The Elixir of Youth
Ayn Rand wrote: "When people look back at their childhood or youth, their wistfulness comes from the memory, not of what their lives had been in those years, but of what life had then promised to be. The expectation of some undefinable splendor, of the unusual, the exciting, the great, is an attribute of youth - & the process of aging is the process of that expectation's gradual extinction. One does not have to let it happen."
SOLO's Sun and Fun As one of the two social chairs for SOLO Elizabeth will talk about why you can't live Objectivism without fun and games, how people's interactions with each other make SOLO great ... and she will discuss starting a SOLO NYC chapter.
How to Deal with Vacillators.
The world is providing us with more and more options, and (sometimes) more freedom to exercise those options. This means that having the right psychological equipment to deal with freedom is becoming more important. What are the psychological requirements for living in a free world, and how does one obtain them?
Fostering Global Francophobia: A Worthy Addition to your Sense of Life Toolbox
Rudyard Kipling said that only two nations counted for civilisation: Britain & France. As everyone knows, one of them now speaks the lingua franca, while the other speaks French - even when you translate it. Any respectable person takes reasonable care over their sense of life, and the last thing they want is to have it cramped by angst-ridden snail connoiseurs. Pierson elaborates on taking reasonable care, among other things.
Making Life Extraordinary
This is an updated reprise by Ashley of her speech to SOLOC 1.5 in New York City, August 2002. "The struggle to defy the ordinary is not an easy one. At least in my life it has not been. But it is the only thing worth doing. Ultimately, if I give up, if I lead a life that is ordinary, it is only half-lived. So in each choice I look for magic, I look for something shining."
An Introduction to Austrian economics
Insights into the recent economic boom and bust. Where possible, he claims he will integrate the "dismal science" with a rationally exuberant and exuberantly rational sense of life.
Actually, Glenn changed his speech to Benevolence.
Dr Don Brash
Do We Need a Central Bank?
Hayek argued in 1976 that, since governments had proved themselves unable to handle the responsibility of issuing bank notes, currency issuance should be left to competing private issuers. Why then does New Zealand, and indeed every other country, still use the services of a central bank (and if they don't have their own central bank they use a currency issued by some other central bank)? Similarly, why do we need a central bank registering and supervising banks? Don Brash argues that we do need a central bank performing both functions, and sees nothing inconsistent between that view and his belief in the free market. He expects this audience to disagree with him!
Individualism, Nice & Naughty.
Professor Machan will discuss the difference between the individualism that is associated with classical liberalism, often traced back to Thomas Hobbes, and the individualism/egoism that is part of Objectivism, which he calls "classical individualism" in his book by that name (Routledge 1998). He will show that this new version of individualism/egoism avoids some of the pitfalls of the earlier type and thus gives classical liberalism a much better foundation.
In Possession of This Earth - an Introduction to the 'How' of Architecture.
Architecture, as Frank Lloyd Wright maintained, is the art form that "puts man in possession of his earth." Yet many people don't understand how good architecture does this - they don't realise the many 'tools' that architecture has at its disposal - and so they miss much of the power of this much misunderstood art form. In this introduction to architecture - packed with a wealth of exuberant examples to illustrate his points - Peter Cresswell will introduce you to the keys to understanding and appreciating the built form.
The Terrorist Temptation: Islam and the West
Mr. Peron will show that terrorism, contrary to the politically correct, is part and parcel of Islam. Argues that such temptation is inherent in all monotheistic religions which claim to have infallible divine revelation. He will explain why Muslims, in particular, are tempted to resort to terrorism.
Values and Time
Joseph Rowlands will discuss a problem in ethics related to making choices between values now and values in the future. He will explore why this is a problem, and show what kind of solution is necessary to apply Objectivist ethics consistently.
