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Seminars About Long Term Thinking Podcast

Seminars About Long Term Thinking Podcast

Product Details

Running Time
1 Hr. 29 Min.
Offered
Weekly
User Rating
  5.0  Stars Based on 2 ratings

Description

Seminars About Long-term Thinking is a monthly speaking series produced by The Long Now Foundation and hosted by Stewart Brand. The series looks from many angles and backgrounds at the subject of long term thinking and responsibility. Examples of speakers in the series range from musician Brian Eno, author Bruce Sterling, anthropologist Jared Diamond, technologist Ray Kurzweil, and game creator Will Wright.


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EXCELENT!
Reviewer chanio
 December 05, 2008
Tolerance could be understood as the notion of having to live with our decisions for the rest of our lives. Or for a longer term than our own life. Perhaps, with our family's...
So, these are interviews with people that are participating in the creation of long term new things... Games, music, internet new relationships/clubs, etc. How do they manage to deal with today's 'ASAP' culture?
It is interesting to listen for an hour to the creator of Wikipedia, the Sims/Spore, to Brian Eno's bells project, about the century clock, and other members of the active community of inventors.

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Bjorn Lomborg: From Feel-Good to High-Yield Good: How to Improve Philanthropy and Aid

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Mar 13, 2017


Bjorn Lomborg does cost/benefit analysis on global good. There are surprises when you examine what are the highest-yield targets in the domains of health, poverty, education, reduced violence, gender equality, climate change, biodiversity, and good governance. Reducing trade restrictions floats to the top: $1 spent yields $2,000 of good for everyone. Contraception for women is close behind, with a whole array of benefits. For health go after tuberculosis, malaria, and child malnutrition. For climate change, phase out fossil fuel subsidies and invest in energy research. For biodiversity, focus especially on saving coral reefs. Most aid and philanthropy decisions are made based on persuasive sounding narratives, and we relish taking part in those stories, even if the actual results are mixed. But the results of the most pragmatic approach, built on statistics and economic analysis rather than narrative, can be stunning. Bjorn Lomborg is author of Prioritizing the World (02014), Cool It (02007), and The Skeptical Environmentalist (02001).

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Jennifer Pahlka: Fixing Government: Bottom Up and Outside In

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Feb 1, 2017


Code for America was founded in 02009 by Jennifer Pahlka “to make government work better for the people and by the people in the 21st century.” The organization started a movement to modernize government for a digital age which has now spread from cities to counties to states, and now, most visibly, to the federal government, where Jennifer served at the White House as US Deputy Chief Technology Officer. There she helped start the United States Digital Service, known as "Obama's stealth startup." Now that thousands of people from "metaphysical Silicon Valley" are working for and with government, what have we learned? Can government actually be fixed to serve citizens better—especially the neediest? Why does change in government happen so slowly? Before founding Code for America, Jennifer Pahlka co-created the Web 2.0 and Gov. 2.0 conferences, building on her prior experience organizing computer game developer conferences. She continues to serve as executive director of Code for America, which is based in San Francisco.

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Steven Johnson: Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Jan 4, 2017


“You will find the future wherever people are having the most fun,” Johnson argues. He chronicles how, throughout history, world-transforming innovation emerges from the endless quest for novelty in seemingly trivial entertainments--fashion, music, spices, magic, taverns, zoos, games. He celebrates the observation of historian Johan Huizinga (Homo Ludens), “Civilization arises and unfolds in and as play.” Steven Johnson is the leading historian of creativity. His books include Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World; How We Got To Now; Where Good Ideas Come From; and Everything Bad Is Good For You.

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Douglas Coupland: The Extreme Present

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Nov 1, 2016


Douglas Coupland has done so much more than name a generation (“Generation X”—post-Boomer, pre-Millennial, from his novel of that name). He is a prolific writer (22 books, including nonfiction such as his biography of Marshall McLuhan) and a brilliant visual artist with installations at a variety of museums and public sites. His 1995 novel Microserfs nailed the contrast between corporate and startup cultures in software and Web design. Coupland is fascinated by time. For Long Now he plans to deploy ideas and graphics “all dealing on some level with time and how we perceive it, how we used to perceive it, and where our perception of it may be going.” A time series about time.

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David Eagleman: The Brain and The Now

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Oct 4, 2016


David Eagleman gives the keynote talk on "The Brain and The Now" at the Long Now Member Summit and is joined onstage after his talk by Stewart Brand and Danny Hillis for further discussion and Q&A. 02016 marks The Long Now Foundation's 20th year and we are holding our first Summit to showcase and connect with our amazing community, on Tuesday October 4, 02016 from noon to 11:30pm, at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.

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Jonathan Rose: The Well Tempered City

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Sep 20, 2016


Cities and urban regions can make coherent sense, can metabolize efficiently, can use their very complexity to solve problems, and can become so resilient they “bounce forward” when stressed. In this urbanizing century ever more of us live in cities (a majority now; 80% expected by 2100), and cities all over the world are learning from each other how pragmatic governance can work best. Jonathan Rose argues that the emerging best methods focus on deftly managing “cognition, cooperation, culture, calories, connectivity, commerce, control, complexity, and concentration.” Unlike most urban theorists and scholars, Rose is a player. A third-generation Manhattan real estate developer, in 1989 he founded and heads the Jonathan Rose Company, which does world-wide city planning and investment along with its real estate projects--half of the work for nonprofit clients. He is the author of the new book, THE WELL-TEMPERED CITY: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations, and Human Nature Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life. The Jonathan F.P. Rose book tour is being sponsored by Citi who is happy to provide a copy of his new book, The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations and Human Behavior Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life, to everyone in attendance. Citi supports the efforts of individuals like Jonathan Rose whose work aligns with their mission to enable progress in communities across the globe.

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Seth Lloyd: Quantum Computer Reality

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Aug 9, 2016


Quantum computing is widely considered to be: The most potentially transformative technology of this century; Nothing but hope and hype. A reliable reporter who is familiar with all of the rich variety of quantum research going on and the reality of the remarkable progress in the field (along with its still-expanding potential) is quantum pioneer Seth Lloyd, professor of mechanical engineering and physics at MIT. Lloyd describes himself as a mechanic of quantum computing, quantum communication, and quantum biology. He is director of MIT’s Center for Extreme Quantum Information Theory, which is working on breakthroughs in general-purpose optimization, vastly enhanced communication, and ultra-precise measurement. In his book Programming the Universe (2006) he proposes that the universe is a vast quantum computer that can eventually be completely understood through local-scale quantum computation.

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Kevin Kelly: The Next 30 Digital Years

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Thu, Jul 14, 2016


Since the mid-01980s Kevin Kelly has been creating, and reporting on, the digital future. His focus is the long-term trends and social consequences of technology. Kelly’s new book, THE INEVITABLE: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, is a grand synthesis of his thinking on where technology is heading in the next few decades, and how we can embrace it to maximize its benefits, and minimize its harms. Kevin Kelly is the founding executive editor of Wired magazine and is a founding board member of The Long Now Foundation.

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Brian Christian: Algorithms to Live By

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Jun 20, 2016


It is possible to be extremely astute about how we manage difficult decisions. With just a few mental tools we get the benefit of better outcomes along with release from agonizing about the process of deciding. Many mental tools—algorithms—developed with obligatory clarity for computers turn out to have ready application for humans facing such problems as: when to stop hunting for an apartment (or lover); how much novelty to seek; how to get rid of the right stuff; how to allot scarce time; how to consider the future; when to relax constraints; how to give chance a chance; how to recognize when you’re playing the wrong game; and how to make decisions easier for others (“computational kindness”). Brian Christian, the co-author of Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions, lives in San Francisco, deploying his degrees in philosophy, computer science, and poetry.

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Walter Mischel: The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, May 2, 2016


Can you pass the marshmallow test? You’re a little kid. A marshmallow is placed on the table in front of you. You’re told you can eat it any time, but if you wait a little while, you’ll be given two marshmallows to eat. The kids who have the self-control to pass this most famous of psychological tests turn out to have more rewarding and productive lives. Walter Mischel, who first ran the test in the 1960s, spent the rest of his career exploring how self-control works, summarized in his 2014 book The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control. “The ability to delay gratification and resist temptation has been a fundamental challenge since the dawn of civilization,” he writes. “It is the ‘master aptitude’ underlying emotional intelligence, essential for constructing a fulfilling life.” This talk spells out the remarkable things have has been learned about willpower and self-control in the individual. It also considers wider implications. Does it make a difference when an organization or society has more people able to fully engage self-control? Does it make a difference when that kind of behavior is publicly expected and trained for explicitly? Is there a social or political or cultural level of surmounting marshmallow-test temptations? That might be the essence of long-term behavior.

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Priyamvada Natarajan: Solving Dark Matter and Dark Energy

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Apr 11, 2016


No one thinks longer, or bigger, than astrophysicists. “This is the golden age of cosmology,” says Priya Natarajan, one of the world’s leading astrophysicists, because data keeps pouring in to vet even the most radical theories. And the dominant mysteries are profound. She observes that “The vast majority of stuff in the universe—both dark matter and dark energy, which dominate the content and fate of the universe—is unknown.“ The universe’s greatest exotica are the focus of her research—dark matter, dark energy, and black holes. She is an expert, for example, in the complex behavior and gravitational lensing of galaxy clusters, where arrays of 1,000 galaxies are 95% dark matter. Her theory of the “direct” formation of supermassive black holes may explain the profound mystery of quasars. Priyamvada Natarajan is a professor in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University and at the Dark Cosmology Center, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She is an active proponent for the public understanding and study of science.

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Jane Langdale: Radical Ag: C4 Rice and Beyond

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Mar 14, 2016


Three billion people—nearly half of us--depend on rice for survival. What if you could adjust rice genetically so 1) it has a 50% greater yield, 2) using half the water, 3) needing far less fertilizer, 4) along with higher resilience to climate change? It would transform world agriculture. All you need to do is switch rice from inefficient C3 photosynthesis to the kind of C4 photosynthesis employed by corn, sugarcane, and sorghum. That switch has been made in plants 60 independent times by evolution, so we have models for how to do it. In 02008 the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, set in motion a consortium of 12 labs worldwide working on developing C4 rice. One of the major leaders of the work is Professor Jane Langdale at Oxford University’s Department of Plant Sciences. Former Long Now speaker Charles C. Mann (who is writing about C4 rice) recommended her highly. If C4 rice proves successful, it could lead to similar radical improvement for other inefficient crops such as wheat. Decades of focussed research could produce centuries in which ever less land provides ever more food, leaving ever more of the planet to nature.

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Stephen Pyne: Fire Slow, Fire Fast, Fire Deep

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Feb 9, 2016


Once humans took charge of fire, fire remade humans and commenced remaking the world. “We got small guts and big heads because we could cook food,” says Stephen Pyne, the world’s leading historian of fire. “We went to the top of the food chain because we could cook landscapes. And we have become a geologic force because our fire technology has so evolved that we have begun to cook the planet.“ The understanding of wildfire as an ecological benefit got its biggest boost from Pyne’s 1982 landmark book, Fire in America. Since then he has encompassed the whole of fire history--from analysis of the chemical reaction that “takes apart what photosynthesis puts together” to study of the massive industrialization of combustion in the last two centuries. “The Anthropocene might equally be called the Pyrocene,” he says. A professor and “distinguished sustainability scholar” at Arizona State University, Pyne is author of 15 books on fire, including Fire: Nature and Culture and Between Two Fires: A Fire History of Contemporary America.

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Eric Cline: 1177 B.C.: When Civilization Collapsed

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Jan 11, 2016


Consider this, optimists. All the societies in the world can collapse simultaneously. It has happened before. In the 12th century BCE the great Bronze Age civilizations of the Mediterranean—all of them—suddenly fell apart. Their empires evaporated, their cities emptied out, their technologies disappeared, and famine ruled. Mycenae, Minos, Assyria, Hittites, Canaan, Cyprus—all gone. Even Egypt fell into a steep decline. The Bronze Age was over. The event should live in history as one of the great cautionary tales, but it hasn’t because its causes were considered a mystery. How can we know what to be cautious of? Eric Cline has taken on on the mystery. An archaeologist-historian at George Washington University, he is the author of 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed. The failure, he suggests, was systemic. The highly complex, richly interconnected system of the world tipped all at once into chaos.

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Philip Tetlock: Superforecasting

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Nov 23, 2015


The pundits we all listen to are no better at predictions than a “dart-throwing chimp,” and they are routinely surpassed by normal news-attentive citizens. So Philip Tetlock reported in his 02005 book, Expert Political Judgement—and in a January 02007 SALT talk. It now turns out there are some people who are spectacularly good at forecasting, and their skills can be learned. Tetlock discovered them in the course of building winning teams for a tournament of geopolitical forecasting run by IARPA—Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. His brilliant new book, SUPERFORECASTING: The Art and Science of Prediction, spells out the methodology the superforecasters developed. Like Daniel Kahneman’s THINKING, FAST AND SLOW, the book changes how we think about thinking. Philip Tetlock is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. With his co-researcher (and wife) Barbara Mellors he is running the Good Judgement Project, with its open competition for aspiring forecasters.

