Blog Archive for the ‘Announcements’ Category

navigateleft Older Articles    Newer Articles navigateright

The Interval at Long Now: Opening in May

Posted on Thursday, April 3rd, 02014 by Charlotte Hajer
link   Categories: Announcements, Long Now salon (Interval), The Interval   chat 0 Comments

The Interval is the name of Long Now's new salon space in San Francisco. Opening Spring 02014

We are excited to announce that we will be opening The Interval at Long Now in May. We have our first event scheduled for May 27th, but our doors will open prior to that. In June we’ll present Rachel Sussman, a previous Seminar speaker, at the Salon. We will announce that as soon as the date is finalized. Details on a series of opening events in May–including some member and donor-exclusive ones–will be forthcoming.

We are offering some special thank you gifts to charter supporters who give during this critical phase of the project, in the lead-up to opening. Everyone who donates prior to opening will be considered a charter Interval supporter.

Here are some of the benefits, besides the gifts you may have already received:

  • Special opening events in May
  • All (new) donors over $500 will receive a Long Now etched shot glass.
  • All charter supporters will be listed at the space on our donor wall.
  • Every donor ($10 or higher) will receive a digital copy of the Manual for Civilization book list with an exclusive forward written just for the charter supporters.

If you have been waiting for the right time, this is it – every donation counts. We really need your support now to finish this project: please spread the word. And if every one of our existing donors can inspire a friend to give at the same level, then we will exceed our goal.

At Long Now we have high standards for design, and we wanted to build a venue that we’d be proud to put our name on – a venue that would inspire and welcome both our members and the general public. We think we’ve done it. Here are some of the highlights of what we are all building together:

  • Ambient music and video installation by Brian Eno, played on a custom-designed Meyer Galileo sound system
  • The Manual for Civilization library: 3,500 essential texts, crowdsourced from our extended community
  • Chalkboard robot built by Swiss artist Jürg Lehni
  • Salon-style events to complement our Seminars About Long-term Thinking
  • A robot that makes bespoke gins from specially distilled botanicals
  • Tea list by Samovar tea lounge, including special aged Pu-erh tea
  • Coffee by Sightglass coffee
  • Specially distilled gin and whiskey by St George Spirits
  • Aged St George whiskey served from the barrel
  • Bar and beverage program designed by Jennifer Colliau (Small Hand Foods)
  • Mixologist-quality non-alcoholic concoctions (one of Jennifer’s specialties)

The Interval building also serves as Long Now’s headquarters. It is a place where anyone can come for some long-term thinking and conversation; a place to be inspired and surrounded by the long-term ideas that have sustained global civilization; and a place to hear (and talk) about new ideas coming from the fields of science, technology, art, and culture.

With that in mind, we ask you to take part in this project, whether at the $10 or $10,000 level. Every gift helps as we approach opening day. You’ll gets lots of benefits, including the Manual for Civilization master list, and your name will appear at this unique venue that you helped make a reality.

Thanks for your support of Long Now! We hope we continue to inform and inspire you.

Tony Hsieh Seminar Tickets

Posted on Thursday, March 27th, 02014 by Andrew Warner
link   Categories: Announcements, Seminars   chat 0 Comments

 

The Long Now Foundation’s monthly

Seminars About Long-term Thinking

Tony Hsieh presents Helping Revitalize a City

Tony Hsieh presents “Helping Revitalize a City”

TICKETS

Tuesday April 22, 02014 at 7:30pm SFJAZZ Center

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

 

About this Seminar:

Can a successful company and a run-down downtown vitalize each other?

Tony Hsieh, CEO of the phenomenally successful Zappos, is betting exactly that in Las Vegas.  He moved his company headquarters into the former city hall and is integrating the Zappos campus into the surrounding neighborhood, meanwhile investing millions to provide a dense urban experience for the locals as well as his employees.  His “Downtown Project” declares: “We’ve allocated $350 million to aid in the revitalization of Downtown Las Vegas. We’re investing $200 million in real estate, $50 million in small businesses, $50 million in education, and $50 million in tech startups.”

