Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

Ayn Rand's ATLAS SHRUGGED being brought to the big screen!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here. Ayn Rand fans have something to look forward to, or dread, it seems. Her very famous book, ATLAS SHRUGGED, is moving forward as a film to be written by Randall Wallace (BRAVEHEART, WE WERE SOLDIERS) for Lionsgate. Angelina Jolie is attached to star as Dagny Taggart, the central character of the story. Once again, I am completely ignorant about this material. What do you guys, especially Rand's fans, think of this development?

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Oct. 18, 2006, 9:41 a.m. CST


    by Jimmy Jazz

    Get ready for a lot of political bitching on this one. Although I respect some parts of Rand's take on things, I found this book to be one of the most pedantic and awkwardly written slogs I have ever tried to read. The screenwriters are going to have a LOT of work fleshing out the two-dimensional characters and clumsy-ass dialog.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 9:41 a.m. CST


    by Jimmy Jazz

    Get ready for a lot of political bitching on this one. Although I respect some parts of Rand's take on things, I found this book to be one of the most pedantic and awkwardly written slogs I have ever tried to read. The screenwriters are going to have a LOT of work fleshing out the two-dimensional characters and clumsy-ass dialog.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 9:41 a.m. CST


    by mr_shoreditch

    Yeha, me too Jazz. I find a lot of her work very hard to get through. Isn't her philosophy somewhat selfish, about only ever looking after oneself rather than others?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 9:42 a.m. CST

    we will see....

    by rotten666

    I withhold judgement. The book is good, epic... but the ending is so cheesy. John Galt saves the day! Fountainhead is better. The old movie version is terrible. Rouke is played by someone way too old. Anyone remember who? The Rand book that needs to be made is We the Living. That would be fucking killer.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 9:47 a.m. CST

    Ayn Rand Can Suck It

    by Saluki

    Inverted bitch wouldn't know the value of teamwork if it came all over her twisted face. The two hoopleheads over at Box Office Mojo that suck her giant spikey phallus at any chance can also burn for all we care. Those two are bitter little creeps when it comes to this subject.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Fountainhead Was A Major Studio Bomb

    by Saluki

    What the hell is going to make this one any different?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Her philosophy is a bit extreme...

    by rotten666

    but I totally get where she is coming from. Remember that she escaped from the soviet union after her middle class family had everything taken awy from them. So I understand her philosophy of selfishness, the problem is there is no counterbalance. She gets shanghied by one extreme and then creates the opposite extreme to comfort herself. On a different note, has anyone else noticed that none of her female characters ever just get fucked, the are practically beaten and raped in every love scene?? Me thinks Ms. Rand had a hardcore S and M streak.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 9:54 a.m. CST

    still waiting for...

    by Datascream

    An adaption to Alan Moore's "lost Girls".

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:08 a.m. CST

    Yes, We will love it you commie hippie traitor.

    by Neo Con Snake Plissken

    You don't like Ayn Rand's work? Well, we don't like Marx, Stalin, Hitler, Chomsky, Lakoff, Moore and the hundreds of other authors you stinking socialist pricks love to ruminate over. Genocide and Tyranny are YOUR bread and butter you commie prick.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:09 a.m. CST

    It'll be totally liberalized

    by RogueWarrior65

    There's no way that ultra-left-wing Hollywood is going to let this get made in it's pure form. Aside from the fact that it's got too many important sub-plots to fit into a two-hour movie, I have no doubt that Objectivism will be painted as evil and stupid.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Not to sound childish, but: BOOOO-RINGGG!

    by CreasyBear

    That book has only the faintest sketching of a plot, no narrative drive, and is more a literary conceit than a novel. If I want overblown politicizing, I'll rent V for Vendetta, because at least then I'll get a masked dude wielding ninja sais now and then.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:11 a.m. CST

    Ayn Rand

    by DojoFreak

    Ayn Rand called her philosophy Objectivism which she described as rational selfishness. I think that AR said Atlas Shrugged would be near impossible to translate to the big screen.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:12 a.m. CST

    It's a bit simplistic to say that ......

    by Jimmy Jazz

    objectivism is "all about looking after oneself and screw everyone else". The actual doctrine is more an extreme form of libertarianism than any thing else. As a libertarian myself, I have always been rather ambivelant when it comes to Rand's philosophy. Some stuff I fine useful, other stuff I don't. But that does not change the fact that she was a mediocre novelist.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:13 a.m. CST

    It's a bit simplistic to say that ......

    by Jimmy Jazz

    objectivism is "all about looking after oneself and screw everyone else". The actual doctrine is more an extreme form of libertarianism than any thing else. As a libertarian myself, I have always been rather ambivalent when it comes to Rand's philosophy. Some stuff I fine useful, other stuff I don't. But that does not change the fact that she was a mediocre novelist.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:15 a.m. CST

    Fuck these double posts!

    by Jimmy Jazz


  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:17 a.m. CST

    Atlas Shrugged is a philosphy tome, so I don't think...

    by Dagan

    that including people who don't agree with the philosophy, like Angelina Jolie, as main players, is doing right by the work. And Ayn Rand probably would NOT have been a Neocon, by the way. She was not a Conservative, and said so repeatedly. She was not just an atheist - she was anti-religious. She thought that man unbridled and free was the pinnacle of the Universe - the mind of man and what man can do with the application of that mind. The soaring New York City skyline was much more beautiful to her than the most impressive sunset - because it represented an enormous willpower and achievement. Making THAT(New York City) from absolutely nothing, based on the pure will of man's mind. I don't agree with Rand on a lot of things, but her philosphy is a soaring one, and I definitely think Atlas Shrugged should be read by everybody if they want to be a well-rounded educated person - or just to expand their horizons with a whole new interesting way of thinking. It's a very powerful book, and is credited with changing more people's lives(by polls) than any other work of fiction.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:20 a.m. CST

    John Galt

    by DojoFreak

    Does anyone think that there is an actor with the credibility to play John Galt and who would it be?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Atlas Shrugged really isn't a "novel" per se

    by Dagan

    Like I said above - it's a philosophical treatise, and is meant to be that way. And it's a pretty powerful one, too. You don't have to agree with everything to learn a lot from it. But it's hard to deny the power of the work - polls consistently show that Atlas Shrugged is credited by more readers with "changing their lives" than any other work of fiction.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:24 a.m. CST


    by DojoFreak

    Dagan has done a great job of describing AR's philosophy. Hollywood is very unlikely to do justice to the novel.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Quick Lesson

    by Montag666

    When Ayn Rand refers to "sefilshness" it's not about "look out for your self, fuck everyone else". She is referring to rational self interest, which if everyone practiced, there would be no "fuck everyone else". I wish they would make The Fountainhead instead. While I agree with most of her philosophy, and her politics, I do have to agree that this book is very pedantic. You conservatives should not get too happy about this film being made. Ayn Rand was not a conservative, she thought of them as irrational mystics, who didn't have the balls to defend capitalism. The overriding theme in her philosophy is about individualism.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:32 a.m. CST



    COME ON MAN...what polls? Dont get me wrong...I think Ayn Rand though very pedantic, has some valuable things to say, and I consider myself a fan, but you made a statement that BEGS to be backed up... What polls are you citing that "consistently" show this result?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:40 a.m. CST

    This is one book...

    by jimmy_009

    ...that has a LOT of fat to cut out. Things seem to happen over and over and over. That said, it might be an interesting movie, if only because it's politics are never seen in movies.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:41 a.m. CST


    by dread pirate roberts

    is not about 'not helping people' it's more about resisting the idea that the needs of those who need help create some kind of entitlement, or an obligation from those who can help to do so. sort of an extreme anti-communism

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:40 a.m. CST

    This is going to be an awful movie...

    by WillowFan2001

    But not because it's based on an awful book. Oh, sure, the writing is wooden and the characters only exist to serve the philosophy...but the philosophy is well-developed. It is truly a novel of ideas. The only person on this thread who has come close to encapsulating Rand's ideas is Dagan (although rotten666 makes a good point re: sex in Rand's work). Now, having established myself as someone more in support of than opposed to Rand, why do I think this movie will suck? 1) Even if it's a Gettysburg-style epic that lasts four hours with an intermission, you can't cram Atlas Shrugged into that ength of time without losing a great number of the subplots that give the book so much depth. 2) While I think the choice of Jolie as Dagny Taggart is a fascinating one, and she certainly can pull off the imperious and arrogant manner necessary for the part, I can't imagine who they would get to play Galt (not Brad Pitt, for the love of God) or any of the other main characters. 3) I don't think Hollywood has the open-mindedness necessary to look past their politics and do right by this story. And, of course, 4) I'm not sure audiences have enough open-mindedness to set aside their preconceptions of Rand and her work to treat this as a movie. I have a feeling that Objectivists (or as I call them, "The Cult of Rand") will complain especially loudly if they don't like anything. But oh, I still can't wait for this all the same...because if the composer is of the same mind I am, I can't wait to see the title sequence play over the world's first performance of Helly's Fifth Concerto--the ONLY appropriate theme music for this movie!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:43 a.m. CST

    Jimmy Jazz

    by Montag666

    Mediocre novelist? Have you read Anthem? That is a great book! What about We the Living? That is a pure novel that pulls no punches. Incredible stuff. And The Fountainhead is the queen's tits! I agree that Atlas is more of a discourse, but even in that book there are some wonderful dramatic moments. And yes, there is a plot going on: Dagny is trying to find out why all the creative and productive minds in the world are quitting and disappearing, while trying to run a transcontinental railroad! It even has some sci-fi elements which make it a very unique book. And for anyone else who might think her character are 2 dimensional I have a question for you: Is it about these characters not being real? Or is it about you not wanting people like this to exist in real life?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Have you guys even read the book?

    by VanLingoMungo

    Say what you want about objectivism, the premise of the book is awesome. And yes, it get repetitive at times, but it's a very good book. One of my favorites, actually. Of course, nanny-staters hate it, so there you go. Look forward to it.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:47 a.m. CST

    What is Galt's age supposed

    by DojoFreak

    What is Galt's age supposed to be in the book I do not rememberat this moment.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:50 a.m. CST

    The idea of Angelina Jolie in this movie

    by vikingkitty

    Angelina Jolie, she who loves the U.N. and by all accounts is as dumb as a rock . . . the idea of her starring in Atlas Shrugged makes me ill.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:48 a.m. CST

    Mediocre Novelist

    by AliaAtreides

    Ayn Rand isn't just a mediocre novelist, she's a bad novelist. Her ideas notwithstanding, the woman has no sense of what makes good drama. Specifically, her pacing is all over the place. Atlas Shrugged isn't just one of the longest popular works in the English language, it FEELS like one of the longest. Have you read John Galt's speech? Rand has her main character monologue about her philosophy for over 40 pages straight!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:52 a.m. CST

    It's simple.

