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Blog Archive for the ‘Government’ Category

Charter City, Honduras

by Austin Brown on December 29th, 02011

In 02009, economist Paul Romer presented to the Seminars About Long-term Thinking his idea for Charter Cities. Modeled on Hong Kong but stripped of the colonialism (ideally, anyway), Charter Cities are meant to bring the agility and creativity of start-ups to the world of governance.

The Economist recently published an article about a. . .   Read More

Brains, Lead, and the Law

by Austin Brown on July 15th, 02011

Long Now Board Member David Eagleman recently wrote an article for The Atlantic exploring the problems brain science is creating for our legal system’s underlying conceptions of free will, intention, and culpability:
The crux of the problem is that it no longer makes sense to ask, “To what extent was it his biology, and. . .   Read More

New Scientist Plays Benevolent Dictator

by Austin Brown on March 30th, 02011

New Scientist recently got in touch with a series of experts to discuss a thought experiment they call Civilization 2.0 – If we had the chance to redesign civilization from the ground up, with all our current knowledge (and the agreement of everyone in the world), how would we do it?
Suppose we could try. . .   Read More

Political Foresight

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on February 3rd, 02011

Back in August of last year Long Now member Rony Kubat posited the following question to Stewart Brand at an MIT event:
What if The Long Now Foundation commissioned one of the reputable national polling agencies to tack on a couple of questions to a large national poll? Something along the lines of: “When considering. . .   Read More

Nicolas Berggruen and the Think Long Committee For California

by Austin Brown on January 21st, 02011

Nicolas Berggruen is known as a bit of an eccentric and often referred to as “the homeless billionare” because of his unique lifestyle – he travels the world in a private jet and lives out of hotels. Financial Times recently interviewed him at one of those hotels and discussed his interest in reshaping the politics and. . .   Read More

Philip K. Howard, “Fixing Broken Government”

by Stewart Brand on January 19th, 02011

Government 4.0
A Summary by Stewart Brand

Americans have made major adjustments to our government before, Howard declared. At the beginning of the 20th century a Progressive era ended strict laissez-faire. The New Deal in the 1930s provided social safety nets. In the 1960s Civil Rights came to the fore. Now we need. . .   Read More

Frank Gavin, “Five Ways to Use History Well”

by Stewart Brand on July 13th, 02010

History-savvy Policy

Why do policy makers and historians shun each other? Gavin observed that policy people want actionable information, certainty, and simple explanations. Meanwhile historians revel in nuance, distrust simple explanations and also distrust power and those who seek it. Thus historians keep themselves irrelevant, and policy makers keep their process ignorant.

Gavin proposed. . .   Read More

Thinking Too Long-term?

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on April 18th, 02010

This week President Obama laid out his plan for the future of NASA.  It includes a large budget increase, a push to hand off orbital space flight to private companies, the design of new propulsion systems, and included the long-term goals of landing on an asteroid, going to Mars, and even pushing beyond that. . .   Read More

Stewart Brand presents at State Department TED

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on June 2nd, 02009

Long Now Foundation Seminar host and board member Stewart Brand, as well as former Seminar speaker Clay Shirky will be presenting on June 3rd at the US State department in their first mini TED conference. It looks like those of you in the press might be able to get a pass, otherwise it will. . .   Read More

Historical Chinese characters – an endangered script?

by Laura Welcher on May 5th, 02009

Can a logographic script of a major world language survive its own government bureaucracy?  As reported in the NY Times:

“Seeking to modernize its vast database on China’s 1.3 billion citizens, the government’s Public Security Bureau has been replacing the handwritten identity card that every Chinese must carry with a computer-readable. . .   Read More