After work monday, (10 hr day – full day rate!) I headed out to Michelle and Alana’s to visit and see a lecture entitled “Globalization and its discontents”. Hanging out with Alana before michelle got home was enjoyable, we went shopping at a store with no english and she bought take out greek food at a pizza place. We walked to the lecture, which I found very enjoyable, (Alana not so much – her shoes are bad). I would not have thought to walk to the lecture, but it only took about 45 minutes.
The lecture itself featured two speakers: Joseph E. Siglitz, the author of the book “Globalization and its Discontents” (also the winner of the nobel prize (not really the nobel prize) of economics for his work on imperfect information in 2001), and Dr. Stefano Zamagni. Zamagni stole the show; his accent quickly won over the crowd, and his style of speaking kept people entertained in a way that Siglizt was unable. Also, he attacked problems at a much more fundamental level. For example, during question period two questions were posed at once so the speakers could pick which question they would like to awnser. After two questions, Stiglizt choose to briefly describe the obvious and simple concept of imperfect information; something which many in the room could have done more adaquatly. Zamagni choose to attack specifically the question which had attacked the position taken up by Stiglitz for saying that 99% of economists are wrong, by speaking briefly about the assumptions of classical economics and their insanity. This was emblamatic of the lecture in General; Stiglitz explained simple problems well and offered reasonable solutions, whereas Zamagni explained complex problems and attacked them at an epistomological level. Perhaps his most important point was about how we are no longer plagued primarily with conflicts of interest, but rather with conflicts of identity. Whereas a “conflict of interest” assumes that people want things, want to have things, conflicts of identity have to do with how people in power self identify/wish to be identified as and how that produces and guides their decision making process. A simple example of this is the gay marriage bill: the church appealed to the ‘concience’ of MPs, in other words their identity as Christians. Many of them decided that their religious identity was in conflict with their civic identity and chose their civic identity as a basis for their decision in the free vote. Zamagni’s point was that we generally assume that we can deal with conflicts of identity in the same way as we dealt with conflicts of interest; in terms of what people have/want/are in a position to get. But, in a profound way conflicts of idenity are not about having but rather about being. Thus, the almost Heidegarian phrase: “the conflict of identity must be deliniated in the dimension of being”.
After walking back to Michelle’s house, Michelle’s student Marc came over. Speaking with him in French, with Alana, was enjoyable. He was from montreal, but recently living in Quebec City. I played songs on Alana’s guitar, and eventually went to sleep on their futon. This was because Alana and I had decided to see Ugetsu+4 at CBC’s studio 1 on the next day at noon. The concert was really excellent, we were lucky to even get in it was so packed. I stayed for both sets, Alana stayed for only one but thoroughly enjoyed it. I spoke briefly with the drummer after the second set, asking him if he did in fact have three ride cymbals. He responded: “Three cymbals. You can ride them, crash them, whatever you want. A cymbal is a cymbal.” Does anyone have a comment on this statement? I suppose if you have thin rides that are 16-18 inch, they arn’t really one or the other. Still, my brothers drum set definitly has one cymbal whch is a crash, and one which is a ride. No doubting that.
Today I got called into work at the last minute, and had to cancel my awesome plans to go to the jazzz fest with my little brother. I actually momentarily forgot about my plans, and I really should have turned down work to hang out with simon. But, on the plus side I am 160$ richer (some of which I will use to buy Salmon and beer for monday’s party).
See some of you on monday!