Support Long-term Thinking
Support Long-term Thinking

Author Archive

Echoes of Leningrad in St. Petersburg

by Charlotte Hajer on October 30th, 02012

Sixty-eight years ago, St. Petersburg was known as Leningrad, and counted as one of the Soviet Union’s largest cities. These days, those two names conjure up images of a distant past; an anachronistic, shady corner of European politics and culture.

Yet this series of images, posted a while back on Englishrussia, suggest that. . .   Read More

The Long View on Real Estate

by Charlotte Hajer on October 17th, 02012

Sometimes a long view can yield a very different perspective than the short view.

Take housing prices, for example. For the past five years or so, the news media have often characterized the housing market as ‘volatile’ and ‘fragile’. The statistics certainly bear this out: from 02000 to 02008, the global housing boom propelled real. . .   Read More

Decoding Long-Term Data Storage

by Charlotte Hajer on October 12th, 02012

If human societies are founded on the accumulation of knowledge through the ages, then the long-term transmission of information must be the cornerstone of a durable civilization. And as we accelerate ever more rapidly in our expansion of knowledge and technological capability, the development of durable storage methods becomes ever more important.

In the. . .   Read More

The History of Color Wheels

by Charlotte Hajer on October 4th, 02012

Our perception of color may be a matter of optics, ophthalmology, and neurology – but the way in which we think about color is as much a matter of cultural history.

In a pair of blog posts, the online design magazine Imprint offers an illustrated history of the color wheel. From enlightenment thinkers such as Jacob. . .   Read More

Cultural Memories in the Digital World

by Charlotte Hajer on September 19th, 02012

A book is much more than a collection of information. It is also a physical object, and this materiality plays an important role in shaping the way we relate to literature. Think of how the pages of your favorite story feel between your fingers, and the way its spine creases as you immerse yourself further. . .   Read More

Library of Brewer’s Yeast

by Charlotte Hajer on September 10th, 02012

What the seed vault in Svalbard does for the world’s plants, the Cara Technology’s Research Laboratory in England does for yeast.

The Guardian’s Word of Mouth Blog recently published a feature on this lab’s large collection of brewer’s yeast strains, and its goal of making both classic and custom-made. . .   Read More

India’s Living Bridges

by Charlotte Hajer on August 14th, 02012

In far North-Eastern India, the power of nature is not a limitation, but a resource. This video offers a glimpse at an old tradition, but one that’s very much alive – in more ways than one!

A form of “sustainable, living architecture that will live and grow for generations,” these living bridges are a. . .   Read More

Solving the Pioneer Anomaly With Magnetic Tapes and Punch Cards

by Charlotte Hajer on July 27th, 02012

You may dream of freaky new physics, but sometimes freaky old physics is all you need. (New York Times)
Slava G. Turyshev, an expert on gravity at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, recently proved that the tried and true theories of Einsteinian physics are as powerful as ever – and he used technology from the 01970s. . .   Read More

Remembering our Right to Remember

by Charlotte Hajer on July 23rd, 02012

In 01994, The Economist first launched its very own website. Before long, America Online pronounced it one of the world’s best news sites, and numerous readers depended on it for their updates on current events.

Yet 18 years later, this once valued page is nowhere to be found. (The Wayback Machine’s records only. . .   Read More

Minitel Signs Off For Good

by Charlotte Hajer on July 11th, 02012

In the early 01980s, French farmers were already checking stock prices online. High school students found out exam scores, families reserved train tickets, and young women purchased clothing – all through a nationwide communications network called Minitel.

First pioneered in Brittany during the late 01970s, the PTT (France’s national telecommunications provider) launched the network nationwide. . .   Read More