Category Archives: Events

OCON 2010: Today is last day for early registration [Update: extended]

Today is the last day for early registration discount for the OCON 2010 conference.

This year’s OCON will be held from July 2-10 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I will soon turn on the OCON summer conference networking options inside the dating service, as that seemed to be a popular option last year.

UPDATE from OCON: “We are writing with exciting news: as of today, registrations for Objectivist Summer Conference 2010 are on a record-setting pace, with 34% more registrants than we had at this time last year. At this rate, we anticipate our largest conference to date! In response to this news, we have decided to extend our deadline for early registration discounts to Sunday, April 4.”

Mike Shapiro: Change of Plans

Los Angeles-based composer and screenwriter (and sometimes Atlasphere columnist) Mike Shapiro, fresh off the success of his ten-minute musical “The Alleged Adventures of Blenderman,” has written a new short work called “Change of Plans” which will be playing in Los Angeles from June 19th to July 5th.

Mike writes that “The show’s central theme of self-integrity might resonate with the Atlasphere audience.” I didn’t get a chance to see Blenderman myself, but I remember it received some nice awards. Given Mike’s legendary wit, it’s a safe bet that it will be funny, as well.

Week-long seminar for high school and college students in Chicago

From and Atlasphere member Marsha Enright:

To High School and College Students

Are you prepared to face the stifling ideological conformism and collectivism rampant at most colleges – and can you do so while keeping your intellectual integrity intact?

Do you want to gain powerful knowledge and skills that will equip you for college, for success, for life?

If your answer is “yes,” then join us for a unique “total immersion” learning experience in one exciting and challenging week of intensive classes, interactive sessions, off-campus expeditions, and rewarding camaraderie.

“The Great Connections: Mastering the Intellectual Tools that Transform a College Education into Lifetime Success,” will be held in Chicago, July 25th to August 2nd, sponsored by the Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute, the foundation for the prospective College of the United States.

For more information and to enroll, go here. Anyone wishing to enroll can mention this announcement and obtain a $250 discount off the seminar fee.

Are you single and planning to attend OCON?

A member of our dating service, Theresa, has offered to coordinate an informal dinner outing for members of the Atlasphere’s dating service who will be attending OCON 2009 in Boston this July.

Feel free to contact her through her dating profile if you would like information about partaking.

In addition, we have created a section where we list the men and women in our dating service who will be attending the conference, so you can start getting to know one another before the conference begins.

Any member of Atlasphere’s dating service can add him- or herself to these lists, using the form provided at the top of these pages.

We hope you find this new feature helpful. My wife Kathy and I met at a summer conference in 1999, so we’re always happy to vouch for just how valuable these can be when you are looking for a soul-mate.

If you have questions or need any assistance, please contact us.

Free Minds: An Objectivist Summer Conference

A new Objectivist Summer Conference has been announced and will be held June 30 through July 8, 2009, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

From the Free Minds website:

Throughout history, there have been a few isolated periods notable for their cultures of freedom and reason. These periods have produced the greatest thinking, the greatest wealth, and the greatest science, art, and advancements in justice and human well being.

This fact is fully documented but its importance is rarely noted or appreciated. In reality, it is the most important topic of all time. If we want humanity to thrive, the conditions of freedom and respect for reason that allow thriving must be understood, nurtured, and expanded.

The most influential pro reason, pro freedom intellectual movement in the world is Objectivism. This conference will explore its achievements, opportunities for its growth, and its potential for the future of humankind.

It comes together at the University of Nevada, in Las Vegas, June 30, 2009. Low fees, low housing and meal costs, very low tuition for students. It will be a life changing event and the educational adventure of a lifetime.

For more information: Free Minds 09

Graduate Scholarships and Graduate Seminar 2009

The Atlas Society, by way of William Thomas, has announced the following graduate programs:

*1) Graduate Scholarships: Application Deadline March 1, 2009.*

We at TAS are looking for graduate students with a high potential to contribute to future work on Ayn Rand and Objectivism, and whose progress toward a degree could signally benefit from scholarship support. We offer up to $11,000 over the year-long period August 2009-July 2010. Students with a solid, systematic understanding of Objectivism and who are pursuing Ph.D. or masterâ??s degrees in philosophy, political science, history, psychology, and related fields are eligible. Full application information is online at: .

If you are interested in possibly applying for a scholarship, donâ??t hesitate to contact me.

*2) Graduate Seminar in Objectivist Method, planned for August 2â??7, 2009*

David Kelley and I are pleased to announce that we will be holding our annual seminar for graduate students and advanced undergraduates, planned for George Washington University in Washington, DC in the first week in August this year. The Graduate Seminar is an intensive week-long seminar for around 10 students.

Instruction in 2009 will focus on the distinctive Objectivist methodology of approaching philosophical issues. The syllabus will include aspects of philosophical analysis such as defining concepts, analyzing the logical structure of arguments, keeping context, organizing ideas in terms of essentials, and employing induction and deduction appropriately. Students will also learn presentation skills by taking part in the presentation of a 10-part course on Objectivism. David and I will be the lead instructors.

The Graduate Seminar, including room and board in Washington, is free to full-time students and scholars, and applicants may also request up to $300 in travel money.

