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.

 

SnowCon — Front Range Objectivism’s mini-conference — is approaching fast! It begins in Breckenridge on Wednesday, March 9th, shifts to Denver on Friday, March 11th, and concludes on Sunday, March 13th. (The days in Breckenridge are very relaxed and totally optional.)

The deadline for registration is in two days — Thursday, March 3rd at noon. Don’t let this fantastic opportunity pass you by… register now!

Join us for engaging lectures on immigration, moral character, history, and firearms — for workshops on writing letters to the editor and running an Atlas Shrugged Reading Group — and for events such as a piano recital on Beethoven and a self-guided tour of the Denver Art Museum. Chat with old and new friends from Front Range Objectivism and across the country! And if you can, join us for three fantastic days of skiing, snowboarding, or showshoeing up in Breckenridge!

(Note to students: Thanks to contributions from generous FRO supporters, I can offer deeper student discounts than just the student rate. Please e-mail me — as soon as possible — if you’d like to attend but you can’t afford the regular student rate.)

If you’re not able to attend the whole of SnowCon, you are more than welcome to just attend Saturday night’s keynote FROST Supper Talk with Jenn Casey and Kelly Elmore on “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.

To just attend the FROST lecture, you must register for that by Thursday at noon also. If you attend the FROST lecture, and you’d like to attend another SnowCon event or two à la carte, just send me an e-mail.

Also, everyone is welcome to join us for Friday night’s Happy Hour at Landry’s in Denver. It’s free, but you’ll be responsible for your own food and drinks. Please RSVP via e-mail to me if you plan to attend.

SnowCon and FROST welcome all friendly people with a serious interest in or honest curiosity about Ayn Rand’s philosophy, regardless of their level of knowledge.

Questions? E-mail me!

SnowCon: Quick Reminder

 Posted by on 22 February 2011 at 12:00 pm  Front Range Objectivism, SnowCon
Feb 222011
 

SnowCon 2011 — Front Range Objectivism’s weekend conference in mid-March in Denver (and Breckenridge) — will be upon us sooner than you think!

To attend SnowCon, you must register and pay by noon on Thursday, March 3rd. That’s just nine days away. (GACK!) If you want to take advantage of the $20 off for registering sooner rather than later, you must register by noon on Thursday, February 24th. That’s two days from now!

To find out more about SnowCon’s events and pricing, visit its web site: SnowCon 2011.

Feb 162011
 

I’m pleased to announce SnowConFront Range Objectivism’s weekend Objectivist conference in Denver, plus a few days of optional play in the snowy Colorado Rockies! SnowCon begins in Breckenridge on Wednesday, March 9th, shifts to Denver on Friday, March 11th, and concludes on Sunday, March 13th.

The core events of SnowCon will be held in Denver on Saturday and Sunday. Lectures include Dr. Paul Hsieh on the morality of carrying firearms, Dr. Diana Hsieh on moral character, Santiago Valenzuela on immigration, and Joe Collins on America’s founding.

Saturday night’s keynote lecture will feature Jenn Casey and Kelly Elmore on applying the principles of positive discipline to adult relationships. Join us for a free preview webcast of this lecture TONIGHT! It’s here at 5 pm PT / 6 pm MT / 7 pm CT / 8 pm ET.

SnowCon also offers a workshop on activist writing with Ari Armstrong, a discussion and performance of Beethoven by pianist Hannah Krening, a workshop on Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups, a demonstration of Liberty Toastmasters, and more. Other optional events include a tour of Denver microbreweries, a hike in Roxborough Park, a tour of the Denver Museum of Art, and a trip to a local shooting range.

For details, see Denver Activities and Schedule.

In addition, SnowCon attendees can enjoy three relaxed days of skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and other winter activities together in the Colorado Rockies before weekend in Denver — from Wednesday to Friday. For details, see Breckenridge Activities and Schedule.

To attend SnowCon, you must register and pay by noon on Thursday, March 3rd.