    by ZeroCorpse

    Objectivism: The needs of the one (me) outweigh the needs of the many. <p> Call it what you will, but at the heart of it objectivism is a philosophy that basically preaches against compassion, unity, and teamwork (just to name a few things). It the philosophy of a hopeless semi-nihilist who sees no purpose to humanity other than to serve them, personally. A Randian Objectivist on 9/11 would not have helped other people out of the towers- They would have locked other people in burning offices to make sure that there was no competition to get out of the building. Compassion is the bane of objectivism. Unity the antithesis. Ayn Rand was a fucking idiot who today would be two steps from being Ann Coulter.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:52 a.m. CST

    I always pictured Galt

    by VanLingoMungo

    As a thinner, more granite jawed version of ole John O'Hurley (sp?) from Seinfeld. In terms of look, not actions (obviously). I dunno, late 40's/early 50's. I guess Clooney could pull it off, but he wouldn't be my choice at all. Think prematurely gray haired studly guy. David Strathairn would not be a bad choice. There you go, David Strathairn!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:53 a.m. CST

    This book sucks.

    by Aragorn II

    If you want to get an idea of what Ayn was like, read "Old School" by Tobias Wolff. Fucking nutjob, she was.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Steve Ditko is an objectivist

    by Tacom

    I only learned that after I read "Atlas Shrugged". Ditko based his indepenently created "Mr. A" character on Rand's "A is A" . I agree with some of Rand's philosophy about individuality and think you do need to be the best person you can be before you ever thinking about the whole community. Rand really didn't like the Religious Right that was starting to take hold over conservatism in the early 80s. I don't think it's really possible to be completely objective in life, because we all are limited by our own points of view. It's like RASHOMON, there might be a few absolute facts that can be determined but our own subjectivity makes everyone's own "reality" different.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:58 a.m. CST

    But who'll make the sandwiches?

    by Cameron1

    Or do any of the dirt work? A bit like socialism...hold on hold on, comeback. what I mean is, interesting idea in principle but would be sheer hell in the real world. Still I'd like to see the film, if they strip away the boring prose and tackle the story it will be fun.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:58 a.m. CST

    radio speech

    by DojoFreak

    I have the novel in hardback so I looked to see how long the important radio speech lasted. It's over 60 pages long. How will Hollywood edit it down? Will they also try to make it more modern by making it a tv speech?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:59 a.m. CST

    What do you call a movie theatre full of neo-cons?

    by Harry Weinstein


  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11 a.m. CST

    What this film needs is a big

    by Get_Me_An_18-Man_Fire_Team_In_12_Hours

    *shrug* ^_^

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:08 a.m. CST

    "The Passion of Ayn Rand"

    by AliaAtreides

    Is that the one where Rand is willingly crucified and dies a self-sacrificing death in order to further God's agenda in this world? I'd like to see the Objectivists' response to that version. ;)

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:09 a.m. CST

    Quantum Physics really makes a mockery of...

    by Cod Profundity

    Rand, her philosophy and followers. But ho hum, since when has something being outdated and pointless ever stopped Hollywood thinking it will make money.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:11 a.m. CST


    by WillowFan2001

    "A Randian Objectivist on 9/11 would not have helped other people out of the towers- They would have locked other people in burning offices to make sure that there was no competition to get out of the building." Considering that Rand only sanctioned killing another human being if they were trying to kill you, and given that locking someone in a burning tower would be tantamount to passing a sentence of death, I'd be interested in seeing you justify this incredibly specious statement.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:11 a.m. CST

    Watch "Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life" instead

    by Tacom

    You'll get a better view of what she's about in this documentary.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:14 a.m. CST

    Killing Another Human Being

    by AliaAtreides

    Really? Rand only sanctioned killing another human being if they're trying to kill you? How about if a person is lying in the street bleeding, shot in the stomach and asks you for help? Rand would say that it is perfectly moral for you to walk on by if you felt it was not in your self-interest to help. So though Rand would object to you actually shooting the person, it's okay if you let as many people die as you want. I don't really make a distinction. If you could easily help someone who's dying and choose not to, it's still "killing" them.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:19 a.m. CST

    Rational Self-Interest?

    by Saluki

    Rational self-interest is about not spending all your earned dollars on charity. Rand's characters are ONLY about self-interest. She cares not for the people who build the damned buildings she loved so much, only the idea that someone had the motivation to start. A total fool with a stoic writing style beyond taste or worth. Remember kids, calling oneself a Libertarian is for chumps that can't own up and call themselves Republicans anymore. Sad.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:30 a.m. CST



    Your statement paints an unflattering picture of your understanding. Your offering on what you say a "randian" view on 9/11 is so far off base I find it hard to envision where you arrived at that opinion. Let me suggest that you read the book, and then re-form your opinion. Please understand I'm not trying to be unfriendly and I'm not "calling you names" I just thought that your interpretation of Rands philosophy is not couched in any first hand knowledge. It sounds as if you have derived your opinion of her from someone else.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:34 a.m. CST

    I think that...

    by HillaryLovesMe

    trusting Hollywood to make a libertarian film is like trusting a prostitute to give a lecture on the benefits of chastity.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:39 a.m. CST

    Re: Ayn Rand = L. Ron Hubbard

    by Right Bastard

    I'm so glad I'm not the only person who thinks that. Her followers are just as annoying as scientologists. Only they bow to the word of the Cato and American Enterprise institute. What a joke.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:42 a.m. CST


    by Autobot Council

    That's some pretty interesting superhero logic you have going there. Are you really Batman? Of course the first thing anyone would do would be to wonder who shot him and if they are next - isn't it?? I haven't read this book yet but is it like the bible or scientology (as I see the Ron's name mentioned). People aren't living their lives to this book are they? Are the same people considering whether or not to arm themselves to the teeth and kill everyone in their path if their daughter has been kidknapped after watching Commando? This is a work of fiction right?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:42 a.m. CST

    Deep Cover

    by HillaryLovesMe

    Are you that bigoted and hateful in real life, or is this yet another instance of someone becoming brave through the magical medium of the Internet? "cruel, stupid, insufferable assholes"... Pot, meet kettle.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:44 a.m. CST

    This is so not a neocon book

    by cptrios

    Ayn Rand would have HATED the amount of wheeling and dealing big business has been doing with this government. She was all about personal hard work and success. And an atheist, to boot.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:44 a.m. CST

    The Hulk

    by NightArrows

    I really hope the Hulk shows up in this one!<p>It would be BADASS to see The Hulk fight Atlas, though I think Atlas has the strength advantage as he can hold an entire planet on his back!<p>I saw The Hulk lift a mountain once, though. But if it's the grey The Hulk it will be even more one-sided as he isn't as strong as the Green The Hulk. We would get some great quips from him, though.<p>Stuff like: "Hey Atlas, Shrug THIS!" <WHAM!> That would be awesome....

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Angelina Jolie

    by _Kayser_

    Is way too curvy to be Dagny Taggert. Let someone else play her. Atlas Shrugged has too much in it for a proper adaptation so Ill be surprised if this isn't bastardized into some liberal wet dream. It has to have a run time of 3 hours minimum to be anywhere true to the book.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Sequel Ideas

    by Autobot Council

    Atlus Waved Atlus Bowled Atlus and Kumar Go To Castle Greyskull...with sexy results

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Who is John Galt?

    by Clutch0

    The pirate had better be in the movie.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:59 a.m. CST

    Frederick Nietzsche + Jackie Collins = Ayn Rand

    by hailcrassus

    Atlas Shrugged + Big Screed Adaptation = Train Wreck The deeply anti-religious/virtue of selfishness philosophy of Rand's would be way too controversial to place at the center of a major Hollywood film. So they would have to play up the melodrama that moves along the story of the book. Rich bitch screws Latin copper tycoon. Rich bitch screws steel tycoon. Rich bitch screws iconoclast scientist. It will be horrible. Not that I agree with Rand's philosophy, but it is an interesting take on things and Atlas Shrugged is a very interesting book. I always thought that the only way to adapt it would be to make a 20-hour animated adaptation and then air it as a series for a season on Adult Swim or HBO or something like that.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Michael Bay Presents. . .Atlas Shrugged

    by Clutch0

    I feel dirty.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Hey, glad someone posted that Rand quote.

    by Cod Profundity

    Her utterly oblivious to quantum physics and what it means for macro-reality would be forgivable if she wasn't quite so vocal about her stupidity. The philosophy is based on suppositions that have been proven to be false, it's rather pathetic that Hollywood or anyone else thinks this is "deep" or meaningful or of any real value other than curiosity.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:02 p.m. CST

    i won't hold my breath

    by reckni

    Might be a tough adaptation, especially in the hands of someone like Akiva or Haggis. The book was OK, I liked The Fountainhead much better.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Autobot Council

    by AliaAtreides

    I use superhero logic because Ayn Rand's books are all about superheroes. They are about the relationship of those with great talent and power to the rest of society. And whether or not the ubermensch should be obligated to help those who are less fortunate. Rand pretty clearly comes down on the side that those with power have no obligation to anybody but themselves, no matter how much others may be suffering.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Just to add...

    by _Kayser_

    If they do make this please get Basil Poledouris to do the score.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:03 p.m. CST

    Hey, glad someone posted that Rand quote.

    by Cod Profundity

    Her utterly oblivious to quantum physics and what it means for macro-reality would be forgivable if she wasn't quite so vocal about her stupidity. The philosophy is based on suppositions that have been proven to be false, it's rather pathetic that Hollywood or anyone else thinks this is "deep" or meaningful or of any real value other than curiosity.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:06 p.m. CST

    damn, they need to redo The Fountainhead

    by Russman

    maybe on HBO as a 4 hour mini-series. That would be sweet.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:09 p.m. CST


    by AliaAtreides

    Atlas Shrugged, in my experience, is also one of those books that is viewed as a philosophical guide/tract by a certain segment of the population. I won't go so far as to say people live their lives entirely on its basis, but I would argue that the logic of her philosophy informs the decisions of at least some people who read it. In a mid-1990s poll by a prominent literary organization (I think it was the American Librarians Association?), Atlas Shrugged was voted the #1 novel of the 20th century by the American public. It didn't make the list of critics' top 100 novels. Speaking of Hubbard, Battlefield Earth was voted the #2 novel of the 20th century in the popular vote, so the philosophical potential of the two works are arguably similar.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:12 p.m. CST


    by AliaAtreides

    Here's the link to the poll I referred to:

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:14 p.m. CST

    Poor Ayn

    by Macktheknife01

    First jolie will mess this up probably because she couldn't sleep a t night after creating a positive depiction of a philosophy that places man's technological endeavors over the welfare of poor starving kids in Africa. Second guys remember "best interests" is a difficult thing to easily quantify. Helping someone who is hurt or avenging some wrong can be in best interests in that either the person is indebted to you or by ruthlessly punishing an offender (i.e. killing) you can guard against you being an unfortunate victim. This movie will probably not be very good. I loved the book but i cursed out loud when i got to the damn 40pg Galt speech, I actually felt sorry for the people listening on the radio. By the way Ayn Rand uses the Straw man argument however it is applicable considering Rosevelt was considering a nearly 100% on certain income brackets.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:19 p.m. CST

