December 20, 2004

HE IS JOHN GALT

I had a thought the other night that would probably make Den Beste cringe, but I realized that I'm glad that he shrugged. He started writing because it made him happy. He got noticed, and more and more people tried to control him. Write about what I want to hear. Make sure you include this angle. No, you're wrong about this minor detail. Maybe if you read Ayn Rand you'd understand. And so on and so on. He started carrying the world on his shoulders, getting more and more burdened by pedantic mail and impossible demands. And finally he shrugged.

Who is John Galt? Den Beste is.

And all of a sudden, now that I think of it that way, it's easier to bear his absence. I'm happy for him, now that the weight has been lifted from his shoulders. I'm happy that he's let go and stopped letting the looters rule his blog. I'm happy for him, and it makes missing him easier.

But now I'm worried about him because he's sick.


(And, yes, I'm relating everything in my life to this book right now. Sue me.)

Posted by: Sarah at 05:00 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 He's local here in San Diego, and he quit because he hated the criticism, as one would. The other side of the coin is that he was wrong about a lot of things. Clearly he's an intelligent man, but a self-taught academic where national security policy is concerned. His opinions tended to lack the cachet of real experience. If one is going to traffic in ideas, one had better be prepared to defend and modify them as necessary.

Posted by: Casca at December 21, 2004 12:52 AM (cdv3B)

2 It's amazing to see all the successes among SDB's sidebar/sidebar alumni. Even more than isolated instalanches, a listing on the SDB sidebar assured (assures?) that a blog will be visited. SDB midwifed entire communities of bloggers and readers. Far more important than "experience" is the ability to think clearly. If you have that, then experience is great, but if you don't have that--which 99.9% of government workers and academics don't--then experience gets you nowhere. You eat sleep piss defecate fornicate in the same old rut. SDB thinks clearly. Is he always right? No. But only a coward or a newborn is totally innocent. And I've seen a lot of newborns that I suspect, from their sinister grimaces and suggestive burps. But following SDB's thought processes is a joy, and provides rewards. When the envious Casca retires will he be missed? Sorry. :-)

Posted by: Rene at December 21, 2004 01:47 PM (3Gxq7)

3 If the object is generating hits, then by all means spout kant. I prefer clarity of thought based in reality, not fantasy.

Posted by: Casca at December 22, 2004 04:39 PM (cdv3B)

4 "I prefer clarity of thought based in reality, not fantasy." What an odd thing for him to say. I wonder if he appreciates the irony?

Posted by: Blythe at December 22, 2004 04:52 PM (KGBmM)

5 Casca: Which of his views on national security policy sbould Mr. Den Beste modify? What were the many things he got wrong?

Posted by: Matthew Goggins at December 22, 2004 04:54 PM (OSvpn)

6 Glenn Reynolds (Prof. Instapundit) linked to Steven Den Beste's greatest hits page: http://denbeste.nu/bestof.shtml The page lists, with links, 64 of the best essays that SDB wrote.

Posted by: Matthew Goggins at December 23, 2004 11:52 AM (OSvpn)

7 Casca, in re-reading your comments, I can't help noticing a mean-spirited attitude: Clearly he's an intelligent man, but a self-taught academic where national security policy is concerned. His opinions tended to lack the cachet of real experience. If the object is generating hits, then by all means spout kant. I prefer clarity of thought based in reality, not fantasy. Are you snarky because you disagree with him, or is there something more driving your distaste (e.g. he ran over your dog once, or you were in a bar-brawl with him)?

Posted by: Matthew Goggins at December 23, 2004 12:09 PM (OSvpn)

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