Ayn Rand fanatic travels to send GPS message

In today’s politically polarized climate, die-hards will do anything to get a leg up in the battle for communication. Larger crowds are sought, along with bigger signs, louder voices and greater media play. The days of slapping bumper stickers on random cars are giving way to more sophisticated stunts, and Nick Newcomen just set the bar higher with an unusual road trip.

Newcomen put 12,328 miles on his car while crossing through 30 states to write “Read Ayn Rand” on Google Earth with his GPS device. Mashable writes:

Newcomen – who explained to Wired that he undertook this mission simply because he is a Rand fan – took more than 30 days to execute this task, using a GPS logger (Qstarz BT-Q1000X) to create the letters. He started in Marshall, Texas, where he began writing out “Rand,” and then drove on (turning off the GPS whilst not writing) until the entire, “Reading Is Fundamental” sentiment was complete.

Ayn Rand’s (rather anemic) philosophy puts forth the primacy of the individual over the group and believes that merit should be the sole arbiter of success. She was also a big fan of keeping the government out of just about everything, which is why many are using her words and works as a rallying cry against the current administration in Washington.

Of course, I’ve always wondered how Rand herself would have felt about the cult of personality that has evolved around her work. She had no shortage of lackeys while she was alive – including Nathaniel Branden and Alan Greenspan – and she seemed to be pretty happy to be lauded. On the other hand, a fairly strict interpretation of her philosophy would result in the criticism of efforts such as Newcomers, as it would encourage people to go accomplish stuff on their own and give up the fanboy fawning.

One final criticism: if he were a real fan, he would have ended his trip to Colorado with a bracelet made from Rearden Metal on his wrist.

[photo via World’s Biggest Writing]