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Atlas Shrugged #32 on Amazon Bestsellers List!

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When the NY Times article was published yesterday, the author claimed Atlas was #388 on Amazon's bestsellers list.

A day later, it is #32. This is not a coincidence. The NY Times article has been the most emailed and blogged about article on the site since yesterday. The article did wonders apparently.

When a 50 year-old book can stay within the 400's on Amazon's bestsellers list, that is quite a feat. When it can leap to #32 in a day, that is purely incredible.

Check it out here!

It is so exciting!

Edited by Mimpy
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This is exciting indeed! It is as if we are seeing the culture changing before our eyes. Hopefully this publicity will also further progress on the movie.

From the looks of the rest of the top sellers, we will have a while to go before the culture changes. Consider these other best sellers that harbor various forms of irrationality:

3.) Laura Ingraham's Power to the People -- seems to be another book about how Republicans are correct on every single issue.

7.) Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light -- no further explanation of this books irrationality is necessary.

16.) The Weight Loss Cure They Don't Want YOU to Know About by Kevin Trudeau -- another best seller by USA's most infamous scam artist.

23.) The World Without Us by Alan Weisman -- a book that is beloved by the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.

There is work to be done in changing the culture.

Edited by DarkWaters
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For people like me, who have as a long term goal in their lives, the active advancement of Objectivist principles, this is a great boost of hope. I think there is no doubting the effect of the Romantic style of writing - people do like heroes, real human heroes, conquering real, identifiable, evil.

I think I may have to continue writing my play. B)

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23.) The World Without Us by Alan Weisman -- a book that is beloved by the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.

There is work to be done in changing the culture.

That wasn't the point Weisman was making. The point he was making is that the world as we know it will not last very long without constant maintenance and refurbishment. The world without humans will soon become overgrowth. Humans are what keep the weeds at bay.

Bob Kolker

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It's got to be a combination of Drudge and the NYT. Drudge gets lots of hits and he highlighted that article atop his page. In fact, almost everywhere it was mentioned to me either directly or via a forum the person who found it found it on Drudge first.

The game Bioshock may be more significant. I'm guessing it reaches a much larger audience world wide and it requires hours of focused play. Rush has also mentioned it on his radio show (20 million listeners), quoting large excerpts with glowing approval, so this is not entirely new. It's great news, just the same.

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That wasn't the point Weisman was making. The point he was making is that the world as we know it will not last very long without constant maintenance and refurbishment. The world without humans will soon become overgrowth. Humans are what keep the weeds at bay.

Then why did he call the book "The World Without Us" and not "The World Desperately Needs Us"?

Just about every single review of this book on Amazon.com describes this book as a pop-science hypothetical universe where humankind disappeared without a trace overnight. There are numerous reviews (e.g. [1], [2] [3]) that relish mankind becoming extinct from its failure to serve as the proper caretaker to God's creation or just seem to be taking Environmental Fundamentalism to its logical conclusion.

Perhaps there is some value in this book for engineers who are curious how long the creations of man can last without routine upkeep, but they do not appear to be the largest audience who are applauding this book.

If the author intended to make a point about the necessity of mankind for routine maintenance of his creations, it is not apparent from the books advertisements. I also do not wish to implicate that the author is necessarily an environmental extremist; this appears to be his first work of this kind. The main point I wanted to make is that this book is predominately selling because of alarmingly irrational reasons (amusement at the idea of nature undoing all of the products of man's mind.)

Edited by DarkWaters
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When the NY Times article was published yesterday, the author claimed Atlas was #388 on Amazon's bestsellers list.

A day later, it is #32. This is not a coincidence. The NY Times article has been the most emailed and blogged about article on the site since yesterday. The article did wonders apparently.

When a 50 year-old book can stay within the 400's on Amazon's bestsellers list, that is quite a feat. When it can leap to #32 in a day, that is purely incredible.

Check it out here!

It is so exciting!

Exciting indeed. It is down to 36 now, but that is still an increase of 356 compared to before the article. That is an massive increase and a fair few extra people being exposed to the brilliant ideas of Atlas Shrugged.

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That should be easy, just purchase 10,000 copies for yourself. B)

I could try that...but I think it might be just a little too expensive :lol:

I was thinking that since I want to try spread the philosophy further in this country 9before I one day hopefully get to move to the States ) I could promote the book through my Objectivism club I want to set up perhaps give away the odd copy or three to those that seem inclined to show interest. I hear that sort of thing has worked for some people before.

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No, her books are very hard to find. To my knowledge, bar one online store, only the three Borders stores in NZ (yeap we have Borders here too, they seem to do well, at least in Auckland as a great source of otherwise nearly impossible to get books), seem to stock them, and usually only a few copies at a time. Though you can get Borders to ship them in from overseas if you wish.

There are other fans, but the ones I know of are not the sort of people that I want to spend time with. I am hoping that when I start my club I might meet the sort that I would like to associate with.

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No, her books are very hard to find. To my knowledge, bar one online store, only the three Borders stores in NZ (yeap we have Borders here too, they seem to do well, at least in Auckland as a great source of otherwise nearly impossible to get books), seem to stock them, and usually only a few copies at a time. Though you can get Borders to ship them in from overseas if you wish.

