“Regulations are a full-employment bill for economists!”

— Walter Block

At Mises University tonight, Walter Block gave a personal remembrance of Murray Rothbard. (I watched the video stream from!)

He ended by telling a joke … or rather by telling about a time he told a couple of jokes to a conference on anti-trust law. What follows isn’t word-for-word.

Soviet criminal #1: “I’m in prison because I always came to work late and the state prosecuted me for theft of time and wages.”

Soviet criminal #2: “I’m in prison because I always came to work early and the state accused me of brown-nosing to get personal advantage.”

Soviet criminal #3: “I’m in prison because I always came to work exactly on time and the state accused me of owning a western watch.”


Anti-trust criminal #1: “I charged lower prices than my competition and was prosecuted for predatory pricing.”

Anti-trust criminal #2: “I charged much higher prices than my competition and the state accused me of profiteering.”

Anti-trust criminal #3: “I charged exactly the same prices as my competition and was charged with collusion.”


Why Robots?

Ken MacLeod, author of the great SF novel, Stone Canal, wrote a very nice piece in his blog a couple weeks ago on the twentieth-century fascination with robots:

distance learning

I promise that this blog won’t just be a set of links to Gary North articles.

(It will also be a set of links to Murray Rothbard articles!)

(Oh, and some of my articles too, as they slowly find their way into publication.)

Today, for the first time, I got a glimpse of what internet-based distance learning will be like. Mises University 2004 — the week-long summer session that the Mises Institute holds to teach students the basics of the Austrian School — is offering a live video feed of their lectures.

Now I’ve already listened to every MP3 that makes available — usually on my iPod while I do other things. I started out doing something similar with the Mises feed: playing the lectures on power speakers while I assembled shelves and unpacked boxes of books, but by the second half of Hans-Hermann Hoppe‘s introduction to Praxeology, I have to admit, there was something compelling about sitting still and just watching the lecture on my powerbook, where I could have (but didn’t) take notes, check references, look up words, etc. (Hoppe introduces Praxeology at most of the Mises University summer sessions, but I found this year’s particularly good. He gave historical background, political implications, and a philosophical refutation of positivism.)

Here’s what North has to say on how the internet will impact 21st-century education:

The Coming Breakdown of the Academic Cartel

And here’s a longer version he makes available in an email report:

Never Pay Retail for a College Education

North is especially good on the cartel economics of the university system.