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Andy Weir: The Red Planet for Real

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Oct 27, 2015


Andy Weir's self-published novel The Martian has become a New York Times bestseller and the #1 movie in America. But it began with a series of blog posts that reflected Andy's lifelong love of space science and detailed research about traveling to and surviving on the fourth planet in our Solar System. You can see the film in theaters everywhere, but only at The Interval will you hear Andy skip the fiction and talk about the details of how a real world mission to reach and colonize Mars would work. He'll discuss his book, too, and answer your questions at this very special event in our Interval salon series.

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James Fallows: Civilization's Infrastructure

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Oct 6, 2015


Infrastructure decisions—and failures to decide—affect everything about a society for centuries. That long shadow, James Fallows points out, is what makes the decisions so difficult, because "We must choose among options whose consequences we can't fully anticipate.” What we do know is that infrastructure projects are hugely disruptive and expensive in the short term, and neglecting to deal with infrastructure is even more disruptive and expensive in the long term. What would a healthy civilization do? These days California is making decisions about high-speed rail, about water supply for agriculture, about driverless cars, about clean energy—all infrastructure issues with long, uncertain shadows. Fallows reminds us that "Everything about today's California life is conditioned by decisions about its freeway network made 60-plus years ago, and by the decision to tear up the Southern California light-rail network in the decades before that.” (That remark came in a 15-part series of blogs about high-speed rail in California that Fallows posted at theatlantic.com. He approves of the project.) James Fallows is the journalist’s journalist, covering in depth subjects such as China, the Mideast, flying, the military, Presidential speeches (he once wrote them for Jimmy Carter), journalism itself, and his native California. Based at The Atlantic magazine for decades, he blogs brilliantly and has produced distinguished books such as Postcards from Tomorrow Square, Blind into Baghdad, and Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy. This will be the first time he speaks about civilization entire.

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Saul Griffith: Infrastructure and Climate Change

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Sep 21, 2015


So far we are trying to deal with climate change at the wrong time scale. A really deep problem cannot be solved by shallow innovations, no matter how clever. The scale of climate change requires thinking and acting in multi-decade terms at the level of infrastructure—personal as well as societal. Get it right, and “the result can be like living in a beautifully managed garden.” Saul Griffith is an inventor and meta-inventor, currently founder of Otherlabs in San Francisco (devising such things as soft robotics, soft exoskeletons, cheap solar tracking, and conformable gas tanks.) He is a MacArthur Fellow and frequent TED dazzler. His 02009 SALT talk on Climate Change Recalculated is the most viewed video in our twelve-year series. See our blog for updates on tickets and other media; tickets will go on sale one month before the Seminar.

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Sara Seager: Other Earths. Other Life.

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Aug 10, 2015


We are one tool away from learning which distant planets already have life on them and which might be welcoming to life. MIT Planetary Scientist Sara Seager is working on the tool. She is chair of the NASA team developing a “Starshade” that would allow a relatively rudimentary space telescope to observe Earth-size planets directly, which would yield atmospheric analysis, which would determine a planet’s life-worthiness. Despite 1,000-plus exoplanet discoveries by the Kepler spacecraft and the hundreds more expected from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite after 2017, neither instrument can make detailed observation of the atmosphere of small rocky planets, because each star’s brilliance overwhelms direct study of the rocky motes that might harbor life. A Starshade cures that. A former MacArthur Fellow, Seager is author of Exoplanet Atmospheres (02010) and an astrophysics professor at MIT. Her maxim: “For exoplanets, anything is possible under the laws of physics and chemistry.” Photo by Justin Knight.

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Ramez Naam: Enhancing Humans, Advancing Humanity

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Jul 22, 2015


Techno thriller meets realistic optimism. Ramez Naam, a former Microsoft executive with 19 patents to his name, wrote a riveting just-completed science fiction trilogy (Nexus, Crux, and Apex) that plays out current trends in brain enhancement. As Naam reports in a recent blog, “Neural implants could accomplish things no external interface could: Virtual and augmented reality with all 5 senses (or more); augmentation of human memory, attention, and learning speed; even multi-sense telepathy — sharing what we see, hear, touch, and even perhaps what we think and feel with others.“ Naam is also the author of important nonfiction books on humanity’s prospects for this century and beyond: More Than Human: Embracing the promise of biological enhancement and The Infinite Resource: The power of ideas on a finite planet (that one has blurbs from four previous SALT speakers—Steven Pinker, Charles C. Mann, Ray Kurzweil, and Peter Diamandis.) In this talk Naam explores the growing convergence of human enhancements at the molecular, neural, and social levels: “I think the multiple visions of human enhancement will all focus on our increased connectivity with each other – in sci-fi ways like Nexus and in prosaic ways like the spread of computing power in mobile devices to people around the world.

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Neil Gaiman: How Stories Last

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jun 9, 2015


Neil's talk will explore the way stories, myths and tales survive over great lengths of time and why creating for the future means making works that will endure within the oral tradition. Preternaturally eloquent, Neil Gaiman has told stories in every medium—graphic novels (The Sandman), novels (The Ocean at the End of the Lane; American Gods), short stories (Trigger Warning), children’s books (The Graveyard Book), television (Dr Who), the occasional song ("I Google You", with Amanda Palmer), and the occasional speech that goes viral ("Make Good Art"). Photograph of Neil Gaiman by Kimberly Butler

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Beth Shapiro: How to Clone a Mammoth

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, May 11, 2015


Beth Shapiro is far from a giddy enthusiast about de-extinction. She knows more than nearly anyone about the subject because she is a highly regarded biologist in the middle of the two leading efforts in the new field—to resurrect extinct woolly mammoths and passenger pigeons. She knows exactly how challenging the whole process will be and how imperfect the later stages of success might appear. An evolutionary biologist who created and runs the paleogenomics lab at UC Santa Cruz, Shapiro is a careful skeptic, a great story teller and explainer, and an extremely productive scientist. In this talk she spans the full de-extinction narrative from DNA editing all the way to revived populations in the wild—from lab work with CRISPR Cas 9 and primordial germ cells through to the ethical and practical issues of restoring a long-absent keystone species in its former ecosystem. “The goal of de-extinction,” she points out, “is to restore ecosystems; to reinstate interactions between species that no longer exist because one or more of those species are extinct. We don’t need to create exact replicas of extinct species to achieve this goal.” She concludes, “De-extinction uses awesome, exciting, cutting-edge technology to take a giant step forward. De-extinction is a process that allows us to actively create a future that is really better than today, not just one that is less bad than what we anticipate.” Beth Shapiro is a MacArthur Fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and author of the new book from Princeton University Press, How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-extinction.”

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Michael Shermer: The Long Arc of Moral Progress

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Apr 14, 2015


Steven Pinker writes: “Shermer has engaged the full mantle of moral progress and considered how far we have come and how much farther that arc can be bent toward truth, justice, and freedom." “Through copious data and compelling examples Shermer shows how the arc of the moral universe, seen from a historical vantage point, bends toward civil rights and civil liberties, the spread of liberal democracy and market economies, and the expansion of women’s rights, gay rights, and even animal rights. Never in history has such a large percentage of the world’s population enjoyed so much freedom, autonomy, and prosperity. The steadily unfolding revolution of gay marriage gives Shermer the opportunity to show how rights revolutions of many different kinds come about.“ [Steven Pinker is the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature. He gave a SALT talk on “The Decline of Violence” in 02012.] Michael Shermer’s new book is The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom. His previous books include The Believing Brain and The Science of Good and Evil. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of Skeptic magazine and has a monthly column in Scientific American.

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Paul Saffo: The Creator Economy

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Mar 31, 2015


According to futurist (and Long Now board member) Paul Saffo, the "new economy” anticipated in the late 01990s is arriving late and in utterly unexpected ways. Social media, maker culture, the proliferation of sensors, and even the 02008 market crash are merely local phenomena in a much larger shift. What unfolds in the next few years will determine the shape of the global economy for the next half-century and will force a profound rethink of economic theory. Paul Saffo teaches forecasting at Stanford and Singularity University. Journalists rely on him for cruelly telling quotes about everything from the monthly disruptions in Silicon Valley to the yearly turmoils in the global economy.

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David Keith: Patient Geoengineering

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Feb 17, 2015


The main arguments against geo-engineering (direct climate intervention) to stop global warming are: 1) It would be a massive, irreversible, risky bet; 2) everyone has to agree to it, which they won’t; 3) the unexpected side effects might be horrific; 4) once committed to, it could never be stopped. What if none of those need be true? Harvard climate expert David Keith has a practical proposal for an incremental, low-cost, easily reversible program of research and eventual deployment that builds on local research and is designed from the beginning for eventual shutdown. All it attempts is to reduce the rate of global warming to a manageable pace while the permanent solutions for excess greenhouse gases are worked out. Global rainfall would not be affected. The system is based on transparency and patience—each stage building adaptively only on the proven success of prior stages, deployed only as needed, and then phased out the same way. One of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Environment,“ David Keith is a Professor of Applied Physics in Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Public Policy in the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also executive chairman of the Calgary-based company, Carbon Engineering, which is developing air capture of carbon dioxide.

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Stewart Brand, Paul Saffo: Pace Layers Thinking

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jan 27, 2015


Stewart Brand and Paul Saffo will discuss the Pace Layers framework for how a healthy society functions, which Stewart introduced in his book The Clock of Long Now (01999). More than fifteen years after its debut, this concept continues to be influential and inspiring. The Pace Layers idea is illustrated by a simple diagram showing six layers which function simultaneously at different speeds within society. They range from Nature (the slowest) to Fashion (the fastest, shown at the top). As the layers progress, Stewart proposed, their differing speeds help make a society more adaptable. Cultures can be robust and healthy precisely because these layers come into conflict. Each level should be allowed to operate at its own pace, safely sustained by the slower levels below and kept invigorated by livelier levels above. Though originally conceived as a tool for thinking about society, Pace Layers has had broad influence as experts in other disciplines have applied its framework to their areas including consulting and systems thinking. Jeff Veen of True Ventures (formerly Adobe, Adaptive Path, and Wired) recently said that Pace Layers provides a vocabulary to think about the stacked layers of contemporary design. Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, has called the Pace Layers chapter in The Clock of the Long Now “the most profound thing I've ever read.” Today in a networked world where everything seems to be about speed, awareness of the slower layers and perspective on how all layers interact can give insight into what the future may hold.

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Jesse Ausubel: Nature is Rebounding: Land- and Ocean-sparing through Concentrating Human Activities

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jan 13, 2015


In the field of environmental progress the conflict between anecdote and statistics is so flagrant that most public understanding on the subject is upside down. We worry about the wrong things, fail to worry about the right things, and fail to acknowledge and expand the things that are going well. For decades at Rockefeller University Jesse Ausubel has assembled global data and trends showing that humanity may be entering an exceptionally Green century. The most important trend is “land-sparing”—freeing up ever more land for nature thanks to agricultural efficiency and urbanization. Ausubel notes that we are now probably at “peak farmland“ (so long as we don’t pursue the folly of biofuels). Forests are coming back everywhere in the temperate zones and in many tropical areas, helped by replacing wild logging with tree plantations. Human population is leveling rapidly and we are now probably at “peak children.” Our energy sources continue to “decarbonize,” and a long-term “dematerialization” trend is reducing the physical load of civilization’s metabolism. In the ocean, however, market hunting for fish remains highly destructive, even though aquaculture and mariculture are taking off some of the pressure. In this area, as in the others, rigorous science and inventive technology are leading the way to the mutual flourishing of humanity and nature.

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Kevin Kelly: Technium Unbound

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Nov 12, 2014


What comes after the Internet? What is bigger than the web? What will produce more wealth than all the startups to date? The answer is a planetary super-organism comprised of 4 billion mobile phones, 80 quintillion transistor chips, a million miles of fiber optic cables, and 6 billion human minds all wired together. The whole thing acts like a single organism, with its own behavior and character -- but at a scale we have little experience with. This is more than just a metaphor. Kelly takes the idea of a global super-organism seriously by describing what we know about it so far, how it is growing, where its boundaries are, and what it will mean for us as individuals and collectively. Both the smallest one-person enterprises today, and the largest mega-corporations on Earth, will have to learn to how this Technium operates, and how to exploit it.

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Larry Harvey: Why The Man Keeps Burning

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Oct 20, 2014


“Scaling up will kill Burning Man.” “That new rule will kill Burning Man.” “The Bureau of Land Management will kill Burning Man.” “Selling tickets that way will kill Burning Man.” “Board infighting will kill Burning Man.” “Upscale turnkey camps will kill Burning Man.” Ha. What if Burning Man is too fragile to be killed? What if celebrating ephemerality is the best guarantee of continuity? What if every year’s brand new suspension of disbelief has deep-down durability? What if conservatively radical principles and evolving rules are more robust over time than anything merely physical? What really keeps the Man burning? If anyone knows, it should be the event’s primary founder, author of The Principles, and ongoing Chief Philosophical Officer, artist Larry Harvey.

