Professor David Friedman On Being An Interdisciplinary Intellectual and Science Fiction Writer

In this IHS Academic podcast, Professor David Friedman covers a wide range of topics, from his unconventional but successful academic route to his science fiction writing.

Transcript:

Phil Magness: Welcome to this Kosmos Online Podcast. I am Phil Magness filling in as host today. I am pleased to be joined by Professor David Friedman, a widely published scholar in both economics and law. He is currently a law professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law. Welcome Dr. Friedman and thanks for taking time to talk to us.

Professor David Friedman:     Glad to be here.

PM:     Tell me you have a PhD in physics but teach economics in a law school, not all of our listeners who are familiar with you how you came to that path. Could you briefly…?

DF:      Sure I got an undergraduate degree in chemistry and physics and when I was doing that and also when I was doing my graduate work in physics, I was also doing sort of economics and related politics as a hobby. My first book Machinery of Freedom was I think finished while I was a postdoc in physics. During the same period the head of the population council somehow knew of my existence, I’m not quite sure how and he asked me if I could write up a pro-free market discussion of population issues.

I don’t think he was particularly pro-free market, I think he was just an open minded guy who thought all of the discussions of population used to be in one side, let’s see with the other side looks like. So I wrote a piece called “Laissez-Faire in Population: The Least Bad Solution,” and I thought it was interesting and people who I respected in economics thought I was doing original and interesting work, so that suggested that may be I was doing the wrong thing and then there was a man called Julius Margolis, I don’t if he is still alive or not who was running one of these sort of semi-independent centers at University of Pennsylvania called the Fels Center for State and Local Governments, which was really mostly in economics department. One of the running jokes at that time was whether it was third economics department at Penn, since they in some sense already had two and Julius Margolis offered to find me a post-doctoral position at Penn if I wanted to switch fields, to retrain.

So I accepted that and I spent two years as a post doc and one year as a lecturer at Penn and during that time, I wrote my first published journal article in economics which was published in the journal of political economy and that was an article on an economic theory of the size and shape of nations and it started out really with a very simple puzzle that nobody else seemed to have noticed which was when the Roman empire fell, why did it break?

That is why, why wasn’t the Roman Empire succeeded by other states of comparable size? Why do you go from having a single country so to speak which by our standards included France, Spain, England, Italy, Egypt, North Africa, a whole bunch of things from that to say by about 1100 or by 1000, by 900 even AD to a world of little tiny microstates, Baronies and Counties and Kings who didn’t have very much power, why did that change occur? So I set up what struck me an interesting theory to explain why you would have nations of this particular size and shape under various circumstances and one which I thought provided an explanation of why that change occurred and so I wrote that up and I submitted to the Journal of Political Economy and it was rejected and the rejection letter from George Stigler said that in order for it to be publishable I had to have some empirical tests of my theory and so I went back and I figured out ways of deriving predictions from my theory and testing those.

I concluded that Stigler was right, that it was a much better paper as a result, not just because I had some evidence because the evidence wasn’t was very good. We don’t have good data for the distant past, but because in order to figure out how to test it, I had to think much more clearly about what my theory was and that was a very useful discipline. So that was published. At some point during that process I met Jim Buchanan and it turned out we had rather similar ideas about the application of economics to understanding political institutions which is what my paper was doing and so Jim arranged to have me invited to VPI as an assistant professor of economics. At that point I had never taken an economics course for credit in my life and when I arrived, I remember that Gordon Tullock used to boast that he had published more pages of economics that had been assigned in all of the courses he had taken and I told I achieved that with my first page.

So that was fun and I spent a fair number of years at the VPI which had a fairly exciting set of people of whom Jim and Gordon were the best known but there were some other good people there. While I was there,first Jim I think deliberately got me teaching the whole syllabus over a period of some years, I taught a wide range of subjects. A good of learning your subject is to teach it. And I wrote various articles, some of them coming out of the teaching experience, and there was an interesting controversy that was going on at that time at Chicago starting with a paper by Becker and Stigler, the same Stigler who had originally rejected and then accepted my article, and Gary Becker and on the other side Richard Posner and Bill Landis, very prominent law and econ people and it started with a Becker-Stigler article which was suggesting that there was an inherent problem in the standard model of law enforcement and the problem basically was that if I was a cop and you were a criminal and I had the goods on you, the goods on you were worth more to you than to me, that you were at risk of going to jail for a long time or paying a large fine, what do I get if I bring you in, I get a gold star or by report card and a slightly better career.

