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Blog Archive for the ‘Long-term Thinking’ Category

Billion-Year Mashup

by Kevin Kelly on September 5th, 02007

In today’s New York Times, author Timothy Ferris writes an ode to the multi-media disc of human activity that was sent into the cosmos on the Voyager 1 spacecraft. Despite the harsh — though stable — conditions in space, Ferris, who produced the gold plated disc, believes this record will last one billion years. If. . .   Read More

‘The Perpetual Beta’

by Stephanie Gerson on August 28th, 02007

Linden Lab releases new builds every week. Flickr releases them up to every half hour. Writer and publisher Tim O’Reilly writes that “the open source dictum, ‘release early and release often’ in fact has morphed into an even more radical position, ‘the perpetual beta,’ in which the product is developed in the open, with new […]

The Value of Forgetting Long Term

by Kevin Kelly on August 26th, 02007

Clive Thompson riffs on a piece by the New York Times public editor discussing the dilemma of what to do with old news items that are now badly out of date. They are small to the public but large to the folks involved, who often want them either amended or deleted. It’s a great. . .   Read More

Most all words replaced in 2000 years

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on August 25th, 02007

This is a great appendix I just came across on the half life of vocabulary in a language. From the text:
The rate of vocabulary change The half-life of a word is the amount of time required for there to be a 50% chance that it will be replaced by a new word. Most. . .   Read More

World Without Us in 15,000 Years

by Kevin Kelly on August 22nd, 02007

The best-selling book The World Without Us draws scenarios of what our home planet would look like if our civilization suddenly vanished. The book’s website has a small slide show with a graphic illustrations of some scenes from the future in this scenario. Click down to Visual TImeline Slideshow. It’s a coherent. . .   Read More

How many cloudy years per millennia?

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on August 20th, 02007

(Matthew Salzer pulls a core sample from a tree on the Long Now Nevada property)

One of the ways that the 10,000 year Clock of the Long Now will stay accurate over the millennia is with a solar synchronizer. The interesting question that comes up with doing this, is that we need to understand. . .   Read More

Environmental History Timeline

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on August 10th, 02007

This dynamic timeline of environmental history sent to me by Stewart Brand is a nice overview starting over 2000 years ago.  I especially like that it points out that we humans are not new to altering our natural environment in detrimental ways.  However it does seem to omit the Native American story of hunting. . .   Read More

Long Term Thinking Uses Separate Neural System

by Kevin Kelly on August 10th, 02007

From Science Blogs comes this news about how long term thinking uses separate neural pathways in our brains than short term thinking.

So why do people take out sub-prime loans? Don’t they realize that they won’t be able to afford the ensuing 28 years of mortgage payments? I think a big part. . .   Read More

Genetic diversity on the decline…

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on August 8th, 02007

By studying mitochondrial DNA from samples over 1000 years old to the present, scientists have good evidence that human genetic diverstiy is on the decline. You can see the article from the Royal Society here (a great source of many forms of long term science in general).
“In a study covering five different periods of. . .   Read More

Long-term agricultural experiments

by Stephanie Gerson on August 1st, 02007

Add England’s Rothamsted Experimental Station to the list of long-term experiments.
“Rothamsted’s Classical experiments are unique in their age and variety, and are, deservedly, world-famous. There are many other experiments on our Rothamsted and Woburn farms that, by conventional standards, can justifiably be described as ‘long-term’. Most of these were. . .   Read More