Some people are really, really into Ayn Rand. You’ve seen them. There are hordes of self-described Objectivists, hacking their way through Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead on the subway. Now those people have the Atlasphere, a dating website just for them.
Disclaimer: I’ve never read any Ayn Rand. I was given Atlas Shrugged as a present once and it’s been sitting on my bedside table intimidating me with its thickness ever since. My ignorance of it aside, Rand’s “Objectivism,” a philosophy of “rational self-interest,” has been enormously influential. From what I understand, it has something to do with being an asshole.
Anyway, now the Atlasphere is here to help Objectivists to meet and fall in love (it’s not just a dating site, but that’s a large component of it). The question is, if your personal philosophy mandates that you be selfish, how do you date?
Time asked Atlasphere’s founder about that. He said, “Ayn Rand has a great quote in The Fountainhead. She writes that a person cannot say ‘I love you’ without first being able to say the I.” What about “Love you,” muttered almost inaudibly as you get off the phone? That counts too, right.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 17, 2011