Book Forum

Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World

Watch the Event

Join the conversation on Twitter using #CatoEvents. Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute. If you have questions or need assistance registering for the event, please email our staff at events@​cato.​org.

Date and Time
August 4, 2009 12 - 2 PM EDT
Featuring the author Tyler Cowen, Professor of Economics, George Mason University; with comments by Robin Hanson, Professor of Economics, George Mason University; Matthew Yglesias, Fellow, Center for American Progress; and moderated by Brink Lindsey, Vice President for Research, Cato Institute.

How will we live well in a super‐​networked, information‐​soaked, yet predictably irrational world? The only way to know is to understand how the way we think is changing. As economist Tyler Cowen shows in Create Your Own Economy, the way we think is now changing more rapidly than it has in a long time. Cowen argues that in our now Internet‐​centric world we are continually breaking down information into ever‐​smaller pieces and ordering and reordering them in our minds (and our computers) to meet our individual needs. The more information we obtain, the more we want (and the more we can get). An analysis of this process enables us to understand how the mass consumption of information now occurs.

In this provocative Forum, Cowen and guest panelists will discuss the overall viewpoints presented by the book, and will focus on the insightful analysis it offers on the unique thought processes of autism–how the autistic penchant for grasping information through classification, categorization, and specialization illuminates the way in which mainstream society now reaches for and dissects information. As the book’s title suggests, this can shed a powerful light on where society and our economy are headed. We can now re‐​examine how politics, government, democratic decisionmaking, social networking, and more are perceived. We can reevaluate how these institutions are working (and will work in the future) and what elements will contribute to their success.

(Professor Jeffrey Schaler of American University, previously listed as speaking at this event, will be unable to attend owing to a personal matter.)