Sunday, June 14, 2009

Check Out this Summer Seminar

Some people I know are planning to start a new college in the Chicago area. As a sort of preview or pilot project, they are offering a week-long seminar for high school and college students later this summer. Below is their statement. I think this sounds exciting. If you have a youngster in this age group, be sure to click on the links!

The Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute is a foundation working to open a new liberal arts college in Chicago with a radically different curriculum and approach than most contemporary institutions.
The Great Books and other classics will be the foundation of the curriculum. Additionally, major works of classical liberalism, free-market economics, and modern science will also be incorporated into the core. The methods and organization of the curriculum will have a special emphasis on reasoning throughout the subjects, from science to art, history to mathematics.

Students will learn philosophy, reasoning skills, economic literacy, and how to exercise their own independent rational judgment. They will study and debate the ideas of important thinkers such as Ludwig von Mises and Carl Menger and Ayn Rand-whom other institutions now often ignore or even disparage.

One of the College’s major goals is to counter the irrationalist and collectivist trends that currently dominate higher education. The hallmark of The College is objective inquiry and reasoned debate, and the presentation of a complete spectrum of knowledge and ideas.

Although the College is not yet ready to open, something exciting is happening in just a few weeks...

I’m writing about it today because the Institute is holding a seminar for high school and college students in Chicago this July. It's called The Great Connections: Mastering the Intellectual Tools that Transform a College Education into Lifetime Success.

This week-long event will serve as a demonstration of, and introduction to, The College's distinctive approach. But it will benefit participants regardless of the institution they choose to attend.

This unique seminar will develop attendees' independence and knowledge of key ideas in the battle for liberty. They will be equipped to maintain their integrity despite the political correctness and collectivist pressures they may encounter on other campuses. They will learn first-hand about a variety of career paths and their rewards and challenges. And they will realize many other benefits that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives.


Danny said...

Gasp! Objectivists! Hide the children! Or...uh...don't, I guess.

This is fascinating stuff; thanks for directing my attention to it. I'll be waiting impatiently to see who they hire to teach the classes. Think there will be a commitment to ideological diversity and academic freedom?

Ann said...

What encouraging news! I wish the school well, A few lights are coming back across our civilization.

Anonymous said...

There's something to be said about colleges (or a culture?) where a certain important area of Western intellectual product is left neglected or glossed over as a result of professorial bias (and therefore professorial choice), but to retort with a school which makes that ostracized area its cornerstone (rather than simply hiring professors who lean thataways) seems to me an overreaction.

Lester Hunt said...

Dan and Anon,

These folks aren't what are sometimes called "hard-liners," so I'm not worried about mindless uniformity here.

Ann said...

Somewhat OT, but it relates to individual freedom. I've been following the Iran protests via Tweetie (iPhone Twitter app). Twitter, as everyone now knows, is the only channel of communication left to the people of Iran. Blogs, Facebook there are shut down. Tweets are broadcasting proxies for the Iranians to use, to get through on Twitter, also many people around the world are changing their timezone and location to Tehran, to add confusion for the Iranian police who are trying to trace down individuals in Iran who are tweeting reports/pix to outside world, or tweeting logistics (like which exit routes to use to escape the police who are attacking some student dorms.) Last night they were asking Twitter to postpone the 90-minute downtime maintenance, because the Iranians would be blacked out for that time. I believe Twitter complied and kept the system up. I find all of this grassroots coordination against a tyranny that possesses all the guns and ammo pretty heroic and inspiring. There are now reports that Iranian govt is sending out robo-calls to citizens which tell them they have broken the law for participating in a protest. It's a deep reminder that distributed communication and resilient communication can be a powerful weapon against centralized thuggery. I wish Obama would be more outspoken in support of the Iranian people; he's apparently just a political hack from Chicago who, for all his tweeting during the campaign, is just waiting on the sidelines to see how all of this will affect his political career. It would be so unproductive to piss-off Ahmadinejad, at this 'sensitive time' right? Gag.

Lester Hunt said...

I have been tempted to blog about BHO's foreign policy, but I can't quite figure out what it is. As far as I can make it out, it consists in applying the only skill set he possesses to brilliant degree: those of a Chicago ward heeler. Pour on the charm, kiss a few babies -- above all, don't say anything to offend the voters -- and wait for the votes rain down like manna. Or in this case, wait for them to send plenty of troops to Iraq and take in all our unwanted Gitmo detainees. So far, as you know, this has been a complete and total flop. I guess brutal dictators aren't as easy to charm as the average American voter.

Ann said...

Apparently BHO is now saying not such big difference in the two candidates in Iran. Maybe truth to this, I'm not certain. He misses the main point though - the world is outraged at the blatant fraud and the blatant removal of public forums to the Iranians. Does he have simply nothing to say about this? I guess not. He 'gets it', i.e., probably sees the value in being able to control the media and is hoping to figure out more ways to do this himself. Am I cynical?

Lester Hunt said...

I just saw BHO on TV saying "that is not how governments should interact with their people," also that shooting demonstrators is "unacceptable." What a blistering indictment of tyranny! Paine and Jefferson would be proud.