Cato Institute

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Mac Juli, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member


    Well, politically, I can't say I fully agree with them, but I think it is good to read about a political opinion that is not one's own - and understanding the other point of view may be helpful these days:

    Best regards,
    Mac Juli
  2. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Huh, never heard these, but then apparently they're from 1996. Plus my short attention span might not be conducive to making it through thirty hours of dry audio recordings....
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    The Koch Brothers were instrumental in founding the Cato Institute and are apparently suing to regain control of it. Interesting story here:
    Not exactly my kind of thinking - and I'm sure they don't want my 2 cents. These days, my short attention span is studying Islamic banking and finance.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    That article is from 2012. David Koch has since died, and Charles Koch has enough going on otherwise to keep him busy.
  5. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Steve - I didn't notice the date. Good catch. As for Charles Koch, I'm glad he has enough going on to keep him busy. So do I, and Mr. Koch and I move in different circles, so I doubt we'll bump into each other. That's fine with both of us, I'm sure. :)
  6. Mac Juli

    Mac Juli Well-Known Member

    Nice choice! I am sure, not with the IOU Gambia we talked about... any recommendations?
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Well, I signed up for the (free) Alison course - Global Islamic Finance and Banking and found it was a good decision. The teacher is Almir Colan, who runs (what else?) in Australia. He has taught this subject at the Master's level at LaTrobe University in Australia. He is a VERY good teacher. I'm almost finished and found the course was basic - but a good intro. Course is free but you pay for the cert - if you want it.

    I certainly learned quite a few more Arabic words than I knew before! I've had some exposure previously, so a lot of the material wasn't exactly unfamiliar. I'm thinking of following up with Mr. Colan's own, more detailed course that he teaches from his own site. It costs about AUD 295 and is called Islamic Finance Professional Development Course. It's here:

    A more expensive course I'm considering as a third (and possibly final) move is a fairly standard qualification: Certified Islamic Finance Executive. You can read about it here: I think the cost is somewhere around $1,000.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
    Dustin likes this.
  8. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Note: Mr Colan does NOT, of course, solicit students on Alison for the course he teaches on his own site. I found his own course a while ago, so I knew who he was when Alison introduced him. Just wanted to make that clear. He is a sincere man and a very capable teacher. You can see for yourself - he's on YouTube.

    And if you're hunting freebies, EdX, Udemy and the usual suspects have Moocs etc. Google will get them.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2020
  9. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    Koch Brothers lost control of Cato a long time ago, but have always been patrons to my knowledge. There was a good split with the Cato Institute awhile back with some of the founders, the others went off and became the Mises Institute. The latter of which has actually launched their own graduate program, a Masters of Arts in Austrian Economics. Both are fairly powerful think tanks in the libertarian sphere. Although as with all think tanks, they have inherent biases and optics, as we all do. From personal observations, they seem to have taken a bit of a hard right as of late and are starting to be referenced by groups I'm not particularly fond of. They've also seem to have produced a number of people... that act like the 18 year old who reads Ayn Rand before having a solid understanding of economics and human factors.

    For what it's worth, when they were producing some less... shall I say, patron influenced... material, they had some papers and research that I thought was fascinating. Also likely infuriated some of their patrons at the time. Awhile back they had some scholars, that really went down the rabbit hole of contemplation, concluded that in alignment with real Mills and Ludgwig thinking... government subsidies for industry were horrible. Had some great further conclusions, that actually promoted people and society! Last I looked, they purged a lot of that stuff from their sites awhile back.
  10. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Active Member

    At this point though... Cato has lost a lot of my respect (not that they care), and are almost just a paid marketer trying to add "documentation" to back up political positions. Crane may have had real libertarian idealism in his youth, but over the years just became a lecherous creep with low morals. Over the summer though I had quite the laugh. While the BLM protests and riots were in full swing, they had their beautiful building in DC, boarded up and surrounded by the "paramilitary agencies" to protect them from the people.... clearly... the picture was just iconic to me, as for ages they railed against the police state, militarization, and reliance on Federal agencies. I saved the picture somewhere.. will see if I can find it later. The following just about sums up where many of the more conservative/libertarian thinks tanks currently exist.

  11. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    One of these days I'm going to get around to writing a very long and kvetchy essay about the phenomenon you're describing. Conservatives and libertarians are in different movements with different first principles, but it's rightfully tough for people on the outside to perceive that because of the "fusionism" tendency many libertarians have to cooperate too closely with conservatives on fiscal issues and gun rights. The Mises Institute, for example, tolerates a number of individuals with loathsome positions on social issues. This has been a disaster for the libertarian movement, which would have better off if those in it had never passed up any opportunity to differentiate themselves from conservatives.

    I can't deny that. I agree with libertarian positions, but as you can see I'm not really a fan of the culture of the libertarian movement. This is why I often say that the Non-Aggression Principle and Wheaton's Law are each incomplete without the other, and that libertarians may have better answers, but progressives often ask better questions.

    I guess I don't see what the funny part is. Are you suggesting that Cato's executives called those agencies and asked them to be on the streets?

    I don't track what Heritage and AEI do because I'm not a conservative, but the top bit of that caricature looks like it was written by an NEA lobbyist. Come on, that's not even close to true.
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Finished it a couple of days ago and did the exam last night. These guys are fast! The exam was interactive - marked instantly, as I answered each question and I downloaded the cert. about 5 seconds (it seemed) after my credit card went through. Good-looking as a PDF gets. I'm basically happy with what I got for 21 Euros, but I'm going to try some other suppliers, just to see how they do. I'm going to take Alison's Cloud Computing course first, though - probably in the next few days. There's a Chromebook / Chromebox on my short-term horizon, so I need to know about that. I may end up building a custom Chromebox.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
    Dustin likes this.
  13. eriehiker

    eriehiker Active Member

    I have periodically set up alternative Chromebooks and Chromeboxes, but I always just end up putting Linux on the computer and installing Chromium instead.
    Johann likes this.
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'll never abandon Linux - I'm using it right now. I'm a reformed Windows guy. Threw it out when they brought out Win10. It seems quite a number of people use Linux on their Chromebooks - particularly if they're into programming. I'm going to see what I can do with Cloud IDE's for that. Basically, I want a second machine for Internet use backup - in case I temporarily "brick" my laptop installing another distro or something else that makes my wifi go "gaaaa...". I figured a Chromebook / Box would be inexpensive - and I could learn some new skills - like DroidScript. Gee, maybe I could even learn how not to brick machines so frequently :).

    Another thing I could do on such a machine is photo-editing. There's good Android etc. software that will run on the machines and they often have 4K video and I could use HDMI and a 4K monitor. That would be awesome!
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  15. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    There was a time when I had long commutes to work.
    I would spend an average of 3 hours daily just driving to work and back home.
    Audio books were fantastic companion. I listened to self improvement lessons such as 1 mill $ vocabulary, fiction popular audio books and educational audio lessons.
    I think I listened to the US Constitution audio from Cato.
    I learned Spanish while driving, and some German before going on a DT project in Germany.
    My employer had a set of 10 VHT tapes explaining in dept number of products I was working on. I recorded the audio and listened to these recordings while driving to work.
    This helped me to get up to speed quickly.
    Still have audio books on my cell phone for when driving paired to car radio.
    Dustin likes this.
  16. SpoonyNix

    SpoonyNix Active Member

    Which people?
  17. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    That's exactly the combo I am using right now. (Ubuntu OS / Chromium Browser) The Chrome-OS machine will be for backup use and also to satisfy my curiosity. I want to see how good those things can get, graphics-wise, and how they (and I) fare with things like DroidScript.
  18. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Oops. I see that was a near-duplicate of my prev. post. Sorry. very late. Me go nap now. Me old -- need lots naps. :)

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