

Satirical repurposing: Australian Politicians as kindergarten kids

"Giving credence to the theory that our entire country is run by children, Parkinson has taken some of the brattiest members of Australia’s 45th Parliament, including dibber dobber George Brandis, nap-time enthusiast Derryn Hinch and that weird kid named Cory who just wants someone to pay attention to him, and seamlessly inserted them into Arnold Schwarzenegger’s criminally underrated 1990 comedy Kindergarten Cop."

(Tom Clift, 11/9/2016)

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ABC News (Australia) • Arnold Schwarzenegger • Australian Labor PartyAustralian Liberal Party • Australian Parliament • Australian politics • Bill Shorten • Derryn Hinch • ferret • George Brandis • head replacement • humour • Huw Parkinson • Jacqui Lambie • Kindergarten Cop (1990) • Linda Hunt • Malcolm Turnbull • mash-up • messing up the place • parody • Pauline Hanson • political satirepolitician caricaturePrime Ministerre-purposerepurposing • run by children • Sam Dastyari • satirical illustration • video compositing

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
09 SEPTEMBER 2016

Yoann Bourgeois: Celui qui tombe // la Scène nationale d'Orléans

"Yoann Bourgeois se situe à l’exact point de rencontre entre les arts de la danse et du cirque. Son dernier spectacle, Celui qui tombe, rêve de l’exact “point de suspension” cher aux circassiens: l’instant imperceptible, ouvert à tous les possibles, où un objet projeté dans les airs semble marquer un arrêt avant de retomber. Celui qui tombe se joue sur un plateau mobile, qui ne cesse de s’incliner, tanguer, tourner, aller de son ballant. Six interprètes se tiennent dessus, faisant face dans l’instant au jeu des forces qui anime ce support, dont ils ne sont pas maîtres. Philosophiquement, on sera libre d’y voir une métaphore de la condition humaine. Artistiquement, voilà une nouvelle idée du geste: le corps reçoit une force, avant que de prétendre produire une forme. L’acteur accepte de se laisser traverser par les puissances du monde, au lieu de prétendre les soumettre. Et c’est vertigineux."

"Six performers appear to defy the laws of gravity, responding with strength and grace to maintain balance on board a constantly shifting platform."

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2017 • Celui qui tombe • Cie Yoan Bourgeois • dance performance • defy gravity • Dimitri Jourde • Elise Legros • Francesca Ziviani • Jean-Baptiste Andre • Julien Cramillet • maintaining balance • Marie Fonte • Mathieu Bleton • rotating platform • rotating stage • shifting platform • silent drama • spinning platform • theatre space • Vania Vaneau • visually dramatic • wooden platform • Yoann Bourgeois

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 SEPTEMBER 2016

George Lakoff: Idea Framing, Metaphors, and Your Brain

UC Berkeley Professor George Lakoff discusses concepts from his 2008 book, The Political Mind: Why You Can't Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th-Century Brain.

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2008brain networks • breaking the frame • Charles Fillmore • cognitive linguistics • cognitive strategy • Commonwealth Club of California • conceptual framing • cultural narratives • embodied mind • Erving Goffman • fora.tv • frame analysis • frame elements • framingGeorge Lakoff • human thinking • idea framing • institutions • Jerry Feldman • Joe Epstein • linguistic construction • linguisticsmetaphormetaphor analysis • metaphors are political • metaphors structure our thinking • mutual inhibition • neural circuit • neural computation • political behaviour • political behaviour and society • primary metaphor • Rockridge Institute • roles • scenarios • structured frames • the way we think • thinking in terms of metaphors

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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