Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sudhir Venkatesh at Stacey's

I spent part of my lunch at Stacey's Bookstore & saw Sundhir Venkatesh talk about his new book Gang Leader for a Day. He's a sociology professor who's written a couple of books about a 5 year period he spent hanging out with a street gang in a Chicago housing project. He had a lot of interesting things to say. To
him, the underground economy he was studying is a real "free market". There's no enforceable contracts, government regulations or corporate bailouts. It's actually rational for his subjects not to plan for the future. There are a lot of angles to what he's doing. He has a quiet but strong physical presence. I wished the event were longer so that he could talk more.

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