“They say we can’t visualize total nothing. Hell, sit at any committee meeting!” - Kent Lansing in The Fountainhead

I spent all day reading The Fountainhead yesterday, almost non-stop. Took me until midnight. Surprisingly, I liked it. I still disagree with Rand and Objectivism, but I think the actions of the characters spoke stronger than Rand’s words.

It’s a story of an architect, Howard Roark, on a crusade to create buildings of meaning, in a world of people who simply repeat the ideas fed to them by the media and their friends. It’s 1984 and Brave New World, except the enemy isn’t the State, it’s the Society.

Wes: calling David McCusker! :-)

By the end, there’s only one point I really disagree with: Rand says that creators should be selfish, and if people try to change their vision, then the creator has the right to stop those people. I can’t go along with that. Unlike many folks in California’s south, I don’t think that culture can be owned. Everyone gets to contribute to the pot, when when it’s all stirred up, our individual contributions amount to something greater than anyone could achieve completely alone.

DFSG: The Debian group encourages all authors not to restrict any files, source or binary, from being modified.

posted February 03, 2002 06:45 PM (Books) #


Michael Reiter has worked on
Science Friday: Everyday Design
Anarchists: Keepers of the Flame
Wow! Google adopted Kottke’s suggestions
Weird: Radio Free Linux. They’re
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
Plucky Headline Viewer for Mac
FBI: Illegal DVDs Fund Terrorism
Arrgh, pirates.
Moving to Movable Type
My First Usenet Post

Aaron Swartz (me@aaronsw.com)