Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Machinery of Freedom is Webbed

Today I got permission from my publisher to web the full text of The Machinery of Freedom; I have now done so. The file I am using is a pdf that some unknown person posted some time back without permission. Since he felt free to pirate my work, I think it only fair to free ride on his effort scanning the book in.

The next step will be to add additional material and produce a third edition. It is possible, but not likely, that my current publisher will be interested in bringing it out. Failing that, perhaps another publisher will be. Failing that, there is always self publishing, which is a more viable option now than it used to be.

28 Comments:

At 11:52 PM, June 17, 2010, Blogger Rodney said...

I can't really convey in words how much that book changed my entire political worldview...

My faith in any state-based institution pretty much evaporated after I read your 2nd edition about a year and a half ago. I'm currently writing a review of it for Amazon.com, and I will definitely pre-order the third edition the second it becomes listed.

I'm glad to see the entire second edition is available on the web at last! I will encourage as many people as possible to download it and buy the 3rd edition if they are hungry for more. If they end up thinking the same way I do, I doubt they will stop at just the webbed version.

When my amazon review is finished, I will put suggestions of what you may want to include in your third edition there (I'll link to it and use the same name here). Lately I've been working on a small introductory book on anarcho-capitalism myself to play the same role "Libertarianism in One Lesson" did for the broader freedom camp. Though intended to stick with just the fundamentals (law, constitutional/democratic authority, monopoly & antitrust, copyright, plus national defense and other public goods), I will surely stress any potential readers to go deeper and see the pro-freedom work you articulated decades ago for themselves.

Even today, I can't believe how many of your "speculations" have already become more than possible; pay-per-view seems like a more than viable way of funding a space project. PPV tv has done quite a service to boxing and mixed martial arts as is. Perhaps Virgin Galactic will soon take heed to your suggestion! As for NASA, I won't hold my breath...

I, as with many others in the decades to come, will refer to your book as the final spark that led to rejecting governmental functions altogether.

Thanks Friedman!

 
At 1:47 AM, June 18, 2010, Blogger sconzey said...

I've been wanting to get this book for a while now. I'd planned to pick it up as summer reading but was reticent to fork out full price if you'd be bringing out a new edition soon. :P You're a hero. Promise I'll buy the new edition, however you choose to publish it. ;)

 
At 2:30 AM, June 18, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

curiosly, the pdf seems to be from a Brazilian guy named "Rafael". I bet he is one of the hardcore Brazilian libertarians. However, the piracy...

 
At 2:30 AM, June 18, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

curiosly, the pdf seems to be from a Brazilian guy named "Rafael". I bet he is one of the hardcore Brazilian libertarians. However, the piracy...

 
At 2:35 AM, June 18, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the original link prof. Friedman probably found it: http://enxurrada.blogspot.com/2009/03/57-david-friedman-machinery-of-freedom.html

It seems the guy is against property rights (or at least copyrights) and also an anarcho-capitalist.

 
At 4:33 AM, June 18, 2010, Anonymous TJIC said...

> I can't really convey in words how much that book changed my entire political worldview...


What he said.

I was a small government conservative ("Starship Troopers" and "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" were my two formative texts) until I read Machinery of Freedom and Nozick's Anarchy, State & Utopia when I was 19 or so.

I've been an anarcho-capitalist for the last 20 years.

Once you see both the moral and pragmatic truth behind a proposition, most other half-baked ideas (conservativism, progressivism, democracy, etc.) seem more sad and pathetic than anything else.

Thank you!

 
At 8:06 AM, June 18, 2010, Anonymous Mike Gogulski said...

Heroic! Thank you!

Also, strong agreement with Rodney's first sentence.

 
At 9:44 AM, June 18, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a question... I guess you wouldn't mind it then if someone translated it and put translation online?

 
At 10:13 AM, June 18, 2010, Blogger Jonathan said...

Great. I have multiple copies of the book on paper already, but I've downloaded the PDF.

Traditional books are good for reading from cover to cover, but files on my computer are good for quick reference and searching.

I agree with Rodney: when I found it in the early 1980s, the book changed my worldview permanently.

 
At 11:41 AM, June 18, 2010, Blogger Sciencebzzt said...

finally!

 
At 1:39 PM, June 18, 2010, Anonymous Rafael Hotz said...

I found the pdf for free on emule... I just tried to divulgate it

 
At 2:16 PM, June 18, 2010, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous asks about webbing translations. Two problems:

1. I expect that my publisher will revert the copyright to me, but it hasn't happened yet--what I have now is an email saying I am free to web it. So although I have no objection to webbed translations, I don't think I am yet entitled to authorize one.

2. If someone does a translation into a language I have some knowledge of, I would like a chance to go over it before it is made public. In my experience, translators can quite badly mess up a book.

The relevant languages are French, German, and Italian. I'm not fluent in any, but have a reasonable chance of catching a mistranslation of my work in any.