To an economist the implication is fairly obvious. The criminal bribes the cop, the cop burns the evidence and the system doesn’t work and therefore for that model to work you got to have in is effect the second layer of cops watching in the first layer and Becker and Stigler said, well look you could solve this problem if the income of the cop consisted of the fine paid by the criminal, because then the only deal you would offer would be to pay the fine to the cop, well that saves the trouble of a trial.

It hadn’t occurred to Becker and Stigler I think that they were re-inventing tort Law because tort Law basically has that structure, the enforcement is the victim and his lawyer and the damage payment goes to them. So Becker and Stigler wrote an article. Landis and Posner wrote an article in which they thought they proved that, first they expanded on what Becker and Stigler done and sort of thought about some of the problems and the implications, but they ended up with what they thought was a proof that the sort of privately enforced bounty system, tort system they were describing could not generate an efficient legal system.

Now that didn’t necessarily mean it was a bad idea because there was no good theoretical reason to think that criminal law generated an efficient legal system, but it was they thought a sort of an inherent problem, but I wont go into details, if people are curious you can find the relevant article on my website in which I have explained it. But, I got interested and I ended up writing two different articles, one of them was historical because I happened to know of a real world society in which all law enforcement had been an equivalent of tort law. It was the society where if you kill, somebody’s relative sued you.

That Saga period in Iceland I didn’t know a lot about it, but I knew something about it and I thought that will be really interesting. Here we have got a theoretical proposal, a theoretical counter argument and a real world society that did it. So I learned everything I could about Saga period Iceland and I wrote an article on that which I submitted to the Journal of Legal Studies which was I think at that time edited by Landis, if I remember correctly in which I tried to understand how that legal system worked and go on from understanding how it worked to seeing how it dealt with some of the problems that came up in the discussion.

But I then wrote a second article which was purely theoretical article, in which I believe I showed that Landis and Posner were wrong, in which I think I correctly demonstrated that although the proof they had was a correct proof for the institutions they had imagined, that you could make one small change in the institutions and the problem they had raised evaporated and so I submitted both of those articles and I think it was the second one if I remember correctly when I got back the article from the Journal of Legal Studies with notes by the referee which you sometimes get, sort of you know what are the problems, what so forth and so on and I say the editor was Landis and the marginal notes referred to the Landis and Posner article as “we”.

So it was moderately clear whom my referee had been and the both of the articles ended up getting published and I think both in JLS as I remember and Landis and Posner asked me if I would like to come visit Chicago for a year as an visiting fellow and I was at that time in the Business School of Tulane University in New Orleans, I had gone to Tulane because the woman I had been courting for many years, I finally persuaded her of the virtues of long term contracting, and she was working for Shell Oils as a geologist in New Orleans, so we got married and I moved to New Orleans. I spent a few years there, then as I Landis and Posner invited me to the University of Chicago Law School as a one year visiting fellow and I did that and then they asked me to stay for another year and Tulane wasn’t willing to give me another year of leave and so they offered me an offer as fellow for two or three fellowship. At which point I resigned at Tulane and ended up spending a long time, 8 or 10 years, on this one year fellowship in Chicago. Somebody I knew was referring to me as the Lifelong Fellow.

Eventually it became clear that the people who wanted me to stay there as a permanent professor weren’t going to persuade enough of their colleagues that they needed another economist in the law school and so at that point I accepted an invitation from Santa Clara University Law School and I have been there for the last 16 years or so and enjoyed it there.

So basically I got my degree as a physicist, I was interested in economics doing economics on the side and political philosophy that was related to economics, wrote a book following that I published while I was still in theory a physicist then went to University of Pennsylvania Fells Center as sort of an intermediate step, got published article. I liked to argue that most doctoral theses do not get published, most of the thesis that are published are not published in top journals and therefore when I published one article in a top journal in some sense I had a better credential than I doctored in economics.

I had a doctorate somewhere else so I wasn’t a completely lazy bum who wouldn’t bother to do the work. So since then I have really considered myself an economist, I am really not a lawyer, I am not really a legal scholar though I am more of one then I used to be. I am really an economist who specializes in last the twenty-some years in applying economics to the law.

PM:     A thoroughly interdisciplinary background and an unusual, but very evidently successful route that you have taken there. I know you mentioned briefly that you worked in an area about case studies and statistical methods, just for Kosmos listeners out there, could you talk about some of the benefits of having both approaches in your work and how that can to ….?

