Talk:Comedy of the commons

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Article should be Deleted[edit]

This is a argument against the tragedy of the commons, not an independent idea.( (talk) 22:29, 20 March 2010 (UTC))

I don't believe that's the case. Under some circumstances tragedy of the commons occurs. Under other conditions inverse commons occurs.Woz2 (talk) 23:33, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Cornucopia of the Commons[edit]

Dan Bricklin wrote an article “The Cornucopia of the Commons: How to get volunteer labor” which should be mined and cited here. See: --Lbeaumont (talk) 01:50, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia itself as an example of inverse commons?[edit]

Wikipedia itself is a prime example of inverse commons so I think it should be mentioned here. Woz2 (talk) 03:22, 28 December 2011 (UTC)


I think this article should be moved to comedy of the commons (because the original citation called it that and it smacks of WP:OR to use a different name). The lead should explain that "comedy" is in the sense of "drama with a happy outcome." Thoughts? Woz2 (talk) 23:33, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree completely, especially in view of the fact that inverse commons doesn't even make sense, or at least does not fit the intended meaning. Inverse tragedy of the commons would be the correct title, but that would be OR as well if it's not found in the sources. I'm taking this to WP:RM. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 10:11, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. Jenks24 (talk) 15:54, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Inverse commonsComedy of the commonsInverse commons is nonsense (what is meant is not the inverse of the commons themselves – which would at best be the anticommons as in the tragedy of the anticommons – but the inverse of the tragedy of the commons) and original terminology to boot. Better stick with the term used in the original citation, which is fine, as comedy simply means "drama with a happy outcome" here (as per User:Woz2 above), just as tragedy does not refer to the literary genre in this context, so the objection that comedy is somehow inappropriate here can be safely dismissed. Florian Blaschke (talk) 15:46, 18 July 2012 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Support - I can at least affirm that "comedy of the commons" is more ...erm... common. Marcus Qwertyus 05:20, 19 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - as per argument above. Malick78 (talk) 15:12, 25 July 2012 (UTC)


Any additional comments:
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


Does this really need to be such a narcissistic wankathon? For gods' sakes, use examples which are actually related to the tragedy of the commons argument. (talk) 10:57, 3 December 2013 (UTC)

sources in this article[edit]

The sources in this article are... substandard (with one exception) to say the least.

  • This one is the one exception. But this is just one article. Has it been cited widely? Was it successful at popularizing the term? Is it enough to make the term warrant an article? Anyway...
  • This one is a personal webpage. Hence it's not reliable. WP:RS.
  • This is a potentially legitimate source but... it doesn't say anything about "comedy of the commons" (maybe I missed it). It's just a criticism of Hardin's article on the *Tragedy* of the commons.
  • This one is just a link to a... Wikipedia help page. Wikipedia cannot be used as a source for itself. Not reliable.
  • This... well I'm not sure if it's reliable or not but it certaintly doesn't say anything about the "comedy of the commons"
  • Again not actually about the topic.

The whole thing is clumsily assembled original research with crappy sourcing about a term that seems to have appeared in a journal article once.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:20, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

Rename to Criticism of the tragedy of the commons or something else[edit]

The title of the article 'Comedy of the commons' seem problematic to me. Some take it to refers generally to 'Positive outcomes of the commons', while others think it refers to an theory specifically called 'Comedy of the commons'. My suggestion would be to call it 'Criticism of the tragedy of the commons', as the 'Comedy of the commons' and related terms seem to be a reaction to Tragedy of the commons. Note originally the article was called 'inverse commons'. Also, 'comedy' seems a bad choice of word to me because while a comedy definitely should have humour it could be light or dark.Jonpatterns (talk) 17:56, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

