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Atlas Shrugged - Week 2: Chapters 3-4

csalvato

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Ha, ha. Isn't this essentially THE core question the book raises? I have my thoughts, but can't develop them right now.
Yeah, I think it’s best for previous readers to not weigh in on this yet.

I don’t consider it a spoiler, just a good question for new readers to consider if it hadn’t occurred to them yet, especially because it came up practically in @BizyDad ’s implicit definition of values (assuming your previous assertion on his intentions was correct, @Kruiser )
 

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Primeperiwinkle

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Ya’ll.

People!

I. am. reading. Chapter V.

Y’all!!!

Not one of you stopped me. Not ONE.

“Oh Primeperiwinkle! You’re reading one of my favorite books, a book discussion on a PUBLIC FORUM sounds greaaaat”

Smh. You ppl knew. And you let me start.. Smdh.

This freaking book is raw and intense and and I wouldn’t even want to discuss this with my close friends LET ALONE PERFECT STRANGERS! Except! I want to figure it all out!!

Thankfully for my little romantic heart I have read books finer and more lovely that put this one to shame so I know I will be protected from being swept up into book reading delight and carried away by this.. but whew!

How would anyone younger than 35 bear it?!?

How the heck am I gonna sum up Ch 5?!?

Omg I’m just using this post to ramble.. someone bring me hot chocolate.

THANK GOD for my boyfriend. That is all.
 

Bekit

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Ya’ll.

People!

I. am. reading. Chapter V.

Y’all!!!

Not one of you stopped me. Not ONE.

“Oh Primeperiwinkle! You’re reading one of my favorite books, a book discussion on a PUBLIC FORUM sounds greaaaat”

Smh. You ppl knew. And you let me start.. Smdh.

This freaking book is raw and intense and and I wouldn’t even want to discuss this with my close friends LET ALONE PERFECT STRANGERS! Except! I want to figure it all out!!

Thankfully for my little romantic heart I have read books finer and more lovely that put this one to shame so I know I will be protected from being swept up into book reading delight and carried away by this.. but whew!

How would anyone younger than 35 bear it?!?

How the heck am I gonna sum up Ch 5?!?

Omg I’m just using this post to ramble.. someone bring me hot chocolate.

THANK GOD for my boyfriend. That is all.
Oh no. What are we in for? Are we ALL gonna need hot chocolate for this one?

(To the book discussion leader: does this count as a spoiler?) ...
...
...
Oh wait.
...
...
Never mind.
...
...
...
Couldn't resist ;)
 
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Primeperiwinkle

Primeperiwinkle

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Oh no. What are we in for? Are we ALL gonna need hot chocolate for this one?
Bekit!!!!!!!! We are ALL going to need hot chocolate!!!!!

Thank God you’re in this book discussion!! We need tissues and things to throw and chocolate!!! Sooo much chocolate!! Hahaha..

hugs hugs hugs!!
 

broswoodwork

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Ya’ll.

People!

I. am. reading. Chapter V.

Y’all!!!

Not one of you stopped me. Not ONE.

“Oh Primeperiwinkle! You’re reading one of my favorite books, a book discussion on a PUBLIC FORUM sounds greaaaat”

Smh. You ppl knew. And you let me start.. Smdh.

This freaking book is raw and intense and and I wouldn’t even want to discuss this with my close friends LET ALONE PERFECT STRANGERS! Except! I want to figure it all out!!

Thankfully for my little romantic heart I have read books finer and more lovely that put this one to shame so I know I will be protected from being swept up into book reading delight and carried away by this.. but whew!

How would anyone younger than 35 bear it?!?

How the heck am I gonna sum up Ch 5?!?

Omg I’m just using this post to ramble.. someone bring me hot chocolate.

THANK GOD for my boyfriend. That is all.
Lol... yeah.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

Primeperiwinkle

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Lol... yeah.
I was exasperated at y’all for reading ahead and now? Now I just feel bad for you because who do you guys have to talk to to process this?!??? PLUS I’m going to be able to guess to my hearts content about this ridiculous whirlwind of pride and power and loneliness.. and y’all are stuck drinking a beer.

Js. Not gloating over here too much.. ok I am but.. hahaha..

You poor guys! You must be like desperate to talk about the next chapters! Awww!
 

broswoodwork

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I was exasperated at y’all for reading ahead and now? Now I just feel bad for you because who do you guys have to talk to to process this?!??? PLUS I’m going to be able to guess to my hearts content about this ridiculous whirlwind of pride and power and loneliness.. and y’all are stuck drinking a beer.

