Live from Telluride

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Sort of...

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" ... 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.

-- CAV


Matt F. said...

Sounds like your enjoying yourself as much as I am. I shared a gondola ride with Paul, Diana and Greg but I was so wiped out that I didn't realize it until I was back at the place I am staying.
Hope you enjoy the rest of the conference.

Matt F.

Myrhaf said...

Great report! Keep 'em coming. Are you the person who has checked out my blog 2 or 3 times from Telluride?

Sid said...

Great stuff! I hope you'll upload the entire photo collection on Flickr. :)

Firefox not working: the only thing popping up in my mind is proxy settings. Did you have to change them to get your Internet connection working? If so, you may need to fill them again within Firefox. Also, does the same happen on Windows, i.e. IE working and Firefox not?

Ha ha, I'd love to see one or two photos of the lunatic fringe.

The people you met: how far did their personalities agree with the images you had of them in your mind after reading them on the 'net? (I didn't know the Box Office Mojo guy was an Objectivist, though now I know that he is, I realise his reviews virtually give it away.)

Will the presentations be uploaded on the Internet later?

Gus Van Horn said...


Thanks, and I hope we bump into each other at some point.


That wasn't me, but some people there are still getting their blog fixes. One that I met yesterday (I think he wishes to remain anonymous) surprised me by having checked my blog!

I have been all but out of the loop here as I leave my laptop at "home" and it's a (comparatively) big production to get it up and running. By contrast, I have computers running all the time at home and work in Houston. It's like an electronic Garden of Eden the way I have it set up there.


I may not upload everything, but I plan to post a few more here.

I fooled around with lots of things and attempted to keep track of them. I think all I had to change in the end was my encryption mode. Firefox works fine in Windows.

I have heard that browsers can "act like" other browsers. If this is true, I am guessing that if I could tell Firefox how to ape IE, I'd be up and running, but I'm not quite sure how to do that. (My networking knowledge is somewhat random and disorganized. For all I know, that is exactly what you're talking about. I may not get to look into this much until this evening, though.

As far as personalities go, I found uniformly that either the people I met were as I expected or that I like them better in person.

I have to admit that I occasionally wonder the same about myself. I'm one of those types that some people find hard to read. I have been told that I am intimidating. And I think that some people think I have less on the ball than I do.