Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand

Been listening to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged during work and boy are there some good points.

I’ve always held that the Network is the perfect place to launch a truly capitalistic system, and I can’t wait until we see how it fleshes out.

And I didn’t comment on the thread, but I’ll forever be opposed to this “basic income” crap that I’ve seen being spewed in all these “progressive” threads.

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I think I would have adored Ayn Rand personally but her system is idiotic ultimately- although I would have loved it as a younger person. I am glad I wasn’t exposed it would it would have added to my foolishness. It was like I was born with her system running in my head already. I am really not claiming that I know better than anyone else, and possibly not much better than my younger self but I do think her basic view point is something that can never, and I mean never survive real human maturity. If someone holds those view toward the end of their life in most cases its going to mean they didn’t mature very much over the span of their life.

Look at how well it served her as a philosopher. I think she did great and walked her talk but by her own ruler stick she died on social security living off the US dole. She would have died iin the street without without social security and its basic income. Its a delusion about what a human being is and what the point and potential of life is. Its also a confusion about what is going to lead to a fulfulling life. Our deficiencies are better servants than our competencies. Life isn’t about winning its about humility.

I’m currently trying to analyze the “gift economy” in conjunction with a capitalistic society.

This may seem at odds, but it seems to me that while her whole philosophy revolved around “business”, there was a lot of loneliness and a lack of community in her novel.

A very common premise is to have a personal life as well as a work life. This puts into focus the story of the end of her life on soc sec. She wasn’t working, so she needed to survive in her personal life, without business. That she failed to do.

Her philosophy works well for a work life, but not very well with a personal life. A gift economy focuses mainly on personal life, but doesn’t really take into account business. I believe that there is a way to intertwine the two, and am very excited to pursue the idea, although I have not come up with such a scheme as of yet.

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That’s awesome. That is what people like the late historian Tony Judt insist is the best we will be able to do and they call it social democracy. They seem to say we wont’ be able to do better than capitalism so accept it, but that we need to soften it to make it survivable. Its kind of like threading the yang with the yin or maybe more like bull riding. I am sympathetic to this. If society itself is just another tech it can be used to help us have a better chance at richer personal lives and richer professional lives.

I remember in my childhood thinking I wanted to know how hard I could punch or hit something. Just how physcially effective could I be? The urge was strong and it got exercised. Its the urge to life. There is fight in us. We want the struggle and we dont’ want anyone watering it down for us or we will feel deeply cheated and worse even stunted. We need an outback so we can feel authentic in our own skin. People who are over the hill on their journey or have contributed what they can contribute cannot be allowed to ruin it for the people who are coming up or in anyway deny them the challenges, . It seems so important to preserve what the world has to offer for people just entering the fight but on their terms and not compromised from the start.

I remember the contempt I once felt for programs like social security- and now I feel I was so wrong, We don’t want to straddle the young with the old or have those anticipating middle age distracted with thoughts about an old age likely to go very wrong for them or their parents or friends. Our challenges and experiences can be grander than subsistance.

What if our personal life and professional life could merge in play? I recently saw a youtube video where the main guy at either Deep Mind or Vicarious was referencing Arhur Clark saying the goal should be full unemployment so that we can all play and that the rule of play that every child knows is eveyone is included. We can do better than 500000 dead toddlers in Iraq over oil. The loss of a child is such unthinkable pain, no one’s life should include that. Its not what our parents or any of our passed on relatives wanted for us and we have the means to do better. We don’t have to live cut off from our hearts because that’s not living, you can’t really live from your head for very long.