Blog Archive for the ‘The Interval’ Category

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George Dyson’s Selections for The Manual for Civilization

Posted on Wednesday, March 8th, 02017 by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander
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George Dyson selects books from his library, photo by Alexander Rose

Some time ago I stopped in to visit the author George Dyson at his shop and home north of Seattle to walk through his book collection and get his suggestions for our collection of books called the Manual for Civilization. We’ve done similar personal library tours with Kevin Kelly, Megan and Rick Prelinger, Neal Stephenson, and Stewart Brand as we work to complete our list of the most essential books to sustain or rebuild civilization.

Dyson is the technological historian behind books such as Darwin Among the Machines, Project Orion, and Turing’s Cathedral.  He is also a world authority in building traditional (and non-traditional) Aleut kayaks, and it was at his boat building shop where we met up.  One end of his shop is all books on traditional boat building and general fabrication techniques. After making a series of selections there we drove over to his home where just about every room was lined with books on various technologies.  Each book he pulled off the shelves elicited a story, sometimes short, sometimes long, and the books ranged from incredibly detailed technical manuals, to the fiction of Jules Verne, or early computer and cybernetic theory.  

Books on boat-building featured prominently in Dyson’s collection, photo by Alexander Rose

One could easily see his library as a type of stand alone Manual for Civilization, and getting his top picks to add to our collection certainly filled out some corners that we had never even considered.  We have already begun collecting these titles and look forward to adding them all to our physical and digital collections over time.

Note: Many of the books on Dyson’s list are available for free on the Internet Archive. We have provided links to those editions where possible, and to Amazon otherwise:

George Dyson has spoken at Long Now on three occasions. In 02004, he explored the long-term prospects for mega-scale computing. The following year, he was joined by his father, the pioneering physicist Freeman Dyson, and his sister, the technologist and Long Now board member Esther Dyson, to discuss the difficulty of making accurate long-term predictions. It marked the first time the Dysons were on stage together. Most recently, in 02013, Dyson spoke on the origins of our digital universe and its effects on our perception of time.

Long Business: A Family’s Secret to a Millennia of Sake-Making

Posted on Tuesday, February 7th, 02017 by Ahmed Kabil
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The Sudo family has been making sake for almost 900 years in Japan’s oldest brewery. Genuemon Sudo, who is the 55th generation of his family to carry on the tradition, said that at the root of Sudo’s longevity is a commitment to protecting the natural environment:

Sake is made from rice. Good rice comes from good soil. Good soil comes from fresh and high-quality water. Such water comes from protecting our trees. Protecting the natural environment makes excellent sake.

The natural environment of the Sudo brewery was tested as never before during the 02011 earthquake and subsequent nuclear meltdown. The ancient trees surrounding the brewery absorbed the quake’s impact, saving it from destruction. The water in the wells, which the Sudo family feared was poisoned by nuclear radiation, was deemed safe after radioactive analysis.

Damaged by the quake but not undone, the Sudo brewery continues a family tradition  almost a millennia in the making, with the trees, as Genuemon Sudo put it, “supporting us every step of the way.”

In looking at the list of the world’s longest-lived institutions, it is hard to ignore that many of them provide tangible goods to people, such as a room to sleep, or a libation to drink. Studying places like the Sudo brewery was part of the inspiration for creating The Interval, our own space that inspires long-term thinking.

Long Now’s First Ever Member Summit: October 4, 02016

Posted on Friday, September 23rd, 02016 by Mikl Em
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The Long Now Member Summit - Oct. 4, 02016

Our first ever global gathering is less than two weeks away!
Join us in San Francisco on October 4th, 02016.

In 01996: The Long Now Foundation was established to foster long-term thinking and responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.

In 02007: The Long Now Foundation’s Membership program was launched. The list of our 1,000 Charter Members is here.

On October 4th, 02016 we will host the first ever global gathering of Long Now members. Our membership has grown to nearly 8,000 people around the world. It’s time we got together.

In celebration of Long Now’s 20th anniversary our Member Summit will be a day dedicated to long-term thinking. We will have components of the 10,000 Year Clock on display–which will later be installed in West Texas.

The Clock of the Long Now: actual components of our 10,000 Year Clock will be on display at the Summit

Our staff will give updates on our projects (including the Clock). Long Now founders and Board will be on stage, but we’ll also have talks & discussions led by Long Now members, hundreds of whom will travel to San Francisco for this event.

