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David Friedman
Works at Santa Clara University
Attended Harvard University
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David Friedman

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My June Speaking Trip
I am planning to spend the second half of June traveling, with talks in New Delhi and Bali. New Delhi is about half the world away from California, with the result that you can get there going either east or west. Checking airline schedules, it looks as tho...
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The Rhythm Method and Population Growth Rates
In the process of composing a recent post , I did some rough calculations on the probability of pregnancy from a randomly timed act of unprotected intercourse. It occured to me that the same calculations are relevant to a different question—the effect on po...
In the process of composing a recent post, I did some rough calculations on the probability of pregnancy from a randomly timed act of unprotected intercourse. It occured to me that the same calculations are relevant to a different question—the effect on population growth rates of the Catholic ...
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Now this is excellent economic advice. 
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California Drought—Getting Worse or Getting Better?
News stories about the Governor's actions to deal with the water shortage emphasize how low the snowpack is this year. But while some of the water used in California comes from melting snow, more comes from rain stored in reservoirs, and none of the stories...
News stories about the Governor's actions to deal with the water shortage emphasize how low the snowpack is this year. But while some of the water used in California comes from melting snow, more comes from rain stored in reservoirs, and none of the stories I saw gave figures for either the ...
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+David Friedman Got to have the product before charges are applied to it.   I get billed for water - coming and going.  That includes surplus rain water that runs into the drains and then funneled to the river.  I'm still a little confused on why I have to pay for water that didn't come from my water tap.  I get charged for waste water from my home- even though there's no meter for the waste water or a meter for the extra rain water.  I call it an extortion price for having to pay for the rain water that's only dumped into the river instead of a reservoir.  
 Here's another idea.  We could take all the pipeline from the Keystone pipeline project and use it to transfer ocean water to the Great Basin of the Bonneville salt flats of Utah. Utah can then have their Bonneville Lake back.  We can throw some shark in there for some live News action.
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Duck Dynasty, Medieval Islam, and Moral Philosophy
There was a recent public flap, brought to my attention by a post on my favorite blog, over a speech by Phil Robertson, the patriarch of Duck Dynasty. Its claim was that an atheist had no basis for moral judgement, no ground on which to describe horrific ac...
There was a recent public flap, brought to my attention by a post on my favorite blog, over a speech by Phil Robertson, the patriarch of Duck Dynasty. Its claim was that an atheist had no basis for moral judgement, no ground on which to describe horrific acts (described in some detail in the ...
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Your question presupposes that there are good gods and evil gods by some external standard..   In the context of the proposition, if one argues that all concepts of good and evil are defined by the divine, you ally yourself with a divine being, and that creates or definition of good and evil.   Other gods may be evil to you and your god, but this is because your god tells you that.   Of course, you don't accept such moral relativism, your god is the true god, and the fact that others follow evil gods does not make their viewpoint equally valid.
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Ideas for Another Cover for Another Book?
After the spectacular success of my project to use this blog to get a cover for the new edition of The Machinery of Freedom , I thought I might see if I could use it for a second project. My book Law's Order has been translated into Spanish and the people r...
After the spectacular success of my project to use this blog to get a cover for the new edition of The Machinery of Freedom, I thought I might see if I could use it for a second project. My book Law's Order has been translated into Spanish and the people responsible asked me for ideas for a ...
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The Hardcopy of the Third Edition is Available on Amazon
Here With a beautiful cover by David Aiello, based in part on an idea by Anarchei. And it has just been the subject of two posts by my favorite blogger .
The Hardcopy of the Third Edition is Available on Amazon. Here. With a beautiful cover by David Aiello, based in part on an idea by Anarchei. And it has just been the subject of two posts by my favorite blogger. posted by David Friedman @ 12:10 AM 0 comments ...
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Very interesting...Love the work of David Friedman.
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Have him in circles
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Slandering Charles Darwin
In an earlier post , I pointed out claims about Darwin and Galton in the work of a scholar of Islamic law which were wildly false. I have recently come across something similar in  work by a scholar of Romani history writing on the Romani holocaust: Charles...
In an earlier post, I pointed out claims about Darwin and Galton in the work of a scholar of Islamic law which were wildly false. I have recently come across something similar in work by a scholar of Romani history writing on the Romani holocaust: Charles Darwin, also writing in 1871, ...
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David Friedman

commented on a video on YouTube.
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1. I'm pretty sure he's playing a Germanic lyre, not a harp.

