The Ludwig von Mises Institute has issued the second release of all of the content on their website as torrent files. This means that you can download all of the content available on Mises.org (as of June 15, 2010) by downloading various torrent files and opening them up with your torrent client (e.g., uTorrent, Vuze, or Transmission). This is great both for those who read Mises.org or listen to the media from that website. Thank you David Veksler, Jeffrey Tucker, and everyone else at the Mises Institute who made this possible!
The benefits of this are enormous. All of the information, wisdom, and knowledge on Mises.org is available for $0 to the general public, via Torrent download.1 This directly contradicts what Statists would have us believe is the nature of the free-market — people exploiting each other to succeed. How then do they explain the Mises Institute? The Mises Institute is a truly philanthropic organization, which helps thousands through education: education through peace and persuasion, not “education” at the barrel of a gun.
This will help the Mises Institute, its patrons, and Mises.org readers in numerous ways. Instead of having to navigate to the page or Media section of Mises.org and use browser plugins or spiders, those with a thirst for knowledge and understanding of economics and the free market can simply download everything they want through one torrent file. It also saves the Mises Institute tons of bandwidth, because people downloading torrents simultaneously share in the upload burden by seeding the file (if you download the file, please try to seed until your upload:download ratio is 1.2, this is normal Torrent etiquette). There is a dynamic carryover effect to torrenting: one person might only seed for a few weeks, but dozens of people who leeched from him might seed for a few weeks as well. Thus, there is a kind of digital compounding or interest-effect. Contrary to what you might think — and contrary to what advocates of intellectual property and particularly copyrights would tell you — this will not hurt Mises.org sales of books, but rather boost them, as explained by Jeffrey Tucker.
We can also think of this as a kind of grassroots, guerrilla intellectual resistance. The entire Mises.org media, book, journal, and PDF library will be distributed to thousands of hard drives around the world, will be shared by thousands of people. It can’t shut it down simply by shutting down the Mises Institute anymore. This has two benefits: (1) People can access Mises.org content even if the Mises.org website is down, provided they have the torrents; (2) If the US government wanted to shut down Mises.org, it would still face the distributed world-wide torrents, which would be almost impossible to shut down by a central authority.
So for those of you who are interested, please download: Help Mises.org and yourself at the same time. Download the books, pdfs, journal articles, videos, and mp3 files; listen to, watch, or read them; enjoy the overwhelming amount of knowledge you can have at your fingertips. This is truly a great example of Austrian economics at work: both parties clearly gain something from the interaction ex ante and almost certainly ex post too!
The Mises.org blog announcement:
It’s been about a year early since the first public release of torrents containing all the document and media content on Mises.org. The Mises Institute staff adds new content frequently, so it is time for version 2.0. Here are the 2010 torrents: Mises Media (132 GB), Books (8.6GB), Journals (4.1 GB), PDFs (324 MB), and ReasonPapers (1.4 GB).
If you downloaded an earlier version of this content, please do not re-download everything. In both uTorrent and Vuze, you can get just the missing files. In uTorrent, start the download and let it create the placeholder directory, then stop it. Overwrite the placeholder directory with your existing files, then “Force Re-Check.” You can do the same in Vuze – just enable the option to “Truncate existing files that are too large” under Options->Files. Then resume.
By my best calculations, we seeded last year’s torrents to thousands of computers worldwide and served over 4 terabytes from our servers alone. Please help us spread the word and make this release even bigger.
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I would like to thank Manuel Lora, Michael Barnett, and Geoffrey A. Plauche for their helpful insights and comments on this blog post. ↩