The fantasy is well along into impressive reality, according to a January 2014 article in Wired.  What is being learned may change how cities and companies think of themselves—and of each other.

Hsieh’s theory of urban vitality comes from Edward Glaeser’s book The Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier.  His theory of company vitality he has spelled out in his own book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose.

Alexander Rose Speaking at Chabot Space & Science Center

Posted on Saturday, March 15th, 02014 by Andrew Warner
link   Categories: Announcements   chat 0 Comments

future-fridays2013On Friday March 21st, the Executive Director of The Long Now Foundation, Alexander Rose, will be speaking about The 10,000-Year Clock at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland. The talk is part of their Future Fridays speaking series, which brings science and technology leaders to the Bay Area for conversation with the community. Past speakers include Bill Nye, Michio Kaku, and Robert Weiss; upcoming 02014 speakers include former SALT speakers Ed Moses and Will Wright.

alexander-roseThe Chabot Space & Science Center is offering Long Now Members discounted advanced tickets for this talk. Tickets can be found here, and the member discount code is “RSVP1014”.

For more information on the talk and the series, please visit the Future Fridays website.

We hope to see you there!

The Chalkboard Robot for The Interval

Posted on Thursday, March 13th, 02014 by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
link   Categories: Announcements, The Interval   chat 0 Comments

Viktor – 5000 Years of Chairs, by Jürg Lehni

One of the features we’ve included in our design for The Interval at Long Now from the very beginning has been a chalkboard robot. To be located next to the presenter screen, we imagined it could be used live in presentations, write Long Bets challenged at the bar, or write live messages and menu items. We had thought that we would be developing this robot ourselves, until we were introduced to the work of Swiss artist Jürg Lehni. With support by Swissnex, Jürg recently visited San Francisco to participate in shows with SOMArts and the SFMOMA with his very own chalk drawing machine called Viktor (shown in the video above). We contacted Jürg while he was in town, and as chance would have it, he was just then including references to Stewart Brand, the Well, and the Whole Earth Catalog into the live drawing event he would be participating in that evening (click on the image below to see what it drew that night).

JurgLehniViktor

We invited Jürg to Long Now the next week, and discussed how we might work together. We are now pleased to announce that we have commissioned Jürg and his team in Switzerland to build a custom version of his chalkboard robot for our space, as well as the software to interface with it. We will also be working with Jürg to develop content for the robot and figure out how to make it a platform for use by visiting speakers and artists.

E017_Final.png

The design is extremely elegant and robust, using an unconventional system of pulleys that is driven by high-quality Maxon Swiss servo motors to triangulate the drawing tool. The motors are coordinated by an open-source controller developed by Jürg himself. We will be bringing Jürg back to San Francisco for installation and commissioning of the robot this spring. All we need now is your help to finish fundraising for the space, so we can make this happen.

We are in the home stretch. Every donation counts! Please donate to help us raise the last $100,000 and create an amazing place for us all.

intervaltotal

You can see more about artist Jürg Lehni and his amazing robots at his site here.

Mariana Mazzucato Seminar Primer

Posted on Monday, March 10th, 02014 by Andrew Warner
link   Categories: Announcements, Long Term Science, Seminars   chat 0 Comments

20130831_WBD000_0

Since the Enlightenment and its corresponding assumptions of social-technological progress, scholars have debated what political and economic systems best facilitate technological growth.
These days, one of the common assumptions of the technology sector is that the government is fundamentally a limiting force when it comes to innovation. This view is a well-established conservative position since the advent of the Chicago School of Keynesian Economics, but even among progressives, there’s a strong sentiment that the government doesn’t have what it takes to innovate and bring new technologies to the helm. Headlines seem to support this theory: it takes the private sector a fraction of the cost to send rockets to space, new laws banning disruptive technology companies like AirBnb and Uber seem to crop up every week. A cursory glance at this issue would seem to suggest that when it comes to developing new technologies, Thomas Jefferson’s maxim still rings loud and true: That government which governs best, governs least.