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Drew Endy: The iGEM Revolution

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Sep 16, 2014


iGEM stands for the “International Genetically Engineered Machines” competition. Thousands of student bioengineers from all over the world construct new life forms and race them every year at the Giant Jamboree in Boston. iGEM has been going on for ten years (2,500 competitors this year, over 32 countries, 20,000+ alumni) and gives a peerless window into the global grassroots synthetic-biology revolution, yet the phenomenon has been largely overlooked by the media, industry, and most governments. iGEM began with college undergraduates and recently expanded to include high school teams. In making their genetic creations students get from and give back to a repository of over 10,000 genetic components called BioBricks parts. The organisms (mostly microbes) the students engineer range from frivolous (doing a stadium-style “wave”) to beneficial (detecting and eliminating water pollutants) to ingenious (increasing plant root structure to fix carbon while ensuring that no exotic genes can escape). iGEM teams "are also challenged to actively consider and address the safety, security and environmental implications of their work." Drew Endy, a professor of Bioengineering at Stanford, was one of the creators of iGEM and is co-founder and president of the BioBricks Foundation, an organization whose mission is "to develop biotechnology in an open and ethical manner to benefit all people and the planet." He is a strong proponent of “open source” biotech and public discussion of the techniques, benefits, and potential hazards of synthetic biology.

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Anne Neuberger: Inside the NSA

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Aug 6, 2014


The NSA’s failures are public headlines. Its successes are secret. These days America’s National Security Agency lives at the intersection of two paranoias—governmental fears of attack and citizen fears about loss of privacy. Both paranoias were exacerbated by a pair of devastating attacks—9/11 and Edward Snowden. The agency now has to evolve rapidly while managing its normal heavy traffic of threats and staying ahead of the ever-accelerating frontier of cyber capabilities. In the emerging era of transparency, and in the thick of transition, what does the NSA look like from inside? Threats are daily, but governance is long term. At the heart of handling that balance is Anne Neuberger, Special Assistant to NSA Director Michael Rogers and Director of the Commercial Solutions Center. (Before this assignment she was Special Advisor to the Secretary of Navy; before that, in 02007, a White House Fellow.) She is exceptionally smart, articulate, and outspoken.

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Adrian Hon: A History of the Future in 100 Objects

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Jul 16, 2014


Thinking about the future is so hard and so important that any trick to get some traction is a boon. Adrian Hon’s trick is to particularize. What thing would manifest a whole future trend the way museum objects manifest important past trends? Building on the pattern set by the British Museum’s great book, A History of the World in 100 Objects, Hon imagines 100 future objects that would illuminate transformative events in technology, politics, sports, justice, war, science, entertainment, religion, and exploration over the course of this century. The javelin that won victory for the last baseline human to compete successfully in the Paralympic Games for prosthetically enhanced athletes. The “Contrapuntal Hack” of 02031 that massively and consequentially altered computerized records so subtly that the changes were undetected. The empathy drug and targeted virus treatment that set off the Christian Consummation Movement. Adrian Hon is author of the new book, A History of the Future in 100 Objects, and CEO and founder of Six to Start, creators of the hugely successful smartphone fitness game “Zombies, Run!” His background is in neuroscience at Oxford and Cambridge.

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Stefan Kroepelin: Civilization’s Mysterious Desert Cradle: Rediscovering the Deep Sahara

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jun 10, 2014


Egypt’s pharaonic civilization rose on the Nile, but it was rooted in the deep Saharan desert and pushed by climate change, says Stefan Kr?pelin. Described in Nature magazine as “one of the most devoted Sahara explorers of our time,” Kr?pelin has survived every kind of desert hardship to discover the climate and cultural history of northern Africa. He found that the “Green Sahara” arrived with monsoon rains 10,500 years ago, and people quickly moved into the new fertile savannah. There they prospered as cattle pastoralists—their elaborate rock paintings show herds of rhinoceros and scenes of prehistoric life—until 7,300 years ago, when gradually increasing desiccation drove them to the Nile river, which they had previously considered too dangerous for occupation. To manage the Nile, the former pastoralists helped to invent a pharaonic state 5,100 years ago. Its 3,000-year continuity has never been surpassed. Kr?pelin, a climate scientist at the University of Cologne, is a dazzling speaker with hair-raising stories, great images, and a compelling tale about climate change and civilization.

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Sylvia Earle, Tierney Thys: Oceanic

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, May 20, 2014


Land animals on an ocean planet, we have a lot to learn about how the world works. The microbes of the sea are Earth’s dominant life form. Ocean currents and temperatures drive climate and weather. Come ride a current to view bad news (dead zones, rising sea levels, melting sea ice, acidification, coral bleaching, fish piracy and overfishing) and good news (marine protected areas, functional ecosystems, megafaunal migrations, mid-Atlantic ridge, community involvement, citizen scientists) and continuing mysteries. Land is mercurial. Ocean abides. Two of the most eloquent voices of ocean science are Sylvia Earle and Tierney Thys. Both are National Geographic Explorers, both are stars of the TED stage. They have collaborated on original and adventurous research. For this talk they are collaborating to tell (and show) sea stories of deep waters, the deep past, and the deep future.

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Tony Hsieh: Helping Revitalize a City

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Apr 22, 2014


Can a successful company and a run-down downtown vitalize each other? Tony Hsieh, CEO of the phenomenally successful Zappos, is betting exactly that in Las Vegas. He moved his company headquarters into the former city hall and is integrating the Zappos campus into the surrounding neighborhood, meanwhile investing millions to provide a dense urban experience for the locals as well as his employees. His “Downtown Project” declares: “We’ve allocated $350 million to aid in the revitalization of Downtown Las Vegas. We’re investing $200 million in real estate, $50 million in small businesses, $50 million in education, and $50 million in tech startups.” The fantasy is well along into impressive reality, according to a January 02014 article in Wired. What is being learned may change how cities and companies think of themselves---and of each other. Hsieh’s theory of urban vitality comes from Edward Glaeser’s book The Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier. His theory of company vitality he has spelled out in his own book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose.

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Mariana Mazzucato: The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Private vs. Public Sector Myths

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Mar 24, 2014


Where do the boldest innovations, with the deepest consequences for society, come from? Many business leaders, entrepreneurs, and libertarians claim that the private sector leads the way always, and government at best follows by decades and at worst impedes the process with bureaucratic regulations. Mariana Mazzucato proves otherwise.  Many of the most profound innovations—from the Internet and GPS to nanotech and biotech —had their origin in government programs developed specifically to explore innovations that might eventually attract private sector interest.  Ignoring this entrepreneurial risk taking role of government has fuelled a very different story about governments role in the economy, and also fuelled the dysfunctional dynamic whereby risk is socialised—with tax payers absorbing the greatest risk--- but rewards are not. Mazzucato will argue that socialization of risk, privatization of rewards is not only bad for the future of innovation eco-systems but also a key driver of inequality. What to do about it?  Mazzucato is a professor of the Economics of Innovation at Sussex University and author of The Entrepreneurial State: debunking private vs. public sector myths.

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Brian Eno, Danny Hillis: The Long Now, now

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jan 21, 2014


Brian Eno delivered the first SALT talk exactly ten years ago. He gave The Long Now Foundation its name, contributed in no end of artistic and financial ways, and designed the chimes for the 10,000-year Clock. Danny Hillis instigated and co-founded Long Now and designed its series of Clocks, culminating currently in the 500-foot one being built inside a west Texas mountain. In the course of their collaboration, Eno and Hillis became fast friends. Thousands of years pass a decade at a time. The idea and works of Long Now have been active for two decades (1/500th of 10,000 years). Between the conception and initial delivery of a deep idea, much transpires. If the idea resonates with people, it gains a life of its own. Allies assemble, and shape things. Public engagement shapes things. Funding or its absence shapes things. Refinements of the idea emerge, branch off, and thrive or don’t. Initial questions metastasize into potent new questions. Over time, the promotion of “long-term thinking” begins to acquire a bit of its own long term to conjure with. Eno and Hillis have spent 20 years thinking about long-term thinking and building art for it, with ever increasing fascination. What gets them about it?

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Richard Kurin: American History in 101 Objects

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Nov 18, 2013


Relics grip us. They anchor stories that matter by giving a visceral sense that they really happened. Look, here is the actual chain used on an American slave. What ended its use? Abraham Lincoln was tall in so many ways, and he stood even taller in his top hat---this hat right here. He wore it. We wear it. The hat and the chain abide at The Smithsonian Institution to help an important story in American history retain its force. This is what museums do. Richard Kurin, the author of a new book, The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects, is the Institution’s Under Secretary for Art, History, and Culture, responsible for most of the Institution’s many museums and for many of its research and outreach programs. In his beautifully illustrated talk, Kurin uses treasures of The Smithsonian---some celebrated, some unknown---to tell America’s story so far. It starts long before there was a nation here.

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Adam Steltzner: Beyond Mars, Earth

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Oct 15, 2013


“Dare mighty things” concludes the most dramatic space video in years, "Seven Minutes of Terror." Narrated by Adam Steltzner, it spelled out how the “sky crane” his team designed at JPL would have to perform an elaborate, impossible-seeming sequence to lower the huge Mars rover Curiosity to the planet’s surface from a hovering rocket guided totally by artificial intelligence. Humans wouldn’t know if it worked until it was all over. Hence the terror. The actual Mars landing on August 6, 02012, went perfectly, and Steltzner found himself a TV superstar after the live coverage, and the subject of a New Yorker profile. Before the landing, Steltzner told the writer: “Six vehicle configurations. Seventy-six pyrotechnic devices. Five hundred thousand lines of code. ZERO margin of error.....You and I are sitting at the edge of an event horizon, like a black hole.... Sunday night, we’ll slip into it, and at least two universes will be awaiting us on the other side: the one where we succeed and the one where we fail. People are scared shitless now. But if we stick the landing, all of a sudden they’ll be saying, ‘Hey, how about doing the next one the same way?’ ” Fans in the San Francisco area discovered he was local talent, the product of College of Marin, a kid who discovered science late and soared to meet it. Now he wonders, “How does our exploration of Mars inform what might come next for us humans and our Earth?” Dare mighty things. This talk is in partnership with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and we would like to extend a special welcome to the YBCA:YOU members.

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Peter Schwartz: The Starships ARE Coming

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Sep 17, 2013


There is an appalling distance between here and the countless planets we’re discovering around stars other than our Sun. At first glance we can never span those light years. At second glance however... “The 100-year Starship” is the name of now-culminating project that mustered a handful of scientists and science fiction writers to contemplate how humanity might, over the coming century, realistically develop the ability to escape our Solar System and travel the light years to others. Participants included scientists such as Freeman Dyson and Martin Rees and writers such as Gregory Benford and Neal Stephenson. The professional futurist in the group was Peter Schwartz, who contributed scenarios playing out four futures of starship ambitions. To his surprise, exploring the scenarios suggested that getting effective star travel over the coming century or two is not a long shot. Even by widely divergent paths, it looks like a near certainty. Schwartz’s SALT talk will report on the exciting work by the 19 participants and spell out the logics of his scenarios. The new book from the project, Starship Century: Toward the Grandest Horizon, will be available at the event.

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Daniel Kahneman: Thinking Fast and Slow

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Aug 13, 2013


Daniel Kahneman is the world’s most influential psychologist because he has, based on empirical research, figured out how we can notice when we are not thinking rationally. That knowledge gives us the choice to think “slow”---ignore brisk intuition and notional risks---when we decide we really need to get something right. His book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, is an international best-seller in part because the reader (or listener of his lecture) is invited to make cognitive experiments while reading (or listening). You catch your mind in the act of opting for illusion. To engage Kahneman’s work is to experience a delightful carnival ride of one “Busted!” after another. Your own brain becomes a co-instructor in how to use it better. Kahneman received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 02002 for his work (with Amos Tversky) in “prospect theory” that founded the new discipline of behavioral economics.

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Craig Childs: Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Jul 29, 2013


Our planet gets up to no end of apocalyptic-like tricks over time---periods when it is nearly all ice, all melting ice, all desert, all sea water, all molten lava, and civilizations come and go, sometimes for geological or climate reasons. The planet has samples of all of those conditions that can be visited right now, but no one in their right mind goes there. Craig Childs goes there. One of the world’s great intrepid travelers and story-tellers, he finds the places on Earth that are most geologically or climatically dangerous and hangs out, observing closely, giving personal as well as scientific perspective. Through him, we experience “a field guide to the everending Earth.”