Js. Not gloating over here too much.. ok
We're going to all have a few awkward moments together working through the book and Ayn's unique take on... ummm... intimacy(?). 7ef.jpg
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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We're going to all have a few awkward moments together working through the book and Ayn's unique take on... ummm... intimacy(?).View attachment 28574
Rand is a clear mirror reflecting mud. It’s adorable. I got swept up in it for a sec but now I’m seeing the pattern. Finished Ch 6 and Good Ness I wish we could all discuss this book in person! Nuance in these posts is going to be vital.

I would almost pay my orthodox Christian friends to join this convo though so they could help me peel this thing apart. Maybe I can get them to jump in before it’s too late.. hm.
 

BizyDad

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First off, thank you everyone for being so civil, and interesting, and actually having a discussion and not a pissing match. I've been on forums where I challenge someone and things devolve. I'm new, so I didn't know what to expect here. I'm thrilled that wasn't the case. Thrilled.

@csalvato and @BizyDad

My sense is that you guys are talking past each other because you are using completely different definitions of "values."

@csalvato is using "values" to mean that which a person regards as important (or something roughly like that). Using that definition, Dagny (and everyone else in the world) makes decisions based on values.

@BizyDad is using "values" much more narrowly to mean "supposedly other-centered social niceness" (or something roughly like that). In that sense, Dagny is NOT making decisions based on values. But James Taggart is.
I mean values are principles people hold dear. I believe you have a point, but I think our definitions are much closer than what was written above.

Let me take one more stab at this.

To me, there are goal oriented people, value driven people, and others (of which there are several kinds, like emotion driven or the unmotived, etc.).

I believe we all potentially have some of each in us, and we have a primary mode. When I label a character, I am referring to their primary mode; just because someone is "value driven" doesn't mean they never act out of emotion, for example. I'll probably change my mind about James... or anybody really.

To me, Dagny is a planner trying to accomplish a goal. Someone like her might preach "begin with the end in mind".

Others are primarily value driven. They might preach, "do the right things and the money will follow".

I agree Dagny has values. I agree she won't betray them. And she certainly isn't an "ends justifies the means" type of woman although those people are also goal oriented.

I just think, for her, values, aka principles, are secondary and inform her goals, but the primary driver of her decisions is accomplishing a desired goal... save Taggart Transcontinental.

I think the step by step I mentioned bears that out, as she chose the steps in order of least costly (convince Dan to fight and buy time) to most costly (rip up the rails) in an effort to save TT.

Which, under the proposed definition above and even in the screen shot definition, this might be considered a value, (the value of profitability?) I suppose, but I label it a goal.

I predict if she fails at this goal, she will be crushed, whereas a values driven person will hold their head high knowing they did their best.

Lastly, I think generally people are irrational, and values based people tend to not be irrational (hence why I am probably wrong about James, but I don't have a more interesting example), regardless I don't think it's possible for everyone to be "values driven".

I think values driven people are rare and special.

I think @csalvato and I probably have slightly different definitions, mine probably is narrower, and we have two different worldviews. And that's ok. I accused him of imprinting his on these characters, I clearly am doing the same.

Anyways, ain't semantics a b*&^! If we take this too far, it'll turn into a chicken and egg convo (which comes first, the goal or the value), and I can understand the other side, so agree to disagree, I think.

This also raises a philosophical question: are values moral only if they consider and highly regard other people?
No. Self-preservation is moral and individual, as just one example.

I don't believe I am begging the question, so if you can highlight how I've done that I would be interested.

I love when I'm caught in a logical fallacy, since that's when I improve.
Maybe this is better off this thread, but interested if others want to weigh in. Honestly, I'm not sure you were. I've been mulling it over and changing my mind.

The TLDR version, a definition of tautology is saying the same thing twice in different ways, and since something logically can't be the literal cause of itself, deduction... begging the question.

Even if it isn't begging the question, I still don't agree (Logically one cannot be both decisive and indecisive. If indecisiveness is the cause of indecision, and an indecisive person can make decisions, conclusion at a minimum, there must be other causes for decisions besides the character trait of decisiveness. And it kind of falls apart from there...) Again, any further chat is probably best private if it isn't a book thing.

@broswoodwork No spoilers. :rofl: @Primeperiwinkle's walking a fine line there...

@all THANK YOU FOR BEING AWESOME! I haven't had a book discussion like this since college some 20 yrs ago, if ever. Now I'm going to sit over here at the slow reader table, have my :cake:, and eat it too. Nom Nom Nom.
 

lludwig

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We're going to all have a few awkward moments together working through the book and Ayn's unique take on... ummm... intimacy(?).
That's parts of the book I don't get.
 

