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Author Archive

The Future and the Past of the Metaverse

by Jacob Kuppermann on November 17th, 02021

In the mid-2000s, the virtual world of the game Second Life was seen by many as a nascent metaverse, a term for virtual worlds coined by Neal Stephenson. Courtesy of Jin Zan Sometime in the late 01980s or early 01990s, five-time Long Now Speaker Neal Stephenson needed a word to describe a . . .   Read More

Stewart Brand Takes Us On “The Maintenance Race”

by Jacob Kuppermann on October 28th, 02021

Bernard Moitessier’s yacht Joshua was the model of perfect maintenance in his 1968 circumnavigation of the globe Maintenance is all around us. On every level from the cellular up to the societal, human life is driven by the essential drama of maintaining, of ensuring continued survival and working against the drive of entropy. . . .   Read More

“Dune,” “Foundation,” and the Allure of Science Fiction that Thinks Long-Term

by Jacob Kuppermann on October 22nd, 02021

The first book of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series was also published as The 1,000-Year Plan —  an indication of the series’ focus on long-term thinking. Cover design by Ed Valigursky Courtesy of Alittleblackegg/Flickr Perusers of The Manual For Civilization, The Long Now Foundation’s library designed to sustain or . . .   Read More

The Next 25(0[0]) Years of the Internet Archive

by Jacob Kuppermann on September 30th, 02021

Long Now’s Website, as reimagined by the Internet Archive’s Wayforward Machine For the past 25 years, the Internet Archive has embraced a bold vision of “Universal Access to All Knowledge.” Founded in 01996, its collection is in a class of its own: 28 million texts and books, 14 million audio . . .   Read More

The Paleoclimate & You: How Ancient Climatological Data Helps Us Understand Modern Climate Change

by Jacob Kuppermann on September 2nd, 02021

Ice and sediment cores give researchers the paleoclimate data necessary to understand what the earth’s climate was like 100,000 years ago. Now, that same data helps inform the IPCC’s analysis of our climate futures. . . .   Read More

The Historical Land Practices Behind California’s Fires

by Jacob Kuppermann on September 1st, 02021

Fire has always been a part of California’s ecology. For millennia indigenous Californians managed ecosystems through controlled burns, but centuries of European & American fire suppression have turned the state’s forests into tinderboxes. Can we recover? . . . .   Read More

A Global History of Trade, As Told Through Peppers

by Jacob Kuppermann on August 26th, 02021

A new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides an enlightening window into the history of global trade and human population movement through a perhaps surprising source: pepper genetics. . . .   Read More

Letters to the Future Uses Plastic Waste To Send Lasting Messages

by Jacob Kuppermann on August 24th, 02021

In our efforts to foster long-term thinking and preservation, we at Long Now do not typically think of single use plastic as an ally. Yet that’s precisely what the non-profit art project Letters to the future does, harnessing plastic’s lack of biodegradability to make a . . .   Read More