DF:      Yeah, I would say it is not only statistics it is also mathematics that very few of us really think in math or statistics. So if you want to understand your ideas you usually have to put them in words. There is a famous letter from Alfred Marshall who more or less invented modern economics about a century ago, a little more than that, where he said that he worked his ideas out mathematically to make sure there are no mistakes in them. He then translated them into English and if he couldn’t translate then he burned the mathematics and I wondered how much of the economics of the 20th century went into Alfred Marshall’s fire place.

But, I think it is a good policy so in the case of that particular article, I guess part of it was mathematics, part of it was trying to figure out how you could test it, but it is true of both of statistics and the math I think that in order to do things clearly enough to do those things you have to think through the ideas more clearly then you are likely to otherwise do.

Now not everybody does. As a referee I have got an article for primarily mathematical where if you turned it into words and assume the authors believed that they would say you’re lunatics because the mathematics turned into words is really crazy and so you have to do both. You want to go back and forth, you want to be able to put things in a mathematical form whether that is algebra or statistics or whatever, but you also want to actually think of what they mean and what you are using to see if you could understand them in that sense.

PM:     I also wanted to ask you I know you mentioned the Machinery of Freedom, your early work, I heard that there is a new edition of that coming out?

DF:      Eventually, the first edition I think was about 1971 and copyrighted in ’72 or ’73 but I think actually I finished in ’71 and the second edition came out with additional chapters many years ago. The second edition has been effectively out of print for a good many years meaning if you go up on Amazon you can buy one for $100 or so. I eventually got permission from my publishers to put up a PDF of the book on my website so anybody who wants to read it can download it in that form and I have got plans for a third edition because I have thought about additional stuff relevant to those ideas that I hadn’t thought through at that time I wrote the book and so my plan at some point in the next year or so is to try to write out additional chapters, I probably wont modify the existing one or at least very little of that. The second edition basically consisted of the first edition plus a new section of additional stuff and I will probably follow the same pattern again that the book is not about current conditions, it is about ideas and the current conditions of 1970 are just as good an illustration of those ideas now as they were then so in that sense I think I will leave that stuff there, but I will add I don’t know 5 or 10 new chapters on new stuff that I now know and much of that is already has been written in the sense that I have done articles and a book chapter in someone else’s book, exploring some of the additional ideas I actually gave a talk here sometime in the last month or so which was essentially about a large chunk of the new ideas that I want to put it into the new edition of Machinery.

PM:     Excellent. I’m going to change pace a little bit, and you have a very keen interest in science fiction stories especially those that have unusual social arrangements, I want to ask you if you could talk about the relevance of that to both historical studies and your own scholarship?

DF:      Sure, I guess the story that most influenced me was Heinlein’s novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The reason that effected the was that my view prior to reading that was that almost everything should be done on the free market, but that the fundamental functions what we usually think of as police, courts and national defense had to be done by a government because they provided the framework within which the market worked and that is the sort of classical liberal 19th century liberal view of things.

Heinlein’s novel gave what seemed to me to be a reasonably plausible and internally consistent description of a society where there was no government and yet you had mechanisms for enforcing property rights and things of that sort and if the theorem is true there can be no exceptions to it. So therefore if even one possible society could solve that problem then there couldn’t be a general rule that it couldn’t be solved and that started me thinking about in something more like the world and the society I live in, what would a society where police and law enforcements in particular where endogenous, were being produced on the market look like and that is what Machinery of Freedom. Machinery Freedom has a lot of other stuff that is what part 3 of Machinery of Freedom which is the most original part consists of.

But there have been other things since then. There is in fact one short story by Vernor Vinge who is fairly a prominent science fiction writer which is explicitly based on Machinery of Freedom, in the sense that at the end of the story he comments that if people wanted to know about the ideas on which one of the two societies and that story were based they should read my book. So that was sort of neat and it was neat partly because Vinge is a novelist and not an economist and therefore he saw different things about the society than I would see and the story is called the ungoverned and it is describing the invasion of an Anarcho capitalist society by an adjacent state and one of the things that I think he gets right is that on both sides of that conflict people are interpreting the other society in their own terms, so that part of what happens in the invasion is the Anarcho capitalist society there are few people who are what Vinge calls armadillos and an armadillo is somebody who isn’t happy with the system for settling disputes within the Anarcho capitalist society. The particular one in this story I think he lost a case of or his son lost a case like 15 years earlier where and he got really mad about it.