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Kruiser

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That's parts of the book I don't get.
Rand's treatment of sex is not random. She doesn't add gratuitous sex.

Her treatment of sex is not marginal to her project, but CORE. And it is messed up.

It betrays a fundamentally inadequate and deeply flawed understanding of the human person.

Which NECESSARILY results in a fundamentally inadequate and deeply flawed understanding of political economy...

Wait...

Am I getting too far ahead of myself?

I'll stop...

For now.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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Rand's treatment of sex is not random. She doesn't add gratuitous sex.

Her treatment of sex is not marginal to her project, but CORE. And it is messed up.

It betrays a fundamentally inadequate and deeply flawed understanding of the human person.

Which NECESSARILY results in a fundamentally inadequate and deeply flawed understanding of political economy...

Wait...

Am I getting too far ahead of myself?

I'll stop...

For now.
I sincerely doubt I’ll be able to continue to make any more jokes like this.. but for now I just.. I have to type it..

We’ll all brace ourselves against you and then yell together “don’t stop Kruiser! Don’t you dare stop!”

LMFAO.
 

broswoodwork

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@broswoodwork No spoilers. :rofl:
The next time I read this, I'm out. It's starting to get under my skin to be honest.

I read the book 10-11 years ago, and I was commenting under the discussion leader's remark on the subject matter of the next chapter without revealing a single spoiler.
 

BizyDad

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The next time I read this, I'm out. It's starting to get under my skin to be honest.

I read the book 10-11 years ago, and I was commenting under the discussion leader's remark on the subject matter of the next chapter without revealing a single spoiler.
It won't happen again. I was hoping the emoji would make it funny, but no. Cool.
 

broswoodwork

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It won't happen again. I was hoping the emoji would make it funny, but no. Cool.
Sorry... I'm just being cranky. Don't mind me.

That's my third hand slap for what I'm viewing as cryptic comments or non-spoilers. A pattern is emerging. I learn more with my mouth shut and my ears open anyways, so I'll just follow along more quietly. :)
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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You guys think it would be too much if I drew a map of where everybody’s sitting? That’s prolly too much. It’s just I’m tryna imagine where everybody is..

Sorry... I'm just being cranky. Don't mind me.

That's my third hand slap for what I'm viewing as cryptic comments or non-spoilers. A pattern is emerging. I learn more with my mouth shut and my ears open anyways, so I'll just follow along more quietly. :)
Lol. I’ve been shushing and shaking canes and throwing olives at pretty much everybody in here and it’s only Week 2.
 

gryfny

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I love reading the book and this thread. Thanks for setting this up.
I actually started the book last year but didn't finish. I did think the characters are too extreme, too archetypical. But now with reading your views and insights along with the book I do find it more enjoyable.

What I do notice, when comparing the entrepreneurs in the book to the fast lane mindset, is that the entrepreneurs don't seem to care about creating value first, but really focus on money as their main driver.

For the next chapters I'll try to take more notes so I can contribute more to the discussion.
 

broswoodwork

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really focus on money as their main driver.
What is money representative of in the fastlane philosophy? There may or may not be a dialog by one or more (or less) characters that paints a particular image, or doesn't, of the representative value of money at some point, or never, that lines up very well with MJ's thoughts, or perhaps lines up in opposition, given this is a book about life/ money and production, or maybe it's about something completely different, and none of this is addressed in a 1200 page heroic epic about capitalist titans.

if anyone says the S******-word I will declare war on the universe :D
 

lludwig

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What I do notice, when comparing the entrepreneurs in the book to the fast lane mindset, is that the entrepreneurs don't seem to care about creating value first, but really focus on money as their main driver.
IHMO that’s why many aren’t wealthy.

While it's fine to focus on making money, you need to add value. Otherwise, you'll never get wealthy.


It needs to be a 'win-win' trade. You need to add more value then what people are willing to pay for.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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I think Instagram just passed a type of anti-dog-eat dog rule with the whole “you can’t see likes” on some ppl’s pages.

Why DOES our whole society seem hellbent on demonizing competition? It’s weird.
 

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Kruiser

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I sincerely doubt I’ll be able to continue to make any more jokes like this.. but for now I just.. I have to type it..
See what the book is doing to you already? LOL.
 

