I was out at the Objectivist Conference in Telluride last week, I had never been to one before, and what a treat it was!
Objectivism is the philosophy of Ayn Rand. Unlike other philosophies you might have encountered before, Ayn Rand's philosophy is very practical, in her words it is "a philosophy for living on earth". We had courses available on all subjects, ranging from pure philosophy to math, physics, economics, politics, law, and art.
The main general session was by Dr. Leonard Peikoff, where he presented his DIM hypothesis on how the method of integrating observations into concepts gives rise to different cultural products in art, science, politics, etc. He identified five modes of integration that give rise to five categories of cultural products in a wide range of fields. Beside the general sessions, I took optional courses in the objective basis of mathematics, economics, the scientific method, the science of selfishness, the corporation, the philosophy of Kant, and Atlas Shrugged as a work of philosophy.
I was impressed with the quality of the speakers, the degree of scholarship in their courses, and the quality of the attendees. Besides learning a lot, I also made many new friends. It is not often that you have so many smart people who are interested on ideas together, so I spent a lot of time talking to people, and not too much time sleeping. I figured I'd sleep when I got back to Denver.
I'll write some more later about some of the specific things I learned. Now my next order of business is to apply to the Objectivist Academic Center at the Ayn Rand Institute, so I can really master objectivism as a supplement to my current studies in Applied Math.