5579b77b74fa8628aaa2b0fb97317742e3d7b6c1_254x191Enter Mariana Mazzucato. Currently the RM Phillips chair in the Economics of Innovation at the University of Sussex, she also has a long resume of academic positions at other prestigious universities, including University of Denver, London Business School, Open University, and Bocconi University. Her research focuses on the role of the State in modern capitalism, and her analysis runs counter to the tech communities’ common understanding of how technologies come to market. Mariana Mazzucato’s research shows that many of the technologies that form the backbone of our technological revolutions were the direct result of multi-decade research by the state. Consider the examples of computers, the internet, and GPS–all of these technologies were developed and funded by the government for decades before entering the consumer market, and it’s impossible to imagine an iphone without these technologies.

In his 02011 SALT talk, Geoffrey West noted that the average lifespan of a company is merely 10 years. On such short time scales, it’s hard for companies to invest in technologies that don’t have immediate market potential. It’s not a coincidence that Apple or Google came to fruition under the auspices of a government that heavily invested in these technologies: the computer manufacturer was able to build its first machine by virtue of a $500,000 investment from an obscure government entity, and the search engine’s revolutionary algorithm was developed through research that was funded by the National Science Foundation. When one then considers the network of publicly-funded universities and labs (which developed technologies such as HTML and touchscreens), the mythos of the lone entrepreneur/inventor starts to look incomplete at best.

Mazzucato’s analysis forces us to ponder a rather uncomfortable question: Why do we systematically downplay these long-term investments by the government, and champion the companies that bring these mature technologies to market?

To learn more about the economics of innovation, come see Mariana Mazzucato on March 24th at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco. 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.

Chime Generator Table for The Interval at Long Now

Posted on Thursday, March 6th, 02014 by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
link   Categories: Announcements, Long Now salon (Interval), The Interval   chat 0 Comments

gentable-1

We want to share some of the details about The Interval, our public space in San Francisco which opens this Spring. We’ve planned a series of updates that will include an introduction to our Chalkboard Robot, more about Brian Eno’s sound & light installations in the space, documentation of the final construction work, and details on when the doors of The Interval will open, later this year.

First we’d like to tell you about our Chime Generator Table, which will be a centerpiece at The Interval. The Chime Generator prototype itself was a much-enjoyed feature at the first incarnation of our public space. Here it is back in 02006 on the opening day of Long Now’s old Museum and Store:

Long Now Chime Generator Museum 02006 Scott Beale

At the 02006 opening of Long Now’s Museum and Store, photo by Scott Beale

This functioning Chime Generator is a prototype at about one tenth the scale of the one that is now being built for the Clock of the Long Now. The mechanism rings a series of ten bells, utilizing an algorithm designed by Long Now Board members Danny Hillis and Brian Eno to vary the order each day for more than 3.5 million permutations in total. This allows our Clock to play a different bell sequence for nearly every day of the next 10,000 years.

The prototype was originally designed for us by Paolo Salvagione and Greg Staples, and was built by Christopher Rand. It is made mostly of waterjet aluminum with steel gears, screws, and bearings.

Over the years we have used both tubular bells (seen above) and metal “singing bowls” to demonstrate how the Clock will generate its daily song. For its life as a table, we’ve designed around the mechanism itself. While it is not built to last 10,000 years, this prototype did a vital job in proving a concept that we are now using in building the full-sized Clock. Now it has a job to do at The Interval.

As a table, the Chime Generator will be both a functioning piece of furniture and a museum artifact. As shown below, it awaits a slab of plate glass which will be placed on top. When you visit The Interval you can set your coffee or cocktail down and gaze into the inner workings of this piece of our Clock design. We hope it inspires as many questions and conversations as it has bell ringing permutations.

table

We have only weeks left to finish our fundraising for this space, and are currently about $100,000 short of our goal. We’re asking for your help: please consider donating to support this project. Any amount you can give brings us closer to the finish line! We have unique gifts to offer our donors, amongst other benefits. As an Interval supporter, you’ll be the first to hear news about the venue, you can suggest books for the Manual for Civilization and vote on other submissions, and best of all, you’ll receive invitations to our special pre-opening parties, the very first events at The Interval!

