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Author Archive

The Library of Utility

by Kevin Kelly on April 25th, 02011

I imagine a library atop a remote mountain that collects the essential information needed to re-learn practical knowledge essential to civilization. This depot, open to anyone who journeys there, is the cultural equivalent of the Svalbard seed bank, a vault on the Arctic Circle that holds frozen seeds of crop plants from around the. . .   Read More

1,000 Years of Forgetting

by Kevin Kelly on December 15th, 02009

One thousand years from now, much of what we know will be forgotten. That’s been true in the past. We have only a fragmentary cultural memory of what happened 1,000 years ago. And what we think we know about 1000 may in fact be quite garbled. In a very witty demo of this. . .   Read More

Oldest Living Things in The World

by Kevin Kelly on September 29th, 02009

Besides the canonical Bristlecone Pine, there are many other organism on earth that will outlive you. Photographer Rachel Sussman has been traveling around the world to find and photograph them. I’m surprised by the number and variety of long-lived organisms. I very much like that she includes the low lifes — lichen and so forth. […]

650 Million Years in 1.2 Minutes

by Kevin Kelly on July 15th, 02009

This ultra time-lapse simulation of tectonic drift shows how dynamic our home planet it. The clip portrays the most recent 400 million-year geological history of the continents of Earth, and a prediction of its next 250 million years, all in 70 seconds. I love the way New York comes crashing into London in the far […]

The Long Book

by Kevin Kelly on July 14th, 02009

Good things can be done over long times. Oxford University, with its multi-century history and perspective, is one of the few institutions to support very long-term projects. Oxford University Press will this year release a book that has taken almost 45 years to finish. It’s the world’s largest thesaurus — and includes. . .   Read More

The Choice of Cities

by Kevin Kelly on July 6th, 02009

[from The Technium]
Cities are technological artifacts, the largest technology we make. Their impact is out of proportion to the number of humans living in them. As the chart above shows, the percentage of humans living in cities averaged about one or two percent for most of recorded history. (The chart’s Y axis. . .   Read More

Galactic Center Rising

by Kevin Kelly on May 18th, 02009

A shift in time can shift our perspective, which is why time lapse photography can be so powerful. Here is a simple time lapse of the night sky, using a wide-angle lens. You get a Big Here/Long Now experience.

But the Canon 5D used to capture this was modified by replacing the standard. . .   Read More

Michael Pollan, “Deep Agriculture”

by Kevin Kelly on May 6th, 02009

Making farmers cool again

Farming has become an occupation and cultural force of the past. Michael Pollan’s talk promoted the premise — and hope — that farming can become an occupation and force of the future. In the past century American farmers were given the assignment to produce lots of calories cheaply, and they did. They. . .   Read More

Digital Recovery of Moon Images

by Kevin Kelly on May 3rd, 02009

It is very difficult to keep digital data moving forward in time. I call that movage and its hard to do. Exhibit A: “Mankind’s first up-close photos of the lunar landscape have been rescued from four decades of dusty storage.”

Steve Jurvetson writes:

Behind the counter of an abandoned McDonalds lie 48,000. . .   Read More


by Kevin Kelly on March 24th, 02009

There’s a new mood: collapse. Former President Reagan defined a recession as when your friend lost his job, and a depression as when you lost your job. Collapse is when no one has a job; in fact there are no longer any such things as jobs to be had. Google Trends showing number of news […]

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