Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Just About Everything

I was in my gym gear, and decided to skip the initial intention for a book launch event to have a workout. But a familiar voice lured me to the event room where it is filled with people, both sitting and standing. I was cracking my head to figure where did I meet this man before. It took me a minute or so, he is Bob Gregory, who gave a special lecture last semester.

At the corner of the room, a studious middle school girl, Maddie with her name written on her jersey is finishing up her homework, while her dad and brother listened attentively to the Bob who made a great introduction, citing great names from the ANU. The audience is dressed in suits, in a stark contrast to myself. People are clutching onto the same book, the title said 'The Economics of Just About Everything' by Andrew Leigh. I've heard about this politician, and now I can say I heard him speak.

He addressed the crowd with snippets of his book, from the idea of incentive, to the cost benefit analysis involving dating, to the correlation between labour market and height of a person, to the false statement of 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. I placed a request for this book in my local library yesterday, and found out I was placed 11th person. Oh come on!

I remembered I was fascinated about Economics when I first read Freakonomics. And it went on to Superfreakonomics to the Undercover Economist, to the one who started the buzz of social economics, The Armchair Economist. I remembered when I was first introduced to Economics as a subject, I failed my first quiz. It was interesting how the interest developed, after my future cousin brother in law introduced Freakonomics, things were never the same.

I was good, but never excellent in Economics. But like the 15 economists who raised their hands when Leigh asked them to, there is always a huge amount of curiosity in me. But unlike the 15 economists, I was never the one with good intuition. Sometimes it really does take the right opportunity to inspire or tell you what you want, and this book launch event is one of them.

Thank you Andrew Leigh for reminding me of what got me started things at the first place. Thank you Bob Gregory and Rabee Tourky for the second special lecture.

Wen Xin