If you go to Washington, D.C. and wish to dine at a restaurant, you might find yourself pondering the great question – which cuisine reigns supreme in the city of the seat of our government? It turns out Washington D.C. is thought to be a leader in “ethnic” cuisine. It is also thought to rank number one in the country in Ethiopian cuisine. Okay, so the origin of this thought is a guy named, Tyler Cowen, author, dining critic and genius economist. Of course, people have said that, “an economist is a trained professional paid to guess wrong about the economy.” And Cowen’s books have been criticized for being random, geeky ramblings, short on statistical evidence.
But Cowen is among those who believe that the exportation of Western culture across the world is not a bad thing. Some tanks of thinkers believe that “cultural imperialism,” foists American movies, art, food and other cultural ideas on the rest of the world and causes local traditions to disappear. On the other hand, Cowen believes that globalization actually enriches art and culture and results in more diversity within each specific society. What is thought to be South African bead art, originated in the early nineteenth century with beads imported from then Czechoslovakia. Canadian Inuit art thrived on sailors from around the world infusing money and extending markets. Music routinely crisscrosses boundaries. American households are more vibrant with Persian rugs.
Now in the age of the Internet, while others grumble about information overload, Cowen has penned a tome in which he argues that you get to choose what information you attend to and what you ignore. The human information experience in the digital age is only as good as the filters used to process the vast quantity of information available. His book, “Create Your Own Economy: The path to prosperity in a disordered world,” is hailed by fans but not everyone is a fan.