Thursday, July 09, 2009

OCON Day 6 & 7

It’s Thursday afternoon and I’m parked at the Seaport enjoying some downtime between classes. I find that, as an introvert, I get drained by continued interactions with others and have to recharge my batteries periodically, so I’ve got the iPod plugged into my brain and thought I’d post another entry. These are discussions of Session 2 courses


  1. Greg Salmieri gave his first OCON general session presentation. His talk focused on the role of man’s mind in Atlas Shrugged. Specifically he focused on two classes of action, productiveness and valuing. Excellent talk. While most people could easily point to Atlas as an example of productiveness in action, the act of valuing, at least in Rand’s conception of it is harder. I think her conception of valuing is a very unique perspective, specifically as active rather than contemplative
  2. John Allison, former CEO of BB&T, gave a rousing talk detailing how philosophy enters into the core values of BB&T and how BB&T operationalizes those values. It’s stunning to see the success that BB&T has had over Allison’s 20 year tenure and the operationalization of these values is certainly one driver of that success.
  3. I’m taking two history courses this session. The first is Eric Daniels “History of Religion in America” which examines what the role of religion has been in America both prior to and after the founding. The second is John Lewis’ “History of Archaic Greece” which looks at the period of Greece’s infancy, prior to the Classical Period. both are excellent courses, and I think that Daniel’s course contains analysis relevant to today, while Lewis’ course is a bit more enjoyment and part of a larger series on Greek history.
  4. I’m taking Ellen Kenner’s course on psychological visibility in relationships and in Atlas Shrugged. I think that this principle is a fundamental principle for evaluating and enhancing personal relationships, and this course is excellent. If you’ve not been exposed to the thinking here, I highly recommend it.
  5. Finally, last night was the academic panel where key Objectivist academics discussing their activities in academia. I twittered this even heavily and it’s worth looking at the detailed points if you want to build your enthusiasm. Three years ago, academics were talking about trying to place Objectivist philosophers in academia and scratching to get a seat at the table. Today, there are several Objectivist philosophers at key universities, and active dialogue with non-Objectivist philosophers on Rand’s ideas.


  1. Tonight is Diana Hsieh’s Obloggers dinner, and I’m looking forward to seeing many of my fellow bloggers!

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