    "Who Is John Galt?"70's version that was to be made...

    by Uncapie

    I read the original script which was to be an ABC mini-series. They wanted Dustin Hoffman to play "John Galt" and Farrah Fawcett to play "Dagney." As always, financing fell through. There's too much to tell in Ayn Rand's story to merrit a feature film. The only way is that you'd have to do it in three installments.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:20 p.m. CST

    "Who Is John Galt?"70's version that was to be made...

    by Uncapie

    I read the original script which was to be an ABC mini-series. They wanted Dustin Hoffman to play "John Galt" and Farrah Fawcett to play "Dagney." As always, financing fell through. There's too much to tell in Ayn Rand's story to merrit a feature film. The only way is that you'd have to do it in three installments.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:21 p.m. CST


    by rev_skarekroe

    Giving assholes an excuse for over 50 years!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:25 p.m. CST

    Tons of politics, yet both sides have reason to hate it

    by minderbinder

    I just don't see this working. The book is an excuse to ramble about philosophy with not much of a plot. Nowadays, it seems like while bits and pieces of her philosophy may be appealing, other parts will completely piss off the same people. It would likely end up being a long dry "art film" that few would see, fewer would enjoy, and mainly would exist as Oscar bait. And I think it's obvious why they're not doing the Fountainhead. The main character blows up a building at the end. Yeah, that would be a big hit, a movie where the "hero" ends up a terrorist! Audiences would love that.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:29 p.m. CST


    by Montag666

    I can't imagine who could play these characters today. In the past, it would have been proper to cast someone like a young Robert Redford as John Galt, and I always saw Theresa Russell as Dagny. And it's easy to tell who's read her work and who heard about it from some academic with a cushy tenure. The detractors need to familiarize themselves with her work before forming half assed arguments.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:29 p.m. CST

    ChrTh Shrugs at this news

    by chrth

    Wasn't this the book that Officer Barbrady read at the behest of the Chickenfucker?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:37 p.m. CST

    Montag, you need to familiarise yourself with...

    by Cod Profundity

    the work of Werner Heisenberg, David Bohm and Niels Bohr before you make a half assed attempt to defend Rand.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:39 p.m. CST

    Didn't they already do a film on Ayn Rand's life?

    by chrth

    Henry and June? (Wait for it ...)

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:42 p.m. CST

    Sure, anchorite

    by rev_skarekroe

    But with most other philosophies you're not actually SUPPOSED to be an asshole.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:44 p.m. CST

    I re-read the book about once a year.

    by The Skeptical

    It has flaws, but I really enjoy it. The message is about praising and glorifying the human spirit, and mankinds potential. This is the opposite of those on the socialist left and the far religious right, who both preach that man is flawed and unworthy, and must defer to the state/God. I always kind of pictured Francisco d'Anconia as being played by Antonia Banderas, but I think that he is too old now for the part. There were rumors at one point that Brad Pitt might be in this. I think I read that is some tabloid. Has anyone else heard that?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:46 p.m. CST

    I think most philosophies require you to be assholistic

    by chrth

    Many of them require widespread disemination to be practical, thus believers must serve as missionaries as well, annoying the crap out of those who don't believe. Personally, I find it wrong to try to convert others to libertarianism.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:48 p.m. CST

    Rand hated commies so much, but she saw all black/white

    by minderbinder

    Her philosopy seems so extreme and absolute. And she seems to see the only alternatives to be the opposite extremes and absolutes. I can buy the argument that forced charity can be bad. But what's the harm in someone successful voluntarily choosing to help others out. I wonder if Rand even supported things like insurance, after all, it's just the fortunate subsidizing those who aren't, right? And I don't really see wealthy "industrialists" as the ones who are necessarily keeping society going. If some fatcat owns a sweatshop in thailand that makes sweaters, the sweaters aren't really going to stop getting made if HE shrugs.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:51 p.m. CST

    I am Familiar

    by Montag666

    And I don't see how what these very brilliant theorists (and I DO NOT mean that sarcastically)worked on contradict objectivist epistemology. A is still A. Afterall, we have more than enough proof that show the application of quantom studies having a more than real consequence on our world and the way we live. We're are you coming from with this?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 12:53 p.m. CST

    Ayn Rand was a stupid bull dyke.

    by s00p3rm4n

    (And I'm a fag, so it's okay if I use those words.)

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Just porno and Ayn Rand

    by conniebrean1

    Oh Bender, how I love you.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:02 p.m. CST


    by Cod Profundity

    Macroscopic quantum uncertainty is widely documented. Randian philosophy is purely objective. While quantum uncertainty is easily provable, Rand's objectivsm is completely naive.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:05 p.m. CST

    Deep Cover

    by Montag666

    Dude, you're making an ass out of yourself. You've completely given away the fact that you've never made it all the way through anything Ayn Rand wrote! For the last time: SHE WASN'T A CONSERVATIVE! Get off the computer and go to a public library and read about how she felt towards conservatives. It's free! How lazy can you get.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:09 p.m. CST

    1,084 pages of pure unadutlerated boredom

    by Miami Mofo

    I can't tell you how much I hated 'Atlas Shrugged'. I read it right after I read 'The Fountainhead' which I really liked. What a major disappoinment 'Atlas Shrugged' was. But since I felt that 'The Fountainhead' was good book that was turned into a shitty movie maybe the reverse will happen with 'Atlas Shrugged'. I just don't see how it can though.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:12 p.m. CST

    Barbrady said it best

    by harrys_site_sucks

    I'd like to say that reading totally sucks ass! Yes, at first I was happy to be learning how to read. It seemed exciting and magical. But then I read this: "Atlas Shrugged," by Ayn Rand. I read every last word of this garbage, and because of this piece of sh-shit I'm never reading again! .............. Talk about a preachy book, why make a preachy half assed movie? Won't be seeing this one.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:21 p.m. CST

    Only thing worse than politics in the AICN talkback

    by Jonesey1111

    is philosophy in the AICN talkback. You people know that there's other sites for this, right?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:21 p.m. CST

    If it's provable...

    by Montag666

    Then I don't have a problem with it. I've studied objectivism for quite some time and I still do not see where objectivist philosophy contradicts quantum physics or mechanics! Is there some philosophical term we are not agreeing on? I gotta give you this: This is the deepest argument I've ever witnessed on an AICN talkback. The world will end any minute now.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Jonesey1111: Why the heck would we want to go elsewhere

    by chrth

    AICN Talkback: ADD Discussions Anyone Can Join!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST

    Ive always wanted to read Atlas Shrugged

    by Lovecraftfan

    So politics aside this is just a bad boring book. I'm not going to read it if that's true.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST

    The book insults the average man in huge way..

    by lettersoftransit

    The book is an essential read for anyone interested in politics. Best thing about it is the hijacked broadcast by the mystery lead, John Galt, in which he lays out why government needs to encourage ambition. Problem is the rest of the book is like an elitist republican's wet dream told in romance book style. The sequence at the retreat, where the elite congratulate themselves for being just plain better than everyone else,and charge one another for normal niceities like playing a song on the piano, is actually so out there it's comical. And many passages in the book seek to imply that 99.99 percent of people are little more than ignorant savages who have no business wanting to vote or to regulate the actions of the better folk. Now, you may agree that most people are savages, but history has shown that when government embraces the notion that some folk are better than others, it is never the people who are actually better or smarter that end up in power. In fact we usually end up with the country being driven to ruin by the idiot offspring of the super-wealthy. They should use the radio broadcast as a springboard for a movie exploring the nature of ambition and the need to incentivize people with bright ideas, and leave the rest of the godawfully hude novel on the floor.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:45 p.m. CST

    I love this thread....

    by rotten666

    I knew it would get good. 20% fans defending the novels. 20% people who have read the book and are critical of the writing and/or philosophy. Kudos to you guys. 60% fuckheads with no clue spouting off empty headed bullshit and slogans. Like the chump that said an objectivist on 9-11 would lock people in rooms so there would be no competition getting out. You sir, are a putz. iT's on a thread like this that we really get to see the morons come out. Hasta la pasta!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Dammit, I fall in the 60%

    by chrth

    I resent that.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 2:02 p.m. CST

    Montag, I'm a physicist not a philosophy graduate...

    by Cod Profundity

    so I'm talking about this from that standpoint, apologies if it's not philosophically minded enough or if I'm innacurate. Anyway...Rands focus is objectivism, she bases all her arguments and treatises on the belief that all reality is objective and external to the mind. So here's my example of macroscopic uncertainty. I'm not sure if you know of Dirac but he tried to find an noncommutativity in classical mechanics that was analogue to the noncommutativity in Heisenbergs quantum uncertainty. And find it he did: If you calculate the value of the Poisson bracket [x,y], times it by Planck's constant and the square root of minus one and divide by twice pi the outcome is the correct value to assign to the difference between x = y and y = x. Dirac disproved the classical assumption that y times x is the same as x times y. That in itself is the antithesis of objectivism. In fact I'm sure I have missed something crucial in that explanation but as busy as I've been today I can't think of it at the moment. Hopefully it clears up where I am coming from if not our disagreement.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 2:02 p.m. CST

    I loved The Fountainhead (the book)

    by symphy

    Never saw the movie, though. Any good? Is it on DVD?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 2:04 p.m. CST

    rotten666, "We the Living" has been made into a film.

