Blog Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

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Taking the longpath

Posted on Monday, November 18th, 02013 by Austin Brown
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Writing for Wired, Ari Wallach contrasts the perspectives that go into building a cathedral that isn’t completed until long after its designer’s death and a McMansion that’s built, foreclosed on and abandoned in less than a generation.

He proposes what he calls the “Longpath,” to encourage more endeavors of the cathedral’s scale:

We need a framework for long-term strategy — one that is visionary yet goal-oriented. Without organising principles, it will be impossible to corral the corporations and capitals of the globe to tackle our significant long-term challenges.

To this end, I suggest “longpath”. It’s a term that connotes long-term and goal-oriented strategies. It can help leaders navigate the balance between short-term gain and long-term ruin.

To further develop this perspective, Reinventors.net is hosting and livestreaming a roundtable discussion with Wallach. Long Now’s executive director Alexander Rose will also take part in the discussion, along with Felicia Wong, Nicole Boyer and Peter Leyden.

This roundtable will bring together an eclectic group to consider how Longpath Thinking might really work. How long is long? Are there better methods for thinking in this way? How would we begin to institutionalize this approach in government and business, the economy and society?

Watch the conversation online on Wednesday November 20th, 02013 at 11:00 am PT.

Climate Change and Us: What Does the Future Hold?

Posted on Thursday, November 14th, 02013 by Austin Brown
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Peer beyond the headlines as experts explain what the IPCC report really says about global warming and what it means for our planet and for mankind in a live presentation and discussion on Friday December 13, 02013 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will release its fifth major assessment report in 02014. The first working group (of three) has already released their findings on the development and growth of global warming. In short: climate change is not slowing down and humans are a major factor in its acceleration.

swissnex San Francisco, in partnership with The Long Now Foundation, invites the public to hear from a diverse panel of experts on the report’s key takeaways for the scientist, the citizen, and the entrepreneur. Be prepared to come with your questions and join the discussion around short- and long-term strategies for a warming planet.  Long Now members receive a discount on tickets, please see your email for instructions on reserving.

The speakers and panelists are:

  • Susan BurnsSenior Vice President, Global Footprint Network
  • Saul GriffithInventor, Co-founder Otherlab
  • Paul HawkenEnvironmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, author, professor
  • Gian-Kasper PlattnerDirector of Science, IPCC WGI Technical Support Unit, University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Thomas StockerCo-Chair Working Group I, IPCC

Cost to register is $20, with a $10 discount for Long Now Members
(Check your email for promotional code.)
Friday December 13th, 02013 at the YBCA Forum
A reception for the audience and speakers will follow.
Details and Registration

Richard Kurin Seminar Primer

Posted on Tuesday, November 5th, 02013 by Andrew Warner
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“American History in 101 Objects”

Monday November 18, 02013 at the SFJAZZ Center, San Francisco

Richard Kurin, Under-Secretary of History, Art, and Culture at the Smithsonian, has been looking through all of the Smithsonian’s museums, archives, research centers–even their zoo–to find the objects that best tell the story of America. Inspired by the British Museum’s “History of the World in 100 Objects” (which focuses on ancient history), these objects were selected to bring American history to life.

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While the objects are all in some way tied to the landmass on which the United States was founded, many of them pre-date the country and even its European progenitors, referencing time periods we can barely comprehend. The oldest object in the collection is the Burgess Shale, a collection of fossils from more than 500 million years ago that gave us an unprecedented glimpse into the Cambrian Explosion, an evolutionary surge that led to many of the forms of life we know today. From the Burgess Shale, the collection continues through Native American artifacts, Revolutionary War heirlooms, key technological objects, wartime memorabilia, all the way to objects from space exploration.

Kurin weaves a compelling narrative through these objects, explaining their significance, how they came into their collection, and how their meanings have shifted in their afterlife at the museum. These objects show us a new way of looking at history, one that goes beyond words on a page. By embedding history in these objects, Kurin simultaneously makes history immediate and material, while also reminding us of the importance of the institutions that painstakingly preserve these objects.

To learn more about these objects and how the part they played in American History, join us on November 18th at the SFJAZZ Center. You can reserve tickets, get directions and sign up for the podcast on the Seminar page.