So he more or less cut off ties with other people except for a very minimal ones and put all of his surplus resources into turning his farm into a fortress so he could defend himself. The Anarcho capitalist society is substantially richer than the adjacent states so the result is that a well off farmer who has spent 15 or 20 years fortifying his farm could really create what by their standards is a pretty formidable fortress. So the state invades and some teenagers managed to launch minor pinprick fake attacks on them from the direction of that farm deliberately with a result that the invasion is diverted into going over the farm and they suddenly run into this fortress which is taking out their tanks and it never occurs to the commander of the invading army that all he has to do is to walk around this, because he from his perspective, if there is a fortification of course it is part of the defensive system of the people who were invading they may say they don’t have a government, but obviously they do. So the result is that they spend quite a lot of time and effort reducing, but they got enough to show as to do it but it slows them down.

And at the end it turns out that this armadillo has a last ditch defense. He somehow acquired a nuclear weapon. He and his family go into a deep hole and it is basically a shelter and they set off a small nuclear weapon over their heads and it takes out a third of the invading army and it happens that there is somebody from the local rights enforcement agency who is in the headquarters of the attacking army sort of negotiating or talking with them at that point and the girl in the commander of the army tells then, “what kind of slime are you, using nuke nuclear weapons against us?” and the guy looks in and stares at “what do you mean us? He is not our customer.” And I just thought it was so beautiful that each of them takes for granted his point. One guy, you know of course is one of you. I mean you know he is on our side of the border. “What do mean us? He is not our customer.”

That is a decentralized system and so that kind of the other features. I thought that was one of the things that Vinge did very well, to sort of see how people within each society would structure the world in terms of that society. That is one of the things that I have learnt.

Now my current project what I have been doing while I have been here mostly is working on a book on legal systems is very different from ours and those are not science fiction legal systems those are mostly historical ones, at least more than two I guess three or four current ones and that came out of the seminar that I teach at Santa Clara University every other year, which alternately came out of my Icelandic paper because when I did the Icelandic paper I found it really interesting to try to take the society seriously to treat it not as a historical curiosity, but is one way in which a set of people about as smart as we are had found a different approach to solving the problems that we solve by police, courts, laws or so forth. And a good many years later I got interested into another historical society which was England in the 18th century and their system of criminal law and that was on paper very much our modern system.

The only thing is that there were no police and no public prosecutors and the question was how could it work and I think I figured it out how it could work and why it worked the way it did and wrote an article about that, which was again informative to me I thought I learn new stuff and it occurred to me I don’t know maybe eight years ago or so that I have been lazy for too long, that I had done these two articles that both had been very informative and I done nothing along those lines since and how do I make myself stop being lazy?

I use what economists refer to as commitment strategies. You make choices that you have to do something and so in this case what I did was to announce that I was in a teach a seminar on legal systems very different from ours and I went to the law school library and I said, please find me every book you have that describes some odd legal system and they eventually presented me with one of these rolling file cabinets I think three shelves high filled with books and I went through them and I ended up finding I suppose maybe eight or nine or ten different legal systems that there was enough information on and was sufficiently different and interesting and I made my seminar out of that and I have talked that now three or four times. I have learned stuff teaching it, I have learned stuff from my students writing papers about other legal systems that they have investigated and I have now got essentially all of the first draft of the book coming out of that which is up on my webpage and while I have been here I have been doing a workshop on that book meeting with a bunch of students every other week and exploiting them in the sense of saying or here is the chapter what I am missing. What interesting things could I say about the subject and so forth and getting interesting ideas from them so that sort of my current project really is that, is that book.

PM:     That is fascinating, that is so great being able to tap some of the minds of the grad students around you, right?

