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Exploring the Artificial Cryosphere: Nicola Twilley

The invisible backbone of our food system is a man-made, distributed, and perpetual winter of refrigeration we've built for our food to live in. It has remade our entire relationship with food, for better and in some ways for worse. The time has come for us all to explore the mysteries of the artificial cryosphere. We need to understand refrigeration's scope and impact in order to take stock of what’s at stake and make sure that the many benefits of our network of thermal control outweigh...


Neal Stephenson - Fall, or Dodge in Hell : Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson author of Fall, or Dodge in Hell in conversation with Long Now Board Member, Kevin Kelly. Tickets include a signed copy of Fall, or Dodge in Hell. The Interval at Long Now: check-in starts at 12 noon. The talk will begin @ 12:30pm. Neal Stephenson will inscribe books after the event from 1:30 to 2pm. Additional books will be on sale before and after the talk thanks to Borderlands Books. Fall, or Dodge in Hell is pure, unadulterated fun: a grand drama of analog and digital,...


Learning From Le Guin: Kim Stanley Robinson

The legacy of Ursula K Le Guin lives beyond the page in generations of writers who have learned from her. She used fantastic fiction to imagine ideals for the real world. Kim Stanley Robinson, her student 40 years ago and now a celebrated science fiction writer himself, reflects on Le Guin the teacher, her impact on his work, and how she changed the world. Kim Stanley Robinson is an American novelist, widely recognized as one of the foremost living writers of science fiction. His work has...


A Foundation of Trust: Building a Blockchain Future: Brian Behlendorf

An Open Source pioneer, Brian Behlendorf now leads the effort to build the infrastructure for trust as a service. In the past he helped build the foundations of the Web with the Apache Foundation and brought Open Source to the enterprise with Collab.net. At The Interval he’ll discuss his current work leading Hyperledger at the Linux Foundation to unlock blockchain’s potential beyond cryptocurrency. Brian Behlendorf is Executive Director for Hyperledger, a project of the Linux Foundation....


Time Poverty Amidst Digital Abundance: Judy Wajcman

Technology’s promise is to “save” time. Its track record in real and psychological terms is often the opposite. A sociologist of science and technology, Judy Wajcman continues her examinations of time pressure and acceleration in the digital age. Her latest work considers how calendar software interacts with the existing anxieties of our digitally driven lives. Judy Wajcman is the Anthony Giddens Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics. Professor Wajcman was one of the...


Growing Up Ape: The Long-term Science of Studying Our Closest Living Relatives: Elizabeth Lonsdorf

Studying primates offers insight into human evolution and behavior. Primatologist Elizabeth Lonsdorf shares her ongoing work with wild chimpanzees and gorillas: a unique long-term project that extends the seminal research by Jane Goodall and colleagues into the 21st century. Modern humans wean years earlier than African apes, a fact that is associated with several unique behaviors of being human (involving fertility, brain development, and life span). But our understanding of weaning in apes...


Can Nationalism be a Resource for Democracy?: Maya Tudor

A political scientist examines how foundational nationalisms affect democracy globally, using countries like India and Myanmar to illustrate that some kinds of nationalism can be an essential resource for protecting democracy. Maya Tudor is a comparative political scientist whose research focuses on democracy, nationalist movements, and party competition. She is an associate professor of politics and public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. She holds a PhD...


Siberia: A Journey to the Mammoth Steppe: Stewart Brand, Kevin Kelly, Alexander Rose

In August of 02018, Long Now founder Stewart Brand, renowned geneticist George Church, and a delegation of observers and scientists traveled to one of Earth's most remote places to witness the ongoing restoration of a part of Siberia back to its Pleistocene-era ecosystem. The team brought back DNA samples to evaluate for mammoth de-extinction, and lots of photos, video, and stories of a place where climate change and arctic deep time can be witnessed at once. At this event Long Now's Stewart...


The Evolving Science of Behavior Change: Christopher Bryan

Human civilization is used to being saved by technology. The 20th century was defined by humanity’s ability to invent a pill, vaccine, or device to overcome our biggest challenges. Today, many of the most serious threats to human health well-being require large-scale changes in individual behavior. The problem is people are really bad at prioritizing long-term goals over their immediate desires and the science of behavior change is still badly underdeveloped. Christopher Bryan's recent...


