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Long Now Member Ignite Talks 02020

by Casey Cripe on March 22nd, 02021

With thousands of members from all around the world, from artists and writers to engineers and farmers, the Long Now community has a wide range of perspectives, stories, and experience to offer.

On October 20, 02020, we heard 12 of them in a curated set of short Ignite talks given by Long Now Members. What’s an Ignite talk? It’s a story format created by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis that’s exactly 5 minutes long, told by a speaker who’s working with 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds (ready or not).

These 12 Ignite talks ranged from geeky, fanciful, poignant, educational, with some fresh angles on long-term thinking. We’re pleased to share them with you below.


Collaborating with Insects

Catherine Chalmers

Long Now Member Catherine Chalmers guides us through her multimedia “American Cockroach Project”—a 10-year investigation into humanity’s adversarial relationship with nature.


Activism as Futurism: Imagining Better Worlds

Allison Cooper

Long Now Member Allison Cooper encourages us to widen our windows on what is possible, plausible, probable, and preferable.


Change Agents (and How to Become One)

Danese Cooper

Long Now Member Danese Cooper shares a personal journey — of being changed by the world, and changing the world.


Instant stone (just add water!)

Jason Crawford

Long Now Member Jason Crawford shares the story of concrete, a sufficiently advanced technology indistinguishable from magic.


Plastic Mathematics in the Clock

Stewart Dickson

Long Now Member Stewart Dickson recounts the Equation of Time’s journey from mathematical equation, to 3D model, to machined-metal cam for the Clock of the Long Now.


Deep Fakes & The Archaic Revival

Michael Garfield

Long Now Member Michael Garfield tells a story about the end of reality. Not the end of the world, but the end of the idea of one consensus world.


The Great Dead End

Quentin Hardy

Long Now Member Quentin Hardy uses the historical example of Sienna, Italy to suggest that our present plague-year will have downstream cultural effects for generations.


The Future of Storytelling

Asmara Marek

Long Now Member Asmara Marek points at paths forward for the future of storytelling.


Our future drugs will come from the oceans; Can we save them in time?

Louis Metzger

Long Now Member Louis Metzger explains how our individual and collective well-being is intimately dependent on the preservation of ocean biodiversity.


Leways: The Story of a Chinatown Pool Hall

Marc Pomerleau

Long Now Member Marc Pomerleau gives us a glimpse of a Chinatown past, and a vision of its vitality rediscovered in a Chinatown future.


Art and Time

Madeline Sunley

Long Now Member Madeline Sunley shares her ideas & process for making oil paintings of marking systems for communication with the far future.


A Longer Now

Scott Thrift

Long Now Member Scott Thrift creates analog tools that tune our awareness to the perennial cycles of the day, the moon, and the year, so we can collectively rediscover the original nature of time–and a longer now.