Here’s one more shot of the Chime Generator, this time with singing bowls attached, from the Anathem release event in 02008. It shared the stage with Long Now co-founders Stewart Brand and Danny Hillis, as well as Anathem author Neal Stephenson, who is himself a donor to our Interval ‘brickstarter’.

Neal Stephenson donated to The Interval

The Interval at Long Now

Posted on Monday, March 3rd, 02014 by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
link   Categories: Announcements, Long Now salon (Interval), The Interval   chat 0 Comments

The Interval is the name of Long Now's new salon space in San Francisco. Opening Spring 02014

Today we are proud to introduce you to The Interval. You know it already as “The Long Now Salon.” But all along we knew our new space at Fort Mason in San Francisco needed a name all its own.

The Interval will be a bar, museum, event venue, cafe, and archive. A welcoming public space and a gathering place for The Long Now Foundation’s fans, friends, and members.

An interval is a measure of time or the space between. An intervening period, a pause within time that is in a way time-less. Long Now’s mission is to foster long-term thinking and responsibility. And implicitly we want to change the way people perceive time. All times intersect at The Interval: a place for longer nows, discussing the future, enjoying the present, celebrating the past.

The Interval opens very soon, in just a matter of weeks. We need your help to complete the funding for this unique venue. Our ‘brickstarter’ campaign has raised more than two-thirds of what’s needed, but we still have about $100,000 to go as we finish construction and approach opening.

Recent progress includes installing new doors at the entrance to The Interval:

The Interval is Long Now's new bar, cafe and venue

Every donation helps bring this new space to life. And we have devised some special ways to say “thanks” for your tax-deductible gift. These include special events just for donors in the first days of The Interval, Long Now gifts, and special “bottle keep” drinks at the venue. All the details are here.

Soon we’ll have exciting announcements about Brian Eno’s sound and visual design for the space, more about the Manual for Civilization, our chalkboard robot, the opening date, pre-opening events and the amazing cocktail & cafe menus we’ll be serving.

salon_fromentrance_470px

We invite you to join the list of hundreds of supporters including Long Now’s Board, past speakers, eminent authors, artists, scientists, and people around the world. Every gift helps us toward our goal.

 

Mariana Mazzucato Seminar Tickets

Posted on Monday, March 3rd, 02014 by Andrew Warner
link   Categories: Announcements, Seminars   chat 0 Comments

 

The Long Now Foundation’s monthly

Seminars About Long-term Thinking

Mariana Mazzucato presents The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Private vs. Public Sector Myths

Mariana Mazzucato presents

“The Entrepreneurial State:

Debunking Private vs. Public Sector Myths”

TICKETS

Monday March 24, 02014 at 7:30pm SFJAZZ Center

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

 

About this Seminar:

Where do the boldest innovations, with the deepest consequences for society, come from?

Business leaders, entrepreneurs, and libertarians claim that the private sector leads the way always, and government at best follows by decades and at worst impedes the process with bureaucratic regulations.

Mariana Mazzucato proves otherwise. Many of the most profound innovations—from the Internet and GPS to nanotech and biotech —had their origin in government programs developed specifically to explore innovations that might eventually attract private sector interest. Governments can take on multi-decade, slow-payoff, ambitious projects where most businesses cannot. The process works pretty well now. How can it work better?

Mazzucato is a professor of the Economics of Innovation at Sussex University and author of The Entrepreneurial State: debunking private vs. public sector myths.

Colonel Matthew Bogdanos Seminar Media

Posted on Thursday, February 27th, 02014 by Andrew Warner
link   Categories: Announcements, Seminars   chat 0 Comments

This lecture was presented as part of The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking.

The Unlooting of Civilization’s Treasures in Wartime Iraq

Monday February 24, 02014 – San Francisco

Because the talk revolves around and discusses the specifics of what is still an on-going investigation, there will not be any recording of any kind–audio or visual, of this Seminar. Thank you for your understanding.