It could also be called 'triumph of the commons'. 'Comedy' is just a pun on the word 'tragedy' of course.
Generally speaking you should use the terms that are in most common usage, which seems to be 'comedy of the commons'. Wikipedia's norm is that it's normally a bad idea to invent your own self explanatory name for an article.GliderMaven (talk) 18:01, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
The article should be deleted and any useful stuff moved over to the article on the Tragedy of the Commons where there already is a "Criticism" section. There's nothing profound, or unique, or revolutionary here - just a source or two which shows that sometimes people manage to solve the Tragedy of the Commons.Volunteer Marek (talk) 18:20, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

Google Scholar gives more results for "comedy of the commons" than "triumph of the commons":

Term GScholar #
"triumph of the commons" 153
"comedy of the commons" 1,120
"tragedy of the anticommons" 2,990

The therefore I withdraw my support for a rename. Jonpatterns (talk) 18:29, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

the problem is that these sources do not use the term "comedy of the commons" in the same, consistent way.Volunteer Marek (talk) 18:32, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Most seem to be referring to the Carol Rose essay, which seems to be notable. Jonpatterns (talk) 18:47, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Thanks for this helpful information. I think there's room for expansion of the Tragedy of the commons#Criticisms section. If the latter gets too large then it could be spun off to its own article. In the meanwhile, merging these disparate critiques/ responses makes sense... Regards, DA Sonnenfeld (talk) 20:03, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

verification tags[edit]

[1]. Because GliderMaven is failing to provide page numbers, links, or publishing info or anything but the barest of information, it is impossible to verify whether or not the sources actually support the claims being made, or if this is simply another instance of original research and synthesis.

Please provide sufficient info and links when possible.Volunteer Marek (talk) 01:07, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

That's not how Wikipedia or any of this works. It's your job as an editor/reader to track down the references and read them. Note that references don't even have to be available online to be used in Wikipedia. Just because you couldn't be bothered to do so, doesn't make it OR or synthesis.GliderMaven (talk) 02:34, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
No, it's your job to provide sufficient information so that the information can be verified. Please see WP:V.
Sure, they don't have to be online. But then I can request you to provide the relevant passages here on talk page, since, presumably, you posses, or at least have read, the sources you're putting in.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:36, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
For example, this "citation":
The Drama of the Commons By Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change, National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Board on Environmental Change and Society
Have you actually read it? Because I have, and it actually contradicts the text it's suppose to be citing.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:47, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Oh really? Please quote me the relevant section. I absolutely did refer to it. Unlike you I do actually do that. Indeed, I now have a complete copy in front of me- all 534 pages.GliderMaven (talk) 03:14, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
I can't help but note that word "now" in "I now have...". As in "I didn't before when I put the citation in". But whatever. So... where does this source say anything to support the claim that "The term comedy of the commons appears to have originated in an essay by legal scholar, Carol M. Rose in 1986".Volunteer Marek (talk) 03:27, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, as stated, I had previously referred to it, although reading it again it claims she mentioned it in 1994 and that McCay that apparently used it back in 1987. So what? None of that changes a comedy into a tragedy, and the source doesn't contradict the statement, and it's a perfectly good source, and on topic. And the source consistently refers to comedy and tragedies of the commons as different things.GliderMaven (talk) 04:19, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Elinor Ostrom[edit]

