Blog Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

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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.”

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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.

Ryan Phelan speaking at World Wildlife Fund Fuller Symposium

Posted on Tuesday, November 10th, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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On November 18 02015, Ryan Phelan, Executive Director of Revive and Restore, will be speaking at the Fuller Symposium in Washington D.C. on how recent advances in biotech can aid conservation efforts.

This event is free, and can be viewed online via its live stream or in person in Washington D.C. on November 18th from 9:00AM to 5:45PM EST, Ryan Phelan’s talk is at 3:50PM EST.

You can RSVP to the symposium and watch the live stream on November 18th here.

The Fuller Symposium is a project of the World Wildlife Fund & Fuller Science for Nature Fund, which “supports and harnesses the most promising conservation science research and puts it into practice.”

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.

Real Future Fair and STEAM Carnival

Posted on Monday, November 2nd, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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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!

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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.

Real_Future_Fair

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.”

Members receive 40% off of ticket prices with the discount code in your inbox, tickets available here.

 

Philip Tetlock Seminar Tickets

Posted on Wednesday, October 28th, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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The Long Now Foundation’s monthly

Seminars About Long-term Thinking

Philip Tetlock on Superforecasting

Philip Tetlock presents “Superforecasting”

TICKETS

Monday November 23, 02015 at 7:30pm SFJAZZ Center

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

About this Seminar:

The pundits we all listen to are no better at predictions than a “dart-throwing chimp,” and they are routinely surpassed by normal news-attentive citizens. So Philip Tetlock reported in his 02005 book, Expert Political Judgement—and in a January 02007 SALT talk.

It now turns out there are some people who are spectacularly good at forecasting, and their skills can be learned. Tetlock discovered them in the course of building winning teams for a tournament of geopolitical forecasting run by IARPA—Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. His brilliant new book, SUPERFORECASTING: The Art and Science of Prediction, spells out the methodology the superforecasters developed. Like Daniel Kahneman’s THINKING, FAST AND SLOW, the book changes how we think about thinking.

Philip Tetlock is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania. With his co-researcher (and wife) Barbara Mellors he is running the Good Judgement Project, with its open competition for aspiring forecasters.

Long Now Exhibit & Talk at University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota

Posted on Tuesday, October 27th, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota is hosting a new exhibit Designed to Last: A Look at the Projects of the Long Now Foundation through December 18th 02015. The exhibit features a Rosetta Disk, limestone core samples from The Clock site, and the prototype of the Solar Synchonizer of The 10,000 Year Clock. Long Now artifacts rarely travel, so this is a unique opportunity to see these objects outside of California.

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.