David D. Friedman

David D. Friedman - 2018-05-21 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
As I mentioned recently, I'm looking for a cover for my third novel. A number of artists are interested, which gets me thinking about what a cover should be. From the standpoint of the author, the obvious answer is to show a scene from the book, preferably one that is dramatic and has something to...
David D. Friedman - 2018-05-17 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I am almost finished with Brothers, my third novel, and since I plan to self-publish I need a cover. My first novel was commercially published; the publisher (Baen) got a cover I liked done by a professional. For my second novel I used something I found online, with the permission of the creator...
David D. Friedman - 2018-05-16 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
There is an interesting article in the New York Times on the pattern of health expenditure and longevity in the U.S. The author's thesis is that both were about the same as in other developed countries until 1980 and that since then  expenditure has grown much faster and longevity more slowly than...
David D. Friedman - 2018-05-14 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
Having enjoyed my recent European trip and almost recovered from the jet lag, I am now thinking about another one. I have an invitation to speak in England sometime between October 1 and December 14th. England is a long way from California, so if I go I will want to combine it with other talks in...
David D. Friedman - 2018-03-28 - Original post - cached version [php_1]

My schedule is now definite.

4/13-15 Belgrade: ESFL Feud Law,  
Liberland event Reputational Enforcement 

4/17 Prague Feud Law. Video of the talk 
4/19 Bucharest Market Failure—An Argument Both for and Against Government (my talk starts about 17:31)
4/21 Sofia: Bulgarian...

David D. Friedman - 2018-03-22 - Original post - cached version [php_1]

It looks as though the schedule for my talks is:

4/14 Belgrade: ESFL
4/17 Prague hosted by Institute of Cryptoanarchy and Paralelní Polis
4/19 Bucharest
4/21 Sofia: Bulgarian Libertarian Society
4/24 Budapest
4/26 Maastricht: MSFL
4/28 Oslo: Capitalist Party...

David D. Friedman - 2018-03-21 - Original post - cached version [php_1]

I have completed a draft of Brothers, my third novel, the sequel to Salamander, and am looking for beta readers. Both books are fantasies of the sort where magic is a science.

Beta readers may, but need not, have read Salamander. I am interested in how well the sequel works both for those...

David D. Friedman - 2018-03-05 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I have been trying to work out the details of my speaking trip next month, complicated by issues of how to get from point A to point B in Europe. The current fixed points are the three weekends: April 13-15 ESFL Belgrade April 21 Sofia April 28th Oslo I have at least tentative invitations to...
David D. Friedman - 2018-03-02 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I retired at the end of last year and have finally finished clearing out my office. In the process I found a number of interesting things, including a printout of a book on transport economics that I wrote thirty some years ago when teaching a course on the subject but never published and thought...
David D. Friedman - 2018-02-14 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I recently attended a Jewish wedding, part of which was the signing of the ketubah. At one point the Rabbi commented that in the old days the ketubah would specify how many chickens and goats the groom was paying the bride's father for his daughter, whereas this modern ketubah stated the promises...
David D. Friedman - 2018-02-09 - Original post - cached version [php_1]

I'm planning a speaking trip this April. Since currently it is two weeks and only three or four talks I thought I would see if anyone else was interested. Current plans are:

Students for Liberty, Belgrade, April 13-15
Sofia, Bulgaria, April 21st
Capitalist Party of Norway, Oslo...

