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Blog Archive for the ‘History’ Category

New Book Explores the Legacy of Paul Otlet’s Mundaneum

by Charlotte Hajer on September 23rd, 02014

In 02007, SALT speaker Alex Wright introduced us to Paul Otlet, the Belgian visionary who spent the first half of the twentieth century building a universal catalog of human knowledge, and who dreamed of creating a global information network that would allow anyone virtual access to this “Mundaneum.”
In June of this year, Wright released. . .   Read More

Richard Kurin: American History in 101 Objects — A Seminar Flashback

by Mikl Em on July 31st, 02014

In July 02013 The Smithsonian’s Richard Kurin shared relics familiar and obscure which evoke some of America’s most essential tales, from both before and after the states united. Twice a month we highlight a Seminar About Long-term Thinking (SALT) from our archives.

Video of the 12 most recent Seminars is free for. . .   Read More

World’s Oldest Comics: The Kanozero Petroglyphs

by Chia Evers on July 14th, 02014

In Understanding Comics, which Stewart Brand described as “a seminal work at the level of Edward Tufte’s Envisioning Information,” Scott McCloud defined comics as “Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.” Using this definition, McCloud proposed several examples of. . .   Read More

Stefan Kroepelin Seminar Primer

by Austin Brown on June 2nd, 02014

Anything as vast and mysterious as the Sahara Desert is bound to invite myth and legend – it’s how we make sense of things too large, elusive or forbidding to know firsthand. Stefan Kroepelin, however, has dedicated his life to firsthand knowledge of the Sahara, and has dispelled some myths along the way. He’s. . .   Read More

Proof: The Science of Booze by Adam Rogers

by Mikl Em on May 29th, 02014

Photo by Adam Rogers

The earliest evidence of a deliberately made alcoholic drink comes from a 10,000 year old piece of Chinese pottery. Lab tests revealed traces of a fermented mixture of rice honey and fruit. It would have been hard to mix those ingredients and keep it from fermenting.

Adam Rogers has held. . .   Read More

The Knowledge and The Manual for Civilization

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on April 19th, 02014

One of the early inspirations for creating the Manual for Civilization was an email I received from Lewis Dartnell in London asking me for information on a book he was writing inspired by James Lovelock’s “Book for all Seasons”.  The idea was a kind of reboot manual for humanity, and it coincided well with. . .   Read More

Colonel Matthew Bogdanos Seminar Media

by Andrew Warner on February 27th, 02014

This lecture was presented as part of The Long Now Foundation’s monthly Seminars About Long-term Thinking.

The Unlooting of Civilization’s Treasures in Wartime Iraq
Monday February 24, 02014 – San Francisco
Because the talk revolves around and discusses the specifics of what is still an on-going investigation, there will not be any. . .   Read More

Colonel Matthew Bogdanos Seminar Primer

by Charlotte Hajer on February 10th, 02014

When we think of the awful consequences of war, the deaths of the soldiers and civilians always remind us that futures have been destroyed – the young man who will never raise a family, or the one-year-old daughter who will never know her father. But war in the third millennium AD has brought us. . .   Read More

An Animated Atlas of The Known World

by Charlotte Hajer on January 28th, 02014

In 01830, English journalist Edward Quin created a historical atlas that illustrated our expanding knowledge of the world. Depicting a time span that stretched from 02348 BC to 01828 AD, or more than four millennia, each successive map showed a slightly larger piece of bright, colorful land, surrounded by the ominous clouds of the unknown. . .   Read More

The Oldest Telephone in the Western Hemisphere

by Charlotte Hajer on January 23rd, 02014

Among its collection of some 137 million artifacts, the Smithsonian houses a unique piece of technology. Made of two hollowed-out gourds and a 75-foot length of twine, it’s the oldest example of telephone technology from the Western hemisphere – and it’s about 1,300 years old.

The object, featured recently in an. . .   Read More