Let's be serious for a second. Elinor Ostrom did not get the Noble prize for any work about some "comedy of the commons". She got her (very well deserved) Noble for her work on the TRAGEDY of the commons. Yes, one of the main themes of her work is that successful societies often come up with rules and conventions which allow them to solve the tragedy of the commons (part of what makes them successful in fact). The editor who is doing the original research on this article appears to believe that this somehow invalidates the idea that the "Tragedy of the Commons" is a valid concern. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't (honestly, what it suggests is a very shallow and superficial understanding of the idea). But who cares. Either way, this is original research and just a desperate attempt to make a non-notable concept appear notable.Volunteer Marek (talk) 01:06, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Look I don't know how you got this idea stuck in your head, but that's exactly what she got her Nobel prize for. She got her prize for establishing the conditions under which commons do not suffer from tragedy of the commons, in the real world. That's what the comedy of the commons is.
I'm certainly not saying that tragedy of the commons isn't a real thing-it certainly does happen, and it is not very uncommon; it's just that commons don't always go that way, it depends on the details. And that's what this article is about; it's about those commons that don't suffer from the tragedy.GliderMaven (talk) 02:02, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Show me a source which says that Ostrom got the Noble prize for "comedy of the commons". Then we can't end this. If you can't then please drop this gross misrepresentation.
(and no, you even get the rest of it wrong. This "comedy of the commons" is suppose to be about how, apparently, quote: "the presence of more people can in some cases, cause a commons to work better". Or maybe it's about (again, according to just you) "the conditions under which commons do not suffer from tragedy of the commons". It's sort of telling that you can't even settle on a consistent definition of what this article is suppose to be about. Anyway, while both of these may be related to Ostorm's work, they are NOT actually what she got the Noble prize for. She got the Noble for demonstrating how society SOLVE the tragedy of the commons. I hope the distinction is not too subtle here).Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:26, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
That's exactly like saying a book on how to successfully run a business is about bankruptcy. I mean the book on running businesses may mention bankruptcy, as something to avoid, but that's not the primary topic, it's not really what it's about. Her work was about rules and games theory and economics and so forth.
She genuinely didn't get her Nobel prize on the tragedy of the commons, I have never read a single claim that that's actually what she got it for. A book on how to avoid tragedy of the commons is not actually about tragedy of the commons.GliderMaven (talk) 02:42, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
No, it's not "exactly like", it's rather "nothing like". Rather than making me read your own personal opinions, show me a freakin' source.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:48, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
(and Noble prizes aren't given out for "a book").Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:49, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Depends on the book. Her work was on tragedy of the commons in exactly the same way that an engineering book on aeroplanes is about plane crashes; in both cases the whole book is about how to avoid them. Aerospace engineering is not a branch of air crash science, they aer both a branch of aerospace; and comedy of the commons is not a branch of tragedy of the commons; they are both to do with the economics and politics and games theory of the commons.GliderMaven (talk) 03:04, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Show me a source which says Ostrom got the Noble prize for "comedy of the commons".Volunteer Marek (talk) 03:27, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes: [2].GliderMaven (talk) 04:49, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
From what I can see, that does NOT say that she "got the Noble prize for "comedy of the commons". It says she got the Noble prize for her "insightful analysis for why commons governance had failed or succeeded in the past". The idea that this the same thing is solely your own imagination and original research. There is nothing there which is about how " the presence of more people can in some cases, cause a commons to work better".
Ostrom got the Noble prize for studying the TRAGEDY of the commons and under what circumstances it applied. Show me a source which says Ostrom got the Noble prize for "comedy of the commons".Volunteer Marek (talk) 05:41, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Which bit of commons governance... succeeded didn't you understand??? She didn't study the failure of the commons. She studied the situations in which they were, and are successful. That's what she got her Nobel Prize for.
She didn't criticise the idea. Criticism is, ultimately, simply saying stuff about stuff.
No, she went out in the real world and did research, scientifically analysed and published research that was peer reviewed, and got the ultimate scientific prize for it. The tragedy of the commons by way of contrast just an essay, she actually did a whole bunch of real world research.GliderMaven (talk) 00:53, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry but at this point it's obvious that there is no point in discussing this any further with you. You simply have no idea as to what in the world you're talking about and you seem hell bend on being stubborn about it. Now, if you had no idea what you were talking about but you were open to listening to others that'd be one thing. If you were stubborn but actually had a semblance of a clue that'd also have potential. But this is a double whammy and I got better things to do with my time than put up with this nonsense on WIkipedia. So for the last time, no, Elinor Ostrom did NOT get the Noble prize for studying some "comedy of the commons" because that's not actually that notable enough of a concept (except in your imagination). If there's a college or university where you live, I suggest you contact someone in the econ or law department and ask them "did Elinor Ostrom get the Noble Prize for studying commedy of the commons". Their answer we'll be "huh?". And maybe if you hear it from them, you might actually listen, because here you're just going to keep up with this WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT.Volunteer Marek (talk) 05:51, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Well, I can see that you think your opinion, or the opinion of other people is more important than what the references say; but in Wikipedia we follow the references; sorry if you've misunderstood that key point.GliderMaven (talk) 16:44, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

