Apr 112011
 

On Wednesday evening at 7 pm MT, I’ll be webcasting my SnowCon 2011 lecture on “Cultivating Moral Character.” (As you might recall from a prior post, I screwed up the recording of the original.) I’m excited to be giving this lecture again for a wider audience — not only because I think the topic useful and important for living happily, but also because this lecture serves as a helpful prequel to my upcoming ATLOSCon lectures on the virtue of pride.

So… If you’d like to attend this webcast — or download the audio recording — you need to purchase access to it for $15 ($5 for full-time students). Or you can purchase access to the whole SnowCon 2011 Webcast. However, any contributor to Rationally Selfish Webcast will be able to attend this live webcast and/or watch it later for free — or receive $10 off the whole SnowCon 2011 Webcast. SnowCon 2011 attendees are welcome to join this webcast for free. I’ll be e-mailing all of those people the login and password to access the webcast later today or tomorrow.

After this webcast, the prices for this lecture and the whole SnowCon package will double, so I’d strongly recommend that you register before the start of the webcast on Wednesday. You can do so using the form below. Once you register, you will be e-mailed the url, login, and password for the recorded lectures and upcoming webcast. You will be sent an invoice for payment shortly after the April 13th webcast.

Here’s the abstract for my webcast:

In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle speaks of cultivating virtues by repeatedly doing certain actions in certain ways. However, he never clearly explains the relationship between a person’s thoughts, emotions, actions, and character. So, we must ask: What is character? How is a person’s character formed? And what is the role of character in a person’s life? In this hour-plus webcast, I will draw on my dissertation to answer these criticial practical questions of ethics. The live audience in the text chat will be invited to participate in the discussion, as well as a question period at the end.

And here’s the full package of lectures and workshops recorded for the SnowCon 2011 Webcast:

  • Diana Hsieh: “Cultivating Moral Character” (webcast on April 13th)
  • Paul Hsieh: “Is It Right to Bear Arms?” (audio plus slides)
  • “Activism Panel” with Paul Hsieh and Ari Armstrong
  • Atlas Shrugged Reading Group Workshop” with Diana Hsieh and Jeremy Sheetz
  • Jenn Casey and Kelly Elmore: “Effective Communication: How Objectivists Can Use Positive Discipline Tools in Their Adult Relationships” (audio only)
  • Diana Hsieh: “Live Rationally Selfish Webcast” (video, with the audio freely available via NoodleCast)
  • Santiago Valenzuela: “Conservative Follies on Immigration”
  • Piano Recital and Lecture: Hannah Krening: Malevolence and Benevolence in Beethoven’s Piano Music

Unless otherwise noted, the recordings include streaming video and downloadable audio files. Further information on these lectures and workshops can be found on the web page for the SnowCon 2011 Webcast.

Mar 252011
 

Yes, yes, I know that I’m rather late in writing up my report on the fabulous awesomeness that was SnowCon 2011 — Front Range Objectivism’s mini-conference in Breckenridge and then Denver. However, I’ve been very busy lately processing and posting all of audio and video recordings from SnowCon. (There’s more information on that below. You can purchase the whole package or just selected lectures for a discounted price before April 13th. On that date, I’ll be re-recording my own lecture on “Cultivating Moral Character” in a live webcast, and I do hope that you’ll join me for that!)

SnowCon took far, far more work for me to put together than I ever imagined when I announced it back in December. I didn’t have much time to plan, and the work of coordinating events, venues, speakers, registrations, attendees, materials, and everything else was overwhelming. I had to put aside almost all my other work in the few weeks leading up to SnowCon, but I kept a good handle on what needed to be done through my GTD methods in OmniFocus. Still, the stress was often overwhelming, to the point that I wondered whether the whole conference would turn into a disorganized disaster. Also, I wasn’t helped by the fact that I was hampered a cold in the ten days just before the start of SnowCon.

Despite those harrowing preparations — or rather, because of them — SnowCon was a fabulous success!

(This group picture was entirely the doing of Tom V., and I’m so glad to have it!)

About 19 people joined us for the play in the mountains in Breckenridge. Happily, we had great weather — first a bit of powder, then warm sunshine. The 6 to 8 skiers and snowboarders were able to meet up and stick together without much trouble, exploring runs together and then chatting on the lifts and at lunch. (Alas, we did have one serious knee injury on the first day.) Others in Breckenridge spent most of their time lounging about and chatting, although a few joined Paul for one of his days of snowshoeing.

