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Rick Prelinger Seminar Media

Posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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This lecture was presented as part of The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking.

Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, 10

Wednesday December 9, 02015 – San Francisco

Video is up on the Prelinger Seminar page.

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Cocktail Mechanics class at The Interval

Posted on Wednesday, December 16th, 02015 by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
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The Interval at Long Now cocktail classroom series:

Cocktail Mechanics” class at The Interval (tickets $100 each)

Taught by Jennifer Colliau (Beverage Director of The Interval at Long Now)
The Interval’s new cocktail classroom series will teach you the art and science of making drinks. In small, hands-on classes you will learn the fundamentals and finer points of making exceptional cocktails directly from one of San Francisco’s finest bartenders, our own Jennifer Colliau.

In Cocktail Mechanics, Jennifer explains both fundamentals and finer points while teaching several recipes from behind The Interval bar. Then you take a turn to practice what you’ve learned under her supervision. The Interval will be closed during the class, so you can use all the tools, ingredients and glassware that our bartenders do.

Jennifer will show you how to make both classic cocktails and newer drinks created by some of San Francisco’s top bartenders. Next you and your classmates will stir or shake them yourselves. Of course you’ll also drink your creations, before leaving with copies of all the recipes so you can make them again at home.

Along the way you’ll learn skills you can use with any drink you make: measuring, different mixing methods (and when to use them), the proper glassware for each cocktail, and more. These are the same techniques our bartenders use every day.

Jennifer’s knowledge and attention to detail assure that The Interval’s cocktails are always delicious and true to their recipes. In this class you’ll have the rare opportunity to learn from her, so you can bring that bartending excellence home.

Jennifer Colliau is The Interval’s Beverage Director and a world famous bartender and cocktail historian. She designed and authored The Interval’s drink menu. A recognized authority on classic cocktails and contemporary mixology, Jennifer has been written about or written for publications such as The New York Times, Food & Wine, Wired, 7×7, The Washington Post, and Imbibe Magazine. Her company Small Hand Foods specializes in making artisanal syrups and other authentic ingredients for cocktails old and new. In 02015 the San Francisco Chronicle named Jennifer a “Bar Star” and they have also said the drinks on our menu are “some of the most finessed in town.”

Eric Cline Seminar Tickets

Posted on Tuesday, December 15th, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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The Long Now Foundation’s monthly

Seminars About Long-term Thinking

Eric Cline presents 1177 B.C: When Civilization Collapsed

Eric Cline presents “1177 B.C: When Civilization Collapsed”

TICKETS

Monday January 11, 02016 at 7:30pm SFJAZZ Center

Long Now Members can reserve 2 seats, join today! General Tickets $15

 

About this Seminar:

In 1177 B.C., the Bronze Age came to a sudden end, and with it the end of the dominance of the Minoans, Mycenaeans, Trojans, Hittites, and Babylonians– empires that had ruled for over a millennium. Eric Cline’s research paints a vivid picture of these thriving cultures and the complex causes that led to this “First Dark Age.”

The Fund of the Long Now

Posted on Tuesday, December 1st, 02015 by Bryan Campen - Twitter: @bryancampen
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June 02016 marks Long Now’s twentieth anniversary. In terms of a new nonprofit, it is a pretty good run. But for Long Now it means that we still have at least 9,980 years left to go…

So we decided to build a fund to better ensure our future, and at the same moment put deep time in your hands. We have created The Fund of the Long Now, a donor fund that we will invest in to help make Long Now a truly long-term institution.

The Bristlecone Pine Kit that includes its own tiny greenhouse tube.

As a thank you to those who provide tangible support to The Fund, we have made a limited edition set of Bristlecone Pine Tree Kits. These kits will be sent to everyone who can make a substantive donation.

The bristlecone is one of the longest living species on earth, and a living symbol of our shared commitment to the deep future, whether we measure that in centuries or millennia. The Fund of the Long Now is being built to back up our promise to that future, and to support the operating budget of a truly long-term cultural institution.

Once we reach $500,000, The Fund of the Long Now will go into active management that is specifically designed around long-term thinking. We have been testing the principles of the fund with our financial advisors for several years, and will continue to tune it as we move forward.

What your bristlecone tree will look like after about 5,000 years. Individual results may vary.