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    There is a fine old 1940's Italian version of it starring Alida Valli and Rossano Brazzi. carries it on VHS.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Deep Cover

    by HillaryLovesMe

    Nope, you're still "by default" a bigot. Many Republicans sincerely believe as they do, with no real malice. The only way they can be bigoted is if you consider acts of legislation intended to restrict the rights of certain groups as being acts of bigotry; and if you do, then Democrat legislation is equally guilty of bigotry, against whites and the wealthy, for instance. Now of course, Democrats believe that this bigotry of theirs is *practical*, but when has that ever excused any sort of bigotry? Shall we forgive Nazis because they believe that their persecution of non-Aryans is *practical*? Persecution of any group is wrong, regardless of one's own social ideal. *** As for communism, capitalism, and socialism: liberals and conservatives are socialists; they both believe that society is higher than the individual. This is why I'm a libertarian. (That's libertarian, not Libertarian.) Liberals and conservatives are vastly more alike than they want to believe: they are both statists seeking the destruction of individual freedom for some Greater Good. (Liberals: social "progress"; conservatives: social "virtue".) And they justify this, how? By going, "Well, it's only practical". By throwing away principle in favor of that tyrant's toy, pragmatism, they can justify demanding liberties for themselves but not for their opponents: you see, freedom for their opponents is *impractical*, and therefore their opponents are evil and stupid for demanding their freedom. After all, what kind of malicious idiot supports a policy that he knows doesn't work? A statist's core philosophy, really, is that freedom simply doesn't work. Does he actually have the authority to banish freedom for the sake of pragmatism? It doesn't matter! He says so, so he does! Liberals and conservatives play the same game, but for opposing goals. ****** Deep Cover, I realized just how alike these two groups are when I noticed how conservatives throw patently liberal phrases around: "the greater good", "society over the individual", and so on. The truth is that conservatives justify a ban on gay marriage for precisely the same reason as liberals justify the death tax: it's for the greater good of society. It's only *practical*, you see. Society will collapse unless the government prohibits [fill in the blank with some consensual activity]. The same kind of thinking is at work on both "sides" of politics, and it can be labelled Statism. I've asked both liberals and conservatives to reject socialism, and they just -- couldn't -- do -- it. They need socialism to justify at least part of their agenda. I'm betting you do, too.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 2:19 p.m. CST


    by NeotheLessar

    "Atlas Shrugged" really really sucks. If you want to read a book filled with twenty page diatribes, paper thin characters, strawmen, insane plot devices, ad hominem attacks, and an undercurrent of romance novel sleaze...well read "Atlas Shrugged." Unfortunately for Ms. Rand her ambition outstrips her ability and is evident with her plotting scheme and tear-inducing tedium. This movie will be a mess no matter who stars or who writes or who directs.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 2:48 p.m. CST

    Adrien Brody for Galt

    by konkrete590

    I loved this book as a kid, havn't read it in 20 years. But from what I remember, there is a really long speach near the end, that if they tried to put in the movie would probably take up the whole two hours.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 2:46 p.m. CST

    Cod Profundity

    by Montag666

    I have not heard of Dirac. Thank you for pushing me in that direction. I understand where you are coming from, but the way I see it, as long as this noncommutativity can be arrived at through formulas containing values, then it still seems to me that A is A. I must say, for once that I truly feel like this has been quite an informative talk back. Thank you for the discourse.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Brilliant Book. But Jolie can suck it.

    by Rearden

    She is one of many things that will likely make this a failed attempt.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:02 p.m. CST

    Have fun anchorite...

    by NeotheLessar

    ...but it's not necessary to read past page 200...the rest is just filler. But good luck, I would never tell anyone not to read a book...just letting you know that it's really crappy and given Rand's hatred for all things mediocre it's kind of funny that she spent so much of her life in the identity of a writer given her lack of talent. Then again she wasn't much of a philosopher either.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:02 p.m. CST


    by JohnGalt06

    RANDALL WALLACE??? ACCCHHH!!! Christopher Nolan is the perfect director for ATLAS SHRUGGED. I hope this doesn't come into fruition.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:10 p.m. CST

    Cod Profundity....

    by playahatersball

    Heisenberg (the syphalitic drunk) and his uncertanty principle nonwithstanding, are you seriously claiming that reality DOES NOT EXIST outside of a persons conciousness? That kind of Kantian "the room stops existing when I leave it" stoner philosophy would be more apropriate to the freshman dorm. And I say this as both a pothead and a captialist.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:14 p.m. CST


    by Cod Profundity

    no no no, I'm not saying that at all. What I'm saying is that reality is subjective at both the macroscopic and quantum levels. That doesn't equate to reality not existing though.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:21 p.m. CST

    This movie has '"Train Wreck" written all over it...

    by drugstore cowboy

    vikingkitty said it best - "Angelina Jolie, she who loves the U.N. and by all accounts is as dumb as a rock . . . the idea of her starring in Atlas Shrugged makes me ill." Hollywood is all about Idols, not Ideas, so I have zero hope for this picture being worth a darn. And 'The Fountainhead' was a truly awful movie from a much better book than 'Atlas'...

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah, this movie will suck

    by playahatersball

    Only way to do it justice is a six hour miniseries on HBO with SKY CAPTAIN style production design, someone afiliated with the ARI executive producing so they don't fuck with the material, Banderas as D'anconia, Mathew Modine as Galt (yeah, I said it) and Diane Lane as Dagny. For those of you who find Chairman Rand's fiction a little too didactic (Although she built her philosophy around the plot of Atlas, and not the other way as is often presumed) try reading her non-fiction, especially CAPITALISM- THE UNKNOWN IDEAL and THE VIRTUE OF SELFISHNESS. In TVOS, she actually talks specifically about why charity is perfectly moral and good (when voluntary), and why helping to save someone in an emergency is not a violation of her ethics, provided you don't put yourself in worse danger than the person you're trying to save- so suck on that Zerocorpse!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Whatever happened to James V. Hart's script?

    by JohnGalt06

    Didn't he do a draft already? Did they throw it out? Was it that bad?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:28 p.m. CST

    If they must make this movie...

    by JohnGalt06

    can they please get Stephen Root to play Eddie Willers? That's all I ask. (Oh and get Howard Shore to play Richard Halley and have him write all the symphonies. That would be kinda sweet.)

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:28 p.m. CST

    By saying that reality is subjective...

    by playahatersball

    you are claiming it is not independent of our conciousness, which it is. Reality exists whether we choose to observe it or not. People who claim that reality is dependent on our observation of it are either a) Exstistentialists or b) schitzophrenic or usually c) both. There's actually a character in Atlas based slightly on Einstien who uses his quantum theory to prove reality doesn't exist. (SPOILER ALERT) Then he builds a death ray and vaporises Nebraska. Hmmm, now that I think of it, maybe some good could come through your physics by way of zen budhism chicanery. ; )

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Since we're on the subject of objectivism...

    by playahatersball

    why didn't anyone bitch this loud last year when Steve Ditko's The Question gave a heavily abreviated version of the John galst speech on JLU? Speaking of The Question- I really agree with whoever sugested Willem Dafoe for Rorsarch. Just dye his hair red and throw a ratty trechcoat on him- cinema gold!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:33 p.m. CST

    Well Said playahatersball

    by Montag666

    It's all true. As a matter of fact, in TVOS she even mentions that people who say they wouldn't help a wounded dog in the middle of a road are no better than the animal. Any of you who think that objectivism is about "save yourself", and "look out for #1" saw Dirty Dancing way too many times. That said, I still think that Fountainhead would make a much better picture than Atlas. Jolie is wrong for this movie. I have a bad feeling about this. It would be cool to see the production go in a Sky Captain direction though. It reminds me of the book covers.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:36 p.m. CST

    Well no, playa.

    by Cod Profundity

    First of all I'm not claiming anything I'm relating back a factual proven discovery. I didn't just makes the equations up. Secondly subjectivity isn't just a matter of human consciousness. It's been shown time and again that things behave or react differently depending on how and where you observe them. This isn't existentialist philosophy this is physics.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:43 p.m. CST

    5 words



  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:50 p.m. CST

    It's funny being called playa...

    by playahatersball

    Okay, I'm going to play devil's advocate again and say that no theory of physics has actually been proven, not Newton's, not Einstien's, especially not Heisenberg. I'm not saying these theories aren't true, but all theories are still theories and that's just how science works. Secondly, I think you're confusing terms and that we both, in fact, agree with each other. Subjectivity, by definition, relates to individual perception- how each of us sees things. The fact that observation of a subject (Phone surveys, Finches in the galapogos, cells in a microscope) automatically alters it is not a subjective phenomenon, but an objective fact and something that all scientists consider when they examine data. When you and I see a movie and have completly different takes on it, that is due to subjectivity. When we take turns performing a scientific experiment, we might have slightly different results due to any number of reasons, and we would in fact have a difficult time getting the EXACT same results because we're different people. This isn't because reality shifted between our two observations. It's because, exactly as you put it, things behave or react differently depending on how and where you observe them.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:50 p.m. CST

    Well, a tree that falls in a forest with no one to hear

    by chrth

    Doesn't make a sound. All it does is displace air, the sound that humans (and most animals) hear is simply a mechanism of translating displaced air into something the brain can recognize. Don't know if that adds anything to the discussion, but I thought it's an interesting idea.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:53 p.m. CST


    by playahatersball

    if we send radio waves into space and nothing recives them, does that mean they were never sent in the first place?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 3:55 p.m. CST

    The myth of a monolithic Hollywood ideology.

    by NapalmSon

    The force that guides Hollywood's decision making isn't leftist thought, it is the desire to make money. Lots of money. Don't believe me? Try pitching a no holds-barred docudrama chronicling US involvement in Latin America to any of the big studios. My bet is that unless you have Ashton Kutcher signed on to play Salvador Allende, you probably won't get very far.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:02 p.m. CST

    thanks Cod Profundity

    by schrodingerscat

    for pointing out the obvious. Reality is not objective. Deal. When they figured this out a century ago, they forgot to tell everyone. I hated the Fountainhead. It took me three months to read it. It was horrible, but I forced myself to do it. Everything about it was ridiculous. The only Rand book I've read and liked was Anthem. Short and sweet. And then there was Rush's musical adaptation...

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Outstanding book, not for everyone....

    by DoctorWho?

    Not an easy read either. It engages you with a philosophy and sets out to illustrate it. It really changed the way I viewed the world, Jolie LOOKS the part, though I find it ironic she took the role considering she probably adheres more to Dagny's brother's philosophy in the real world. As with most of the people in Hollywood. Its not o right/left a nutshell, it celebrates the individual over the "herd" ...very anti- Communist/Socialist and very pro- Capitalist...provided that individuals have the ETHICS to govern themselves and not abuse the liberty Capitalism provides us all (with freedom comes GREAT RESPONSIBILITY). So, when something like ENRON goes's not indicative of Capitalism... but rather the disgraceful,unethical acts of the bozos responsible.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:06 p.m. CST

    Hey schrodinger...

    by playahatersball

    According to you, reality is objective "if I just belive in it, man". If it took you three months to read a 600 page book, how long did it take you to get through that fine waste of wood that is the Illuminatis trillogy? Isn't there a hollow earth talkback you should be posting your sad, Hubbardesque theories on?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:10 p.m. CST

    Ok, playa I see your points.

    by Cod Profundity

    Now I don't mean to sugggest that observing anything automatically alters it, in fact I would say that is true only at the sub atomic level. My point is that what people see as certainties are only certain provided the person observing them remains in that position. And sometimes not even then!!! Lets say you are looking out for friends on the horizon, they appear much smaller but as they come closer obviously they appear larger...that would be an individual finding subjectivity in a result depending on where it was viewed from. However it would be objective to measure the distance from the horizon to the viewer if. That distance would objectively be correct...however due to the fact that the earth contracts and expands as it travels through space the distance would actually be changing therefore an objective measurement would be impossible from the viewers position. Now I can see why me using subjectivity has confused the issue, but to make myself clear I am not arguing about how the mind percieves things differently from person to person. But anyway the whole noncommutativity equation (which is certainly provable) from Dirac catches and pulls a thread from objectivist philospphy which is hard to ignore. I'm yet to hear an objectivist reconcile these essential contradictions.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:10 p.m. CST

    schrodinger, I apologize

    by playahatersball

    that was a bit harsh, robert anton wilson doesn't suck that much. Subgenius is pretty funny.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:13 p.m. CST

