#TNAC (The Norms And Conventions, August 05, 2017):

Do you tip in restaurants you are unlikely to revisit? Why (not)? Have you violated a norm or a ‘rule’ lately? Do norms (for collective action) and conventions (for coordination) solve different kinds of social problems? Are norms constraints? Are conventions self enforcing? Is the capacity to develop and enforce norms central to being human? Would we have societies without norms? Is it important for societies to ‘informally’ punish opportunistic behaviour in a decentralized way? What does ‘breaking the rule’ mean in (say) classical music? Is there, however, also a convention of breaking the norm? Do some conventions become norms in the long run; how? Can tragedy of the commons be averted via norms? Are norms fragile structures and nearly impossible to recover? How is culture sustained and reproduced? What function do the extra musical conventions serve? Why are we willing to punish? Are norms often enmeshed with the idea of self image? How are common property and open access different? Can codifying norms into Laws sometimes obliterate them? Is ‘wrong’ often worse than ‘costly’? When do norms don’t help? What might be the nature of new norms? Would the convention of deviating continue in the future? SynTalk thinks about these & more questions using concepts from classical music (Dr. Aneesh Pradhan, Mumbai), & economics (Prof. Rajiv Sethi, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York).

Listen in…

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TNAC show.

Dr. Aneesh Pradhan (classical music) is a tabla player & a Hindustani classical music performer (soloist & accompanist), based in Mumbai. He is also the Director of Underscore Records Pvt. Ltd., an independent online record label that he established with vocalist Shubha Mudgal, with whom he also co-curates an international music festival called ‘Baajaa Gaajaa: Music from 21st Century India’. He is a disciple of the tabla maestro Nikhil Ghosh from whom he inherited a repertoire of traditional tabla solo compositions from the Delhi, Ajrada, Lucknow, Farrukhabad and Punjab gharanas. Dr. Pradhan’s key areas of research are trends in performance, music education and patronage that unfolded in the late 19th and early 20th century. His compositions range from pieces composed for tabla solo repertoire, to melodic and text-based compositions that are based on traditional vocal and instrumental forms of Hindustani music. Dr. Pradhan’s teaching & fellowship assignments include stints as artist-in-residence at the University of New England, Australia, as guest lecturer at the Music Department, University of Mumbai, and as Adjunct Senior Research Fellow in the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University, Australia. He has published multiple books on tabla & Hindustani classical music such as, ‘Tabla: A Performers’ Perspective’. He has recorded for national and international record labels accompanying a host of vocalists and instrumentalists, and has also directed & produced a short film titled, ‘Pratidhvani: Reverberations of the Nanasaheb Panse Pakhawaj Tradition’. Dr. Pradhan is the recipient of several awards such as the Aditya Birla Kala Kiran Award (2000), the Natyadarpan Award for ‘Best Background Score’ (Marathi play, ‘Tumbara’, 1998), the Vasantotsav Award (2012) instituted in memory of the eminent vocalist Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande, and the Saath Sangat Kalakar Award (2013) instituted in memory of G.L.Samant by the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, Pune.

Prof. Rajiv Sethi (economics) is the Ann Whitney Olin Professor of Economics at Barnard College, Columbia University in the City of New York, USA and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, New Mexico, USA. He has previously held visiting positions at Microsoft Research in New York City, and at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), Princeton, where he was the Richard B. Fisher member in 2008-09. He holds a B.Sc. (Honors) in Mathematics from Southampton University, UK and a Ph.D. in Economics from the New School for Social Research, New York City. His research and teaching areas include microeconomics and game theory, with applications to inequality, crime, and communication. In recent works he has examined segregation in neighborhoods and social networks, stereotyping in economic interactions, disparities across groups in crime victimization and incarceration, communication with unobserved biases, and the intergenerational transmission of inequality among identity groups. In collaboration with Brendan O’Flaherty of Columbia University, he is currently writing a book on Stereotypes, Crime and Justice. He is on the editorial boards of the American Economic Review and Economics and Philosophy, and was previously a Co-Editor of the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. He is a founding member of CORE (Curriculum Open-Access Resources for Economics), a group of scholars engaged in the production of high-quality resources for the teaching of economics, distributed free of charge worldwide under a Creative Commons license. The first book-length publication by this group is ‘The Economy’. With funding from the Teagle Foundation, he is currently directing CORE-USA, the New York based chapter of this organization. Prof. Sethi was the 2003 recipient of the Emily Gregory Award for excellence in teaching and for devotion and service to the students of Barnard College.

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

#TNAC mentionsElinor Ostrom, Garrett Hardin, Robert T. Boyd, Peter J. Richerson, Samuel Bowles, James M. Acheson, Tom R. Tyler, & Ashok Ranade, among others.