The Atlasphere: Dating Site for Ayn Rand Fans

Randians rejoice! Turns out there's a dating site dedicated to fans and followers of Ayn Rand, where they can discuss all the fine details of Objectivism over dinner.

Claire Suddath of TIME magazine checked it out:

There are about 12,700 dating profiles on the Atlasphere, which Joshua Zader, 37, founded in 2003 after attending a few Rand-related conferences. "I realized that all the single people were using the conferences to search for another Ayn Rand fan they could fall in love with," says Zader, who modeled the site after's pay-to-view profile system. But the Atlasphere also functions as a social network (with some 22,000 nondating profiles) in which members can contribute essays and articles.

I asked Zader how someone who espouses a me-first philosophy can also maintain a loving relationship. "Ayn Rand has a great quote in The Fountainhead," he told me. "She writes that a person cannot say 'I love you' without first being able to say the I."

Link | The Atlasphere

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Well, there is a difference between enlightened self-interest which is ostensibly self-less and your standard breed of inadvertent selfishiness that currently dominates our societies and cultures.

Here is an example of the current brand of selfish-selflessness; "I always try to do things for others and not think about myself, but at the end of the day I feel used and abused because nothing ever comes back to me."

Here is an example of enlightened self-interest; "The more I try to make it about me, the less I actually benefit, the more I make it about others, the more I actually benefit, even if it doesn't appear that way at times."

The same criticism is often launched at utilitarianism, that is that it is selfish. But utilitarianism maintains that the purest form of self-interest is also the purest form of selflessness. Perhaps we might think of it in terms of identity theory; my identity as a person depends on you, therefor to strengthen my own identity I should strengthen yours. The stronger you identify as an underling, the stronger my identity as overlord.
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And anyway: that's the strength of capitalism. If you don't like something, no one's making you watch it. But feel free to trash millions of people who do enjoy it.
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Well, Melphistopheles, I saw the movie this weekend and thought it did a pretty fair job of bringing the novel to life. "By all accounts" probably doesn't take into account those who actually read the book and understand it, and we were pretty much expecting this to get trashed by the media. And I quit listening to anything Roger Ebert had to say years ago, which I guess makes me no better than someone who trashes a movie or a book without having seen it or read it.
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One imagines that because of their "me first" and "selfishness is the greatest of virtues" philosophy, they'd be rotten dates, and even worse as lovers. Then put two of them together, and watch the sparks fly! At least they'd have someone to go see the by all accounts unwatchable movie of "Atlas Shrugged". Be sure to go read Roger Ebert's excellent, hilarious review of this, pardon me, trainwreck.
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