Democracy

As I was getting acquainted with the ideas of liberty I read many e-books and listened to many audio books courtesy of the Mises Institute. Almost every topic that came up went through the same process:

  1. Hey, Daniel! Here’s something you know about!
  2. Wha…? Wait! What’s going on? What are you saying about this topic that I am very familiar with and have strong, (supposedly) well-informed and grounded opinions on?
  3. Worldview shattered.

Continue reading “Democracy”

If you gave me one book to read, which would it be?

I never learn… When you lend someone a book you’re pretty much guaranteed never to get it back. I’ve lent (or should I say ‘reluctantly given away’) more great books than I can keep track of.

And the worse thing is that those who don’t return your books are the ones who didn’t even like the books. How do I know this? Because if you liked the first book of liberty that you read you find yourself in a never-ending quest for more. The ones who liked the books I gave them are the ones who came back to me wanting further book recommendations. Continue reading “If you gave me one book to read, which would it be?”

Other classifications

To make things easier to find, I created a few groupings that allow you to narrow down certain topics that include a large number of named individuals, geographical locations, or geopolitical entities. So in addition to the detailed name of the person, group or location I created the topics: people and groups; areas and nations; economists; and politicians (who, within it, include also nation state leaders and US presidents).

You can always use the search bar to look for a particular person or country. The autocomplete function will bring up the search results immediately as you type. But if you just can’t remember the name of the person or if you want to get some ideas by searching the broader category (e.g. “let’s see which economists have something written about them…”) this would be a great way to do it.

And sometimes you might just want to read a book that seems to have a wide variety of topics, like a primer on some broad topic or a book that will help you answer every question under the sun. In that case you may just want to filter with the word smorgasbord and see what books come up.

. . .

This concludes the series on Recommended Starting Points. I hope you found some useful content in here or, better yet, know that these posts exist so you come back here again when you start over looking for new topics to explore. And as always, thank you for reading!

Literature

While all books technically fall under the topic of “literature“, I’ve reserved this tag mostly as a way for you to easily filter through the many hundred titles to find works of fiction (whether it be science fiction or dystopian novels), humor (yes, believe it or not, there are plenty of those), poetry (even harder to believe, right?) or quotes.

The great manifestos are clearly labeled, as are Festschrifts, which are collections of writings published in honor of a scholar. Finally, I included a range of biographies and autobiographies that shed light on some key individuals.

Within these topics you will probably find the widest range of books to suit whatever you’re in the mood for tonight. Take that light fiction book with you on vacation one day and pore over the pages of that great manifesto the next. And as always, thank you for reading!

Technology

As a tool devised by our ingenuity, technology is what has propelled us to becoming the dominant species on Earth despite comparative physical disadvantages. But technology continues to empower those in whose hands it should not be used. From outright war to the underappreciated abuses of mass surveillance, the State has been using technology to strip us of life, liberty and property since the dawn of its existence.

In the age of The American Panopticon, breaches of privacy and security through domestic spying are pervasive. The ability to retaliate through the use of bitcoin, and other crypto-currencies and blockchain solutions, or with tools like Tor, the Dark Net, and further ingenious hacking techniques were brought to us by cypherpunks and other such heroes.

Learning the technical skills to disrupt and contribute is best done online. The technology world moves fast and traditional publishers can’t keep up. But I have amassed a significant collections of books, nonetheless, on these topics within the pages of Books of Liberty.

So whether it’s a “how to”, a thrilling novel or a fascinating non-fiction book, I invite you to browse through these topics and find that which intrigues you. And as always, thank you for reading!

Physical and Mental Wellbeing

The main aspects of your physical wellbeing that help prevent disease and ill-health are diet and fitness. It goes without saying that each body is unique and I have insufficient information to assess the efficacy of the ideas represented in the diet and fitness books linked within Books of Liberty’s pages.

Healthcare is another important component and the books within this topic may include not just a “how to” on healthcare but also theoretical expositions, commentary and opinion and other economic analyses or policy critiques.

One’s mental wellbeing is influenced by a large number of factors, over which I am even less qualified to talk about than I am on diet and fitness. However I have compiled books on a variety of topics that will help educate you on matters of self-esteem, stress management, the effects of trauma or punishment and reward on mental health and happiness, as well as help you gain more self-awareness through mindfulness and a focus on authenticity.

Related topics within the psychology area will bring you more insight into a variety of factors affecting our minds and our emotional intelligence. These include our inclination to obedience, authority and conformity and, with some, this includes outright psychopathy and narcissism, as represented by most who seek political office. These are very important topics to grasp for all who seek to understand the root cause of our lack of freedom in the world today.

Real world experiments on behaviorism, including controversial experiments (such as the Milgram experiment or the Stanford prison experiment) shine light on topics like the Lucifer Effect where otherwise good people end up doing evil. Fascinating insight into the human condition!

Given the broad range of subjects and books related to physical and mental wellbeing, there is no way I can cover all the different aspects. Feel free to contact us with suggestions for different books or topics. And as always, thank you for reading!

Personal Development

Between education, entrepreneurship, communication skills and other such important topics, personal development forms a key component of one’s path to personal freedom. No human is perfect and while we ought to balance the recognition of this fact with self-esteem and acceptance of our nature, there is room for improvement in us all (and if nothing else, there is room for us to at least maintain our level of awesomeness).

I’ve included books covering important components of personal development and tools to increase your efficiency. These include productivity and time management methodologies (such as the highly recommended Getting Things Done or GTD), leadership skills, creativity, resilience, organizational skills and many more, all of which require the formation of great habits, self-discipline and willpower. Other intriguing topics like stoicism and minimalism are covered too.

Topics related with personal development include physical and mental wellbeing as well as psychology, which I will cover in my next post.

I know I keep saying that each group of topics is crucial. Indeed if it’s not, why include it in my site? But mastering some of these techniques, creating the right habits, prioritizing your work, etc. have a significant and lasting impact on the rest of your path to self-education and personal freedom.

These books are not necessarily written by people who share all the same views that are common to many guests of Books of Liberty. So please join the conversation and provide other members your comments, reviews and unique insights as to how you applied these concepts to your lives. And as always, thank you for reading!

Communication Skills

If there is one thing that I’m willing to bet on, it’s that there are topics within the pages of Books of Liberty for which you are very passionate. And wouldn’t it be great if you could convince just a few more people to see things the way you do on these subjects? If there is one tool in your tool-belt that you need in order to achieve this aim, it’s improved communication skills.

With techniques such as nonviolent communication, or NVC (for which we have many books and study guides), or other means of empathic connection you can reach a meeting of the minds on almost anything. In addition to convincing an “opponent” in a debate, this may significantly improve interpersonal relations, parenting, help with conflict resolution and is an important social skill to have.

In fact, good communication skills of this sort are so vital, they affect everything from a chat at the water cooler, to negotiating a hostage crisis (because you never know when you might find yourself in that situation).

In order to strengthen your arguments, you will utilize critical thinking and problem solving techniques to help frame your ideas, apply logic consistently and remove cognitive biases, and you will learn to identify others’ use of logical fallacies or fear and manipulation.

Then, with the power of empathic connection you will use your rhetoric to its full potential, whether through writing, debating, negotiation, public speaking or other forms of communication.

Now you just have to promise to use your superior communication skills for good and not for evil… And as always, thank you for reading!