Chronically Human Podcast Ep. 11 w/ Dr. Mark Thornton of the Mises Institute

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Dr. Mark Thornton of the Mises Institute joins us. He is a professor, author and a first class Austrian Economist.

Dr. Mark Thornton’s profile on Mises.org

The Mises Institute is a non-profit educational organization promoting Austrian Economics, Freedom and Peace. (Hard to argue with any of that)

Go to https://mises.org to check out their massive library of free online books, their daily articles as well as the coverage of current events.

Today we talked about the dangerous rise of socialism in America, the roots of this ideology and the historical results of what happens when it’s put into practice.

Death by Government

We also talked about ending the War on Drugs and about Modern Monetary Theory.

Mark’s book “Economics of Prohibition” – Free book

Check out Mark’s most recent book for free “The Skyscraper Curse”

Skyscraper Curse Book pdf

We talked a lot about Frederik Bastiat during our discussion, who was a French economist that lived in the first half of the 19th century.

I believe that Bastiat’s short work “The Law” is one of the best defenses of individual liberty and one of the best counters to Socialism as well as Neoconservatism that I’ve ever read.

You can read Bastiat’s pamphlet here. Bastiat’s The Law Pdf .

The Mises Institute has a huge library online you can read for free. I’ve read tons of great books there that have shaped my understanding of freedom, economics and the ideas of peace.

If you want to further explore the reasons why individuals act and what’s the best way to organize society, check out:

Ludwig Von Mises masterpiece “Human Action”

https://mises.org/sites/default/files/Human%20Action_3.pdf

Murray Rothbard’s Classic tome “Man, Economy and State”.

https://mises.org/sites/default/files/Man%2C%20Economy%2C%20and%20State%2C%20with%20Power%20and%20Market_2.pdf

Frederick Bastiat’s “Collected Works”

Bastiat Collected works pdf

You can follow them:

The Mises Institute on Facebook

and check them out on Twitter: @mises

Thanks for watching.

Brad Miller

The Chronically Human Podcast

Bitcoin explained in 60 seconds

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are the next evolution of money and banking.

What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a proven and secure decentralized digital currency and payment system. There are about 800 other crypto-currencies out there but Bitcoin is the grandfather of them all. Bitcoin and other decentralized digital currencies are the next evolution in money because they aren’t issued and controlled by a government and do not require financial institutions to store or to send them. This technology is revolutionizing banking, politics and global peace because individuals are now empowered to send money to anyone around the world with just their phone.

Brad Miller

Fellow Human

Feeding The Wolves Within

There is an old Native American parable about the two wolves we have within us all. The two wolves represent the darkness and the light. And each day we get to choose which of the wolves we feed. We feed the wolves with our thoughts, emotions and actions. This in turn determines which wolf grows. I consciously considered which wolf I was feeding with my mental state when I went see the movie “Logan” with a good friend.

I’m terrified of making commitments. I’ve been chronically ill for almost three decades now. In that time I’ve made and backed out of hundreds of opportunities to do stuff with friends and family. And this was always to my detriment. I would bail because I was in pain, tired or just emotionally in a dark place. The Dark Wolf was being fed a lot back then. Even now when I make plans it’s a big deal for me and which wolf will be fed is not a certainty.

Even before I made the plans I was feeding the wrong wolf with negative emotions. I was going through the normal bullshit of “I’ll bail”, “I’ll feel like shit and not have fun”, or “I’ll have to leave the movie because I’ll get sick and ruin it for him”…and so on and so on. The Dark Wolf fed heartily on these negative emotions. After deliberating for a few days I finally did suggest that we meet to go see the movie and he agreed. That was the first hurtle.

The next step was to finalize the plans – What time and where? I suggested a time and a place and he countered with a different movie theater than I had first considered and I wasn’t really thrilled with the choice due to the location. Again I was vacillating between feeding the diametrically opposed wolves within. As we are going back and forth with texting – which really was only a brief exchange I became anxious because I get all knotted up inside when I have to wait for someone to respond to a text. I know its stupid but it’s something that happens. And my Dark Wolf fucking loves to feed on anxiety, that’s his second favorite food behind feasting on self-hatred. I was able to put aside the fact we were going to a different theatre and I actually made the best of it by suggesting we grab dinner at an Italian joint I’ve not eaten at in a while. Turning a situation to the good is food the White Wolf devours.

