EMyth’s Jonathan Raymond on Ayn Rand

Jonathan Raymond’s concise and frankly brilliant summation of Ayn Rand’s wisdom and folly:

What she had right, in my opinion, were some truths about leadership, self-interest and non-victimhood – the essential truth that it starts and ends with each of us. She helped many get clear about what it means to approach business rationally and without being seduced by “group think.”

The real tragedy was in how narrowly she defined self-interest, positioning it as an “opposite” to service. She couldn’t see how our desires to connect with others, to care and be cared about, are not pathological. That they are always and forever a part of self-interest. What kind of self-interest would possibly ignore the impact we have on our employees, our loved ones, and the world around us?

Jonathan’s full article Atlas Cared is worth reading in its entirety on the EMyth blog.

(Incidentally, I’m proud as punch that EMyth trusts Rocket Lift with their ongoing WordPress website improvements. This is the company that invented small business coaching. They embody what they teach in their day to day dealings, wear their values on their sleeves, and are a dream to work with.)

David Schmaltz: Because and Effect

My friend David Schmaltz writing at www.projectcommunity.com:

One of the systems would crash trying to process some unexpected booger in the data stream, and one of my crew would get a pre-dawn summons from the night shift operator and head into the office to get around the stall. […]

I learned that the most effective midnight debuggers didn’t really care about finding the root cause of these problems.

Read David’s full story and take-aways.

Believing, and Experiencing

In Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Marcus Borg describes how after his Christian upbringing, he rejected his faith tradition and became an atheist, particularly because so much in Christianity hinged on belief, but he could not will himself to believe what his mind couldn’t make sense of. He describes feeling guilt and shame for doubting, but concluding that belief is not subject to acts of will — the mind will doubt what the mind will doubt.

And then, in his mid-thirties, Borg had a series of what I will call spiritual experiences. He doesn’t describe them, but describes their effect:

I realized that God does not refer to a supernatural being “out there” (which is where I had put God ever since my childhood musings about God “up in heaven”). Rather, I began to see, the word God refers to the sacred at the center of existence, the holy mystery that is all around us and within us. God is the nonmaterial ground and source and presence in which, to cite words attributed to Paul by the author of Acts, “we live and move and have our being”.


Being a thinking type, I began studying experiences of God in both mystical and nonmystical forms. I learned that even though these experiences are extraordinary, they are also quite common, known across cultures, throughout history, and into the present time. Gradually it became obvious to me that God — the sacred, the holy, the numinous — was “real.” God was no longer a concept or an article of belief, but had become an element of experience.

Borg’s experiences were just that — experiential. “God” was redefined from something he could not bring himself to believe, to something quite different that he knew first hand.