In Denver, we had 50 people for SnowCon itself, then another 10 for just Kelly Elmore and Jenn Casey’s keynote supper talk on Saturday evening. Many attendees were from out-of-state — and while many of us knew each other from OCONs or elsewhere, some were meeting each other for the first time. (Hi Jenn! Hi Tom! Hi Chris!) That was awesome. The lectures and other events went very well — and some were quite stellar. People were friendly, easygoing, and darn fun, so we had lots of great conversations and laughs outside the formal schedule.

Undoubtedly, much of the success of SnowCon was due to the careful and detailed planning that I did beforehand. However, I had some stellar help too. Kelly Valenzuela and Sarah Jenevein did anything that needed doing in Denver, and I’m quite sure that I would have melted into a puddle of stress without their assistance. However, more than that, everyone seemed willing to pitch in with help as needed. That made a huge difference in my own ability to enjoy the conference — which I did, a whole lot!

Of course, we had a few hiccups — and a few things that I’ll do better next time. I scheduled too many events on Saturday, and by the afternoon, many of us were dragging. So I think we could have used an hour or two to recharge, whether alone or at a nearby coffee shop, to relax before the dinner and talk that evening. Also, it didn’t help that the restaurant that night was a bit noisy and hot. (The food was super-yummy though!) We were sadly lacking in bacon for Sunday’s brunch. (A crime, I know!)

However, the true “OMG WTF!” moment of SnowCon 2011 was the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Denver right where most of us ate lunch on Saturday. That seemed fine at first, although the restaurant was a bit more crowded than we expected. However, then the insanity came, in the form of deafeningly loud bagpipes and drums inside the restaurant. The music was well-played, but inside an enclosed space, just a few feet away? AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH! Six songs later, I thought that my brain might just be oozing out my ears. But hey, it’s funny in retrospect! And maybe we’ll use that as a slogan for next year’s SnowCon: “Just as awesome as SnowCon 2011, but with fewer bagpipes and drums!”

Speaking of SnowCon 2012, I’ve decided to do something very similar in schedule — meaning three days of play in the mountains, then two days of lectures and events in Denver. However, to accommodate the schedules of students and academics, I’ve decided to hold it earlier in the year — from January 11th to the 15th. So mark your calendars! I’ve already talked to a few people about lectures, and I’m sure that we’ll have an awesome program, not to mention tons of fun!

Here are some of the photographic highlights of SnowCon 2011, including the bagpipers and drummers!

If you missed SnowCon — my condolences! However, we hope to see you next year. Also, you can capture a bit of its goodness via the recordings — audio and often video too — now available for sale.

Overall, the webcast of SnowCon worked somewhat better than I could have hoped for, yet we did have some pretty serious glitches. The room was too dark to record video for Kelly Elmore and Jenn Casey’s talk on Saturday night, so we were limited to audio. And due to an unexpected change in the interface of my webcasting console, none of the SnowCon lectures from Saturday morning were recorded. (AUGH!) Also, I had trouble managing the audio levels for Hannah Krening’s piano recital.

However… never fear!

Kelly and Jenn’s audio stands on its own. Hannah Krening generously re-played her recital and discussion of Beethoven for me to record, and that turned out fabulously well. (It was a real treat to hear her presentation again!) Paul re-recorded his lectures with the slides.

As for my own lecture on “Cultivating Moral Character”… That went really well at SnowCon, so I’m quite sad not to have a recording it it. I could record it again from the quiet of my office, but then I’d miss out on the audience participation built into the lecture, which definitely added value.

Hence, I’ve decided that I’ll re-record that lecture in a live webcast on the evening of April 13th at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET. Here’s its abstract:

In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle speaks of cultivating virtues by repeatedly doing certain actions in certain ways. However, he never clearly explains the relationship between a person’s thoughts, emotions, actions, and character. So, we must ask: What is character? How is a person’s character formed? And what is the role of character in a person’s life? This webcast will draw on Diana Hsieh’s dissertation to answer these criticial practical questions of ethics. The live audience in the text chat will be invited to participate in the discussion, as well as a question period at the end.

This lecture on ethics will be part of the “SnowCon 2011 Webcast” package. To access this lecture — whether to participate in the live webcast, watch the recorded video later, or download the audio recording — you must register for the SnowCon 2011 Webcast. (SnowCon attendees get access to all the audio and video for free.) You can register for the whole webcast — or just part of it. Register before the April 13th webcast for a substantial discount!

(Note: Contributors to my Rationally Selfish Webcast will be able to attend this live webcast and/or watch it later for free. And they can get $10 off the whole SnowCon 2011 Webcast.)

Before the April 13th webcast by Diana Hsieh, the whole package of SnowCon 2011 lectures and workshops costs $50 ($20 for full-time students). Or you can order lectures à la carte for $15 each ($5 each for full-time students). After April 13th, those prices will double.

The full package of lectures and workshops recorded for the SnowCon 2011 Webcast includes:

  • Diana Hsieh: “Cultivating Moral Character” (webcast on April 13th)
  • Paul Hsieh: “Is It Right to Bear Arms?” (audio plus slides)
  • “Activism Panel” with Paul Hsieh and Ari Armstrong
  • Atlas Shrugged Reading Group Workshop” with Diana Hsieh and Jeremy Sheetz
  • Jenn Casey and Kelly Elmore: “Effective Communication: How Objectivists Can Use Positive Discipline Tools in Their Adult Relationships” (audio only)
  • Diana Hsieh: “Live Rationally Selfish Webcast” (video, with the audio freely available via NoodleCast)
  • Santiago Valenzuela: “Conservative Follies on Immigration”
  • Piano Recital and Lecture: Hannah Krening: Malevolence and Benevolence in Beethoven’s Piano Music

Unless otherwise noted, the recordings include streaming video and downloadable audio files. Further information on these lectures and workshops can be found on the web page for the SnowCon 2011 Webcast.

Please register for the SnowCon 2011 Webcast — in whole or in part — using the form below. Once you register, you will be e-mailed the url, login, and password for the recorded lectures and upcoming webcast. You will be sent an invoice for payment shortly after the April 13th webcast.

Again, for more information, visit SnowCon 2011 Webcast.

Mar 112011
 

I just wanted to remind you that SnowCon 2011 will be in Denver this weekend, and I’ll be webcasting and recording over twelve hours lectures and workshops as March’s OList Webcast. The webcast of SnowCon 2011 will include:

  • Diana Hsieh: “Cultivating Moral Character”
  • Paul Hsieh: “Is It Right to Bear Arms?”
  • Joseph Collins: “The Greatness and Limitations of Publius”
  • “Activism Panel” with Paul Hsieh and Ari Armstrong
  • Atlas Shrugged Reading Group Workshop” with Diana Hsieh and Jeremy Sheetz
  • Jenn Casey and Kelly Elmore: “Effective Communication: How Objectivists Can Use Positive Discipline Tools in Their Adult Relationships”
  • Diana Hsieh: “Live Rationally Selfish Webcast” (hosted at philosophyinaction.com)
  • Santiago Valenzuela: “Conservative Follies on Immigration”
  • Piano Recital and Lecture: Hannah Krening: Malevolence and Benevolence in Beethoven’s Piano Music

If you join SnowCon virtually via the live webcast, you’ll be connected to other in-person and virtual audience members via text-based chat. By that chat, you can submit questions to the speaker too. However, you need not attend live; you can listen to the recordings whenever you please.

As with other OList webcasts, one registration emcompasses everyone in your household, meaning that you can share the live webcast and recordings with the people you live with. Also, the webcast is a package: you cannot purchase access to the webcasts of individual lectures or workshops. However, recordings of individual lectures or workshops may be available for sale after SnowCon.

To attend the live webcasts during SnowCon and/or listen to audio recordings afterward, register now! If you register anytime before or during Snowcon, you’ll pay the discounted rate of $65 ($25 for students).

After SnowCon ends on the evening of March 13th, you can purchase access to the recordings for $85 ($45 for students). So save yourself some dough by registering sooner rather than later!

Payment for the SnowCon Webcast is not due until after SnowCon is completed. You will receive an e-mail invoice with instructions for payment; you can pay via PayPal or US Mail.

I posted the full schedule in the original announcement.

Mar 082011
 

For those of you unable to attend the fabulous slew of lectures and workshops this weekend at SnowCon 2011 in person… I’ve got a treat for you!

At SnowCon 2011 this upcoming weekend, I will be webcasting and recording over twelve hours lectures and workshops as March’s OList Webcast. The webcast of SnowCon 2011 will include:

  • Diana Hsieh: “Cultivating Moral Character”
  • Paul Hsieh: “Is It Right to Bear Arms?”
  • Joseph Collins: “The Greatness and Limitations of Publius”
  • “Activism Panel” with Paul Hsieh and Ari Armstrong
  • Atlas Shrugged Reading Group Workshop” with Diana Hsieh and Jeremy Sheetz
  • Jenn Casey and Kelly Elmore: “Effective Communication: How Objectivists Can Use Positive Discipline Tools in Their Adult Relationships”
  • Diana Hsieh: “Live Rationally Selfish Webcast” (hosted at philosophyinaction.com)
  • Santiago Valenzuela: “Conservative Follies on Immigration”
  • Piano Recital and Lecture: Hannah Krening: Malevolence and Benevolence in Beethoven’s Piano Music

If you join SnowCon virtually via the live webcast, you’ll be connected to other in-person and virtual audience members via text-based chat. By that chat, you can submit questions to the speaker too.

