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Survey! How Many Gulchers Have Gone On to Read Rand Since Coming to This Site?

Posted by khalling 2 years, 6 months ago to Philosophy
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You saw the Atlas Shrugged movies and you found the Gulch. You picked up the book, Atlas Shrugged and learned of a philosophy of life that explained how you've always felt but did not know how to completely articulate. Or-you hadn't read AS in years and were inspired by the movies to pick it up and read it again. Wait! Don't go yet! I want you to also let us know if you have read any of Rand's non-fiction since you landed in the Gulch. But wait! I'd also like to know if you have ventured to other Objectivist scholarly sites after learning about them here (seeing a video or clicking a link which was a cite). Looking forward to your responses.

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P.S. The Hotly Anticipated 2nd Novel in the Hank Rangar Series is Now Available on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Trails-Injustice-H...


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  • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 2 years, 6 months ago
    I read The Fountainhead in 1958. My new husband had a copy. I got Atlas Shrugged a couple of years later, attended the 1965 NBI 20-lecture course on tape and met Ayn Rand at the opening session. Shortly thereafter I divorced to regain my life. I am now happily married for 45 years to a man who loves me for who I am.

    I have all of Rand's books, fiction and non-fiction, and all the original copies of the various newsletters, to which I subscribed in real time. I have all 3 Atlas films and other Rand-related videotapes. I have read AS seven times, including the new paperback edition put out by Peikoff's group. I sent him a list of all the typos (hundreds of them) in that volume. My own original volume is in tatters, and I've bought both the deluxe hard cover and paperbacks for friends. And yes, I have Branden's book on self-esteem and his vengeful Judgment Day, and Barbara Branden's biography of Rand. Read them with a grain of salt.

    I have lived through, in real time, the Rand/Branden split and the Peikoff/Kelley split. It amused me greatly when I first joined the Gulch that, in the first discussion in which I participated, one of the commenters accused me of being a Communist. I appreciate that the disruptive elements have been purged or have chosen to withdraw from the Gulch. The conversations here are a bright spot in the otherwise dismal current state of the world, and there is always something new and worthwhile to learn. I probably spend way too much time here, amidst running my business.

    I want to make clear that I am not a Rand worshipper. I admire the intellect that produced the statement of values and principles, the body of philosophy that expressed with full clarity and non-contradiction the values I had always held but lacked the words to express. It was like coming home.
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    • Posted by sdesapio 2 years, 6 months ago
      RE: "met Ayn Rand"
      !?!?!?!?!?! Any more to this?
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      • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 2 years, 6 months ago
        We exchanged a few words. It's not like I was in her "collective". After the lecture, which she presented in person, unlike the later sessions that were on tape, some of us were able to come up and meet her, flanked by her husband and Branden. She wore black. I asked her, "Does your husband agree with everything you say?" She looked at me with those incredible eyes and said, "Of course! He has to!" We all smiled and I thanked her. Then other people crowded in and no one wanted to leave. So yes, I met her, once, within 6 feet.

        The following year I left my husband. Ayn never knew how her seemingly simple remark, into which one can read a Universe of depth, had liberated me, literally saved my life and opened the future I have achieved. I did continue to have a one-degree-of-separation relationship, however: her attorney, Charles Sures, was also mine. He drew up my company's incorporation papers and later saved us from being destroyed by a malevolent partner. Moreover, Charles and his wife, Mary Ann, took some ballroom dance lessons with me in Washington, DC. (I taught dancing for 30 years.) The threads never end.
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        • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 2 years, 6 months ago
          What a great story, puzzlelady! You spoke to her!
          Glad you had such a great attorney on your side.
          And ballroom dancing was something that my mom did, competitively in Pittsburgh and environs before I was born. (1967).
          She and I moved to Arlington, VA in '75 and she worked in DC and on The Hill for many years before retiring because of health reasons. Small world. Are you still there?
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          • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 2 years, 6 months ago
            My husband and I are in Maryland, Baltimore suburbs. Back then we lived in Leesburg and I taught dancing in a studio in Arlington (The Feather and Three) until 1975, when we went to Iran for 4 years. That studio is now closed, proprietors passed away. We still have dozens of trophies from pro-am competitions won between 1967 and 1975. For all I know, we may have seen your mom at one of those events. Small world indeed.
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            • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 2 years, 6 months ago
              I used to ride, (horses), out in Leesburg. It is unrecognizable to me now. I moved from Virginia in 1994 after I got married, moved back and built a house in Manassas in 1996, and then moved back north in '98.
              I danced at a place in Springfield, but I don't think it exists any longer, either.
              I will ask my dad about where she competed. That would be funny if you did by some coincidence, meet. My mother also taught, but in Pittsburgh.
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              • Posted by  $  puzzlelady 2 years, 6 months ago
                I exhibited in Sugarloaf Crafts Festivals at Manassas fairgrounds for many years, including the year a mini-tornado wiped out most of the show. At dance competitions we meet many teachers from other cities. Under what name did she teach? Or should we take this discussion to PM? Were your parents Objectivists?
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    • Posted by dbhalling 2 years, 6 months ago
      Well the goal should never be to worship.

