TOS-Con 2018: ‘A Tapestry of Practical Ideas’ that You Can Enjoy Now


Sarah, Darcy, and I returned home from TOS-Con 2018 deeply rewarded. We wanted this conference to sharpen minds, fuel souls, enhance lives. And it did.

I’ll share some comments we’ve received from attendees below. But first, I want to let you know where you can watch or rewatch the presentations yourself, even if you were unable to attend in person. I’d also like to thank several people who made the conference possible.

Our fabulous camera crew livestreamed the presentations to Facebook and captured them on high-definition video as well. If you have a Facebook account, you can view the events on TOS’s Facebook page now. If you don’t have a Facebook account (or don’t care for that platform), you’ll be able to watch everything in a few days, when we upload the presentations to TOS’s YouTube channel and The Objective Standard’s website. I’ll let you know when the videos are available there.

Our camera crew also took thousands of pictures, and we’ve begun uploading them to TOS’s Facebook page. Check out the photos, and tag yourself and your friends. Hundreds of beautiful, smiling people enjoying philosophy for freedom and flourishing! It’s a lovely sight to behold.

I want to extend a huge thank-you to the following people and organizations for their financial support of this conference.

Carl Barney provided Prometheus Scholarships to thirty students and young adults. These were full scholarships, including travel, conference registration, hotel accommodations, and tickets to the opening and closing banquets.

Tim Blum and Keith Knutter of High Road Producers provided High Road Scholarships to eight students and young adults. These too were full scholarships.

The Atlases of TOS-Con 2018 provided substantial funding that enabled extremely low pricing for students and young adults. The Atlases this year were:

Pete and Vicki Masterson
Doug and Helen Basberg
Mark Coldren
Sidney J. Gunst Jr.
Chris and Lydia Ash
Bill and Rosemary Gately
Paul Stafford
Laurie Newsom and Rod Gonzalez

Several people provided single scholarships, partial scholarships, or other funding to help offset the costs of the conference. These supporters include Sandra Shaw, Jeff Hoyal, David Clayton, Dan Sullivan, and John Cerasuolo.

Special thanks to Eric Kalin for his expert advice in planning and organizing the conference, to Ezra Drake for building the website, and to Jon Hersey for helping in more ways than I can count.

Thank you, TOS-Con speakers and performers, for bringing your expertise and enthusiasm to this mind-sharpening, soul-fueling, life-enhancing event. You delivered in spades (see attendees’ comments below).

An enormous thank you to my lovely wife, Sarah, who pulled this conference together by the seat of her pants, having never done anything of the sort before. You were awesome, Babe. (Trigger warning!)

Finally, thank you, TOS-Con attendees, for taking a chance by coming to TOS’s first major conference, thus risking the possibility of suffering the various problems that can go wrong with such a thing.

My gratitude to you all!

Now, for a sampling of the kind of feedback we’re receiving about the event. It’s still pouring in, but the following comments are representative of what we’ve received so far.

“The intellectual development I experienced is immeasurable.” —Oscar

“Traveling home, I couldn’t stop thinking about all of the ideas I heard and people I met . . . Speaking with so many passionate individuals and listening to so many different talks really inspired me to reflect on how I live my life and how I want to live it, and to put more work into my aspirations. I’m so grateful for the experience. Thank you!” —Kenna

“Alex Epstein’s talk on communication was a favorite because of my specific interest in that subject, but I enjoyed Robin Field’s performance the most. I’ll remember his powerful story about his introduction to Atlas Shrugged for the rest of my life.” —Mike

“I loved that the speakers were around and available for informal chats. Whether that was intentional or not, it was very valuable.” —Ryan

“The integration of the presentations was fantastic! They all had a common thread . . . The very actionable lectures on taking ownership of your career and finances were extremely valuable to me.” —Celeste

“I’m sure your inbox is flooded with similar messages, but I just wanted to say once more, TOS-Con was phenomenal, and I am overjoyed that I got to experience it! Ten minutes into Craig’s talk on Friday morning, I knew I was in for something amazing. All the speakers spoke at a level that was challenging yet very approachable and understandable for someone like me, someone pretty new to Objectivism. It was delightful! I was also blown away by how kind and thoughtful the attendees were. I learned not just a ton about the application of Objectivism and human flourishing, but also picked up a bunch of soft skills and inspiration from interacting with the awesome people that came. Thank you so much for all the work you put in to make that happen. I can’t wait for next year!!!” —Leisa

“The speakers, your staff, the hotel, and the locale made TOS-Con much more than a typical conference. You created an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity and rational inquiry in a relaxed, socially-engaged, fun environment. My only disappointment was that it ended.” —Ed

“I loved the mixture of ages, the interaction among participants, and the great Q&A sessions at the end of each talk. I also loved that every session related to the overarching theme. It was like a concerto that built to a climax at the end—the creation of the USA! Thank you for such a rewarding experience! —Terry

“Every talk was intellectually exhilarating. I had a great time and made the most of it. I attended every talk (didn’t miss a single one), met amazing people, made great memories, and am leaving feeling very inspired and energized!” —Julian

“The topics wove together to make a fascinating tapestry of ideas that were practical and immediately applicable. Thanks for all the soul fuel!” —John

We’re delighted beyond words that TOS-Con 2018 enhanced so many lives in so many ways. We also see enormous room for improvement, and we have many pages of notes toward making next year’s conference even better.

We’ll announce the dates and location for TOS-Con 2019 in October, and we’ll offer substantial discounts for early registration. (The likely dates are either July 31–August 3 or August 7–10.)

In the meantime, enjoy the videos of this year’s conference—and please share them with friends and groups you think might benefit from philosophy for freedom and flourishing.


Comments submitted to TOS are moderated and checked periodically. Anonymous posts are not permitted; commenters must use their real names. To be considered for posting, a comment must be civil, substantive, on topic, and no longer than 400 words. Ad hominem attacks, arguments from intimidation, misrepresentations, off-topic comments, and comments that ignore relevant points made in the article will be deleted. Thank you for helping us to keep the discussion intellectually profitable.