*********************

Unlooting the Iraq Museum – a summary by Stewart Brand

Iraq’s National Museum in Baghdad had been closed to the public by Saddam Hussein for over two decades when his regime fell in April 02003. Iraqis felt no connection to the world renowned cultural treasures inside. Like every other government building, it was trashed and looted.

Marine Col. Matthew Bogdanos, then in Basra leading a counter-terrorism group, volunteered part of his team to attempt recovery of the lost artifacts. He arrived at the museum with 14 people to protect its dozen buildings and 11 acres in a still-active battle zone. Invited by the museum director, they took up residence and analyzed the place as a crime scene.

Missing were some of civilization’s most historic archeological treasures. From 3200 BC, the Sacred Vase of Warka, the world’s oldest carved stone ritual vessel. From 2600 BC, the solid gold bull’s head from the Golden Harp of Ur. From 2250 BC, the copper Akkadian Bassetki Statue, the earliest known example of lost-wax casting. From 3100 BC, the limestone Mask of Warka, the first naturalistic depiction of a human face. From 800 BC, the Treasure of Nimrud— a fabulous hoard of hundreds of pieces of exquisite Assyrian gold jewelry and gems. Plus thousands of other artifacts and antiquities, including Uruk inscribed cylinder seals from 2500 BC.

Bidding on the international antiquities black market went to $25,000 for Uruk cylinder seals, $40 million for the Vase of Warka.

Since the goal was recovery, not prosecution, Bogdanos instituted a total amnesty for return of stolen artifacts—no questions asked, and also no payment, just a cordial cup of tea for thanks. Having learned from duty in Afghanistan to listen closely to the locals, Bogdanos and his team walked the streets, visited the mosques, played backgammon in the neighborhoods, and followed up on friendly tips (every one of which turned out to be genuine). 3,000 items had been taken from the museum by random looters. Local Iraqis returned 95% of them.

The prime pieces stolen by professional thieves took longer to track down. Raids on smuggler’s trucks and hiding places turned up more items. The Bassetki Statue was found hidden in a cesspool; the Mask of Warka had been buried in the ground. Some pieces began turning up all over the world and were seized when identified. (Bogdanos noted that Geneva, Switzerland, is where that kind of contraband often rests in warehouses that law enforcement is not allowed to search.)

It turned out Saddam himself had looted the museum of the Treasure of Nimrud and the gold bull’s head back in 01990. Tips led to a flooded underground vault in the bombed-out Central Bank of Iraq, and the priceless items were discovered.

Everything found was returned to the Iraq National Museum, where the great antiquities are gradually being restored to public display. Iraq, and the world, is retaking possession of its most ancient heritage.

Bogdanos quoted Sophocles: “Whoever neglects the arts… has lost the past and is dead to the future.”

(This talk was neither recorded nor filmed, because material presented in it is part of a still on-going investigation. You can get the full story from Bogdanos’ excellent book, Thieves of Baghdad.)

Subscribe to our Seminar email list for updates and summaries.

Stewart Brand’s “SALT Summaries” Kindle Update

Posted on Friday, February 14th, 02014 by Andrew Warner
link   Categories: Announcements, Seminars   chat 0 Comments

The Salt Summaries

Since their inception in 02003, the Seminars About Long-term Thinking have featured over 100 speakers from a wide range of disciplines. Curated by Stewart Brand, each of these Seminars address some aspect of long-term thinking. From the ideas presented and discussed in the live event, he crafts a summary which captures and elucidates these ideas.  A few days after a Seminar, this summary gets posted to the SALT list and blog, but we also collect these distillations in a book, “The SALT Summaries”. Every six months we update the Kindle eBook with the most recent Seminars, and we wanted to let our readers know how they can now update their Kindle book.

After you login to your Amazon account, go to the Manage Your Kindle page. On that page, you should see the cover of the book with an update option hovering above it. If you click update, the update should transfer to all of your devices. Thank you for supporting the Seminars About Long-term Thinking.