I get to the theatre right on time. It’s packed and again alarm bells go off – I’m not a fan of crowds. The Dark Wolf is salivating over what emotions and thoughts which are bubbling up in my mind. I get to the theatre and park just in time before the movie starts and my friend isn’t there. I wait some more. It’s now ten minutes. And my first thought is this is why I don’t make plans. I would just rather do stuff alone. That is what I normally do because I feel that I’m so unreliable anyway. Again the Dark Wolf wolfed down these negative thoughts and emotions. My friend then texted and said he’d be five minutes due to traffic. Then it was ten and finally after fifteen minutes I stopped allowing the negative emotions and thoughts to occur.

Instead of standing there doing nothing except indulging my Dark Wolf in his favorite foods. I took the time to edit a previous blog post as I waited and I began to relax and actually enjoy myself. I could feel the Dark Wolf slink back into the recesses of my mind. The White Wolf was now being fed steadily and was strong enough to chase him away. I thought I’ll make the most of it and in the end it’s just a movie.
I was inside waiting and then I had to go outside to meet him and then we had to wait in line to show the ticket guy our electronic tickets. Again the Dark Wolf poked his head out of the long grass in my consciousness but he had nothing to eat. I kept thinking “it’s okay, I’m really excited to see the movie and I’ll catch the beginning when I buy it”. Then we went and got some waters and found screen number 12 showing “Logan”. By now I didn’t care about time because what’s the difference between twenty minutes or twenty five minutes late, it didn’t matter at all.

At the number 12 screen a huge line had formed. One person in line told us the showtime had been pushed back. We hadn’t missed anything. All of those anxieties and doubts and self-recriminations and dredging up ancient negative memories was a total waste of time. But in the end of that scenario I had fed the White Wolf more than the Dark Wolf and I think that sums up what all the philosophies and the religions are attempting to teach us. Which can be summed up with : each day we all have a choice of which wolf we are going to feed. Negative emotions like jealousy, hatred, fear and self doubt feed the Dark Wolf. And positive emotions like Love, peace, hope and gratitude feed the White Wolf. 

The question I ask myself each morning is “Which wolf gets fed today?”.

Brad Miller

Fellow Human 

Purpose of life is more life

What if humans weren’t a cancer on the world? What if human activity was natural just like the activity of every other plant and animal on Earth? And what if nature has created us to spread life off this planet onto the barren rocks of space?

Ninety nine percent of all species on Earth are extinct.  There have been six mass extinctions and at one point in time 96% of all species were wiped out. And guess what we had zero to do with it. Either the Earth or the Jniverse or whatever forces are at work here don’t give two shits about life on this planet or life is so resilient that not even a massive ball of fire hurtling towards the earth at 70,000 miles an hour can wipe out all of Earth. I am of the belief that it is the later.

My theory is that humans are not the problem and in fact we are the solution to making life more resilient. This is inline with Life’s Number one Commandment which is to become more resilient you must grow. I believe that Humans are the brains of nature and our hands are needed to rearrange the natural world so we can leave this planet and in doing so bring the seeds of life. We have been chosen to be THE GARDENERS OF THE GALAXY.

What we know so far is that in our neighborhood of space there is no other planet that has life. Life wants to expand grow and increase in complexity. We are on the cusp of increasing in compact in order to spread the seeds of life to asteroids, moons and planets. When humans fulfill our birthright trillions upon trillions of new species will evolve. The breadth and complexity of life in a few hundred years will dwarf any impact we’ve had on our fellow pecies of Earth.