2. Hundreds of generations would be something over 4000 years. Beowulf is considerably less than two thousand years old.
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As a Lyre player I am quite happy to have his info use the term Harp. After all, he plays it like a Harp rather than playing it like the 6 string instrument it is.
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Ernest Hemingway, FBI Victim, Spy Wannabe, Both or Neither?
I recently came across, via a blog comment, an old New York Times story about Hemingway. The author, A. E. Hotchner, reported that in his final years Hemingway was believed by his friends to be paranoid because he thought the FBI was spying on him—but that ...
I recently came across, via a blog comment, an old New York Times story about Hemingway. The author, A. E. Hotchner, reported that in his final years Hemingway was believed by his friends to be paranoid because he thought the FBI was spying on him—but that the FBI really had been spying on him, ...
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Age Related Fertility Decline and the Link Between Facts and Policies
I recently heard a talk by a colleague on the issue of age related fertility decline. Her basic claim was that, although most women know it exists, most women badly underestimate how serious the problem is and how limited a solution assisted reproductive te...
I recently heard a talk by a colleague on the issue of age related fertility decline. Her basic claim was that, although most women know it exists, most women badly underestimate how serious the problem is and how limited a solution assisted reproductive technology, in particular IVF, provides, ...
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It also made you much more believable (and interesting)... that you were willing to list the arguments against your position, as well as the ones supporting it. It's something I rarely see anyone do.
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Baker's Borax—An Experiment
As
some of you know, I have a long term interest in medieval cooking. One feature of that cooking is the absence of chemical leavening, our familiar baking powder and baking soda. Or so I would have said a year ago. It turns out that al-Warraq's 10th centu...
As some of you know, I have a long term interest in medieval cooking. One feature of that cooking is the absence of chemical leavening, our familiar baking powder and baking soda. Or so I would have said a year ago. It turns out that al-Warraq's 10th century cookbook contains references to ...
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Modern bakeries often use egg or other protein washes to achieve that.

It seems that the borax conundrum hits on a similar problem that my ale/beer research does. You have a case where a word is rooted in an older language and has come to mean a particular thing today - but the backwards application of the modern meaning to the original language (in this case, the translation of "buraq" to "borax") doesn't necessarily hold up to scrutiny. "Borax" carries meaning that may not have been in place when they used "buraq."

I love these problems because they yield some really really interesting research.
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For Law Schools: A Modest Proposal
American law schools suffer from two serious problems, one old, one new. The old problem is the inconsistency between their practice, driven by institutional self-interest, and the moral beliefs of their faculty. The new problem is how to deal with the shar...
American law schools suffer from two serious problems, one old, one new. The old problem is the inconsistency between their practice, driven by institutional self-interest, and the moral beliefs of their faculty. The new problem is how to deal with the sharp decline in law school applications ...
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Moral Beliefs???? How...archaic.
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Work
Occupation
I am an economist who teaches at a law school. I also write books, maintain a blog and web site, argue with people online, cook from very old recipes, do a certain amount of medieval/renaissance woodwork and jewelry, tell medieval stories around a campfire, ... .
Employment
  • Santa Clara University
    Professor of Law, present
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Story
Tagline
I am an academic economist who teaches in a law school and has never taken a course for credit in either field.
Introduction

I'm an academic economist, teach in a law school, have never taken a course for credit in either field.

Interests include poetry, medieval cooking, science fiction and fantasy, computers, and much else.

I also write books.

Bragging rights
Helped rear two of the world's most wonderful children. Both home unschooled.
Education
  • Harvard University
    Chemistry and Physics, 1961 - 1965
  • University of Chicago
    Physics, PhD, 1965 - 1971