As with other OList webcasts, one registration emcompasses everyone in your household, meaning that you can share the live webcast and recordings with the people you live with. Also, the webcast is a package: you cannot purchase access to the webcasts of individual lectures or workshops. However, recordings of individual lectures or workshops may be available for sale after SnowCon.

To attend the live webcasts during SnowCon and/or listen to audio recordings afterward, register now! If you register anytime before or during Snowcon, you’ll pay the discounted rate of $65 ($25 for students).

After SnowCon ends on the evening of March 13th, you can purchase access to the recordings for $85 ($45 for students). So save yourself some dough by registering sooner rather than later!

Payment for the SnowCon Webcast is not due until after SnowCon is completed. You will receive an e-mail invoice with instructions for payment; you can pay via PayPal or US Mail.

The Full Schedule

The following lectures and workshops will be webcast live, as well as available for later download, to those who register. (The only exception is the “Activist Writing Workshop,” which will not be broadcast live but only recorded.) All times listed are Mountain Time.

Saturday, March 12th

  • 9:00 to 9:30 am: Welcome: Diana Hsieh
  • 9:30 to 10:15 am: Lecture: Diana Hsieh: “Cultivating Moral Character”
    In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle speaks of cultivating virtues by repeatedly doing certain actions in certain ways. However, he never clearly explains the relationship between a person’s thoughts, emotions, actions, and character. So, we must ask: What is character? How is a person’s character formed? And what is the role of character in a person’s life? This lecture will draw on Diana Hsieh’s dissertation to answer these criticial practical questions of ethics.

    Diana Hsieh received her Ph.D in philosophy from University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. Her dissertation was on the “problem of moral luck,” and it included a substantial defense of moral responsibility for character. She gave a course on “Luck in the Pursuit of Life” at OCON in 2010. She answers questions on practical ethics every Sunday morning in her live Rationally Selfish Webcast.

  • 10:30 am to 11:15 am: Lecture: Paul Hsieh: “Is It Right to Bear Arms?”
    Most Americans correctly believe (and the US Supreme Court recently affirmed), that firearms ownership is an individual right. Hence, many people are now asking whether and how they should exercise that right of owning and/or routinely carrying a firearm.

    Is routinely carrying a firearm appropriate only for those in law enforcement? Or are there practical, psychological, and even spiritual benefits to being an armed civilian? Can carrying a gun help shape your moral character for the better, in addition to keeping you safer against physical threats?

    This talk will cover these and related issues to help you decide for yourself, “Is it right to bear arms?”

    Paul Hsieh, MD, has long been interested in the ethical and practical aspects of firearms ownership. However, he acknowledges that his wife Diana is the more accurate shot.

  • 11:30 am to 12:15 pm: Lecture: Joseph Collins: “The Greatness and Limitations of Publius”
    In the 1780s, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton collaborated under the nom de plume Publius to defend the proposed Constitution as the greatest work of political liberty the world had ever seen, the pride of the Enlightenment. The morality of individualism as a political ideal was expressed in the Declaration of Independence and formed into the world’s first Constitution grounded in consent of the governed, representation, and limited government. As much as history taught Publius that free states devolve into what Madison called “majority tyranny”, when collectivism replaces individualism, nevertheless he believed that the people have the capacity to live free. Publius was aware that for the experiment to work, the power of the people must be limited. They looked upon the horrors of democracy in fear in the pages of the Federalist. Those to whom power derives, the people, have the free will to live up to or against the founding ideals. For it all to work, Madison believed, the people must be the guardians of their own liberties.

    While Madison understood the danger of special interest politics, the fact remains that the modern mixed economy and progressive state has its roots in the founding. Interpretation of original intent was inevitable and the Constitution was under assault within a century of its writing because the errors were not identified and corrected. Our challenge today is to live up to Publius by thinking, fighting for the right ideas, and by climbing atop the shoulders of the giants of ’76. Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism is the philosophic solution to the Publius problem. Yet the question remains whether or not an enlightened citizenry can emerge in today’s culture.

    Joseph E. Collins is a 2010 Colorado James Madison Fellow who resides in Fort Collins, Colorado where he is a teacher at Ridgeview Classical Schools and curricula adviser and consultant for the Ridgeview Institute.

  • 2:00 pm to 2:45 pm: “Activism Panel” with Paul Hsieh and Ari Armstrong
    America faces many problems today, ranging from ever-tightening state control of the economy, to the rise of mysticism and irrationality in culture, to a suicidal foreign policy. Many individuals want to “get involved” in some way to oppose these bad trends and instead fight for positive alternatives. However, this task can often seem overwhelming.

