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Jed Harris
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Jed Harris commented on a post on Blogger.
Interesting debate, though I think you are obviously right. 

Two comments: 

First, regarding "product of intentional efforts to accomplish something collectively" -- why limit that to "intentional" and "collectively"?  Traditional (counter)example: A path created by multiple individuals walking from one place to another in the most locally and individually convenient way.  I think this is actually typical of how a lot of institutions accrete. 

Second, there are institutions that are very strongly selected and as such do take on a strong functional character.  Examples could be a standard residential lease and various diplomatic or standards committee conventions.  They are very constrained by a commonly understood role and they form a complex schelling point that has survived a lot of extreme tests. 
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