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Blog Archive for the ‘Seminars’ Category

John Baez – Zooming Out In Time

by Simone Davalos on October 16th, 02006

Welcome to the Anthropocene The graphs we see these days, John Baez began, all look vertical— carbon burning shooting up, CO2 in the air shooting up, global temperature shooting up, and population still shooting up. How can we understand what really going on? “It’s like trying to understand geology while you’re hanging by your fingernails…  Read More

Orville Schell – “China Thinks Long-term, But Can It Relearn to Act Long-term?”

by Simone Davalos on October 4th, 02006

Giant contradictions “China is the most unresolved nation of consequence in the world,” Orville Schell began. It is defined by its massive contradictions. And by its massiveness— China’s population is estimated to be 1.25 to 1.3 billion; the margin of error in the estimate is greater than the population of France. It has 160 cities…  Read More

John Rendon – “Long-term Policy to Make the War on Terror Short”

by Stewart Brand on July 17th, 02006

Only connect John Rendon, head of The Rendon Group, is a senior communications consultant to the White Houses and Departments of Defense. His subject in this talk is how to replace tactical, reactive response to terror with long-term strategic initative. I think that people were expecting a silver-tongued devil, an accomplished spin-meister, arrogant but charming,…  Read More

Will Wright and Brian Eno – “Playing with Time”

by Simone Davalos on June 26th, 02006

Generative play In a dazzling duet Will Wright and Brian Eno gave an intense clinic on the joys and techniques of “generative” creation. Back in the 1970s both speakers got hooked by cellular automata such as Conway’s “Game of Life,” where just a few simple rules could unleash profoundly unpredictable and infinitely varied dynamic patterns….  Read More

Chris Anderson And Will Hearst – “The Long Time Tail”

by Stewart Brand on May 15th, 02006

The power law is the shape of our age You know something is up when an audience member is taking cell phone photos of the presenter’s slides for instant transmittal to a business partner. Chris Anderson does have killer slides, full of exuberant detail, defining the exact shape of the still emerging opportunity space for…  Read More

Jimmy Wales – Wikipedia and the Future of Free Culture

by Stewart Brand on April 19th, 02006

Community-built content rules Vision is one of the most powerful forms of long-term thinking. Jimmy Wales, founder and president of the all-embracing online encyclopedia Wikipedia, examines how vision drives and defines that project and its strategy— and how it fits into the even larger world and prospects of “free culture.” “The design of Wikipedia,” said…  Read More

Kevin Kelly – “The Next 100 Years of Science: Long-term Trends in the Scientific Method.”

by Simone Davalos on March 13th, 02006

Recursion drives science The co-founding editor of “Wired” magazine and author of OUT OF CONTROL is working on a new book on “what technology wants.” His research led to the first-ever history of scientific methodology. Starting from this long-term view of science’s past transformation, he speculates on how the practice of science will change in…  Read More

Stephen Lansing – “Perfect Order: A Thousand Years in Bali”

by Simone Davalos on January 12th, 02006

Hidden order in the Balinese “religion of water” With lucid exposition and gorgeous graphics, anthropologist Stephen Lansing exposed the hidden structure and profound health of the traditional Balinese rice growing practices. The intensely productive terraced rice paddies of Bali are a thousand years old. So are the democratic subaks (irrigation cooperatives) that manage them, and…  Read More

Peter Schwartz and Ralph Cavanagh – “Nuclear Power, Climate Change and the Next 10,000 Years”

by Stewart Brand on January 1st, 02006

Climate change and nuclear prospects Given the power to decide who would go first— anti-nuke Ralph Cavanagh from Natural Resources Defense Counsel or pro-nuke Peter Schwartz from Global Business Network— the large audience Friday night voted for Schwartz to make the opening argument. It is the threat of “abrupt climate change” that converted him to…  Read More

Sam Harris – “The View From The End Of The World”

by Stewart Brand on December 12th, 02005

On necessary heresy With gentle demeanor and tight argument, Sam Harris carried an overflow audience into the core of one of the crucial issues of our time: What makes some religions lethal? How do they employ aggressive irrationality to justify threatening and controlling non-believers as well as believers? What should be our response? Harris began…  Read More