Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Since my wife has used our dual-boot laptop for most of its existence, I have little experience using it at all, let alone on the road for blogging purposes. Getting my host's DSL to work with my machine was one bump in the road, which the other -- the odd behavior of my normal browser of choice, Firefox -- didn't help me figure out any more quickly. (For what it's worth, Firefox will say, for example, "Connecting to umptysquat.com..." ... forever. Without loading anything.)
But the Konqueror browser works just fine. For Konqueror. So I'll run with it as best I can, unless some helpful soul out there has any good ideas concerning what might be ailing Firefox.
As I said before, blogging will be irregular this week and, on top of that, my connection and this computer are both slower than I am used to, so I will be hard-pressed to keep up with my usual pace. Besides. I'm on vacation in a beautiful place I've never been before, and attending OCON 2007, the Objectivist Summer Conference. [Hmmm. I've just noticed: No "compose mode" in Blogger with Konquerer. This means: I have to hard-code HTML links and text formatting, and have no spell check function. Not that I'm a bad speller, but: Oy.]
I almost didn't make it here. I'm a scientist, and therefore, not exactly well-heeled at this point in my career. And Telluride is quite expensive. Were it not for my in-laws helping me find lodging here with some of their friends, this trip just wasn't going to happen. I am having a wonderful time and I am very grateful to them. This may be my last chance to attend a conference for a long time.
With that, I post a few pictures I have managed to take so far. Click an image to expand it.
This is just one of the magnificent views from where I am staying.
Each day, I take a gondola ride over a mountain to Mountain Village, the actual site of the conference. Here, you can make out the gondola at the upper right.
The gondola departs from a station in a section of town I have nicknamed "The Lunatic Fringe" due to the fact that it's on the fringe of town and in honor of the house you see in the foreground with the anarchist symbol and "No Trespassing" sign (not visible) posted in front of its doorstep. I walked by the place once around mid-day to see what looked to be a few burned-out hippies lounging on its front porch. Or rednecks. Whatever.
Here is the kind of view of Telluride one gets from the gondola.
This is a shot from near the end of Yaron Brook's "State of the Institute" presentation. At the end of a fascinating talk about the efforts of the Ayn Rand Institute to give Objectivism greater penetrance in our culture, he went through a couple of slides of the sort of headlines we Objectivists are working hard to see in the papers some day. This one shows: "Reinstated Gold Standard Precedes Massive Growth of U.S. Economy" [subtitle: Inflation No Longer a Factor] in The Boston Globe, "Supreme Court Rules 'Faith-Based Initiatives' Unconstitutional" in the Los Angeles Times, and "Iran to Adopt American-Style Constitution a Decade After Being Defeated by the U.S. [subtitle: U.S. Troops to start leaving Teheran] in The New York Times.
In addition to the postcard-quality scenery and some really good presentations, I have had the pleasure of meeting in person quite a few people I had hitherto known only through blogging, including Paul and Diana Hsieh, and Greg Perkins of Noodle Food; Craig Biddle and John Lewis of The Objective Standard; and Scott Holleran, whose Box Office Mojo reviews I have cited from time to time.
And with that brief journal/postcard, I am off to run the gauntlet of gondola and anarchist compound for another round of OCON 2007.