The cost of SnowCon depends on when you register. If you register by noon on Thursday, February 24th, SnowCon costs $140 ($110 for students). If you register after that time, SnowCon costs $160 ($130 for students). That price includes Saturday’s buffet dinner and Sunday’s brunch. For details and to register, see SnowCon Pricing and Registration.

SnowCon welcomes all friendly people with a serious interest in or honest curiosity about Ayn Rand’s philosophy, regardless of their level of knowledge.

SnowCon attendees can find useful information on transportation, lodging, and other logistics at SnowCon Resources.

Jan 122011
 

Tonight, from 6 to 7 pm MT, I’m hosting an online planning meeting for Front Range Objectivism’s March SnowCon. (I’ll webcast, with everyone else in the text chat.) I’ll sketch my plans for the conference, but mostly we’ll brainstorm about ways to make the long weekend as fabulously value-dense as possible.

If you might attend SnowCon and you’d like to make this mini-conference as fulfilling and memorable for yourself as possible, please join us! If you fill out the interest form by about 5 pm MT or so, I’ll send you the instructions for joining the webcast and chat for the planning meeting.

Even if you can’t attend the planning meeting tonight, you’ll be informed of our plans and able to offer us feedback … but only if you submit that interest form.

 

Inspired by the Atlanta Objectivist Society’s July MiniCon, Colorado’s Front Range Objectivism will be hosting its own MiniCon — aptly named “SnowCon” — from Wednesday, March 9th to Sunday, March 13th, 2010. Come join us for some winter play in the mountains, then a weekend of stimulating lectures and other events in Denver!

The Tentative Schedule

The following SnowCon schedule is currently very tentative. If you fill out the interest form below, you will be alerted as plans are made firm. Also, the weekdays in the mountains are completely optional, meaning that you can choose to attend only the weekend events in Denver, if that suits your schedule and interests better.

Wednesday, March 9th to Friday, March 11th: Fun in the Mountains

We will be snowshoeing and skiing in the Colorado Rockies, from Breckenridge, on these weekdays. Join Paul and me — on your own schedule, at your own pace — for any or all of these three days. We’ll meet for dinner and discussion every evening. These days in the mountains will likely be less structured than the weekend days. (See the bottom of this post for a few pictures from our most recent trip to Breckenridge.)

Saturday, March 12th and Sunday, March 13th: Fun in the City

On Saturday, we’ll have a full day of informal lectures, presentations, and other delights. We’ll cap off the day with our keynote event — a FROST Supper Talk with Jenn Casey and Kelly Elmore of Cultivating the Virtues.

On Sunday, we’ll enjoy a delicious brunch and other events in the morning and early afternoon before people head to the airport.

Costs and Other Details

FRO will keep the costs for the SnowCon itself as low as possible. Given the cost of the FROST Supper Talk ($60) and other fees, SnowCon will likely cost around $150. We will offer some à la carte pricing options too.

SnowCon attendees will be responsible for their own lodging, transportation, meals, and other expenses during SnowCon, unless otherwise indicated. FRO will help attendees find accommodations within their budget, including sharing rides and rooms.

SnowCon welcomes all friendly people with a serious interest in or honest curiosity about Ayn Rand’s philosophy, regardless of their level of knowledge. We recommend people read Atlas Shrugged at least once before attending, however. Also, supervised children and teenagers will be welcome at most SnowCon events. Every person at SnowCon is expected to be respectful and considerate of others.

If you have questions or requests, please contact me at diana@dianahsieh.com.

FRO SnowCon Interest Form

Please help us gauge interest in Front Range Objectivism’s March 2010 SnowCon by filling out this form if you think you might attend. You are not obliged to attend by doing so, but you will be subscribed to FRO’s “SnowCon” e-mail list to be kept informed about SnowCon plans. (You can unsubscribe at any time.)

Pictures from Breckenridge

Here are a few pictures from our recent skiing and snowshoeing trip to Breckenridge.


A wonderfully peaceful section of the Sawmill trail in Breckenridge.


The view while snowshoeing outside of Frisco.


Paul Hsieh taking a break from snowshoeing.

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha