August 16th, 2004

Novel method of book advertising

I take a commuter train to work everyday, on what used to be called the Rock Island Line. But some years back, the local commuter railroads got taken over by a local government transportation board called Metra. Anyway, from where I live, it's about a 25 minute ride downtown.

Today, on my way home, we had an unusual announcement over the train intercom. Some woman passenger got on the intercom and started recommending some book. You know how train intercoms are. There's a lot of background noise, especially if the train is clickety-clacking on the tracks. And this woman talked fast and did not enunciate too well. So I can't tell you what book she was selling. But I heard her mention bookstores like Borders and Barnes and Noble.

Why didn't I think of getting some free advertising this way for my own book?

Probably because I'm too law-abiding.

I'm not sure if they arrested her or not. I heard the conductor asking for instructions on whether they should let her just get away with this.

Rhyme of the day:

Intercom spam
makes it hard to relax
to the clickety clacks.

The Objectivist Center

A friend asked me today whether I was still a supporter of The Objectivist Center. Yes! I am!

Probably he asked because I'm friends with Diana Hsieh, who has dissociated herself from the Center. I think very highly of Diana, but I don't see eye to eye with her on this topic. She re-read some of David Kelley's writings about Objectivism, and now is convinced that David got key things wrong, and that this has led to deep problems at TOC.

(The Kelley works in question are an essay called A Question Of Sanction, and a short book originally called Truth And Toleration, but now, with some re-editing, called The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand. The Question of Sanction essay was included as an appendix in Truth and Toleration, and I imagine it still appears at the back of The Contested Legacy.)

I have had my criticisms of the Center. But I have not turned away from it. Heck, I emceed the Center's summer seminar closing dinner.

I didn't agree with quite all of what Kelley wrote in his essay and book. But I agreed with a lot of it, and I liked what I took to be the thrust of it. I have not changed my views on this.