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Blog Archive for the ‘The Big Here’ Category

The Evolution of Search Engines

by Charlotte Hajer on March 21st, 02012

Long before the era of the Internet, humans already dreamt of creating the perfect search engine.

In 01895 two Belgian lawyers, Paul Otlet and Henri la Fontaine, began building their Universal Bibliographic Repertory: a card catalog similar to that of a library, but vastly larger. It aimed to classify all human knowledge and provide searchable. . .   Read More

Alexander Rose at Chabot Space & Science Center March 16

by Austin Brown on March 14th, 02012

Long Now Executive Director and 10,000-year Clock Project Manager Alexander Rose will discuss the ongoing construction of the 10,000-year Clock in western Texas at the Chabot Space & Science Center Friday night, March 16th. He’s appearing at Chabot’s monthly Night School, where,
students of life can explore, imagine, create. . .   Read More

From Above

by Austin Brown on March 8th, 02012

While searching for a Long Short that could help us visualize the Anthropocene for Mark Lynas’ SALT, we came upon an amazing resource: The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Contained therein are well over a million images of our planet taken from space.

And since NASA is a public institution paid for by American. . .   Read More

Language: Speed vs. Density

by Alex Mensing on March 2nd, 02012

The September 02011 issue of the journal Language included an article entitled “A Cross-Language Perspective on Speech Information Rate,” by a team of linguists working with the University of Lyon and the French National Center for Scientific Research. Like many linguistic studies, this one investigates the parameters of human language and seeks to identify. . .   Read More

Heizer’s Mass Takes the Scenic Route

by Austin Brown on February 29th, 02012

Theories about the construction of Stonehenge, Easter Island’s Moai, or the Egyptian pyramids range from the mundane to the outrageous, so trying to imagine what people thousands of years from now will make of the above diagram – or the 340-ton boulder relocation project it represents – may be a futile exercise. Regardless, it’s a pretty safe bet that Levitated Mass, […]

Healthy Urbanization Requires Long-term Planning

by Alex Mensing on November 7th, 02011

Researchers at the McKinsey Global Institute have been studying the process of urbanization – what works and what doesn’t – and argue in this article that the detrimental effects of rapid city growth are not directly the result of insufficient resources. Rather, they stem from management that is neither comprehensive enough nor farsighted enough.

Does this. . .   Read More

Old Data, New Uses

by Alex Mensing on October 28th, 02011

In the effort to understand our environment, scientists generally rely on natural observations to describe the earth’s past. They examine tree rings, oxygen isotopes, sedimentary rock, pollen, and many other physical records from which we can glean information. These methods are quite fruitful, and when combined they offer compelling evidence. But wouldn’t it. . .   Read More

A Thousand Years of Taxonomy to Go?

by Alex Mensing on October 27th, 02011

About ten years ago The Long Now Foundation initiated an effort to document every living organism on the planet within 25 years. The project was called All Species and while it did not make it through the dot com burst, it was continued by initiatives such as the Encyclopedia of Life and the Census of. . .   Read More

Beyond 10,000 AD

by Austin Brown on September 29th, 02011

Long Now encourages a 10,000 year perspective, but if that just isn’t enough zeroes for you, check out, a site that literally goes Beyond 10,000: Welcome to the future! Here you will find a speculative timeline of future history. Part fact and part fiction, the timeline is based on detailed research that includes analysis of […]

Slow Science

by Alex Mensing on September 26th, 02011

When it comes to  society’s propensity for compromisingly short-term thinking, not even the scientific community is immune. A recent post on John Horgan‘s blog at Scientific American discussed a few of the trends responsible for the hastiness (and resulting shoddiness) of too much of our scientific activity. Among the trends is an overemphasis on ‘popular’ […]

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