    Agreed...The Fountainhead was...

    by DoctorWho?

    not that great and the film atrocious. Rand's stuff is really nuanced...I don't know how much can be translated to film. It took her 600 or so pages (way too many) to thoroughly expound on her thing as it was.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:15 p.m. CST

    Interesting note

    by oisin5199

    "Atlas Shrugged" was one of Anton LaVey's (The Church of Satan) favorite books, and to him it perfectly encapsulated his ideas of modern Satanism. And anyone remember that HBO thing with Helen Mirren as Rand gilfing it up with Eric Stoltz?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:22 p.m. CST

    I am not a radiohead album...

    by playahatersball

    but I digress, it strikes me that if one can measure/prove the kind of disruptions in time and space that you describe, that would be an objective phenomena, right? A contigency based on any number of variables will always change a certain way because of those certain variables. We might not be able to predict or record every single one of them right now, but if a shift in time/space exists, than it is objective reality, like, oh- say a black hole?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:25 p.m. CST

    What I should have just said was..

    by playahatersball

    relativity and subjectivity are not the same thing. I think we're both talking about the former, which is certainly provable. Wow- this IS the deepest talkback ever. Leonard Pekoff raped my childhood!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:27 p.m. CST

    Sweet. Now there's a TBer

    by Mechasheeva

    called Neo Con Snake Plissken. Y'know, I myself am not a fan of the Neo Con movement, being a liberal "hippie" and all, but I doubt there's anyone at all who would want to be associated with THAT guy. As for the movie, don't know the book or much about Ayn Rand, so I'm neutral as all hell.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:33 p.m. CST


    by schrodingerscat

    less than a week for the Illuminatus Trilogy. Much better book. It's at least entertaining. I didn't really explain myself about the Fountainhead. It took me three months to read it because I had to FORCE myself. Horror of horrors, it was bad. One thing I will agree with Rand on is that society shouldn't stimey invention, science, and the arts. And I'm of big fan of the architect on whom she based her character Roark. That still doesn't make reality objective. Ad hominem attacks are for people who have no other ammunition.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:38 p.m. CST


    by schrodingerscat

    apology accepted. (we'were writing at the same time.)

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Playa...interesting reasoning.

    by Cod Profundity

    However a black hole distorts space/time. It essentially distorts what we naturally percieve as reality. As a black hole is approached time speeds up. A probe sent to collect data will be experiencing a different reality from whoever launched the probe. Sadly I have to leave it here for the night but I'll be back tommorrow hopefully for more fun filled physics philosophising.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:45 p.m. CST

    That was hardly an Ad hominem attack

    by playahatersball

    You say reality is subjective and you present no evidence to your claim (in addition to ignoring the debate cod and I were having, which was mostly about a confusion of terms), since you gave no argument supporting your claim, I had to base my response on your name, which betrays your dimestore phillosphical leanings. Once I did that, I merely connected the dots to the other ludacris ideas that go hand in hand for people who take R.A.W. seriously. Then, if you noticed, I apologized for insulting you, which seems like a mistake at this point. Latin phrases are for people who find pretention an endearing quality.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:49 p.m. CST


    by clem_snide

    Hmm - methinks certain talkbackers should have a read of 'The New Inquisition' by Robert Anton Wilson. In between the extended (& as such perhaps unnecessary) humour, there's some interesting points on this whole reality issue. If I understood him well enough (which in itself is debatable) then an objective reality is unknowable because of our (humans) limited perceptions. "If perception is not absolute, no deduction from perception can be absolute" He holds this to be true from quantum events to 'eye-witness' phenomena to political (social) systems. Science (in his view) is equivalent to philosophy & religon in that they simply provide models of reality & none hold a self-evident truth other than in the specific circumstances of the observer (perceiver?). Science may be more more demonstrable than philosophy or religon, but it is just an (highly) organised belief system. RAW encourages his readers to examine situations from the perspective of several of these models and pick the one of best fit, but recognising it is not THE truth, just an option. One of his suggestions is that the word & concept of 'is' in the English language should be replaced with 'seems to me' (or similar - I forget the exact words) as any statement is opinion based on received, & therefore perceptually constrained, information. Try it in your Talkbacks and see where your objective arguement goes....

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 4:50 p.m. CST

    whoops- ignore previous post

    by playahatersball

    At least I didn't call you a douchebag

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Perception versus reality..

    by playahatersball

    again, sorry schrodinger, but I think we're all on the same page more or less. Even Chairman Rand admits that human perception is fallible, and we can't percive all of reality (i.e. be omnicient) but if things like quantum sigularities, black holes and other time/space shifts can proven, then their reality-shifting properties are an objective fact. I don't think it's a huge stretch to claim we live in an objective universe goverened by definable physical laws that occasionally lead to bizzare phenomena that appear contridictory to how we belive the world works. It doesn't disprove the idea that all human beings have an innate value and a right to pursue their happiness by rational means- or does the fact that I won't age in space mean I should become a socialist?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:01 p.m. CST

    "I destroyed that statue, because I loved it..."

    by Billyeveryteen

    "And I don't want to love anything." Perfectly decribes every woman I have been involved with. Damn you Rand!!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:05 p.m. CST

    I like The Fountainhead better; Atlas is overwrought

    by Zardoz

    Also, Frank Miller ripped off Atlas with Martha Washington Goes to War. But Angelina will be a great Dagny. I'm sure Ian McKellen will find his way into the movie, also

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:12 p.m. CST

    I read Give Me Liberty a long time ago..

    by playahatersball

    what is the plot to MWGTW?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:15 p.m. CST

    They already made ATLAS SHRUGGED into a movie anyway...

    by JohnGalt06

    It was called BATMAN BEGINS.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Following this thread is like....

    by joegiant

    ...listening to Damon Wayan's Homeless Philosophizer on In Living Color. Allow me to Flagellate my Hypotenus to all the Minionians... 1) Jolie - who cares about her politics. She's an actress. And hot. It's Hollywood. She's Dagny. 2) Running Time - Just because the book is 700 pages doesn't mean it has to be a 3 hour movie or even (god help us) 3 movies. The book, while intellectualy stimulating, is HOPELESSY REPETITIVE. This could easily be condensed to 2 hrs or even 90 minutes. We are the MTV generation after all. 3) I just love the hate/fear of an Ayn Rand work being brought to the masses. Heaven forbid a viewpoint not seen in the movies since The Fountainhead in the 50's be produced! Afraid a few lights may get turned on in people's heads, maybe?????

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:19 p.m. CST


    by playahatersball

    Yeah, then it was remade as THE AVIATOR!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:27 p.m. CST

    Ayn Rand...

    by alienindisguise

    She's just like any self important douchebag...they make others believe they have something important to say when, in fact, they don't. Her holier than thou fans are just as ignorant as she so they can all SUCK IT!!!!

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:29 p.m. CST


    by schrodingerscat

    Here's my problem with your theory. And I guess you could see it as basically an existential one: the observer can't take himself out of the equation. Can not. That means that no matter what machine readout or phenomena you observe, it's still YOUR observation, YOUR calculation. When someone else walks into the room, are you seeing that person? No. You're seeing a representation in your mind of that person as experienced through your sense perception. The very definition of 'subjective.' Like the tree in the forest. It is not possible for you to prove that reality is objective. If you think you have a way, I'd love to hear it. It seems to me that what we call reality is much more compicated than any of us really know, or even can know. If that makes me a dimestore philosopher, somebody tell Bohm.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:30 p.m. CST


    by schrodingerscat

    Here's my problem with your theory. And I guess you could see it as basically an existential one: the observer can't take himself out of the equation. Can not. That means that no matter what machine readout or phenomena you observe, it's still YOUR observation, YOUR calculation. When someone else walks into the room, are you seeing that person? No. You're seeing a representation in your mind of that person as experienced through your sense perception. The very definition of 'subjective.' Like the tree in the forest. It is not possible for you to prove that reality is objective. If you think you have a way, I'd love to hear it. It seems to me that what we call reality is much more complicated than any of us really know, or even can know. If that makes me a dimestore philosopher, somebody tell Bohm.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:38 p.m. CST

    Joegiant, you have some noble thoughts, but...

    by Uncapie

    If the powers that be turned "Atlas Shrugged" into a 90 minute MTV fest, think what would be lost or for that matter reworked to fit the subconcious of the masses in a substandard vision of what Ayn Rand had in mind. Its the episode of "The General" from "The Prisoner." Speed Learning. 100% entry. 100% pass. I said "what" was the Treaty Of Constantinople, not "when." All one has to do is look at the slew of remakes that we've seen for the past few years. To quote Ayn Rand- "What if the thinking men wet on strike in the word? What would happen?" All we have to do is look around us.This has already happened. Pretty scary. "Who is John Gault?"

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Joegiant, you have some noble thoughts, but...

    by Uncapie

    If the powers that be turned "Atlas Shrugged" into a 90 minute MTV fest, think what would be lost or for that matter reworked to fit the subconcious of the masses in a substandard vision of what Ayn Rand had in mind. Its the episode of "The General" from "The Prisoner." Speed Learning. 100% entry. 100% pass. I said "what" was the Treaty Of Constantinople, not "when." All one has to do is look at the slew of remakes that we've seen for the past few years. To quote Ayn Rand- "What if the thinking men went on strike in the word? What would happen?" All we have to do is look around. This has already happened. Pretty scary. "Who is John Gault?"

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 5:46 p.m. CST


    by playahatersball

    I'm not saying that my perception is not limited, I am simply saying that the universe exists, as is does, whether or not I observe it. It existed before I was born, it will be there after I die. I can chose to intepret light, sound, smell and taste however I want, but everything outside of my conciousness is what it is outside of what I belive, hence: A is A. Period, point blank. If you can figure out a way to prove Descarts, Bohm, Kant, Hegel, Sartre and the Wachowski brothers- which no one has been able to, despite being it being fashionable to discredit reality, I'd love to hear it.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 6:17 p.m. CST

    the thing that scares me..

    by playahatersball

    is when you insist that reality is subjective, you imply that it is unknowable and unperceptible. That facts are an illusion and reason is impossible because knowlage is false. If you mean something else, you better clarify, because it's mystics like yourself that insult those human beings who have "penetrated the veil" and figured out things like splitting the atom or mapping the human genome. If we can't know anything for certain, how was the computer you typed your responses on built? Fumbling in the dark?

