A very long list of people have influenced me profoundly and I thank all of them. I wanted to share a list of some of the people who are or were publicly known, so that perhaps you may also enjoy and learn from some of their works.
In my 20’s I read almost every book she wrote, including her four novels and probably a dozen non-fiction works. She had a very positive impact in terms of her sharp and powerful critical thinking methods, and her analysis of unscrupulous people and political ideologies and philosophies, but she probably also had a negative impact in making me colder and more calculating and less tolerant during that time.
Ultimately the deep analytical methods she used helped me unravel her own philosophy she called “objectivism.” She believed that since we receive information about reality as perceptions that cannot be ‘faked’ that we can build a perfect understanding of that reality. This is clearly nonsense because our perceptions are always interpreted through the lens of our prior experiences and composition of our cerebral cortex, most of which we lack the awareness of to understand. This interpretation filter cannot be turned off, which is why everyone has a different interpretation of reality. This doesn’t mean however, that we can’t continually go back and ‘check our premises’ (a phrase she was fond of) and build a framework of knowledge that works and is consistent to us.
Her most famous work is a novel called . It is essentially about an architect’s struggle for individualism and independence, against a foe and others with different agendas. It is a very powerful novel.
Her most ambitious novel is called Atlas Shrugged. It is a work of massive scope, and equally massive number of pages! Some have argued that her own staunch independence and uncompromising ways left the book a lot longer than it needed to be. It probably could be shorter, however, it is a VERY powerful book, and to me, a vastly more impressive and important work than The Fountainhead.
These are just two of her four novels plus a dozen or so non-fiction works. I recommend Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal and The Virtue of Selfishness. Provocative titles indeed!
Whether you find her writing inspiring or infuriating, she will make you think!
Some of my other favorite heroes and mentors.
Arthur C. Clarke
John Spencer (Englsh snooker player)
This will be continued soon…