Put down your coffee (if you don't want it coming out your nose) and then read What I Think About Atlas Shrugged. Some choice quotations:
"Rand is an efficient storyteller that way: You know early on what the rules of her world are, she sticks with those rules, and you as the reader are on a rail all the way through the story. ...[I]f you’re in the mood not to work too much, it’s fine to have an author who points dramatically at the things she wants you to look at, and keeps the lights off the things she doesn’t."
"[Atlas Shrugged is] a totally ridiculous book which can be summed up as Sociopathic idealized nerds collapse society because they don’t get enough hugs."
"[T]he idealized world Ayn Rand has created to facilitate her wishful theorizing has no more logical connection to our real one than a world in which an author has imagined humanity ruled by intelligent cups of yogurt. This is most obviously revealed by the fact that in Ayn Rand’s world, a man who self-righteously instigates the collapse of society, thereby inevitably killing millions if not billions of people, is portrayed as a messiah figure rather than as a genocidal prick, which is what he’d be anywhere else... Indeed, if John Galt were portrayed as an intelligent cup of yogurt rather than poured into human form, this would be obvious. Oh my god, that cup of yogurt wants to kill most of humanity to make a philosophical point! Somebody eat him quick! And that would be that."
"[Rand's] claque of enthusiastic nerds certainly seems to be the most energetic, which doesn’t really please me. I wish they could be more like Heinlein nerds, who keep to their own freeholds."
Read the rest. It's fucking hysterical.
(via Brad DeLong)