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 6:27 p.m. CST

    I gotta go do homework..

    by playahatersball

    Here schrodinger, read this: It's been nice chatting with all of you. Now lets get William H. Macy cast as Dagny's brother

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 6:53 p.m. CST

    playahatersball: yes, they were sent

    by chrth

    You're confusing ideas. *Sound* is the result of a combination of two factors: the compression/transmission of a shift in air, and the reception decoding of the shift into sound by the ear. Even if no one *hears* it, the air displacement still occurs. This is physiology, not psychology. What you're saying is akin to "If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it really fall?" Two different ideas.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 7:06 p.m. CST

    anchorite: subjective vs perception

    by chrth

    It's been a decade plus since I've taken Phys 101, but I think what you're discussing with the color red is not actually subjectivity. Subjectivity is when an individual associates *additional* criteria to a perception. For example, some people see the color red and consider it an 'angry' color; that's subjective. Ditto some people being soothed by the color blue. We may perceive the objective qualities (hue, brightness, etc) of something called 'red' differently, but that doesn't mean we each are viewing subjectively. <p> Of course, I could be way off base, but I think that's how I remember it. If I'm wrong, well, just ignore this post.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 7:51 p.m. CST

    On a related note...

    by Paul T. Ryan

    Michael Cimino planned a remake of The Fountainhead in the late 70's as his next project following The Deer Hunter. I think that would have been quite telling given what happened with his next project, Heaven's Gate...

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 8:33 p.m. CST

    Did I say Phys 101? I meant Psych 101

    by chrth

    I didn't take Phys 101, I took Phys 111.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 8:48 p.m. CST

    If Atlas Shrugged is philosophy...

    by empyreal0

    ...then Gigli was the best film since Citizen Kane.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 8:53 p.m. CST

    anchorite, these days each color is exactly defined

    by ExcaliburFfolkes

    by its specific wavelength of light. Its a measured property. How someone sees the color is irrelevent.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:03 p.m. CST

    If a bear shits in the woods, will the Pope hear it?

    by Uncapie

    Only if Schrodenger's cat is outside the box and the bear shits faster than the speed of light. That way the bear in question, taking said shit, will be able to go back into time or forward, and actually see himself take a dump while doing it, though he won't be able to occupy the same space/time continum when he arrives. It'll have to be a red box too. Unless its Tuesday. I hope this clears everything up. There will be a test on Friday.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:04 p.m. CST

    That other Horrible Ayn Rand Movie

    by Larry of Arabia

    Have you seen "The Fountainhead." Great googily moogily what a terrible piece if sheeeee-it. I personally hate her theories and her scorched earth ethics.

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Objectivism made easy

    by maxwello

    Galt gives the one line definition a specific place of honour in the book: "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will not live for the sake of another man, nor ask him to live for mine."

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:27 p.m. CST

    Objectivism made easy

    by maxwello

    Galt gives the one line definition a specific place of honour in the book: "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will not live for the sake of another man, nor ask him to live for mine."

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 10:59 p.m. CST


    by falawful-314

    WITHOUT GOING INSANE: (1) read the first sentence of the paragraph, (2) skip down to next paragraph, (3) repeat. Everything after the first sentence of the paragraph is basically sawdust. "The simple-minded oaf couldn't understand that the selfish life is the only life worth living. [I'm right. You suck. Everyone who disagrees with me is a jackass. Fuck Commies. Hail the Almighty Dollar!]"

  • Oct. 18, 2006, 11:42 p.m. CST

    Dagny Taggart is blonde?

    by kabong

    Or am I thinking of "The Fountainhead" chick?

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Ayn Rand vs, Angelina Jolie

    by IMissNewOrleans

    A heavyweight vs. a lightweight. Should be as good as Bill Murray in Razor's Edge.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Ayn Rand vs, Angelina Jolie

    by IMissNewOrleans

    A heavyweight vs. a lightweight. Should be as good as Bill Murray in Razor's Edge.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Ayn Rand vs, Angelina Jolie

    by IMissNewOrleans

    A heavyweight vs. a lightweight. Should be as good as Bill Murray in Razor's Edge.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 2:51 a.m. CST


    by mostdwnloadedman

    "I trade stock in the human spirit and I sell short!"...great line and I love the scene where Gary Cooper is drilling the wall and sees his woman for the first time..very beautiful scene. As far as the characters being two-dimensional to comment on differing philosophical opinions...thats common: read Delillo or Palahniuk

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Most accessible Objectivism primer would be

    by Laserbrain

    The Incredibles. The pedantic will disagree over the fine points but in most respects Rand's philosophy is all over that flick.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 7:11 a.m. CST

    "No theory of physics has actually been proven"

    by minderbinder

    Really? I'm sure the physicists of the world would love to hear that newsflash. By the way, they're Newton's LAWS of motion, not "theories".

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 7:42 a.m. CST

    The Incredibles

    by minderbinder

    I'm surprised it hasn't been mentioned sooner. As far as I'm concerned, it's a much more persuasive argument for the empowerment of the individual than anything Rand ever wrote. But she would hate it, probably would hate the whole notion of comic book superheroes - after all, they're constantly putting themselves at risk to help others. What a bunch of idiots. She really would have had a field day with Spiderman: "With great power comes great responsibility". More like "With great power comes the great urge to tell people to go fuck off." I just don't buy into her philosophy of self serving above all else. Even if you look at the world from a purely selfish point of view, it's in *your* best interest for the people around you to be healthy, well educated, and able to make a living. Even if you are rich, you can't provide the entire infrastructure around you. You can't build your own personal roads to every location you might want to visit. You can't teach yourself surgery and operate on your own brain tumor. Hell, you don't want the other people driving on the road to run you over because they're illiterate and can't read the signs. I think welfare and even charity can go too far, but at the very least, people should have the opportunity to get a decent education and get at least basic medical treatment (yes, even if it means the "more successful" subsidize it). And I have no problem with digging into the collective pocketbook to help out people who fall victim to things like natural disasters. Rand's philosophy seems like a recipe for becoming rich and miserable. While her stuff is thought provoking, I don't think her point of view is all that appealing to most people just because she comes off as so fucking unhappy. (And an Institute? Give me a fucking break already)

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Will they include this scene?

    by bingo the clown

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 8:12 a.m. CST

    It's fiction

    by kadath

    Ayn Rand's philosophy might not work for you in real life, but that 'man as heroic being' stuff works great for fiction. You know, like Atlas Shrugged. Do you need to agree with Dracula's politics to watch a vampire movie?

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 8:42 a.m. CST

    And a word about Ayn's ex-lover; Nathaniel Branden...

    by Uncapie

    ...that guy's an asshole. I met him standing in line about fifteen years ago when I was filing paperwork at the local courthouse. This guy was so jumbled, so nervous trying to get his act together, I let him go first in line. He thanked me and introduced himself. He then gave me a flyer on his seminar where he was charging $495.00 for a lecture on his book! I thanked him, went down to the library and checked it out for free. His book made Harold Robbins look like Zig Ziglar! Here's a guy who is somewhat in love with Ayn Rand then totally, publically denounces her. Nice guy. The guy should have worked for the National Enquirer.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 8:47 a.m. CST

    I have no idea who Ayn Rand is..

    by Mr_Sleep001

    but Randall Wallace!! I'm sorry but I can't stand the guys showboating, jingoistic and simplistic writing. Now off to Wikipedia Ayn Rand...

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 9:24 a.m. CST

    Terry Goodkind

    by King_Midas

    Somewhat related to Ayn Rand, has anyone read the Terry Goodkind Sword of Truth novels? The author professes to be a Rand devotee and has basically hijacked his own series in a rambling tribute to objectivism. He uses all the same straw men arguments lacking in any real-world applicability that Rand so delighted in, but it’s fascinating to see where he takes it. His most recent book is a thinly veiled reference to the War on Terror but his solution is great – your life is important, your life is your own, and you must kill everybody that disagrees with you (either because they are a threat or they get in the way of your pursuit of happiness). It’s really objectivism taken to the logical conclusion and therein lies the problem – Rand’s philosophy only works against paper tigers. As one person said above – objectivism hinges on the idea that man is innately ethical and responsible enough to handle the power that comes with such unfettered freedom. History has shown otherwise and the unabashed pursuit of your own self interests to the exclusion of all else will eventually lead you into conflict with others. What do you do then? Kill or be killed? Collectivism can be taken too far (i.e. communism where there is no motivation for the individual to excel) but there is nothing innately evil about working together for the betterment of society as a whole. Minderbender nailed it on the head – it is in our individual self interest to have those around us leading healthy, productive lives. It’s especially important in an advanced society where we need each other. None of us are at all self-sufficient. The wealthiest, most intelligent person in the world wouldn’t have the means to make a pencil and piece of paper on his own.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 9:56 a.m. CST

    minderbender: you could NOT have picked a worst example

    by chrth

    Newton's Laws only work in a Newtonian frame of reference--which doesn't exist in the universe! We still use them because in many cases the effects of relativity and universal motion are so small to be considered zero (just like we ignore the effect of the sun on the gravitational equation when considering objects on earth). However, just because we ignore them doesn't mean they're not there. <p> While I disagree with attacking scientific theory for no other purpose than to discredit, the statement fundamentally is correct: there is no Law in Physics that is unassailable. And that's a good thing, because it allows us to continue to increase our knowledge.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST

    If the institute president is any indication...

    by CoffeeAndCinema

    ...then I have to agree that this will be a fairly boring movie but with a lot of sex in it. I was helping out a documentary director who is doing a documentary about Christmas. He wanted to get some varying viewpoints, and so he interviewed the president of the Ayn Rand Institute. The first thing the guy said to us as we walked in was, "Just to warn you, I collect nudes." (As if it wasn't obvious from the moment he opened the door.) It was hard to find a place in his house where we could frame him without something distracting in the background. Not to mention he was in his 70s and his wife looked to be about 30. He said that Christmas should be more materialistic than it already is, and should revert back to what he thought it's origin was, which is the celebration of Saturnalia. It's all about the celebration of self and of life. (Basically, lots of presents and lots of sex.) Outside of the impression I got that his life pretty much revolves around sex, he didn't seem like all that interesting of a person. In fact, he seemed somewhat out of touch with reality. He didn't even know how to use his own dishwasher, because apparently the maid always does that. I'm not intending on joining the philosophical debate. I've never read the book. I just figured I'd add that little anecdote. I guess we'll see when the movie comes out if my prediction of "fairly boring but with lots of sex" is correct.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Objectivist Are Not Libertarian and Other Myths

    by R Flagg

    First, Objectivist are not Libertarian. They hate Libertarians as being "too tolerant." Next, Libertarians are not Republicans who are afraid to vote Republican. They are people who want the government to stop intruding into our lives. Unlike the Democrats and Republicans who both seek to control every aspect of peoples lives, and make the government bigger and bigger. Yes there was a time when the Republicans supposedly stood for smaller government, but those days are long gone. The two parties have merged into two different fractions of the same essential party. While I don't agree with Objectivist, since they are so anti-religious,I don't see them as being against compassion or even team work. The point is not to blindly do everything that everyone else does without first considering your interests. Collectivism is far more dangerous the consideration of self. Collectivism leads to loss of individual liberty and room for independent thought. Unfortunately this is what our schools and media teach everyone, and even more unfortunate is that too many never break the chain of collectivist thought. There is tons of room for compassion and teamwork and all that without descending into "It Takes A Village" moronic thought lines of the collectivist. All that said, yes this movie will suck. Angelina Jolie is the exact opposite of the kind of person to play a part in anything like this, and a clear indicator that Hollywood intends to make it a collectivist movie. One has to wonder what Leonard Peikoff was thinking in letting this one go through. A far better option would be to remake the Fountainhead in a cable mini-series, if they could find somebody who would keep the ideals intact and not move it to the far left with the rest of the Collectivist/Socialist ideals coming out of our public schools and media.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 3:04 p.m. CST

