Today, more than ever, we depend on innovations in technology for our work, health and daily lives. Technological breakthroughs are changing the way we address some of the most pressing issues threatening our planet—from providing new tools to monitor illegal activity from the sky to using eDNA to inventory biodiversity from a single drop of water. Scaling innovative solutions requires learning from other sectors and tracking emerging opportunities.
The 2015 Fuller Symposium on November 18th will bring together thought leaders in science, policy, business, conservation and development to tackle the emerging issues facing our planet. This year’s symposium will explore current uses of innovative technology and the promises and perils they present for addressing some of the planet’s greatest challenges.
We have arranged discounts for our members at 2 upcoming events in San Francisco; the STEAM Carnival and the Real Future Fair, where our Executive Director Alexander Rose will be speaking.
If you’re a member, more info on both of these events and instructions on how to access your member discount can be found in your inbox. We hope to see at either these events or one of our upcoming Seminars or Interval talks!
STEAM Carnival is 100,000 square feet of fun taking place at Pier 48 in San Francisco, November 6-8, 2015. The event captures the imaginations of adults and kids alike with a special focus on igniting interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM). The event features high-tech games, interactive installations, dynamic build zones, round the clock stage shows, lab demos, aerialists, artists, food, and more. The event is open from Friday from 10am-5pm, and Saturday & Sunday from 10am-6pm at Pier 48 at AT&T Park.
Check your email for a code to save $5 on tickets, which are available here.
The Real Future Fair will be held at the Innovation Hangar in San Francisco on Friday November 6 and Saturday November 7, 02015. Long Now’s Executive Director Alexander Rose will be speaking on Saturday afternoon at 4:00pm.
On Friday, The Real Future Forum presents “creative conversations about how technology is changing our world”, followed by a Robot Cocktail party. Saturday is The Real Future Fair, “a day-long civic event, featuring drone demonstrations, a robot petting zoo, a retro future film screening and programming from Code for America, the Bay Area Video Coalition, Counterpulse and The Long Now Foundation.”
On November 3rd, Dr. Laura Welcher will be in travelling to St. Thomas to give a presentation on the Rosetta Project and other projects of The Long Now Foundation. The talk is at 7pm in auditorium 3M, open to the public, with a reception and viewing of the exhibition beginning at 6pm. Long Now Members are invited to both the talk and reception.
This exhibition will also be home to the “UST Library for Civilization,” a collection of books suggested by St. Thomas faculty and staff that is modeled after our own “Manual for Civilization”. Suggested books will be purchased, given a bookmark with the name of the faculty or staff member who suggested it and why they suggested it, and put on display. At the end of the semester, St. Thomas students will be invited to take a book of their choice.
The exhibition itself is open through the end of the fall semester and can be found on the third floor of the Facilities and Design Center building.
Long Now members can tune in for a live audio simulcast of this sold out event starting at 7:15 PT, October 27
Andy Weir author of The Martian speaks in Long Now’s “Conversations at The Interval” series this Tuesday. Andy will talk about the real science of a Mars colonization mission. What would Martian colonization really be like? What would it take to get us to the red planet? What would we do to establish a colony once we landed?
Andy will speak live at The Interval, Long Now’s cafe/bar/museum/headquarters in San Francisco. We will stream his talk live (and free) for Long Now members on the member site. Then Long Now’s Peter Schwartz will interview Andy onstage. We’ll have copies of The Martian on sale and Andy will sign books after he speaks.
Tickets to this event sold out quickly, as our Interval talks often do. Due to the huge interest we will be live audio-streaming Tuesday’s talk for members. We also livestream our monthly SALT series as a free benefit for our members.
While we don’t currently live stream all our Interval event, we hope to do so increasingly in the future. We also plan to release Interval talks as podcasts and video on the Long Now site (similarly to our Seminar series). Long Now is seeking a major sponsor to fund the cost of producing this series to the standard of our Seminar media. Sponsorship inquiries are welcome.
Long Now is proud to be a co-partner with YBCA in showing “Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art”. The film will be shown at 7:30 PM on Thursday October 29 and 2:00 PM on Sunday November 1 at YBCA’s Screening Room.
Troublemakers unearths the history of land art, featuring a cadre of renegades who sought to transcend the limitations of painting and sculpture by producing earthworks on a monumental scale. Iconoclasts who changed the landscape of art forever, these revolutionary, antagonistic creatives risked their careers on radical artistic change and experimentation, and took on the establishment to produce art on their own terms. The film includes rare footage and interviews which unveil the enigmatic lives and careers of storied artists Robert Smithson (Spiral Jetty), Walter De Maria (The Lightning Field), and Michael Heizer (Double Negative). (2015, 72 min, digital)
Long Now Members get $8 discounted tickets to the screening, check your email for instructions on how to reserve your discounted member tickets. Troublemakers will be shown in other cities as well, check here for your local screening.
Current Long Now members, just login on the member site. The stream will begin at 7:15pm Pacific.
Machines of Loving Grace is the first comprehensive study to place [robots] in the context of the cloud-based intelligence
—George Dyson, author of Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe
In recent years, the pace of technological change has accelerated dramatically, posing an ethical quandary. If humans delegate decisions to machines, who will be responsible for the consequences? Drawing on his forty years covering the tech industry, Markoff conducted numerous interviews and extensive research to assemble this history and poise key questions about how we will cohabitate with our robotic creations.
