After two weeks of unrest at St. Olaf College in rural Minnesota, during which a group calling themselves “The Collective for Change” shut down classrooms and barred access to campus buildings, the casus belli -- a note using the “n-word” left on a student’s windshield -- has turned out to be a hoax.
Andrew Morales, an economics major at St. Olaf’s reached today for comment is not surprised. After voicing reservations last week over what he saw was a rush to judgement, he’s been ostracized: “I’ve been called every name in the book: bigot, sexist, racist, homophobic — everything. It’s silly.”
In a scene reminiscent of recent violence at the University of California at Berkeley, Morales describes how his roommates Andrew Salij and Dionicio Luna were locked inside the main Buntrock building on campus by protesters. Another student was punched in the face for trying to escape. Students later rallied to another building preventing people from coming and going and in the process manhandled an elderly lady. You can listen to my full interview with Morales here.
Interestingly, The Collective consistently downplayed the importance of the notes from the beginning of the entire charade. They went to great lengths to emphasize that the focus should not be “individual incidents or students, but an ideology that is continuously supported by the administration’s lack of action and the student body’s...
Read Article : Another “Racist” Hoax on Campus
My first night as an Airbnb host was a near disaster.
I thought I was prepared. Glamour shots of the house -- check. Coffee maker -- check. Linens, towels, toiletries -- check. Hit “go live,” and boom, I’ve got a booking. That afternoon two guys arrive in a vintage Ferrari on their way to an antique car show. They were looking for a place to spend the night.
I show them to their rooms, give them the keys, and they’re off to dinner. That night I “hit the books” on how to become a better host. There’s an article on how it’s good to bake your guests something to welcome them. Recriminating myself over the failure to bake cookies, I can’t get to sleep. I can’t stop thinking about cookies. So I take an Ambien.
The next day I get up and go into the kitchen…..and there are cookies, everywhere. And I don’t just mean on the counter. I mean everywhere. On the floor. On the stairs leading up to the third floor where the guests were sleeping. And I wasn’t dreaming. This was real. It was a total nightmare.
I had sleep baked.
Forget about cleaning it up before the guests woke up. The guests had already gone. It was past 10 am. They had checked out.
So there I was, amidst the crumbs and debris of an Ambien-fueled baking binge, thinking my Airbnb career was over before it even began. Well, that’s the way the old cookie crumbles, I thought. Then I notice that my guests have left me a note.
“Dear Jennifer, thanks for the cookies. We know this is your first time...
Read Article : Would Ayn Rand Airbnb? Why a SuperHost is a Selfish Host
Ayn Rand delved into some of Objectivism’s most fundamental ideas—and their most poignant personal implications—in the essay she devoted to the 1967 encyclical by Pope Paul VI, Populorum Progressio (“on the development of peoples.”)
An “encyclical” in the ancient church was a “circular letter” to the heads of Christian churches everywhere. Today, it is a personal communication by the Pope that speaks to the doctrine of the Church. As such, it represents one of the most significant statements of the views of the Church.
Ayn Rand’s analysis in “Requiem for Man” pursued and challenged the encyclical’s premises across the fields of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, economics, and history; but her basic point, without which nothing can be understood about Objectivism and capitalism, was that “…capitalism is incompatible with altruism and mysticism….
The encyclical…reads as if a long-repressed emotion broke out into the open, past the barrier of carefully measured, cautiously calculated sentences, with the hissing pressure of centuries of silence. The sentences are full of contradictions; the emotion is consistent.
The encyclical is the manifesto of an impassioned hatred for capitalism; but its evil is much more profound and its target is more than mere politics. It is written in terms of a mystic-altruist ‘sense of life’
She said that this was not the sense of life of an individual pope; it was the “sense of life of an entire institution” over many centuries....
Read Article : Pope Francis Attacks Objectivism in All but Name
Robert Bradley, Jr. - Ayn Rand and Best Business Practices—Atlas Summit 2016
Session recorded 7/12/16 at the Atlas Summit, Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas, NV, as part of the Symposium on Success in Business.
The heroes in Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are successful businessmen. All readers of the novels can agree that the heroes behave heroically. But do they behave in ways that characterize successful businessmen?
This lecture compares the behavior of Rand’s heroes with the insights of four authors in the classical-liberal tradition whose works identify key aspects of free-market business success: Samuel Smiles, Joseph Schumpeter, Ronald Coase, and Friedrich Hayek. Along the way, it demonstrates that the classical liberal capitalist Charles Koch has adopted and updated all of these insights. It then argues that Rand thoroughly understood the insights of two of these authors but slighted the insights of two others. And it suggests that her moral and aesthetic philosophy may have been responsible for her oversights.
Listen to part one here
Release date: 12 September 2016
Read Article : Atlas Summit 2016
The inclusion of Branden’s lecture and question-answer session in this collection gives him a voice in his own commemoration. Published here for the first time, and transcribed by Roger Bissell, the lecture was given to the California Institute for Applied Objectivism in 1996. Its tenor can be gleaned from the opening paragraph in which Branden compliments his audience for being “dedicated to the broad philosophical ideas of Objectivism, but not in a religiously constricted and independent-thinking-discouraging way.”
Here Branden echoes his implicit criticism of the ARI camp. Debates between the Branden-ARI factions go beyond the personal disagreements between Branden and Rand to a broader philosophical question: is it better, at the outset of an intellectual movement, to insist upon the purity of a set of ideas at the expense of its slower adoption or to engage in an open dialogue that allows for give-and-take?
This is not a subject that can be answered by labeling either side as “religionists” or “compromisers.” It’s a unique problem elevated to historical significance by the profundity and uniqueness of Objectivism. If Objectivism is the most exceptional philosophy to emerge in over two thousand years and one believes, as Objectivists do, that philosophy is the motive force of history, then the answer could reasonably impact the course of civilization itself. The stakes, in other words, are high for those involved.
The question-answer session thus raises an issue of great...
Read Article : Nathaniel Branden, In His Own Words