Blog Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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Go Animals: Jon Mooallem & Laurel Braitman at The Interval, August 12th

Posted on Thursday, August 7th, 02014 by Mikl Em
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On Tuesday August 12, 02014 The Interval presents authors Jon Mooallem (Wild Ones) and Laurel Braitman (Animal Madness, TED Fellow) in conversation. Tickets are now on sale!

Animal Madness by Laurel BraitmanWild Ones by Jon Mooallem

Go Animals
Tuesday, August 12, 02014 at 7:30pm
at The Interval (doors at 6:30)
Advanced Tickets are encouraged as space is limited

Jon Mooallem and Laurel Braitman share a focus on the link between animals and humans. Mooallem’s book Wild Ones reports from the front lines of endangered species conservation with wry humor and historical perspective. While in Animal Madness Braitman, who has a PhD in the history and anthropology of science from MIT, looks at attitudes toward mental health in animals and people over time.

Their collaborative presentation will cover each of their books, lots of animals, their similarities and differences as natural history detectives, and more. Tickets are still available. But, like all our Interval salon talks, space is limited and we expect it will sell out.


Long Now’s salon events happen on Tuesday nights at The Interval our bar/cafe/museum at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. The lineup of upcoming talks is growing. Check out the full list here.

Coming soon to The Interval: Mat Burrows‘ book The Future Declassified is based on his expertise in forecasting global scenarios for the US Government–he’ll discuss the serious challenges ahead scenarios for the year 02030 on September 23rd. And on September 30, Ariel Waldman gives an inside perspective on The Future of Human Spaceflight and the recently published study by the Congressional advisory committee she sat on. Watch our site, tickets for these talks will be on sale soon.

Interval donors hear about our events first: there is still time to become a charter donor.

Alexander Rose speaks at Catalyst Week, Las Vegas on July 25th

Posted on Saturday, July 19th, 02014 by Andrew Warner
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Alexander Rose - Long Now Foundation

On Friday, July 25th 02014, Long Now Foundation’s Executive Director Alexander Rose will speak at Catalyst Week series in Las Vegas. This month’s speakers are this Thursday and Friday at the Learning Village in downtown Las Vegas. You can RSVP here to attend.

Catalyst Week is a monthly event sponsored by the Downtown Project, Zappo’s founder Tony Hsieh’s effort revitalize urban Las Vegas. As he discussed in his Seminar About Long-term Thinking (SALT) for Long Now Hsieh hopes to make Last Vegas “the most community-focused large city in the world”.

You can watch Tony’s SALT talk to hear more about the Downtown Project or read more about him in our Seminar primer blog post.

The Future of Language at The Interval: Tuesday July 22, 02014

Posted on Friday, July 18th, 02014 by Mikl Em
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Laura Welcher of Long Now and Rosetta ProjectDavid Evan Harris Executive Director of Global LivesMandana Seyfeddinipur
Laura Welcher, David Evan Harris, and Mandana Seyfeddinipur speak on Tuesday, July 22 at The Interval

This Tuesday at The Interval “The Future of Language” featuring Dr. Laura Welcher of Long Now’s Rosetta Project and Global Lives Project‘s David Evan Harris, and special guest Dr Mandana Seyfeddinipur of the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme who is visiting from London.

Tuesday July 22, 02014 at 7:30pm
at The Interval (doors at 6:30)
Advanced Tickets are strongly encouraged as space is limited

Long Now’s Rosetta Project is dedicated to documenting and preserving human languages. In 02014 preservation is crucial because the languages of the world are dying at an unprecedented rate. And that’s only part of a larger problem.

The link between language diversity and biodiversity is well established. A quarter of all languages on Earth will not survive this century. When we lose a language we also lose the culture of its speakers, their specialized knowledge of the natural world and their care for it.

On Tuesday, July 22, at The Interval you’ll hear more about the situation and a new initiative between Long Now and the Global Lives Project to document the lives and culture of endangered language speakers and raise awareness of the problem in collaboration with The Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project and a team from the Smithsonian Institution.

