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Blog Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Conway’s Game of Life and Three Millennia of Human History

by Austin Brown on October 8th, 02013

In 01970 John Conway developed a computer program called The Game of Life. The idea behind it was that the process of biological life is, despite its apparent complexity, reduceable to a finite set of rules. The game is made up of a grid of squares, or “cells,” in one of two states: “alive” or. . .   Read More

Expanding the Definition of “Now”

by Charlotte Hajer on October 4th, 02013

“Humans are good at a lot of things, but putting time in perspective is not one of them. It’s not our fault – the spans of time in human history, and even more so in natural history, are so vast compared to the span of our life and recent history that it’s almost impossible. . .   Read More

The Oldest Petroglyphs in the American West

by Charlotte Hajer on September 9th, 02013

The story of the oldest Americans is largely unknown to us; the first people to arrive on the North American continent didn’t leave behind any material clues for later generations to find. But a recent discovery in Nevada may now offer us a little glimpse into their world. In a forthcoming issue of the. . .   Read More

Language may be much older than previously thought

by Austin Brown on July 30th, 02013

A recent study brings together archaeological, biological and linguistic research to posit that spoken language may be much older than previously thought. Authors Dan Dediu and Stephen C. Levinson argue that emerging research indicates ancestors of modern humans as far back as 500,000 years ago may have been capable of spoken language, in contrast. . .   Read More

Oldest Record of Time-Keeping Found in Scotland

by Charlotte Hajer on July 16th, 02013

A team of archaeologists at the University of Birmingham may have found the earliest evidence of human time keeping activity. In a paper published earlier this week, the researchers announce that they have discovered a 10,000-year-old lunar calendar, etched in the earth near Aberdeen, on Scotland’s North Sea Coast.

When this. . .   Read More

A Voice From the Past

by Charlotte Hajer on April 29th, 02013

If you’ve ever wondered what the inventor of the telephone might have sounded like from the other end of a landline, you may finally have your answer: researchers have discovered and managed to restore a brief recording of Alexander Graham Bell’s own voice.
Famously – if controversially – credited for patenting the acoustic telegraph, Bell. . .   Read More

Jeff Bezos Recovers Apollo 11’s F-1 Engines

by Charlotte Hajer on April 3rd, 02013

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon and supporter of the 10,000 Year Clock, is recovering and restoring a few pieces of scientific history.

After a three-week mission in the Atlantic Ocean, Bezos and his team of deep-sea divers have uncovered several of the F-1 engines that helped rocket Apollo 11 – and Neil. . .   Read More

George Dyson, “The Digital Big Bang”

by Andrew Warner on March 28th, 02013

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

“No Time Is There”— The Digital Universe and Why Things Appear To Be Speeding Up
Tuesday March 19, 02013 – San Francisco

Video is up on the Dyson Seminar page for Members.

Audio is up on the Dyson. . .   Read More

The Ancient Roots of Heart Disease

by Charlotte Hajer on March 22nd, 02013

We often think of heart disease as a by-product of modernity: for decades, the medical establishment has warned that too little exercise and too much fried food can clog our arteries and disrupt healthy circulation.

That’s still the case, but new research suggests that atherosclerosis might be older and more common that we. . .   Read More

The First 250 years of the “Biblioteca Palatina di Parma”

by Austin Brown on March 12th, 02013

We’ve got another long-term dispatch from our man-on-the-ground in Italy, Davide Bocelli:
We all know that libraries tend to burn. It has been true for the Library of Alexandria and even for the fictional library of the abbey that Umberto Eco created in his “The Name of the Rose”. In. . .   Read More

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