The Interval at Long Now, our bar/cafe/museum, will be at the center of the Summit. The Interval is full of Long Now-related information & artifacts, including Clock of the Long Now prototypes, passenger pigeons, thousands of books, and the art of Brian Eno.

There’s much more–dinner from Off The Grid food trucks, drinks from The Interval menu, a festival of short films about long-term thinking co-curated by our members, and more. Tickets are still available.

Join us at the Summit and help celebrate the first 20 years of Long Now!

Celebrating 20 years (so far) of Long Now
Featuring a keynote presentation by David Eagleman

Neuroscientist and author David Eagleman speaks at The Long Now Member Summit, October 4, 02016

New Member Monday Perks at The Interval

Posted on Friday, February 12th, 02016 by Andrew Warner
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We’re happy to announce that starting this week, Long Now Members may reserve the private room at The Interval for 1-2 hrs on Mondays with no bar minimum! The Interval is a great venue to host a meeting, reception or event. Our private room fits up to 10 people.  Reservation requests will be filled on a first come, first served basis and must be made between Monday and Friday the week prior to the Monday you are requesting. (Sorry we cannot offer complimentary bookings further than a week out.)

The room is available to rent to members and the general public on other days as well for $75 to $150 an hour, depending on the day & time.

Reservation requests are made through this link, and must be finalized and approved before your booking is 100% confirmed. Be sure to put your member number in the notes field to receive the discount:  http://theinterval.org/space/#rental

Members also receive a 10% discount on food and beverages at The Interval on Mondays. Please remember to tip our bar staff well; they are also ambassadors for Long Now and are doing a fantastic job both delivering a wonderful experience at The Interval and educating patrons about our projects, ideas and mission.

Meet Otto — The Interval’s Chalkboard Drawing Machine

Posted on Tuesday, January 26th, 02016 by Andrew Warner
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One of The Interval’s most distinctive features is “Otto”, our chalkboard drawing machine. Otto is a vector drawing machine that was built by Swiss artist Jürg Lehni. In this short video piece by Fusion media, you get to see Otto making a drawing and hear directly from Jürg about his work. To see Otto drawing in person, get tickets to one of our Conversations at The Interval talks on Tuesday nights.

Everyone watching Otto the chalkboard drawing machine at the Interval St George Spirits event, 02015

The Interval honored as one of “coolest businesses in San Francisco”

Posted on Thursday, December 10th, 02015 by Andrew Warner
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Long Now’s Bar & Cafe, The Interval, is honored to be included on Business Insider’s list of the 19 “coolest new businesses in San Francisco”. Thank you to our team and supporters who have made this project possible and created a new platform to engage the public with long-term thinking.

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“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!

Live audio stream for Andy Weir at The Interval on October 27, 02015

Posted on Saturday, October 24th, 02015 by Mikl Em
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Long Now members can tune in for a live audio simulcast of this sold out event starting at 7:15 PT, October 27

Andy Weir at The Interval, October 27, 02015

Andy Weir author of The Martian speaks in Long Now’s “Conversations at The Interval” series this Tuesday. Andy will talk about the real science of a Mars colonization mission. What would Martian colonization really be like? What would it take to get us to the red planet? What would we do to establish a colony once we landed?

Andy will speak live at The Interval, Long Now’s cafe/bar/museum/headquarters in San Francisco. We will stream his talk live (and free) for Long Now members on the member site. Then Long Now’s Peter Schwartz will interview Andy onstage. We’ll have copies of The Martian on sale and Andy will sign books after he speaks.

Tickets to this event sold out quickly, as our Interval talks often do. Due to the huge interest we will be live audio-streaming Tuesday’s talk for members. We also livestream our monthly SALT series as a free benefit for our members.

Long Now members can tune in for a live audio simulcast at 7:15 PT on October 27

Current Long Now members, just login on the member site. You can join Long Now for just $8/month; benefits includes tickets to Seminars, HD video of 12 years of Long Now talks, and many other perks.

While we don’t currently live stream all our Interval event, we hope to do so increasingly in the future. We also plan to release Interval talks as podcasts and video on the Long Now site (similarly to our Seminar series). Long Now is seeking a major sponsor to fund the cost of producing this series to the standard of our Seminar media. Sponsorship inquiries are welcome.

