Various things to report:
2010 Libertarian Alliance Conference
The Libertarian Alliance conference went very well last weekend. All the speeches were of very high quality, and so was the audience. As in previous years, we did eventually sell every place, and this was despite the price rise forced on us by a rise in costs. Indeed, we had 120 people at the dinner, which is a record.
Half the videos are up on Vimeo. The other half must wait until my upload quota resets next Tuesday. The footage is worth waiting for. My use of camera lighting is still haphazard at best. Sometimes, I get it sort of right. Mostly, I manage to throw shadows onto the wall in ways that suggest a debt to German expressionism. I shall, no doubt, improve.
At last, though, I’ve got the sound right. Except for the after dinner speech, where we had to use the distance microphone, the sound is good enough to describe as studio quality.
You’ll notice that I’ve spent more time discussing the recording of the speeches than the speeches themselves. The reason ought to be obvious. It’s already well-known that the LA puts on good conferences. Most people we approach are eager to speak, and they speak well. As said, the audience is generally polite and intelligent – even if sometimes sceptical too. Ever since we moved the location from various basements and hotel rooms to the National Liberal Club, we’ve gone from good to better. We’ve learned something in the past few years from the Property and Freedom Society conferences that Hans-Hermann Hoppe runs in Bodrum. But we already had a fine product.
Something that’s only recently become as issue, though, is recording. We always used to make a vague effort to capture speeches on audiotape. We felt it was our duty. But we had limited ability to publish the tapes – we couldn’t copy them very well, and no radio station ever offered to broadcast them. With the rise of the Internet and of digital recording, this state of affairs was wholly transformed. We can now make high definition video recordings and make these available via the Internet. Because we can do this, we have a plain duty to do it as well as we can. Therefore, my endless fussing at these conferences with lighting and the placing of microphones.
Our duty, of course, is not imposed simply by the existence of technology that makes recording possible. It derives from the fact that we are, for the most part, shut out from the mainstream media, and that, if we are serious about being heard, we must take our message as far as we can. Then there is the fact that something can only be said to have happened in this age if it has been recorded.
I think you’ll find that this year’s recordings are better than last year’s. I hope next year’s will be even better. Our object is to upload video footage to the Internet that, except in its content, might have been recorded off the telly.
Other Libertarian Alliance Events
The conference is over for another year. Even so, the LA Calendar continues. On Tuesday the 22nd December 2010, we shall be holding a drinks reception in the National Liberal Club. Attendance is free, but you’ll only be let in if you’ve said in advance you want to attend. Do wait for the formal invitation. This will tell you to whom you should reply, and will confirm the date.
In the meantime, our friends over at the other Libertarian Alliance are pressing on with their monthly lectures. David McDonagh writes:
“We meet on the second Monday of the month at 7pm at The Institute of Education, just off Russell Square – student bar, Room S16, Thornhaugh Street, London, WC1B 5EA.
“On Monday, 8 November Anthony J. Evans will present ‘A Proposal for Sound Money’
“On Monday, 13 December Mark Littlewood will talk on ‘Libertarianism’s Challenges, Opportunities and Threats in the Coalition Era.’
“All are welcome, admission free. So do come along.”
The Chris R.Tame Memoral Prize
I should have announced this at the Saturday banquet. Sadly, I forgot. I would have announced it at the closing drinks party the following afternoon. But we had a dwindling audience, and the winner was present, and the winner is a modest man. I have since then been busy with other matters. But the winner of this year’s prize is David Robert Gibson. There was, I will admit, stiff competition. But his entry hit the right tone most consistently.
I will publish all the essays on the LA Blog over the next week.
That’s all for now.