Blog Archive for August, 02010

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Longplayer San Francisco Ticket Info

Posted on Tuesday, August 31st, 02010 by Contessa Trujillo
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The Long Now Foundation presents

Longplayer San Francisco

1,000 years in three simultaneous acts

Longplayer San Francisco

TICKETS

Saturday October 16, 02010

Longplayer 7:00am to 11:40pm at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Long Conversation 3:00pm to 9:00pm at the Contemporary Jewish Museum

Long Now Members can reserve 1 seat, join today! • General Tickets $28

About this Event:

Jem Finer’s Longplayer is a 1,000 year long composition that’s been playing in one form or another since the beginning of the millennium. For 1,000 minutes this October 16th, it takes the form of 18 musicians playing hundreds of singing bowls on a 60 foot-wide custom-built instrument in YBCA’s Forum.

Longplayer will be presented with the Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area’s most interesting minds.

Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time will be a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T.

Tickets are good for all events; the 6 hour Long Conversation, performance by Sosolimited and the 16.6 hour Longplayer performance. Read more about Longplayer San Francisco HERE.

Long Quotes: Dean Kamen

Posted on Monday, August 30th, 02010 by Tyler Emerson
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Quotes related to long-term thinking. A new series. Have a favorite quote? Share it with us in comments.

“I think our society is no longer properly valuing the intangible potential of innovation, even if we have to be a little uncomfortable with the risks associated with it, and a little bit willing to fail, pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and try again. We don’t seem to want to do that as much as we used too.”
Dean Kamen

Two Rocks Converse

Posted on Tuesday, August 24th, 02010 by Austin Brown
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Here’s a great comic strip by Tom Gauld:

See also: Das Rad.

(Sent in by Mark Watkins, via BoingBoing)

Richard Rhodes Ticket Info

Posted on Thursday, August 19th, 02010 by Contessa Trujillo
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The Long Now Foundation’s monthly

Seminars About Long-term Thinking

http://media.longnow.org/files/2/salt_0200100802_rees_Hlarge.jpg

Richard Rhodes on “Twilight of the Bombs”

TICKETS

Tuesday September 21, 02010 at 7:30pm Herbst Theater on Van Ness

Long Now Members can reserve 2 seats, join today! • General Tickets $10

About this Seminar:

Pulitzer-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb, Dark Sun, and Arsenals of Folly completes his tetralogy on nuclear weapons with his new book, The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and the Prospects for a World Without Nuclear Weapons.

A single weapon profoundly shaped world history for most of a century. Its disappearance can have equally profound effects.

Long Quotes: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Posted on Tuesday, August 17th, 02010 by Tyler Emerson
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Quotes related to long-term thinking. A new series. Have a favorite quote? Share it with us in comments.

“The future belongs to those who give the next generation reason for hope.”
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Alexander Rose discussing “Now & When”

Posted on Wednesday, August 11th, 02010 by Austin Brown
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Now and When: Installation detail for Proof by Margaret Tedesco & Matt Borruso

The San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery is hosting a series of conversations about time in conjunction with their current show Now and When. On Wednesday August 18th, Alexander Rose will join Jeannene Przyblyski of the San Francisco Bureau of Urban Secrets in a discussion of “linear and not so linear” approaches to time.

There are 30 seats available for this talk and they must be reserved by calling or emailing the SFAC Gallery (415.554.6080 or sfac.gallery@sfgov.org) no later than 24 hours prior to the event date.

The event will run from 6:30pm to 8:00pm and will be held in the SFAC Main Gallery at 401 Van Ness at McAllister inside the Veteran’s Building.

From the event website:

Curated and moderated by Gallery Assistant Shannon Green, these conversations will introduce the artists’ work in the exhibition and the guests’ demarcation of time in their own professions. As the events unfurl, the discussion will be opened up for audience participation. The aim of this programming is to make the art of Now and When and ideas of time more accessible and meaningful.

Long Now Media Update

Posted on Wednesday, August 11th, 02010 by Contessa Trujillo
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Podcasts

WATCH

Jesse Schell’s “Visions of the Gamepocalypse”

There is new media available from our monthly series, the Seminars About Long-term Thinking. Stewart Brand’s summaries and audio downloads or podcasts of the talks are free to the public; Long Now members can view HD video of the Seminars and comment on them.

Mainframe dark age

Posted on Thursday, August 5th, 02010 by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
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The usual “digital dark age” stories we see are the ones where people lose data because a platform obsolesces.  Business Week is running an interesting story about a computer platform that has refused to obsolesce, and it is the people who are leaving it behind – The Mainframe.  It turns out that there are still over 10,000 Mainframe computers out there churning away at major companies – representing a $3.4 billion dollar market segment.  Who knew right?

One part of the story that is poorly addressed is why these companies have not ported the functionality they are getting out of these mainframes to a more modern computer system.  Wikipedia answers that question this way:

Modern mainframe computers have abilities not so much defined by their single task computational speed (usually defined as MIPS — Millions of Instructions Per Second) as by their redundant internal engineering and resulting high reliability and security, extensive input-output facilities, strict backward compatibility with older software, and high utilization rates to support massive throughput. These machines often run for years without interruption, with repairs and hardware upgrades taking place during normal operation.

…[IBM's modern] mainframe processors such as 2008′s 4.4 GHz quad-core z10 mainframe microprocessor. IBM is rapidly expanding its software business, including its mainframe software portfolio…

So I guess we still need mainframes and they have been modernized somewhat, but it seems to me this would be better handled by cloud or cluster computing that would be more hardware and software agnostic.  My bet is that most of these systems are actually emulating other emulations several layers deep – in some cases all the way back to punch card programming.  I assume no one actually wants to unravel that spaghetti out of fear of losing some critical legacy functionality.  I welcome comments here from anyone who actually uses mainframes (and if that story is to be believed, your skill set is in high demand, congrats!)

Long Now Media Update

Posted on Wednesday, August 4th, 02010 by Contessa Trujillo
link   Categories: Announcements, Seminars   chat 0 Comments

Podcasts

There is new media available from our monthly series, the Seminars About Long-term Thinking. Stewart Brand’s summaries and audio downloads or podcasts of the talks are free to the public; Long Now members can view HD video of the Seminars and comment on them.

Listen to the audio of Martin Rees’s “Life’s Future in the Cosmos” (downloads tab)

Martin Rees, “Life’s Future in the Cosmos”

Posted on Tuesday, August 3rd, 02010 by Stewart Brand
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Martin Rees

Cosmic Life

The pace of astronomic discovery, said the Astronomer Royal, keeps increasing with the constant improvement in our sensing technology. The recent discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe (dark energy) revolutionized cosmology, and with the launch of the Kepler Telescope in 2009, we are beginning to detect and study Earth-sized planets around distant stars.

Since the Moon landings, humans in space have done little of scientific interest, but unmanned probes have delivered revelations from the planets and moons of the solar system, with much more to come. The best prospects for finding life elsewhere in our solar system appear to be…

Read the rest of Stewart Brand’s Summary