by George Giles
is bearing fruit on providing mankind’s growing treasure trove of
knowledge every day at very low cost to the consumer. It is on demand,
no charge. Digital libraries are springing up all over. Some of
them are well-funded by philanthropists such as Larry Ellison (Oracle)
and Gordon Moore (Intel). The information provided range from the
classics of literature, to free on-line submission of scholarly
articles to up-to-the-moment publication of scientific articles
and results. Access to information need no longer retard that intellectual
growth of the benighted masses, since computers are becoming ubiquitous
in the western world and are starting to proliferate in the third
world. These resources have tremendous potential to provide the
truths that will set men free.
list of what is available can be found below while a much larger
compendium exists at Yahoo.
Von Mises Institute has a website loaded with e-books from Mises,
Rothbard and other scholars of classical liberalism (in the sense
of the 18th-century definition). Their web
site is loaded with classical and contemporary commentary on
Austrian Economics along with the works of many of the original
thinkers and blogs for reader commentary. Daily essays are provided
by well-known scholars that integrate the classical thought with
Fund in Indianapolis, Indiana has a wonderful project called the
Online Library of Liberty.
This website provides many of the classics of human thought in both
HTML and PDF (Acrobat
Reader) format for browsing or offline browsing via download.
The Liberty Fund and the Ludwig Von Mises institute provide most
of the material necessary for a free of charge, classical education.
that are more contemporary and scientific, then check out the Physics
Archive at Cornell. Math is my thing so I like to frequent Math
World. The Math
Reader product is wonderful and free. It provides sample algorithms
and beautiful graphics of results in most fields of mathematical
research and teaching. Chemistry
is available at Oxford. Those who want to stay abreast of the latest
published articles available in some 372,755 e-prints in Physics,
Mathematics, Computer Science and Quantitative Biology would be
wise to see the list of topics and the search engine at Cornell’s
buffs may want to check out the eBooks
at University of Virginia. The eBooks site is nice because it provides
format for PDA’s via Palm
Reader, all available free of charge. Next time you are trapped
in an awful meeting boot up Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness or
Beowulf on your PDA and go to a better place. Shakespeare, the great
bard(s) whoever they were, is also available.
readers can find articles from many papers worldwide at the Internet
Fans of ancient
documents and maps will want the djvu
plug in from lizard tech (free) which will allow rapid viewing
of many very large ancient,
manuscripts and maps. Djvu is superior technology courtesy of
AT&T labs. Some of the maps are beautiful art and science. It
currently only works in Internet Explorer.
can be found at the Wikipedia,
where you can also contribute your own knowledge, wisdom, and philosophy.
The self-proclaimed world’s largest free
library might also be a good place to start for generalized queries,
I always Google first, having
gotten the Google reflex many years ago so badly that it’s
almost automatic reflex mediated by spine so that it never actually
gets to my brain when I look for anything. If you are worried about
Google spying on you then use Scroogle
that queries Google while stripping cookies, IP addresses and deleting
log files thus de-identifying users. The Firefox
browser and the Onion Router will do this as well, for free.
largest online medical library is a government-sponsored sight from
the NIH. Drug information
can be found at Epocrates,
as well as WebMD.
From an educational
bent if you’ve always wanted to attend MIT
but lack the GPA, tuition, money, necessary connections or just
cannot tolerate the Boston weather or having to look at Harvard
students on a regular basis, then get their open
course work for free.
and Religion and can be found at a variety of sources. A Christian
is prominent at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Islamic Philosophy is
available as is Judaism.
Philosophy absent a religious bent can be found at Stanford.
Marxist philosophy, the philosophy of death and destruction on a
worldwide scale is here.
However since Marxism has been discredited everywhere in the world
except the American and European academic world (good euphemisms
for out of touch) I would urge readers to have read Ludwig von Mises
published in 1922, just five year after the "glorious October
Revolution" in order to make sense out of that gibberish.
is by no means an exhaustive study of what is available, it does
represent many of the sites I frequent regularly for fact checking
and information lookup.
Warning: knowledge is not free, and like respect, it has
to be earned. The reader still has to put forth the effort to acquire
it. It is a virtual natural resource of no intrinsic value until
human labor transforms it into something valuable. However, we can
all stand on the shoulders of mankind’s giants and see vistas that
are beyond our individual limited horizons. Man-millennia of effort
have gone into these great works, but culture pays forward so we
can each reap the benefits today at a much smaller individual cost.
This is the
inherent nature of capitalism: lower-cost, higher-quality products
for everyone's potential consumption. This is another fine example
of the spontaneous organization from human action without any government
web is also full of statist propaganda, porn, fads, hate speech
of every imaginable variety, eco-gibberish, and new age silliness,
but that is the price of a free society: tolerance for speech that
Giles [send him mail] is
an independent thinker and writer in Nashville, Tennessee. He took
graduate course work in Atmospheric Physics under the Alabama State
© 2006 LewRockwell.com