Mandana Seyfeddinipur directs the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme at SOAS, University of London. She is enabling hundreds of groups around the world to document dying languages around the world, some of the most important work going in this field.

The Global Lives Project is a Bay Area non-profit developing a video library of everyday life in cultures around the planet. Global Lives’ unique long-form videos tell a “Big Here” story about people around the world.

Long Now’s salon talk events happen on Tuesday nights at The Interval our bar/cafe/museum at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. The lineup of upcoming talks is growing. Check out the full list here.

Interval donors hear about our events first: there is still time to become a charter donor.

Science Fiction to Science Fabrication Talk at The Interval July 1, 02014

Posted on Monday, June 16th, 02014 by Mikl Em
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Novysan speaks 7/1/02014 at The Interval

Tickets are on sale for Science Fiction to Science Fabrication July 1, 02014 at The Interval

Artist/maker/hacker Dan Novy (Novysan) is an Emmy award-winning transmedia storyteller with a background in theater, a host of film and television credits, and a research/PHD-candidate position at the MIT Media Lab. Last fall he and his colleague Sophia Bruckner taught Science Fiction to Science Fabrication (aka “Pulp to Prototype”) at the Lab; their students read classic and contemporary science fiction and then built prototypes based on the worlds they’d read about.

The authors they read included J. G. Ballard, Arthur C. Clarke, Warren Ellis, Daniel Suarez and William Gibson. The point was that the fantastic future worlds of speculative fiction are often essential precursors to real world technology. Novy’s own work in Immersive Display technologies and Non-Invasive Narrative Neurostimulation has drawn inspiration directly from the works of Neal Stephenson and Ray Bradbury. He’ll tell us more about the class and share some thoughts about the Manual for Civilization as well.

This event is part of a new series of salon talks at The Interval. Next up in the series is Violet Blue on Tuesday, June 17 discussing long-term online privacy models and her latest book The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy. Tickets are still available.

Violet Blue at The Interval
The Interval at Long Now is Long Now’s new home which is now open seven-days-a-week. A cafe and museum by day and with a cocktail, beer, and wine menu after 5pm, The Interval features art designed by Brian Eno and artifacts from our 10,000-year Clock. Several Tuesday nights a month The Interval hosts salon events.

Violet Blue Talks Privacy at The Interval: June 17, 02014

Posted on Sunday, June 8th, 02014 by Mikl Em
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Violet Blue speaks about privacy at The Interval on June 17

Next up in Long Now’s newly launched series of salon talks is author/blogger Violet Blue who will use her latest book The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy as a starting point to talk about tech, gender and long-term sustainable privacy models on Tuesday, June 17 at The Interval, our new public space at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy is a guidebook for how to keep your online personal life under your own control with advice for reducing vulnerability to identity theft, being smarter about social media, and how to keep from being hacked. Plus what to do if you are hacked (or worse). It covers fundamental and advanced privacy topics with a focus on the privacy needs of women. It has been recommended by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Written in plain, user-friendly language and covering everything from revenge porn to identity theft to online dating, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy is specifically geared toward women and other vulnerable members of the online population, who need guidance navigating the murky, often treacherous waters of the Internet.
The Daily Dot

The beauty of Blue’s book is that its useful for readers with varying levels of online privacy knowledge. It doesn’t gloss over the small stuff, like why giving out your name and phone number poses a threat, yet it speaks to more complex issues, like navigating the legal system and the internet when you need photos taken down from a site. The result is an engaging, timely, and instructive read that gets women up to speed on the privacy measure they need to take.
Online Privacy Blog, from

author and blogger Violet Blue

Violet Blue writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBSNews (previously Oprah Magazine, MacLife, SF Appeal and the San Francisco Chronicle). She has written 40+ books and her sexuality blog TinyNibbles is awarded, infamous, and Not Safe For most Works. She took part in Long Now’s Long Conversation in 02010 and recommended books for the Manual for Civilization.

Interval donors hear about our events first: there’s still time to become a charter donor.

