Thursday, October 29, 2009

Freedom vs. Property Piece (Ebook)

Click here to learn how to read these on your iPhone.

Freedom and Property: Where They Conflict by Frank van Dun

Human Action Comics #5: Direct Exchange

Issue #5 on Direct Exchange is up on Picassa and Facebook. I'll come back to edit this post, once I narrate it and upload it on YouTube.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chasing a Dream by Lilburne: A Song Dedicated to the Ron Paul rEVOLution

I wasn't active in the Ron Paul campaign, though I wish I was. I wrote this song imagining what it might have been like.

A Moving Piece on Ludwig von Mises (Ebook)

Economics and Moral Courage by Lew Rockwell

Two Great LvMI Speeches in Salamanca (Ebooks)

Click here to learn how to read these on your iPhone.

The World of Salamanca by Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. in the Context of Publishing History by Jeffrey A. Tucker

You Will Never Be Alone with an Economist in Your Pocket

10 Anthropica Points for whoever can identify what quotation the title of this post is based on and who said it!

I recently installed the eBook reader Stanza on my iPhone.  It may not be E Ink, but it's much better than reading Rothard and Mises on the iPhone's Safari browser!  Just the fact that Stanza remembers exactly which page you left off at makes all the difference.

There are other ways than the following to transfer epub files into your iPhone.  But I had trouble until I tried the following way...

  • Search "Stanza" in the App Store on your iPhone.
  • Download and then launch Stanza (it's free)
  • Tap on "Online Catalog"
  • Tap Plus Sign
  • Tap "Add Web Page"
  • Type "Mises" under "Name" and the following url under "URL": (You'll just have to type it out once.  It'll be worth it!)
  • Tap "Save"
  • Then, back in "Online Catalog", tap "Mises" and the Mises ePub page will appear.  Click on whichever ebook you want (currently Human Action; Man, Economy, and State; America's Great Depression; and The Case Against the Fed are available), and wait for it to download.

EVERYONE interested in Austrian Economics who has an iPhone should have Human Action and MES on it.  Even if it's slow going, or if you don't understand all of it... just make those two treatises your long-term companions, and whenever you find yourself waiting in line or waiting for your girlfriend to finish shopping, just fire up whichever treatise you feel most like reading, and make some progress!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Rather Politically Convenient "Rethinking" on Cancer Screening

The Journal of the American Medical Association, the labor-restricting guild that is largely responsible for the high cost of health care published an editorial, the thrust of which, in the words of its lead author Laura Esserman (who by the way donated a cool thousand to Obama's presidential campaign), is that, "The benefit [of cancer screening] is not nearly as much as we hoped and comes at the cost of overdiagnosis and overtreatment..." And the American Cancer Society, although they've since backpedaled a bit, has voiced support for this position.

The mainstream media is all over this "rethinking" on screening. The New York Times headline runs, "Benefits and Risks of Cancer Screening Are Not Always Clear, Experts Say" Sharon Begley in Newsweek: cites the editorial while opining about, "Why there's more reason than ever to be skeptical about cancer screening."

Esserman has been quoted and interviewed extensively in the past couple of days. In her interviews on the News Hour and on San Francisco's KQED she protests profusely that the "rethinking" she is pushing for is not about restriction of care, but is about "tailoring care" and "making care better."  In the KQED interview, in a soppy, "caring" tone, she professes her concern for patients worrying over cancers which they do indeed have, but which aren't necessarily dangerous.

