Rebirth of Reason

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Monday, July 20, 2015 - 1:06pmSanction this postReply

The grand scale of The Fountainhead and especially of Atlas Shrugged eclipses the fact that the advances that capitalism enables are mostly small achievements. As you said: "Take a moment to look around you. Everything that is supportive of your life and your flourishing is an achievement of human beings." Totalitarian societies are dedicated to the Grand Scale. A provocative essay can be read on Liberty Unbound, "Defending Capitalism Against Ayn Rand" (http://libertyunbound.com/node/858). A better expression (certainly less debatable) came from Rand herself in her essay "The Monument Builders." The point of both essays is that in the USSR, they had spaceships but no lipsticks.


Like many others here, no doubt, I am a fan of Scott Adams' Dilbert. It is amazing how far we have come since 1995. Dilbert says while inserting an "optical disk" into his computer that someday all of the world's knowledge and information will be available to us via computer. Dogbert scoffs.


We have enjoyed 20 years of incremental improvements. And they allow a wide range of choices over seemingly trivial differences. Those differences, however, serve our happiness, whimsical though it may be. I have a small optical mouse connected wirelessly with a teeny USB thingee plugged into the keyboard. I could have chosen several different kinds of devices. In fact, I do put "optical disks" into my computer--to load up a playlist of music that I chose. Other people prefer live downloads. The fact is that we are living in a Renaissance of independent music.  I sample music by going to the bargain bins and buying disks for a dollar each just by the cover and the liner noters.  Seldom have I heard anything that was untalented. Much I did not like, true enough, but the style was the problem, not the execution.  


On the Galt's Gulch message board one of the other regulars encouraged me to view Prelude to Axanar, a Star Trek fan project. So, I watched it on YouTube -- and then contributed to their crowdsourcing to create the movie Axanar. We would be living in a "Renaissance" of independent film, if some previous golden age had existed. In fact, this is perhaps the foreshadowing of a coming explosion in cinema production.


Those are just some of the many small achievements of others that make our lives more enjoyable.


This is one of my own:


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