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Blog Archive for the ‘Infrastructure’ Category

From Flood Control to Controlled Flooding

by Charlotte Hajer on March 4th, 02013

When a devastating flood destroyed much of the southwestern Netherlands in 01953, its government decided it was time for action. Over the next few decades, the nation poured research and financial resources into the construction of the Deltawerken, a massive network of dams and storm barriers that now protects the country’s lowest lying provinces. . .   Read More

India’s Living Bridges

by Charlotte Hajer on August 14th, 02012

In far North-Eastern India, the power of nature is not a limitation, but a resource. This video offers a glimpse at an old tradition, but one that’s very much alive – in more ways than one!

A form of “sustainable, living architecture that will live and grow for generations,” these living bridges are a. . .   Read More

Ancient Legend Saves Lives of Descendants

by Charlotte Hajer on April 11th, 02012

Sometimes technology fails – but luckily, collective memory can step in to lend a hand.

In a recent LA Times article, José Holguín-Veras writes about an old legend that saved a small island community in Japan from perishing in the tsunami that followed the earthquake of March 02011. The quake had toppled their tsunami. . .   Read More

Inside Svalbard, the Doomsday Vault Saving the Past and Future of Agriculture

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on July 25th, 02011

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an underground repository located at 78 degrees North latitude that currently stores nearly a million seed samples to preserve crop diversity for the future. Many see the vault as a resource for a “doomsday” scenario brought on by severe climate change or other ecological disaster. Long Now has been. . .   Read More

The Floodgates of Fudai

by Austin Brown on May 18th, 02011

While many Japanese towns were completely destroyed by the tsunami in March, several escaped potentially dire fates. Some villages were warned of the dangers of building too close to water by tablets and monoliths erected in the wakes of previous disasters.

According to this AP story, the village of Fudai took a technological brute-force. . .   Read More

The 10,000 Year Storm

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on March 9th, 02011

There was a maxim that predicted the existence of the longest living trees even before they were discovered, “adversity breeds longevity.”  Using this principle conifer scientists traveled to the harshest mountain peaks and found the Brisltecone Pine alive and over 4,800 years old.

It stands to reason then that a country that had spent. . .   Read More

Svalbard Seed Vault

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on February 25th, 02011

Long Now Executive Director and Clock Project Manager Alexander Rose is currently in Longyearbyen Svalbard in the Spitsbergen archipelago with artist Steven Rowell.  We are here to visit the 1000 year seed vault and talk with its engineers.  We will hopefully be getting into the vault on Sunday (the entry part anyway, no one but. . .   Read More

Sewers, Start-ups, and Thinking Long-term

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on July 19th, 02009

 
Lawrence Wilkinson posted a nice piece about infrastructure, software, and thinking long-term, where he pulls from a few sources including Pete Warden and Matt Mullenweg:

What’s true of sewers and software is true of most infrastructure:  finding the balance between lean expediency and investment in future capacity is a real trick.  Quoting his. . .   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

Mayor Gavin Newsom, “Cities and Time”

by Stewart Brand on April 9th, 02009

Sustainable cities

Mayor Newsom began with how moved he was by hosting the UN’s World Environment Day in San Francisco in 2005. For that event, which was called “Green Cities – Plan for the Planet!”, he invited 120 mayors from around the world. Days of intense discussion led to the publication of 21 policy principles. . .   Read More