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Blog Archive for the ‘Futures’ Category

Long Bets – 02013 Update

by Austin Brown on February 8th, 02013

Predicting the future is hard. Long Bets is a project by The Long Now Foundation that is testing how hard it really is, and maybe making us just a little bit better at it. The site allows users to post Predictions of at least two years’ duration. Should someone disagree with the likelihood of a…  Read More

Edge Question 02013

by Andrew Warner on January 16th, 02013

This year’s Edge question is up, and it has the usual breadth of analysis we have come to expect over the years. For the uninitiated, Edge.org is one of the best not-so-secret secrets of the internet. Founded in 01996 by John Brockman, Edge asks a “big picture” question every year to scholars who think about…  Read More

How to Win at Forecasting – an Edge conversation with Philip Tetlock

by Austin Brown on December 10th, 02012

Former SALT speaker Philip Tetlock spoke with Edge recently about his research into forecasting. In 02005, he published Expert Political Judgement: How Good is it? How Can We Know?, for which he spent over a decade recording and assessing the predictions made by public policy experts. He found them to be not much better than…  Read More

The Cambridge Project for Existential Risk

by Alex Mensing on December 5th, 02012

Human technology is undoubtedly getting more powerful every year, and our destructive potential is no exception. The Cold War notion of ‘mutually assured destruction‘ was unthinkable for most of human history, as was the ability to fundamentally alter the climate of the planet on which we rely. As the capabilities of our technologies continue to…  Read More

Looking Back on the 21st Century

by Charlotte Hajer on November 5th, 02012

“These days, excess energy is very expensive, but for most people it just doesn’t matter. Most communities are locally self-sufficient. Everyone grows food using permaculture principles. Agricultural monoculture became deeply unfashionable during the great GM disease outbreaks of the 2030s. During the chaos, we were smart enough to keep the Internet going. Giving up broadcast…  Read More

Paul Saffo on The Great Turbulence

by Alex Mensing on August 24th, 02012

Forecaster and Long Now board member Paul Saffo will be speaking at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club on Thursday, September 6th about the next few decades of global economic trends. The talk, entitled “The Great Turbulence: Economics and the New Global Order,” begins at 6pm and will be moderated by Matt Richtel, author of Our Brain…  Read More

What could take the internet down?

by Austin Brown on July 12th, 02012

In April 02010, Dr. David Eagleman addressed the Seminars About Long-term Thinking with a lecture called “Six Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization.” Central to Dr. Eagleman’s proposal for a resilient global society was the internet. As a high-volume, distributed communication system, the net offers new ways to contain disease, back-up information, share knowledge, work around oppressive regimes, collaborate, and…  Read More

Spotting the Future

by Alex Mensing on May 21st, 02012

Wired’s Epicenter blog, which covers the technology business, recently asked eight visionaries about their strategies for looking at and into the future. How do they see what’s on the horizon? What distinguishes important technologies before they become important? Among those questioned were Long Now board members Esther Dyson, Paul Saffo and Peter Schwartz. The respondents…  Read More

Esther Dyson on Charter Cities

by Charlotte Hajer on April 18th, 02012

In a recent article on Slate, Long Now Board member Esther Dyson takes up the concept of Charter Cities – Paul Romer’s model for the creation of prospering, sustainable zones of urban life, about which he spoke at a 02009 SALT lecture. Dyson suggests that Romer’s business-model approach to the construction and functioning of urban…  Read More

Future food for thought

by Stuart Candy on March 27th, 02012

Our friends over at Institute for the Future in Palo Alto recently released a report to help people think about possible futures of food for the next decade. Four Futures of Food serves up a quartet of scenarios plotting out alternative descriptions of how America, as well as the wider world, could be eating in the…  Read More