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Blog Archive for the ‘Civilization’ Category

Podcast: Queering the Future | Jason Tester

by Ahmed Kabil - Twitter: @ahmedkabil on February 4th, 02021

The Long Now Foundation · Jason Tester – Queering the Future: How LGBTQ Foresight Can Benefit All Jason Tester asks us to see the powerful potential of “queering the future” – how looking at the future through a lens of difference and openness can reveal unexpected solutions to wicked problems, and new angles . . .   Read More

“Lockdown Gardening” Is The New Archaeological Frontier in Britain

by Michael Garfield - Twitter: @michaelgarfield on December 14th, 02020

Few things inspire someone to take a longer view on history than the possibility of treasure in their own backyard. With people taking to their gardens under pandemic lockdown came more than 47,000 reported archaeological finds in England and Wales. Meanwhile, the British government just announced their plans to broaden what counts as “. . .   Read More

What was the biggest empire in history?

by Michael Garfield - Twitter: @michaelgarfield on November 17th, 02020

What was the biggest empire in history? The answer, writes Benjamin Plackett in Live Science, depends on whether you think in terms of fraction of living humans or number of living humans, revealing the challenges inherent in attempting to compare time periods: That’s without getting into the pros and cons of the . . .   Read More

A Timely Reflection on our Changing Climate

by Benjamin Grant on November 12th, 02020

Antarctic Sea Ice Melt — 02019 (Source: Maxar) The Ancient Greeks had two different words fortime. The first, chronos, is time as we think of it now: marching forward, ceaselessly creating our past, present, and future. The second, kairos, is time in the opportune sense: the ideal moment to act, as captured by . . .   Read More

Scenario Planning for the Long-term

by Peter Schwartz on November 10th, 02020

This is a map of North America. It was made by a Dutch map maker by the name of Herman Moll, working in London in 01701. I bought it on Portobello Road for about 60 pounds back in 01981. . . .   Read More

The Role of Geology in US Presidential Elections

by Michael Garfield - Twitter: @michaelgarfield on November 6th, 02020

In an article in Forbes, David Bressan writes that the giant rift in the USA’s political voting blocs is in part a consequence of collisions between continental plates, the literal giant rift that used to separate the two halves of North America, and recent glacial activity: The same region that had once . . .   Read More

How “Forest Floors” in Finland’s Daycares Changed Children’s Immune Systems

by Michael Garfield - Twitter: @michaelgarfield on October 27th, 02020

Once again on the theme of how the technological/cultural pace layer’s accelerating decoupling from the ecological pace layer in which we evolved poses serious risks to the integrity of both the human body and biosphere: When daycare workers in Finland rolled out a lawn, planted forest undergrowth such as dwarf heather . . .   Read More

How Long-term Thinking Can Help Earth Now

by Ahmed Kabil - Twitter: @ahmedkabil on October 26th, 02020

Inside Finland’s Olkiluoto nuclear waste repository, 1,500 feet underground. Photo Credit: Peter Guenzel With half-lives ranging from 30 to 24,000, or even 16 million years, the radioactive elements in nuclear waste defy our typical operating time frames. The questions around nuclear waste storage — how to keep it safe from . . .   Read More

The Data of Long-lived Institutions

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on October 21st, 02020

The following transcript has been edited for length and clarity.  I want to lead you through some of the research that I’ve been doing on a meta-level around long-lived institutions, as well as some observations of the ways various systems have lasted for hundreds of thousands of years.  Long . . .   Read More

People slept on comfy grass beds 200,000 years ago

by Michael Garfield - Twitter: @michaelgarfield on August 20th, 02020

The oldest beds known to science now date back nearly a quarter of a million years: traces of silicate from woven grasses found in the back of Border Cave (in South Africa, which has a nearly continuous record of occupation dating back to 200,000 BCE). Ars Technica reports: Most of the artifacts that . . .   Read More

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