I am busy the next few days, and blogging time will be short or nil. Luckily, Dana and JD are around, so if anything, the average quality of posts should improve.
I do want to mention something that is rather time-sensitive. I have mentioned that I have been listening to Tom Woods a lot lately. I discovered Woods when he guest-hosted on the radio program of Peter Schiff, famous for predicting the collapse of the real estate bubble as talking heads laughed at him.
Woods is an incredibly entertaining and engaging speaker who is devoted to libertarian ideas, which means that 90% of the time he is awesome, and 10% of the time (when talking about criminal justice issues or foreign policy) he sounds like he is coming from another planet. Still, that 90% is pretty darn good stuff. He is a clear expositor of Austrian economics and constitutional principles. I am making my way through several books of his right now, including Rollback, The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History, and (with Kevin Gutzman) Who Killed the Constitution? The books are fantastic; I learn something on almost every page. And his podcast is a must-listen.
If you enjoyed Woods’s presentation in the zombie video I have embedded here in a couple of posts, you’ll enjoy him. This is that video:
So, what’s time-sensitive? Well, Woods has a project called Liberty Classroom which has a series of video and audio lectures on topics such as U.S. History, Austrian economics, Keynesianism and its shortcomings, and Basic Logic. I balked at it for a while, because my time is limited, and the cost was $99 a year. He would occasionally reduce it to $67, but even that wasn’t quite good enough.
Recently he announced a short-term deal for $50 a year, and I took the leap. I have now downloaded nine separate courses as zip files, which can be uploaded to iTunes and stuck on your iPhone. During my commute to and from home, or as I am folding laundry, I can be learning about the Spanish American War, or the division of labor, or how John Marshall twisted the original meaning of the Constitution to further Federalist ends.
It’s basically a sort of adult continuing education — definitely from a libertarian perspective, so don’t do it if that sort of thing offends you — and it allows me to learn things I should already know in my spare time.
You can sign up here if you’re interested. This link is an affiliate link, which means I get an astounding $30 of the $50 you will be paying. (It seems unfair, frankly, that I should get such a large share of this relatively paltry sum, but this is the way Woods has set it up. Live by the free market, die by the free market, pal!) So if you ever felt like donating $30 to Patterico, for a mere extra $20 ($50 total) you can get access to these courses for a year. Actually, because you can download them, you can get access to them for as long as you keep the files in your iTunes library.
To get the $50 deal, you simply enter “discount” as the coupon code.
I was skeptical about this at first, but after a few days it’s hard to imagine my day without it. Again: it’s not for everyone. People who are strong constitutionalists and have an interest in the free market and Austrian economics are going to get more out of it than others. But it’s a heck of a lot of fun for me, and the deal isn’t going to last forever. I think he may be running it for the whole month of April, but no guarantees.
Anyway, I’m not pushing this hard or anything, but I have gotten enough enjoyment out of it that I would be tickled if a handful of you checked it out and got the same kind of pleasure from it that I have. Even if you don’t, my blogging is likely to be affected by what I learn, so you’ll all be getting some of this stuff by proxy in the coming weeks and months. And if you don’t sign up for Liberty Classroom, at least check out some of Woods’s podcasts.
If you’re like me, you may want to check out some of the free samples they have available before you take the plunge. You can do so here (also an affiliate link). Here is one of the excerpts from the free page, in which Woods talks about Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Era:
Again: this isn’t the kind of thing I usually sit around and watch on my computer; I much prefer to listen in my car or as I am doing chores. Still, this video gives you a pretty good feel of the style and content. If you don’t like this video, the site may not be for you. If you do, check it out. I think you’ll be glad you did.