DF:      Yes, and colleagues, but more grad students. Other things, I have written a couple of novels one of the first one was commercially published by Baen, didn’t do very well. They marked it as a fantasy, but it wasn’t really a fantasy because there was no magic. It was a really a historical novel with made up history. So that I was creating, I was drawing my own map creating societies based on various ways on historical societies using technology based on historical technology, but not any particular pattern that really existed and that was fun and part of that was I think informed by an economist view of things. So that one of the things is going on, is that my protagonist is a prominent figure in a semi-stateless society. Something sort of like saga period Iceland, but not exactly and he has the problem how do you raise armies, because his society is allied with an adjacent kingdom which is roughly early Norman kind of society and to the north of them there is an expanding empire based partly on Byzantine, partly on Abbasid, partly I guess on Roman and it has been trying to conquer their territory and so my protagonist and the adjacent king are allied trying to stop that and so I thought about the economics of how do you run an army when you don’t have tax revenue, you don’t have feudal obligations and the way you do is got to be to make it in the interest of your volunteers to volunteer. One of the implications of that is that you are very careful not to get very many people killed so that my protagonist sort of specializes in arranging battles in such a way that the enemy gets in a position where he has to surrender and not many of his people had been killed by that time because they aren’t going to come if they get killed.

How do you fund it? Well you do it by loot largely; ideally his battles and with the imperial army surrendering and the empire ransoming its troops back from him and he now the money for the next campaign, that’s right. But, I was obliging just to him because one of the questions that eventually occurred to me is why is the emperor willing to play this game? That the emperor turns out, you learn more about your character than you write the book to be quite intelligent, competent guy and the answer I think is that his position in the empire partly depends on the support of the legions and the legions are not going to be really happy with him, if when his side loses an army, loses a battle and the people who defeated them offered a ransom that if he was back he refuses to pay and their people get killed or enslaved or in something very unattractive. So I was trying sort of one of the things I found happening in writing the book was trying to make consistent story in which everybody’s motivations made sense and that was an interesting challenge, the book developed partly out of that. I like to say that no plot survives contact with your characters.

There is one sort of somewhat, like there are a couple, sort of semi tongue-in-cheek, semi-serious bits in the book. One of which is where my protagonist is describing the emperors pavilion. He is talking to someone else about just what an enormous structure was to move around and how did you happen to see the emperors..really, no. He was using it at that time and it becomes clear that the this after a defeat where the emperor was present with his army and the emperor gets away, but leaves his rebellion behind and my protagonists explains how he got his people lug it over the mountain back to their own farm and set it up in the back pasture.

Afterwards word spread a while everybody believed that the temples were made of gold, the walls were of silk. It made it live that everybody high board and the emperor had a pavilion like that, it made it much easier to raise troops next time. So he is deliberately getting this reputation and then there is another sequence later on where he manages to force an imperial cavalry army to surrender. he then auctions off their horses to the local plains nomads. The cavalry army is an army in service of one of the emperor’s sons. There are two princes who are competing in a sense to be the next heir and there is not a civil war going on, but there is internal tensions of various sorts. A little bit later an army under the emperor gets defeated and it ends up with his capturing a lot of forces. He then ends up selling those horses to the agents of the emperor’s son to replace the ones he captured earlier and there is a line there by the grandson of the emperor who is on legal is negotiating for the son in question that funding an army out of the resources that are mountain farm provided certain challenges to which Harold being Harold found unique solutions. So I was having fun with that set of the economic problems.

The second novel really is a fantasy. I wasn’t able to find a commercial publisher so I self published it as a Kindle on Amazon. It is called Salamander if anybody wants to look at it and that one started out as the magical equivalent of the central planning fallacy. The central planning fallacy is this intuitively very persuasive idea that there are all these resources out of the world and if only some sensible person had control over them, what wonderful things we could do. There are three mistakes in the central planning fallacy.

The first mistake is forgetting that all those resources are already being used by people for their own purposes so in order to do your wonderful thing you have to deprive those people of whatever wonderful things they are already doing. The second is assuming that figuring out what to do with a whole lot of resources is an easy problem and the third is assuming that whoever ends up controlling the resources is going to be a good guy and so I invented a new version of “magic” but I think it is original that was part of the fun of it of which it is a mathematics or based on some of the mathematics or physics, actually quantum mechanics and had this brilliant young theorist who is rather an naïve and he figures out of way of finally getting enough magic in one hands to do something, because the world were magic as weak and he figures out a way of pulling in the magical power of lots of lots of mages funneling it through one person and doing good things. So it is like the central planning idea except with magic instead and he is a naïve guy.

PM:     It is completely different resource he’s dealing with….

