1. It's actually surprising to me that Joseph Stiglitz is speaking at Town Hall. For a student of economics, hearing Joe Stiglitz is scheduled to speak at Town Hall is like hearing the Rolling Stones are booked at Neumos.
That's no diss on Town Hall, of course. It's just that Stiglitz is as close to an agitator as we get in the arcane world of macroeconomics: He says there is no such thing as the invisible hand; he thinks that markets can only function optimally with government intervention; he got a Nobel Prize for his work on "information economics"—basically, the idea that people can never really have enough of the right information to fulfill the fundamental economic assumption that economic actors always "act rationally"; and he got fired from the World Bank back during the WTO riots for being too outspoken about mismanaged government interventions in the Asian crises of the late '90s.
And he has no problem picking a fight with Barack Obama for being soft on the financial sector.
His new book, Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy, is his I-told-ya-so moment, eviscerating free-market advocates while laying blame for the crisis on the coservative Chicago School and calling for a change of the economic guard in Washington.
Tonight at 7:30 pm, Town Hall (1119 8th Ave). Admission is $5.
Do this tomorrow:
1. Jazz trio Medeski, Martin, and Wood toss off jams as wigged out as Miles Davis' post-Bitches Brew rhythm riots, rocking the hell out for five minutes before breaking back into Charlie Parker inspired piano runs and thumping bass. They were a band fundamentally built to be heard live, especially at a spot where you can dance around.
Tomorrow night at 7 pm, at Showbox at the Market (1426 First Ave). Tickets are $25.
2. The ACLU of Washington State is holding a conference tomorrow with the theme "Science Not Fiction: Focusing on the Surveillance Society"—essentially, a seminar by the ACLU on how technology can be used to spy on you. It's a primer on license plate scanning, data mining, and all-around government stalking. There are also a couple of workshops, one on how new public transit programs can track your movements, and another on how the government keeps an eye on political activists in Olympia.
Tomorrow at 1 pm (doors open at noon), at the Museum of History and Industry (2700 24th Ave E). Free (donations requested).
Also of interest:
A group called Alleycat Acres is looking for volunteers Sunday to help them build a farm on a half-acre of land in Beacon Hill. The idea is to grow food and help provide inexpensive local produce options to those who might not otherwise have accessto fresh produce.
For now, the group will be selling their produce at farmers' markets, but they plan eventually to sell to neighborhood corner stores, in conjunction with a broader effort by the city/county public health office.
At 3656 24th Ave S. Email email@example.com if you're interested in volunteering. Work party shifts from 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm.