Visit here often, to check what's going on, and to be reminded of how the Academy developed.
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1/19 6/17 10/15
End-June 8/18 8/20 9/16 10/5 10/19 12/30
October 21st 2014Good news for those who encountered the glitch described in the entry below, for March 15th: contrary to the referenced advice that it "cannot be eliminated", a TOLFAn with programming expertese has designed a fix!
So that fix has been applied to well over 100 TOLFA pages, and is now loaded to tolfa.us. To see the effect, try any page where there are interactive questions, and press a "radio button" to make a choice. Then press a second one. The subject glitch no longer appears. Better yet, the "answer" text is much easier to read, and the panel is surrounded by shading and curved corners. To that benefactor, thank you very much! He modestly declined to be named, but he made a valuable contribution to the Academy.
To help populate CDs which derive from this web site (which may of course disappear at any time) with this useful fix, please take the time to download a copy now.
March 15th 2014We're told that an anomaly occurs when using some browsers to pull up TOLFA pages.
As you know, many of its pages offer interactive questions with multiple choice answers. The student is encouraged to look at all the options, after choosing his own. Unfortunately, some browsers offer a box "prevent this page from creating additional dialogs" and if you check it, you'll be prevented from seeing those others. Bad idea - but it's not a fault in TOLFA, it's a quirk in the browser and so cannot be eliminated.
Instead, simply NEVER CHECK THAT BOX, if it appears.
Or if you should accidentally do so, REFRESH THE PAGE from your TOLFA CD or from tolfa.us if it's still up.
This warning was appended today to the Q&A, the Benefits - Q1, and the How Best to Use pages.
March 31st 2012You'll have noticed that news items are getting less frequent, and that's natural. TOLFA is designed to spread by CDs as it grows, not to depend on a continuing web site - see the News item for June 1st 2011.
One item is worth posting today, however: to help graduates find one new student per year (to "Growl") a new site is being built to encourage government workers to quit their jobs. Explore it via TinyURL.com/QuitGov.
Government employees will be among the last to join and graduate from the Academy, so don't expect too much of that site. It's hoped however that it will insert doubts into the minds of many of them, so that when you invite a friend now working in the Parasite Sector to consider TOLFA, (s)he will be marginally more inclined to agree, than at present. The net result could bring forward E-Day by a useful period.
If you like it and agree, that simple URL - TinyURL.com/QuitGov - could be placed in sight of government employees; on the notice boards of stores they patronize, for example. Easy, simple, and eventually productive - like water on a stone. One could even copy and print out this graphic.
June 1st 2011This month, TOLFA has been available for five years and so is well past its initial phase. The number of "orphans" joining has exceeded expectations by a factor of three, and the period during which they joined has been double what was predicted; instead of fizzling out in 2007 or 2008 the number only this year became low. This has been an outstanding start, which augurs well for the future of the Academy, and so for that of liberty and of the human race.
According to plan therefore (and assuming a replication rate of 1 per year, no higher or lower) there are about 99 new students joining in the normal way (upon a graduate friend's introduction and gift of a CD copy) for every one joining directly as an orphan who came across the web site. Accordingly, the Orphan page has been changed to show that the few who from now onwards join without a personal introduction won't be mentored.
One result is that TOLFA is now almost fully independent of its web site, and so is insensitive to government "denial of service" attacks. The Academy is wholly in the hands of its members, exactly as intended.
Accordingly the site may be removed during 2012 so as to provide no target for such attacks - even though its name would then become anomalous; it might then get called The Off Line Freedom Academy. Happily, though, its acronym will be preserved.
May 20th 2011This year Larken Rose wrote The Most Dangerous Superstition (TMDS) which is the most significant "persuader" to appear in a very long time, and it's been added to the set of TOLFA-recommended books, at the foot of Segment 2. It's a superb work, which will delight all students, graduates and prospective students of this Academy. Get and read a copy - then get several more, ready to give away!
Its greatest significance is in that third category. TMDS has been found on its own to be so powerful as to turn statists into anarchists! So it forms a new way to interest people in joining TOLFA - compare it to Denial of Liberty (see 3/5/2010 below.) A valuable front-end, at least, a big help in motivating friends to join up.
