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Blog Archive for the year 02009

Discounting the Future

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 4th, 02009

Upcoming seminar speaker and neuroscientist David Eagleman published an excellent piece that appeared in the New York Times yesterday.  While the piece keys on the events of this week, the broader point of the piece touches on an important element of human nature and long-term thinking.  Excerpt:
Some years ago, psychologists posed a deceptively. . .   Read More

Failed Predictions

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 3rd, 02009

Stewart brand set over this excellently illustrated set of failed predictions listed over at oddee.com. Excerpts below:

“It will be years –not in my time– before a woman will become Prime Minister.”
–Margaret Thatcher, October 26th, 1969.

She became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom only 10 years after saying that, holding her chair. . .   Read More

Water wars

by Kirk Citron on November 30th, 02009

The Long News: stories that might still matter fifty, or a hundred, or ten thousand years from now.

The discovery of water on the moon is almost certainly the biggest Long News story of the year; it will make it much easier to build moon colonies, and it provides cheap fuel for travel to the. . .   Read More

Human Language as a Secret Weapon

by Laura Welcher on November 25th, 02009

Earlier this month, a small group of World War II Navajo Code Talkers – who are today in their eighties and nineties – marched as a group for the first time in the New York City Veteran’s Day Parade as a way to raise awareness in the US about their wartime contribution. The Code Talkers were. . .   Read More

Sander van der Leeuw’s “The Archaeology of Innovation”

by Danielle Engelman on November 25th, 02009

History of Innovation

The development of human mental ability can be tracked through the
progressive crafting of stone tools, Van der Leeuw explained. First
we learned to shape an edge—a line—then the surface, then the
whole volume of the tool, then the sophisticated sequence required to
make a superb spear point. It took. . .   Read More

Long Now Gifts for the Holidays

by Austin Brown on November 24th, 02009

We have updated our online store with some new items for the holiday season… Brian Eno’s 77 Million Paintings is a generative art piece that will take thousands of years to fully take in – the software slowly layers and combines several hundred original paintings in an ever-evolving kaleidoscopic experience.  You can also hear experiments […]

Buffet’s Big Bet Update – Year 1

by Austin Brown on November 24th, 02009

It took a while to get all the numbers crunched, but the first year’s results from the Long Bet with the highest prize are in.  Over a year ago Warren Buffet challenged the managers of several funds-of-funds to outperform the S&P 500 over a 10 year period.  A one million. . .   Read More

Bristlecone Pines Feeling Rushed

by Austin Brown on November 17th, 02009

Global warming seems to be speeding up the growth of the longest living organisms we know of.  Bristlecone pines can live for almost 5,000 years and the information stored in the growth of their rings is a treasure trove of climate data.  Because their growth is a function of the weather, analyzing the size. . .   Read More

Rosetta’s Final Flyby

by Austin Brown on November 15th, 02009

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe made its final flyby of the Earth on Friday in order to fling itself off towards its target: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Launched in 02004, Rosetta has made several planetary flybys in order to gain the velocity necessary to approach and eventually orbit the comet so that a. . .   Read More

Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina at Stanford Next Month

by Austin Brown on November 12th, 02009

Officially inaugurated in 02002, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is an attempt by Egypt and the city of Alexandria to recreate, in spirit if not content, the original Library of Alexandria.  The Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt created what was at the time, the worlds largest library in the third century BC in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. . .   Read More