31 Aug 2009

Reflections on the San Fran Mises Circle

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Over the weekend I was in San Fransisco for a Mises Circle. (Next stop: Seattle.) We had a surprisingly large crowd of around 175 (not an exact count), in an area that you would think would be slim pickings. A special surprise was that Edward Gonzalez showed up. I also met “Lilburne” (his secret identity will remain a secret, at least until you show me a power drill), Robert Blumen, and some Google guys who thought I was wrong in my debate with Mish. (Is it a debate if Mish ignores me?)

I won’t dwell too much on the official proceedings, since the audio is already posted at Mises.org, and I think even the video may be at some point. (?) Anyway, here are the talks, in order, and note these links are all mp3s: Walter Block, Tom DiLorenzo, Doug French, Bob Murphy, and all of us on a panel. If you’re not sure whether to click on them, let me say that I had some pretty good jokes in my talk, and we were very anal about repeating the questions during the Q&A of the panel.

I flew in the day before (Friday) and hung out for several hours with Robert Wenzel (the man, the myth, the legend). He refers to the proceedings here, and perhaps he will grace us with more thoughts as he is so moved.

But the humorous event occurred Friday night. I’m ordering another round of gin and tonics (gins and tonic?) when Wenzel goes up to these two girls sitting at the end of the bar. I can hear him referring to me as “famous” and tells me to come over. This is really bad, because you would think I should be super confident since I’m married and no longer trying to pick up girls in bars, but actually it’s even worse: Now I get the pleasure of being rejected when I’m not even trying to hit on girls, and to boot they think I’m a real scumbag for “hitting on them” while brazenly wearing a wedding ring. Suh-weet.

Anyway, Wenzel motions for me to swoop in as the wingman but here’s how it went down:

Girl #1 [who looks like she actually doesn’t hate men]: So why are you famous?

Bob: [inaudible]

Wenzel: He’s a famous economist. He’s been on Fox.

Girl #2 [who definitely hates anything that pees standing up]: You’re on FOX?!

Bob: I don’t work for Fox, I’ve just been on it.

Girl #2, informing Girl #1: He’s been on Fox. (!!)

Girl #1 [who apparently spends more time trying to socialize with others rather than hating men and Sean Hannity in particular]: ??

Girl #2: FOX News, they like, defend the Evil Empire. [Telling Wenzel and Bob, without really looking at us.] You know, people in San Fransisco are really liberal, so that’s not something to brag about around here.

At this point I went back to get the drinks that the bartender had mercifully poured by now. I was going to tell Girl #2 that I had probably done more to criticize the Iraq invasion than she had, but decided I didn’t need to prove anything to her. I am not sure if this decision was based on self-esteem or humiliation.

Psychoanalysts, let me let you in on a little secret: I was no ladies’ man when I was single. Are you surprised?

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