There are, however, published translations in (I think) all of those languages, and I don't know what their current copyright status is. I know of an unofficial Portuguese translation, and will be happy to authorize that when I have the authority to do so.

Also, if someone is doing a translation, he should get in touch via email so that I can answer any questions about passages whose meaning he finds ambiguous. That even applies to languages I don't know at all.

 
At 2:31 PM, June 18, 2010, Blogger Trader said...

Thanks :)

 
At 2:41 PM, June 18, 2010, Blogger Jonathan said...

Indeed, a translation could be rubbish, and could give a very bad impression of the book. An author contemplating a translation of his own book that he can't understand is in an awkward position.

 
At 7:52 AM, June 19, 2010, Anonymous Cole Gentles said...

Dr. Friedman, I got to meet you briefly at Freedom Fest last year (my wife and I are big fans of your father) and got to hear you lecture. Very much enjoyed it and noted that I wanted to eventually read some of your works.

Well, lately I've gotten around to that, and a couple of weeks ago I started reading your online version of "Price Theory" (I've never gone to college, but I teach myself things) and I'm loving it! I've stalled a bit at chapter 3, but I think it's just because I have to absorb the first to a bit more.

Very much looking forward to getting to "Machinery" and will be purchasing more of your wrok in the future.

 
At 1:55 PM, June 19, 2010, Blogger daryl jensen said...

thanks! been wanting to read this for some time and enjoyed the chapters you had up before. I was converted by Rothbard years ago, but your work is also quite good.

 
At 2:00 AM, June 20, 2010, Blogger Andrew said...

When the first music-industry-approved music lyrics site came on the web, it largely used lyrics that they had pulled from various "illegal" lyrics sites.

 
At 3:13 PM, June 21, 2010, Blogger Marco said...

\o/

 
At 3:21 PM, June 21, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've very recently purchased all of your books. I really enjoyed "The Machinery of Freedom." I used to say, "I'm a libertarian, but..."
Your book has really shortened what I say after that.

You should start making your books available in audiobook form. Many of my friends, who are not big readers, have recently been getting into audiobooks. If your intention is really to spread ideas, you should do this. You will snag a lot more readers if your books are available in audio form.

Seriously, in the past month I've read Hidden Order, Machinery of Freedom, Law's Order, and about half of Future Imperfect. Your work is very good. Keep it up. Your influence is reaching the kinds of people you want it to reach.

 
At 3:57 PM, June 21, 2010, Blogger David Friedman said...

Anonymous recommends audiobooks. So far, the only one I have produced is my first novel, _Harald_, all of which is webbed as podcasts.

 
At 7:18 AM, June 26, 2010, Blogger Randomscrub said...

Thank you for posting this online! It's definitely moved up several slots on my to-read list now that I have it in electronic form.

I took the liberty of reformatting it and converting it to a MobiPocket e-book file for my own personal use (it works on my Kindle). Would you like me to email you the file so you can distribute that as well?

I'm certainly not going to post it anywhere online without your permission.

 
At 9:48 AM, June 26, 2010, Blogger David Friedman said...

To Randomscrub:

By all means email me your version, so I can web that too.

 
At 8:11 PM, June 26, 2010, Blogger kashif14763 said...

Really very relavant artical with the topic it is good work. http://www.translation.pk

 
At 5:27 AM, July 06, 2010, Blogger Anthony said...

Machinery of Freedom is not being sold on Amazon.com anymore. Cheapest new copy is $448.74.

 
At 7:16 AM, July 10, 2010, Anonymous Axel said...

One comment concerning the German translation (ISBN 3-8830-0529-7):

partly very funny...
some phrases or sentences are only intelligible if you translate them back ('zähes Glück' doesn't make any sense in German...)

But that seems to be the common fate of Libertarian classics in Germany:
I guess a lot of readers are still puzzled about the 'Katzenhaus in New Orleans' and why anybody should do things like 'einen Apfelkarren umstürtzen' (two of my favorites in Heinleins 'Stranger'...)

 
At 6:59 PM, December 01, 2010, Blogger Michael said...

In 1986, the first edition was impossible to find for purchase, and the second edition hadn't been published yet. I borrowed the book from the library and photocopied it and had it bound at Kinkos. You were nice enough to autograph the photocopied version after a talk you gave at Northwestern around 1990.

After the second edition came out, I purchased and gave away about 50 copies over the years.

If you do happen to do a third edition, you can count on me to purchase a bunch more copies.

 
At 8:54 AM, December 21, 2010, Blogger Duke said...

I just downloaded "The Machinery of Freedom," and ironically, it's DRMed, so I can't put it on my eReader. Any way we can get a DRM-free version?
Thanks!

 
At 11:38 AM, December 21, 2010, Blogger David Friedman said...

Machinery isn't DRM'ed--it's an ordinary pdf.

 

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