The idea behind the Fund originates from one of our core principles, to leverage longevity, and was best illustrated in Stewart Brand’s The Clock of the Long Now. So as you consider making a contribution we leave you with his quote:

The slow stuff is the serious stuff, but it is invisible to us quick learners. Our senses and our thinking habits are tuned to what is sudden, and oblivious to anything gradual. Between the near-impossible win of a lottery and the certain win of earning compound interest, we choose the lottery because it is sudden. The difference between fast news and slow nonnews is what makes gambling addictive. Winning is an event that we notice and base our behavior on, while the relentless losing, losing, losing is a nonevent, inspiring no particular behavior, and so we miss the real event, which is that to gamble is to lose.

What happens fast is illusion, what happens slow is reality. The job of the long view is to penetrate illusion.

Philip Tetlock Seminar Media

Posted on Monday, November 30th, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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This lecture was presented as part of The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking.

Superforecasting

Monday November 23, 02015 – San Francisco

Audio is up on the Tetlock Seminar page, or you can subscribe to our podcast.

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All it takes to improve forecasting is KEEP SCORE – a summary by Stewart Brand

Will Syria’s President Assad still be in power at the end of next year? Will Russia and China hold joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean in the next six months? Will the Oil Volatility Index fall below 25 in 2016? Will the Arctic sea ice mass be lower next summer than it was last summer?

Five hundred such questions of geopolitical import were posed in tournament mode to thousands of amateur forecasters by IARPA—the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity–between 2011 and 2015. (Tetlock mentioned that senior US intelligence officials opposed the project, but younger-generation staff were able to push it through.) Extremely careful score was kept, and before long the most adept amateur “superforecasters” were doing 30 percent better than professional intelligence officers with access to classified information. They were also better than prediction markets and drastically better than famous pundits and politicians, who Tetlock described as engaging in deliberately vague “ideological kabuki dance.”

What made the amateurs so powerful was Tetlock’s insistence that they score geopolitical predictions the way meteorologists score weather predictions and then learn how to improve their scores accordingly. Meteorologists predict in percentages—“there is a 70 percent chance of rain on Thursday.” It takes time and statistics to find out how good a particular meteorologist is. If 7 out of 10 such times it in fact rained, the meteorologist gets a high score for calibration (the right percentage) and for resolution (it mostly did rain). Superforecasters, remarkably, assigned probability estimates of 72-76 percent to things that happened and 24-28 percent to things that didn’t.

How did they do that? They learned, Tetlock said, to avoid falling for the “gambler’s fallacy”—detecting nonexistent patterns. They learned objectivity—the aggressive open-mindedness it takes to set aside personal theories of public events. They learned to not overcompensate for previous mistakes—the way American intelligence professionals overcompensated for the false negative of 9/11 with the false positive of mass weapons in Saddam’s Iraq. They learned to analyze from the outside in—Assad is a dictator; most dictators stay in office a very long time; consider any current news out of Syria in that light. And they learned to balance between over-adjustment to new evidence (“This changes everything”) and under-adjustment (“This is just a blip”), and between overconfidence (“100 percent!”) and over-timidity (“Um, 50 percent”). “You only win a forecasting tournament,” Tetlock said, “by being decisive—justifiably decisive.”

Much of the best forecasting came from teams that learned to collaborate adroitly. Diversity on the teams helped. One important trick was to give extra weight to the best individual forecasters. Another was to “extremize” to compensate for the conservatism of aggregate forecasts—if everyone says the chances are around 66 percent, then the real chances are probably higher.

In the Q & A following his talk Tetlock was asked if the US intelligence community would incorporate the lessons of its forecasting tournament. He said he is cautiously optimistic. Pressed for a number, he declared, “Ten years from now I would offer the probability of .7 that there will be ten times more numerical probability estimates in national intelligence estimates than there were in 2005.”

Asked about long-term forecasting, he replied, “Here’s my long-term prediction for Long Now. When the Long Now audience of 2515 looks back on the audience of 2015, their level of contempt for how we go about judging political debate will be roughly comparable to the level of contempt we have for the 1692 Salem witch trials.”

Subscribe to our Seminar email list for updates and summaries.

Support Long Now while you shop Amazon this Holiday Season

Posted on Monday, November 23rd, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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This holiday season you can support Long Now while you shop on Amazon by listing us as your charity of choice for “AmazonSmile.” When you list us as your charity, .5% of the price of eligible products will be donated to us when you purchase them on Amazon.

To list us as your charity, follow our AmazonSmile link.

Thank you for all your support.

Andy Weir Seminar Media

Posted on Tuesday, November 17th, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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This lecture was presented as part of The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking.