Rachel Sussman in San Francisco: The Oldest Living Things in the World

Posted on Friday, May 30th, 02014 by Mikl Em
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from Rachel Sussman's The Oldest Living Things in the World - Baobab

Rachel Sussman spoke in our Seminars About Long-term Thinking (SALT) series in 02010 when she was about halfway into her project to document the world’s oldest living things. She traveled the world to learn about and photograph organisms that have lived 2000 years or more. This year she published her book The Oldest Living Things in the World and it is now on the New York Times Best Seller list.

June 02014 Long Now welcomes Rachel back to San Francisco for two very special events.

June 12th, 02014 come see Rachel and fellow photographer Mario Del Curto with Corey Keller (SFMOMA) discussing photography and the natural world: Nature as Image. Long Now is proud to partner to bring this event to swissnex in downtown San Francisco. More information and tickets.

On June 13th Rachel appears at The Interval, Long Now’s new venue at Fort Mason, to talk about her book and the decade-long experience of creating it. This will be the second in a new series of small salon-style talks at Long Now’s new home. Tickets are now on sale.
Rachel Sussman, photo by Laura Holder
The Oldest Living Things in the World adds in dramatic manner a fascinating new perspective—literally, dinosaurs—of the living world around us
Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University

Sussman’s ten-year investigation of the symbols of the earth’s ecology is rigorous and exploratory, realized with such generosity to the reader and her ambitions make an impossibly vast subject both felt and understood
— Charlotte Cotton, curator & author

With vision and dedicated persistence — think of a hip, female Shackelton — she has tracked down and brought these organisms to our awareness in lush photographs (taken with 6×7 film camera) and vivid text
Adam Harrison Levy, Design Observer

Longevity means continuity. Long-lived people connect generations for us. Really long-lived organisms, like the ones Sussman has magnificently collected photographically, connect millennia. They put all of human history in living context. And as Sussman shows, they are everywhere on Earth.
This book embodies the Long Now and the Big Here.
Stewart Brand, co-founder of Long Now

from Rachel Sussman's The Oldest Living Things in the World - Bristlecone

Rachel Sussman’s photographs and writing have been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, and NPR’s Picture Show. She has spoken on the TED main stage and is a MacDowell Colony and NYFA Fellow, as well as a trained member of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in the US and Europe, and acquired for museum, university, corporate, and private collections.

Photos by Rachel Sussman from her book The Oldest Living Things in the World

Photo of Rachel Sussman by Laura Holder


Proof: The Science of Booze by Adam Rogers

Posted on Thursday, May 29th, 02014 by Mikl Em
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Proof debuts at The Interval
Photo by Adam Rogers

The earliest evidence of a deliberately made alcoholic drink comes from a 10,000 year old piece of Chinese pottery. Lab tests revealed traces of a fermented mixture of rice honey and fruit. It would have been hard to mix those ingredients and keep it from fermenting.

Adam Rogers has held that shard of pottery in his hand and made an eminent archaeologist nervous in the process. He tells that story and many more in his new book Proof: The Science of Booze which tells the ten-millennia story of alcohol history from Yeast to Hangover.

Adam Rogers Speaks at The Interval
Photo by Alexander Rose

Long Now was honored to host the launch of Proof this week for the first salon talk at The Interval, our new bar and cafe. We are not yet open to the public, but we knew this was the perfect way to debut The Interval as a venue for smaller talks to complement our ongoing Seminar series.

If you missed his talk here, Bay Area folks can see him speak tonight (Thursday, May 29) at California Academy of Sciences’ “Chemical Reactions” NightLife event. Adam will also be talking about Proof in a few cities around the country including June 4th in Washington DC, on June 5th in New York City, and in Los Angeles (TBA).

Adam Rogers, author of Proof: The Science of Booze
Photo by Celine Mikahala Grouard

An experienced science journalist and great storyteller, Adam is the articles editor at Wired, and he also knows his booze. In fact his knowledge of the local spirits and bar scene have been invaluable to Long Now as we planned and built The Interval.

It was Adam’s recommendation that led us to Jennifer Colliau who designed and runs The Interval’s bar. And Adam connected us with St George Spirits who helped us make some very special whiskey and gin which have helped us raise construction funds for The Interval.

