Starchild: I Propose a Life-Sized Nolan Chart

Starchild posted this as a comment on another thread, but I thought the idea was well-articulated and deserved its own article.

To read about the proposed building project for the Libertarian National Committee, please read here .

David Nolan was a principled man who dedicated a good part of his life to the Libertarian Party and the cause of freedom. I believe he would agree that memorializing/celebrating the top thing he contributed to our movement and is famous for, the Nolan Chart, would be more fitting, and do more for the cause, than just memorializing him as an individual.

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What I propose is a life-size Nolan Chart at our new building. If the building has a large, flat roof that could be walked on, having it on the roof could be an excellent use of space and perhaps even provide a stunning backdrop depending on the location. However any dedicated large flat indoor or outdoor space could potentially work. The chart should be large enough for people to stand on its map points with enough space between them to easily see who’s standing where.

A larger space would definitely be better. If it were big enough, many people could stand on each point at the same time, making it conducive to larger groups of people taking the quiz simultaneously. That would of course help attract large groups, and make the experience more fun for them. The larger and more impressive the quiz appears, the more enticing and newsworthy it would become. (The only caveat being we would not want to make it so large as to make it a significant deterrent to people walking its length!)

Tourists, high school kids (including homeschoolers, of course), or even college students learning about civics could be invited to “Come visit the Nolan Center and take the Quiz!”, as well as (L)ibertarians bringing their friends, family, and acquaintances. The experience could perhaps be led by volunteer Libertarian docents, with staff filling in to do the honors in a pinch. Or if it could be arranged, perhaps the Advocates for Self-Government would be interested in staffing and administering the quiz. I’m sure they’d be interested in the project, and hopefully supportive.

Visitors taking the quiz would be assembled just below the 0/0 point (the corner of the authoritarian/statist quadrant) and read the questions one at a time (perhaps by someone with a microphone), alternating between economic freedom and civil liberties questions. Those answering “yes, you should choose” to a civil liberties question would walk two points forward to the left, those answering “maybe/unsure” would walk one point forward to the left, and those answering “no, the government should decide” wouldn’t move. To an economic freedom question, those answering “yes, you should choose” would walk two points forward to the right, those answering “maybe/unsure” would walk one point forward to the right, and those answering “no, the government should decide” would stay put.

Dignitaries visiting LP headquarters could also be invited to “take the quiz”, which could be videotaped and photographed for the record, with still shots of the person standing on their score when finished, perhaps given a placard with their score on it (e.g. 40/40) to hold. Taking these digital photos should be done for all visitors, unless a visitor refuses, since those willing to give us an email address could have their photos emailed to them, and some people would post the photos on social network sites and such, creating added publicity for the LP and the Nolan Chart.

Displayed nearby could be photos (preferably signed) of famous people who’d taken the quiz, the dates they took it, and how they scored. Maybe include a photo and bio of David Nolan or a plaque about the history of the Quiz?

Of course visitors to the Nolan Center could be given tours of our headquarters at the same time, including the opportunity to buy “I Took the Quiz!” type souvenirs and packets of Nolan Chart quizzes from our store, along with the other usual Libertarian promotional items and gear we have for sale. Anyone scoring on the top half of the chart (wanting more freedom, overall) should be invited to join the LP on the spot, which I suspect could be a definite boon to our membership numbers. No one taking the Quiz should leave without the opportunity to take some party literature and swag with them.

Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
At-Large Representative, Libertarian National Committee
(415) 625-FREE

4 thoughts on “Starchild: I Propose a Life-Sized Nolan Chart

  1. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I really like this idea, and it actually shouldn’t be prohibitively expensive. I don’t love high places, though, and the idea of having it on the roof makes me nervous (plus, once an insurance agent, always an insurance agent—). A patio would work or a parking lot, although these options might be limited in a condo.

    (I’m not making a statement against the proposed condo. Uncharacteristically for me, I don’t really have an opinion on it versus an actual building).

  2. Starchild

    Thanks, Jill! I don’t know if it will ever become reality, but I think it would make a much more fitting memorial to David Nolan than just naming a building (or an office condo) after him.

    It also seems like the kind of thing that could get us some good publicity and media attention, besides serving as an attraction for people to visit our headquarters, as described above.

  3. Dana Cummings

    That is a GREAT idea! If not on the roof, perhaps they could do a big interactive chart somewhere else at the site! Having that chart there would perhaps encourage more people to donate to the building.

  4. Waldemar Testarossa Fiumente

    Good plan. It’s too bad Hinkle thinks it’s a liability.

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