The book takes one key idea, and explores all its implications in two hundred pages: that the root of nearly all society's problems lies in the near-universal belief in authority. That is "the most dangerous superstition" and it is shown to be totally groundless and horribly destructive. TMDS forms a fresh and welcome alternative way to express what's taught here in Segments 1 and 2.
December 8th 2010Government's current, furious attempts to close down Wikileaks gives us a useful heads-up about what it may try to do to TOLFA in the early 2020s.
That's a subject explored at some length in Transition to Liberty, and the predictions there match the current witch-hunt quite closely. The FedGov's strategy is to
Assange has, like Andersen's small boy, shown that the Emperor has no clothes. Instead of thanking him and putting on a coat, the Emperor is responding by gagging the boy. This is exactly what a TOLFA graduate would expect; never mind the truth of what is leaked, just plug it up.
- neutralize the leader, Julian Assange, by any means possible including assassination
- close down its web sites, by "Denial of Service" attacks
- close its bank accounts, even a Swiss one!
- marshal all its resources, and those of governments abroad, to smear what it's done
With our quiet, exponential-growth model, we are much better placed:
Hopefully, Wikileaks will survive this onslaught and publish more dirt on the government industry - it all helps. However if not, no matter. They depend on continuing a flow of information - new leaks - we do not; TOLFA is static (there are updates and news postings like this, but they aren't indispensible; a graduate with one CD of its very first version would still be equipped to change the world.) They have hundreds of supporters and "mirror sites" - good for them, let's hope that works. Our membership is doubling every year and we use CDs or other memory devices, not sites. TOLFA can not be stopped; the transition to liberty will take place like an avalanche. All we have to do is growl.
- There is no "leader"; the Academy was fully decentralized from the start
- All students have already made CD copies, so do not depend on any web site
- No money flows, so there is no bank account to be closed
- Learning is passed from one friend to another, in depth. Malicious publicity doesn't matter
October 17th 2010Today a new supplementary TOLFA page was added, to amplify and extend the ideas in Segment 18 Part 3 (from which it is linked) about what to do while awaiting the evaporation of government.
August 28th 2010Today TOLFA founder Jim Davies launched his Zero Government Blog - something to bookmark and visit often. It offers "Rational, Refreshing Reflections on What's Happening Now."
June 1st 2010In honor of our fourth anniversary this month, a new page called "Growth Revisited" has been put in place and linked-to from Segment 18. It reports the continuing very healthy number of people joining the Acacemy having encountered news of it on the Net, and reminds us of the good reasons why we'll not know the total membership until shortly before E-Day - and why that's a good thing.
March 5th 2010This week Jim Davies' third TOLFA-companion book was published, as Denial of Liberty. It's a sweeping survey of world history that demonstrates the devastating effect of government on human progress, and so will help remove the common objection, from friends invited to join the Academy, that government has been a vital and beneficial influence in civilizing our species.
Therefore it should shorten a little the time needed to bring in a new student, on average. Work it out, using the math page: if on average one can bring in one friend every 11 months instead of every 12, it would bring forward E-Day by more than a full year! Good for graduates to have copies of the book available to lend or give to those they are trying to attract.
Today some improvements were made to the TOLFA site, notably to Segment 18 which was getting a bit long; for example the table showing an effect of saving and investing has been moved to its own, referenced page. The FAQ page was also enhanced. So now is a good time to download an up-to-date copy so that you have the latest version ready to offer to new students.
February 10th 2010As mentioned in the June 2007 entry, it's vitally important for TOLFA students to develop a strong appetite for reading good, pro-freedom books including those "recommended" at the foot of each Segment, and today the Reading Lists page was enhanced with a suggested "short shelf" list to help students get started.
April 10th 2009An eagle-eyed student spotted a lack of clarity in Segment 11 and an error in Seg 12, so these were corrected today. Thanks to him, and if you see any others, please let your Mentor know.
The Seg 11 item concerned the mechanism of Fractional Reserve Banking, a subject of considerable current importance that is explored in this article about inflation.
October 17th 2008In the Fall of 2008 the government-manipulated financial system teetered on the brink of collapse and the Dow fell by 40% (at this writing) from its 2007 peak, and some are predicting a depression to rival that of the 1930s. Some TOLFAns are wondering: does this change anything?
The answer is no; not one iota.