The Red Planet for Real

Tuesday October 27, 02015 – San Francisco

Video is up on the Weir Seminar page.

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Audio is up on the Weir Seminar page, or you can subscribe to our podcast.

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“100 Years of Robot Art and Science in the Bay Area” Long Conversation November 20th 02015

Posted on Monday, November 16th, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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Running Machine and Dual Mule

On November 20, 02015, our Executive Director Alexander Rose is helping organize a free “Long Conversation” about the history of robots with UC Berkeley’s Ken Goldberg at “Friday Nights at the DeYoung”.

The event starts at 6:30, with doors at 6:00pm in the Koret Auditorium of the De Young Museum.

A “Long Conversation” is a relay style speaking event. In this case, it is a 2 hour relay of 10 minute public conversations between 11 pairs of speakers who will be speaking on “100 Years of Robot Art and Science in the Bay Area”. The conversation is part of a larger exhibit honoring the 100 year anniversary of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The participants of this conversation include:

  • Josette Melchor (Grey Area Foundation for the Arts)
  • Dorothy R. Santos (writer, curator)
  • Tim Roseborough (artist, musician, former Kimball Artist-in-Residence)
  • John Markoff (author of Machines of Loving Grace)
  • Karen Marcelo (dorkbotSF)
  • David Pescovitz (Institute for the Future)
  • Catharine Clark (Catharine Clark Gallery)
  • Alexander Rose (director, Long Now Foundation)
  • Pieter Abbeel (professor, Computer Sciences, UC Berkeley)
  • Terry Winograd (Computer Science department, Stanford Univeristy)
  • Kal Spelletich (Seeman)
  • Artist Jenny Odell, who will be providing live images (VJing)

Friday Nights at the de Young are after-hours art happenings that include a mix of live music, dance and theater performances, film screenings, panel discussions, lectures, artist demonstrations, hands-on art activities, and exhibition tours. Local artists conduct drop-in workshops, debut new commissions, display their art in the Kimball Education Gallery, and take part in conversations about the creative process. The café offers a delicious prix-fixe menu and specialty cocktails, and the Hamon Tower observation level is open until 8 pm. Artists-in-Residence, curators, scholars, and arts educators play active roles in making Friday Nights an engaging museum experience.

We hope to see you there.

“The Forty Part Motet” by Janet Cardiff Arrives Next Door to The Interval

Posted on Friday, November 13th, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art co-present the California debut of Janet Cardiff’s immersive sound installation The Forty Part Motet at the newly opened Gallery 308, right next door to The Interval. The Forty Part Motet is a 40-part choral performance of English composer, Thomas Tallis’s 16th-century composition Spem in Alium, sung by the Salisbury Cathedral Choir. The performance is played in a 14-minute loop that includes 11 minutes of singing and 3 minutes of intermission.

Individually recorded parts are projected through 40 speakers arranged inward in an oval formation, allowing visitors to walk throughout the installation, listening to individual voices along with the whole. Cardiff’s layering of voices creates an emotionally evocative sound sculpture that feels intimate, even within a public space.

Admission is free. Advance tickets are strongly recommended in the first weeks due to limited capacity, although same day walk-up tickets will be offered as available. The piece is open from 12pm to 8pm Wednesdays through Sundays from November 14, 02015 to January 18, 02016 –  do come by The Interval for a cocktail or coffee afterwards!

Lost Landscapes of San Francisco 10 Seminar Tickets

Posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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The Long Now Foundation’s monthly

Seminars About Long-term Thinking

Rick Prelinger presents Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, 10

Rick Prelinger presents

“Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, 10″

TICKETS

Wednesday December 9, 02015 at 7:30pm Castro Theater

Long Now Members can reserve 2 seats, join today! General Tickets $15

 

About this Seminar:

The 10th annual screening of Rick Prelinger’s archival tour of San Francisco’s past (and anticipation of its future) happens again at San Francisco’s historic Castro Theatre on December 9.

Combining favorites from past years with this year’s footage discoveries, this feature-length program shows San Francisco’s neighborhoods, infrastructures, celebrations and people from 01906 through the 01970s. New sequences this year include 01930s scenes in downtown taverns, New Deal labor graphics and an exuberant 01940s Labor Day parade, radical longshore workers, newly discovered World War II-era tourist-shot Kodachrome, residential neighborhood activities and much more.

As always, the audience makes the soundtrack at the glorious Castro Theatre! Come prepared to identify places, people and events; to ask questions; and to engage in spirited real-time repartee with fellow audience members.