      Wonderful - agreed "The conversations here are a bright spot in the otherwise dismal current state of the world, and there is always something new and worthwhile to learn"
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  • Posted by ProfChuck 2 years, 6 months ago
    I finished reading AS for the third time just before watching AS3 on BluRay. Every time I read it it's more history and less fiction.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
      did you read the book or see the movies first, prof?
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      • Posted by ProfChuck 2 years, 6 months ago
        I read AS for the first time shortly after it first came out in hard back. I was a member of the Nathaniel Brandon society and have been a fan (if that's the right word) of Ayn Rand since the 50's. I have a complete collection of Rand's work and have made it a point to read everything she published.
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        • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
          how interesting. We need more of your posts and comments then :)
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          • Posted by ProfChuck 2 years, 6 months ago
            As a scientist I try to approach my understanding of the world from an objectivist perspective. My specialties are astronomy and theoretical physics so I am constantly exposed to the extraordinary complexity of what we call "reality". As we search the depths of the cosmos or the inner workings of the atom we encounter layer upon layer of seemingly endless detail. So the question for me is "Is the complexity of physical reality infinite or finite." The answer to this question is of profound significance because it reveals if there is a limit to knowledge. Trying to maintain objectivity in the face of of such a realization is difficult in the extreme.
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            • Posted by dbhalling 2 years, 6 months ago
              Hi ProfChuck

              How do you approach quantum mechanics as an objectivist?
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              • Posted by ProfChuck 2 years, 6 months ago
                "How do you approach quantum mechanics as an objectivist?"
                As it turns out this is a remarkably important question and it strikes at the very heart of how do we come to "know" things

                As I understand it objectivism is based on two fundamental and essential assumptions;
                a) Objective reality exists.
                b) It is possible to recognize it when confronted with it.
                Classical physics is deterministic while quantum physics is probabilistic. Actually that is a gross oversimplification but it does illustrate at least part of the difference between the two scientific disciplines. The problem is that both classical and quantum physics have survived countless experimental verifications and yet they are, or at least appear to be, in direct conflict with one another. An example is the wave-particle duality problem. It can be argued that for a lens to work light must be a wave and cannot be a particle and for film to work light must be a particle and cannot be a wave. And yet cameras work, Why? The conflict between classical and quantum physics is filled with such seeming contradictions.
                In the case of classical physics we can predict the positions of the planets with any desired degree of precision at any point in time in the future or past. In the case of quantum physics we cannot predict when an atom in a radio isotope will decay except in terms of statistical probability functions. What's worse, the simple act of observing isotope decay alters the decay rate. In the case of quantum physics the act of observing alters the thing being observed regardless of how the observations are performed. How does one reconcile that with objective reality.
                Objectivism for a quantum physicist is difficult.
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                • Posted by dbhalling 2 years, 6 months ago
                  Hear hear,

                  I started investigating this issue recently (it bothered me in grad school in physics, but as prof who has written on this said, I was too busy and said I would think about it later). There seems to be renewed criticism of at least the Copenhagen Interpretation. One person who has been particularly critical is Carver Mead.

                  Heisenberg wrote a book Physics and Philosophy where (according to what I have read elsewhere) he is clear they were trying to base quantum mechanics on the ideas of Kant and Hegel. I have gotten his book, but been too busy to start my research.
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                  • Posted by ProfChuck 2 years, 6 months ago
                    I have been looking at a possible connection between quantum entanglement and the observer effect. The idea that the act of observing has an effect on the thing being observed suggests a link between these to entities. This intangible link is similar in some ways to the connection between entangled quantum states. One of the critical components of objective reasoning is causality and this "Spook action at a distance", as Einstein called it, seems to threaten causality. That is a serious problem.
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                  • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 2 years, 6 months ago
                    It would seem to me that the existence of an objective world that can be examined by the senses does not imply that the senses can perfectly perceive it nor that it be completely predictable.
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  • Posted by XenokRoy 2 years, 6 months ago
    I read AS about 15 years ago now, before the movies. I have many of her audio books, hardback books and Piekoff's Objectivism: The philosophy of Ayn Rand.

