Thursday, February 23, 2012

Reflection: #ISFLC12

First of all, twitterspeak is pretty obnoxious, but I kind of dig the hashtag trend.

Second of all, I am not entirely sure how I am going to tackle this blog post topic.
I have seventeen pages of handwritten notes from the conference and I need to figure
out a way to make them coherent enough for the general public to read without adding
too much additional personal commentary or exploration. I was originally planning to
publish all of these notes in a single post, but it soon became clear that the sheer
volume of these notes makes that impossible. I will, however, maintain chronological
order throughout the publishment of these notes. In addition to the notes, I will
include the speaker biography and session summary from the conference program.

But for now, to begin, my reflection of ISFLC12.

(side note: my blog would be far more professional if I eliminated internal dialogue)


The 2012 International Students for Liberty Conference was incredible. I am beyond
glad that I went. I met a great deal of incredible people, attended a variety of
inspiring and provocative sessions, partied, and experienced some ISFLC spirit. This
ISFLC spirit is similar to the HOBY spirit in that it is based on the fact that the
attendees have a deep bond because of one particular similarity. At HOBY, this is
probably leadership and HOBY itself. At ISFLC, it was Libertarianism, activism, and
other politically-related topics. In a recent paper I wrote for Community about HOBY,
I discussed how HOBY creates an extremely strong community because we are similar,
yet a great deal of variety exists. At HOBY, there is a variety of political beliefs,
backgrounds, and general life philosophies. But these things do not tear us apart
because our community is based upon such a resounding similarity. Likewise, at ISFLC,
there was a variety of hometowns, majors, interests, and general philosophies. But
these things did not impair the ISFLC spirit because the community was based upon an
extremely deep bond of similarity. These spirits have been reflected in many of my
friendships, especially in regards to politics. Essentially, my politically-active
friends and I are friends because we are politically-active. Even though the details
of our political philosophies certainly vary, we are not divided by dogma because we
are connected through common action. Even though our action may be headed in different
directions, we are acting together against the same broken system.

This is what unites us.

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