Segments 11 and 15 teach about money and economics, so it should be no surprise at all when the endless meddling of lawmakers so distorts markets that they can barely function. In this case there were two major causes: government wrote laws to compel mortgage lenders to make irrational loans (to bad credit risks) and in the early 2000s government got its associated banker (the Fed) to make "money" even more freely available, so making such risky lending easier. Hence the housing bubble, hence the insolvency of lenders, hence the $750B "bailout" and hence more inflation later. This article shows more detail.
Segment 18 urges all graduates to live quiet and "normal" lives, finding one friend to join TOLFA each year and resigning and government job they hold. That's all that is needed. That is what will cause government to evaporate altogether, at which time none of these distortions will any longer be possible. Do those things, and nothing else matters, and "Transition to Liberty" details what may be the course of events. The only difference is that if there is a depression, "normal" living will not be at the comfortable standard most of us enjoy - for relative poverty will be accompanied by ever-multiplying laws and controls that further reduce freedom. That background is not a bad one from which to attract friends to learn about the alternative to government, so the flip side may be that we can bring in an average of more than one a year, and so hasten the arrival of E-Day.
July 17th 2008Today Jim Davies' second companion book for TOLFA students was published, under the title Transition to Liberty - also recommended at the foot of Segment 18. It offers an answer to those inclined to doubt that the Academy's simple plan for ending the Age of Government will be allowed to succeed - that somehow, government will suppress the movement when the chips are down. It will certainly try, and "Transition" imagines the ways and details its final five years. Read it, and judge for yourself: there is no way they will be able to do so. We in TOLFA are changing the course of human history.
A further update to Segment 18 repairs an omission in TOLFA, for nowhere has it expressly said that violence is not to be used to demolish government. That's implied of course on every page, but is probably worth stating explicitly - so this addition stresses that violence is wholly unnecessary, completely ineffective, and flat contrary to the ethical principles learned here.
June 27th 2008Rick Flame, who helped prepare TOLFA, has written an outstanding piece called "The Rejection of Liberty" which explores some of the factors affecting anyone's decision about freedom. It's recommended to all who are considering taking part in the Academy, and so appears at the foot of the "Score" page (following the Entrance questionnaire) and of Segment 18.
May 21st 2008Ken Schoolland's excellent Flash presentation "The Philosophy of Liberty" was refined recently and the link to it at the foot of Segment 1 has been changed accordingly. Also Segment 18 now suggests you might find that 9-minute overview useful when seeking to interest a friend in TOLFA.
April 22nd 2008Today an addition was made to the gray-background panel that starts Segment 6. The three new paragraphs re-emphasize the importance of the preceding 5 segments and ask the student for a commitment. The purpose of this is to prevent the occasional problem that someone hurries too quickly through the first part of TOLFA and so misses the immense importance of its logic.
If you've already progressed beyond that point, it might be no bad idea to visit - it will at least help when you come to mentor friends.
April 5th 2008Today a new book was added to the set of those recommended as companions to this course: by Jim Davies, it's "A Vision of Liberty." It can be obtained here and is the first book to refer expressly to TOLFA. Recommended at the foot of Segment 18, it offers a picture of what life will be like in a free society, notably in the first three years after E-Day. As such it occupies an unique place in literature and provides something to help us salivate while waiting for that time. It may also help us attract new students to the Academy.
January 20th 20081. Laissez Faire Books has re-opened having been taken over by the International Society for Individual Liberty, ISIL. That's very good news, but at this writing it's not clear how extensive a catalog will be offered so the reading links in TOLFA have not yet been changed again.
2. A few more improvements have been made to the TOLFA pages, and the latest version is ready to be downloaded - with a new download option available, with greater safety and ease for those who have the WinZip software or equivalent.
One change has been to delete a couple of reading recommendations because unrelated sites have taken the articles down. That's a pity, but can't be stopped. If you come across a "Not Found" link, that's almost certainly what will have happened, and over time it's inevitable that some will arise. When it does, refer to the sites recommended in Segment 18 para 3; for frequently, fine new articles appear there.
October 15th 2007Today Laissez Faire Books announced its closure, which is a sad loss for the freedom movement. Several of the links provided in TOLFA for "Recommended Reading" led the student to LFB so those links have now been changed. All the recommended books are available at the newly indexed vendor sites.