    About two years after reading most of what Rand has published (other than her books about writing) I had a liberal friend loose several different arguments with me as I used Objectivism to put down his arguments. He asked where I was getting some of these ideas and a conversation ensued in which he said "We need someone like her for socialism."

    I told him to read some Marx, that was the person he was looking for. He responded "I have and his arguments are just not as good." to which I responded that perhaps he needed to check his premises resolve the conflicts and find the truth.

    The movies got him to read the book and today he has not yet gotten off the socialist cool aid but at least he is questioning it and there is hope that he can be saved.

    Every so often we have a good conversation. There is much that hast to be weeded from his brain and the process is slow.
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    • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 2 years, 6 months ago
      Wow, I'm glad you have him questioning his philosophy... It blows my mind that he can't wrap his mind around the fact that socialism is anti life! Forehead flick time.. ;-) I'm glad he engages, and recognizes your arguments are logic based, not petulant outrage based.
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      • Posted by XenokRoy 2 years, 6 months ago
        Ya, also blows my mind. Its taking him a long time but his background is a large part of why. He comes from a diehard democrat family, he was not just a cool aid drinker but he was mixing it and giving it to others. Very active grass root campaigner. Smart kid who never had a chance because everything he learned growing up was socialism greatness.

        Over several years he has abandoned helping socialism, but is not yet to the point where he accepts (I think he knows) capitalism is the only real way.

        He makes me think of the wet nurse kid in AS.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 2 years, 6 months ago
      He sounds like an intrinsic-ist epistemologically (there are couple of youtubes that Atlas Society has put up on point), which basically means he never questions his assumptions, he is just looking for arguments to support his feelings.
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      • Posted by XenokRoy 2 years, 6 months ago
        That is basically it. I hired him into my team out of college. Very liberal family, Socialism cool aid drinkers, mixers and servers. Never taught him to question those assumptions. Learning to do so is taking some time with him but he is taking the journey.
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  • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 2 years, 6 months ago
    I read AS later in life than I would care to admit to. ;-)
    That said, I felt like I wanted to shout from the rooftops what I had found! It literally left me bursting with a fierce joy that I had found what it was I had yearned for but could not name. It wasn't until several yer later that I saw the trailer for the first AS movie, and looked more rigorously online for sources of info. I found The Atlas Society first, then came across GaltsGulchOnline....

    I've been a producer ever since, and have never looked back. I must say that Anthem had a rather profound effect on me, as did The Virtue of Selfishness. It put things in crystal clear perspective. But my favorite AR protagonist is Roark, from Fountainhead.
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    • Posted by  $  rockymountainpirate 2 years, 6 months ago
      Anthem really effected me also. While I like a great many of Rands characters, Equality 7-2524 is probably my favorite. He had stepped out there without fear and seized his life. Carpe Vitae. Carpe Veritas.
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      • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
        interesting. You enjoy sci-fi. Goodkind, as well as others. right?
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        • Posted by  $  rockymountainpirate 2 years, 6 months ago
          Yes, Goodkind, David A. Wells, Michael Sullivan and Brandon Sanderson among others. I don't know if they are Objectivists, but there certainly are Objectivist themes running through the books. If David Wells isn't an Objectivist, he might just not know he is. Here's a running theme through all his books: The Old Law. You have a right to your life because you are alive. You have a right to your liberty because you have free will. You have a right to your property because it is the product of your labor. You forfeit these rights when you take them from another.
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  • Posted by LetsShrug 2 years, 6 months ago
    I don't remember all the details about how I found my way to reading Rand, but, in retrospect, I realize I was always on a mission for things to make sense when so many things, and people, around me didn't.
    I know at one point I heard Rand Paul, in an interview answer the question about him being named after Ayn Rand and he explained that Rand was short for Randall, but he admired Ayn Rand. I looked her up, watched a video that shed her in a bad light and I thought she was nuts...like left wing nuts (I have no idea how I got that idea). But I dismissed her. (omg!!!!)
    I then saw Atlas Shrugged I on netflix and enjoyed it so I started researching the author and watched The Prophecy of Ayn Rand (also on Netflix) and I was hooked. I bought AS immediately, took it on vacation and devoured it on my parent's back porch a few Summer's ago in MI. I remember telling my Mom when I finished part I "This is where the movie left off, but there is sooo much more going on in this book than the movie. And so much of it is actually happening in this country right now, and this was written in the 50's! You HAVE to read this!" (And she did :)).
    I soon starting looking for info on Part II of the movie and found a website where I signed up for notifications...soon thereafter I was informed of galtsgulchonline and I dove in head first without blinking.
    I have since read many of her other works, both fiction and non fiction, sometimes more than once and I am continually blown away by the spot on perfection of Rand's explanations and reasoning.
    My only regret is not finding my way to Objectivism sooner. Finally, somewhere where everything makes sense. Much like sitting on your parent's back porch and breathing the fresh air of HOME. :)
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    • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 2 years, 6 months ago
      Hello LS,
      Back here in Mi. the fresh air is finally back to a pleasant temperature. The fruit trees in my yard are blossoming and the lilacs are in bloom. Your comments are like that breath of fresh air.
      I also intend to move from Mi. as soon as possible, but I too know in some ways it will always seem like home. My mother is living in Florida and tells me all the time how much she misses the Mi. summers. Winters, not so much! It is my intention to join her there and assist her in her remaining years. She is the only parent still living between myself and my wife. We share her love. I hope she lives a long healthy life so I will be there in time. Many years back I loaned her my copy of AS. She read it and approved. She is more of an objectivist than she knows, but philosophy is not a particular interest to her. She is more interested in less substantive entertainment and John Grisham type novels.

