Unanchored Thoughts

Bits and pieces of musings about family, friends, social issues, and whatever else travels through my head without a purpose.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Indulging My Brain

I indulged by brain this week by attending The Frontiers of Environmental Economics, a two-day conference where 9 papers were presented by leading environmental economists from around the world on cutting edge issues in the field. It felt like an indulgence because I only have 24 hours a week to be an economist and I spent 16 of them at this conference. I appreciate the federal government investing in my brain this way, and I hope I can provide some return on the investment...but I have my doubts. I walked away from the event feeling like a dunce. Sure, I could follow the study on using virtual experiments to assess people's preferences for different environmental conditions (yup, you don some suit that has the ability to affect the olfactory glands and then takes you to a scenario where you're BBQ'ing next to a hog farm - the wise economist asks your willingness to pay to avoid this situation to infer the value associated with clean smelling air), but most of the others were way over my head. Perhaps I should stick to more familiar territory such as "where's mommy's head?" or "point to the kitty". Now those are questions I can answer.