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Ed Lu: Anthropocene Astronomy: Thwarting Dangerous Asteroids Begins with Finding Them

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jun 18, 2013


Are humans smarter than dinosaurs? We haven’t proved it yet. In the long now, the greatest threat to life on Earth, or (more frequently) to civilization, or (still more frequently) to cities, is asteroid impact. The technology exists to eliminate the threat permanently. It is relatively easy and relatively cheap to do. However to date, government organizations have not made this a priority. That leaves nonprofits and private funding. Considerable efficiency may be gained by going that route. Ed Lu is CEO and Chairman of the B612 Foundation, which, in partnership with Ball Aerospace is building an asteroid-detection system called Sentinel, aiming for launch in 2018. A three time NASA astronaut, Lu is also the co-inventor of the “gravity tractor” -- one of the several techniques that can be used to nudge threatening asteroids out their collision paths with Earth. Asteroid threat is an attention-span problem blended with a delayed-gratification problem---exactly the kind of thing that Long Now was set up to help with. Taking the extreme danger of asteroids seriously requires thinking at century and millennium scale. Dealing with the threat requires programs that span decades, because asteroids can only be deflected if they are found and dealt with many years before their potential impact. The reality is that the predictability of orbital mechanics makes cosmic planetary defense completely workable. Sometimes real science is more amazing than science fiction. On February 15th of this year, civilization got a wake-up call. A 45 meter asteroid, large enough to completely obliterate a major city, missed Earth by only 17,000 miles, and hours later a smaller rock, 17 meters in diameter, exploded in the air over Chelyabinsk, Russia, injuring 1500 people. Interest in B612’s asteroid detection mission spiked accordingly.

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Stewart Brand: Reviving Extinct Species

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, May 21, 2013


Death is still forever, but extinction may not be---at least for creatures that humans drove extinct in the last 10,000 years. Woolly mammoths might once again nurture their young in northern snows. Passenger pigeon flocks could return to America’s eastern forest. The great auk may resume fishing the coasts of the northern Atlantic. New genomic technology can reassemble the genomes of extinct species whose DNA is still recoverable from museum specimens and some fossils (no dinosaurs), and then, it is hoped, the genes unique to the extinct animal can be brought back to life in the framework of the genome of the closest living relative of the extinct species. For woolly mammoths, it’s the Asian elephant; for passenger pigeons, the band-tailed pigeon; for great auks, the razorbill. Other plausible candidates are the ivory-billed woodpecker, Carolina parakeet, Eskimo curlew, thylacine (Tasmanian tiger), dodo, Xerces blue butterfly, saber-toothed cat, Steller’s sea cow, cave bear, giant ground sloth, etc. The Long Now Foundation has taken “de-extinction” on as a project called “Revive & Restore,” led by Ryan Phelan and Stewart Brand. They organized a series of conferences of the relevant molecular biologists and conservation biologists culminating in TEDxDeExtinction, held at National Geographic in March. They hired a young scientist, Ben Novak, to work full time on reviving the passenger pigeon. He is now at UC Santa Cruz working in the lab of ancient-DNA expert Beth Shapiro. This talk summarizes the progress of current de-extinction projects (Europe’s aurochs, Spain’s bucardo, Australia’s gastric brooding frog, America’s passenger pigeon) and some “ancient ecosystem revival” projects---Pleistocene Park in Siberia, the Oostvaardersplassen in the Netherlands, and Makauwahi Cave in Kaua’i. De-extinction has been described as a “game changer” for conservation. How might that play out for the best, and how might it go astray? In an era of “anthropocene ecology,” is it now possible to repair some of the deepest damage we have caused in the past?

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Nicholas Negroponte: Beyond Digital

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Apr 17, 2013


It’s far easier to predict the future when you are helping make and distribute it. Nicholas Negroponte exemplifies this with his notable accomplishments, including co-founding the MIT Media Lab, being the first investor in WIRED magazine, and co-founding the One Laptop Per Child program. His 01995 book Being Digital gave a glimpse into the world we now occupy--complete with wireless, touch screens, ebooks and personalized news. In this talk, “Beyond Digital”, Negroponte will once again give us a glimpse of the possibilities that lie ahead.

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George Dyson: No Time Is There--- The Digital Universe and Why Things Appear To Be Speeding Up

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Mar 19, 2013


When thinking about the future, it is easy to forget to look behind you. Enter George Dyson, “a historian among futurists”, who does deep research into the history of computing to understand the trends that will bring us into the future. One of his persistent themes is taking the “digital universe” metaphor seriously. When we turned on the first computers, we created a computational universe, a universe that is now growing by 5 trillion bits of storage per second. This universe is not merely expanding--it is exploding, and we need to understand computer time as well as we understand human time.

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Chris Anderson: The Makers Revolution

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Feb 19, 2013


Chris Anderson’s book THE LONG TAIL chronicled how the Web revolutionized and democratized distribution. His new book MAKERS shows how the same thing is happening to manufacturing, with even wider consequences, and this time the leading revolutionaries are the young of the world. Anderson himself left his job as editor of Wired magazine to join a 22-year-old from Tijuana in running a typical Makers firm, 3D Robotics, which builds do-it-yourself drones. Web-based collaboration tools and small-batch technology such as cheap 3D printers, 3D scanners, laser cutters, and assembly robots, Anderson points out, are transforming manufacturing. Suddenly, large-scale manufacturers are competing not just with each other on multi-year cycles, they are competing with swarms of tiny competitors who can go from invention to innovation to market dominance in a few weeks. Anybody can play; a great many already are; a great many more are coming. “Today,“ Anderson writes, “there are nearly a thousand ‘makerspaces‘— shared production facilities— around the world, and they’re growing at an astounding rate: Shanghai alone is building one hundred of them.“ “Open source,” he adds, “is not just an efficient innovation method— it’s a belief system as powerful as democracy or capitalism for its adherents.“ This talk is in partnership with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and we would like to extend a special welcome to the YBCA:YOU members.

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Terry Hunt, Carl Lipo: The Statues Walked -- What Really Happened on Easter Island

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Thu, Jan 17, 2013


Was it ecocide? The collapse of the mini-civilization on Easter Island (Rapa Nui) has long been considered one of the great Green morality tales. Once the people there cut down the last tree, story goes, they were doomed. Their famous statues were an arms race that completed the exhaustion of their all-too-finite resources. Moral of the story: Easter Island equals Earth Island: we must not repeat its tragedy with the planet. It’s a satisfying tale, but apparently wrong. The reality is far more interesting. In fact the lesson of Rapa Nui is how to get ecological caretaking right, not wrong. Its people appear to have worked out an astutely delicate relationship to each other and to the austere ecology of their tiny island and its poor soil. They were never violent. The astonishing statues appear to have been an inherent part of how they managed population and ecological balance on their desert island. (Their method of moving the huge statues was clever and surprisingly easy---they walked them upright. See the amazing demonstration video!) The famous collapse came from a familiar external source---European diseases and enslavement, the same as everywhere else in the Americas and the Pacific. All this is in a thoroughly persuasive book by an archaeologist and an anthropologist who did extensive fieldwork and historical study on Easter Island--- THE STATUES THAT WALKED: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island, by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo. The authors present their case live in January’s SALT talk.

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Peter Warshall: Enchanted by the Sun: The CoEvolution of Light, Life, and Color on Earth

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Nov 28, 2012


For 3.8 billion years, life has lived in a bath of solar radiance. The Sun’s illumination outlines which objects are appealing, bland, or repellant. Its powers of desiccation, blistering, bleaching, and revelation govern a balance between beauty and danger. Its flood of photons shapes light-harvesters (“eyes”), pigments, and surfaces---stretching planetary aesthetics to include "invisible light" (ultraviolet, infrared, and polarized). From euglena to Matisse, all creatures dwell in a variety of luminance locales---dramas of biospheric brightness, color mixes, and rebellions against darkness (such as fireflies and luminescent fish). The most recent rebellion has been human-devised lamps that impact everything from the artistic-military complex (camouflage and mimicry) to the materials, techniques, and display of paintings, electronic imaging, and growing plants. This 55-minute journey travels from unicells to octopi to op-art, with a dose of PR for “planetary color webs” and their influence on awareness, desire, self-direction, memory, contemplation, and curiosity. Armed with a PhD in Biological Anthropology from Harvard, Peter Warshall has shaped watershed theory and practices, conservation biology, relations with Indian tribes in the Southwest, and refugee activities in Africa. For a decade he was the editor of the Whole Earth Review.

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Lazar Kunstmann, Jon Lackman: Preservation without Permission: the Paris Urban eXperiment

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Nov 13, 2012


There is at least as much underneath Paris as there is above it. The secretive members of the Paris Urban eXperiment, known internally as "The UX", have spent the last 30 years surreptitiously probing into this world - and improving it. A few years ago these underground hackers and artists became infamous when one morning the clock at the Panth?on, that had not worked in years, began chiming. It was just one of at least 15 such restorations done without permission. In a first-time-ever public presentation, the UX spokesman, who goes under the name Lazar Kunstmann, along with author Jon Lackman from Wired, will present some of the theory and work of the Urban eXperiment. Lackman chronicled much of their work in the February print edition of Wired---which is co-sponsoring this event.

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Steven Pinker: The Decline of Violence

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Oct 8, 2012


Steven Pinker changes the world twice in his new book, THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURE: Why Violence Has Declined. First, he presents exhaustive evidence that the tragic view of history is wrong and always has been. A close examination of the data shows that in every millennium, century, and decade, humans have been drastically reducing violence, cruelty, and injustice---right down to the present year. A trend that consistent is not luck; it has to be structural. So, second, he boldly founds a discipline that might as well be called “psychohistory.” As a Harvard psychologist and public intellectual (author of The Language Instinct and The Blank Slate), he sought causes for the phenomenon he’s reporting---why violence has declined. Real ethical progress, he found, came from a sequence of institutions, norms, cultural practices, and mental tricks employed by whole societies to change their collective mind and behavior in a peaceful direction. Humanity’s great project of civilizing itself is far from complete, but Pinker’s survey of how far we’ve come builds confidence that the task will be completed, and he illuminates how to get there.

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Tim O'Reilly: Birth of the Global Mind

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Sep 5, 2012


“The history of civilization is a story of evolution in our ability to build complex ‘multicellular minds,‘" says Tim O’Reilly, founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media (books, conferences, foo camps, Maker Faires, Make magazine.) Speech allowed us to communicate and coordinate. Writing allowed that coordination to span time and space. Twentieth century mass communications allowed shared information and culture to blanket the world. In the 21st century, memes spread mind to mind in nearly real time. But that's not all. In one breakthrough computer application after another, we see a new kind of man-machine symbiosis. The Google autonomous vehicle turns out not to be just a triumph of artificial intelligence algorithms. The car is guided by the cloud memory of roads driven before by human Google Streetview drivers augmented by powerful and precise new sensors. In the same way, crowd-sourced data from sensor-enabled humans is leading to smarter cities, breakthroughs in healthcare, and new economies. The future belongs not to artificial intelligence, but to collective intelligence.

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Elaine Pagels: The Truth About the Book of Revelations

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Aug 20, 2012


Revelations about the Book of Revelation Probably the most consequential vision of the future ever written is the Bible’s Book of Revelation. If God didn’t write it (through the sainted instrument of someone named John), then who did, and why? Elaine Pagels has a persuasive answer, spectacularly illustrated. The author of The Gnostic Gospels; Beyond Belief; and Revelations: Visions, Prophecy, and Politics in the Book of Revelation, Pagels analyzes other revelations of the time (they were common) and examines how John’s particular version of apocalypse made it into the world’s most popular book. John had his own agenda. It wasn’t Christian.

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Cory Doctorow: The Coming Century of War Against Your Computer

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jul 31, 2012


The war against computer freedom will just keep escalating, Doctorow contends. The copyright wars, net neutrality, and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) were early samples of what is to come. Victories in those battles were temporary. Conflict in the decades ahead will feature ever higher stakes, more convoluted issues, and far more powerful technology. The debate is about how civilization decides to conduct itself and in whose interests. “Cory Doctorow is one of the great context-setters of our generation,” says Tim O’Reilly. Co-editor of the acclaimed blog “Boing Boing,” Doctorow writes contemporary science fiction blending contextual insight with journalistic depth. His recent books include For the Win; Makers; and Little Brother. Long Now and the Electronic Frontier Foundation bring Cory Doctorow to San Francisco for a glimpse into the future of computing and the increasing fight for control over our freedom both online and offline.

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Benjamin Barber: If Mayors Ruled the World

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jun 5, 2012


Democracy began in cities and works best in cities.  Mayors are the most pragmatic and effective of all political leaders because they have to get things done.   “The paramount aims of city-dwellers,” says Barber, “concern collecting garbage and collecting art rather than collecting votes or collecting foreign allies, the supply of water rather than the supply of arms, promoting cooperation rather than promoting exceptionalism, fostering education and culture rather than fostering national defense and patriotism.“ Most of humanity now lives in cities, and cities worldwide connect with each other more readily than any other political entity.  By expanding on that capability, Barber suggests, “Cities can make themselves global guarantors of social justice and equality against the depredations of fractious states. And they can become, as the polis once was, new incubators of democracy, this time in a global form.“ A much-honored political theorist, Barber is author of Strong Democracy: Participatory Politics for a New Age and of Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World.