There are other fans, but the ones I know of are not the sort of people that I want to spend time with. I am hoping that when I start my club I might meet the sort that I would like to associate with.

I am not certain if it applies to colleges outside of the states but it would be worth looking into getting the free loaner audio and video tapes as well as the free pamphlets ARI makes available if you start a club there. They might help get the club off the ground a bit. They are offered free of charge here. Perhaps if nothing else they would be willing to provide them for the price of shipping. Good luck!

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The main point I wanted to make is that this book is predominately selling because of alarmingly irrational reasons (amusement at the idea of nature undoing all of the products of man's mind.)

Eh. That actually makes me kind of want to read that book.

And by the way, being amused by the idea does not mean you wish for it to happen, or that it is irrational. It is more or less the same as someone enjoying a post-apocalyptic fiction.

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Then why did he call the book "The World Without Us" and not "The World Desperately Needs Us"?

Perhaps there is some value in this book for engineers who are curious how long the creations of man can last without routine upkeep, but they do not appear to be the largest audience who are applauding this book.

The author did not -advocate- the disappearance of the human race. He -hypothesized it- and then examined some of the consequences.

The author is hardly responsible for who did or did not applaud his work. I am sure the author had his own agenda, which I suppose to be the examination of a hypothetical situation.

Let me ask YOU a hypothetical. Suppose someone writes a book describing what would happen to the human race if an asteroid the size of the one that wiped out the dinosaurs struck the earth. Would you conclude that he was wishing or hoping such an asteroid would strike?

I wouldn't. I would suppose that it was a cautionary essay and probably a good reason to keep close watch on earth orbit crossing bodies of considerable size. It would also be the basis of making plans to either divert such a body or find ways of hunkering down and having some of us survive the damage, so we would not go the way of the dinosaurs.

Bob Kolker

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Eh. That actually makes me kind of want to read that book.

And by the way, being amused by the idea does not mean you wish for it to happen, or that it is irrational. It is more or less the same as someone enjoying a post-apocalyptic fiction.

It all depends on the reasons why you enjoy the fiction. I really enjoyed the remake of Dawn of the Dead.

Anyway, I am figure you disagree with my statement above. I remember you insinuated in the Michael Vick thread that you are against making moral judgments on anyone who does not initiate force. (Please correct me if you perceive that this does not represent your view.) We might as well not enter a similar argument here, applied to a different concrete, when we both already know our disagreement in more fundamental principles.

The author did not -advocate- the disappearance of the human race. He -hypothesized it- and then examined some of the consequences.

The author is hardly responsible for who did or did not applaud his work.

I agree with all of this.

I must have been misunderstood. I did not intended to indicate that the author is consciously advancing the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement or even just environmental fundamentalists. However, I think that members of those groups are enamored with his book, which is resulting in it receiving a lot of attention.

When I listed those books, they were all meant to be examples of purchases that were largely driven by irrational values. The success of Alan Weisman's book is being driven by the success of the radical Environmentalist movement.

Suppose someone writes a book describing what would happen to the human race if an asteroid the size of the one that wiped out the dinosaurs struck the earth. Would you conclude that he was wishing or hoping such an asteroid would strike?

Not necessarily. It would depend on why the author wrote it. In Lucifer's Hammer, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle did not implicitly support an asteroid collision with the planet. Similarly, by writing Atlas Shrugged, does not mean that Ayn Rand hoped that the planet would be ravaged by Statism, Altruism and Kantian philosophy. Such books can still have great heroes worth cheering for, an exciting plot and excellent character development, which could qualify them as good forms of art.

I wouldn't. I would suppose that it was a cautionary essay and probably a good reason to keep close watch on earth orbit crossing bodies of considerable size. It would also be the basis of making plans to either divert such a body or find ways of hunkering down and having some of us survive the damage, so we would not go the way of the dinosaurs.

This sounds like a decent reason too.

Edited by DarkWaters
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Well Atlas has dropped a bit on the Amazon ranking (around #80 now) but, on the bright side, it sold out. Availability is "one to three weeks" :)

It was like that from the day it made the huge leap. Amazon was never expecting such an increase in sales for a fifty-year old novel! The fact that the novel has dropped in rank is obviously most probably because the fervor of the article has subsided. However, it could very much be so that many people are interested in buying the novel but don't want to wait up to three weeks to receive it from Amazon. Since AS is surely available in every major bookstore, I would bet that many people simply went out and bought the novel.

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Just to clear up some potential confusion, Amazon keeps quite a few lists.

Today and within the last hour, _A.S._ isn't anywhere on the top 100 of the general list of books.

On the other hand, when I went to the specific page for the Centennial Ed. HC version, I found the following:

#3 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Authors, A-Z > ( R ) > Rand, Ayn

#3 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Classics > United States > Rand, Ayn

#20 in Books > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics

...so (wait for it!) ...it depends on the context of your search. (I just _had_ to get that in there. :) )

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  • 1 month later...
According to this press release, about 5% - 11% of adults in the U.S. have read Atlas. In general, readership was higher in the above-median income groups (but that probably reflects on reading in general, rather than specifically on reading of Rand). One interesting statistic reported was that over 35% of passport holders have read Atlas.
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