Live audio stream for John Markoff at The Interval on September 29, 02015

Posted on Monday, September 28th, 02015 by Mikl Em
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Long Now members can tune in for a live audio simulcast of this sold out event starting at 7:15 PT, September 29

Veteran technology writer John Markoff speaks in Long Now’s “Conversations at The Interval” series this Tuesday. He will discuss his new book Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots which covers the birth of artificial intelligence in the 1950s all the way up to the consumer and industrial robotics innovations of today. Long Now’s Paul Saffo will interviewed Markoff onstage.

John Markoff at The Interval, September 29, 02015

Tickets to this talk sold out very quickly, as our Interval events often do. Due to the huge interest in this event, Long Now will be live audio-streaming Tuesday’s talk for members.

You can join Long Now for just $8/month which includes tickets to Seminars, HD video of 12 years of Long Now talks, and many other benefits.

Current Long Now members, just login on the member site. The stream will begin at 7:15pm Pacific.

Machines of Loving Grace is the first comprehensive study to place [robots] in the context of the cloud-based intelligence

—George Dyson, author of Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe

In recent years, the pace of technological change has accelerated dramatically, posing an ethical quandary. If humans delegate decisions to machines, who will be responsible for the consequences? Drawing on his forty years covering the tech industry, Markoff conducted numerous interviews and extensive research to assemble this history and poise key questions about how we will cohabitate with our robotic creations.

Long Now members can tune in for a live audio simulcast at 7:15 PT on September 29

This will be the third time we have live streamed an Interval event. Due to our limited resources, it is not possible to do so for most talks. We do plan to release Interval talks as podcasts and video on the Long Now site (similarly to our Seminar series).

We also plan to stream the talk by Andy Weir author of The Martian which takes place at The Interval on October 27, 02015. Tickets will go on sale for that talk two weeks beforehand and we expect it will sell out quickly.

Andy Weir at The Interval, October 27, 02015

Long Now is looking for a major sponsor to fund the cost of producing the series to the standard of our Seminar media. We are also seeking a sponsor to support more regular streaming of Interval events. Sponsorship inquiries are welcome.

Neal Stephenson at The Interval: May 21, Book Signing and Livestream

Posted on Friday, May 1st, 02015 by Mikl Em
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Neal Stephenson at The Interval on May 21, 02015; photo by Kelly O'Connor

Neal Stephenson speaks at The Interval on May 21, 02015. Photo by Kelly O’Connor

Best-selling author Neal Stephenson will visit The Interval at Long Now in San Francisco to read from and sign his new book in a special daytime event: 12:30 to 2pm on Thursday May 21, 02015.

The talk itself is sold out but Long Now members can hear Neal live on May 21 via the Long Now member website. Neal is making two other appearances in the Bay Area, and we are thrilled that he is including The Interval in his tour.

You can join more than 6500 long-term thinkers around the world as a Long Now member

Signed copies of SEVENEVES can be pre-ordered to pick up the day of Neal’s reading. Book sales benefit Long Now and the Friends of the San Francisco Library. Pre-ordered books can be picked up at Readers Bookstore near The Interval. We will not be shipping books. More details here.

Neal Stephenson's SEVENEVES at The Interval on May 21, 02015

SEVENEVES comes out on May 19th. Here’s what Neal has to say about his new book:

SEVENEVES is a very old project; I first started thinking about it when I was working at Blue Origin, probably circa 2004. The kernel around which the story nucleated was the space debris problem, which I had been reading about, both as a potential obstacle to the company’s efforts and as a possible opportunity to do something useful in space by looking for ways to remediate it

You can read the beginning of SEVENEVES on Neal’s site.

Long Now’s co-founder Stewart Brand will host this event and talk with him onstage after the reading. Stewart Brand, Ryan Phelan, and Long Now’s Revive and Restore project are acknowledged by Neal for providing useful background for SEVENEVES.

This will be Neal Stephenson’s first visit to The Interval. We are honored that Neal was one of the earliest donors to our Interval ‘brickstarter’ as well. And we can’t wait to show him Long Now’s new home in San Francisco.

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Here are some photos from the event…

Stewart Brand intros Neal Stephenson at The Interval Neal Stephenson and Stewart Brand onstage at The Interval Neal Stephenson talks about his latest book #SEVENEVES at The Interval Neal Stephenson and Stewart Brand onstage at The IntervalNeal Stephenson and Stewart Brand onstage at The Intervalphotos by SF Slim