BellaPippin

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What I do notice, when comparing the entrepreneurs in the book to the fast lane mindset, is that the entrepreneurs don't seem to care about creating value first, but really focus on money as their main driver.
Well, if you think about it, Taggart is a well established railroad company Dagny and Jim inherit, the one that looked for value and/or money was dad Taggart, at some point.

Rearden and all the other companies already appear as established, Rearden being the least of them because his steel is an innovation, however I think his reasons to create it in the first place is to make a better steel.

I wouldn't say their drive is money, especially not Dagny's, she wants to see her dad's work prosper since she was a kid (it's mentioned). And with the whole Dog rule thing, I think the only ones with money as a driver are the corrupt people like Jim, Boyle, all the government institutions that just seem to not want anyone to prosper if it doesn't directly benefit them.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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Well, if you think about it, Taggart is a well established railroad company Dagny and Jim inherit, the one that looked for value and/or money was dad Taggart, at some point.

Rearden and all the other companies already appear as established, Rearden being the least of them because his steel is an innovation, however I think his reasons to create it in the first place is to make a better steel.

I wouldn't say their drive is money, especially not Dagny's, she wants to see her dad's work prosper since she was a kid (it's mentioned). And with the whole Dog rule thing, I think the only ones with money as a driver are the corrupt people like Jim, Boyle, all the government institutions that just seem to not want anyone to prosper if it doesn't directly benefit them.
This is what’s really all topsy turvy in this book. The ppl who ACTUALLY care about ppl are successful enterprising driven individuals but the book is telling us that the world hates them. Meanwhile the ppl who DONT really care proclaim themselves as “caring for the people”.

So the book is highlighting the plight of successful entrepreneurs who are misunderstood and tired and thirsty for real human interaction where they aren’t condemned.
 

Bekit

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This is what’s really all topsy turvy in this book. The ppl who ACTUALLY care about ppl are successful enterprising driven individuals but the book is telling us that the world hates them. Meanwhile the ppl who DONT really care proclaim themselves as “caring for the people”.
Is that just topsy turvy in the book? Or also in the real world?

I'd argue that this is just a scarily accurate description of what's going on in society.

So the book is highlighting the plight of successful entrepreneurs who are misunderstood and tired and thirsty for real human interaction where they aren’t condemned.
Hence, the creation of the fastlaneforum.com, where all the successful but lonely entrepreneurs can quench their thirst for real human interaction where they aren't condemned.

28589
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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Hence, the creation of the fastlaneforum.com, where all the successful but lonely entrepreneurs can quench their thirst for real human interaction where they aren't condemned.
Now this is interesting. See, the reason I adore this forum is because it’s a BUNCH of entrepreneurs all talking together: giving advice freely and respectfully.

Hmmm.. I know many successful people who are incredibly stressed but I always assume they have friends and family who know how great they are.. because it’s hard for me to imagine them not having that. I see how great they are every time I’m around them. But maybe.. huh. Maybe that’s why they like me, lol, cuz I’m always encouraging them and love on them. I never thought of it that way.. I just know they deserve kindness because the leaders I know are accomplishing so much and have to deal w/ their followers (work, home, church) problems all the time. Huh.

Well. Nobody’s feeling lonely this winter dammit! We’re reading this book and having excellent discussions for the next three months!

Hugs hugs hugs to all of you!

And if nobody’s told you lately you’re awesome! All of you!
 

BizyDad

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Now this is interesting. See, the reason I adore this forum is because it’s a BUNCH of entrepreneurs all talking together: giving advice freely and respectfully.

Hmmm.. I know many successful people who are incredibly stressed but I always assume they have friends and family who know how great they are.. because it’s hard for me to imagine them not having that. I see how great they are every time I’m around them. But maybe.. huh. Maybe that’s why they like me, lol, cuz I’m always encouraging them and love on them. I never thought of it that way.. I just know they deserve kindness because the leaders I know are accomplishing so much and have to deal w/ their followers (work, home, church) problems all the time. Huh.

Well. Nobody’s feeling lonely this winter dammit! We’re reading this book and having excellent discussions for the next three months!

Hugs hugs hugs to all of you!

And if nobody’s told you lately you’re awesome! All of you!
It's been said, and it bears repeating.

Thank you for all you are doing to put this together. You are awesome too, fearless leader.
 
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Primeperiwinkle

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It's been said, and it bears repeating.

Thank you for all you are doing to put this together. You are awesome too, fearless leader.
Ehhhh.. *awkward moment* Ok thanks. Lol. I’ll be happiest if everyone is talking to each other and eating the snacks. :) I’m thankful for the great minds who are helping me think about this book.
 

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