Saturday, October 08, 2011

Objectivist Links

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays, I like to post a link to The Objectivist Roundup. The Objectivist Roundup is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome, including posts on food and health.

John J McVey hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in seeing the latest and best from Objectivist bloggers, go take a look!

My next live Rationally Selfish Webcast -- where I answer questions on practical ethics and living well -- will be on Sunday morning at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. You can submit and vote on questions, as well as watch the live webcast and join the chat, from

Here are the questions that I'll answer this week:

  • Question 1: Ayn Rand and William Hickman: Did Ayn Rand draw inspiration from the serial-killer William Hickman? I ask due to this article on Alternet: "Ayn Rand, Hugely Popular Author and Inspiration to Right-Wing Leaders, Was a Big Admirer of Serial Killer." According to the article, Rand idolized the serial killer William Hickman and used him as inspiration for the leads male characters in her books, notably Howard Roark. Also, Rand is said to seek an environment in which sociopaths like Hickman can thrive. Are these claims true or not? If so, would they affect the validity of Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism?

  • Question 2: Sustainable Agriculture: Is "sustainable agriculture" a legitimate concept? Many advocates of a paleo diet also advocate "sustainable agriculture," including Robb Wolff and Mat Lelonde. Is sustainable agriculture a valid concept? What does (or should) it entail? Should consumers be concerned that their food producers practice "sustainable agriculture"?

  • Question 3: Product Placements in Art: Is product placement in art a breach of artistic integrity? Given that an artist must select every aspect of an artistic work, does delegating some selection to the highest bidder breach the integrity of the work? Does the type of artwork matter? Would it be okay in movies and television but not paintings? Why?

  • Question 4: Young People and Credit Cards: How can young adults learn to use credit cards responsibly? Some young adults (usually college students) seem to make terrible financial decisions, often getting themselves into serious and overwhelming credit card debt. Others seem to handle their new financial responsibilities just fine. How would you recommend that parents teach their teenage children to use credit cards wisely? What advice would you give to young people headed to college about managing their finances well?
After that, we'll do a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you're unable to attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as NoodleCast podcasts by subscribing in iTunes to either the enhanced M4A format or the standard MP3 format.

Comment Rules

Rule #1: You are welcome to state your own views in these comments, as well as to criticize opposing views and arguments. Vulgar, nasty, and otherwise uncivilized comments will be deleted.

Rule #2: These comments are not a forum for discussion of any and all topics. Please stay loosely on-topic, and post random questions and comments in the designated "open threads."

Rule #3: You are welcome to discuss the merits (or lack thereof) of products. Spam comments will be deleted.

You can use some HTML tags in your comments -- such as <b>, <i>, and <a>.

Back to TOP