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Susan Freinkel: Eternal Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, May 22, 2012


Plastic now pervades civilization---how many of the things you see from where you are right now are plastic? It is an ingenious material whose miraculous qualities we take too much for granted, but it also sometimes has nightmarish downstream effects. The giant polymer molecules (polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, etc.) that are so marvelously cheap to mold, extrude, shape, and weave are also extremely durable. Their cheapness makes them the basic material of a throw-away culture (one third of all plastic goes into disposable packaging.) Their durability means that any toxic effects persist indefinitely in the environment. Plastic presents a problem in temporal management of the very long-term and the very short-term. How do we get the benefits of plastic's amazing durability while reducing the harm from its convenient disposability? The matter requires close and respectful coordination between short-term experts (businesses) and long-term experts (governments and nonprofits). Managing plastic well is a microcosm of managing civilization well. Susan Freinkel is the author of Plastic: A Toxic Love Story and American Chestnut: The Life, Death, and Rebirth of a Perfect Tree.

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Charles C. Mann: Living in the Homogenocene: The First 500 Years

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Apr 23, 2012


Ever since Columbus, it’s an alien invasive world. Everybody’s germs, insects, vegetables, staple foods, rats, domestic animals, and even wildlife went everywhere, changing everything. That convulsion is still in progress. Charles C. Mann is the author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus and 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created.

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Edward O. Wilson: The Social Conquest of Earth

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Apr 20, 2012


Seminar and Conversation with Edward O. Wilson and Stewart Brand, with an introduction by Rob Semper, Executive Associate Director of the Exploratorium. Presented by The Long Now Foundation and the Exploratorium Edward O. Wilson has revolutionized science and inspired the public more often than any other living biologist. Now he is blending his pioneer work on ants with a new perspective on human development to propose a radical reframing of how evolution works. First the social insects ruled, from 60 million years ago. Then a species of social mammals took over, from 10 thousand years ago. Both sets of “eusocial” animals mastered the supremely delicate art of encouraging altruism, so that individuals in the groups would act as if they value the goal of the group over their own goals. They would specialize for the group and die for the group. In recent decades the idea of “kin selection” seemed to explain how such an astonishing phenomenon could evolve. Wilson replaces kin selection with “multi-level selection,” which incorporates both individual selection (long well understood) and group selection (long considered taboo). Every human and every human society has to learn how to manage adroitly the perpetual ambiguity and conflict between individual needs and group needs. What I need is never the same as what we need. E. O. Wilson’s current book is The Social Conquest of Earth. His previous works include The Superorganism; The Future of Life; Consilience; Biophilia; Sociobiology; and The Insect Societies.

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Mark Lynas: The Nine Planetary Boundaries: Finessing the Anthropocene

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Mar 6, 2012


Human activities increasingly dominate 9 crucial planetary systems. Add to the familiar ones---climate, biodiversity, and chemical pollution---atmospheric aerosols, ocean acidification, excess nitrogen in agriculture, too much land in agriculture, freshwater scarcity, and ozone depletion. To have "a safe operating space for humanity" on Earth requires adjusting our behavior to work within those systems. How we collectively step up to that responsibility will determine whether "the Anthropocene" (the current geological era shaped by humans) will be a tragedy or humanity's greatest accomplishment. British environmentalist Mark Lynas is the author of one of the finest climate books, Six Degrees, and of a new work, The God Species: How the Planet Can Survive the Age of Humans, which spells out a cohesive Green program for this century guided by the 9 boundaries.

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Jim Richardson: Heirlooms: Saving Humanity's 10,000-year Legacy of Food

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Feb 22, 2012


Agricultural biodiversity is as much in need of defending as the world's wildlife. Countless varieties of plants and animals were bred by the world's peoples for talents specific to every soil, climate, and human culture. Most of them have been lost---their hard-won genetic sophistication extinguished. But many have survived, thanks to professional and amateur devotion, and they are wondrous---living embodiments of humanity's deepest traditions. Photojournalist Jim Richardson has been covering the agricultural beat for National Geographic since 1984. His spectacular photographs, and the stories he tells with them, are renowned.

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Lawrence Lessig: How Money Corrupts Congress and a Plan to Stop It

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jan 17, 2012


A dazzlingly incisive presenter, Lawrence Lessig specializes in identifying deep systemic problems in public process (such as copyright malfunction and Congressional dysfunction) and then showing how they can be cured. Currently he is bearing down on the corruption of Congress by the practice of private funding for public elections through campaign contributions. He writes: "The dependency of modern campaign finance is the single most important cause of the bankruptcy of Congress. Fixing this bankruptcy is the single most important reform effort that Americans face just now." As he did with helping fix copyright problems via Creative Commons, he has a plan for reforming elections to reestablish Congressional trust and effectiveness. (Public trust in Congress is currently at 12%.) Lessig is director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University and author of Republic, Lost (2011) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (2000 and 2006).

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Rick Prelinger: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, 6

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Thu, Dec 8, 2011


Rick Prelinger, a guerrilla archivist who collects the uncollected and makes it accessible, presents the 6th of his annual Lost Landscapes of San Francisco screenings. You'll see an eclectic montage of rediscovered and rarely-seen film clips showing life, landscapes, labor and leisure in a vanished San Francisco as captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen and studio filmmakers.

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Brewster Kahle: Universal Access to All Knowledge

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Nov 30, 2011


As founder and librarian of the storied Internet Archive (deemed impossible by all when he started it in 1996), Brewster Kahle has practical experience behind his universalist vision of access to every bit of knowledge ever created, for all time, ever improving. He will speak to questions such as these: Can we make a distributed web of books that supports vending and lending? How can our machines learn by reading these materials? Can we reconfigure the information to make interactive question answering machines? Can we learn from past human translations of documents to seed an automatic version? And, can we learn how to do optical character recognition by having billions of correct examples? What compensation systems will best serve creators and networked users? How do we preserve petabytes of changing data?

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Laura Cunningham: Ten Millennia of California Ecology

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Oct 17, 2011


Ecologically, the past is always present if you know where and how to look. Paleontologist-biologist-artist Laura Cunningham spent 20 years exploring California's archives and relic lands to reconstruct exactly what life used to look like here over the past 10,000 years. Her beautiful images and her insights about long-period ecological change are collected in her new book, A STATE OF CHANGE: Forgotten Landscapes of California. Like many regions, California is busy restoring portions of the natural environment to previous conditions---native meadows, riparian woodlands, salt marshes, old-growth forests, along with the animals that used to populate them. But there is no static past to restore TO. With Cunningham's guidance we can choose to restore to a particular period: say, before the white invasion; or, during the Medieval Warm Period; or, before the human invasion; or, during the Ice Ages. With her inspiration, we can begin to envisage the ecological changes coming over the next 10,000 years.

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Timothy Ferriss: Accelerated Learning in Accelerated Times

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Sep 14, 2011


As the times accelerate and we face ever more kaleidoscopic careers, a crucial meta-skill is the ability to learn new skills extremely rapidly, extremely well. That practice has no better exemplar and proponent than Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid-Fat Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman. Not surprisingly, he has made himself adept at compelling presentations, this one prepared especially for the Long Now audience.

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Geoffrey B. West: Why Cities Keep on Growing, Corporations Always Die, and Life Gets Faster

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Jul 25, 2011


As organisms, cities, and companies scale up, they all gain in efficiency, but then they vary. The bigger an organism, the slower. Yet the bigger a city is, the faster it runs. And cities are structurally immortal, while corporations are structurally doomed. Scaling up always creates new problems; cities can innovate faster than the problems indefinitely, while corporations cannot. These revolutionary findings come from Geoffrey West's examination of vast quantities of data on the metabolic/economic behavior of organisms and organizations. A theoretical physicist, West was president of Santa Fe Institute from 2005 to 2009 and founded the high energy physics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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Peter Kareiva: Conservation in the Real World

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Jun 27, 2011


As chief scientist of one of the most highly respected conservation organizations, The Nature Conservancy, Peter Kareiva is surprisingly radical. "Look," he says, "we're in nature. The deal is how to work with it and how to help it work for us. The better we are at ensuring that people get nature's benefits, the better we'll be at doing conservation." Through his insistence on "evidence-based conservation," he finds most ecosystems far less fragile than people think and none that can be protected as pristine, because pristine doesn't exist any more. His focus is on working the human/nature interface for maximum benefit to both. Kareiva is co-founder of the Natural Capital Project---allying with Stanford University and the World Wildlife Fund to measure the economic value of ecosystems---and co-author of the textbook, Conservation Science: Balancing the Needs of People and Nature.

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Carl Zimmer: Viral Time

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jun 7, 2011


The frontier of biology these days is the genetics and ecology of bacteria, and the frontier of THAT is what's being learned about viruses. "The science of virology is still in its early, wild days," writes Carl Zimmer. "Scientists are discovering viruses faster than they can make sense of them." The Earth's atmosphere is determined in large part by ocean bacteria; every day viruses kill half of them. Every year in the oceans, viruses transfer a trillion trillion genes between host organisms. They evolve faster than anything else, and they are a major engine of the evolution of the rest of life. Our own bodies are made up of 10 trillion human cells, 100 trillion bacteria, and 4 trillion very busy viruses. Some of them kill us. Many of them help us. Some of them are us. Viral time is ancient and blindingly fast. Science journalist Carl Zimmer is the author of A Planet of Viruses; the best introduction to the subject. His previous books include Parasite Rex and Microcosm.

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Tim Flannery: Here on Earth

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, May 3, 2011


Humans now engage the Earth at Gaian scale. How did Earth and humans get to this state? Given how we got here, how should we proceed? Tim Flannery finds that the evolutionary perspective of Alfred Russell Wallace offers better guidance than the more familiar Darwinian version of evolution. Australian biologist Tim Flannery is the renowned author of The Weather Makers, The Future Eaters, and a great ecological history of North America, The Eternal Frontier. His book Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet was published in 02011.

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Ian Morris: Why the West Rules - For Now

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Apr 13, 2011


A Malaysian lawyer told a British journalist: "I am wearing your clothes, I speak your language, I watch your films, and today is whatever date it is because you say so." Do chaps or maps drive history? Human brilliance and folly, or geography? Or maybe genes, or culture? Ian Morris goes a level deeper than Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel to determine why the standards of Europe and North America now prevail in the world when it was the East that dominated for the 1,200 years between 550 and 1750 CE. Why did that happen, and what will happen next? Ian Morris is an archaeologist and professor of classics and history at Stanford. His splendid book is Why the West Rules -- For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future.

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Alexander Rose: Millennial Precedent

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Apr 5, 2011


Alexander Rose, Long Now Executive Director and project manager for the Clock of the Long Now, discussed lessons learned in multi-millennial site design.

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Matt Ridley: Deep Optimism

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Mar 22, 2011


Via trade and other cultural activities, "ideas have sex," and that drives human history in the direction of inconstant but accumulative improvement over time. The criers of havoc keep being proved wrong. A fundamental optimism about human affairs is deeply rational and can be reliably conjured with. Trained at Oxford as a zoologist and an editor at The Economist for eight years, Matt Ridley's is the author of The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. His earlier works include Francis Crick; Nature via Nurture; Genome; and The Origins of Virtue.

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Mary Catherine Bateson: Live Longer, Think Longer

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Feb 9, 2011


We're not just living longer, we're thriving longer, but so far we seem to be thinking shorter. Aging societies the world over can benefit from increased longevity because human lives have added a new stage---what Bateson calls "Adulthood II: the age of active wisdom." People of grandparent age, finding themselves with more energy and health than obsolete stereotypes had led them to expect, are seeing their lives whole and the world whole and taking on radically new activities in light of that perspective. These older adults have the potential to bring a longer perspective to decision making that affects the future. Mary Catherine Bateson is a cultural anthropologist now 71, the daughter of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. Her famed 1989 book Composing a Life showed how women were learning to treat their necessarily fragmented careers as a coherent improvisational art form. She is also the author of Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom.

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Philip K. Howard: Fixing Broken Government

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jan 18, 2011


Philip K. Howard is a conservative who inspires standing ovations from liberal audiences (short example here.) He says that governance in America---from the capitol to the classroom---has achieved near-total dysfunctionality by accumulating so many layers of piecemeal legalisms that the requirements of navigating them has replaced any hope of getting actual justice or effectiveness. Most attempts to fix the problems have made them worse. Howard thinks they can be fixed in a way that restores core functionality. Howard is the author of Life Without Lawyers (2009) and Death of Common Sense (1994) and is the founder and chair of Common Good, a reform advocacy nonprofit.

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Rick Prelinger: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, 5

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Thu, Dec 16, 2010


Rick Prelinger, a guerrilla archivist who collects the uncollected and makes it accessible, presents the fifth of his annual Lost Landscapes of San Francisco screenings. You'll see an eclectic montage of rediscovered and rarely-seen film clips showing life, landscapes, labor and leisure in a vanished San Francisco as captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen and industrial filmmakers. New material this year will include test flights over the unbuilt dunes of the Sunset District, Prohibition-era libertines partying in Golden Gate Park and drinking in their cars, lost travelogues and scenes from San Francisco countercultures. Suzanne Ramsey, aka Kitten on the Keys, will be back to open for Rick again this year; she will regale us with vintage tunes and a vivacious style that has entertained crowds from here in San Francisco to the Cannes Film Festival.

