Update on The Atlas Project: Gearing Up for September 2

In a previous post I introduced readers to The Atlas Project, a weekly chapter-by-chapter online discussion group celebrating the 60th anniversary of Atlas Shrugged. The main components of the project are a Facebook discussion group and a Facebook Live broadcast from the official Atlas Shrugged Facebook page. The first live broadcast will take place at 5:30 p.m. Pacific/8:30 p.m. eastern on Saturday, September 2, with subsequent broadcasts every Tuesday night at the same time.


You can now download a PDF of the 2017-2018 reading plan and sign up to receive weekly emails with discussion questions and reminders about upcoming sessions. If you sign up for that weekly email, don’t forget to include information on your whereabouts: we can use that information to pair you up with others in your area who are interested in meeting with local people to discuss and participate in the Project.


The main purpose of the Project is to create a quality study resource for future generations of readers. But we also hope that in developing study resources that generate discussion online, we will help foster the creation of local, in-person discussion groups, groups that might become the seeds for future Objectivist community groups.


To foster local groups, we’ve created a number of Facebook group pages for local “chapters” that we can hand over to community leaders. Predictably the greatest interest has been in the major metro areas of the two coasts, with the New York/New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Boston groups attracting the most interest. Other groups with substantial and/or growing numbers include New Orleans, Madison, San Francisco, St. Louis, Las Vegas, and Southeastern New Hampshire. And while the following groups remain small, our statistics from Facebook and our email signups indicate a good potential for growth in the following cities: Mumbai, London, Denver, Houston, Portland, Seattle, Chicago, and New Delhi.


If you’re from one of these areas, please click on the relevant link to join the Facebook group in your area. If you’re from somewhere else and want to gauge the level of interest in your area, consider posting to the main Project Facebook group to ask if anyone in the online group is near you. You can take the lead in organizing a group, or look to identify someone else you’d like us to encourage.  


Local groups formed around the Project can take on a number of forms, depending on the schedules and interests of group members. They can meet every week to watch live broadcasts together. They can meet to watch recordings of the broadcasts at a more convenient time. Or they can meet to discuss posted discussion questions, while individual members decide whether or not they want to watch broadcasts. It’s entirely up to the groups.


We are also hoping to make our weekly broadcasts as interactive as possible, so that individuals and groups alike can submit their thoughts to the discussion leaders and to the wider audience. To this end, Greg Salmieri and I have been experimenting with Facebook Live technology with a series of shorter broadcasts introducing our audience to the Project. Our next test broadcast is scheduled for later tonight (Tuesday, August 23) at what will become the regular time: 5:30pm Pacific/8:30pm Eastern. Please join the discussion thread on the broadcast at the Atlas Shrugged Facebook page and let us know what’s on your mind about the Project, your plans for participation, and why you’re excited to read Atlas for the first time or for the fifth.