“…the bus stop diffuses the sense of panic. For instance, if a delusional patient decided that she needed to go home immediately because her children were all alone and waiting for her, the attendant didn’t need to restrain her or talk her out of it, she simply said, ‘Oh, well, there’s the bus stop.’”
Perhaps like me, your high school years were some of your most trying. Perhaps like me, your parent’s divorce only compounded the instability and uncertainty of growing up. In the midst of this, I was introduced to The Fountainhead. As a teenager watching the world of my childhood crumble The Fountainhead promised stability. Stability based on deliberate, individual effort.
The Fountainhead led me to Atlas Shrugged, Rand’s non-fiction work, Rand’s earlier work, her biography, and The Fountainhead movie starring Gary Cooper. Filling my bookshelf with the belief that deliberate, individual effort was the path to long-term stability and prosperity.
Yet, once I stepped out of the overly-melodramatic, highly idealized world of Rand’s fiction – I noticing cracks in Rand’s foundation. Cracks exposing banal human weaknesses. Some patched over multiple times with a salve labeled ‘Self-Interest’, others open to winter air. Others simply crumbling away.
After eighteen years of dust collected on my Rand library, I picked up a copy of The Forgotten Man by Amity Schlaes. The Forgotten Man retells the history of The Great Depression as much from a policy standpoint as a cultural standpoint. From The Forgotten Man I began to appreciate why communism was a threat to America, why the space race, why the Cold War, and why Ayn Rand’s work resonated with so many. For much the same reason George Orwell’s work resonated with so many. The same reason Aldus Huxley’s work resonated with so many. The same reason Jack Finney’s The Body Snatchers resonated.
The Red Menace.
Unfortunately, by the time I completed my Rand library, the Berlin Wall had fallen and the fall of communism was well underway. Culminating in the dissolution of the Soviet Union just before my 17th birthday. As the Soviet Union dissolved so did the threat of a centralized committee controlling every aspect of every individual’s life dissolved as well.
Though I was enveloped in the warnings for a time gone by, I count myself lucky.
During the most challenging time of my life, while my peers turned to alcohol, drugs, and other self-destructive behavior, I found solace in a 45 year-old novel encouraging me to ruthlessly pursue my vision, to create, to celebrate my individual preferences, and to grow my capabilities.
Today, I group Rand’s fiction work into the same category as all other fiction – a compelling, engaging, entertaining, idealized world to visit.
If I were running for office and was to base my policy decisions on a life-changing, perspective-changing, fiction work I was obsessed with as a teenager, hands-down it would be Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
At least then we’ll have a space program interested in sending our expertise in telephone sanitization across the universe
Spend a few moments and contemplate that statement relative to how you spent your day today.
Let’s be more courageous tomorrow.
Should people who exercise seek to proactively replace fluids lost, or can they rely on thirst to guide them during and after physical activity? And when they rehydrate, do they need all the salts, sugars, and other ingredients dumped into sports drinks, or is water fine?
The correct answers are: best to rely on thirst, and water is fine.
“Think about how you’d feel if a guy sat down at your lunch table one afternoon when you were interviewing an applicant for a vice-president’s position and tried to sell the two of you a car, and wouldn’t go away.” – @Man.
I don’t read Doc as much as I used to. Which means that when I do – I’m completely floored.
“This ‘Kubb’ entry was rescued from Wikipedia on 25th September 2006, in its most extreme and most untrue state. The article was subject to a sustained assault over a five-month period by contributors who were reacting against the censorious approach of one Wikipedia official. Gradually they changed the text, added fictitious names and events, and generally abused the concept of Kubb, whatever that may be.
Kubb is a game of uncertain origins and with no official organisation to codify its rules. This uncertainty and ignorance makes it an ideal subject to be economical with the truth thereof.
Nearly all the text is rubbish, but no-one now knows which parts are true.”
Dobbie from Des Moines Kubb was in town tonight for the Minnesota Kubb Tuesday night friendlies. Jamie and I played a couple of very fun games with him while testing out the latest Planet Kubb Scoresheet. All told, 14 players were honing their wood tossing skills this evening. Despite the flesh wound, we all fared pretty well in this run up to the 2012 Nationals – even the scoresheet.
or out. I can never tell which.
The U.S. National Kubb Championship is this weekend. 260 people making that satisfying thwunk, thwunk sound together. Peace on earth. Can’t wait.
Brilliant project. Just brilliant.
“I will travel to a number of places to investigate experts and champions in small fields in small countries. As the title of the book suggests, I will start with a chapter on water skiing in Luxembourg. After which I aim to investigate:”
- The Icelandic special forces
- The top bassoonist in Finland
- The most popular heavy metal band in Botswana
“but I was still hoping I had a little fire in the belly, and maybe a little gas left in the tank to make something more of myself, before I ended up with just a broken spirit and a comfortable life. and so here I am: still standing in the arena, in hand-to-hand combat with demons mostly of my own making, aiming to make a small dent in the universe. nowhere near a great success story, yet fighting the good fight and perhaps helping others to achieve greatness as I attempt a bit of my own.” – David McClure
MPR: IT workers largely shielded from economy’s woes
… The Listserve has renewed my faith in the Internet.
“…it is not unfathomable to imagine a prospective society that finds the tic itself [compulsive mobile gadget use] to be as abhorrent and vile as today’s culture does cigarettes. In that putative future, smartphone users would be relegated to special rooms in airports, where passers by would shake their heads disapprovingly at the grey faces lit from below by their tiny, blue screens.”- Ian Bogost
thx – patrickrhone
Not long ago, I saw someone off in the corner at a social event – juggling a beer and a cigarette while tapping away on their iPhone. Connected.
In order to get the attention of a Realboy’s community, we decided that the Realboy should tweet about the topics that are important to the community. In order to avoid having to worry about natural language parsing and sentence construction, we decided to simply duplicate tweets about these important topics. We decided to let each Realboy automatically tweet every so many hours, and start friending several community members at a time after building up a small history of tweets.