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Rachel Sussman: The World's Oldest Living Organisms

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Nov 15, 2010


While we may aspire to live a century, Rachel Sussman documents creatures who don’t bat an eye at a millennium or two. Her photography has captured 4,500 year old bristlecone pines, 12,000 year old yucca, 400,000 year old Siberian bacteria, and many other wizened elders, all with stories longer than all of recorded human history.

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Lera Boroditsky: How Language Shapes Thought

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Oct 26, 2010


Do the languages we speak shape the way we think? For example, how do we think about time? The word "time" is the most frequent noun in the English language. Time is ubiquitous yet ephemeral. It forms the very fabric of our experience, and yet it is unperceivable: we cannot see, touch, or smell time. How do our minds create this fundamental aspect of experience? Do patterns in language and culture influence how we think about time? Do languages merely express thoughts, or do the structures in languages (without our knowledge or consent) shape the very thoughts we wish to express? Can learning new ways to talk change how you think? Is there intrinsic value in human linguistic diversity? Join us as Stanford cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky re-invigorates this long standing debate with data from experiments done around the world, from China, to Indonesia, Israel, and Aboriginal Australia.

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Stewart Brand, Jane McGonigal: Long Conversation 19 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Jane McGonigal, Tiffany Shlain: Long Conversation 18 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Paul Hawken, Tiffany Shlain: Long Conversation 17 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Katherine Fulton, Paul Hawken: Long Conversation 16 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Stuart Candy, Katherine Fulton: Long Conversation 15 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Stuart Candy, Danese Cooper: Long Conversation 14 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Danese Cooper, Peter Schwartz: Long Conversation 13 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Peter Schwartz, Pete Worden: Long Conversation 12 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Ken Foster, Pete Worden: Long Conversation 11 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Melissa Alexander, Ken Foster: Long Conversation 10 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Melissa Alexander, Ken Wilson: Long Conversation 9 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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John Perry Barlow, Ken Wilson: Long Conversation 8 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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John Perry Barlow, Violet Blue: Long Conversation 7 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Violet Blue, Robin Sloan: Long Conversation 6 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Robin Sloan, Jill Tarter: Long Conversation 5 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Emily Levine, Jill Tarter: Long Conversation 4 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Saul Griffith, Emily Levine: Long Conversation 3 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Jem Finer, Saul Griffith: Long Conversation 2 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Stewart Brand, Jem Finer: Long Conversation 1 of 19

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Sat, Oct 16, 2010


Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T. Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.

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Martin Rees: Life's Future in the Cosmos

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Aug 2, 2010


President of the Royal Society, England's Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees brings a lifetime of cosmological inquiry to a crucial question: What if human success on Earth determines life's success in the universe? He thinks that civilization's chances of getting out of this century intact are about 50-50. He is hopeful that extraterrestrial life already exists, but there's no sign of it yet. But even if we are now alone, he notes that we may not even be the halfway stage of evolution. There is huge scope for post-human evolution, so that "it will not be humans who watch the sun's demise, 6 billion years from now. Any creatures that then exist will be as different from us as we are from bacteria or amoebae." Appropriately, Rees's Long Now talk will be at the Chabot Space & Science Center in the hills above Oakland, in the planetarium.

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Jesse Schell: Visions of the Gamepocalypse

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jul 27, 2010


Games perpetually revolutionize computer use toward denser interaction with the human mind. To do that, they perpetually revolutionize themselves. Understanding the next frontiers of the genre is one way to understand where society is going. In this talk Jesse Schell explores the social, cognitive, and technological trends in computer game design and use. Jesse Schell is the CEO of Schell Games, the author of the authoritative text, The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, and a Professor of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon, specializing in Game Design. At Walt Disney, he was Creative Director of the Imagineering VR Studio.

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Frank Gavin: Five Ways to Use History Well

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Jul 12, 2010


Policy makers typically ignore or misuse history. They are attracted by simplistic theories and analogies and take little account of huge events outside their policy-making domain. Scholarly historians can cure those blindnesses but are seldom invited to. Specifically, trained historians can help improve policy decisions by bringing the perspectives of vertical history (deep causes), horizontal history (complex linkages), chronological proportionality (many big deals aren't big for long), unintended consequences (irony abounds), and recognizing the limits of policy. Francis Gavin is an historian at the University of Texas specializing in international policy.

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Ed Moses: Clean Fusion Power This Decade

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Jun 16, 2010


Finally achieving fusion energy may be closer than everyone thinks. For decades the dream has been to employ the reaction that powers stars to generate high-volume electricity without the drawbacks of fission reactors---no high-level waste, no weapons application, no risk of meltdown, no use of uranium, and (as with fission) no greenhouse gases. Ed Moses is director of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore Labs. Focussing massive amounts of laser light for a billionth of a second, the NIF is expected to demonstrate ignition of a fusion reaction (more energy out than in) for the first time in the coming year, followed by the prospect of a prototype machine for generating continuous clean energy by the end of this decade. That could change everything. The NIF itself is a spectacular work of "technological sublime."

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Nils Gilman: Deviant Globalization

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, May 3, 2010


Hidden and powerful and growing worldwide at twice the rate of the legal economy, "deviant globalization" is described by Nils Gilman as "human trafficking, drug dealing, gun running, cross-border waste disposal, organ trading, sex tourism, money laundering, transnational gangs, piracy (both intellectual and physical), and so on." He adds: "The structure of the current global economy is not designed for equitable, plodding growth; it's designed to reward opportunistic, risk-seeking innovators. Were one to construct an investment portfolio of illicit businesses, it would no doubt outperform Wall Street." In some parts of the world, with the decline of state sovereignty and growth of grassroots communication technology, outlaw organizations are taking over statelike duties. Trained as an historian, Nils Gilman is a consultant at Global Business Network/Monitor for licit organizations, including the US intelligence community. He is co-author of the forthcoming book, Deviant Globalization.

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David Eagleman: Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Thu, Apr 1, 2010


David Eagleman may be the best combination of scientist and fiction-writer alive. Sum, his collection of afterlife alternatives, made a stunning literary debut last year and now appears in 21 languages. Simultaneously he is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, specializing in time perception. In this talk he spells out how to save the world.

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Beth Noveck: Transparent Government

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Thu, Mar 4, 2010


President Obama's first executive action was the Open Government Memorandum calling for more transparent, participatory, and collaborative government. It is likely that one of the longest lasting effects of the current administration will be how much it changed the culture of Washington by opening government data and pioneering innovations in policymaking. As the United States Deputy Chief Technology Officer and leader of the President's Open Government Initiative in the White House, Beth Noveck is in the forefront of the Federal government's implementation of these changes. On leave as law professor at New York Law School and a visiting professor of communication at Stanford University, she lectures on intellectual property, innovation and technology law. She is also the Founder of the State of Play conferences. Noveck is the author of Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful.

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Alan Weisman: World Without Us, World With Us

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Feb 24, 2010


Journalist Weisman traveled the world to investigate what happens when humans stop occupying an area. How long do our artifacts last? How does nature recover? What does that say about the human impact on the world? What would be the actual sequence of events if all of humanity suddenly disappeared? The exercise provides inspiration and techniques for humans to occupy Earth more lightly and therefore more durably.

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Stewart Brand, Brian Eno, Alexander Rose: Long Finance: The Enduring Value Conference

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Feb 1, 2010


Long Finance aims to “improve society’s understanding and use of finance over the long-term”, in contrast to the short-termism that defines today’s financial and economic views. The immediate objective of the initiative is to establish a Foundation that can ignite global debate on long-term finance, by examining how commerce should enable and encourage environmental and social sustainability.

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Wade Davis: The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Jan 13, 2010


Anthropologist Wade Davis is one of the world's great story tellers, with personal adventures to match. An Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic, he specializes in hanging out with traditional peoples and exploring their religious practices. He first came to public notice with his discovery of the reality of zombies in Haitian voodoo and the substance used to poison them---chronicled in his 1985 book, The Serpent and the Rainbow. He is the author of 13 books, including One River and Shadows in the Suns, and has hosted, written, and starred in numerous television specials, including "Earthguide," "Light at the Edge of the World," "Spirit of the Mask," and "Forests Forever." This talk is based on the prestigious Massey Lectures that Davis gave in Canada in 2009.

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Rick Prelinger: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco 4

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Dec 4, 2009


Rick Prelinger, a guerrilla archivist who collects the uncollected and makes it accessible, presents the fourth of his annual Lost Landscapes of San Francisco screenings. You'll see an eclectic montage of rediscovered and rarely-seen film clips showing life, landscapes, labor and leisure in a vanished San Francisco as captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen and industrial filmmakers. How we remember and record the past reveals much about how we address the future. Prelinger will preface the screening with a brief talk on how historical memory is shifting away from mass culture towards individual expression, and what consequences will arise from the emerging massive matrix of personal records.

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Sander van der Leeuw: The Archaeology of Innovation

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Nov 18, 2009


Are we the first civilization to try and innovate our way out of climate change? How have past societies engineered sustainable solutions to a shifting world? Sander van der Leeuw, Director of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University and External Faculty Member of the Santa Fe Institute, has spent his career studying these questions. At his Seminar van der Leeuw will be exploring this research into the past, as well as its application to our current global predicament.

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Stewart Brand: Rethinking Green

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Oct 9, 2009


This talk launches Brand's new book: Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto.  His argument is that taking account of the emerging global forces of climate change, urbanization, and biotechnology forces a rethink of some traditional environmental positions.  Cities are Green, with huge room for improvement.  Nuclear power is Green, with better still to come.  Genetic engineering is Green and shows potentially revolutionary promise.  Direct intervention in the climate---geoengineering---may be necessary.  The classic environmental project of restoring natural systems has to step up in scale and deepen the quality of its science and engineering.

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Arthur Ganson: Machines and the Breath of Time

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Sep 14, 2009


Arthur Ganson uses humble materials to create kinetic sculptures of humor, drama, and emotion.  His work has been shown around the world, and has been an ongoing inspiration for the 10,000 Year Clock project at Long Now.  His machinated gestures play with time spans that range from the epochal to the momentary. One of the touchstone pieces for the Clock project is the Machine with Concrete.  The input of the piece is a 200 revolution per minute motor, and after series of gear reductions it's output gear is cast in concrete.  Due to the multiplicative nature of the gear train it will take upwards of two trillion years to break the final gear.  Ganson will be discussing the theme of time in his work, and will be bringing a piece to show live at the event.

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Wayne Clough: Smithsonian Forever

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Aug 17, 2009


Wayne Clough is the 12th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.  In July 1998 he took the reins of the world's largest museum and research complex and has since initiated long-range planning for the Smithsonian that includes increasing its accessibility.  Many of the 137 million objects in the Institution's collection will be digitized and made available to the public along with curatorial content produced by Smithsonian experts.

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Raoul Adamchak, Pamela Ronald: Organically Grown and Genetically Engineered: The Food of the Future

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Jul 28, 2009


She's the head of a plant genetics lab at UC Davis; he teaches organic farming there. They're married (with kids), and they coauthored Tomorrow's Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food. In the book they wrote: "To meet the appetites of the world's population without drastically hurting the environment requires a visionary new approach: combining genetic engineering and organic farming. Genetic engineering can be used to develop seeds with enhanced resistance to pests and pathogens; organic farming can manage the overall spectrum of pests more effectively."Agriculture has been a revolutionary biological science for 10,000 years, husbanding soil, tweaking the genes of the food crops. This is the next stage.

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Paul Romer: A Theory of History, with an Application

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, May 18, 2009


Paul Romer is best known as the lead developer of New Growth Theory, which shows how societies can speed up the discovery and implementation of new technologies; essentially, ideas about how objects interact. However, to address the big problems we’ll face this century; insecurity, harm to the environment, and global poverty, new technologies will not be enough. His current focus is on mechanisms that can speed up the discovery and implementation of new rules - ideas about how people interact. For his work on the economics of ideas, Paul was named one of America’s 25 most influential people by TIME magazine.

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Michael Pollan: Deep Agriculture

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, May 5, 2009


Michael Pollan describes his program to transform American agriculture as a "sun food agenda." He is the author of two influential books---In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto; and The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals . He is the director the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism at UC-Berkeley.

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Gavin Newsom: Cities and Time

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Apr 8, 2009


More than any other political entity, cities learn from each other. San Francisco's youthful mayor has traveled the world examining what works best in other cities. Now in his sixth year on the job, he has seen various ideas and programs bloom or wither, and has led the city's ambition to become one of the world's Greenest. In this talk we hear about lessons learned and plans in the making, in a world now mostly urban.