    In this panel, Paul Hsieh and Ari Armstrong will discuss how to fight for your values through principled activism, practical tips on how to get started, how to be effective, how to stay motivated, how to incorporate activism into you own busy lives, and how to enjoy yourself in the process.

    Paul Hsieh, MD, is co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM). He has published numerous articles and op-eds on free-market health care reform in the Christian Science Monitor, Washington Times, Washington Examiner, Denver Post, PajamasMedia, and The Objective Standard.

    Ari Armstrong, the 2009 winner of the Modern Day Sam Adams Award, has written for numerous publications. He moderates Liberty In the Books, a monthly discussion group, as well as a regional activist email group. Ari has created independent media campaigns and worked with nonprofits for political reforms.

  • 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm: “Atlas Shrugged Reading Group Workshop” with Diana Hsieh and Jeremy Sheetz
    In 2008, Diana Hsieh created a working and successful model of a new kind of Objectivism study group: Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups (ASRGs). ASRGs consist of twenty weekly discussions for fans of Ayn Rand’s novel Atlas Shrugged to discuss the characters, events, and ideas of the novel in depth. The schedule, questions, and podcasts for these meetings can be found on Explore Atlas Shrugged. These groups serve as an excellent introduction to Objectivism for fans of Ayn Rand’s fiction, and they can serve as the basis for founding an Objectivist community group.

    Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups are currently ongoing in Atlanta, Denver, Chicago, St. Louis, and elsewhere.

    In this workshop, Diana Hsieh and Jeremy Sheetz will lead a sample session with the audience (or a subset thereof), then discuss how you can create a successful Atlas Shrugged Reading Group in your city.

    The chapters of Atlas Shrugged to be discussed in the workshop are Part 1, Chapter 1 (“The Theme”) and Part 3: Chapter 6 (“The Concerto of Deliverance”). Participants should re-read those chapters before the workshop.

    Diana Hsieh (Ph.D, Philosophy) oversees Front Range Objectivism’s Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups, and is currently leading her third such group through the novel.

    Jeremy Sheetz is an Aerospace Production/Liaison Engineer with a BSME from University of Wisconsin Madison. Since leaving Denver for St. Louis, he’s created two Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups in St. Louis, and he plans to start another as well as a monthly Objectivist discussion group soon.

  • 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm: Keynote Lecture: Jenn Casey and Kelly Elmore: “Effective Communication: How Objectivists Can Use Positive Discipline Tools in Their Adult Relationships”
    In our talk, we will present a set of parenting principles called “Positive Discipline” that is compatible with teaching our children to use the Objectivist virtues while behaving virtuously ourselves. Positive Discipline techniques include respectful communication, problem-solving skills, and limit-setting that is both kind and firm. Positive Discipline techniques do not include reward systems, praise, punishments, behavior modification techniques, emotional manipulation, shaming, or logical consequences.

    The focus of the talk will be on the communication and problem-solving tools used in Positive Discipline, tools that are essential not only to parenting but to all healthy relationships, at work, at home, with friends, with romantic partners, and on the phone with the customer service representative at your credit card company. The talk will be dynamic and interactive, and you will walk out with at least one new skill to try the next time you are in a difficult situation with your spouse, your coworker, or your child.

    Kelly Elmore and Jenn Casey have been talking and writing about Positive Discipline for years, and they practice it on their kids, their significant others, and each other. Last year, they launched Cultivating the Virtues, a business offering a podcast, a blog, and classes primarily for Objectivist parents. They also run the Atlanta Objectivist Society (ATLOS), are CrossFit buddies, and boss each other’s children in their spare time.

    Kelly teaches gymnastics pedagogy to future P.E. teachers, studies rhetoric and composition in graduate school, homeschools seven-year-old Livy, and blogs at Reepicheep’s Coracle. For fun, she reads Jane Austen, watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and diagrams sentences.

    Jenn homeschools eight-year-old Ryan, five-year-old Morgan, and two-year-old Sean, manages a rental property in North Georgia, and blogs at Rational Jenn. She is the administrator of the Objectivist Round Up blog carnival and moderates the OGrownups@OList.com discussion list. She has recently become obsessed with knitting, dreams of performing stand-up comedy, and has given up all hope that her house will ever be clean.

    Listen to Kelly Elmore and Jenn Casey’s 11-minute podcast preview of this lecture:

      11:33 minutes

Sunday, March 13th

  • 9:00 am to 10:00 am: Diana Hsieh: Live Rationally Selfish Webcast

    Note: This webcast will be available to the general public, and hosted at philosophyinaction.com.

