Promoting ideas

This is an interesting way to promote the ideas you believe in. From the post

Some folks here at Office Nomads have asked me to give a talk. I figured I’d open it up to the public.


  • Location: Office Nomads, 2nd Floor, 1617 Boylston, Seattle.
  • When: Noon to 2pm, October 5, 2010
  • Cost: Proof of a $25 donation to EFF or Fix Congress First. (If you’re tight on cash, let’s talk.)

[Some links removed]

Applied Philosophy – 5 – Conclusion

In the 1st post of this series, I argued that philosophy is difficult. In the 2nd post I illustrated this with the example of Raymond Niles’ article on the poor application of property rights to the electric grid in America. In my 3rd post I argued that the phenomenon of specialization makes the world ever more complex. In my 4th post, I argued that capitalism is politically unstable and that even preserving it (let alone establishing it) requires sustained effort. In this post I want to draw on these observations (and some others) to determine the course of my future blogging efforts.

First, I should clarify that the purpose of this blog is primarily political. While I am interested in understanding philosophy for my own sake, I am not particularly interested in blogging about it. I blog because I consider it the only medium to reach other interested individuals. As an attempt at expanding the audience of this blog beyond Objectivists, I recently joined the portal. Two of my three posts there so far, have generated lengthy comment threads. This has convinced me that it is possible to engage in meaninful debate via the blog-comments medium. It has also convinced me that while the real world has started resembling the fictional world of Atlas Shrugged in many ways, people have not yet started asking “Who is John Galt?” – i.e, they have not resigned to fate yet (The same conclusion could be drawn from the success of Obama’s campaign about hope and change). People are still interested in debating fundamentals. The pragmatism on display everywhere is not total.

The bad state of the world today is primarily a result of the difficulty of philosophy and the failure to apply it properly. It is certainly possible and necessary to find the right answers and convince enough people of them. It is easy to look at the world and become a cynic, to believe that improving it is impossible. But inaction will mean a loss of several things that one takes for granted today. The phenomenon of specialization is not reversible. The incredible complexity in the world economy cannot be unraveled. There is no escape from this enormously entangled world. It is not practical to pursue one’s own interests and remain unconcerned about the direction the world is heading in, especially for those who are young today. If the trend continues, there will be no opportunity left to practise those interests. For all their wrong ideas, the collectivists have one fact right – we are all in this together.

Considering the above, I intend to start two series of posts on this blog. One that addresses some of the most common misconceptions and mischaracterizations of Objectivism and another that explores intellectual property rights.

Today’s Cultural Vacuum

This post began as a reply to a comment on my previous post that said “We must do something about it otherwise it will be too late.” but I decided it was worthy of posting as an entry by itself1. So here goes.

Indeed now is the time to do something about improving our culture. The culture around us today is dominated by people who have seen that the ideals they believed in have failed. Instead of questioning the ideals, they have chosen to reject the necessity of ideals and principles itself. They believe that as long as they do not stick to any principles and do not take any definite stands but keep revising their positions everytime a new angle of some issue confronts them, all will be well. But man cannot live without ideals or principles. Since these men have not questioned their ideals, they still believe in them implicitly, and these ideals still drive the decisions they make, but this time unconsciously. The old leaders and trend-setters of this country atleast had the advantage of knowing what they wanted and of being sure of what they chose, no matter how flawed their ideas were. The cultural leaders of today now live in perpetual doubt, ready to change their stands at a moments notice. They are in the position of men trying to navigate a vast desert who have seen that the compass they had is faulty and decide to depend only on the terrain around them but end up using the faulty compass everytime they get confused. Except that the compass here is a code of ethics and the terrain is a world that gets more complex by the day as technology progresses. It is no wonder that our politics is now dominated by crooks (in place of the misguided do-gooders) who know how to take advantage of the cultural vacuum and the lack of any principled opposition. The time is indeed ripe for those who know the importance of ideals and principles to discover the right ideals, advocate them and take control of the culture. Cultural trends are set by those who dare to set them. Today India is in a position where no one will present any real opposition to anyone who dares to set the trends. If those who have the right ideas fail to set the right trends, the fault will squarely be theirs.

1) Since it integrates the content of some earlier posts and has to do with the purpose of this blog.

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