DF:      And it doesn’t occur to him… the second problem being how to do it never comes up in the book, but the first and third problem are central of the book so that in the story my two protagonists are Coelus who is this brilliant young theorist and Ellen who is an equally brilliant new student of the college of magic where he teaches who he realizes in like a few months is sort of wasting your time taking the regular courses because as she knows most of it and be she like he is a mathematical genius and therefore capable of doing theoretical magic which the rest of the college isn’t basically and so he tries to get her involved in his project and she refuses and she refuses saying will you have permission from all these mages whose power who have taken? How could I possibly do that you know, there would be thousands of them, they aren’t going to be well enough trained, understand what I am doing then I wont do it and he says what you are naïve , you don’t understand how many important things that have to done, what a dangerous world it is that there are plagues, there are floods, you discover later that he is an orphans his parents died in a plague and part of that. But, he doesn’t, you don’t know that yet. But any case and she yes, oh yes I understand. My mother is a healer. I have seen man with gaping wounds that she has closed and when you have taken her power to end a flood on whose hands is the blood of those she cannot heal? So that was a very dramatically making the first point and then later the third point gets made by the events. So, that was quite lot of fun.

But, again no plot survives contact with the characters. My second protagonist Ellen the woman was somebody I wasn’t immediately sure whether I can have in the story when I originally plotted the story had a different idea and I also discovered in writing the story that I had a second theme which it hadn’t occurred to me and the second theme is in what sense the ends justify the means? Because you end up that the knowledge of what Coelus is doing gets through to the king’s brother who is himself a mage and in who is the royal official in charge of dealing with magery and he unlike Coelus realizes how dangerous this invention is in the wrong hands and his conclusion is probably it should never be invented, but you have gone far enough so that word is going may well leak out. I will try to keep it from leaking out, but it might leak out and someone not quite as smart as you have to finish the project and then we are in real trouble especially if is an enemy who does it.

So, therefore we are both going to try to suppress knowledge of it and you are going to finish the project under royal authority so we will have it if we actually need it. By this time Coelus has been persuaded by events and by Ellen that he should have never done it in the first place and so he is not willing to do to finish the project and you then have that conflict when Ellen and Coelus on one side and the prince on the other and they are both good guys. The prince is a well intentioned person; he is basically a pretty decent guy. He in fact has made it quite explicit at one point that here are the things that I think shouldn’t do, but if the reasons are desperate enough I will do them that’s in an earlier part of the plot, when one of people, one of his agents as it were has broken the rules for magic has made the mistake in doing at Ellen who was in fact much better mage than he is and gotten caught and the prince basically  says yes I will have him sentenced for his crime. Yes I will agree that I will ordinarily not let my people do things like that, but I have got to tell you if I’m going to break you.

So in that sense he is an honest man and he ends up in a sense sort of tricking Ellen and Coelus into a situation where he thinks he has power over them in order to make them do what he thinks has to be done. He fails later in the story they trick him in a way to do with so that the whole issue of on the one hand the ends do justify the means, but if enough at stake you are willing to do things you normally wouldn’t do. But the problem is that people who think the ends justify the means are also likely to overestimate their expertise so that if the prince were right he would probably doing the right thing. But he isn’t allowing for the fact that the people who he is trying to compel to act on his judgment rather than theirs where Ellen and Coelus know more about the subject than he does and this is the person who invented this spell. So in that sense he is making mistake.

But that turned out to be very interesting themes but it not really occurred to me when I was originally plotting the story so those are my experiences writing novels. Both of them interact with my economic and political ideas, but neither of them is what I will call Libertarian novel, neither of them has its purpose preaching some set of ideas. Both of them is to tell a story and in telling the story my ways of looking at the world will come through.

PM:     Okay, that is fascinating and so science fiction tied together with I think economics concepts and the legal systems?

DF:      Yes, the first novel you can read for free as an e-book because Baen books, Jim Baen is no longer alive, the founder was the one publisher I know of who saw the internet as an opportunity rather  than a threat and of the things Baen books does is they have the Baen free library which basically consists of books that are not selling very many copies anymore which you download for free in the hopes of getting you interested in the sequel or other book by the same author, I think of that sort and Harold is now sold some, but it didn’t sell terribly well. They didn’t want me to do a sequel. I wrote part of the sequel at one point maybe someday we will finish and so they put it up on the free library. There are podcasts that people would like to listen to me reading the book. You can get to those from my webpage and Salamander you can buy for $3 from Amazon.com as the Kindle file and if you do send me comments if you like because I like to hear from people.

PM:     Thank you so much for joining us Dr. Friedman.

DF:      Thank you.

PM:     For more interviews with leading scholars, visit KosmosOnline.org, providing career advice and intellectual resources for academics and this is Phil Magness, signing off.

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