    Every Sunday morning at 9 am, I answer questions on practical ethics and the principles of living well in a live Rationally Selfish Webcast with Ari Armstrong filling in for Greg Perkins. This episode will be broadcast over the web with its usual text-based chat, but we’ll also have a live SnowCon audience! As usual, I’ll choose six of the most popular and interesting questions to answer from my queue of questions on Idea Informer.

    Diana Hsieh received her Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. She began her Rationally Selfish Webcast in late October.

  • 11:30 am to 12:15 pm: Lecture: Santiago Valenzuela: “Conservative Follies on Immigration”
    Conservatives routinely make arguments against the expansion of the immigration quota system. Many argue for the reduction of legal immigration combined with a strict crackdown on unauthorized immigrants in the USA. In this talk, I will expose the faulty philosophical roots of these notions. I will explain the facts about immigration’s (legal and illegal) effect on the US economy. Lastly, I will present the proper direction for immigration reform.

    Santiago Valenzuela is an Objectivist immigration activist. He blogs regularly on the subject at Mother of Exiles. He is scheduled to appear in front of the Colorado State Legislature on immigration-related law soon.

  • 1:15 pm to 3:00 pm: Piano Recital and Lecture: Hannah Krening: Malevolence and Benevolence in Beethoven’s Piano Music

    Note: I will try to webcast and record this event, but I can’t make any promises that it will turn out well.

    Hannah Krening will give observations with musical illustrations on two contrasting piano works by Beethoven, looking at the musical content of each and showing how each expresses a sense of life. The first, Beethoven’s Appassionata Sonata, Op. 57, is known for its dark mood, and the second, his Waldstein Sonata, Op. 53, is known for its more sunny and positive nature. A closer looks reveals some surprises, particularly in the Appasionata. Focus will primarily be on the first movements of these two Sonatas, each of which will be looked at in some detail and then performed as a whole.

    Hannah Krening is a classical pianist and private piano teacher, with undergraduate and master’s degrees in piano performance.

Mar 072011
 

On February 23rd, Luc Travers gave a fascinating webcast on Bringing an Artwork to Life. Here’s what one person said about the webcast:

I attended the webcast put together by Diana last evening. It was wonderful. I’ve cared little for the visual arts throughout my life. Primarily because I didn’t understand anything about them. I’d read or heard reports of people feeling something and it was always described in a very mystical way. I recently found I could enjoy some art, I loved Bryan Larsen’s “Young Builder” enough to purchase a print for my home. And your class has opened a new world for me. I can’t wait to take my children to see some pieces of art and guide them through the process I have learned from you — both so they can appreciate something I never had the chance as a child, and also so I can learn to appreciate at it more. (Through teaching, I will have to work to thoroughly understand and ground the concepts you touched on.) You may have seen I have already purchased your book at the generous discount. Thank you!

Finally I had to write this message today because by coincidence I am listening to the audiobook version of The Fountainhead currently, and on my way to the office this morning I heard a line describing Dominique awakening in Roark’s bed in Monadnock, “She awakened with the sun in her eyes. She lay on her back, looking at the ceiling as she had looked at the leaves. Not to move, to guess by hints, to see everything through the greater intensity of implication.” And I thought this line eloquently describes what is possible through the visual arts and of the technique which you have just introduced me. To use the evidence of a snapshot either in stone or on canvas and to re-create the story and connect it to your life in a way much more intensely than watching a movie.

I’m so thrilled to hear that, and I’ve heard others echo those sentiments.

So… I’m pleased to announce that the webcast — in the form of nearly two hours of streaming video, streaming audio, or downloadable audio — is now available for sale. It costs $50 to purchase. For that price, you’ll enjoy full access to the streaming video and audio for at least two months. You can also download an audio MP3 of the webcast during that time, and you’re welcome to play that from now until doomsday. You’re welcome to share that streaming video or audio file with members of your own household, but not with anyone one else. You cannot download the video, but only the audio.

To purchase the webcast, you simply need to send me $50, preferably via PayPal. If you do that, I’ll send you the instructions for viewing the webcast within 24 hours.

Or, if you would prefer to pay by check or money order, please submit this order form, then mail your payment of $50 for each webcast ordered to Diana Hsieh; P.O. Box 851; Sedalia, CO 80135. In that case, you can expect an e-mail with instructions for viewing the webcast in a week or two, once payment has been received.

Further instructions on giving the webcast as a gift to someone else or showing it before a group can be found on the OList page for the webcast: Luc Travers Webcast on Bringing an Artwork to Life.