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Daniel Everett: Endangered languages, lost knowledge and the future

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Mar 20, 2009


The Pirahã, a remote Amazonian tribe with little outside contact, have attracted the attention of mainstream media, scientists, zen buddhists, professors of religion, mathematicians, philosophers and others because of their unusual confluence of values, language, and culture. Now, after 20 years of high intellectual and physical adventure living among them, Dan Everett proposes a revolution in anthropology and linguistics: culture profoundly shapes language, even at the most fundamental level. What happens when a language-culture pairing like the Pirahãs' is lost? The Pirahãs are not alone in their lessons and knowledge for all of us -- there are hundreds of endangered languages in the world -- but their example provides a remarkably clear example of alternative knowledge and ways of talking of importance to all of us as we ponder how we should try to build future lives. Everett is author of Don't Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazon Jungle (02008) and is Chair of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Illinois State University.

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Dmitry Orlov: Social Collapse Best Practices

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Feb 13, 2009


A close student and observer of the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe twenty years ago, engineer Dmitry Orlov finds a similar sequence of events taking shape in America. His savagely humorous presentation spells out how Russia was better prepared than the US is for the stages of collapse that begin with financial meltdown. Renewal awaits on the other side of collapse, and there are ways to hasten that process. Orlov is the author of Reinventing Collapse: Soviet Example and American Prospects (02008).

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Saul Griffith: Climate Change Recalculated

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jan 16, 2009


"It is not accurate to say we can still stop climate change," says Saul Griffith, the Bay Area inventor who received a MacArthur "genius" award in 2007.  "We are now working to stop worse climate change or much-worse-than-worse climate change." Griffith has done the research and the math to figure out exactly what it will take for humanity to soften the impact of climate change in the next 25 years, and he lays it out in a dazzling presentation.  It is horrifying news.  The politics and technologies we have now are not up to the task.

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Rick Prelinger: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Dec 19, 2008


Rick Prelinger is a guerrilla archivist who collects the uncollected and makes it accessible. Prelinger will be presenting his third annual "Lost Landscapes of San Francisco" event, an eclectic montage of lost and rarely-seen film clips showing life, landscapes and labor in a vanished San Francisco as captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen and industrial filmmakers. How we remember and record the past reveals much about how we address the future. Prelinger will preface the film with a brief talk on how fragmentary, incomplete histories are being overtaken by pervasive real-time documentation, and how history, memory and property are combining into a new matrix of experience. Since 01983 Rick has been collecting ephemeral films: advertising, educational, industrial, and amateur works. In 02002, the Prelinger film collection of over 200,000 items was acquired by the Library of Congress; much of it is available online at the Internet Archive. In 02004 Prelinger and spouse Megan opened the Prelinger Library in downtown San Francisco, which includes over 50,000 pieces of print ephemera, books, periodicals, maps and zines. We encourage the audience to interact with the film, especially to identify mystery scenes!

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Drew Endy, Jim Thomas: Synthetic Biology Debate

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Nov 17, 2008


Bioengineer Drew Endy is the leading enabler of open-source biotechnology. Technology historian Jim Thomas is the leading critic of biotech, based with ETC Group in Ottawa. "Synthetic Biology includes the broad redefinition and expansion of biotechnology, with the ultimate gils of being able to design and build engineered biological systems that process information, manipulate chemicals, fabricate materials and structures, produce energy, provide food, and maintain and enhance human health and our environment." -- Wikipedia. Synthetic biology is swarming ahead all over the world, at a self-accelerating pace far greater than Moore's Law, with a range of impacts far greater than genetically engineered food crops. Jim Thomas raises the question: "Is Synthetic Biology reckless or wise from the perspective of 'the long now?'. I feel the synthetic biology community is driven by immensely short term assumptions and motivations, and as a result the medium term prospect for this platform holds both predictable problems and nasty surprises." Drew Endy says: "Jim and I have somehow managed to establish a productive working relationship, and feel that there is now a once-in-a-generation opportunity to develop the cultural foundations needed to support long term and constructive discussions of the issues existing and emerging with biotechnology---safety, equity, security, community, and so on." The point of Long Now debates is not win-lose. The point is public clarity and deep understanding, leading to action graced with nuance and built-in adaptivity, with long-term responsibility in mind.

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Huey Johnson: Green Planning at Nation Scale

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Oct 3, 2008


"You cannot manage elements of the environment individually, one by one, or all your best efforts will unravel," says Johnson.  Government planning is needed, and it must match the pace and scale of the environment itself.  He instigated that kind of planning when he was California's Secretary of Resources in the 1980s, and he is inspired by the exemplary Green Plans of the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Singapore.  In this talk, as in his work with nations worldwide, he spells out the current best practices for serious, long-term Green Planning. Trained as a biologist, an avid hunter and fisherman, Huey Johnson is president of the Resource Renewal Institute, based in Fort Mason.  After serving as head of The Nature Conservancy he founded Trust for Public Land in San Francisco in 1972.  While Secretary of Resources from 1976 to 1982 he created a hundred-year plan for California's natural resources called "Investing for Prosperity," which set in motion lasting programs of restoration for the state's rivers, forests, and wetlands, and also promoted energy conservation and renewable energy.  In 2001 he received the Sasakawa Environment Prize from the United Nations.

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Peter Diamandis: Long-term X-Prizes

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Sep 12, 2008


Prizes are proving themselves as powerful tools to accelerate goal-specific innovation. Diamandis, the founder and chairman of the X Prize Foundation, has built on the success of the $10 million Ansari X Prize that inaugurated private-sector spaceflight in 2004 with Burt Rutan's SpaceShipOne. Currently in play are new prizes for a $10,000 human genome, for a private Moon landing, and for a super-efficient car, with more in the pipeline. But prize contests so far have focussed on near-term goals---spectacular achievements that can be accomplished in a decade or two. What might be prize-worthy hundred-year goals, or thousand-year goals? What goals might a century of focussed effort transform from the clearly impossible to the merely difficult?

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Neal Stephenson: ANATHEM Book Launch Event

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Tue, Sep 9, 2008


At an event hosted by the Long Now Foundation, science fiction author Neal Stephenson reads from his latest novel Anathem.

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Daniel Suarez (aka author Leinad Zeraus): Daemon: Bot-mediated Reality

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Aug 8, 2008


The viral success story of the year is a techno-thriller called Daemon. Software developer Suarez printed the book himself after being turned down by mainstream publishers. Blog raves, Amazon raves, and brief item in Wired magazine turned the book deservedly into a runaway hit. In this presentation, his first on the subject, Suarez spells out the ideas behind Daemon and its forthcoming sequel, Freedom™: "'Bots' are simple software programs designed to automate tasks - such as finding, retrieving, or acting upon information. Bots set loose on the Internet have been the catalyst behind many revolutionary Web 2.0 technologies. However, the unintended consequences of activating millions of bots in our networks -- bots that wield increasing influence over the activities and opportunities of human beings - may have serious consequences for society."

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Edward Burtynsky: The 10,000-year Gallery

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Jul 23, 2008


Burtynsky's massively informative photographs change minds and influence policy. They are also exquisite art. Their historical value will grow with time. Other art has similar reach. There should be a gallery that collects, displays, and sifts such works over centuries and millennia, and develops ways to preserve them. That is exactly Burtynsky's plan--- a 10,000-year Gallery to accompany the 10,000-year Clock. His presentation will explore and demonstrate the idea. Edward Burtynsky is an Officer of the Order of Canada and winner of the 2004 Ted Prize. His photographs are in the permanent collections of fifteen major museums, including the Guggenheim and Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Bibiotheque Nationale in Paris, and the Victoria & Albert in London. He is the subject of a prize-winning film, "Manufactured Landscapes."

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Paul Ehrlich: The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jun 27, 2008


Everything living evolves, but humans evolve culturally as well as biologically, and that puts us in a peculiar relation to the rest of life, with a peculiar responsibility. If we can understand how cultural evolution works, we'll have a better handle on how to manage our responsibilities. The question that Ehrlich has been exploring lately is whether cultural evolution really does show patterns that would yield predictive theory. He now has data from Polynesian canoes that indicate the answer is yes, cultural evolution is patterned enough to predict with. We can discover a new way to comprehend our own behavior and perhaps influence it to the benefit of life. Entomologist and population biologist Paul Ehrlich is President of Stanford's Center for Conservation Biology, author and co-author of books ranging from The Population Bomb (1968) to One With Nineveh (2004), recipient of many awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship, the Blue Planet Prize, and the Nobel-level Crafoord Prize.

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Iqbal Quadir: Technology Empowers the Poorest

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, May 21, 2008


Quadir is the now-legendary founder of GrameenPhone, which transformed his home country of Bangladesh in the 1990s and led the way for the cellphone revolution throughout the developing world. Currently Quadir heads the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT and is building Emergence BioEnergy Inc., a project to develop local electricity for the rural poor, using such devices as a fuel cell that runs on anaerobic bacteria. Linking new technology with the boundless resourcefulness of the poor drives innovation in surprising directions at surprising speed.

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Niall Ferguson, Peter Schwartz: Historian vs. Futurist on Human Progress

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Apr 28, 2008


Distinguished historian Ferguson and renowned futurist Schwartz disagree profoundly on the nature of human progress. Both use scenarios (called "counterfactual history" by Ferguson) to analyze how events play out. Ferguson wrote The War of the World (2006), a history of the violence that defined the 20th Century. Schwartz wrote The Art of the Long View (1991), the standard text on scenario planning, and The Long Boom (1999), on global prosperity in the 21st century. Both speakers regard history as highly contingent. The question is, contingent on what?

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Craig Venter: Joining 3.5 Billion Years of Microbial Invention

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Feb 25, 2008


With his current series of breakthroughs in synthetic biology Craig Venter and his team are not so much creating life as joining life. Reverse-engineering evolution's long-refined tricks and subtleties at the molecular level is building humanity's most powerful toolkit yet. Through shotgun-sequencing whole microbial populations ("metagenomics"), the domain of the organisms that rule the world is at last opening up. Genome synthesis will lead to major advances in biomedicine and in adjusting civilization's global energy metabolism.

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb: The Future Has Always Been Crazier Than We Thought

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Feb 4, 2008


Skeptical empiricist Nassim Taleb, author of The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, has bracing things to say about the future. It is inevitable that we will be massively blindsided by events, because our understanding is misled by an array of beguiling illusions about reality. Some lessons: Events are not predictable, but consequences are, so focus on preparedness. Pay attention to elders, because they've experienced more Black Swans. Check Wikipedia's bio of Taleb for more on the vividness of his ideas and exposition.

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Paul Saffo: Embracing Uncertainty: the secret to effective forecasting

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jan 11, 2008


"Some would argue that forecasting is a dangerous exercise in futility, but they are mistaken. In fact, effective forecasting is not merely possible, but remarkably easy; all it takes is simple shift in perspective and a few common-sense heuristics." The most quoted futurist alive, Paul Saffo specializes in the history and future of technology. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review he spelled out the secrets of his trade, which he will expand on in this talk. Saffo is a member of the board of The Long Now Foundation.

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Joline Blais, Jon Ippolito: At the Edge of Art

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Dec 14, 2007


Art is humanity's long-term unconscious memory.  Artists work by creative misuse, and thanks to the Internet there have never been so many tools for so many artists (and multitudes who don't know they're artists) to creatively misuse.  Take a cruise through how strange and meaningful it is getting with the authors of At the Edge of Art .

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Rosabeth Moss Kanter: Enduring Principles for Changing Times

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Nov 9, 2007


Principles are fundamental and moral, and they abide. Professor Kanter from the Harvard Business School, author of renowned leadership and strategy books such as The Change Masters and When Giants Learn to Dance, has a new book titled America the Principled. In it and in this talk, she "offers a positive agenda for the nation, focussed on innovation and education, a new workplace social contract, values-based corporate conduct, competent government, positive international relations through citizen diplomacy and business networks, and national and community service."

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Juan Enriquez: Mapping the Frontier of Knowledge

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Oct 12, 2007


Enriquez has a world-class collection of historic maps made at the very point of discovery. He will deploy them for the first time in one of his dazzling presentations, to examine how we image and imagine what we are exploring, and thus image and imagine exploration itself. Enriquez is author of As the Future Catches You and The United States of America, and CEO and Chair of Biotechonomy, a life sciences research and investment firm.

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Rip Anderson, Gwyneth Cravens: Power to Save the World

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Sep 14, 2007


The best introduction to the current realities and benefits of nuclear power is Gwyneth Cravens' forthcoming book Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy. A science journalist and novelist, and long an activist against nuclear, Cravens had her assumptions shaken through friendship with the leading expert on nuclear risk assessment at Sandia National Laboratories, D. Richard Anderson, know as "Rip." Both are professional skeptics. They took their skepticism on the road to travel the uranium atom's path in America from mine to refinery to reactor to short-term and long-term storage, with a side trip to the coal alternative. It is a revelatory journey.