Even if humans weren’t here the likely hood all the animals would go extinct is still 100% over a sufficient timescale on Earth. By moving out into space Nature has increased her odds of continuing. I do believe that Nature or Life is a force of some kind. Not in a hippie dippie way but in a way that we have not yet been able to measure. And when we do measure this force it will be one that contains this simple line of “code” “Grow”. That is its fundamental imperative.

Humans are so self hating. We are regaled by the prophets of doom on a daily basis. We are destroying the “planet”. We are making all other species extinct. What if all this messy development is to serve a larger purpose? Could all the cat videos, porn and spam that fueled the creation and adoption of the internet exist simply to provide the resources to create the cyber world? And this cyber world was necessary in order to facilitate the creation of new technology that will:

ONE – Will help us stop the next killer comet from wiping us out and most of life on Earth.

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Secondly: Will help us reach all the rocky barren worlds out there to help fulfill our imperative and the imperative of all life which is to grow.

Think about what humans are doing. We are mining the rocks and resources that are locked deep down within the planet that is being unproductive and brining it up to the surface to become building blocks of life. What if all things that are considered non-living are actually part of the living system in the universe? We are all made up of non-living materials. The more non-living materials that are available for life will in turn become more life.

Humans are part of the natural system. We are not separate. We are not a cancer. The more humans the better because no one has any idea how we are going to get into space and spread life around cosmos. Life exists to do one thing and that is to grow. We are fulfilling this biological imperative and we are going to move other life with us wherever we go. No other species that has existed that we know of could do this.

What if the Earth is a seed? In a seed all that the plant needs to sprout and to grow initially is inside the seed. This includes DNA plus minerals, fats, and other molecules that help the DNA to create proteins in order to fulfill its mandate which is to grow. Life on Earth is using Earth as a seed. What other purpose does it have? A static view of nature is naive, foolish and down right dangerous. Massive changes have been the normal condition of Earth for its supposed 4 billion plus years. To think the Earth or the sun for that matter is Eternal is insanity.

The idea that we can “use up” resources is also a mistake. If a plant uses all of its minerals and fat and other molecules contained in its seed does that mean that matter no longer exists? No on the contrary. This seed has now put these non-living materials into the living world. This will in turn be reimagined by an endless number of creatures. Each of us began in space, the water we have in our bodies began in a comet, our minerals were carried to Earth by asteroids. And all of these minerals and other building blocks of life have been recycled for all intents and purposes an infinite amount of time. How many bacteria and viruses die inside us each day? How much food do we eat each day? How much water passes through us?

I do believe that this LIFE FORCE wants us to spread life to the Stars beginning with our Moon, Mars and other rocky bodies on our Galactic Street. Having a larger perspective about this Life Force is important or authoritarians can gain control and actually decrease the amount of life that exists and limits its complexity and resiliency. Without this perspective it’s easy to look at incidents and relationships that are occurring on a minuscule time scale in relation to geological time, especially when we try to understand human activity, we can actually betray Life’s Imperative of Growth.

Humans need to flourish for life to move beyond Earth. And for humans to flourish we need freedom. We are best when we are free to chart our own paths. The United States is extremely flawed in many ways. But what was done right in my opinion was the rejection of the idea that the state issued rights. All humans have inherent rights that I believe are in line with the Life Force’s imperative of Growth. They include the Right to Life Liberty and Property. When people are free to chart their own path, keep the production of their labor, and peacefully trade with others amazing things happen. Food production sky rockets, technology increases exponentially, and life expectancy increases.

Now that being said I don’t believe in a scorched Earth policy. And I don’t believe that will happen when people are free. I do believe that humans when we learn more and more about the inherent laws of nature we will work more efficiently with those forces in less wasteful ways. Having a growth mindset for life in all regards is a healthy attitude to have. The more diversity in life that Earth has the more new species will evolve when we plant the seeds of life on other worlds. Freedom creates resiliency because it encourages individual adaptations to local resources and social conditions.