Thank you to all the shining lights involved in making SOLOC 2 the success it was. I'm at a crossroads in my life and SOLO was just the shot in the arm I needed. In particular, Lindsay's speech was a reminder of how important it is to remain true to one's path and to follow it resolutely. I adored Peter Cresswell's intro to the "how" of architecture. Peter has broken new ground in Objectivism with his analysis of the importance of metaphysical value judgments in architecture. Tibor Machan was a superb guest speaker - a truly first-hand thinker with both substance and style. Everyone was great - but a big thank you in particular to Sam and Ashley for their Young Guns speeches. Ashley, yours was so genuine and heartfelt, and so full of life. Sam, yours was not only brilliantly funny, but also the best (only?) analysis of Sartre I've seen from an Objectivist perspective.
And, like last year, the best moments were the walks and the talks, the red wine and Bates' auctioning perfomance (and impersonation show). And, who knows, perhaps next year I'll do my Perigo impersonation :-)
Let me add my voice to those praising the SOLO 2 conference this past weekend. The company was extremely uplifting, and Linz really doesn't bite. Or didn't bite. This time.
I shouldn't have been surprised that each speaker at SOLO had not only a sense of life, but also a sense of humor...I love to laugh when I am learning and I got the opportunity regularly. Amazingly, some of these guys even made economics seem interesting. Or made economists seem more interesting, anyways.
Lindsay's message hit me dead-on. I have heard those siren songs in the past couple of days and recognized them for what they were. I can't wait to get the cd set so I can listen to everything again and catch the bits that didn't sink in the first time. Glenn's "Benevolence" topic was still thrilling the second time I heard it, and I know that the rest of the speakers will hold up to repetition just as well. Even if they aren't as lickable as Glenn.
I learned some new songs at the SOLO jam session. "Psycho Killer" had not previously been part of my repertoire, but it was incredibly cheerful for such crap lyrics. Craig, Tim, and Sam all played beautifully and the singing was...well, passionate. It could have been the wine but it seemed to me that everyone was just radiant. At least, the light reflected well off the pale, moon-like flesh of one A. Bates as he slept in the midst of us.
My advice? Never miss a chance to attend a gathering of SOLOists. Both the weekends, in NY and NZ, were among the most pleasurable I have spent.
It was a high. Two days chock full of ideas that matter - delivered with earthy skill, and this-worldly vision. And two nights with people who love ideas & life - and not surprisingly, to laugh freely. I can't pick a stand out. Here's a few personal picks:
Perigo, on the choice between the swamp & the mountain of great secrets. Exposing the sirens who would charm one's innocence & desire into the swamp. Uplifting, heartworn & slap bang on target.
Machan ad-libbing, in full flight and reminding us of how radical our ideas really are, in the context of 5000 years of human development.
Cresswell, walking us through Frank Lloyd Wright's Talesin West, and pointing out the elements that concretely put man in possession of the earth. This presentation of the 'hows' was inspirational, for the range of application is endless, in the hands of any practitioner who gets it. And how simple, yet sublime, is the integration of architecture with Man's nature. What every student could use. Wanted to get me a piece of raw land & some boulders.
There was so much more. Including the night life - convivial drinking, discussion & laughter. And the late night life lead by the guitar toting black knight, Lord "future-leader-who-still-lives-with-his-mum" Sturm, teaching us all the we needed know about his youth in a cover's band.
This kind of weekend - intense as it is - flies by, but is like a deposit to draw on as I go forward. It's hard to get back into work.
Lindsay, as prime mover, you made it happen. My thanks.
I'm really glad I overcame my inertia and came to SOLO2. Thanks so much. It was a life-changing experience.
I would simply like to say that I felt I was in so many ways in Galt's Gulch for the time I was there. The use of the mind, the passion for human life, the optimism, the overwhelming sensation that for those two days I was with people who wanted to live, and do live. People who are using their minds, who share their thoughts and passion, who ask considered questions, who talk and listen, and have their own sparks, from their minds, hearts and bodies. I wont do justice to the speakers right now as I am too exhausted, and will reflect on them all more clearly in the coming days, but I listened, I was enthralled, I learned more, I was exposed to many different aspects of life, met new people and witnessed the sense of life that is the dynamo of humanity. If anyone came from it without a positive uplifting belief that the world i want to live in exists, it exists in the lives of so many SOLOists, and I cannot express sufficient thanks for the efforts of Linz, Shirley, Joseph and the other speakers for a fascinating weekend, and for all those who came from overseas.