I’m sorry to report that the Positive Psychology Summit was colossal waste of time. Almost without exception, the lectures were boring, pointless, and stupid. Most didn’t even rise to level of interesting philosophic corruption. Ellen Langer’s talk on mindful creativity was surely the most philosophically awful that I attended, but it required no interesting detective work whatsoever. She was just a raving subjectivist, such that mindfulness meant mental engagement without reference to rational purposes or any other facts of reality.
Happily, I did have an excellent few days of conversation with Don Watkins during the conference. I also finally (!) read James Valliant’s The Passion of Ayn Rand’s Critics. I’ll have much to say about it later, but let me at least offer a strong recommendation. It was a fascinating and worthwhile read. Personally, I didn’t think that I could think any worse of the Brandens than I already did when I began the book. But Valliant proved me wrong! Also, Ayn Rand’s personal journals were really, really interesting to read. It’s a rare glimpse into the core objectivity of her thought, even while swimming in the confusing drama of the Brandens’ lies.
After the Pointless Psychology Summit, I traveled up to Maryland to spend a few days on the farm with my excellent parents. I helped my mother sort through piles of old books and riding tack that she was looking to sell, and ended up with five heavy boxes to ship back to Colorado! I’m going to have fun unpacking them, although I have no space for the books at present. (I have lots of room in my tack room, however!)