David D. Friedman - 2018-01-23 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I'm going to be speaking on "Market Failure: An Argument For and Against Government" at 11:15 A.M. on Saturday, February 3rd, at the Freedom Summit in Phoenix, Arizona. In the past I have put up notices like this for speaking trips abroad. Would readers find it useful if I made a general practice...
David D. Friedman - 2018-01-17 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I have discussed in several earlier posts my project for a collection of short literary works that contain interesting economic insights. The current version is up for comments, with several pieces added, several comments added or expanded.  My guess is that it will end up as a web page rather...
David D. Friedman - 2018-01-14 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I retired at the end of last year and have been cleaning out my office, which includes dealing with long runs of a variety of journals–AER, JPE, JLS, JEP, JLE, ...  . I hate to throw them out but I don't have much use for them at present or adequate free bookshelf space. Is there anyone out there...
David D. Friedman - 2017-12-30 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
A very long time, I had a colleague and friend who I concluded was only an economist in working hours. Having come across another example more recently, I thought it would be worth explaining the concept. Suppose there is some issue on which economics implies a straightforward conclusion, but an...
David D. Friedman - 2017-12-24 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
There are two problems with using Bitcoin as a substitute for conventional currencies. One is that transaction costs are high; I gather there are some proposals to solve that. The other is that its value is very unstable. So far that has been a plus, since the value has mostly gone up. But in...
David D. Friedman - 2017-12-10 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
Intellectual property in digital form is easy to copy and easy to share, which makes enforcing copyright law against it difficult, often in practice impossible. Thus the shift of Intellectual Property—music, books, movies—to digital makes it much more difficult for copyright law to serve its...
David D. Friedman - 2017-12-10 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I consume a lot of soda, mostly Coke Zero or Diet Coke–enough so that I buy it in two liter bottles. I enjoy sometimes switching to the cherry version of the drink for variety. Unfortunately, Cherry Coke Zero is not available in two liter bottles in this part of the country.  I have found a...
David D. Friedman - 2017-11-24 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I get quite a lot of friend requests on Facebook, most of which I decline. I thought it would be worth explaining why here, in the hope that some of the people who want to friend me also read my blog. All of my FB posts are public, open to everyone. So the only effect of friending someone is that...
David D. Friedman - 2017-11-24 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
In one of Lois Bujold's books, a character is changed from female to male via a high tech medical procedure. In Karl Gallagher's Torchship series, sex change operations are treated as routine options–one minor character has changed f to m in order to be physically qualified for a preferred military...
David D. Friedman - 2017-11-23 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I got home very early this morning from a two week speaking trip in Brazil. I recorded four of the talks and they are now webbed, along with powerpoints and a video of one talk that someone else recorded. My talk in Rio was live streamed but I have not yet figured out where on the web it is. A few...
David D. Friedman - 2017-10-28 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
The solution to the present problem of North Korea seems obvious–we should have invaded them a little more than a decade ago, just before they developed nuclear weapons. It looks like the modern version of the lesson of Munich: Britain and France should have opposed Hitler early, when he was still...
David D. Friedman - 2017-10-28 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I have just come across a fascinating piece, a lecture on Newton by Keynes, delivered posthumously by Keynes' brother and largely based on Newton's unpublished papers, apparently totaling about a million words. The central thesis is that Newton's "unscientific" work was just as careful and logical...
David D. Friedman - 2017-10-20 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
A few days ago I spent some seven hours attending a meeting of the San Jose City Council. I was there to speak against a proposed gun control law, but there were other interesting things in the meeting. One of them was a discussion of the Evergreen Senior Homes Initiative, a ballot measure proposed...
David D. Friedman - 2017-10-15 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
As I have mentioned here before, one of my current writing projects is a collection of short works of literature that have interesting economic insights. In a conversation yesterday at an SSC meetup, someone mentioned a Conrad story that sounded as though it would fit in very nicely. Unfortunately...
David D. Friedman - 2017-10-09 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
Some recent comment threads on Slate Star Codex, my favorite blog, have dealt with the always lively issue of gun control. One standard argument is "we know gun control laws work because the U.S., which has relatively few restrictions, has a much higher homicide rate than countries such as Canada...
David D. Friedman - 2017-10-09 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I have made tentative arrangements for another European trip. At the moment it looks like four or five talks in two weeks, so I could squeeze in a few more, hence this post. Current schedule: April 14th, Belgrade April 21st, Sofia April 28th, Norway Sometime between those dates possibly Poland...
David D. Friedman - 2017-09-22 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I debated him at the Young Americans for Liberty national convention on anarchism vs minarchism. I unfortunately did not record the debate, and YAL didn't either.  It occurred to me that, since nowadays practically everyone has a smartphone which doubles as, among many other things, a recorder,...
David D. Friedman - 2017-08-23 - Original post - cached version [php_1]

A very long time ago, I wrote some computer programs to go with my price theory textbook. The idea, in each case, was to do something on the computer that could not be done on paper. My favorite was a program I called curvedraw, which let you draw a total cost curve freehand on the computer. As...

David D. Friedman - 2017-06-19 - Original post - cached version [php_1]

Two cities I have enjoyed visiting and hope to visit again. They are quite a long distance apart and in many ways very different, but they have one thing in common. In both cities, all the architects are crazy.

Not, however, in the same way. Shanghai architects are science fiction crazy...