This will be the third time we have live streamed an Interval event. Due to our limited resources, it is not possible to do so for most talks. We do plan to release Interval talks as podcasts and video on the Long Now site (similarly to our Seminar series).
We also plan to stream the talk by Andy Weir author of The Martian which takes place at The Interval on October 27, 02015. Tickets will go on sale for that talk two weeks beforehand and we expect it will sell out quickly.
Long Now is looking for a major sponsor to fund the cost of producing the series to the standard of our Seminar media. We are also seeking a sponsor to support more regular streaming of Interval events. Sponsorship inquiries are welcome.
Languages are works of art, great libraries, how-to guides for living on planet Earth, windows into our minds and inalienable human rights. The Rosetta Project is The Long Now Foundation’s first exploration into very long-term archiving. It serves as a means to focus attention on the problem of digital obsolescence, and ways we might address that problem through creative archival storage methods.
Laura’s talk, titled ‘”The Rosetta Project: Strategies for Very Long-term Archiving” will focus on the Rosetta project and her experience with building this at Long Now. If you are interested hearing Laura speak and meeting fellow long-term thinkers, please RSVP at the Meetup site here.
SEVENEVES comes out on May 19th. Here’s what Neal has to say about his new book:
SEVENEVES is a very old project; I first started thinking about it when I was working at Blue Origin, probably circa 2004. The kernel around which the story nucleated was the space debris problem, which I had been reading about, both as a potential obstacle to the company’s efforts and as a possible opportunity to do something useful in space by looking for ways to remediate it
Long Now’s co-founder Stewart Brand will host this event and talk with him onstage after the reading. Stewart Brand, Ryan Phelan, and Long Now’s Revive and Restore project are acknowledged by Neal for providing useful background for SEVENEVES.
For over sixty years the Center has been a national and international locus for transformative thinking and research on the most important issues in social science. Their residential fellowship program attracts the finest scholars from psychology, sociology, economics, political science, anthropology, history, philosophy, linguistics, and related disciplines.
CASBS alumni include such renowned scholars as Kingsley Davis, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Wallace Stegner. CASBS Fellows have been recognized through the years with an impressive list of honors including 22 Nobel Prizes, 14 Pulitzers, 44 MacArthur Fellowships, and 20 National Book Awards, to mention only a few. Four previous Long Now SALT speakers have been Fellows at CASBS during their careers: Daniel Kahneman, Stephen Lansing, Paul Romer, and Philip Tetlock. Other notable alums include Henry Louis Gates Jr., Steven D. Levitt, Donald Norman, Norman Ornstein, and Edward Tufte.
D. Fox Harrell‘s talk is entitled Coding Ourselves/Coding Others: Imagining Social Identities Through Computing. In his talk at The Interval on May 5 he will discuss his studies of social networking, gaming, and virtual worlds; he’ll show examples of systems developed by his research group that are designed to enable creative expression, cultural analysis, and social empowerment.
Dr. Harrell is a tenured Associate Professor of Digital Media in the Comparative Media Studies Program and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. He founded and directs the MIT Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (ICE Lab).
Valentina Bosetti speaks at The Interval on June 23, 02015. Her talk entitled “Life’s a Great Balancing Act” will include her work on climate change risk and uncertainty, how individuals perceive them, and how they affect the climate change policy making process. She was recently awarded a European Research Council grant with the objective of substantially advancing the way we conceptualize, model and frame climate change policy making under uncertainty.
In addition to talks by these and other CASBS Fellows, the Center’s director Margaret Levi will recommend a list of books for our Manual for Civilization. Her list will include selections from The Ralph W. Tyler Collection. The collection contains over 1,800 books written by CASBS Fellows since the program began in 01954. All the books in the collection were conceived, initiated or completed during the author’s fellowship.
photos by Mikl Em, unless otherwise noted
Tickets for Interval talks go on sale a few weeks beforehand. Long Now members and Interval donors always have the first chance to buy tickets for these events.
The Knowledge will be on sale at the talk, and Lewis will sign books and chat more with the audience afterwards
Far from a doomsday prediction, Dartnell’s book reveals the potential resiliency of humanity if we approach challenges with an awareness of the natural sciences and understanding of how contemporary technology works. The Knowledge brings a lot of this fundamentally useful information into one place; and it’s bibliography points to deeper resources for a wide range of subjects. Lewis has previously shared his expertise with Long Now for our Manual for Civilization project.
“The Knowledge is a fascinating look at the basic principles of the most important technologies undergirding modern society… full of optimism about human ingenuity” — The Wall Street Journal
The videos below show two examples of tips you’ll find in The Knowledge. The first draws on insights into how our world works today (manufacturing) to reveal an ideal solution. There are many ways to open a can, but this is probably the best. The second is more sophisticated: how to use a scavenged battery to drive electrolysis and isolate useful elements like oxygen and chlorine. That requires a better understanding of chemistry than you will get studying TV plotlines, but it’s mostly high school level science. And it hints that the best solutions actually create more tools to help us more rapidly recover.
Often Dartnell’s advice relies on a combination of scientific knowledge and scavenged resources. Both industrial detritus (a golf cart battery) and common household items (steel wool) are useful in resuscitating features of modern society. This kind of ingenuity is familiar in pop culture: television shows in particular from MacGyver to Breaking Bad feature protagonists whose expertise with the periodic table and access to a junkyard or various consumer packaged goods help save the day time after time. It’s the same principle: when the stakes are high we are capable of ingenuity, even if we aren’t geniuses.