Thursday, February 03, 2005

Ayn Rand's 100th Birthday

No book influenced my thinking more than Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. It was first recommended to me by a girlfriend's mother when I was 18. I couldn't bring myself to wade through 1100 pages in the summer before college. I picked it up again when I was 26, and I was transformed from a liberal Democrat to a Libertarian. My premises were largely the same, but for the first time I began to see economic issues in terms of individual rights in the same way I had seen issues affecting other areas of life. My premise was and is the right to self-determination. I had missed that economic issues should be applied in the same way.

There are many fine tributes out there, and I will not duplicate them. Reason Magazine dedicated the cover of the current issue to Rand's 100th, and columnist Cathy Young's tribute is the feature article. Fellow Hoosier Libertarian Al Barger penned a tribute. The Ayn Rand Institute is hosting Rand Centenary Conferences, that are a bit pricey, but interesting. There is even a Rand fan dating service. It surprises me that the male-female ratio is only 3:1.

As for my own more personal tribute, I will stay at my desk until I fall asleep working.

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