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Why Objectivism is so unpopular

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6 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

So the premise is that it is impossible to change "older" peoples minds. I think we give up too soon.

"Mostly". As in "most" older minds. It depends on the person, obviously, but yeah; most people over 30, who aren't Objectivists, will probably never be.

I'm speaking from experience. Immediately after I discovered Ayn Rand I shared her with everyone who'd listen to me, assuming that they'd all be as excited about it as I was. Nobody actually was except my little sister (although I learned a whole lot about evasion).

 

I hate giving up on people, too, but if they don't want it then there is absolutely nothing you can do for them. The fact is that they made their minds up a long time ago and most of them really don't appreciate anyone or anything that calls for them to change them.

 

That's why we need to focus on young people. 

A kid's TV show would actually be ideal (something like the Magic Schoolbus with the occasional deep-thinking activity thrown in periodically) but in today's political climate they'd probably kill it with legislation after the first season.

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2 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

A kid's TV show would actually be ideal (something like the Magic Schoolbus with the occasional deep-thinking activity thrown in periodically) but in today's political climate they'd probably kill it with legislation after the first season.

Well, say more about this. Five minutes of one of the episodes.

I think you are right, but it has not been done for the last however many years after her death.

It may be more difficult than it seems.

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3 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

I hate giving up on people, too, but if they don't want it then there is absolutely nothing you can do for them.

Well, you can join both Republican and Democrat internet groups, argue for whichever side is correct on that day's issue and give them the reasoning for why they're right. IDK if it actually does anything at all but it's a nice change of pace from being universally demonized.

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13 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Well, say more about this. Five minutes of one of the episodes.

I think you are right, but it has not been done for the last however many years after her death.

It may be more difficult than it seems.

Okay. One second.

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

Well, say more about this. Five minutes of one of the episodes.

 

It'd start out with some kid (let's call him "Will") eating breakfast with his mom and dad. He'd listen to them talk about the weather or bills (etc.) and they'd ask if he was excited for his first day at school and he'd give a non-committal kinda "yes", and after about a minute they'd all get up, throw their dishes in the incinerator and go outside.

Outside there would be flying cars, massive buildings that don't seem possible, androids walking down the street and just a few blocks away a skyscraper, stretching far beyond the clouds and making some loud sort of ascending noise. His dad would make a mildly displeased comment about missing the 7:25 before his parents walked him down into the skyscraper and inside of something that looked like a Subway car standing on one end, strapped him into a seat between two other children and kissed him goodbye.

After a few seconds he'd introduce himself to the other kids and they'd talk for a while about their parents' jobs before being interrupted by a countdown over the intercom, followed by that loud ascending noise and lots of vibrations. One kid would try to make a joke about it (which everyone would pretend to laugh at) and as the interior of the skyscraper sped past the windows they'd all fall silent. Over the course of about thirty seconds you'd see beams and girders flying past at a steadily-accelerating rate and then suddenly there'd be nothing out the window except bluish-white, slowly fading to black.

A bit later the noise and vibrations would stop, the voice on the intercom would give them permission to unbuckle themselves and they'd all do so. A game of zero-G tag would probably ensue. Then their teacher would come in, welcome them all to the orbital ring, give them a few tips on moving around without gravity and invite them to follow him to the classroom. As they filed out of the space elevator some benevolent and overly-chivalrous kid would be holding the hatch open for everyone, but accidentally release it onto Will's fingers. He'd yell and cradle his hand for a minute (obviously determined not to cry in front of girls), the poor kid who'd dropped the hatch on him would be on the verge of open blubbering, the teacher would investigate and make sure everything was okay before rubbing a "topical anesthetic" on his hand. After a brief pause Will would marvel at that, openly; asking how it worked.

 

This would prompt an explanation of nerves, for a while, back in the classroom. The teacher would demonstrate that knee-jerk reflex test on the jokester (he volunteered), explaining how the brain is where thinking happens and how some efferent nerves are built straight into the spinal cord but most of them won't fire without an impulse from the brain, itself: "which is why your arms and legs can't move themselves unless you think them to - which is a very good thing, indeed!" And they'd learn how certain kinds of stuffs (like anesthetics and chocolate) can do very funny things to neurons. He'd briefly mention that the human brain is completely made out of neurons and that the human brain is the most complicated and amazing thing we've ever found before.

A somewhat grubby-looking girl, in clothes clearly inferior to the others', would've been floating by a window and looking down on the Earth this whole time. She'd sigh wistfully, then, and say: "this place is pretty amazing to me. How is any of this even possible?"

Hearing that, the teacher would chuckle: "What makes it possible? My dear, it's all a matter of figuring out what things are. What any thing is ... and what it could be..."

She'd spin around to face him with an astonished "what?!?!!" to which he'd respond "oh, my! It's time for lunch!"

 

Lunch would include a musical number (by Phil Collins, of course) Every episode would center around a different member of the class. If I ever see this on TV, without my permission - good for you! The world needs more of it!!!

I'll be here all week!

 

P.S:

Yes, there is an excellent reason to put a school on an orbital ring: because it would be fucking awesome.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
PostScript

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14 minutes ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

Lunch would include a musical number. Every episode would center around a different member of the class. If I ever see this on TV, without my permission - good for you! The world needs more of it.

I'll be here all week!

 

Okay, you have the talent and the passion and this is educational with some Objectivist principles. But one question still remains. How do kids/parents make the connection to Objectivism, or does that matter?

And you took up the challenge and actually "did something". I can't help but respect that. 

