It’s probably pretty revealing of the understanding that Ayn Rand had of the mechanical world that her genius’ greatest invention in Atlas Shrugged was a perpetual motion machine.
Now, admittedly, Ayn Rand never uses the phrase “perpetual motion” in the novel. Instead she whips up a concoction that never needs recharging because it collects the static energy from the atmosphere around it. The charge of creating a perpetual motion machine comes into play when Dagny Taggart observes that the engine “could run forever and never need recharging.” That, in a nutshell, is a perpetual motion machine or engine.
This conceptualization reminds me of the Zero Point Modules or ZPM’s used in later years of Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. A technobabble workaround for the vast amounts of energy needed to power the gates, shields and weapons in that fictional universe. But at least those writers admitted that the modules, which drew energy from other spatial dimensions, did eventually run out of juice. They appear to be interdimensional disposable batteries, since the writers never got around to explaining how the modules tapped the energy, or how they could be recharged or even created in the first place.
It’s possible that the ship in Stargate Universe siphoned the energy from stellar fusion directly into ZPM’s, but they didn’t have much of a chance to technobabble about how Destiny stored the energy it drew from flying into the photosphere of a star and collecting plasma before SyFy canned the series.
OK Objectivists, Libertarians, etc. I know you are on my friend’s list because I used to be one of the strongest supporters of Rand that I knew. Is there anyone willing to tackle this video? I think he makes solid points against Rand and Selfishness. OTOH, I never will accept that selflessness is a thing to be desired or striven for.
There has to be a middle ground, and I think that “common good” probably describes what that middle ground might look like. Thoughts?