Saturday, 16 May 2009


Missmarketcrash had the pleasure of attending "The Battle for the Economy" this afternoon.  Fellow-blogger Leigh Caldwell was speaking in a session entitled "The rise and rise of behavioural economics".  I can report that he is even better in person and a very eloquent speaker. Leigh's fellow panelists were excellent and there were a few laughs interspersed with perfect timing.  It almost cured my hangover from last night's debaucheries with the irish neighbors.

The man sitting in front of me was eagerly clapping with just a tad too much enthusiasm.  My mind drifted and there I was, standing around in Speaker's Corner.  My one and only visit to Speaker's Corner eleven years ago opened in a pop-up window atop Leigh's lecture.  I listened to a chat by a man that could relate any topic back to football and philosophies that lie there-in.  And a few religious zealots.  And more.  Where ever I went, a little old man followed along.  At just the right comedic place in a speech, he would shout from the crowd at the speaker "NEWTONIA".  I began to follow him.

An experimental way of investigating something without hypothesis was one of the fundamentals of Newtonianism.  It was experimental with a big E and tended to throw away past assumptions and theory in favour of direct observation.  Back to Leigh's lecture. The debate as to whether behavioral economics is a valid perspective took sail and closed the pop-up window. But I was sitting there silently hoping the overenthusiastic man in front of me would rise up and shout "NEWTONIA".  

In the end, the madman did rise.  He delivered a garbled passionate plea that made no sense whatsoever.  And my hangover hurled itself full-force atop me and reminded me not to drink too much ever ever again, lest I become the man that wanders about shouting NEWTONIA.  Though it would have been just the right shout in this lecture that ambled around behavioural economics in relation to the current economic crisis.

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