A syllabus and application form will both be posted online shortly.

The early application deadline for the Graduate Seminar is May 15, 2008. Applicants will be notified about their acceptance by May 23. Preference will be given to early applicants in acceptance and travel stipend award decisions. Applicants who need a decision before May 23 are welcome to request an early decision at the time that they apply.

Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis through July 10, 2008. Applicants after May 15 will be notified regarding their acceptance on a rolling basis, but no later than July 17. Acceptance of such late applicants will depend on available space and funds.

TAS Summer Seminar 2009 Announcement

The Atlas Society posted the following letter on its website announcing that they have canceled their summer seminar for this summer.

To members and friends of The Atlas Society: 

Many of you have said that the Summer Seminar is one of the most fulfilling experiences of your year. We at the Atlas Society sincerely acknowledge what a pleasure it is to host this event and connect with the vibrant individuals who make up our community. And so it isnâ??t without a touch of sorrow that we publicize the cancellation of the 2009 Summer Seminar.

This decision has come at the end of a long deliberation about how best to use our time, money, and staff expertise to spread the message of Open Objectivism, especially while we maintain our footing in this rocky economic environment. We have concluded that the internet is the most cost-effective method to deliver our product. Currently, our website attracts over 250,000 viewers every month, with a substantial portion from overseas: Europe, Latin America, India, and East Asia. This level of exposure is an enormously positive achievement for our organization.

However, the current TAS website is not adequate to sustain the further gains we believe are possible. To bring these gains to fruition, we need a radically redesigned website. This projectâ??the redesigning of our websiteâ??will be a major focus for 2009. While our existing site has a wealth of material on Objectivism, we need navigation tools that enable users to find what they want across the breadth of material and to the depth of their interests. We plan to add interactive features and make use of diverse media: audio, video, blogging, and email bulletins, as well as text.

The content of our website is where our staff expertise factors in. The staff of the Atlas Society will be called on for tasks such as selecting, editing, and organizing old materialâ??including hundreds of lectures from Seminars past; creating new material, both written and audio-visual; and structuring the site to make it appealing to intended users. These tasks require knowledge of Objectivism. At key points, the project will place heavy demands on the content creators on staff: David Kelley, Ed Hudgins, and Will Thomas.

Our content is also where you, our members, factor in. We deeply value the insight and commitment of the individuals in the Atlas Society. We implore you to refocus with us and accept our warm invitation to lend your ideas to our developing website, and to our publications, especially The New Individualist. To what topics would you like to see Objectivism applied? What questions do you have about the philosophy? What have we written in the past that youâ??ve found inspiring, helpful, challenging, or simply enjoyable reading?

As our website becomes more streamlined and accessible to a worldwide public, our goal is to gain more membersâ??smart and creative individuals like you. You have already helped to create the spirit of the Atlas Society by your support and your participation in our programs, events and in our literature. After all, the culture of our movement is determined not only by our staff, but also by our supporters. Your engagement will affect the impression we make and the audience we draw to our website. We are listening, and we want you to share your thoughts with us.

We hope you will share in our big-picture vision. With the successful completion of our website project in mind, we look forward to an invigorating Summer Seminar in 2010. The 20th anniversary of Open Objectivism will be an event to celebrate in style. We can’t wait to see you there.

Best regards,

David Kelley


P.S. To contact any of us or to offer support to The Atlas Society, e-mail or call 202-296-7263 (202 AYN RAND).

D.C. discussion about Ayn Rand and Objectivism

The Atlas Society has announced the following upcoming event:

The Atlas Society, the center for Objectivism, along with the Cato Institute, Institute for Human Studies, and Students for Liberty, will sponsor “An Evening Discussion about Ayn Rand and Objectivism.”

The event will be held on Wednesday, July 30, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Cato. The address is 1000 Massachusetts Ave N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001. Refreshments will be served.

David Kelley, founder and senior scholar of The Atlas Society, and William Thomas, director of programs, will be speaking in the F.A. Hayek auditorium to Koch Fellows and other interns who are in Washington for the summer. But our friends and supporters in the D.C. area or any who happen to be in town that day are welcome to attend as well.

If you’d like to register–we’d like to get a count for the refreshment order!–you can call us at 202-AYN-RAND (296-7263) or email us at

The program will be:

David Kelley, Moral Individualism

Individualism is the belief in the primacy of the individual rather than the group. It is the morality of independence, autonomy, and the pursuit of happiness-as against the collectivist demand for conformity and sacrifice. Kelley will discuss Ayn Rand’s innovative analysis and defense of moral individualism.

William Thomas, Objectivism for Liberty

Libertarianism is a political coalition based in the political defense of individual rights and the economics of laisser-faire. But politics and economics depend on more foundational issues in ethics and epistemology. How can you respond economically to environmentalists deeply committed to the intrinsic value of untrammeled nature? How can you respond politically to police-state advocates who hold that the President’s judgment on matters of national security is authoritative? Thomas will argue that the core ethical and epistemological ideas of Objectivism (reason and rational-self-interest) need to take solid root in the culture if we are to win the battle for individual liberty.

TAS Executive Director Ed Hudgins will moderate and the presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.