It's hard to be rational in this chaotic world we live in -- especially if you want to actually date people. Ayn Rand fans have found a solution: the Atlasphere, an online dating site for Objectivists, "where admirers of Ayn Rand's novels from around the world can meet easily and affordably -- 365 days a year -- to network, find shared interests, and perhaps, through our online dating service, even fall in love." Broadsheet's Lynn Harris has written about this site on Salon before, but a recent New York Magazine article redirected it to our attention, and in our harsh economic climate, maybe an Ayn Rand dating site is exactly what we need.
Obviously, I immediately created a profile so that I could see who these people are. I was forced to "characterize my spiritual life" and list my favorite works of art -- aside from those of Ayn Rand, of course. But after all that work, it turns out you don't get much more information about anyone than a name and an age, unless you pay $9.95 a month. And let's face it, I don't actually believe in "rational self-interest" or the "pursuit of happiness," per se. Plus I'm broke. Luckily I did collect a pretty choice sampling of profile quotes, though. Highlights from their article include:
"You should contact me if you are a skinny woman. If your words are a meaningful progression of concepts rather than a series of vocalizations induced by your spinal cord for the purpose of complementing my tone of voice…"
"I am rational, integrated, and efficacious. So far, I’ve never met a person who lives up to the standard I hold for myself (except online)."
"My name is Daniel. I consider myself to be a born-again egoist and I have dedicated the rest of my life to self-improvement. People see me as a socially inept loner because I tend to avoid superficial conversation but actually I love talking to people who like to think (the problem being I don’t know very many)."
Admittedly, it's not the most attractive sampling of young objectivists looking for love, and surely there is some really great guy out there that loves long walks on the beach accompanied by lengthy discussions of laissez-faire capitalism and the central role of reason in perceiving reality. These quotes are just significantly more interesting. Undoubtedly, strictly dating objectivists could get tricky, as compromising your own happiness to make your partner happy would seem to be totally off-limits, and, as we all know, relationships are all about compromise, compromise, compromise. If reason is your driving force, what happens to the rules of dating? Are those silly guiding principles just thrown out the window? And, at the end of the first date, who pays? If your highest moral purpose is attaining rational self-interest, how do you justify splurging on dinner for a dining partner that was objectively boring.