To refresh your memory, here’s the abstract, now slightly updated:

Most people find that literature and movies provide a more accessible and more emotionally satisfying esthetic experience than the visual arts. However, the visual arts do have the capacity to provide the same kind of experience as other genres.

Most people believe that the extent to which one can experience an artwork is a quick look and a mild emotional response. If there is an artwork which someone finds interesting, the common approach to further appreciating the piece is to turn to an art history source for information about the artist, the culture, the style. However, these “DVD extras” are not a substitute for experiencing the “story” and “characters” in a painting and deriving personal meaning.

In this webcast, Mr. Travers will describe a fundamentally different approach to engaging the visual arts–one that treats an artwork as art and not as an historical artifact. In taking you through three powerful pieces, including Michelangelo’s David, he will demonstrate principles and techniques that will help you immerse yourself into the “story” and grasp the deeper, personal meaning that so often remains untapped in great art.

Luc Travers is the author of Touching The Art: A Guide to Enjoying Art at a Museum. He leads tours at museums across the country and teaches art appreciation and literature at the VanDamme Academy in Aliso Viejo, CA.

If you’ve not done so already, I recommend that you watch this free 10-minute preview of the webcast.

As for March’s OList webcast… I’m going to try to webcast the lectures and workshops from SnowCon, so that even those who cannot attend can join in the live events and chat. I likely won’t do that as a pledge project — or I might do some variation on that. In any case, I’ll settle on and announce the details soon!

Luc Travers Webcast: Last Chance

 Posted by on 22 February 2011 at 8:00 am  Announcements, OList, OWebcasts
Feb 222011
 

Luc Travers’ OList.com webcast on “Bringing an Artwork to Life” will happen tomorrow evening — Wednesday, February 23rd at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET.

If you plan to visit a museum anytime soon — like the Denver Art Museum for SnowCon! — you’ll surely find that this webcast on art appreciation will enhance your visit.

So if you’d like access to this webcast — whether to watch it live or afterwards — now’s your last chance to set your own price by pledging. After the webcast happens, you’ll be able to purchase access to the webcast for $50. You can find all of the details about the webcast and pledging on the web page for Luc Travers Webcast on Bringing an Artwork to Life. And you can pledge using this form:

If you’ve not yet watched it, I recommend Luc Travers’ preview of the webcast:

See you tomorrow… I hope!

Luc Travers Webcast: Green Light!

 Posted by on 19 February 2011 at 12:00 pm  Announcements, OList, OWebcasts
Feb 192011
 

I’m delighted to announce that Luc Travers’ OList.com webcast on “Bringing an Artwork to Life” has been green-lit, thanks to a flurry of pledges over the past few days! Thank you, thank you!

If you’d like to watch the webcast live — or a recording afterwards — you still have a few days to set your own price by pledging. After that, you’ll be able to purchase access to the webcast for $50. You can find all of the details about the webcast and pledging on the web page for Luc Travers Webcast on Bringing an Artwork to Life. And you can pledge using this form:

I hope that you’ll join us on Wednesday!

Feb 172011
 

Next Wednesday, Luc Travers will be giving his OList.com webcast on “Bringing an Artwork to Life.” Right now, the webcast doesn’t have enough pledges to move forward: it’s close, but not quite there yet. The decision deadline is on Saturday at noon. So if you’d like to pledge, please do so sooner rather than later! Personally, I’m very excited about this webcast — about learning to “read” art in the way that I read literature — so I really hope that you’ll pledge! (Many thanks to everyone who has pledged already!)

You can pledge up until the very day of the webcast, and after that, you’ll be able to purchase access to the webcast for $50. (Most pledges are between $10 and $50.) You can find all of the details about the webcast and pledging on the web page for Luc Travers Webcast on Bringing an Artwork to Life. And you can pledge using this form:

Also, if you’ve not yet watched it, I recommend Luc Travers’ preview of the webcast:

Feb 092011
 

Remember… the preview for Luc Travers’ OList Webcast on “Bringing an Artwork to Life” will be tonight: Wednesday, February 9th at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET. It’s free and open to anyone. To join that preview, just go to the webcast’s page on OList.com at the appointed hour.

The webcast itself will be on Wednesday, February 23rd at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET. You can find out more about the webcast — and pledge for it — on that same page.

I hope to see you tonight!

Feb 032011
 

I’m pleased to announce that February’s OList Webcast will be a delightful change of pace: Luc Travers will be speaking to us on “Bringing an Artwork to Life.”

I’ve heard rave reviews from friends about Mr. Travers’ museum tours, but I’d never had the opportunity to enjoy one myself. So I’m quite excited for this opportunity to learn his approach to art appreciation… from the comfort of my own home!