      Regards,
      O.A.
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  • Posted by Riftsrunner 2 years, 6 months ago
    I started AS after I graduated college. I then bought the unabridged AS book on CD (36 CD's) when I got a job to listen to and from work and during down time at work (I worked in IT). I also bought Anthem and Fountainhead in both book and audio form (which i have ripped from their CD's and stored on my mp3 players). I still have about 10 books still packed in their amazon boxes with their e-book counterparts on my kindles (phone, computers, and reading devices). I have seen Ms. Rand's vision of what the US was heading towards and made sure when the country starts to a fail, I have the hard copies to read if I can no longer access my digital media. Now that I have typed it out, it makes me seem like some sort of Ayn Rand survivalists with some cabin hidden in the woods ready to flee to. LOL.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 2 years, 6 months ago
      How were you able to stop listening to it, instead of skipping work?
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      • Posted by Riftsrunner 2 years, 6 months ago
        It was difficult, but I felt ownership of the network I ran(I help to install it and made recommendations), so I could relate to John Galt. The job was quite fulfilling until they changed my supervisor, who preferred one of he friends over me and he conspired with HR to get me fired. NEVER USE OFFICE E-MAIL TO GET THE IT PERSON FIRED, WE CAN ACCESS IT. Got a nice settlement for hostile workplace and got HR supervisor fired. CEO/owner has become Jesus freak and has mandatory prayer meetings now, so kind of happy to be away.
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  • Posted by TomSwift 2 years, 6 months ago
    I was an Objectivist before I read the book but I didn't know it. I read AS first (don't remember where I found it) but it definitely was not life-changing. It just seemed common sense and confirmed my beliefs. I gave the book to my brother and he had the exact same response. I thank my Dad for that.
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  • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 2 years, 6 months ago
    Hello khalling,

    Since 1983? I have read many newsletters and every book (fiction and non-fiction) I know of written by Rand as well as a few compilations of essays produced after her death except the Romantic Manifesto, The Night of January 16th, and We the Living*. I also read/studied Piekoff's Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. I have found the non-fiction just as compelling as the fiction, though perhaps not as entertaining. I have DVDs of *We The Living, The Fountainhead, A Sense of Life, and of course all of the AS movies. I have watched as many youtube videos of Rand interviews and other objectivist related ones as I could find. Most of this I have done before coming to this site, or for that matter, the at least two? other previous iterations of this site I contributed to. After joining the first Gulch I did read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology and The Voice of Reason. During my time on this newest Gulch site, my only new material exposure has been the movies, and newer lectures etc. linked from this site.

    I have always wanted to read The Romantic Manifesto and We the Living, but somehow they keep eluding me. So many books, so little time...

    Regards,
    O.A.
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    • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 2 years, 6 months ago
      I think you will find much in common with The Romantic Manifesto, just in regards to you and your most fortunate Bride. :-)
      The Night of Jan 16, well, amazing.

      You truly are a most special friend here. I have learned much from your guidance and thoughtful comments and suggestions. Thank you for being part of that journey.

      Your friend,
      NMA
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      • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 2 years, 6 months ago
        Hello NMA,
        You are always such a wonderful supportive spirit. I will try to get to those few remaining Rand treasures. I like to think my bride and I are both very fortunate. We have been together now for about 34+? years with only a handful of disagreements that even rose to the point of raised voices, then sanity quickly returned and one realizes what is truly important and how insignificant the little things are. Don't sweat the small stuff and remember it is almost always small stuff.
        Thank you for all of your support,
        Your friend,
        O.A.
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        • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 2 years, 6 months ago
          You two sound like my dad and stepmom were, in all their years together before she died. They have always been my example of what two people who love each other embody. I'm so happy you and she have that.

