Just returned from a Liberty Fund conference in Indianapolis. The topic was religion, freedom of speech, and politics in Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise.
These folks really know how to run a show. Three 1.5-hour sessions in the morning, lunch, 4-hour down-time, a fourth session, cocktails, dinner, cocktails. Repeat. Discussion was at a consistently high level, with excellent moderation, and good ground rules to keep anyone from hogging the show. I learned a lot: I just signed a contract to write a book on Spinoza’s theology, and the discussion gave me pages of new ideas to explore. And I didn’t mind being lodged in a 5-star hotel.
Also was able to visit dear friends Peter and Tami and their little farm. After Peter and I broke our backs on demanding chores, we grilled some brats and were treated to a gen-u-ine midwestern thundershower, followed by a brilliant rainbow. Also was treated to a tour of Liberty headquarters — sort of a “corporate life of the mind establishment,” resembling an insurance office but with lots of great books, busts of greats, and artwork (and people busy exploring ideas and putting together conferences).
I must remember to bring a camera to my next conference, whenever/wherever it is!