Objectivism in the news

The John Galt Corporation is a shell corporation made up of second-handers who sign contracts forbidding them to talk to the press about their shoddy work. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation clearly went with the wrong guy: Howard Roark could have brought down 130 Liberty Street in a single night—and shaken off any petty quibbles about his work methods.

Meanwhile, the much-hyped video game BioShock—a kick-ass shooter inspired by Objectivist philosophy—apparently comes with draconian copy-protection that limits the rights and abilities of the purchaser to install the program as they see fit. It’s quite amusing to see the developer immediately showing signs of caving to the mob. If they were real granite-hewn visionaries, they would recognize that the gamers’ cries of protest are simply part of the courtship ritual, that they really want to be abused and humiliated, and would proceed to have their way with them anyway.

Oh, and while BioShock‘s creator, Ken Levine, had a fairly uninspiring initial response to the copy-protection kerfuffle, he did tell a reporter once that with BioShock:

I’m trying to write about what happens when real people try to do things. The characters in Ayn Rand’s books are paragons. Real people aren’t perfect. That’s the problem with ideologies. Real people carry out ideologies. So even the best of intentions gets screwed up.

Which is more to the point—and more inspiring—than any outsized monologue by Ayn Rand ever was.

ETA: I’m kind of glad I didn’t check Bloglines before writing this. Not surprisingly, the folks at Making Light had already taken the John Galt thing apart and rebuilt it three times over in the span of a few hours. Intimidated by the (usual) high level of conversation, I allowed myself to give in to my Inner Poodle and yapped briefly over there as well.

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