Now, between what you have and a TV or other media version, you either can do all aspects alone or you need a team. You also need perseverance. Is this the limit of your contribution or will you be willing to do more?

Sometimes public domain is good and sometimes fewer people want to join your venture.  You might be able to create a crowdfunding campaign to fill in the gaps. Maybe you may need a topic solely dedicated to this. You know best.

Time will tell, but in 3 years, people will look at your post and they may ask you, did you do it or not. If you did it, then maybe Objectivist can find ways to spread the word by repeating this type of thing.

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2 hours ago, Harrison Danneskjold said:

A kid's TV show would actually be ideal (something like the Magic Schoolbus with the occasional deep-thinking activity thrown in periodically) but in today's political climate they'd probably kill it with legislation after the first season.

I understand the fear of legislation, generally -- but imo, something like you've proposed (and especially the sample) would have no problems. And it's never been more possible, given how the internet has allowed content providers to access the public almost directly.

A "collective" of Objectivist artists dedicated to creating content like this for the web (via YouTube, webcomics, whatever) could be financed via crowdsourcing and never have to actually meet-up to produce, given Skype and all of the other amazing resources available today. It might even work on some cable channel, or a streaming service, but I don't think that's even necessary.

The dedication should be to quality entertainment (and education), and the most important aspect is: passionate creators.

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16 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

 

15 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

And you took up the challenge and actually "did something". I can't help but respect that. 

Thank you. I did want to write fiction at one point.

 

15 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

How do kids/parents make the connection to Objectivism, or does that matter?

If that show runs for a few years without any incident then maybe we mention it in a couple of episodes. Otherwise, we don't. Although, if it were aired in conjunction with a few well-placed commercials for Objectivism (like the ones I've seen for Mormonism) what else could you ask for?

 

15 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Sometimes public domain is good and sometimes fewer people want to join your venture.  You might be able to create a crowdfunding campaign to fill in the gaps. Maybe you may need a topic solely dedicated to this. You know best.

No; I just pulled that out of my own ass in an hour or two.

It's not mine. You don't even have to consider me if you (or anyone else) wants to do any conceivable thing with it, but neither do I have to do anything to help you.

I have my own dragons to slay.

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15 minutes ago, DonAthos said:

I understand the fear of legislation, generally -- but imo, something like you've proposed (and especially the sample) would have no problems. And it's never been more possible, given how the internet has allowed content providers to access the public almost directly.

Well, if it's an internet thing, I want nothing whatsoever to do with the animations. You'll need someone else for that.

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1 hour ago, Easy Truth said:

Now, between what you have and a TV or other media version, you either can do all aspects alone or you need a team. You also need perseverance. Is this the limit of your contribution or will you be willing to do more?

Well, Goddamnit, that is not my limit but I am not doing it all by myself!!!

I will write, direct, voice-act and maybe ask strangers on Patreon for help (maybe) and that's it!

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
Specifying My Precise Limits

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On 10/1/2017 at 4:03 PM, Harrison Danneskjold said:

All we really need is saturation; as much of it as possible. If the older generations are mostly beyond help then let's just make sure everyone in America under 20 years old knows the word "Objectivism" and where to go to learn more about it.

And then we wait.

I agree with this, as I've said previously.

I think another tactic that would help is persuading people who have an influence on society to take Objectivism seriously. The credibility of the speaker is a big influence on whether an audience will agree with them. Within our own movement, when Peikoff makes an argument for something, I'm sure you've noticed that that has an influence on what Objectivists think. So, for example, when a politician mentions Ayn Rand in a positive light, I would imagine that that's helpful for Objectivism's image with people who like that politician.

A variant of this is the influence that parents or older siblings often have on their children or younger siblings, respectively. This is why it could be worth mentioning Objectivism to your family members.

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On 11/3/2017 at 9:53 AM, William O said:

The credibility of the speaker is a big influence on whether an audience will agree with them.

It works the same way for the reverse, too. 

My mom had read AS in college and hated it. At one point, a few years ago, she railed against it for a passionate 20 minutes or so ... Which prompted my rebellious little sister to read it (and she adored it).

It's not necessarily a bad thing when obviously corrupt hypocrites spread lies about us; if their audience is intelligent they'll see it for what it is.

 

Let them tell people we're all monsters and baby-eaters so long as they do tell people about us.

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On 9/16/2017 at 7:31 AM, softwareNerd said:

I think the problem really starts because self-improvement is not the focus.

...  ...

The primary focus of the individual should be "How to Live a Happy life". The rest is essentially useless if it is does not contribute to that happiness.

One more group following this approach (after Undercurrent and some local groups took the lead) is The ObjectiveStandard. The focus of their 2018  gathering are topics that are primarily about "flourishing" , building a career, investing wisely, etc. 

This is aimed at Objectivists. One day, if the appeal is larger -- if people hear about this great "how to build your career" lecture and if they want to consume that output of advice, even though they don't know about Objectivism -- that would be a huge stride. It would be analogous to people who love the Fountainhead, but are not Objectivists.

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The strong prevail. Objectivists are perceived as weak, unwilling to enter the fray. Nobody wants to be weak. That's why we have to engage the enemy and destroy him intellectually on his own turf. We have to attack. The best defense is a good offense. If you want to go off and figure out how to be a good Objectivist and live a happy life away from the front lines, that's fine. But if you want to enter the battle and push back the forces of collectivism, that, in my view, is the best way to be perceived as strong and thus attract more people.

Edited by MisterSwig

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