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Jason Crawford on Free Objectivist Books for Students

Radio Interview: Wednesday, 29 May 2013

I interviewed Jason Crawford on "Free Objectivist Books for Students" on Philosophy in Action Radio on Wednesday, 29 May 2013. You can listen to or download the podcast 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

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Subjects Discussed

The subjects discussed 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 Radio

I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook. 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 radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.

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