The free preview will be on Wednesday, February 9th at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET. I’ll post details about how to join that early next week. That’s free and open to anyone.

The webcast itself will be on Wednesday, February 23rd at 6 pm PT / 7 pm MT / 8 pm CT / 9 pm ET. If you want to attend, you must pledge!

Every pledger will be able to submit and vote on questions in advance via Google Moderate. Every pledger is welcome to attend the live webcast and participate in the text chat too. After the webcast, pledgers will be able to view the streaming video of the webcast or download an audio recording. (You cannot share that with anyone outside your own household, but you’ll be able to play the audio from now until doomsday, if you like.)

As before, you’re welcome to pledge any amount. However, please remember that whether the webcast happens or not depends on the total amount of money pledged. The webcast will be green-lit or cancelled, depending on the pledges received by noon on February 18th. Also, if the webcast takes place, I’ll post it for sale after the fact for $50.

Here’s Mr. Travers’ proposal for the webcast on “Bringing an Artwork to Life”:

Most people find that literature and movies provide a more accessible and more emotionally satisfying esthetic experience than the visual arts. However, the visual arts do have the capacity to provide the same kind of experience as other genres.

Most people believe that the extent to which one can experience an artwork is a quick look and a mild emotional response. If there is an artwork which someone finds interesting, the common approach to further appreciating the piece is to turn to an art history source for information about the artist, the culture, the style. However, these “DVD extras” are not a substitute for experiencing the “story” and “characters” in a painting and deriving personal meaning.

In this webcast, Mr. Travers will describe a fundamentally different approach to engaging the visual arts–one that treats an artwork as art and not as an historical artifact. In taking you through several powerful pieces, he will demonstrate principles and techniques that will help you immerse yourself into the “story” and grasp the deeper, personal meaning that so often remains untapped in great art.

Luc Travers is the author of Touching The Art: A Guide to Enjoying Art at a Museum. He leads tours at museums across the country and teaches art appreciation and literature at the VanDamme Academy in Aliso Viejo, CA.

If you’d like a preview now, you might view Luc Travers’ video on his approach to art:

So… if you want this webcast to take place, if you want to support Mr. Travers work, and if you want to support the OList webcasts, please pledge!

Please remember that your pledge is a contract to pay for the webcast, if delivered, and you should consider yourself honor-bound to pay that pledge.

If you have any problems with that embedded form, try this form.

OList Webcast Pledge FAQ

How much should I pledge?

That’s entirely up to you. You should pledge whatever the webcast is worth to you, knowing that if enough people don’t pledge enough money, the webcast will be cancelled. In that case, all pledges will be void. Also, you should pledge more if you have questions that you’d really like answered.

Will anyone know what I’ve pledged?

No one except the webcast organizers and webcaster will know how much you’ve pledged. Nothing about your pledge will be made public.

What if I don’t pay what I’ve pledged?

If you’re not satisfied with the quality of the webcast, I will grant a refund, provided that you explain your reasons. However, if you simply welch on your pledge, you’re a schmuck. In that case, you will not be welcome to pledge on any future projects until you pay me the money you owe me, including a hefty penalty for being a schmuck.

What if I want to alter my pledge?

If you wish to increase your pledge, you can always pledge more by e-mailing me your new pledge amount. If you make a mistake in your pledge, you can e-mail me before the pledge deadline to adjust it.

How will I submit questions for the webcast?

You’ll submit questions for the webcast via Google Moderator. I’ll send you the link to that forum shortly after I receive your pledge.

How will I get access to the live webcast?

A few days before the webcast, I’ll e-mail you the url, login, and password for the live webcast. After the webcast, you’ll be able to use the same url, login, and password to view the streaming recorded video or download the audio file.

Can I share the webcast with anyone else?

You may only share it with other members of your household. If you’d like to give the webcast to someone else as a gift, you can do that by submitting an additional pledge. If you distribute the private link or audio file, you will not be welcome to pledge on any future projects until you compensate me for the theft of that property, even if accidental.

How do I pay you?

After the webcast, you’ll receive payment instructions in the invoice I’ll send you. My preferred method of payment is PayPal, but you’re welcome to sent me a check or money order, if that’s what you prefer.

What if I’m not satisfied with the webcast?

If you’re not satisfied with the quality of the webcast, I will grant a refund (or void your pledge), provided that you e-mail me to explain your reasons.

If I don’t pledge, will I be able to purchase the webcast later?

The webcast will be available for sale for $50.

What do I do if I have some other question?

Please e-mail me at diana@dianahsieh.com.

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