I spotted this recently.
I guess Ayn Rand’s Objectivism fits the industrial age way better than the world we live in today.
Even if you are lucky enough to create something pretty close to perfect, like Rand, Knuth and Bernstein, you soon figure out that it’s only perfect for a small time window. The world moves on. I don’t use Tex on Qmail any more.. though I like the ideas behind them and I very much respect where they come from.
To be very honest, I never finished any of the three Ayn Rand books I started reading. Why? Well, I kinda get the message.. preaching to the converted, I get it, I get it already! ..but I love her presence and her power with words, principles and morals. Solid stuff.
I’ve always had this conflict between Objectivist thinking and altruism.
Objectivism is for industrialists. It fits.. if you are building railroads or network infrastructure. Which is what I’ve been keeping busy with, in a formal business capacity, mostly.
It does not fit the world of distributed and open software development.. though the meritocratic aspects of her thinking do gel.
A while ago I attended WordCamp in Cape Town. One thing from Matt’s talk that really made an impact (simple as it may be), is the dual business models of WordPress/Automattic. There is the commercial wordpress.com side and the altruistic wordpress.org side. Brilliant model.
So kids, you can be a hardcore industrialists and a wide eyed for the common good altruist.