    Minderbender, r.e. Ayn Rand and superheroes

    by playahatersball

    Chairman Rand not only spoke highly of the medium of comic books, but also of the heroic ideals which they espouse. Her book "Romantic Manifesto" has been credited by Frank Miller as the chief insperation behind all of his superhero work. Steve Ditko, co-creator of Spider-man and creator of The Question is a card carrying objectivist who fought hard in the sixties for creators to retain the rights of their characters. The Incredibles is an obvious tribute to her love of selfish heroism, i.e.- heroes who save people mainly for their own selfish enjoyment of it (why else would Peter Parker let his whole world go to shit if he really didn't want to be Spider-man?). The little russian lady with the big glasses and the house full of Grecian statues is an obvious allusion to Rand. If you dissagree with her politics, romantic manifesto is still an excellent guide for understanding the philosophical/pschological premisis behind all art- she even admits that you don't have to agree with the philosophy of a particular artist in order to enjoy them. Her favorite writer, for example, was Victor Hugo- who had a completely different view of the world than she did, but she enjoyed his style so much that it didn't matter. A fine lesson for all us consumers of comics/movies/music and books.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 3:24 p.m. CST

    When Reading Ayn Rand...

    by tensticks

    be a filter, not a sponge. (Thank you, Stephen Chbosky.) And btw, Laveyan "Satanism" is nothing more than Rand Objectivism with a supernatural gloss.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Clearing Up the Philosophy

    by Vaebn

    Background: I've read most of Rand's stuff. I agree with Rand's metaphysics and epistemology (i.e. how the world works and how people think), but not with her morals or politics (i.e. virtuous selfishness and cutthroat capitalism). I have degrees in quantum physics and philosophy, but you don't believe that. Anyway. QUANTUM PHYSICS: Rand's philosophy (from Aristotle) states that 'A is A.' A thing is always itself, and a thing is never "not itself." If a thing behaves as both a wave and a particle, then that's what it is: a thing that behaves as both a wave and a particle. If a thing is altered by observation, then that's what it is: something that's altered by observation. It is not also "something that is never altered by observation" and never will be. That's all Rand's philosophy says, and it is in no way incompatible with quantum physics. THE SUBJECTIVITY OF COLOR: The key to this misunderstanding is in forgetting that humans define what 'red' means by pointing to things that are red. How each person perceives 'red' is irrelevant; show them something red and they'll agree with you that it's red. Contrast this with beauty: show someone something you find pretty and they could validly disagree. Therein lies the difference between objectivity and subjectivity. Color is the former, beauty the latter. LAW VS. THEORY: A theory is not a weaker version of a law. Laws are not 'proven theories.' They're completely different things. Laws explain how something works, theories explain why. PROVEN SCIENCE: Proof always contains some measure of trivial uncertainty (i.e. aliens could be controlling your brain into believing a falsehood). No proof is absolute, but that's a pointless statement. Much more valuable to simply use 'proof' to mean 'an abundance of evidence for, no evidence against, and sufficient observation to expect there would be counterevidence if it existed.' Lots of science meets that criteria, Newton's Laws of Motion included (qualified as an approximation that eliminates trivial influences).

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Ayn Rand's ATLAS SHRUGGED being brought to the big scre

    by pedro2112

    i cant believe no-one has mentioned Neil "Ayn Rand and I are best buddies" Peart yet...

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 6:21 p.m. CST

    How do you reconcile...

    by minderbinder

    "Selfish heroism" with " I will not live for the sake of another man"? It's rard to buy into any argument supporting her stuff simply because she's so contradictory. So helping others is bad...but it's good when it's done to feel good, which of course is "selfish"? Fucking ridiculous.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 6:45 p.m. CST

    The funny thing about "Objectivism"

    by FluffyUnbound that it's really "Agent-relativism". All value in Objectivism is embedded in the perception of the individual agent. She called it "Objectivism" only because she thought that if the nature of the agent is known, you can identify what the value that agent should perceive is. The whole "A is A" thing is more famous, but much more important to her moral philosophy is her somewhat straightforward observation that there cannot be any "value" without a "valuer". That's a more controversial assertion in philosophy than you might think.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 6:53 p.m. CST


    by schrodingerscat

    Rush was mentioned yesterday. So, don't feel bad.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 7 p.m. CST


    by schrodingerscat

    Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like we were arguing over naught.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 7:01 p.m. CST

    And on the quantum physics issue

    by FluffyUnbound

    It's not really pertinent. As long as the realm of actual human experience takes place in a Newtonian context, that's all that's relevant to her ethics. If firing 50 bullets into your brain will kill you, then that is something to be avoided, unless you have a reason to wish to die. That's an "objective" fact about your nature as a human being [i.e. it is true regardless of your preference] and it doesn't really matter if the individual electrons in the atoms in the bullets are in indeterminate quantum states when they hit you. All of the facts about your nature that are relevant to her philosophy are similarly bound to the Newtonian level of our existence.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 7:13 p.m. CST

    Thank you, Vaebn

    by Trancer

    I think that should cut through a lot of the misconceptions people seemed to be having. I don't have a degree in quantum physics, but I do have a degree in philosophy, and I understand the mathematical formalism of eigenvectors and eigenvalues. I guess I'm what you'd call a "very informed layman" with regard to quantum theory. I think a lot of the misperceptions of people like playahatersball stem from the fact that they believe that quantum theory is a description of what's "out there," rather than what (at least in my understanding) it actually is: a mathematical description of the correlations between observed states of a system.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 7:59 p.m. CST

    Fluffy you'll see I gave a macroscopic example...

    by Cod Profundity

    of uncertainty. Quantum physics was merely the beggining of Rand philosophy being questioned. The funny thing is it happened 10 years before objectivism was even thought up. The interesting thing is objectivist can't actually be objectivist about their own beliefs. Funny that. BTW, John Nash and game theory shit on the self over others idea too.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Galts Speech - The Mini Version

    by notme

    For twelve years you've been asking "Who is John Galt?" This is John Galt speaking. I'm the man who's taken away your victims and thus destroyed your world. You've heard it said that this is an age of moral crisis and that Man's sins are destroying the world. But your chief virtue has been sacrifice, and you've demanded more sacrifices at every disaster. You've sacrificed justice to mercy and happiness to duty. So why should you be afraid of the world around you? Your world is only the product of your sacrifices. While you were dragging the men who made your happiness possible to your sacrificial altars, I beat you to it. I reached them first and told them about the game you were playing and where it would take them. I explained the consequences of your 'brother-love' morality, which they had been too innocently generous to understand. You won't find them now, when you need them more than ever. We're on strike against your creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties. If you want to know how I made them quit, I told them exactly what I'm telling you tonight. I taught them the morality of Reason -- that it was right to pursue one's own happiness as one's principal goal in life. I don't consider the pleasure of others my goal in life, nor do I consider my pleasure the goal of anyone else's life. I am a trader. I earn what I get in trade for what I produce. I ask for nothing more or nothing less than what I earn. That is justice. I don't force anyone to trade with me; I only trade for mutual benefit. Force is the great evil that has no place in a rational world. One may never force another human to act against his/her judgment. If you deny a man's right to Reason, you must also deny your right to your own judgment. Yet you have allowed your world to be run by means of force, by men who claim that fear and joy are equal incentives, but that fear and force are more practical. You've allowed such men to occupy positions of power in your world by preaching that all men are evil from the moment they're born. When men believe this, they see nothing wrong in acting in any way they please. The name of this absurdity is 'original sin'. That's inmpossible. That which is outside the possibility of choice is also outside the province of morality. To call sin that which is outside man's choice is a mockery of justice. To say that men are born with a free will but with a tendency toward evil is ridiculous. If the tendency is one of choice, it doesn't come at birth. If it is not a tendency of choice, then man's will is not free. And then there's your 'brother-love' morality. Why is it moral to serve others, but not yourself? If enjoyment is a value, why is it moral when experienced by others, but not by you? Why is it immoral to produce something of value and keep it for yourself, when it is moral for others who haven't earned it to accept it? If it's virtuous to give, isn't it then selfish to take? Your acceptance of the code of selflessness has made you fear the man who has a dollar less than you because it makes you feel that that dollar is rightfully his. You hate the man with a dollar more than you because the dollar he's keeping is rightfully yours. Your code has made it impossible to know when to give and when to grab. You know that you can't give away everything and starve yourself. You've forced yourselves to live with undeserved, irrational guilt. Is it ever proper to help another man? No, if he demands it as his right or as a duty that you owe him. Yes, if it's your own free choice based on your judgment of the value of that person and his struggle. This country wasn't built by men who sought handouts. In its brilliant youth, this country showed the rest of the world what greatness was possible to Man and what happiness is possible on Earth. Then it began apologizing for its greatness and began giving away its wealth, feeling guilty for having produced more than ikts neighbors. Twelve years ago, I saw what was wrong with the world and where the battle for Life had to be fought. I saw that the enemy was an inverted morality and that my acceptance of that morality was its only power. I was the first of the men who refused to give up the pursuit of his own happiness in order to serve others. To those of you who retain some remnant of dignity and the will to live your lives for yourselves, you have the chance to make the same choice. Examine your values and understand that you must choose one side or the other. Any compromise between good and evil only hurts the good and helps the evil. If you've understood what I've said, stop supporting your destroyers. Don't accept their philosophy. Your destroyers hold you by means of your endurance, your generosity, your innocence, and your love. Don't exhaust yourself to help build the kind of world that you see around you now. In the name of the best within you, don't sacrifice the world to those who will take away your happiness for it. The world will change when you are ready to pronounce this oath: I swear by my Life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 9:55 p.m. CST


    by tensticks

    Neil Peart has long since disavowed any intimate cameraderie with Rand's philosophies. He describes her as an important influence and inspiration at a certain period in his development and youth, but never wholesale bought her philosophies, and has now moved in many ways very far away from them...just FYI....