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

 

Time for Everyone Symposium in Pasadena

Posted on Monday, November 4th, 02013 by Charlotte Hajer
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From November 7 to 9 of this year, the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors will hold a symposium and special exhibition at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA. Entitled “Time for Everyone: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Public Time,” the event will examine the myriad ways in which we experience, measure, and use time:

“From its natural cycles in astronomy, to its biological evolution, to how the brain processes it differently at various stages of life and under different circumstances, to how we find it, how we measure it, and how we keep it, this symposium will explore many facets of this fascinating subject of unfathomable depth.”

Speakers include author Dava Sobel, as well as Long Now Board member David Eagleman, who will discuss the way our brains perceive and process time.

Coupled with a special exhibit of mechanical clocks, watches, and sundials built by 17th century clock maker Thomas Tompion, the symposium is sure to offer a rich perspective on the way our civilization has engaged with time throughout history. For more information about the program, speakers, and clock exhibit, please visit the symposium website.

The Long Now, now: Celebrate a Decade of SALT with Brian Eno & Danny Hillis

Posted on Thursday, October 31st, 02013 by Austin Brown
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The Seminars About Long-term Thinking began in 02003 with a talk by one of our founding board members, Brian Eno. In that inaugural SALT talk, simply titled “The Long Now,” Eno described the way he came to the name for our organization.

Instant world news and the internet has led to increased empathy worldwide. But empathy in space has not been matched by empathy in time.

He reckoned that if we can’t help but live in the moment of the “now,” why not make that moment longer – a “Long Now.”

We’re very pleased to announce that Brian Eno will be returning to San Francisco to talk again, with Long Now co-founder and 10,000 Year Clock inventor Danny Hillis, to celebrate the beginning of the second decade of SALT talks this January 02014.  Together, they’ll present “The Long Now, now” on January 21st, 02014 at the Palace of Fine Arts.

Members of Long Now will be able to reserve one complimentary ticket for this special evening, and purchase one additional ticket for a guest.

Members will also get advance notice of ticket availability; please note that the venue holds about 900 people. This event may sell out just through member tickets, so if you are considering membership, now is a great time to join and support Long Now and our mission to foster long-term thinking.

The Heirlooms of Language Through Temporary Tattoos and a Nickel Disk

Posted on Wednesday, October 23rd, 02013 by Catherine Borgeson
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On Saturday October 19, 02013, Long Now participated in Exploratorium Market Days—a series of free, outdoor “mini-festivals” geared to educate the public through the science and art communities and museums. The theme of the month was “Heirlooms,” which focused on the “diverse treasures that we preserve and pass along to future generations.”

Together the Rosetta and PanLex Project staff presented the intangible culture of language in a very tangible way—the Rosetta Disk and temporary tattoos.

The PanLex Project is building an enormous database with the goal of translating all of the words of all of the world’s languages. They created an interface to this database where people could either choose from a list of commonly-used words in tattoos, such as “patience” or “victory,” or enter one of their own choice.

The next screen listed all the translations of that word in the PanLex database, sometimes for hundreds of languages. People were captivated at looking through the list and deciding which language to print their tattoo in. For some, the deciding factor was an interesting script, or because only a handful of people spoke that language. For others it was a language they themselves spoke and personally connected with.

In addition to the PanLex and Rosetta Project staff, Exploratorium Explainers helped run the booth. These are a diverse group of high school students interested in learning new things while explaining and helping others in the process.

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On a more permanent role of archiving and preserving languages, the Rosetta Disk was also on display. A steady stream of people viewed the micro-etched languages with a microscope throughout the day.

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Exploratorium’s Director of Public Programs Melissa Alexander invited Long Now to participate in Market Day. She wanted people to get a sense of the vast amount of languages while understanding that like many species, languages are endangered and are disappearing from the planet regularly.

“I had a Ray Bradbury moment–I wanted everyone to learn how to say hello, please & thank you and welcome in at least one endangered language. Loved the setup and clearly our Explainers did too–if our Explainers like it, it’s golden–teenagers are great thermometers.”