It states on the Nobel Prize website that Ostrom got her nobel prize for:

  • Challenged the conventional wisdom by demonstrating how local property can be successfully managed by local commons without any regulation by central authorities or privatization. link

So it was neither for tragedy nor comedy of the commons. Although, it was more to do with the concept successful commons than unsuccessful commons.Jonpatterns (talk) 16:00, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

No, this article is only called 'comedy of the commons' due to WP:COMMONNAMES- the article - all articles in wikipedia potentially - can be renamed at the drop of a hat pretty much. But the idea of what the article is about is supposed to remain nevertheless the same.GliderMaven (talk) 16:44, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

RfC Should this article be about the phrase or concept of 'Comedy of the Commons'[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Closed as pointless - no such article any more. Expanding the article it was merged into is a different matter, but should be discussed there, not here. --GRuban (talk) 19:26, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

There is some disagreement over what this article should be about just the phrase 'Comedy of the Commons', or if it should generally be about the concept 'successful commons' - which is referred to by some as 'Comedy of the Commons'. Also, see Tragedy of the commons a phrase that refers to the concept of a 'unsuccessful commons'. Jonpatterns (talk) 16:00, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Survey 'concept' or 'phrase'[edit]


Per 'Wikipedia is not a dictionary' articles are on concepts, not phrases.GliderMaven (talk) 16:46, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

  • Comment - I'd just like to point out that there's no point in this discussion as the outcome of the AfD was merge.Volunteer Marek (talk) 20:33, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Relist discussion[edit]

@King of Hearts, Volunteer Marek, Altenmann, DASonnenfeld, GliderMaven, De Guerre, and Andrew Davidson: @SPECIFICO, Meatsgains, and Markbassett:

The result of Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Comedy of the commons (2nd nomination) was merge. However, it seems to me the topic of the article was not decided when AfD was held. Perhaps that should be decided and then a new AfD listed?Jonpatterns (talk) 10:32, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

  • Too fucking late, you should have voted keep. As it was, your vote carried the day. Good luck trying to merge it with either of the two suggestions, it's essentially impossible, neither of them are the same topic in any sense, it's like trying to merge apples and oranges into one article.GliderMaven (talk) 21:17, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
@GliderMaven:Its never too late, I've seen many articles revived. Sometimes topics became more notable as more research is done. Also, articles can be worked on in draft space or user space. In my opinion articles with reasonable content but questionable notability should automatically be moved to draft space rather than deleted.
Regarding apples and oranges, I feel you are under emphasising the connection between the different topics.
Also, if editors don't assumed good faith when discussing options it can weaken their argument.Jonpatterns (talk) 09:46, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
You can relist if you want although it may be a good idea to wait some time, otherwise it may be taken as WP:FORUMSHOPPING. I think merging this to Tragedy of the Commons, particularly since the only relevant non-OR material is the Rose article, is not a problem at all and the AfD was fine.Volunteer Marek (talk) 16:53, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
You disgust me; your behaviour was ignorant and atrocious throughout this and remains so.GliderMaven (talk) 16:57, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
WP:NPA, please. Also, to all involved, this discussion should probably be had at WP:DRV. clpo13(talk) 16:59, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm entitled to my opinion of him and his disgusting behaviour; he revert warred the article in the middle of the AFD that he'd called to ensure the article got deleted.GliderMaven (talk) 17:07, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
If I wasn't as nice as I am - or if I cared at all what you think - you'd get reported and you'd get blocked.Volunteer Marek (talk) 19:21, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
  • Move on Nothing has changed since the relevant discussions took place and a decision was taken. This is over and done with. -The Gnome (talk) 05:39, 28 February 2016 (UTC)