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 10:27 p.m. CST


    by FluffyUnbound

    Your macroscopic example just wasn't very good. The only reason you can state that the distance would be different for each measurement is because those two different measurements can be accurately made. In other words, you're attempting to use two objective measurements to prove that objective measurement is impossible. [OK, so this refutuation of Cod's claim is actually Bertrand Russell's, and not Rand's. No big whoop.] Don't get the idea that I think Objectivism is a valid overall system, Cod. It fails in its ultimate aim, which is nothing less than to be a philosophic Theory Of Everything. It fails because for the system to work, it has to be possible for all human alternatives to be resolved using reason, and that just doesn't work. It works well enough in fiction, where Rand can keep the choices nice and stark, but it doesn't work for finer distinctions. Reason can tell you that it's "better" to be a steel magnate or genius architect than it is to be a bum. The problem [for Rand's system] is that it can't tell you whether you should be a steel magnate or a genius architect. And it HAS to be able to, or the system fails. So I can be critical of it. That's different, however, from being critical of it on the basis of the claim that there is no reality and nothing can be known. That's not much of an objection, really, because if nothing can be known, then a "fan" of Objectivism could just assert it all to be true "just because", and that claim could not be disproven. A truly subjective universe is not really a recipe for intellectual modesty; it's a cultural accident that we've treated it that way so far.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 11:04 p.m. CST

    Rand's philosophy of "Selfishness"...

    by DoctorWho?

    ...isn't some "out for myself, fuck all, cut-throat capitalist" cult. She reasons that if everyone reached for the highest excellence and potential within (including virtue and highest ethical standards)that one would AUTOMATICALLY benefit the world at large. It looks good on paper.It's kind of a utopian dream really, cause the vast majority of people today wouldn't really engage in this kind of critical thinking. Sounds kind of "Scientology like" doesn't it? Minus the aliens and shit of course.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 11:15 p.m. CST

    Trancer, you idiot...

    by playahatersball

    I agree with everything vabn said on the subject of quantum physics and had been trying to illustrate the same point for some time now. Who's posts were you reading?

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 11:23 p.m. CST

    minderbender, you herb...

    by playahatersball

    Selfishness is not an automatically pejorative term. To do something "selfishly" does not mean do do something without any regard for others, as you seem to think it does, it means to do something that where the primary benificiary of the action is yourself. Rational selfishness is just that, to do things to benefit yourself in a reasonable manner, based on logic and reason and with respect towards others right to do the same. NOT just whithin the range of the moment. Example of rational selfishness: Getting a jib, saving up and buying a car. Example of irrational selfishness: Carjacking someone. Do you see the difference? Now please explain to me how helping people, if you enjoy it, is not selfish.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 11:37 p.m. CST


    by playahatersball

    Why would you require a philosophical system to tell you to do anything? Even if it does establish that being a steel managate is better than being a bum (which is an aristotelan{sic} idea originally), there's no objectivist law stating that one cannot be a bum. If all you want from life is to be a hobo, go ahead, just don't automatically assume you're owed anything, as you don't contribute anything to society. People who bash capitalism don't seem to remember that it takes at least two people to form a market. In order to sell something, there must be some people who want to buy it- hence, exchange of values (product for money) to the benefit of both parties. People don't get or stay rich selling products that are no good (unless, like the auto and aero industres, they get welfare from the government, which is not capitalism). Being competitive isn't about crushing competition, it's about offering a better product than the other guy, which is why capitalism is the best and most effective form of democracy- don't like something? Vote with your dollar and spend it elsewhere. Try not giving the government your money and see what happens, or just look at Wesley Snipes.

  • Oct. 19, 2006, 11:38 p.m. CST

    Job, not jib

    by playahatersball

    I very tired. Me go sleepy now.

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 12:19 a.m. CST

    it could be a good movie

    by God Shamgodd

    If you think about the story at the heart of the novel and forget the philosophy, you have the makings of a good movie: what if the world's most powerful businessmen/women went on strike? Just imagine Microsoft, GM, Wal-Mart, etc. closing their doors b/c they're tired of being taxed and regulated to death by government. To me, that's the core of what could be a pretty cool movie.

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 3:59 a.m. CST


    by Trancer

    Right back at ya, Chief. You may agree with everything Vaebn said in his post about quantum theory- if you actually read my post again, maybe this time you won't utterly fail to catch the fact that I never suggested otherwise. But what apparently flew completely over your head (and I'm not sure how you missed something this straightforward) was that, based on your previous posts, you lack anything approaching an understanding of the actual implications of quantum theory. Hence the statement "...misperceptions of people like playahatersball stem from the fact that they believe that quantum theory is a description of what's 'out there,' rather than what (at least in my understanding) it actually is: a mathematical description of the correlations between *observed* states of a system." (Emphasis added.) You certainly *seem* to be operating under the mistaken impression that quantum theory (and the Standard Model that fundamentally depends on it- which you brought up in your attack on schrodingerscat when you mentioned splitting the atom) says anything at all about an "objective" (i.e., independent of consciousness) world. It doesn't. The problem is, you're arguing against something without having any idea what you're arguing against. I *think* schrodingerscat was getting at the idea (and I hope he'll correct me if I'm wrong) that *everything* appears *in consciousness*. There's never an exception to that. Ever. Now based on your posts, I'm guessing you've arrived at the erroneous conclusion that this means, "the world only exists because you perceive it." And that's not even close to what it means. In fact, here's your actual quote: "By saying that reality is subjective you are claiming it is not independent of our consciousness, which it is." See, I'm guessing you're one of the people who think that consciousness is something you *have*. And admittedly, if you haven't actually given it enough thought to get past that point, your posts might give the deceptive impression of being sensible. But when you actually realize that *everything* (including what you take to be "yourself") is simply a set of perceptions, a "stable structure" *within consciousness*, your attacks on scrodingerscat lose whatever coherence they may have appeared to have. It's not about *your* (or *my*) perception, or observation, or consciousness, "creating the world," as you clearly believed his (schrodinger's) position to be before. It's that "the world" *is* perception, or consciousness. BIG difference. But that entails understanding (if you're capable of it) that what you think of as "you" (your thoughts, feelings, memories, experiences, sense perceptions, etc.) is simply a structure *within* consciousness. See, the "mystic’s" position *isn’t* (as you seemed to think) "the world doesn’t exist if I’m not conscious of it;" it’s that "the world" and consciousness are not distinguishable. (Notice that I didn’t say "'the world' and *your consciousness of it* are not distinguishable." Subtle difference, but I’m gonna go ahead and give you the benefit of the doubt.) Now, if I haven't irritated you enough to flame me without thinking about it for 2 minutes again, and you'll actually take a minute to engage in a little cranial-rectal extraction, you might realize that the position I've outlined, and that I think schrodinger was getting at, is in no way incompatible with Objectivism. You still get to keep "A equals A." The building blocks of those "structures" of consciousness are stable, and they are largely, if not completely, independent of what "you" or "I" "think" of them. It’s the behavior of the "building blocks" of those structures that quantum theory deals with. But those *aren’t* "objective things" in the classical sense. Flame away. :)

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 4:23 a.m. CST

    Fluffy I think you got the wrong end of the stick.

    by Cod Profundity

    Firstly, I gave a much more valid example than the distance bewtween two objects. Dirac noncommutativity... and that certainly is a good example for why objectivism doesn't really hold up. Very very basically; x times y is not the same as y times . Which really does disprove the notion that "A is A". The other example was just a simplified way of showing that objective measurement is not always possible. But like I say, a much more real world example of objectivism not being particularly helpful is John Nash' equilibrium and game theory (very sweetly depicted in a Beautiful Mind actually). I'm sure theres at least a few people familiar with John Maynard Smith, he anda few others have applied this model to evolutionary biology, anthropology, sociology and political science. Then there's Hamilton's rule and kin selection which show how altruism and sefl sacrifice are as important to the survival of the species as looking out for number one. Objectivism was disproved mathmatically objectively ten years before it was even fully written, such a shame Rand ignored empiricism and only live in in her own little utopian thought experiment.

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 8:25 a.m. CST

    Well, Cod.

    by FluffyUnbound

    A couple of things. First, I have never been particularly impressed with applications of game theory to moral decision-making, such as take place in Rawls. As the best-known example of game theory [the Prisoner's Dilemma] makes pretty plain, game theory doesn't help you obtain "good" outcomes, it helps you obtain the outcomes desired by the person designing the game. It proves that people artificially denied information by motivated system-designers will make bad decisions - and that's about it. I am not familiar with all of Nash's work, but the example given in the film is dreadful. If what I'm trying to accomplish in the example is to get the most attractive girl possible with the least possible expenditure of effort, I don't need game theory to tell me not to fight the other three guys for the hottest girl. I just need good old rational self-interest to tell me to hit on the second-best girl while the other guys fight over the best one. And the survival of the species is not the standard by which moral judgments should be made; there are any number of things I could inflict upon you that would not affect the survival of the species one jot, but which would nevertheless be immoral. If what you're trying to say is that cooperation can have a higher survival value than competition, I would agree. I would agree so far as to say it's non-controversial. And frankly, what Rand or other libertarian theorists call for is not competition per se but freedom: the freedom to choose to cooperate where that is beneficial and appropriate, and to compete where that is beneficial and appropriate. I'm not familiar with Dirac's work but it sounds pretty interesting; I'd like to see how it's possible that X times Y is not the same as Y times X, at least for all real numbers. I'll have to google it and try to educate myself on it. In any event, I've already conceded that Rand's epistemology doesn't fully work, and within the terms of her own system that strongly implies that something is wrong with her metaphysics. The only occasions on which I would defend her are when I see people misrepresent what her ethics says, and when people offer flawed counterclaims.

  • Oct. 20, 2006, noon CST


    by schrodingerscat

    For once we agree on something (sort of): People always do what they 'will' - which is to say 'what they want to do' which they obviously feel is in their own self-interest, at least at the time of their choosing, though it may not always be rational. It can be no other way. Even Mother Teresa was not acting selflessly. It's impossible. It seems from the explanations I've read (forgive me it's been 15 years since I read any Rand) that her philosophy (valid under QM standards or not) would only work in a perfectly rational world. Which is why it's mostly useless. People are mostly driven by their feeling-states, which aren't rational. Look how quick you are to harshly judge people you don't know. Why do you do it? It makes you feel superior. How rational is that? Others on the talkback have better explained my position re the nature of subjectivity. (I need to work on that.) I am not a Descartes-ian. In fact, he got it backward. It's not cogito ergo sum, it's sum ergo cogito. E pluribus unum, semper fidelis, quid pro quo, ad hoc, et cetera.

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 1:20 p.m. CST

    "explain how helping people, if you enjoy it, is not"

    by minderbinder

    Selfish" Easy. By your definition, if the person you're helping gets more out of it than you do, it's not selfish. So I guess Rand thinks you shouldn't help others unless you get more out of it than they do? It's hard to take a philosophy that can categorize Generosity as a potentially selfish act. By the way, the whole pretending Physics is just unproven theories is a hoot. Keep up the comedy.

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 1:22 p.m. CST

    And "you herb"?

    by minderbinder

    Am I supposed to be insulted or something? My apologies for not drinking the Rand kool-aid.

  • Oct. 20, 2006, 2:15 p.m. CST


    by bloodred

    it's gonna be in black & white, yeah? ;)

  • March 7, 2008, 7:15 p.m. CST


    by bwlass

    If you would like to see the brilliant Jeremy Northam as John Galt in the movie "Atlas Shrugged", please sign this petition which is being sent to Baldwin Entertainment, executive producers of the film.