Monday, April 27, 2009

to satisfy my inner-nerd

I tend to keep things pretty surface-level on this blog for the most part. I might share my hatred for Time Warner Cable, and occasionally whine about forgetful old women in my church, or I might even share some actual feelings from time to time...but the content of this blog is generally sort of banal. And that's okay. I prefer it that way. But why don't we all try something a little deeper on this Monday morning...

Click here and read this article.

Then go read this book.
The story repeatedly asks "Who is John Galt?" but if you really want the answer as to "Who" he is, then go read this book.
(by the way, how amazing are those graphics? I just want to hang prints of these covers all over my house...Moving on.)

After reading all these, if you want, come indulge me with some stimulating conversation. Please? Not the "this is my opinion and you're damned if you disagree" sort of stuff, but something more inquisitive and exploratory and interesting. I admit, I've been a long-time fan of this book. I absolutelylove it. But I don't agree with everything in it, nor do I worship Rand. (I just heard you breathing a sigh of relief, Dad. Don't relax yet; I'm still naming a kid Atlas...)

Anyway, I don't want to repeat the article, so I'll just say go read it. It's not life-changing or inspiring, but it might get you to read the books, and those are life-changing and inspiring. If you don't get to read the article, I'll leave you with at least my favorite quote:

"...selfishness did not mean disengagement from the world or sociopathy. Rational self-interest, egoism, in Ayn Rand's perception is not being Bernie Madoff, not thinking short-term and satisfying just whims, and cheating and lying and is about pursuing what's truly in your rational, long-term self-interest, figuring out what's good for you, without exploiting, taking advantage, without stealing from other people, without sacrificing from other people to yourself...but also without sacrificing yourself to other people."

I think Adam Smith might have appreciated that clarification.

Oh yeah, the article also mentions a possible Altas Shrugged movie. Kenny and I have given this potential movie a lot of thought, and (while on a road trip) we casted all the parts. So, Hollywood? If you're listening, we have Atlas Shrugged's dream cast already worked out. (And it absolutely does not have Angelina Jolie as Dagny. How dare you...) Call us.


Applepwrs said...

I recently received a letter in the mail stating that, “you may be eligible for a subsidy under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.” I had to pinch myself that I was not dreaming about Atlas Shrugged. What is ARRA you might ask? It is an effort to lower my Cobra payment by 65% because the government does not what me to go with out health care. Please, get the hell out of my way so I can go get a job.

Emily said...

A very interesting article. I now want to read the books. Which one would you recommend I read first? I miss the days when I was able to read books for fun. I actually can't remember the last book I read that wasn't medically related (lame).

Caitlin said...

Life. Changing. That's what these books are to Chad and me. We were forced to change the name of our company due to trademark infringement (those guys at Black & Decker are a bunch of jerks) and we were trying to come up with something "Fountainhead/Atlas" Shrugged" related. But alas, we gave up and pulled something out of our rear ends. Anyway, we read The Fountainhead out loud to each other on our honeymoon. Aren't we romantic?

We heard the same thing about there being a movie and that Brad Pitt was spearheading it. I think he would be a great John Gault. Does this mean we aren't friends? Who was your choice for Dagny? I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

As for what is happening in the world economically, it is like watching the book come to life. I am w/o health insurance and there is no way I would ever support nationalized health care the way it has been proposed here. Where are the incentives for competition that would drive down costs and foster innovation? Taiwan has a pretty OK system for nationalized health care, but that is a whole other topic.

The direction of the real estate market is troubling. I just read a scenario last night that projects the losses we have seen in property values lasting an entire generation (excluding TX which has seen a huge boom of new construction). How could we not see the writing on the wall with some of the legislation that was passed during the Clinton Administration regulated lending practices so that "everyone" could afford a house? After all, it's the American Dream right? Well, things didn't work out so well. It is funny to me that the Democrats blame the Republicans for the housing/credit crisis when it was the Democrats that passed the very legislation that started this whole mess in the 1990's. Again, a whole other topic.

Just like Rand predicted, when the government steps in, everything goes to crap. Hey, the American auto industry is failing? I know, let's have the government step in and "save" an ancient, inefficient, corruption riddled, union-controlled industry! Let's continue with this great legacy of inefficiency! If something is failing, it's because IT ISN'T WORKING!!!

Ahem, pardon my outburst. I will end now.

So what was this all about again? I don't know. I like these books, blah blah blah.

Sarah said...

I think Christianity benefits from Rand exposure. It brings balance to the force. I have to hear your picks for the characters. I love this post.

Chad said...

I might just be a bigger nerd then you when it comes to Rand. We own all her books.
Back in January, I had to see a doctor to get some happy pills because I was reading through Atlas again and with the economy, government bailouts, just everything, I had a minor break down. I guess I was just waiting for the lights to go out.
Of course, I agree with nearly everything she says. But when it comes to religion, I feel that Rand carries a double standard. Rand argues that the preaching of altruism is evil. And for Rand, Religion = Alturism. But that's not a true statement. What she fails to realize is that religion, well, our religion anyway, doesn't teach to give without reward. To follow commandments is, at it's core, selfish. The Lord has many pointed out many times over that obedience = reward. Whether the reward is blessings now or later, it doesn't matter. Sure, there must be a foundation of faith to prompt the action but even Rand would argue that a person has the right to place value in what ever they wish. Because of this, it drives me crazy when I hear people at church using the word "sacrifice" when referring tithing or any other commandment. Rand has a great quote in "Virtue of Selfishness"- "If you give a dollar, and receive ten dollars back, that is not a sacrifice". (alright, I didn't look up the quote so this is my version)

That's all. Go Rand!