Marc Olson

Thanks to a random Facebook-moment, I just found out tonight that Marc Olson passed away last week.

I only knew and worked with Marc for a brief time while transitioning around the Office team, but every conversation I had with him was a delight. One of my big regrets moving out of Office and to Live was that I wouldn’t have a chance to work with and learn from Marc.

I can’t begin to imagine how much he’ll be missed. 

Marc Alan Olson, 1965-2007.

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, and Bioshock

Here’s a snippet from a New York Times article about “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand and how Alan Greenspan, part of the Collective social circle with Ayn Rand, responded to early criticism of the book:

Shortly after “Atlas Shrugged” was published in 1957, Mr. Greenspan wrote a letter to The New York Times to counter a critic’s comment that “the book was written out of hate.” Mr. Greenspan wrote: “‘Atlas Shrugged’ is a celebration of life and happiness. Justice is unrelenting. Creative individuals and undeviating purpose and rationality achieve joy and fulfillment. Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.”

(From Ayn Rand’s Literature of Capitalism – New York Times )

Well, it ends up that I’m currently playing the fantastic game Bioshock for the Xbox 360 right now. Sure, it’s great fun and all and fantastic graphics, but the back story of this underwater city of Rapture is especially engaging for me because it’s about a failed Ayn Rand hero-like figure and this great endeavor he brought about.

The word “parasite” above stands out because it is often referred to in the unraveling story (you find lots of recorded diaries) and posters around Rapture. Rather than “Who is John Galt?” you see “Who is Atlas?” posters.

Just as Ayn Rand wrote about a failed communist community, Bioshock lets you have a peek into a failed Objectivist community and the issues and breakdowns that ensued.

Fifty years in the making…

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Interesting Quote from The Battle of Thermopylae

Last week, I watched the film 300. It was kind of an accident because I just wanted to see how the first few scenes looked (okay) but then I just kept watching it. I enjoyed it. It’s based on a graphic novel around The Battle of Thermopylae. I was reading about the battle on Wikipedia and hit this quote:

“Good heavens! Mardonius, what kind of men are these against whom you have brought us to fight? Men who do not compete for money, but for honor”

(from Battle of Thermopylae – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

Some takeaways for me:

  • I’d love a dose of Spartan culture in our culture. For many it’s too indulgent and too entitled.
  • Another meditation on sacrifice: Articles of Faith Our culture’s slouch toward sloth not whole story.
  • I have totally missed out on knowing about this battle and all the pop-culture references. That makes me sad.
  • When Queen Gorgo sends off King Leonidas with the farewell, “Spartan! Come back with your shield – or on it,” it reminded me of an illuminate quote of Heinlein’s Lazarus Long:
    • “… Roman matrons used to say to their sons: ‘Come back with your shield, or on it.’ Later on, this custom declined. So did Rome.”

I think about that last quote a lot and what it means to be in a state of decline.

Meet Trina, my Daemon


And she can be visited at The Golden Compass Trina page. And you can go to the site to discover your daemon.

I can’t wait for the movie!

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