Popular Culture

Politics is downstream from culture, as Andrew Breitbart used to say. Think what you want of the outfit that now bears his name, which has morphed greatly from what he had left behind before his death, but Andrew Breitbart was very astute in understanding that if you change the cultural narrative you can alter the political landscape as a consequence.

This phrase confirms another sentiment expressed by many libertarians over the years regarding the nature of a democratic government: politicians need to get re-elected. They will tend not to act upon something that is unpopular or if it is not accepted within their culture. Therefore an ideology must have already achieved critical mass in the hearts of the people before legislation can be passed to set it in stone. Continue reading “Popular Culture”

The Privatization of Roads & Highways

…or as it’s better known “MUH ROADS!

Oh my goodness! If I have to hear “but who will build the roads?” one more time I will drive my car off the cliff – where there are no roads! Although I guess that will be counterproductive to my long-term goal of education here at Books of Liberty, so on second thoughts maybe I’ll just write a short blog post about it. Continue reading “The Privatization of Roads & Highways”

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!

Education

It should come as no surprise that the education topic is chock-full of great material. Given the range of items it covers, you will see why it is the third most popular topic on this site.

The two largest topics you’ll find within education are your “how to” books and those that bust myths and misconceptions. These two categories assist you greatly in your long path of autodidacticism (self-directed learning). Both the “how to” and the myths and misconceptions books cover a wide range of interests, helping you educate yourself (and others) in pretty much every other topic on this site. Case studies are also well represented and learning from them is a good way to help bring clarity to a subject.

However, in addition to books that educate, a large number of books discuss the education system itself, such as higher education and college alternatives, or the public school system and public school alternatives (whether it be homeschooling, Montessori, a Sudbury School approach, or other forms of unschooling).

For those homeschooling or otherwise teaching young ones, resources exist on reading (including debates between whole-word / look-say and phonics), and for the older student and certainly for the self-directed learners out there, you will find resources on the trivium method that provides a systematic approach (of grammar, logic and rhetoric) to learning any subject effectively, and you will find plenty of study guides on a variety of subjects.

As a self-directed learner, a fan of busting myths and as a father I feel that this is one of the most crucial set of topics. These lay the foundation upon which everything else can be built. I hope you find as much use in these books as I have. And as always, thank you for reading!