You’ll find the full story of Long Now’s Bristlecone Gin in Proof, learn about an alternate reality where Americans drink saki rather than whiskey, and learn more science than you knew existed about hangovers. Adam first began this line of boozy writing in 02011 when he wrote an award-winning story about a whisky fungus.

Reception for the book so far has been very positive:

Adam Rogers writes masterfully and gracefully about all the sciences that swirl around spirits, from the biology of a hangover to the paleontology of microbes that transform plant juices into alcohol. A book to be savored and revisited.
— Carl Zimmer, author of A Planet of Viruses former Long Now speaker

Reading Proof feels just like you’re having a drink with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic friend. —Adam Savage, host of MythBusters

Congratulations to Adam and here’s to the continued success of Proof. It was wonderful to celebrate it and The Interval’s debut together.

Adam Rogers launches Proof at The Interval
Photo by Alexander Rose

The Interval at Long Now is an intimate event venue that serves coffee, tea, beer, wine, and sensational cocktails in a time-themed menu. The Interval opens for regular hours in June, and will host a few salon talks each month, more events will be announced soon.

Explore Urban Infrastructure at the MacroCity Conference, May 30-31

Posted on Tuesday, April 15th, 02014 by Charlotte Hajer
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We rarely see in full the cities that we live in. Focused on our daily lives, urban dwellers are often only dimly aware of the numerous, enmeshed layers of critical infrastructure that quietly hum in the background to make modern life possible.

Come and explore the amazing stories and surprising histories to be found lurking just below the surface of our cities at MacroCity, a two-day, whirlwind tour of this bigger picture of urban life. The event brings together a diverse set of panelists, speakers, and participants to explore the vast, often overlooked networks of infrastructure that surround us. The line-up includes rogue archivist and Lost Landscapes creator Rick Prelinger, as well as Laci Videmsky of the New California Water Atlas.

The schedule also includes a variety of field trips, offering an opportunity to explore first-hand some of the vast networks of infrastructure that sustain the Bay Area.

Organized by the Bay Area Infrastructure Observatory, the conference will take place on May 30-31 at SPUR and the Brava Theater in San Francisco. The Long Now Foundation is partnering with BAIO on the event, and Long Now members receive a 25% discount on tickets – please check your email for your discount code.

Field trips will take place on May 30th, with most of the speakers scheduled for May 31st. A basic pass to the talks can be reserved for $100; the deluxe pass for $150 includes access to a field trip, as well. Half-price tickets are available for members of the nonprofit community; please see the event registration page for more information.

Brian Eno & Danny Hillis Seminar Primer

Posted on Tuesday, January 14th, 02014 by Austin Brown
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“The Long Now, now”

Tuesday January 21, 02014 at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater, San Francisco

Brian and Danny in the Clock assembly space-1

Brian Eno and Danny Hillis are long time friends and collaborators. Eno is an influential British musician, producer and artist known both for his work with some of the biggest names in rock as well as his identification and popularization of ambient music. Hillis is an American inventor, scientist, author, and engineer known for his work as one of the key inventors of parallel computing.

It was at MIT that Hillis developed The Connection Machine, the first massively parallel computer, with the help of physicist Richard Feynman. It made use of over 60,000 microprocessors and helped lay the foundation for modern supercomputer architecture. He’s since worked as an Imagineer at Disney, co-founded a research and development company called Applied Minds and spoken at multiple TED events on cancer research and the need for a backup internet.

As the creator of some of the world’s fastest computers, Danny Hillis has helped “enforce” Moore’s law but also to question its effects. Faster and faster computers may help us with certain problems, but they can’t tell us which problems to focus on; instantly available information gives us new insight into the present, but can’t necessarily help us see where we’re going. In mulling over these problems, Hillis sought a way to encourage long-term thinking beyond the newest technological developments and earnings reports.

