Highlights from OCON: Day 8

 Posted by on 6 July 2008 at 10:26 pm  ARI, OCON
Jul 062008
 

Here are highlights from the Ayn Rand Institute’s summer conference (a.k.a. OCON), Day Eight:

Yaron Brook on “Cultural Movements: Creating Change,” Lecture 3 of 3:

  • Yaron Brook gave a compelling speech on the desperate need for grassroots activism to help turn around the culture in the next 20 years, including some ideas for how to do so. ARI and Objectivist intellectuals cannot do all the necessary work on their own. I won’t repeat what he said here, as I believe that these three lectures on activism will be made available for free on the “activism” section of the ARI web site. I cannot recommend listening to them highly enough.

  • Happily, Yaron cited Lin Zinser’s FIRM as a positive example of grassroots activism. Of course, for anyone interested in activism to promote Objectivist ideas in the culture, I strongly recommend joining my OActivists mailing list. I’ve got big plans for it to be implemented in the next month or so.
  • Unfortunately, my enjoyment of this captivating lecture was marred by a very irritating request about halfway through from the person sitting next to me. She was bothered by the perfectly ordinary noise of my typing notes on my computer, and somehow I was obliged to move to another seat. That pretty much killed my concentration for the rest of the lecture. I was literally unable to comprehend what Yaron was saying for a few minutes. I was so irritated because I wasn’t doing anything abnormal or inappropriate, I was in my seat with my computer before she arrived, and she ought to have moved if she’s sensitive. I have no idea who the person was, but I’m still irritated, as I won’t be able to remember the event without remembering that most unwelcome interruption. BLECH!

Eric Daniels on Freedom of Speech in American History, Lecture 3 of 3:

  • Today, Eric Daniels covered the state of the law in various kind of free speech, particularly obscenity law, fighting words and hate speech, and symbolic speech.

  • He also advocated three strategies in any attempt to defend freedom of speech. I’ll list them here, although they only really make sense in the context of the whole course.
    1. Articulate and advocate a proper view of free speech, based on the proper grounds of individual rights and the exercise of reason.
    2. Defend even the worst speech on principle.
    3. Argue that free speech is not just about politics but about all aspects of man’s life.

Paul and I will be returning home tomorrow. I’m looking forward to that, although apparently it’s hot hot hot in Denver.

   
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