          Always with deep friendship,
          NMA
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        • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
          wow. db and I raise voices daily. the neighbors probably worry and I have to say it's over physics, philosophy, science, characters...lol I am a thrower, but so far they've been fluffy pillows. 30 years this June. milestone. I'd like to do something romantic, but Kira always insists (since a small child) to be in on the anniversary
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          • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 2 years, 6 months ago
            Kira is a big girl now. More like a beautiful young lady. My advice: Give her the am. if she insists, but reserve the pm. for yourselves. some time alone relaxing on the beach or whatever helps you wind down followed by dinner at your favorite restaurant or some place new you have always wanted to go to and then a show or movie before returning to some place comfortable for nightcaps... a hotel room or home if that is soothing.
            Have fun and no yelling! :)
            Best wishes,
            O.A.
            P.S. Make sure you watch the sunset and share the beauty of it all together.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
      we have so been importantly following you from the start. actually, you were here before me. since I met you-I cannot imagine a world without you. I ,and a number of other friends of mine, would never make a move without talking to you. you have no idea how much I love you. tell the bride so there is full disclosure
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      • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 2 years, 6 months ago
        Hello K,
        I just read aloud to my bride your original inquiry, my comment and your reply to me. She just smiled. I'm such a lucky guy to have such loves.
        Your friend,
        O.A.
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        • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
          lol. and yes. your bride is very patient that you have your objectivist girls. what would we do without you? what a unique relationship we have. and how we learn from you. tell your bride not to worry, but that you have beautiful muses who would follow you anywhere :)
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          • Posted by  $  ObjectiveAnalyst 2 years, 6 months ago
            Hello K,
            The feeling is mutual. Though I have a lot of friends, male and female, non touch my mind in such a simpatico way as those of you here in the Gulch. It is those of you that use and share my appreciation for objectivity and reason that keep me in fair spirits, for without this venue I would believe the entire world mad.
            I love my gulch guys and gals.
            Best wishes.
            O.A.
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  • Posted by Itheliving 2 years, 6 months ago
    Back in 1962 late at night when I should have been asleep I used to stay up late watching TV. M-F it was Johnny Carson. Weekends it was pot luck. Channel surfing was tough. No remotes. Back in '62 when I was but 15 I stayed up late on Sunday night much to my usual detriment the next morning. Next time I am 15 I will know better. So it was 11PM and each time I wanted to change channels on the B&W TV in my room I had to get up to do it. What a pain. Horrible night on the Telly. By the time I got to KCRA Channel 3 out of Sacramento CA (I was in Stockton) it was 1115PM. What was on was an old movie and it was already 15 minutes into the story. There was no way to hit rewind. I had to do without. The film was The Fountainhead. I quit channel surfing and watched it to the end. Next day I bought the book. I was an Objectivist although at the time I had no idea what that was. Then I followed up with the rest of the novels and The Objectivist Newsletter then the Nathaniel Branden LP recordings. Even went to a meeting of an Objectivist Club in San Francisco and attended a talk by NB himself. By the time I had landed here I had read all of the non fiction works and did not to go on to read books I had already finished. Long story short. No I did not. Well maybe to late for the short part.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 6 months ago
    Not answering your question precisely, but ...
    In my 20s I was working with another young man in real estate finance and development. He had read AS and often recommended it, as he thought my views were developing in that logical way. I was too busy with my career for reading fiction at the time. A few years later, I was flying on business frequently and one trip took me to Detroit. While there I visited my uncle and he had a paperback of AS in his bookcase, and he gave it to me. I read it slowly as I travelled over the next few weeks. The front cover wore off from travelling in an overstuffed leather bag, but I taped on a DIY front cover and kept reading. I still have that worn copy. I have since bought almost everything Rand wrote in its first published form if possible, and have read almost all of it. (Still have to find time to read some Objectivist, Objectivist Newsletter, and Ayn Rand Letters.)
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  • Posted by  $  jlc 2 years, 6 months ago
    My father left a copy of Anthem around the house, and I picked it up and read it. It made a big impression on me. In HS, I checked out a copy of AS.

    I began reading it after school on a Friday...was abstracted through dinner...continued reading as soon as dinner was done. When my mother woke up in the morning, I was in the middle of Galt's speech. She pointed out that I had not yet done the dinner dishes (my chore) from the previous night. "I will, I will. Just let me finish this chapter." An hour later I finished. Wow.

    I got up to do the dishes, and stumbled...I had sat in the same position all night, reading. My mother looked at me, "You look beat - go to bed. I'LL do the dishes. Just go."

    That was my real intro to Rand. It is not so much that I felt I wanted to follow her philosophy as that she had elegantly articulated the thoughts I was forming in my own brain. Her words 'clicked' into place - and have not left.

    Jan
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    • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
      wow. I love this story. much like dale's. he was in finals week when his mom handed him the book. he did not sleep until he was done. such kindred spirits, we are.
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  • Posted by  $  jimslag 2 years, 6 months ago
    I heard about AS1, started to reread Atlas Shrugged. Saw AS2, finished the book. Got the DVD's of 1 and 2. Saw 3 and ordered the DVD. Have not read any other books but I am way behind in my reading. I have a stack of books and plenty more on my Kindle App, including a couple of Ms.Rand's books, but have not gotten to them yet.
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    • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 2 years, 6 months ago
      Ok. I will say, with most firm and earnest emphasis, YOU MUST. I think you will find that Ayn Rand's other works of fiction, Fountainhead, We The Living, Anthem with the added component of her non fiction, will astound you with their depth, and the utter logic that is Objectivism. When you apply that philosophy to your daily interactions, I think you will realize that most people walking this earth are mental zombies. The Romantic Manifesto, and The Virtue of Selfishness are profound. Please, before you read anything else, grab a copy of any of the above, and delve.
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    • Posted by cjferraris 2 years, 6 months ago
      I too, sort of stumbled into AS. I did a google search about 3 years ago after seeing AS1 on Netflix and then watched it. Then watched AS2, and when AS3 came out, I was one of about a dozen or so (was populated by the over 40 crowd) to watch it in the theatre. Bought the trilogy and shared it with my son... Now he won't give it back! May just have to tell him to give it to my daughter and I'll just buy another copy. Both of my kids share a lot of my philosophical views, but my son more so. My son (24) is starting his own landscape business and I find it funny when he was watching it with me and pointing out things in the movie and saying "See, that's what's wrong in the world, people like that!"
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      • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
        you, cj, are why those movies were made. I have no doubt! Is your son in the Gulch?
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        • Posted by cjferraris 2 years, 6 months ago
          Not yet, he's expending almost all of his energy into building his business and with getting the municipal filings, and all of the other things associated with starting a new business, we have had little time for much other than a movie once a month. However, as he's jumping through all of the hoops that he's learning about, he's more galvanized in his beliefs. I will introduce him after he is able to keep his head above water which will be soon, I hope.
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          • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
            the good kind of busy :)
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            • Posted by cjferraris 2 years, 6 months ago
              Before I even introduced him to AS and Ayn Rand, I had been teaching him about self reliance and making your own way. Although I had not ever started my own business, people would come to me and have me do work for them. My son asked me why I didn't start my own business as I had the people skills and mechanical ability to easily do so. I explained to him that by my keeping a stable income and insurance for him, I was allowing for him to have that "cushion" to take the risk (and fail, possibly) because I wanted better for him. Also, by being in management, I've learned techniques that work and those who don't. I want him to be a Dagny Taggart or Hank Reardon "hands on" type owner instead of someone that just hires people and solely relies on them. Sweat equity has been a big part of his growth and seems to be an underlying theme in AS that unless you get your hands dirty, you don't really run your business, you just take the profit from it while it runs itself into the ground.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 2 years, 6 months ago
      Well get going - there is more and more objectivist novels and non-fiction coming out all the time. Also check out the excellent youtubes that Atlas Society has put up.
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  • Posted by  $  autumnleaves 2 years, 6 months ago
    I first read AS in 1963. Loved it...it was how I always felt but didn't know how to articulate those thoughts.
    Since reading AS, I've read everything AR has written, and AS several times.

    I retired 20 years ago and have not read AS during those 20 years. My daughter bought me a nice new copy for Mother's Day.

    What was a nice serendipity, there were four 30 yr old couples there and me opening my copy of AS brought the subject of AR and her philosophy to the crowd.

    I wished I had copies to give to them. (note to self, I will get some to give away)

    I go to many O sites that I find reference to while being "in the Gulch".

    I have not seen the movies as I like to read better than watch films.
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    • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 2 years, 6 months ago
      That was serendipitous that you were able to discuss this with those couples. I have a much loved/worn copy I lend out, and one I keep at home that was a gift to my almost 15 year old daughter. She has read Anthem and We The Living, as has my 17 year old son. Those were both books he read in his English class last year, so there is still a spark of reason in our high school, contrary to what goes on in the rest of the state..

      I'm glad you found the Gulch. :-)
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  • Posted by gaiagal 2 years, 6 months ago
    Have read, and been re-reading, Ayn Rand since I was 16 - in the 60s. We the Living has always been my favorite with the Virtue of Selfishness a close runner-up. I didn't appreciate Atlas Shrugged until I was in my thirties. Since the Gulch, I've again re-read AS and Anthem. Also have viewed all the movies twice - watching a movie more than once is rare for me. Shawshank Redemption, almost any John Candy movie and Mathilda are the only others that get repeat views from me. :)
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  • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 6 months ago
    Before coming to the Gulch, I had read AS, The Fountainhead, Anthem, and We the Living, but I had not read any of the non-fiction works. While I still like the fiction better, The Virtue of Selfishness was definitely enlightening.

    I had not really spent more than a couple of minutes at any other Objectivist sites until the last week. I wanted to see who was speaking at The Atlas Summit and what they were speaking on. I was quite disappointed to see that there was no science/engineering/technology to complement the philosophy. I find it very common amongst my colleagues and my students to see that their interests go far beyond the nerdy ones you might expect. About half of my science and engineering colleagues perform music in public, for instance.
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    • Posted by WilliamRThomas 2 years, 6 months ago
      Thanks for your thoughts on the Atlas Summit. I am the conference director.

      The Atlas Summit focuses on Objectivism and its relation to life. We offer sessions on the arts, on philosophy, on history, politics, and culture, and on the art of living well.

      There are a variety of topics we don't normally host, from dietary advice to technical topics in science and engineering. But sometimes we are fortunate enough to have reports on philosophy of science or on the implications of new technology.

      This year, Robert Hayden will speak on the industrial revolution in New England: that's old tech, but the emphasis will be on engineering achievements.

      Dale Halling will speak on the sources of economic growth. He will emphasize the importance of technological innovation.

      Many Atlas Summit attendees are interested and/or work in science and technology.

      See the whole schedule at www.atlassociety.org/as
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 6 months ago
        In Atlantis, Galt lectured on physics and had plenty of attendees. While I glad to see that Robert Hayden will be discussing old tech, Galt would have been talking about new tech. I'll gladly give a primer on some of that.
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    • Posted by dbhalling 2 years, 6 months ago
      Hi J,

      last year at Atlas Summit they had Ladar Levision of lavabit there (they provided Snowden his secure email). He did not delve in depth into the technology of his secure email system and how he was going to make it better, but he did discuss it at a high level. I had a chance to talk with him after the sessions and we discussed some ideas of how to eliminate even the metadata information.

      Also David Harriman was there. He is a physicist who has studied the philosophy of science and induction and has some great stories about Newton.

      I used to go to these technology start-up conferences and all they talked about was how to raise money or how to handle employees, not a word on actual technologies. I thought they could at least have a panel discussion on the hottest new technologies or something like that, while explaining a little about the technologies.

      Perhaps you and I should brainstorm on what would make a good talk for 2016 that is about technology and objectivism/Rand. I have thought that a talk about the Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics would allow for a good cross over between science and objectivism. I saw a good paper that compared Objective Oriented Programming to Rand's epistemology Perhaps a history of an area of technology that is related to Atlas Shrugged might be of general interest. Thoughts?
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 6 months ago
        Regarding technology start-up conferences, raising money and handling employees are issues that the technical people are not as skilled at as they are at the technology. Consequently, those topics are of more general interest. The technology aspects, of course, may be very sensitive from an IP standpoint, so I understand that.
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      • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 6 months ago
        Regarding quantum mechanics, there are some things I know, and far more that I and others don't know. As for the various explanations of quantum mechanics theory, I would have to learn considerably more about them first.

        In Atlantis, Galt gave lectures on physics. One clever addition to the Atlas Shrugged movies that was not in the original novel was a mentioning of the Casimir effect with regard to Galt's motor. I knew about the Casimir effect at the time, but was by no means was an expert at it.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_eff...

        The Casimir effect was explained correctly in the movie. Positioning of two parallel plates at the time of AR's novel to several nanometers apart would not have been possible then. The machining tolerances still aren't good enough for a fully functional motor based on the Casimir effect, but I think they will be in a couple more decades.

        I was actually thinking of leading off a talk on "The Basics of Nanotechnology" with references to the movie regarding the Casimir effect.
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        • Posted by dbhalling 2 years, 6 months ago
          Yes, something like that occurred to me. I think the explanation of the Casimir effect is based on the Copenhagen Interpretation

          Heisenberg wrote a book on philosophy and physics, which I want to delve into in more detail.
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          • Posted by  $  jbrenner 2 years, 6 months ago
            I did not know about Heisenberg's book on philosophy and physics. Of course, I knew about his uncertainty principle. I'll let somebody else work on Heisenberg compensators.
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  • Posted by handyman 2 years, 6 months ago
    khalling, how the Atlas Shrugged movie influenced reading Rand is a great topic. The following is an account of how it inspired some developments in western North Carolina. I hope this isn’t too long for this forum.

