Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DEBATE AT LOLITA BAR: Is Macroeconomics a Fiction? (plus econ, God, etc.)

From Keynes to stimulus to trade deficits to the algebraic relationship between inflation and unemployment, we hear the fate of civilization decided by people assuming macroeconomic analysis makes sense.

But this Thursday, Sept. 23 (8pm) on the basement level of Lolita Bar (266 Broome St. at Allen St., one block south of the Delancey St. F J M Z subway stop on Manhattan’s Lower East Side), Debates at Lolita Bar dares ask:

“Is Macroeconomics a Fiction?”

Yes: Saif Ammous, economics instructor at American University of Lebanon

No: Thomas Powers, of a mighty Wall Street concern

Moderator: Michel Evanchik

Host: Todd Seavey

The audience will bid on the correct answer at the end. Tell everyone about whom you care.


In related news:

Richard Epstein vs. Paul Krugman on macro

NPR with David Boaz on libertarianism (as pointed out to me by Ali Kokmen)

a critique (pointed out to me by Gerry Ohrstrom) of “locavores,” who were the target of debater Saif Ammous at a previous Debate at Lolita Bar

•the only thing dumber than a defense of labor unions, a defense of public sector unions

And in unrelated news, since yesterday was the official day of prayer for Christopher Hitchens (during which I witnessed neither Rapture nor Rupture):

•I note that he found the strength last week, here at the Cooper Union in NYC, to debate Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (with whom I got to see him mop the floor a couple years ago) on the question of whether there’s an afterlife. Mention that to any Christian halfwits who tell you there are no atheists in foxholes (or with throat cancer). Likewise, I will not be wasting my last moments on Earth calling for last rites, or imagining unicorns for that matter (pardon me, unicorns must exist because they are beautiful and move the human heart).

•If you think religion morally shores up capitalism (whereas in fact it’s the other way around), you might want to check out this report on what Islam-fueled Ahmadinejad thinks of markets.

•Meanwhile, at the Vatican money-laundering operation

•If it’s booty you worship, note my friend Reid Mihalko’s Sacred Sexuality RoundUp this weekend (I just report, you decide).

•Let us not forget that two of my most blasphemous friends said at the beginning of their appearance on Cash Cab that they were headed to no other destination than Lolita Bar (and at the end of the segment, one “Todd Seavey” is called for the winning answer, Leopold and Loeb).

•Michael Malice, who appears in that clip, is something of an existentialist, but then, so is the comic book superhero the Punisher, according to comics writer Steven Grant, who says:

Heidegger, who took Kierkegaard’s philosophy further, comes even closer to describing the Punisher: Since we can never hope to understand why we’re here, if there’s even anything to understand, the individual should choose a goal and pursue it wholeheartedly, despite the certainty of death and the meaninglessness of action [Note from Todd: That's stupid]. That’s sure the Punisher as I conceived him: a man who knows he’s going to die and who knows in the big picture his actions will count for nothing, but who pursues his course because this is what he has chosen to do.

(One more comics note: when assessing one’s life, I think it is important not to compare oneself to UK director Matthew Vaughn, who directed the funny superhero movie Kick-Ass, is directing next year’s X-Men: First Class about the beginnings of the Prof. X/Magneto rivalry fifty years ago, is friends with Guy Ritchie and Madonna [who is in her own way almost as cool as a punk], is married to and has two children with Claudia Schiffer, and has assembled a squad of ex-Ghurka soldiers to protect him and Claudia against reported stalkers, not so unlike something out of the school invasion sequence from X-Men 2.)

•And much as I enjoy being around my fellow anarchically-inclined folk, I must take a moment to lament the conspiracy-theory folk at that Liberty Festival NYC 2010 thing I poked my head into briefly this past Saturday. Once the talk of poisoning us all with fluoride and using airborne chemicals for mind control started, it was time for me to leave the red, white, and blue cupcakes and John Birch literature behind.

1 comment:

Todd Seavey said...

[...] for an epochal debate between Wall Streeter Thomas Powers and Beiruter Saif Ammous on the question “Is Macroeconomics a Fiction?” You might just learn how this civilization collapses, or learn nothing at all, or [...]