I highly suspect that all this is basically a ham-fisted attempt at consent-engineering purposed toward softening the blow for future government-mandated restrictions on screening. Unless we fight back, we may well be on our way toward centrally-rationed health care. And that's not scare-mongering, but simply a sensible analysis of political trends.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Human Action Comics by Lilburne

Issue #TopicPicassaFacebookYouTube
1The BasicsView in PicassaTemporarily Unavailable in FacebookView in YouTube (older, incomplete version)
2Subjective Theory of ValueView in PicassaView in FacebookView in YouTube
3Marginal Theory of ValueView in PicassaView in FacebookView in YouTube
"3.2"Diminishing Marginal UtilityView in PicassaUnavailable in FacebookUnavailable in YouTube
4Opportunity Cost and the EntrepreneurView in PicassaView in FacebookCurrently Unavailable in YouTube
5Capital TheoryView in PicassaTemporarily Unavailable in Facebook Currently Unavailable in YouTube
6Simple ExchangeView in PicassaView in Facebook Currently Unavailable in YouTube

Ever since I first started studying the Austrian tradition, I have never accepted the characterization of economics as the "dismal science".

Economic truths are only "dismal"--in the sense of "depressing"--to busy-body statists who long for a free hand in coercively remaking society according to their own liking.  To those who love freedom, however, economics is a scientific affirmation of what we already know in our hearts: that freedom works.

And economic truths are only "dismal"--in the sense of "dreary"--to those unfortunate enough to have learned mainstream neoclassical economics from textbooks.  To students of the Austrian tradition, who learned economics from, for example, reading the penetrating prose of Ludwig von Mises or listening to the hugely enjoyable lecture archive of Murray Rothbard, economics is the thrilling study of ACTION.

In the spirit of economics thus conceived, I have started a new project to communicate the basic principles of Austrian economics in the most action-oriented medium around: comics.  I would like to introduce you to that project.  I usually wouldn't write a "review" of my own work.  But the great Lew Rockwell suggested I do so.  And when Mr. Rockwell says "write", I say "how much?"

In my new series, Human Action Comics, I try to explain the principles of Austrian Economics in a manner as simple, as clear, and as enjoyable as possible.  I'm no visual artist, so don't expect dazzling graphics.  But I am a teacher by profession and a writer by passion.  So, in Human Action Comics, I try to bring my communicative and creative strengths to bear through:

  • Clear explanations and examples (with extensive use of "Crusoe Economics")
  • Dynamic character interaction (by giving life and personality to great figures from the history of economic thought)
  • Generous dollops of humor (witness the power of Menger's beard in Issue #3)
  • Even a bit of drama (Issue #2 ends with a cliff-hanger!)
My hope is that these comics will make the "cost of entry" of being introduced to Austrian Economics so low that even those skeptical friends and family that all libertarians have will take a gander.

Here's some feedback I've received in the past week:
"Excellent... thanks for making it so enjoyable to understand."
" might have actually given me the tools to show my fiancee that economics is actually fun!"
"I find your Human Action Comics very funny and enlightening. I think that if someone has a drive to learn about economic theory, your stuff is spot on."
"You just keep outdoing yourself! Thanks again, these help me introduce friends to Austrian economics and open up discussions. Loving them."
All six current issues (and all future ones) can be found in the table at the top of this post.  I hope you will enjoy them.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Human Action Comics #5: Capital Theory

Click here to view in Facebook (no account required) or watch below (After clicking play, click pause, and then advance through the slides at your own pace).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The New Home of Summa Anthropica

For those already familiar with Summa Anthropica, I'm switching over to Blogger due to technical difficulties at the previous host.  It will take a while, but I will move each post over, one at a time.

I may still crosspost at the old site.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Human Action Comics #3: Marginal Theory of Value

View the slides in Facebook (no account required), watch a narrated version on YouTube or watch below (After clicking play, click pause, and then advance through the slides at your own pace).

Monday, October 12, 2009

Human Action Comics #2: Subjective Theory of Value

Click here to view in Facebook (no account required), watch on YouTube with narration, or view below as a Picassa slideshow. (After clicking play, click pause, and then advance through the slides at your own pace).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Human Action Comics #1: The Basics

View in Facebook (no account required), watch on YouTube with narration, or view as a Picasa slideshow below (After clicking play, click pause, and then advance through the slides at your own pace).