OCON - Days 3 & 4

Days three and four were limited, as I'm working partial days during OCON. Since I live and work near Boston, I couldn't justify taking the full week off and using up vacation hours when there were days with little activity. So all I saw yesterday was Tara Smith's talk on objective law. Luckily, it was worth it.

Dr. Smith may not know it, but she is a silent partner in my secret quixotic crusade against Cass Sunstein and all he represents. Her talk on objective law, and how non-objective law is one of the most insidious forms of evil in existence, was enlightening and far too short. She acknowledged at the start that she was condensing a piece she wrote for Essays on Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged". Well, I'll certainly be buying this book, if for no other reason. What she presented could have easily fit two or three lectures, but I'm sure the printed work, with references, will suffice.

This morning, Harry Binswanger presented a talk on objectivity and epistemology, and as I have never seen him live, I didn't know what to expect. The delivery was impeccable, his ad libs and responses to questions were amazing, and the overall depth and quality of thought were inspiring. I'm excited for what he has to say in the second part.

On the social side, last night Kendall J of The Crucible, was gracious enough to introduce me to a number of other regular attendees and bloggers. I had already met Galileo Blogs the night before, so meeting everyone else was a treat. And of course, Kendall was a wealth of information and a damn fine chap in his own right. Also... a Purdue grad, and a fan of the best Boston-area brewery, Harpoon. What more needs be said?

I approached this conference tentatively, having never attended (and being conscious of expense) but all of my concerns have been rendered inconsequential, and I'll relish the last four days, looking forward to next year.

As I was sitting in HB's lecture this morning, working like hell to grasp, remember, and write notes at the same time, I realized I was in a room predominantly comprised of people who were as excited by the prospect of all of it as I was, and it was a wonderful thing. I looked around and saw that they were working as hard as I was to focus, to think, to learn.... and how rare is that? This, perhaps more than anything else, is good fuel for the tanks.


Burgess Laughlin said...

Speaking of objective law, some of your readers might be interested in a two-week study group, "What is Objective Law?," in Study Groups for Objectivists. The final prep week begins on July 20, Monday.

The study group leader will be Stephen Plafker, Ph.D., J. D., and the study group text will be an early, but online version of Dr. Binswanger's article, "What is Objective Law?" at:


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