LFB was the facility that provided a commission to us who designed TOLFA, as explained in the fourth paragraph on the "Reading Lists" page, so that para was today deleted.
June 17th 2007Today it's a year since TOLFA was launched, and the results are very pleasing. Site-usage statistics suggest that most graduates are, indeed, finding about one friend a year to join the Academy; that is why government will implode within a single generation. A current Strike the Root article speculates how it may go down.
The number of those who joined directly in response to the one-time launch announcements was between 27 and 28, meaning that 7 years are saved from the 28 needed, at that rate, to re-educate the whole US population (228 being 268 million.) 2027, therefore, is a fair estimate of when a free society will begin.
There is one concern: the number of the recommended books that have been ordered through TOLFA is trivial, and that may indicate a lack of in-depth studying and that's a worry. That is of course entirely optional (see "Reading Lists") and since many of the first-year students will already have several of those books a low number is understandable to some degree; but not this low. Suggestion: read! The cost is very minor for such life-changing wisdom.
January 19th 2007One of the web sites TOLFA graduates are encouraged to visit is that of "The Voluntaryist" - see the News entry for 9/16/2006 - and that contains a valuable insight about how a free society might defend itself. Part 3 of Segment 10 was enhanced accordingly.
December 30th 2006Someone struggled through TOLFA without a Mentor to help, which is not what's intended - he was an "Orphan" who'd missed the home-page invitation to request one. So that page was rephrased today to make the invitation stronger.
October 19th 2006A new paragraph was added today to Segment 18, called "Expand Horizons." It has to do with living more freely, while awaiting E-Day, than might seem possible.
October 5th 2006We're finding that a few student members are approaching Segments out of sequence, and so unsurprisingly getting confused. So a new page has been added, between the Benefits and the Segment 1 pages, to advise against that; it's called "How Best to Use TOLFA". Worth a visit!
September 16th 2006After graduating as a full member of this Academy, students will find in Segment 18 a list of resources recommended for use while awaiting the arrival of a free society. Among them is a publication called "The Voluntaryist."
Carl Watner, who founded and publishes that, has also published a collection of the best articles that appeared in its first hundred issues, under the title "I Must Speak Out." It's an outstanding book, each chapter tightly reasoned and thought-provoking - so it's been added to our "Further Reading" list at the foot of Segment 18.
Other news today: this and a few other changes to the text have been built into a new version of the downloadable version of TOLFA, so if it's been a while since you brought your copy up to date, now would be a good time to download one.
August 20th 2006Since some members have already graduated and are seeking new ones from among their circle of friends, a new page has been created: "Mentors' Corner." It offers some ideas for doing that work with greatest effect and least effort, and will be kept updated as we learn. There's also a new blue button on the Study Plan page to get you there.
August 18th 2006Members of the Academy who joined as a result of the kickoff promotion are working through its 18 segments, and a few have told their Mentors that they graduated already. A few questions have arisen and been answered, though they were rather specific so probably not suitable for posting on the FAQ page. In other words, all is well.
One concern is that some students may be moving through the segments a bit too fast. It's really important to take it steady and absorb the material throroughly, using as much of the "further reading" material as possible. The TOLFA strategy for success is to
Result: a population fully prepared to walk away from government in disgust.
- Learn thoroughly why freedom is a "rational imperative", then to
- Introduce at least one other friend per year and mentor him through TOLFA
A few more typos have been spotted and corrections made, and today those updates were incorporated into a new download file - so please, download it now so as to keep your CD copy up to date for when you introduce someone else. In fact, remember please to do that every few months because if we can make improvements, we will.
End-June 2006This Academy was launched on June 17th 2006 with some one-time targeted advertising.
As a result, sufficient joined to shorten the one-on-one replication process of 28 cycles (~268 million literate Americans are 228) to within the "2020s" decade anticipated in our Home Page.
However the assumption that one such cycle will take a full year was meant to be conservative. It is very realistic to do a thorough, unhurried job of completing all 18 Segments in this Academy in 18 weeks, and even allowing extra time to read some of the optional but recommended "further reading" books, 26 weeks seems quite generous. That's half a year; in other words, our average replication rate may prove to be 2 per year rather than 1 per year.
If so, then we shall see government evaporate before the 2010s end, rather than the 2020s. Close enough to taste!