Why is Harry Thinking About Going to China?
I shall save my blog post about my meeting with the Republicans Abroad Philippines for another time. I'm sure it does stir intrigue and suspense among my readers; this desire to know more about what transpired within the walls of the Manila lodge of The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks. Watch out for that soon.
Propaganda Poster During the Regime of Mao Zedong
So a fellow libertarian shares this link to the Shanghai Austrian Economics Summit and I am quite interested in going. The problem, of course, is the whopping minimum price of $758. This is the bare minimum. You get to share a room with a random guy (or someone I know if someone else is interested in coming), get free lodging for three days, with all meals paid for. This doesn't include the package that comes with a tour of China. The Great Wall and stuff like that, if I'm not mistaken. Oh, and this doesn't include airfare. If I don't get to pay before the 1st of May, I'll miss out on the early bird discount and it'll even be more expensive.
Come to think of it though, some people would pay around the same price or even more for the new iPad where they'll just play Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja or whatever it is that's trending right now. Comparing it to that, the price for the summit slowly becomes more sensible. And don't even get me started on the price of schooling (there's really so much to streamline in the contemporary schooling curriculum and its methodologies; I've written on this a couple of times mostly in my other blogs).
And I love seminars and conferences. I actually love specifying them in my resume, for instance. I believe that, for many of the seminars/conferences I've attended, most of the time I actually learn more in just a day or two (or more relevant to me, at least) as compared to more time spent in school.
Take Graphika Manila 2010, for example. I didn't specifically learn any new skill or how to produce art/films. What I got was wisdom from those who actually have experience in the field. What I got was inspiration.
For example, during the 2011 one, there was this guy who was part of the creation of Avatar (I forgot his exact role). I didn't really learn specifically how to make intense graphics and animations. But I learned that he actually never finished college. He was actually just a pizza delivery guy at one time. And it's just so inspiring to hear the stories and advice from these experienced artists.
So the keyword here is inspiration. Basically, if I choose to go, that's what I'm paying for. Aside from the networking with the most influential groups in the libertarian world, aside from the new lessons about the Austrian School of Economics and classical liberalism, these speakers: they will be there to inspire me.
Inspire me to excel in my writing. Inspire me to learn more about history and economics. Inspire me to think of solutions to our world's problems. Inspire me to think that my writing is actually, no matter how small an effect, helping in changing the minds of people toward a more libertarian perspective. The pen is mightier than the sword, they say. It'll add to my credibility — probably the most important aspect of all.
I do hope, if I do get a chance to complete the funds needed in going there, that the visa application process isn't tedious. It probably isn't. I see people go to The Great Wall all the time.
It is quite funny, the idea of having a libertarian summit in China of all places. It does sound a bit scary.
I don't really have the complete funds needed for this trip but I am thinking positive about it. May is quite far from now, even if I don't make it to the early bird discount, I should start with small steps. I gotta go knock at the doors of our bureaucrats over at DFA so they can help me out with my expired passport then get the China visa. No matter what, at least I would have been able to renew my passport and get a visa to China. If I don't make it to the conference, I'm sure China would be a fun place to video random things (I do enjoy that, if you're not familiar).