“To say ‘I love you‘ one must first know how to say the ‘I. ‘ Ayn Rand
”The Analytics Game is all about optimizing inspiration-per-minute.” Cassie Kozyrkov, Chief Decision Scientist at Google
One of my favourite scenes in American cinema is this one.
Everyone has their Goliath, their dragon, and their greatest fear. From Odysseus to you, the greatest journey is the search for home: your place in the world.
Welcome! Hi, my name is John Karrys, some call me Mr. Karrys, and I am the son of Greek immigrants who was blessed to grow up in a predominately Jewish neighbourhood in Toronto. For Halloween, I dressed up as Rocky, Michael Jackson, a stockbroker just like Charlie Sheen from the movie Wall Street, and then I grew my hair, wore a bandana, and tried to look like Steven Tyler of Aerosmith. My friends saw me try to backspin and break-dance, or moonwalk like this , try to play Rhapsody in Blue and Great Balls of Fire on the piano, and experiment with different identities. They also saw me vigorously campaign for Michael Dukakis when he ran for president. My childhood was gold, and my quest for goodness was cultivated by the people I grew up with. They will always be in my heart, and I love them dearly.
I stayed gold because of one book: Confessions of a Gold Bug by James U Blanchard III. This book introduced me to Ayn Rand, and I studied every word she ever wrote. Studied, not just read. To study means a detailed investigation, including critiques. She’s the most controversial writer that I know. Like all the greats, there are fans, and there are haters. There are also those that profit from both. I’m not sure whether Objectivists have helped or hurt her. However, she challenged me to discover my I, my fountainhead, and because of her, I mined and discovered my inner gold: Greece. There I found Hellenomania.
I’m fond of fanatics, not the ones who present you with an absurd article of faith and who, holding a knife to your throat, scream at you “Sign or die,” but rather those who, deeply committed to some specific, innocent taste, hold it to be beyond compare, defend it with all their might, who go into street and household, not with a lance but with their syllogistic decree in hand, calling on everyone they meet either to embrace their absurd view or to avow that the charms of their Dulcinea surpass those of every other earthly creature. People like his are droll; they amuse me, sometimes they astonish me. When they’ve happened upon some truth, they advocate it with an energy that shatters and demolishes all before it. Courting paradox, piling image upon image, exploiting all the resources of eloquence, figurative expressions, daring comparisons, turns of phrase, rhythmic devices, appealing to sentiment, imagination, attacking soul and sensibility from every conceivable angle, the spectacle of their efforts is always beautiful. Denis Diderot
“One learns nothing when one reads him, but one becomes something.” Goethe
The people of Greece taught me (feeling emotional) that it’s okay to hold on to your ignorance and innocence as long as possible; just like Socrates, just like Huckleberry Finn, and even like Holden Caulfield. Just like me.
During my hero’s journey, I wanted to convert information into knowledge, virtues into dreams, good work into a life, and hopefully find a soulmate. What I didn’t know is that there were those who were, consciously or unconsciously, gaslighting me and doing everything they could to undermine me or take that childlike innocence away. I was not aware of the notion of status, dominance, and social hierarchies. Furthermore, I was Touched with Fire with bipolar and didn’t have the cognitive behavioural therapy tools necessary to survive the psychopathic workplace. I was an open target. I suffered over twenty relapses, hospitalized dozens of times, even spent one lonely Christmas there, but something inside of me kept saying don’t worry, you’ll get your turn to bat, keep the faith, and so I did. I was also lucky to have a great doctor, and work with fantastic nurses, and therapists. Angels Among Us.
When Greece’s bipolar financial crisis began, academics crafted a narrative, an intellectual hit-job, that the media then sold to the world, as to why economic genocide of the Greek people was just. Just like some lawyers and mechanics know how to lie for cash, some academics or bureaucrats, know how to use academic language to justify debt slavery for others while they keep their jobs. Not everyone has their price, but we all know those that do. The world practised cognitive dissonance, as they watched Greece be over banked. The PIGS acronym was openly derogatory, and used to defame the Greek people.
As human beings, we study books like Elie Wiesel’s Night to prevent any form of genocide. But we were busy watching Greece’s crucifixion on our phones, watching senior citizens cry as they couldn’t get their money from the bank machines and bought the propaganda like media zombies. In most Orthodox icons focused on a crucifixion, too many people are just staring. Do you notice that, why is that?
We overlay the present onto the past so we can seek and destroy that same evil in the present if it arises.
During this pandemic, can you see that evil?
NOW it’s the world that is bipolar, and the pandemic has exposed a dangerously fragile banking, financial and economic system. Suddenly, everyone is in the business of uncertainty. So many textbooks, especially from business schools, should get dumped into any Ocean, right now, and the thought leader experts or charlatans may need to pause, and walk the plank. When you debase money, the intellectual currency gets debased accordingly thus dumbing down education which transfers into no jobs or cash flow. I’m not that smart but this is obvious. The models of education that we subscribed to during the GM years, the scientific models of schools, don’t fit to today’s reality. But the Google model doesn’t have a place either.