David D. Friedman - 2017-06-19 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
It has been very hot in San Jose the last few days. One solution is air conditioning, which we have and sometimes use. The other is to open the windows in the evening, when it cools off, close them in the morning. Sometimes–last night, for instance–that cools the house faster than air conditioning...
David D. Friedman - 2017-06-15 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I have just webbed the first draft of the project I have been discussing here, a collection of short works of literature that contain economics with some brief comments by me. Most of the works are available online, so I could do it as a collection of links without first getting copyright...
David D. Friedman - 2017-06-14 - Original post - cached version [php_1]

I have just webbed the latest draft of the book I have been writing. To give you a quick idea of what's there, here is the table of contents:


1.      Imperial Chinese Law
2.      Romani Law
3.      The Amish
4.      Jewish Law
5.      Islamic Law...

David D. Friedman - 2017-05-21 - Original post - cached version [php_1]

For people interested in attending, here is the list of the open talks:

Gothenburg, Sweden, May 24, 18:00 CEST "A World of Strong Privacy: Anarcho-Capitalism Online" Allégården, Södra Allégatan 4, Gothenburg Facebook link    Stockholm, Sweden, May 25, 17:00 "The Confederation of Liberal...
David D. Friedman - 2017-05-15 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
A  link in a recent post on my favorite blog took me to a piece on a recent article from the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam. It describes a procedure which appears to reverse aging in mice. These are early results, they might be wrong, there might be currently unknown problems, and we...
David D. Friedman - 2017-05-14 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
My younger son writes, among other things, fiction set in the world of super heroes and super villains. This morning he pointed me at someone else's work in that genre, a novella: Interviewing Leather. I read it. The narrator is a reporter working for a Rolling Stone equivalent in a world with...
David D. Friedman - 2017-05-02 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
My recent posts here have dealt with my current project of putting together a book of short works of literature that have interesting economic ideas embedded in them. I've gotten suggestions both here and in response to emails that I sent to people who I thought might help. Some of the suggestions...
David D. Friedman - 2017-04-30 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
At least since I successfully used this blog to get a design for the cover of the third edition of my first book, I have been intrigued with the idea of using the internet as a way of collecting ideas and information. My current project, described in my previous post, is an obvious candidate. I...
David D. Friedman - 2017-04-16 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
In two previous posts I described my current project to put together a collection of works of literature that teach economics. Inspired in part by comments to those posts, I now have almost half a book's worth and am looking for more. Here is the current list, not necessarily in what will be the...
David D. Friedman - 2017-04-03 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
A while back, I put up a post about an idea for a book, a collection of works of literature that taught economic ideas. Thanks to comments on that post, my list has expanded from two works to four, with a few other possibles. The purpose of this post is to make what I am looking for clearer and ask...
David D. Friedman - 2017-03-27 - Original post - cached version [php_1]

Both of the courses I am teaching this year are being video recorded and webbed. It occurred to me that some of my readers might find one or both interesting.

Economic Analysis of Law
Class Page
Book: Late Draft in HTML  Page Images with Virtual Footnotes

David D. Friedman - 2017-03-17 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I recently came across a news story which struck me as a good example of how to mislead people, probably for political purposes, without saying anything that was not actually true. The title was "Watch out: Mammals shrink when Earth heats up, study says." The story reported evidence that, at a...
David D. Friedman - 2017-03-11 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
Certainly there will be taxes that relate to automation. Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things. If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d...
David D. Friedman - 2017-03-10 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I just came across a letter I wrote to Edith Efron in 1978 on the anarchist/minarchist controversy. It occurred to me that others might find it interesting. I don't remember if she ever answered it. 

But then, I also don't remember writing it.
David D. Friedman - 2017-03-10 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
One possible interpretation of Trump's actions is that he is ignorant, stupid, impulsive and thin skinned. During the campaign the obvious implication, which many drew, was that he had done and would continue doing stupid things that would lose him the nomination or, if he somehow got the...
David D. Friedman - 2017-03-09 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
 [Warning: This post assumes the reader understands the Principle of Comparative Advantage. Those who don't will find an explanation here.] Assortative mating is the pattern of like partnering with like. A standard example is the tendency of men with college degrees to marry women with college...
David D. Friedman - 2017-03-06 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
It looks as though I will be giving a talk in Moscow on May 30th. If I am going to come that far, I might as well give more than one talk. Is anyone in that part of the world interested? Looking at flights to Moscow, they seem to typically go through London, Paris, Frankfurt, or Istanbul, although...
David D. Friedman - 2017-03-04 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I recently gave and graded a midterm exam on the application of economics to law. On one problem a number of students made the same interesting mistake, interesting for two reasons. It illustrates one of the ways in which it is easy to misunderstand economic ideas. And it points to a conceptual...
David D. Friedman - 2017-03-03 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
After answering the exam questions you know the answers to you still have time left. You spend the rest of your time answering  questions you do not know the answers to, in the hope that something you write will fool the professor grading the exam into thinking you know the answer, at least in...
David D. Friedman - 2017-02-18 - Original post - cached version [php_1]
I have just read a fascinating article describing how political campaigns, most recently the Trump campaign, use the internet, social media, AI, and related technologies to target and influence voters. Assuming its account is accurate, what it is describing is what political campaigns have long...


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