I've recently started taking advatnage of the hour I spend on the road each day by listening to some audio books. Instead of listening to the same old songs on the radio I can catch up on books I've always meant to read or others that just looked interesting.
The first one I picked up at random out of the books on CD at the Library Station was Why Businessmen Need Philosophy. It's a collection of essays on philosophical perspectives of capitalism by Ayn Rand and others. It was pretty deep stuff for me but still very interesting. I'd like for some of my left leaning friends to read/listen to this book and let me know what they think.
One of the topics that stood out for me in this book was the subject of selfishness. Selfishness is a virtue that has been demonized in today's society. Today, we are predominantly taught, it is better to be selfless, to sacrifice yourself for the greater good. Sucessfull business people, through the selfish motives of creating profitable enterprises, create opportunity for others. One of the reviewers on Amazon says it better:
Business people find themselves under continual assault from government regulations, threats of lawsuits and under-appreciation of their positive role. The media, activists, politicians and even many religious officials cling to the cliché of business people as greedy, selfish or operating at the expense of others. The positive virtues of business people-self-sufficiency, responsibility and investment in the future--often are ignored by those who see business people as exploiters, cash cows for the government, or guinea pigs for government social policies.It was a refreshing look at the subject of capitalism.
At work I noticed a book on a colleagues desk that, at least from the cover, looked interesting. It was Malcolm Gladwell's Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking. The subject sounds ground-breaking but overall the book was better as a collection of facts from interesting experiments. One site, which I cannot find to reference, made mention of it as kind of a story of intellectual adventure. The most interesting section described a test that can tell you if you have a prejudice for one race over another. The IAT test measures your reaction time to assosciating words to faces. Try it but don't get too excited if the results aren't what you expect!
I'm currently "reading" (can I say I've actually "read" any of these books?) Orwell's 1984. I pretty well had a good idea of the book just being immersed in geek culture, but had never actually read it. So far I'm enjoying it and catching more references to it in popular culture.
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