Friday, July 04, 2008

Notes from the UnderCON II

Happy 4th of July! I'd write something about the celebration of the founding of the most moral country (as originally conceived) on earth, because that truly is something to celebrate, but I've only a few moments, and I need to get something out about the conference.

Session 2 has started with a whole new set of classes, and more discussion. The standard was set right out of the chute as Tara Smith delivered what will probably be the most memorable lecture of the conference, a scathing indictment of pragmatism. For those of you who've read both of her books, Viable Values, and Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics, you know her style to be clear straightforward and essentialized and this lecture was a beautiful example of this sort of analysis and thoroughness, with a bit of Tara's dry humor tossed in.

Diana Hsiegh assembled all our Obloggers together for a great after dinner discussion session. This included Nick Provenzo, Galileo Blogs, Khaight, myself and several others. Amongst other topics of conversation included John Lewis recounting his experience facing down a crowd of rabid islamists at George Mason University, Nick and company discussing fellow Rule of Reason blogger, Ed Cline's great historical fiction series, Sparrowhawk, and what Leonard Peikoff's favorite drink is (according to Diana, it's a Kettel 1 martini with blue cheese - yum!)

My classes for Session II include Ed Locke on Introspection, Alex Epstein on the History of the Oil Industry, and what is shaping up to be a fantastic course by Sandra Shaw on the fall of art due to the influence of Kant, and the prospects for the future of rational art. Alex and I spoke at length on opening banquet since his course and the pages of this blog echo many themes important to me, and Sandra's course, complete with visual examples, is so clear and well-presented!

Ray and I continue at least 2 hr daily discussions and I meet more new people every day!

Only 3 more days left and this week which has been like food for my soul will be at an end. Wish you were here.


Ed said...

Wish I'd been there. But, I signed over 100 copies of Sparrowhawk at Colonial Williamsburg during OCON week, including whole sets (including the Companion now). The astonishment of readers who realize such literature exists continues.

Ed Cline

Anonymous said...

Kettle One with blue cheese? Now that's combo I'd never have thought to try. Do you skewer a piece of blue cheese and drop it into the drink?

Chris Sandvick

Kendall J said...

No one did that for me, but they did give me blue chees stuffed olives. Very tasty. If you "dirty" it up a bit, it's even tastier.