Tim Swanson’s useful new guide, Great Chain of Numbers, came out this morning. In it, Swanson explores emerging developments that are taking us beyond cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin into the broader world of “smart property.”
The book is available on Tim’s website for free or on Amazon.com in a Kindle version for just 99 cents.
If you’re wondering what the heck smart property is and how it’s going to change our world, you could do worse than to start with the foreword to Swanson’s book, by Adam B. Levine:
The physical world has an intractable problem; things exist.
Whether a bar of gold or a bus pass, left to their own devices these valuable objects will not move or act of their own accord. Furthermore, if you want to sell such an item, you have the unenviable task of finding someone who would like that item from you, is willing to pay you in the thing you desire and is local enough to make such a deal Beyond Bitcoinlogical.
Money used to have this problem; we used antiquated systems that move promises for dollars around the world at 1960 speed. Bitcoin changed the equation, introducing the distributed ledger technology that allows value to change owner with no regard for where the transacting users are geographically located.
Bitcoin is to money what Smart Property is to ownership. A fundamental reinvention of how things should work, and a better way. The problems are not new, and the solutions enacted to this point were designed with that liability of physical existence in mind.
We are no longer constrained by this liability.
Great Chain of Numbers, now available for free right here.
We’re delighted to reveal the ebook version of Lawrence Reed’s new Are We Good Enough for Liberty?
Download the MOBI ebook (for Kindle)
Download the EPUB ebook (for everything else)
Lawrence Reed is of course the president of the Foundation for Economic Education, the author of innumerable articles, and a very prominent speaker for radio, TV, and conferences around the world.
This beautiful book includes, not only Dr. Reed’s own writing on character and liberty, but also the famous “I, Pencil,” by Leonard Read, the founder of FEE.
It’s available for free in ebook form here, and in PDF and print form here.
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One very pleasant aspect of publishing in the Freeman is that I get to see the online article first, then a couple of months later I receive the print magazine (seeing my stuff in print still has a special appeal, much as I advocate digital), and then a few weeks later I sometimes get the more thoughtful notes that come from print readers:
Subject: Black Death and Taxes
Dear Mr. Marcus:
I have been reading The Freeman for fifty years or more now, and even though it is reaching the point that nearly everything in it is something I have heard before, every once in a while it supplies me with a new insight or piece of enlightening information. That was the case with your article in the most recent issue. When I read it I immediately rushed across the anteroom in the social science complex here at MSU-Northern to see what my colleague, a historian of libertarian inclination thought, and he confirmed everything you said.
James R. Edwards, Ph.D. (Economics)
Montana State University-Northern
President Obama recently remarked that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol (a sign of more lax federal enforcement?). But former Rep. Patrick Kennedy has now countered, saying,
In fact, today’s [marijuana is] modern, genetically modified marijuana, so its much higher THC [tetrahydrocannabinol] levels far surpass the marijuana that the president acknowledges smoking when he was a young person.… He is wrong when he says that it isn’t very harmful, because the new marijuana is not the old marijuana.
Kennedy believes, of course, that the government must crack down on pot smokers to save them from this deadly modern marijuana. But why exactly did pot get so much stronger? Well, for that you might want to check out BK Marcus’s Freeman article from last year, where he hit it on the nose:
If you prohibit a drug, the potency of that drug on the black market will increase.
In other words,
It was the War on Drugs itself that had made the pot more powerful.
For the full story, and the economic laws that made the rise in weed potency inevitable, read BK’s “Why Rhett Butler’s Weed Is So Strong.”
Invisible Order is excited to announce the publication of State of Terror.
John Brown’s new thriller explores what happens when the War on Terror grows into a war on all citizens.
In the near future, there has been a series of terrorist attacks. With the War on Terror now a global conflict, the distinction between the war front and the home front has blurred. With the Homeland at war, the old rules of law and of war no longer apply. New enemies call for new tactics. Drone and satellite surveillance, warrantless search, universal electronic monitoring, internal passports, and abusive checkpoints and strip searches have become routine in the emerging National Security State. New enabling laws authorize secret courts and indefinite detention without charge or trial.
Plunged headlong into a nightmarish world of “ghost” detainees in black-site prisons is Tom Benson, a banking executive and U.S. Army veteran. Growing distant from his wife, and with his son facing conscription, his troubles start when he is mysteriously unable to cash a check. Arrested and declared an Unlawful Enemy Combatant, he endures progressively harsher “enhanced” interrogation as he struggles to regain his freedom and strike back.
State of Terror is now available for Kindle!
(Coming soon for iBook and Nook.)
Our own BK Marcus is in the Freeman again today, with a post on the latest wave of great TV shows.
As he explains,
TV dramas now are cinematic in their production values, carefully edited, and serial in their narrative structure. In the first golden age, mistakes by the actors and mishaps in staging went out live to the TV audience—and the best remembered dramas were complete, single-episode stories, written and directed as stage plays for the camera.
Perhaps most significantly, the shows that stand out today—Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Homeland, Breaking Bad, and Spacey’s own House of Cards—are produced for cable networks, premium channels, and private subscription services, where advertising is minimal or altogether absent.
In contrast, the era that first became known as the Golden Age of Television was arguably pure advertising: sponsors not only attached their names to the TV shows they sponsored—Kraft Television Theater, Goodyear TV Playhouse, The US Steel Hour—they developed shows, produced them, and paid the networks to put them on the air.
What really makes great TV? Read BK’s complete article to find out.