Their intellectual bankruptcy is so profound, fake math needs to stop, what is after trillions in debt? The S & P 500 is really the S&P 5? Apple makes more than Canada? They need to stop talking, students should stop getting into debt to pay tuition for these useless institutions that only seem to produce political activists, and social climbers. System is broken so let’s fix it and stop complaining.
Thankfully, my students, who were born after 9/11 and are graduating with this aren’t listening to any experts. They are the DIY generation and I’m so proud of them. There is a glorious rebirth happening as mother nature resets. As I mine for the gold in others throughout the world, I find genius and beauty everywhere. History is being recreated.
James U Blanchard III, my hero, arranged in November 1981 for Ayn Rand to speak publicly in New Orleans with what would be her final speech. The Sanction of the Victims is a very moving lecture that I internalized a long time ago. Ayn Rand was a highly intuitive woman who, like Churchill, knew the psychopathy of evil. She relentlessly deconstructed them to the core; she was ahead by a century. I can’t think of anyone in the 20th century that was roasted by the educational establishment more than her. Why?
Right now, across North America, there are those that feel it is their right to ban books like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, and gradually phase out William Shakespeare.
Ayn Rand knew this would happen in the sixties because these echo chamber archetypes were the same in the Soviet Union, as when she grew up, as they are now. Just like the Greek Civil War, The Cold War never ended; it went underground.
Thankfully, students still get motivated when they are told what they shouldn’t read or what they should think. The spirit of freedom and rights is stronger than ever but so is intellectual and political correctness. But, guess what? In Shakespeare’s day, it was no different. Shakespeare never travelled to America but today I see different kinds of Shakespeares all over the planet that need to be recognized. Hellenomania is for everyone, and it is spreading like wildfire.
They are still afraid of Ayn Rand. Who are they? Those that don’t care about us. Left wing, right wing, I think you know by now that don’t mean a thing. Even now, as a teacher, I’m afraid to say to my colleagues I like Ayn Rand, I believe she had something important to contribute to the history of ideas. Until now, I’ve been paralyzed in fear of being blacklisted.
Until I was Speared? Britney Spears. Take THIS ANTIFRAGILE MOMENT and watch this video in full. I promise, it has overarching implications and relevance.
Did I surprise the reader with mixing Ayn Rand, Greece, gold, with Britney Spears? My students know I can connect Kepler, Einstein, sprinkle some Adam Smith, Mises, then Shakespeare, with a twist of Britney and Fitzgerald. Did something rapture within your interior universe with that connection?
It’s time for all of us to aggressively seek interdisciplinary connections, rise from the ashes and have fun learning again. How many times has Britney risen from the ashes? Yes, I’m a fan, and I when I access my ‘inner Britney’ I’ll read a page more of finance, go to the gym again, and maybe learn something new like horticulture, future strategic analysis or surf through as many echo chambers and subcultures along the way. I’ll try to push through the fear. Try to slay through those passive aggressive emotional vampires trying to keep me down.
From Homer’s Achilles, and his spear, to Socrates and his spears of wisdom, to Shakespeare on through the history of ideas that have spearheaded us a to a better you and a better me, are unsurprisingly, all interconnected. I think Harold Bloom helped me dig a little deeper and learn why Shakespeare, especially, is the invention of the human. I know I’m been thinking a lot about spears.
In my classes, I see plenty of young women and men today from all backgrounds and nationalities who are in touch with their inner John Galt; and that’s how I see Britney. Isn’t the connection obvious? I don’t think my students, or Britney, have read Ayn Rand, of course I don’t know, but they act as if they are a better personification of her characters. They’re strong. The page is their stage. Each day they wake up to confront this Brave New World that was designed for them to extend their childhood, contrary to conventional wisdom, they’re not playing into that social engineering game this time around. They are writing their own scripts. There is a backlash to this social eugenics experiment. Enough people have read 1984 and Brave New World so don’t assume anything is inevitable.
They too are unbroken and will not be told what they shouldn’t read. They are bright and their BS detectors are on high alert, and I get corrected all the time. I don’t mind. They approach each task with the courage and optimism of a Britney Spears comeback performance and they have made sure I don’t break, that I keep my Greek Fire rekindled, and continue to stay gold. I’m not sure if they’re leading me or I”m leading them but it feels like Greek dancing, in a spirited educational sense, and collaborating with a new generation towards producing something better, and this is why I’m so optimistic. Plato didn’t create another Plato. His student was Aristotle; totally different. That was a great precedent for civilization. I never want any of my students to think like me I want them to cross their own bridges and sail their own vessels.
My dad learned about Confessions of a Gold Bug through subscribing to Richard Russell’s famous Dow Theory Newsletters in 1990. He ordered the book through the mail. Once both of us read the book, I started to read the Ayn Rand Lexicon, while he started to buy gold and was constantly mocked, and this is when I knew I needed to study every book or video on the history of credit, money, gold, and look for the gold in others, and forever shine as children do.
I think you might want to watch that Britney video again, within a deeper context, to see the Big Picture, to examine the world through multiple lenses, study the layers of metaphors and imagery, the macro overarching themes, or because it’s fun to really feel the charge in a world that wants us to be beaten down, live afraid, accept dystopia, and never fully come up from slavery.