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How on earth did Ayn come up with the idea of free energy as the fulcr

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I'm looking for the origins of Ayn Rand's idea about a free energy motor. Was she involved with the alternative technology crowd in California? Did she have science fiction writer pals that may have inspired this idea?

 

And, is there any reason to select Wisconsin as the location for the 20th Century Motor Company? Did Frank Lloyd Wright have something to do with this location?

 

I find this a question worth answering because there is NO other device/creative artifact that would have given John Galt the power to convince others to join him. This motor is proof that hope is rational. 

 

Any suggestions for further reading would be appreciated.

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People would have joined Galt without the motor.  The motor's fabulous technology serves to ocncretize the power of the mind and the great loss to everyone if the mind is shackled.  As far as the practical uses of the motor they could have used anything.

 

What is hope?  Insofar as it is an emotion it is "rational", i.e. appropriate, according to the context.

 

I vaguely recall hearing somewhere that Wisconsin was considered the most average or typical of American states.  But I don't find that in AR's Journals and not in 100 Voices, so I can't confirm.

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A man's motor consists of his values. Our values cause us to act. The motor is not so much Galt's philosophy as it is his moral values. Each character in the story is an expression of a value brought to extreme. Of course, in Oism morality is based on philosophy and so philosophy is relevant.

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I find this a question worth answering because there is NO other device/creative artifact that would have given John Galt the power to convince others to join him. This motor is proof that hope is rational. 

 

Any suggestions for further reading would be appreciated.

There were 3 people who could act as 'recruiters' to the strike: Galt, D'Anconia, and Danneskjold (Ragnar only theoretically, he never does it 'on stage' i.e. described in the novel).  None of them ever dangled Galt's motor invention as a motivation during a recuitment speech.  Check it.

 

It works on you, as a reader.  Which is why Ayn Rand wrote it in.

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Have you considered the possibility that Rand came up with the idea herself?  If you say otherwise, the burden is on you to document the suggestion.

 

Yes, I think FLlW was in the background when she chose Wisconsin.  She and her husband were guests of the Wrights at Taliesin in October 1945, and the Taggart / Rearden vacation, during which she discovers the motor, takes place in the Wisconsin autumn.  See the Letters and the BB and Heller biographies.  (This is an example of documenting a biographical hypothesis.)

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A man's motor consists of his values. Our values cause us to act. The motor is not so much Galt's philosophy as it is his moral values. Each character in the story is an expression of a value brought to extreme. Of course, in Oism morality is based on philosophy and so philosophy is relevant.

I meant his philosophy of life, not philosophy in the technical sense, which though as you suggest is distinction without a difference oismly ;)

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