Blog Archive for the year 02006

Newer Articles navigateright

Chris Anderson And Will Hearst – “The Long Time Tail”

Posted on Monday, May 15th, 02006 by Stewart Brand
link   Categories: Seminars   chat 0 Comments

Chris AndersonWill Hearst

The power law is the shape of our age

You know something is up when an audience member is taking cell phone photos of the presenter’s slides for instant transmittal to a business partner.

Chris Anderson does have killer slides, full of exuberant detail, defining the exact shape of the still emerging opportunity space for finding and selling formerly infindable and unsellable items of every imaginable description. The 25 million music tracks in the world. All the TV ever broadcast. Every single amateur video. All that is old, arcane, micro-niche, against-the-grain, undefinable, or remote is suddenly as accessible as the top of the pops.

“The power law is the shape of our age,” Anderson asserted…

Read the rest of Stewart Brand’s Summary

Jimmy Wales – Wikipedia and the Future of Free Culture

Posted on Wednesday, April 19th, 02006 by Stewart Brand
link   Categories: Seminars, Technology   chat 0 Comments

Jimmy Wales

Community-built content rules
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.”

“The design of Wikipedia,” said its founder and president Jimmy Wales, “is the design of community.”

When Wikipedia was started in 2001, all of its technology and software elements had been around since 1995. Its innovation was entirely social— free licensing of content, neutral point of view, and total openness to participants, especially new ones…

Read the rest of Stewart Brand’s Summary

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

Posted on Monday, March 13th, 02006 by Simone Davalos
link   Categories: Seminars   chat 0 Comments

Kevin Kelly

Recursion drives science

The co-founding editor of “Wired” magazine and author of OUT OF CONTROL is working on a new book on “what technology wants.” His research led to the first-ever history of scientific methodology. Starting from this long-term view of science’s past transformation, he speculates on how the practice of science will change in the future.

Science, says Kevin Kelly, is the process of changing how we know things. It is the foundation our culture and society. While civilizations come and go, science grows steadily onward. It does this by watching itself…

Read the rest of Stewart Brand’s Summary

Stephen Lansing – “Perfect Order: A Thousand Years in Bali”

Posted on Thursday, January 12th, 02006 by Simone Davalos
link   Categories: Seminars   chat 0 Comments

Stephen Lansing

Hidden order in the Balinese “religion of water”

With lucid exposition and gorgeous graphics, anthropologist Stephen Lansing exposed the hidden structure and profound health of the traditional Balinese rice growing practices. The intensely productive terraced rice paddies of Bali are a thousand years old. So are the democratic subaks (irrigation cooperatives) that manage them, and so is the water temple system that links the subaks in a nested hierarchy.

When the Green Revolution came to Bali in 1971, suddenly everything went wrong. Along with the higher-yield rice came “technology packets” of fertilizers and pesticides and the requirement, stated in patriotic terms, to “plant as often as possible”…

Read the rest of Stewart Brand’s Summary

Long Now’s Digitial Dilemma

Posted on Tuesday, January 10th, 02006 by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
link   Categories: Digital Dark Age, Technology   chat 0 Comments

Long Now collects stories of the “digital dark age”.  Originally these were kept in discussion boards, but we have moved this to our blog as of 02007 (Acknowledging that the present will in fact be known as the digital dark age, since all our digital data has no forward migration path.)

I thought that the first post in this category should be the story of some of our own data loss here at Long Now including the first version f this forum. We have learned a lot over the last decade, and are working now on some new architectures based on this learning.

Our problems stemmed from the fact that Long Now is a project-based institution that survives soley on on project grants. This means that we have little to no carryover infrastructure when there is a lull between projects. (we now have a full time sys-admin however)

So when we had a lull about 2 years ago we did not have any sysadmin staff for several months. This resulted in our servers getting compromised by hackers, age, and heat.

We had hackers using one of our open wikis for file trading gobbling up bandwidth, and we had a drive or two fail from excessive heat in a server (due to the fan dying).

The wiki problem was solved easily enough and no permanent damage was done. We learned our lesson about allowing public file uploads to our wikis though.

The drive problem was much more problematic. The drive was mirrored to allow for two copies of all the data should a problem occur. The problem was that the mirroring actually mirrored corrupted data leaving us with two drives with exactly the same worthless data on it. One of the things we lost was the first version of this forum.

We now do incremental backups on separate machines that allow us to revert to several different snapshots of the data moving backward in time. This way if we get corrupt data we can keep moving backward until we have a clean sample.

We also now backup much of our cultural resources (like our Rosetta linguistic database) to the Stanford servers thanks to Stanford librarian Mike Keller.

For the future we are now moving away from a server room all-together. We are moving all publically served data to a collocation facility. For the in house data we are now looking at distributing the in house server architecture under peoples desks. Each project workgroup at Long Now will get a Network Attached Server with 1Tb or more storage in it. Each workgroup will administer permissions on their NAS box. But we will only use half of the storage of each box for each workgroup. The other half will be a distributed RAID of sorts – backing up the rest of the offices data. This way no one box has all the data, and no one box can lose all the data.

We now have begun these efforts using Infrant’s ReadyNAS standalone RAID storage servers..

Peter Schwartz and Ralph Cavanagh – “Nuclear Power, Climate Change and the Next 10,000 Years”

Posted on Sunday, January 1st, 02006 by Stewart Brand
link   Categories: Seminars   chat 0 Comments

Ralph Cavanagh and Peter Schwartz

Climate change and nuclear prospects

Given the power to decide who would go first— anti-nuke Ralph Cavanagh from Natural Resources Defense Counsel or pro-nuke Peter Schwartz from Global Business Network— the large audience Friday night voted for Schwartz to make the opening argument.

It is the threat of “abrupt climate change” that converted him to support new emphasis on nuclear power, Schwartz said. Gradual global warming is clearly now under way, and there is increasing reason to believe that human activity is driving it, mostly through the burning of coal and oil. If warming is all that happens, it will be an enormous problem, but some regions of the Earth would gain (Russia, Canada) while many others would lose…

Read the rest of Stewart Brand’s Summary