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Alex Wright: Glut: Mastering Information Though the Ages

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Aug 17, 2007




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Francis Fukuyama: 'The End of History' Revisited

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Thu, Jun 28, 2007


Frank Fukuyama's 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man had profound and lasting impact with its declaration that science and technology, the growing global economy, and liberal democracy are leading history in a quite different direction than Marx and Hegel imagined. In this revisit to those themes, Fukuyama examines conflict with and within Islam, the need for a diffuse form of global governance to deal with problems like climate change, and the deeper implications of biotechnology.

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Paul Hawken: The New Great Transformation

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jun 8, 2007


"I now believe there are over one million organizations working toward ecological sustainability and social justice. This is the largest social movement in all of history, no one knows its scope, and how it functions is more mysterious than what meets the eye. What binds it together is ideas, not ideologies. The promise of this unnamed movement is to offer solutions to what appear to be insoluble dilemmas: poverty, global climate change, terrorism, ecological degradation, polarization of income, loss of culture." Paul Hawken is the author of Blessed Unrest and co-author of Natural Capitalism.

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Steven Johnson: The Long Zoom

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, May 11, 2007


Nobody discovers or imparts an insight with the dexterity of Steven Johnson, author of Emergence, Everything Bad Is Good For You, and The Ghost Map. In this talk he examines how humanity is transformed by its new scaling capability--- our ability now to examine and relate events at the nanometer and nanosecond scale and then zoom right out to a cosmic scale and time frame. With tools like Google Earth and Will Wright's "Spore" game, we all are learning to zoom with comfort. How does that change us?

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Frans Lanting: Life's Journey Through Time

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Apr 27, 2007


Acclaimed nature photographer Lanting has created the most graphic timeline ever, at its best as a live performance. This is the "long now" in glowing imagery.

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Brian Fagan: We Are Not the First to Suffer Through Climate Change

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Mar 9, 2007


How vulnerable are we to climate change? What does it do to us, exactly? Human experience over the last 15,000 years shows that even slight climate shifts have been one of the major shapers of history and pre-history, though that is overlooked in most history books and in most of the current public discourse about climate change. An experienced television presenter, anthropologist Brian Fagan is the author of The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization.

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Vernor Vinge: What If the Singularity Does NOT Happen?

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Thu, Feb 15, 2007


Technology acceleration is like what happens approaching the singularity in the center of a black hole--- everything is transformed utterly and unpredictably. That metaphor was invented by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge in 1980s and has entered standard usage as a way of thinking about the near future. In this talk Vinge challenges his own idea, investigating scenarios of "a human-scaled world with long time horizons," and how that might play out over ten or twenty thousand years.

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Philip Tetlock: Why Foxes Are Better Forecasters Than Hedgehogs

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jan 26, 2007


Why are so many experts so wrong, yet people keep listening to them? Who really is worth listening to about the future? The author of Expert Political Judgement builds on Isaah Berlin's characterization of judgment modes into Hedgehogs (who know one big thing) and Foxes (who know many things). Hedgehogs don't notice and don't care when they're wrong; that's why they're so compelling. Foxes learn.

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Philip Rosedale: 'Second Life:' What Do We Learn If We Digitize EVERYTHING?

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Thu, Nov 30, 2006


Philip Rosedale is the founder of a burgeoning Web phenomenon, the massive multi-player substitute reality called "Second Life." When the scheduled speaker for this month, Francis Fukuyama, was suddenly sidelined by a motorcycle injury, Rosedale sprinted from the bench to take his place at the podium. He'll be improvising; he has a scintillating world to improvise with.

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Larry Brilliant, Katherine Fulton, Richard Rockefeller: The Deeper News About the New Philanthropy

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Nov 3, 2006


New money, new ideas, whole new kinds of programs, and growing global impact characterize the transformations going on in philanthropy these days. Katherine Fulton, president of the Monitor Institute, is behind the scenes in all of it. She is joined on the stage by a fifth-generation Rockefeller and the head of newest philanthropic enterprise, Google.org.

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John Baez: Zooming Out in Time

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Oct 13, 2006


This graphic extravaganza from mathematical physicist John Baez shows not only humanity's nested time dimensions but how we expand our time perspective to understand and solve crises. Baez's famed online column, "This Week's Finds in Mathematical Physics," which began in 1993, was an influential pioneer of the blog genre.

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Orville Schell: China Thinks Long-term, But Can It Relearn to Act Long-term?

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Sep 22, 2006


Orville Schell is author of nine books about China and dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley. The question facing China now is whether in practice it can live up to its sense of itself as the society with the longest and deepest continuity on earth. In a time of fabulous short-term gains, can it step up to long-term responsibility?

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John Rendon: Long-term Policy to Make the War on Terror Short

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jul 14, 2006


John Rendon, head of The Rendon Group, is a senior communications consultant to the White House and Department of Defense. His subject in this talk is how to replace tactical, reactive response to terror with long-term strategic initiative.

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Brian Eno, Will Wright: Playing with Time

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Jun 26, 2006


Will Wright, creator of the video games "Sim City," "The Sims," and the forthcoming "Spore," will speak on playing with time.

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Chris Anderson, Will Hearst: The Long Time Tail

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, May 12, 2006


A new economic principle is the "the long tail," discovered and named by the editor of Wired magazine, Chris Anderson. The former dominance of best-sellers has been augmented by the new dominance of innumerable tiny-sellers, thanks to the Internet. Investor and publisher Will Hearst notes that there is a time dimension as well to the long tail phenomenon, still being discovered.

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Jimmy Wales: Vision: Wikipedia and the Future of Free Culture

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Apr 14, 2006


Vision is one of the most powerful forms of long-term thinking. Jimmy Wales, founder and president of the all-embracing online encyclopedia Wikipedia, examines how vision drives and defines that project and its strategy--- and how it fits into the even larger world and prospects of "free culture."

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Kevin Kelly: The Next 100 Years of Science: Long-term Trends in the Scientific Method.

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Mar 10, 2006




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Stephen Lansing: Perfect Order: A Thousand Years in Bali

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Feb 13, 2006


Anthropologist/ecologist Stephen Lansing tells a gorgeous tale of how spiritual practices in Bali have finessed over 1,000 years the most nuanced and productive agricultural system in the world. Cutting edge complexity theory spells out how the highly complex, highly adaptive system emerged.

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Ralph Cavanagh, Peter Schwartz: Nuclear Power, Climate Change and the Next 10,000 Years

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jan 13, 2006


In a very pointed discussion, two energy experts bring opposite perspectives to the question of whether global climate change justifies reviving nuclear power. Ralph Cavanagh is co-director of the Energy Program at the National Resources Defense Council. Peter Schwartz is co-founder and chairman of Global Business Network.

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Sam Harris: The View from the End of the World

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Dec 9, 2005


In his new book The End of Faith philosopher Sam Harris examines religious faith in terms of its consequences and aggressive irrationality. For this talk he explores how "end time" beliefs play out in social behavior and public policy. A Buddhist meditator, he mixes wicked humor into his compassion.

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Clay Shirky: Making Digital Durable: What Time Does to Categories

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Mon, Nov 14, 2005


Clay Shirky is the most riveting of speakers at tech conferences, with his deep insight into social software and the culture and economics of networks. His talk for the next Seminar About Long-term Thinking takes on one of the most intractable problems of the information age: how to preserve digital information and tools in usable condition beyond ten years. The continuity of civilization is at stake in this matter.

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Esther Dyson, Freeman Dyson, George Dyson: The Difficulty of Looking Far Ahead

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Wed, Oct 5, 2005


"The Difficulty of Looking Far Ahead" is Freeman Dyson's subject at the next Seminar About Long-term Thinking. He will be joined for the first time on a public stage by his daughter Esther Dyson and son George Dyson.

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Ray Kurzweil: Kurzweil's Law

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Sep 23, 2005


The next Seminar About Long-term Thinking features Ray Kurzweil, speaking on "Kurzweil's Law"--- the exponential trend of accelerating returns governing life and technology.

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Robert Fuller: Patient Revolution: Human Rights Past and Future

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Aug 12, 2005


From time to time a portion of humanity declares a new human right. Behavior thought normal for thousands of years is suddenly challenged.  What does it take for the new right to prevail?  It takes steady bearing down on the issue over decades and centuries... Bob Fuller is the author of Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank.  The book defines "rankism"--- the pervasive misuse of power relationships that is expressed not just in racism and sexism but in every form of humiliation.  Humans have the universal right, the new movement insists, to be treated with dignity.  Fuller was president of Oberlin College when it integrated racially in the early 1970s.  Before that he was a highly regarded physicist working with John Wheeler.  After that he was a "citizen diplomat" quietly helping end the Cold War.  On stage he is a vivid story teller.

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Jared Diamond: How Societies Fail-And Sometimes Succeed

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jul 15, 2005




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Robert Neuwirth: The 21st Century Medieval City

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jun 10, 2005




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Stewart Brand: Cities & Time

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Apr 8, 2005




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Spencer Beebe: Very Long-term Very Large-scale Biomimicry

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Mar 11, 2005


Spencer Beebe, founder of Ecotrust, is giving the next Seminar About Long-term Thinking lecture, titled "Very Long-term Very Large-scale Biomimicry"---how to prosper with bio-regional economics over centuries. Friday, March 11, 7pm, Fort Mason Conference Center, San Francisco.

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Roger Kennedy: The Political History of North America from 25,000 BC to 12,000 AD

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Feb 25, 2005




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James Carse: Religious War In Light of the Infinite Game

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jan 14, 2005


"Religious War in Light of the Infinite Game" is the subject of the next Seminar About Long-term Thinking lecture, given by James P. Carse. Carse is the author of the celebrated tiny book, Finite and Infinite Games.

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Ken Dychtwald: The Consequences of Human Life Extension

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Dec 3, 2004


"The Consequences of Human Life Extension" will be discussed by Ken Dychtwald at the next Seminar About Long-term Thinking. Dychtwald is the author of Age Wave and Age Power: How the 21st Century will be Ruled by the New Old.

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Michael West: The Prospects of Human Life Extension

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Nov 12, 2004


"The Prospects of Human Life Extension" is the subject of the next Seminar About Long-term Thinking, Friday, Nov. 12, 7 pm, at the Fort Mason Conference Center in San Francisco. The speaker is Michael West, founder of Geron, founder and CEO of Advanced Cell Technology, leading researcher in age-related degenerative disease and embryonic stem cells.

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Paul Hawken: The Long Green

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Oct 15, 2004


Paul Hawken, ur-environmentalist, is the next speaker in the series of Seminars About Long-term Thinking, Friday, October 15, 7 pm, at the Fort Mason Conference Center in San Francisco. His subject is "The Long Green."

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Danny Hillis: Progress on the 10,000-year Clock

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Sep 10, 2004


Danny Hillis is the next speaker in the Seminars About Long-term Thinking series, Friday, September 10, 7pm, at the Fort Mason Conference Center in San Francisco. His topic is "Progress on the 10,000-year Clock."

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Phillip Longman: The Depopulation Problem

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Aug 13, 2004




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Jill Tarter: The Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence: Necessarily a Long-term Strategy

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jul 9, 2004




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Bruce Sterling: The Singularity: Your Future as a Black Hole

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jun 11, 2004




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David Rumsey: Mapping Time

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, May 14, 2004




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Daniel Janzen: Third World Conservation: It's ALL Gardening

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Apr 9, 2004




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Rusty Schweickart: The Asteroid Threat Over the Next 100,000 Years

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Mar 12, 2004


The epitome of long-term thinking is to take seriously the protection of the Earth from massive asteroid impacts, which in the past have extincted as much as 90% of life on Earth. On Friday, March 12, astronaut Rusty Schweickart will give a public lecture titled "The Asteroid Threat Over the Next 100,000 Years." It will detail graphically the results of his research on asteroid impact frequency and damage, along with what it will take to find and deflect future threatening asteroids.

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James Dewar: Long-term Policy Analysis

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Feb 13, 2004




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George Dyson: There's Plenty of Room at the Top: Long-term Thinking About Large-scale Computing

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Jan 9, 2004


George Dyson is ringing a change on the famous 1959 lecture by physicist Richard Feynman that showed the way to nanotechnology. It was called, "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom."

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Peter Schwartz: The Art Of The Really Long View

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Dec 12, 2003


Peter Schwartz, considered by many to be the world's leading futurist, will be trying out new ideas in public in a talk titled, "The Art of the Really Long View." He'll be talking about ways to engage the next several hundred years.

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Brian Eno: The Long Now

The Long Now Foundation Author: The Long Now Foundation
Fri, Nov 14, 2003


This is not a concert. Brian Eno will be speaking about "The Long Now." His talk will be the first of a monthly series of Seminars About Long-term Thinking, sponsored by The Long Now Foundation. His talks are usually as amazing as his music. The on-going lectures in this new series will be every second Friday at Fort Mason. Future speakers include Peter Schwartz, George Dyson, Laurie Anderson, Rusty Schweickart, Paul Hawken, Daniel Janzen, and Danny Hillis.

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