This is not my message, although I found a lot to love about Ayn Rand. It’s the message of Nick Newcomen, who believes we’d all be better off if we adopted Rand’s philosophy. (Read about how he did this here.)
I was trying out Google Reader’s new “Play” facility, which seems to pick a bunch of random stuff that may be of interest to you–and I have no idea by what criteria–and show it to you in a really friendly interface that lets you “star” things you like to look at later, or put a smiley face on some things to share with friends. This page showed up.
It made me think of the phrase, “writ large,” which, according to idioms.thefreedictionary.com, is slightly formal, and means “expressed in a bigger or more obvious way. She believed that cultures are just personalities writ large. The genius of the story is that it’s about ordinary life writ large.
Mr. Newcomen went a long way, literally, to send this suggestion to the world. I’m not sure how much of an effect it’s having, but there are several aspects of it that should give other message-bearers, such as aspiring authors, something to think about:
- The message is brief and unambiguous. It wouldn’t have worked as well for “Fyodor Dostoyevsky.”
- It’s an unambiguous command; there is no mistaking its meaning.
- It is dramatic, without damaging the environment.
- Whatever you may think of Ayn Rand, there is no doubt that Mr. Newcomen is well-intentioned.
Now, Mr. Newcomen may make a few bucks if people buy Ayn Rand books through the links on the page. I hope he does. It will take lots of book sales at Amzon’s commission rates to cover the expenses of his trip. But it’s a safe bet that this was not planned as a commercial venture.
I am left impressed with the man’s earnestness, gentleness, and intelligence. If he also offered me a newsletter or other way to stay in touch with him, and sign up for it.
These are good outcomes to which a non-fiction book writer, wanting to promote her or his services, might aspire as well.