Jul 27, 2021Liked by Adam Lerner

Glad to learn about Ostrom! Many thanks.

More than 10,000 years of Indigenous history here, in Australia, and in regions of Africa and round the world disprove the Tragedy of the Commons. When the colonists arrived, Turtle Island was a set of interlocking, well-managed ecosystem that was optimized for each Tribe and region in deepest reciprocity (Braiding Sweetgrass) not a wild frontier. I've just finished Dr. Apela Colorado's delicious _Woman Between The Worlds_, which came out last week (print, audio - the latter I recommend as always). She is the founder of the World Indigenous Science Network, and is the author of such papers as "To Re-Enact is to Remember: Envisioning a Shamanic Research Protocol in Archeology." reading the latter now, and finding much resonance between her work and Ostrom's. And what are Tribal regions other than " multiple centers of semiautonomous decision-making in overlapping, optimally sized groups."?

And Prosocial, my goodness, exactly: "a wholly new environment in which we’re asked to cooperate, not just with those we know well but also with people who are practically strangers—that is, not just with “us” but also with “them.” What we will come to realize is that it is ALL "us." But after centuries of rule by divide and conquer, that will take some work and process of undoing, relearning.

We do so in large part by going inside first, discovering self-love, self-compassion, and only then returning to the commons to begin to share and relate from that place. This is where Axelrod and almost any other social scientists/economists lose the thread. Tit for tat only matters to Homo Economicus, who as Della Duncan has declared, is dead -- if he ever actually existed other than as a lever to convince us that we should all be living from a sense of scarcity and self-interest, so the wealth could keep moving up to the oligarchy.

It strikes me today, that none of these complex social systems and solutions are needed if we relate from love and from a sense of the sacred (Gaia, sacred self and sacred other). These systems are all, in fact, coming from a need to control what cannot be controlled. I sympathize, it is a very human impulse. We can restore the balance of the sacred masculine and feminine, which has for a few thousand years been horrifically out of balance. Within ourselves and within our societies.

"Each of us must step up to create the structural conditions for the communities we need to emerge." Yes! And we start by creating those conditions within ourselves.

Finally, also yes, a group can become an evolutionary entity - is anything ever not? We all evolve as individuals and as a collective. Everything is evolving at all times.

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Jul 31, 2021Liked by Adam Lerner

I found myself a bit mesmerized by this helpful explanation of something that is universally known but not understood. I believe that, at a fundamental and intuitive level, all humans (perhaps all sentient beings) understand that: we are relational beings, we are all interconnected and that our immediate context can provide the richest experience for decision making, living and being. Yet, so few in my own immediate community context truly understand this. It is so curious how Ostrom has provided a rational understanding of this idea in a way which validates ancient knowledge but provides language and structure those who are open to hearing it. So...we are relational beings for whom our immediate context (small groups) provide the richest experience for creating new and better futures. This is ancient and powerful wisdom. -Mike den Haan

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