Friends and Fans — I have retired from my work as a public intellectual, so Philosophy in Action is on indefinite hiatus. Please check out the voluminous archive of free podcasts, as well as the premium audio content still available for sale. My two books — Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame and Explore Atlas Shrugged — are available for purchase too. Best wishes! — Diana Brickell (Hsieh)

Jason Crawford on Free Objectivist Books for Students

Radio Interview: 29 May 2013

I interviewed Jason Crawford on "Free Objectivist Books for Students" on 29 May 2013. Listen to or download this episode of Philosophy in Action Radio below.

The Free Objectivist Books for Students web site aims to help more students read Ayn Rand. It does that by enabling donors to send books by Ayn Rand or about her philosophy of Objectivism to students eager to read them. Jason Crawford explained how the project works – including the unusual way it connects donors and recipients – and why he thinks students should read Ayn Rand.

Jason Crawford is a software developer and entrepreneur in San Francisco. He was co-founder and CTO of startup Kima Labs, and has worked at Amazon and Groupon. He was introduced to Objectivism in 1992 and has been a part of the Objectivist movement ever since.

Tags: Activism, Atlas Shrugged, Education, Objectivism, Young Adults

Note: Alas, the audio quality is less than stellar due to a technical mistake that I made. Sorry!


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  • Duration: 56:04
  • Download: MP3 File (19.3 MB)

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About the Podcast

The topics covered in this episode were:
  • How "Free Objectivist Books for Students" works
  • Why students should read Ayn Rand
  • The statistics: how many books sent
  • Why students want to read Ayn Rand
  • Why can't the students buy or borrow the books
  • The six primary books
  • The most common book
  • Sending to students outside the United States
  • The response of the students
  • The benefit for donors and volunteers
  • How donors select students
  • This peer-to-peer model versus traditional models
  • Ayn Rand on charity
  • The program as self-interested for students and donors
  • Asking students to donate later or lend books
  • Jason's introduction to Objectivism
  • Lessening the effect of luck in finding Ayn Rand's ideas
  • The current bottleneck
  • Expanding the project in future
  • This project as a model for other activist endeavors
  • Advice to people interested in promoting Objectivism in the culture

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About Philosophy in Action

I'm Dr. Diana Brickell (formerly Diana Hsieh). I'm a philosopher, and I've long specialized in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I completed my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. I retired from work as a public intellectual in 2015.

From September 2009 to September 2015, I produced a radio show and podcast, Philosophy in Action Radio. In the primary show, my co-host Greg Perkins and I answered questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life. We broadcast live over the internet on Sunday mornings.

You can listen to these 362 podcasts by subscribing to the Podcast RSS Feed. You can also peruse the podcast archive, where episodes and questions are sorted by date and by topic.

My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck." My second book (and online course), Explore Atlas Shrugged, is a fantastic resource for anyone wishing to study Ayn Rand's epic novel in depth.

You can also read my blog NoodleFood and subscribe to its Blog RSS Feed.

I can be reached via e-mail to diana@philosophyinaction.com.

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