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Blog Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Man the toolmaker

by Kirk Citron on May 3rd, 02010

The Long News: stories that might still matter fifty, or a hundred, or ten thousand years from now.

It used to be thought that what defined us as human is the fact that we make tools. But in the past few decades, toolmaking has also been observed in chimpanzees, dolphins, elephants, otters, octopuses, and several. . .   Read More

Scientists vs. Pulsars

by Austin Brown on April 14th, 02010

Technology Review has an article up in which some physicists defend their clock-making chops.  It seems they feel pulsars are getting more credit than they deserve in the public perception of accurate time-keeping: So accurate are pulsar signals that when they were discovered, astronomers gave serious credence to the idea that they were evidence of […]

Lost Landscapes of Google Maps

by Austin Brown on April 8th, 02010

As reported on Laughing Squid SepiaTown is “A Collaborative Urban Time Machine”
SepiaTown lets you use your computer or mobile device to see what the very spot you’re standing on looked like decades or centuries ago.
A Google Maps mash-up, SepiaTown allows users to upload and geotag vintage photos of urban landscapes and. . .   Read More

Manual for Civilization

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on April 6th, 02010

I often receive emails about creating a record of humanity and technology that would help restart civilization.  We have often worked on projects that may be a part of what we call The Manual For Civilization.  It is an interesting thought exercise to ask yourself what information you might want if you had to truly. . .   Read More

David Eagleman, “Six Easy Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization”

by Stewart Brand on April 5th, 02010

Averting Collapse

Civilizations always think they’re immortal, Eagleman noted, but they nearly always perish, leaving “nothing but runes and scattered genetics.” It takes luck and new technology to survive. We may be particularly lucky to have Internet technology to help manage the six requirements of a durable civilization:

1. “Try not to cough on. . .   Read More

Dumpster Diving for Science

by Austin Brown on April 1st, 02010

Or: Techno-Archaeology and the Tale of the Whale-Oil Tapes Researchers at NASA’s Ames Research Center recently were able to recover some very old and useful data.  The Nimbus II satellite created a detailed mosaic of the earth’s cloud cover and heat radiation in 1966.  Such old and detailed climate data is a boon to today’s […]

Avoiding a Digital Dark Age

by Austin Brown on February 19th, 02010

Long Now Digital Research Director Kurt Bollacker was recently published in New Scientist discussing the challenges in maintaining data for the long haul: It seems unavoidable that most of the data in our future will be digital, so it behooves us to understand how to manage and preserve digital data so we can avoid what […]

China rising

by Kirk Citron on January 18th, 02010

The Long News: stories that might still matter fifty, or a hundred, or ten thousand years from now.

Robert Fogel writes in Foreign Policy this month:
In 2040, the Chinese economy will reach $123 trillion, or nearly three times the economic output of the entire globe in 2000… Although it will not have overtaken the. . .   Read More

How is the internet changing the way you think?

by Austin Brown on January 11th, 02010

John Brockman’s Edge has posted the responses from its members to their Annual Question.  This year they wanted to know, “How is the internet changing the way you think?”

There are over 160 short essays from members of ‘The Third Culture,’ or “those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their. . .   Read More

The technology of 10,000 years

by Alexander Rose - Twitter: @zander on December 7th, 02009

Back 02002 Peter Schwartz wrote a great piece about our visit to the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste site.  We often refer to it as “the other 10,000 year project”.  However 10,000 years is just the legally binding time congress set forth.  They actually have a design problem that spans millions of years.  This. . .   Read More