Danny Hillis first publicly proposed his idea for a clock that could last 10,000 years in 01995, in Wired Magazine. Describing some of the conversations he’d already had about the idea, he mentioned what had come from discussing it with Eno:

“Artist Brian Eno felt it should have a name, so he gave it one: The Clock of the Long Now.”

It was only a year later, in 01996, that Danny Hillis and Brian Eno, along with Stewart Brand and others, turned these conversations into action by forming The Long Now Foundation. In a few more years, Stewart Brand’s book The Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility outlined the guiding philosophy that had been developed in those conversations. It includes an anecdote from Eno about how he came to coin the Clock’s (and the Foundation’s) name: Eno was astonished by the contrast between an acquaintance’s opulent loft and run-down neighborhood.

During dinner I asked the hostess, “Do you like living here?” “Oh sure,” she replied, “this is the loveliest place I’ve ever lived.”

I realized that the “here” she lived in stopped at her front door. This was a very strange thought to me. My “here” includes the neighborhood at least. After that, I noticed that young arty New Yorkers were just as local in their sense of “now.” “Now” meant “this week.” Everyone had just got there, and was just going somewhere else. No one had any investment in any kind of future except their own, conceived in the narrowest terms.

I wrote in my notebook that December, “More and more I find I want to be living in a Big Here and a Long Now.”

Eno recounted this story and expanded on his thoughts around “The Long Now” in the first of the monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking. He later appeared with SIM City creator Will Wright to discuss the fun and aesthetic potential of generative systems.

That love for generative systems influenced Eno’s involvement in the design of the Clock of the Long Now. He has guided the clock’s sonic component – its chimes. Bells and chimes, in fact, were central to an early form of generative music called change ringing. In that spirit, Eno collaborated with Danny Hillis to ensure that visitors to the Clock will have the opportunity to hear it chime 10 bells in a unique sequence each day at noon.

The story of how this came to be is told by Mr. Eno himself in the liner notes of January 07003: Bell Studies for The Clock of the Long Now, a collection of musical experiments he synthesized and recorded in 02003:

I wrote to Danny Hillis asking whether he could come up with an algorithm for the job. Yes, he wrote back, and in fact he could come up with an algorithm for generating all the possible algorithms for that job. Not having the storage space for a lot of extra algorithms in my studio, I decided to settle for just the one.

A physical prototype of this collaboration, The Chime Generator, lived in the now-closed Long Now Museum & Store and will be viewable again once the Museum re-opens as the Long Now Salon:

10,000-Year Clock: Chime Generator Prototype from The Long Now Foundation on Vimeo.

At the Palace of Fine Arts on January 21st, Eno and Hillis collaborate once more to celebrate the first decade of Long Now’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking, and to usher in the second.

Subscribe to the Seminars About Long-term Thinking podcast for more thought-provoking programs.

“Climate Change and Us” Event Video Now Live

Posted on Monday, December 23rd, 02013 by Andrew Warner
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Rarely do we get to hear directly from the scientists who compile, analyze, and synthesize the most recent climate change data. On December 13th, swissnex San Francisco, in partnership with The Long Now Foundation, hosted an event that explained the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report, and what types of solutions would be needed to avoid pervasive climate shifts.

The evening started with a video highlighting the process of creating an IPCC report, and then a presentation from IPCC scientist Thomas Stocker on the conclusions of the report. The report divided the future into four possible scenarios, 2.0, 4.0, 6.0, and 8.0 degree shifts in mean global temperatures, allowing each country and policy maker to see the relative effects of each level of climate change. The news for even a 2.0 degree shift isn’t good, but the speakers did a great job of balancing the stark news with fruitful discussion of different avenues for addressing the causes.

The rest of the evening featured a diverse panel of experts on the report’s key takeaways for the scientist, the citizen, and the entrepreneur. Participants included former SALT speakers Saul Griffith and Paul Hawken, IPCC scientists Gian-Kasper Plattner and Thomas Stocker, and Susan Burns of the Global Footprint Network. After the event, swissnex hosted a reception in the venue to allow the audience to continue the conversation started on stage.

This embedded video is a 10 minute preview. The full video is available at Fora.TV