Tuesday, September 4, 2007

First of many posts on Summer Seminars - History of Economics @ GMU

If you had scrolled to the bottom of this blog you would have found that there was a post about the History of Economics Society's wonderful weekend at George Mason University in June this past summer. As great and wonderful that event was, it followed another event, The Summer Institute for the Preservation of the Study of Economic Thought. Little did most know that there was such an event taking place. The turnout was not small but not extremely large as well. It was a good mixture of students and professionals sharing ideas.

If I had to rate the event (do not worry, I will) I would take into account the size of the attendees. Does a smaller number attendees cause an event to lose any points in a rating? Of course not. In fact, a more limited amount of attendees allows students to mix more with professionals and learn material they otherwise would not have learned.

For my first seminar this past summer I would have to say that this event was an eye opener, a great beginning to what my summer would include and become. Never before had I met a group that knew so much on Classical Economists and their works. In most economic circles you find that economists know who Adam Smith was and his work, along with Ricardo and John Stuart Mill. Ask most in the circles to debate over their ideas and you would find that most have not even read the cherished works. We go to class; we had it beaten into us. There was no need to read these sacred economic texts. At the Summer Institute for the Preservation of the Study of Economic Thought, there was more discussion since they had actually read the text. There were those who argued upon the books speaking upon the 'darkside' of certain economic heroes such as Smith and Ricardo only to find others defending the economic champions. I had never experienced economics in this way. Before it was seeking for truth in the world. At this event, we all knew the truth, we were all in agreement upon the system. The argument was upon what did our economic heroes really mean, where did their ideas come from, and why did they raise arguments against their ever increasing economies?

It was an event worth sitting through. Although I only was able to sit through the first two days of the week long event, it was worth it. It is free, a chance to meet different types of individuals, and a chance to get a glimpse of history of economic thought. Out of a ranking of 0 to 5, this seminar receives a 3.5. * A 3.5 in my view point means that this was not completely out of an undergraduate's league. Although we as undergraduates have not had the chance to read the great works of the great economists, we receive a deeper depth upon their works. 3.0 means that I would go again if I had the time and opportunity to attend. The 0.5 is added because I would tell upperclassmen (JRs and SRs) to attend such a great event.

* Note this rank is my own preference; therefore a ranking accurate only to me. This post is for the benefit of all readers to know of the seminars and to read if they may enjoy them. Notice I did not rank it according to a point system. There is no need for a point system upon all the seminars because each seminar is different how can I grade them all to a point system without being bias towards a certain system. Its an overall rank merely because it is my preference and I rank it according to how I view the seminar.

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