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Author Archive

Time and the End of History Illusion

by Charlotte Hajer on January 23rd, 02013

According to a team of psychologists at Harvard, we’re poor predictors of our own future.

In a paper published last week in Science, these researchers report on a study that asked participants to estimate how much their personality, tastes, and values had changed over the last decade, and how much they expected they would. . .   Read More

Global Trends 2030: Applying Long Term Thinking to Global Questions

by Charlotte Hajer on January 14th, 02013

In December, the Atlantic Council’s Strategic Foresight Initiative hosted a conference entitled Global Trends 2030: US Leadership in a Post-Western World. Organized to coincide with the release of the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds report, the conference brought policy makers together with futurists to discuss the global “megatrends” that. . .   Read More

Civilization versus Forestation: Bristlecone Pines in the Anthropocene

by Charlotte Hajer on January 11th, 02013

“Trees and forests are repositories of time; to destroy them is to destroy an irreplaceable record of the Earth’s past.”
Whether we’ve grown up in the big city, a small town, or in the middle of the woods, most of us are familiar with the concept of tree rings. As children, we were. . .   Read More

Terry Hunt & Carl Lipo Seminar Primer

by Charlotte Hajer on January 8th, 02013

“The Statues Walked — What Really Happened on Easter Island”
Thursday January 17, 02013 at the Cowell Theater, San Francisco

Archaeologists Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo study cultural evolution and diversity. Their research tries to answer questions about how small communities develop into complex societies, and how cultures change and spread over time. They’ve focused. . .   Read More

Decelerator Helmet

by Charlotte Hajer on December 27th, 02012

Our increasingly digital culture seems to be following Moore’s law of exponential acceleration – but sometimes you need to slow things down to understand them a little better.

To that end, German artist Lorenz Potthast has built what he calls a Decelerator Helmet. It is what it sounds like: a helmet that allows you to. . .   Read More

Aspirin: A 3,500-Year Old Remedy

by Charlotte Hajer on December 14th, 02012

Aspirin is not only a miraculous cure-all; it’s also an ancient one.

In its purified chemical form, aspirin (or salicylic acid) is only a little over 100 years old. But the compound is also found in several plants – and in this form, it has been used for over 3,500 years.

Its pain. . .   Read More

The Lunar 02013

by Charlotte Hajer on December 13th, 02012

The universe may be governed by quantum probability and uncertainty, but we can nevertheless predict the movements of bodies in our solar system with relative accuracy. For a preview of how the Moon will behave in 02013, this video offers an animated choreography of its phases and libration as it ellipses around our planet.

And. . .   Read More

Rick Prelinger Seminar Primer

by Charlotte Hajer on December 4th, 02012

“Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, 7”
Tuesday December 11, 02012 at the Castro Theater, San Francisco

Guerrilla archivist and “media archaeologist” Rick Prelinger has built his career on uncovering, preserving, and sharing alternative takes on American cultural history. He is the founder of the Prelinger Archives , a massive collection of “ephemeral films”: non-fiction video. . .   Read More

Looking Back on the 21st Century

by Charlotte Hajer on November 5th, 02012

“These days, excess energy is very expensive, but for most people it just doesn’t matter. Most communities are locally self-sufficient. Everyone grows food using permaculture principles. Agricultural monoculture became deeply unfashionable during the great GM disease outbreaks of the 2030s. During the chaos, we were smart enough to keep the Internet going. Giving. . .   Read More

The Long History of New World Wine

by Charlotte Hajer on November 2nd, 02012

The term “New World Wine” may be a bit of a misnomer.

In 01976, a British wine merchant introduced California wines to France by organizing a blind tasting event for local connoisseurs. To everyone’s great surprise, bottles from California won first place in each category, and thereby earned a place on the international map. . .   Read More