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The Hermit Who Inadvertently Shaped Climate-Change Science

by Ahmed Kabil on July 6th, 02017

Billy Barr was just trying to get away from it all when he went to live at the base of Gothic Mountain in the Colorado wilderness in 1973. He wound up creating an invaluable historical record of climate change. His motivation for meticulously logging the changing temperatures, snow levels, weather, and wildlife sightings? Simple boredom. Now, the…  Read More

The AI Cargo Cult: The Myth of a Superhuman Artificial Intelligence

by Ahmed Kabil on July 5th, 02017

In a widely-shared essay first published in Backchannel, Kevin Kelly, a Long Now co-founder and Founding Editor of Wired Magazine, argues that the inevitable rise of superhuman artificial intelligence—long predicted by leaders in science and technology—is a myth based on misperceptions without evidence. Kevin is now Editor at Large at Wired and has spoken in the Seminar…  Read More

10 Years Ago: Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings in San Francisco, 02007

by Mikl Em on June 29th, 02017

Long Now co-founders Stewart Brand (center)and Brian Eno (right) in San Francisco, 02007 Exactly a decade ago today, in June 02007, Long Now hosted the North American Premiere of Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings. It was a celebration of Eno’s unique generative art work, as well as the inaugural event of our newly launched Long…  Read More

The Artangel Longplayer Letters: Iain Sinclair writes to Alan Moore

by Ahmed Kabil on June 23rd, 02017

Iain Sinclair (left) chose Alan Moore as the recipient of his Longplayer letter. In November 02015, Manuel Arriga  wrote a letter to Giles Fraser as part of the Artangel Longplayer Letters series. The series is a relay-style correspondence: The first letter was written by Brian Eno to Nassim Taleb. Nassim Taleb then wrote to Stewart Brand, and Stewart wrote…  Read More

The Nuclear Bunker Preserving Movie History

by Ahmed Kabil on June 22nd, 02017

During the Cold War, this underground bunker in Culpeper, Virginia was where the government would have taken the president if a nuclear war broke out. Now, the Library of Congress is using it to preserve all manner of films, from Casablanca to Harry Potter. The oldest films were made on nitrate, a fragile and highly…  Read More

The Industrial Sublime: Edward Burtynsky Takes the Long View

by Ahmed Kabil on June 19th, 02017

The New Yorker recently profiled photographer, former SALT speaker, and 02016 sponsor of the Conversations at the Interval livestream Edward Burtynsky and his quest to document a changing planet in the anthropocene age. “What I am interested in is how to describe large-scale human systems that impress themselves upon the land,” Burtynsky told New Yorker staff writer…  Read More

How Can We Create a Manual For Civilization?

by Ahmed Kabil on June 7th, 02017

“WHAT BOOKS would you want to restart civilization from scratch?” The Long Now Foundation has been involved in and inspired by projects centered on that question since launching in 01996. (See, for example, The Rosetta Project, Westinghouse Time Capsules, The Human Document Project, The Survivor Library, The Toaster Project, The Crypt of Civilization, and the…  Read More

Select Interval Talk Videos Now Online

by Mikl Em on June 7th, 02017

As we mark the 3-year anniversary of the Conversations at The Interval lecture series, we’ve released video of more than a dozen Interval talks for the first time. HD video of fifteen select talks is now on The Interval website, free for everyone to enjoy. Production of these talks was funded by donations from The…  Read More

Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland speak at The Interval: June 14, 02017

by Mikl Em on June 6th, 02017

Next week is the 3-year anniversary of Long Now’s Interval cafe and bar opening to the public in San Francisco. Since 02014 we’ve produced sixty-six long-term thinking lectures at The Interval. On this milestone week we’re pleased to welcome authors Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland on Wednesday, June 14, 02017 to discuss their novel The Rise…  Read More

Göbekli Tepe and the Worst Day in History

by Ahmed Kabil on May 24th, 02017

Technological advances are revolutionizing the field of archaeology, resulting in new discoveries that are upending our previous understanding of the birth of civilization. Many scholars believe that few will be as consequential as Göbekli Tepe. The ruins of Göbekli Tepe. Photograph by Vincent J. Musi. IN 01963, anthropologists from the University of Chicago and the…  Read More