    My acquaintance with Ayn Rand’s work began long before the movie hit the screens. I first read Atlas Shrugged in the 1960’s and immediately took out a subscription to The Objectivist and began reading her other works shortly thereafter. For several years in the 1970’s I participated in a Pittsburgh-area Objectivist group led by Fred Seddon and Herb Heller. Even though I’ve considered myself an Objectivist most of my adult life, it wasn’t until leaving the corporate world and a demanding career that I treated myself to reading further with the books of Peikoff (Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand), Smith (Viable Values and Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics) and many others. These works served to solidify in my mind that Objectivism indeed offers a constructive, uplifting, insightful, life-affirming outlook unmatched by other philosophies I have encountered.

    Anticipating retirement and after moving to a small town in western North Carolina, I found myself longing for the intellectual stimulation and companionship that the Pittsburgh group offered. Not unexpectedly, relatively small towns like Hendersonville and Asheville had no such groups up and going. In fact, for a few years I thought maybe I was the only Objectivist in all of western NC. We are in the midst of the Bible Belt, after all.

    In 2010, upon learning that Atlas Shrugged the movie might finally become a reality, I thought maybe its release would bring a few other well-hidden Objectivists out of the woodwork or sufficiently raise the interest of others so that a local Objectivist group might attract a few people and gain some traction. So, I set up an informal group named Western North Carolina Objectivists (WNCO), advertised it on-screen at a small, one-screen local theater for the month preceding the movie’s release. That ad garnered a couple of interested parties as did some other out-reach efforts. We advertised a private showing of AS, Part 1 with a discussion to follow. That showing attracted about 25 attendees, many of whom are still active with WNCO. Our fist series of meetings were book club-style discussions featuring Atlas Shrugged (of course). Over the years we have been meeting monthly with anywhere from just a few to around 20 attendees. Not bad for a little town I fondly refer to as Hooterville.

    A couple of years ago another group started up in Asheville headed by Dennis Desimone who last year presented a sold-out extension course at UNC Asheville called, “Ayn Rand: Her Life and Her Philosophy.” Dennis has done a fantastic job of introducing Objectivism to newcomers to Rand and providing a rallying point for others in the Asheville area.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
      well, handyman, you are walking the walk. It was brilliant to tag onto the movies to get others to consider joining a group. Consider adding to your group by suggesting a meet-up in here. If you click on "members" and put in a mile radius, it gives you an option to suggest a meet-up. that will send an email to every gulcher within the range you choose. I wish I could join you:)!
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  • Posted by therev1953 2 years, 6 months ago
    Back in the olden 60s, Rand was required reading -The Fountainhead in 7th grade - the Trilogy in 10th. I am 60+ now but I still have my well worn paperbacks. The Trilogy took an entire semester. In 6th, 8th and 9th we read Shakespeare, Orwell, Hesse, Camus. 4 years later they had already dumbed down and libbed out the reading list. My sister had to read Judy Blume, Eudora Welty and Maya Angelou. Not calling them dumb but the "victim" indoctrination had begun.
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  • Posted by blackswan 2 years, 6 months ago
    My first exposure to Ayn Rand was seeing "The Fountainhead" on TV when I was a child. I knew nothing about Ayn Rand, but I liked the movie, and Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal became some of my favorite actors as a result of seeing that movie. I really liked it, even though I was clueless about philosophy. Years later, a friend recommended that I read "The Fountainhead," after talking with me about my position on current events. I immediately knew that it was the movie that I'd liked so much years earlier. After that, I read everything that Ayn Rand wrote. Her insights helped me immensely. The clarity of her thinking saved me probably years of struggle; I will always love her more than I can say. One thing that I wanted to see was "Atlas Shrugged" made into a movie. I was expecting it to be a cartoon, because I didn't think it could be covered in a 90 minute movie; I was thinking of a series of up to 10 episodes. The 3-part series that Aglioloro made was a good attempt at bringing much of the philosophy contained in the book on screen. However, a multi-episode series could flesh out the movie and bring its ideas closer to the book, and make it even more attractive to a general audience. I periodically re-read AS to help me keep focused on important ideas. I also watch the movie series pretty regularly.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 6 months ago
      we are looking forward to it-the miniseries. happy to have you here with your ideas swan. I love everyone's ideas. so charging-I don't know the best word. so much brain power :)
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