Please read about my new (hopefully daily, if I can maintain that pace) project on the Mises Blog.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Two recent posts by me on the Mises blog:
Ludwig von Mises wrote:
"Society lives and acts only in individuals; it is nothing more than a certain attitude on their part. Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders; no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result. Whether he chooses or not, every man is drawn into the great historical struggle, the decisive battle into which our epoch has plunged us."
The decisive battle Mises spoke of continues today, and it has come to a head. The unprecedented actions taken by the United States government in the last 8 years (especially the unprecedented degree of monetary expansion of the last 2 years) have brought human society to the brink. Now more than ever, society needs as many shoulders as possible.
When Mises wrote the above words, the "intellectual battle" he meant was a battle of economic ideas. Unfortunately today, the battlefield must be enlarged beyond that.
In Mises' day, it might have been enough to rescue society for a critical mass of individuals to only comprehend praxeology, thereby enabling them to explode the myths of the socialist and interventionist. But now the intellectual armament of a man who would be free must be larger.
- He must also know enough of algebra and calculus to know the limitations of their applicability and thereby explode the myths of the mainstream economist.
- He must know enough of true natural science and its underpinnings to explode the myths of the environmentalist.
- And he must know enough of true history to explode the myths of the public school teacher.
With Mises' injunction in mind, I intend to create a general curriculum with which any intelligent adult or adolescent can arm himself to that degree.
This curriculum for freedom, or education for eleutheria (Greek for freedom) will be called Edutheria.
This curriculum is not only motivated by Mises' entreaty, but it will be informed by his epistemology. Mises wrote extensively upon the appropriate ordering of conception before understanding in cognition, and thereby, of theory before history in scholarship. I believe this priority is just as appropriate for the humble student trying to find truth for himself as it is for the pioneering scientist trying to discover truth for the sake of all mankind. And so Edutheria will start with pure theory, namely logic, praxeology and mathematics, and work from there to the humanities and to natural science.
The four successive portions of this curriculum will be as follows:
- Theory: First logic, then praxeology (including economics) and mathematics
- Chronology: An economic and logistical exploration of historical facts
- History of Thought: Applying theory to discover ideological insights and fallacies; culminating in a summary of contemporary natural science and a working ideology for...
- A General Interpretation of History, Society, and Man
This curriculum will be useable both for completely independent study and for study under the guidance of a tutor. It will be appropriate for brilliant middle schoolers, bright high schoolers, and intelligent adults.
Ideas, facts, and narratives will be introduced with comics and skits, and then further elucidated with original monographs and worksheets as well as further reading assignments. Lessons can be applied via writing and report assignments to be provided.
I fully expect this to be my life's work.
Thus far, I have made the following progress:
- For the praxeology portion, I've created six issues of my series Human Action Comics.
- For the mathematics portion, I've created the following worksheets on various topics in Algebra.
- Absolute Value
- Zero and Negative Exponents
- Scientific Notation
- Substition Method of Solving Systems of Equations
- Special Linear Systems
- Mixture Problems
- A script for a skit paraphrasing the "proem" of the Theogony as well as the apocryphal poetry contest between Hesiod and Homer.
- A comic paraphrasing the proem and first part of the narrative of the Theogony
- A 17-page monograph explaining and analyzing the proem and first part of the narrative of the Theogony.
My work in the near future will be dedicated mostly to the praxeology portion, especially Human Action Comics.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Human Action Comics #4 and #5 are now #5 and #6 respectively. I've created a new #4 on opportunity cost and the entrepreneur (two subjects which I believe are best treated before capital theory and exchange theory). You can view the new issue in Facebook (no account required) or watch it as a Picassa slideshow below. Click play and then pause to advance at your own pace. Click on the middle of the screen to view in a bigger window (or even full-screen).
Monday, November 9, 2009
I've expanded and improved issue #1. I believe it now covers the basics more thoroughly, extensively, and funnily. I hope you will take a look. You can either view in Facebook or watch as a Picassa slideshow below. Click play and then pause to advance at your own pace. Click on the middle of the screen to view in a bigger window (or even full-screen).
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Libertarianism is the only morally justifiable political philosophy for anyone with a conscience normal enough to feel that murder, theft, and enslavement are wrong, and a mind consistent enough to apply that maxim to every man equally.
I'm now writing for the Ludwig von Mises Institute Blog! I'll be regularly posting digests of interesting topics and discussions going on in the Ludwig von Mises Institute Forum. Here is my first such digest: Lifelong Learning in the LvMI Forum.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I've updated the inter-post links in my series of posts called Epistemology and Worldview Throughout History. If you're interested in mythology and/or ancient philosophy, I hope you will give it a read.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Narrated by yours truly. Thanks to Daniel from the Mises Forums for editing it!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Over the long term, ALL the central banks do is dramatically increase the money supply. And an increase in the money supply provides NO general social benefit.
Think about it. How could increasing the amount of money in circulation do any good?
By making society directly wealthier? That's ridiculous, because money has no direct use-value, and it does not produce anything with direct use-value. It is a nothing but a medium of exchange. ANY amount of money is just as good as ANY OTHER amount of money to serve its role as a medium of exchange.
How about by allocating resources more efficaciously? Also ridiculous, only less self-evidently so. Increasing the money supply creates distortions in the price structure, because the money doesn't instantly manifest in everybody's pockets at the same time. Prices are the FUNDAMENTAL DATA of economic calculation and efficacious resource allocation. So how can a DISTORTION in the price structure lead to anything else but MISALLOCATION of resources?
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
I've copied over from the old site all the posts in my Guide to Principles of Economics by Carl Menger and completed the laborious task of updating all the links in each post. It's not as easy to read as my comics, but I hope you find it informative all the same!