New article in TIME magazine online about the Atlasphere and the Atlas Shrugged movie just published an article about the Atlasphere as well as the Atlas Shrugged movie, penned by Claire Suddath, who spent this week talking with members of our dating service.
Her article is titled “Single Objectivist Seeks Same” and begins:

Let me get one thing out of the way: I have never read Ayn Rand. In fact, until recently I was one of those uneducated boors who thought the author’s first name was pronounced Ann. A few of her readers have corrected me over the years, but for some reason, I assumed they were joking â?? which is also what I assumed when they told me that they’d just read a great book about government intervention in the railroad industry. (That book is now a movie, Atlas Shrugged: Part I, opening Friday in the U.S.)
But then my editor asked me to look into the dating website the Atlasphere, on which Randians can search for their soul mate among fellow objectivists. I didn’t have time to read all 1,200 pages of Atlas Shrugged or even the 680-page The Fountainhead beforehand, so I did what any self-respecting journalist would do: I called up a friend. “Quick, can you explain Ayn Rand’s personal philosophy to me in one sentence?” I asked Fahad Siadat, a professional musician who just finished reading Atlas Shrugged. I know this because he’d cornered me at a dinner party and told me all about it. Which is what people tend to do when they’ve just discovered Ayn Rand.

See the full article for more.

WSJ: Remembering the real Ayn Rand

Writing at the Wall Street Journal, Donald Luskin has an excellent article “Remembering the Real Ayn Rand” that begins by discussing the new movie:

Tomorrow’s release of the movie version of “Atlas Shrugged” is focusing attention on Ayn Rand’s 1957 opus and the free-market ideas it espouses. Book sales for “Atlas” have always been briskâ??and all the more so in the past few years, as actual events have mirrored Rand’s nightmare vision of economic collapse amid massive government expansion. Conservatives are now hailing Rand as a tea party Nostradamus, hence the timing of the movie’s premiere on tax day.
When Rand created the character of Wesley Mouch, it’s as though she was anticipating Barney Frank (D., Mass). Mouch is the economic czar in “Atlas Shrugged” whose every move weakens the economy, which in turn gives him the excuse to demand broader powers. Mr. Frank steered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to disaster with mandates for more lending to low-income borrowers. After Fannie and Freddie collapsed under the weight of their subprime mortgage books, Mr. Frank proclaimed last year: “The way to cure that is to give us more authority.” Mouch couldn’t have said it better himself.

See his full article for much more, including a sensible discussion of the ways in which big businessmen are often no friends of capitalism and the ways in which Rand was neither a conservative nor a liberal.
Mr. Luskin is co-author with Andrew Greta of a new book, scheduled for publication next month, titled I Am John Galt: Today’s Heroic Innovators Building the World and the Villainous Parasites Destroying It. Judging from this article, I guessing it’s pretty good.

Hedge-fund manager Barry Colvin raises funds for ARI outpost in NYC

A new article in the Wall Street Journal begins:

Forget tea leaves: Wall Street is turning to Ayn Rand for guidance.
Hedge-fund manager Barry Colvin has raised $60,000 to start a Greater New York outpost of the Ayn Rand Institute, the first chapter in the country for the Irvine, Calif.-based nonprofit dedicated to the late free-market philosopher and novelist.
“The idea is on-the-ground reconnaissance,” said Mr. Colvin, vice chairman of Chicago-based Balyasny Asset Management. Mr. Colvin contributed the bulk of the funds but rallied donors for the rest.
“It’s our civic duty to pound the table about making people challenge their own ideas behind what they think the role of government should be,” he said.
As a kick-off, Mr. Colvin will co-host a series of debates next month on freedom, government and capitalism with Demos, a public-policy research and advocacy group based in New York.

Ayn Rand popular among high school students at the Long Island "Ethics Bowl"

A new article “At Ethics Bowl, L.I. Teenagers Debate Slippery Issues” in the NY Times begins:

Ethics are a good thing, and almost everyone is said to have them. But by some accounts, they are like muscles in the brain, strong or atrophied, depending on exercise.
So consider the second annual Long Island High School Ethics Bowl, held on Saturday, a form of contest among athletes of ethics â?? students from eight high schools who spent a full day thinking up a sweat over the blacks and whites and grays of right and wrong.

And ends:

Do they read Aristotle on self-realization, Epicurus on the dangers of self-indulgence?
Many of the students interviewed mentioned Ayn Rand, the libertarian philosopher-novelist, as their favorite philosopher.

See the full article for more background.

Ayn Rand on cover of National Review

The new issue of National Review (dated August 30, 2010) has a hit piece cover story about Ayn Rand, written by Jason Lee Steorts. The cover says “Ayn Rand Reconsidered: A Greatness Stunted by Hate.” The editorial blurb says “The Greatly Ghastly Rand. In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand looked out and showed us the world of men as she sees them. And she sees them viciously.”

Ayn Rand: The Wired Interview

From the introduction at

I’m a month late on this, for the spotlight of public attention, but I have an Ayn Rand story, too. 11 years ago I blind-pitched Wired magazine an ill-defined article on Rand. In response, they asked me to write an “interview” with her, where I would come up with all of the questions and then cobble together her answers from things that she had written and said (she died in 1982). Fun! Around the same time, they published similar “interviews” with Nicola Tesla and Mark Twain under the rubric “The Wired Living Archive.”
I had a great time researching and writing it, and although they never published it, they must have seen something they liked in it because I started working at Wired the following year. Meanwhile I never did anything with it. But re-reading it now, I like the added time-trip aspect of it. The idea of the article was to make Rand relevant to the current day, of course, but things were different in 1998. Like, the biggest newsmaker was Monica Lewinsky (hmm… I didn’t see much 10th Anniversary coverage of that), and personally, things like the Critical Mass bicycle demonstration had a much larger role in my life than they do today.
Rand was a contradiction-filled woman who hated all contradictions, and whatever fiery, petite actress can succeed in bringing this complex character to life, in the inevitable major studio biopic, is pretty much guaranteed an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Meanwhile, here’s my attempt at bringing Ms. Rand to life.
Note that it’s long– over 4000 words, and written for an editor to cut down. Sources for all quotations are noted as abbreviations inline, with full titles listed at the end.

See the full interview for much more.

John Stossel may kick off his new Fox News show with Atlas Shrugged

From an interesting new interview with John Stossel about his new show on Fox News:

Stossel. How did you come up with that name?
They just sprung it on me.
Tell me a little bit about what the show is going to be.
It will be one subject. The first subject will be maybe Atlas Shrugged or global warmingâ??Atlas Shrugged because I think 50 years ago, Ayn Rand predicted today. It sort of sums up what Iâ??m going to be reporting about.
Ayn Rand predicted what?
Big government, nice-sounding legislation like â??The Preservation of Livelihood Law,â? which mandated that Hank Reardenâ??s production must not be bigger than any other steel mill, to make it a level playing field. Itâ??s silly.
Is that a new law passed by this Congress?
No, but itâ??s what Wesley Mouch, the evil bureaucrat in the book, passed. And what Tim Geithner and what Barney Frank might like to pass.

See the full interview for more.

Reason TV interviews Atlasphere founder Joshua Zader about Ayn Rand's legacy

Reason TV just published a video interview with me titled “Dating in the Atlasphere.”
In the interview, I discuss how the Atlasphere was founded, why Ayn Rand’s legacy is so important, and my own ideas about applying Objectivism to one’s personal life.
The footage is actually from last year, but they delayed publication so they could publish it together with their many other interviews (this week and last week) addressing Ayn Rand’s legacy.
If you have comments, feel free to leave those over on my blog.