Thursday, January 8, 2009

Objectivism in the Fast Lane

I really enjoy the writing of Ayn Rand, and I've been putting off diving into her masterpiece, so I'm happy to say that after a 24-hour shift on watch duty I'm about 1/3 of the way through Atlas Shrugged and hopelessly hooked. (I wasn't reading the whole shift, else I might well have finished it). At some point I'll get around to writing a critique of the Randian worldview, which is so alluringly right about so many particulars of the human condition while being so appallingly wrong about the whole. Today's not that day. Today is the day that I comment on how T-Rex shares my driving habits, but for reasons of which Ayn Rand might herself approve!

2 comments:

Elephantschild said...

I'm currently reading a book on traffic. It's called, oddly enough, "Traffic," and the first chapter says pretty much what the Qwantz strip does.

Evan said...

Traffic makes a really powerful metaphor for free-market systems. The government sets the ground rules, but beyond that, everyone just pursues their self-interest. T-Rex points out how enlightened self-interest can even look and function like altruism, even when it's anything but.

The traffic example also illustrates well how a selfish or antisocial jerk can mess up the whole system and ruin everyone's day.