Now this doesn’t mean we should concrete over the entire world. The philosophy of life is growth. How we grow is important but it shouldn’t be at the hands of authoritarians. The Climate Change crowd and a lot of the environmental movement is led by authoritarians who want to control individuals. That is not good for growth. Freedom is necessary for individuals to learn from their mistakes and to follow their predilections and also their talents to flourish. When that happens technology advances. Life also learns from its mistakes. There is no top down committee or dictator determining how many acorns a squirrel should bury or how much salmon a bear should eat before it hibernates. Humans are apart of or infused with this same LIFE FORCE that compels the growth of all life.

A lot of folks will say even if they agree with my premise that we should go to the stars in order to spread life is that the smartest should be anointed by those in power and given taxpayer funds to accomplish this. That again is against the paradigm of the natural world. Taxation is a form of theft. That money existed in an individuals pocket before it was taken. The more people are working on these opportunities the better. And those who are looking to accomplish this should have to exist in the Free Market just like you and I do. That is we have to persuade others to part with their cash by exchanging our ideas, knowledge and labor for it.

No one could predict how the internet or smart phones have impacted the world. No one can predict how we are going to go to space. And we can’t force this by funneling resources to authoritarians who have a monopoly of force determine how 7 billion people in the world should live. Anyone who wants to contribute to or increase the expression of the Life Force on Earth should withhold as much power and resources from governments as possible. Have you been to a military base lately? They are toxic waste dumps. How many hundreds of millions have been killed by governments? How many people died today because of drone strikes? How many people around the world are having trouble affording food because of the actions of the Federal Reserve?

Others will argue that only government can accumulate the resources to do the really important work. I counter that with the fact that large companies are constantly going out of business because of competition from smaller companies because technology, attitudes and ideas are constantly evolving. A perfect example of how small scale private projects can create progress when a larger scale public project funded by billions is still years away, is the Fusion generator quest. Lockheed Skunkworks is leading the private sector way with this tech and is less than ten years away to create a compact fusion reactor that will be truck transportable and be able to power over 80,000 homes. While a huge European project is ten years behind schedule on its timetable and 4.6 Billion over budget and may never be turned on. Lockheed or some other company will beat the government run program because of the ability to adapt to the new information and technology that is being created everyday.

One example within this example is the development of hydrogen metal magnets. These super conducting metal was just created last year. The government project which is based on ten year old technology will not be able to adapt to this new tech while Lockheed or another company might be able to. The benefit of the Hydrogen metal is that it is a super conducting metal at room temperature. This allows designers to create significantly smaller fusion reactors. In the future fusion reactors will create nearly limitless energy using materials readily available.

The future is amazingly bright for humanity and the Life Force. In the past the Earth was at the mercy of heavenly bodies smashing into it and setting back evolution millions of years. The Life Force on Earth has never had a defender of her biosphere like humanity. We are the brains and hands of Gaia or whatever you want to call the Life Force, who will be able to destroy any killer planet killing comets or asteroids that come our way. And one day if enough individuals live in an atmosphere of peace and freedom we will have the tech necessary to launch ourselves into space and create new Edens on the endless planets that exist. We have the potential to help the Life Force spread where she has not yet gotten a toe hold.

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I used to think that going to space was insane. Why would we want to go to a place that is so unfit for life. But this is exactly the reason we are compelled to go. Because life is not there. Humans have an innate need to explore and to find new spaces to inhabit. The complexity and resiliency of life is only going to expand as humans increase despite the klaxon of warnings being sounded by the population control people, the climate change people and the environmentalists. I say the more humans the better. The more minds we have the more capable we will be to defend and to spread life to where it is not.

If people truly care about life we should all want more humans on Earth and to have those humans live in an atmosphere of peace and freedom. Prosperity breeds technological innovation and freedom gives space to individuals to dream big, gain resources using persuasion, and create the necessary tech to get to space and thrive on other planets. And if peace lasts for long enough we will do just that. If peace lasts for long enough and if there is enough freedom for the billions of individuals on Earth we are destined to go forth into the Cosmos in order to be fruitful and multiply. We are not a plague. Babies are not the enemy. Life is precious. We are created to create more life. We all embody the Life Force’s Imperative which is to Grow. The more we do the more life has a chance of reaching the stars with us.