Rosetta and PanLex Projects at Exploratorium Market Days 10/19/13

Posted on Thursday, October 17th, 02013 by Austin Brown
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This Saturday October the 19th, Rosetta and PanLex Project staff will be at the Exploratorium’s final Market Days event of this year. The Exploratorium has been holding these free, outdoor events in the spirit of “exchanging fresh ideas on local phenomena.” Saturday’s theme is Heirlooms and Rosetta and PanLex will showcase our planet’s diverse linguistic stock.

Come to the Rosetta / PanLex Project booth where you can:

  • Learn about the thousands of languages spoken around the world, why many of them are endangered, and why this is important for everybody.
  • Learn how you can make and archive language recordings that document the languages used in your family, classroom and community.
  • Use the PanLex tattoo generator to make a temporary tattoo using words from thousands of languages around the world.
  • See a real Rosetta Disk – an archive of thousands of the world’s languages that read with a microscope, and can hold in the palm of your hand.

The event runs from 11:00am to 3:00pm at the Exploratorium’s new location at Pier 15.

Dissident Futures at YBCA

Posted on Wednesday, October 16th, 02013 by Austin Brown
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On October 17th, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts opens their new exhibition, Dissident Futures which will explore how we think about possible futures through a variety of media, with a thematic focus on utopian, speculative, and pragmatic concepts.

A range of programs will be presented in conjunction with the exhibit, in collaboration with Long Now and other Bay Area organizations.

Dissident Futures presents art that investigates possible alternative futures,  particularly those that question or overturn conventional notions of innovation, such as existing power, economic and technological structures.

Long Now has partnered with YBCA on three events throughout the exhibition:

Opening Night Party

Friday October 18th, 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Free for Long Now Members (check your email for promo code!)

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Project Nunway

Saturday November 2nd, 7:00pm
with Long Bets table (make predictions without the $50 Prediction fee)

Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival

Saturday November 23rd, 1:00pm to 10:00pm
Long Now staff present on The Manual for Civilization at 2:00pm, Free with RSVP

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Long Bets table at WorldFuture 2013

Posted on Thursday, July 11th, 02013 by Andrew Warner
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From July 19th- 21st in Chicago, the World Future Society will be hosting their annual conference, WorldFuture 2013. The conference has over 60 sessions, workshops, and special events over the course of two and a half days, including a keynote from former SALT speaker Nicholas Negroponte.

Topics range from Artificial Intelligence and the future of education to gaming and politics. The World Future Society was founded in 1966 as an organization dedicated  to thinking about the future, and has been publishing the forecasting magazine The Futurist since 1967.

This year, Long Now will be hosting a Long Bets table at the conference. For this weekend only, we will be waiving the $50 prediction fee and giving conference guests the chance to make predictions for free. We’re hoping that the thought-provoking panels and discussions at the conference will lead to some new exciting predictions and bets.

In the long-term, Long Bets aims to track the specific elements common to predictions that succeed, thus providing a better framework for everyone to think about the future. To attend the conference and visit our table, please visit the WorldFuture 2013 site.

image credit: http://vintagefuture.tumblr.com/

Being Human Conference 02013

Posted on Friday, June 21st, 02013 by Austin Brown
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On September 28, 02013, the second Being Human conference will he held at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco. With talks by neuroscientists, philosophers, anthropologists and psychologists, this day-long event seeks to probe science’s developing picture of what it means to be human. As the organizers put it,

For most of human history we’ve been trying to understand our lives based on metaphysical, religious, and supernatural concepts. Then the Age of Enlightenment ushered in science and Darwin’s remarkable theory of evolution—a powerful new way to look at ourselves and the world. Now disciplines such as cognitive neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, genetics, anthropology, and philosophy are delivering fascinating new findings which have the potential to radically remake the way we see ourselves. Based on these scientific insights, a more comprehensive view of human nature is now emerging.

Long Now Board Member David Eagleman is among the presenters – he’ll lead the day’s final session, “The Future of Being Human.” At last year’s inaugural Being Human, he discussed the vast complexity of the human brain:

Discounted early registration is available until July 1st.

Long Now Members can also get a 10% discount via a promotional code that you’ll find in your email.