The Spirit Singularity: Science and the Afterlife at the Turn of the 20th Century: Hannu Rajaniemi

Scifi author, scientist, and entrepreneur Hannu Rajaniemi discusses the real life late Victorian attempts to map the afterlife which inspired Summerland, his latest novel. Rajaniemi introduces us to scientists, inventors, misfits, revolutionaries, plus a tour of obscure ideas and bizarre inventions: spirit-powered sewing machines, aetheric knots, the four-dimensional geometry of Lenin’s tomb... What do these actual Victorian obsessions tell us about today’s fascination with intelligent...


The Science of Climate Fiction: Can Stories Lead to Social Action?: James Holland Jones

The warming planet is increasingly the subject of all kinds of fiction. Beyond entertainment or distraction could climate fiction (“Cli-Fi”) actually help us in solving the climate dilemma? Biological anthropologist and environmental scientist James Holland Jones explains the neuroscience of narrative: storytelling fits the human brain. Stories might be useful in bringing popular attention to climate and inspiring action on environmental issues. James Holland Jones is an Associate Professor...


Charting the High Frontier of Space: Ed Lu

Throughout human history, mapping has been the key to the opening of new frontiers. Mapping of previously uncharted regions has enabled economic expansion and the development of new markets, science, and defense. For similar reasons, mapping the locations and trajectories of the millions of uncharted asteroids in our solar system is the key to opening the space frontier. This four-dimensional space map will be crucial to the economic development of space, the protection of the Earth from...


Facts, Feelings and Stories: How to Motivate Action on Climate Change: Shahzeen Attari

An environmental researcher examines perceptions of energy use & conservation and asks how we can inspire behavioral change and policy support in individuals and the public at large. With a background in environmental engineering and training in cognitive science, Dr. Attari searches for the narratives that can help us improve our environmental decision-making Shahzeen Attari works on environmental decision-making at the individual level, looking at biases that shape people’s judgments and...


The Organized Pursuit of Knowledge: Margaret Levi

The human quest to understand our world continues. The Director of Stanford’s Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) discusses how academics and researchers have organized the study of human action, society, and institutions over time, how they share their findings, and what transformations we need for the future. Margaret Levi is Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and the Sara Miller McCune Director of CASBS. She is Jere L. Bacharach Professor...


Our Future in Algorithm Farming: Mike Kuniavsky

Automated systems increasingly try to predict our behavior and needs; what do we do until they get good at it? The first talk in a new series from the team at PARC, the venerable research lab, UX designer and author Mike Kuniavsky takes a clear-eyed look at the benefits and risks of a future interwoven with algorithms. From May 02016.


Humanity and the Deep Ocean: James Nestor

James Nestor takes us into the ocean's depths with freedivers who go death-defyingly hundreds of feet below the surface without scuba gear. In researching it Nestor found there's much more to freediving than a thrillseeker's pastime. He details compelling insights about not only the ocean and its creatures, but about our own human senses and biology whic await us in the Deep. From October 02014.


The New Deal You Don't Know: Louis Hyman

Historian of capitalism and author of “Borrow: The American Way of Debt” discussed deep economic history and a forgotten chapter of the New Deal era: how capitalism itself stalled in the Great Depression; and what government, allied with entrepreneurs, did to jump-start capitalism. The question is: could it happen again today? From January 02016.


Can Democracy Survive the Internet?: Nathaniel Persily

The Internet was once seen as a democratizing force, but today social media platforms have become exploitable intermediaries of political discourse. How should governments, institutions and tech companies respond? In the wake of an Internet-mediated and norm-breaking election, we've asked one of the United States' premier election law experts to speak for us about what comes next. Author and Stanford Law professor Nathaniel Persily focuses on the law of democracy, addressing issues such as...


Ideology in our Genes: The Biological Basis for Political Traits: Rose McDermott

Recent research shows that genetics as well as environment contribute to our political opinions. Social and political psychologist Rose McDermott of Brown Univiersity, a Stanford CASBS fellow, explains the biological foundations of ideology, how conservative and liberals react to each other's scent, and much more. From July 02016.


The Web In An Eye Blink: Jason Scott

A filmmaker, historian, and self-proclaimed rogue archivist, Jason Scott discusses his personal history of preserving the digital commons which began with rescuing his favorite BBS-era "text files" and continued with saving gigabytes of the first user-created homepages (i.e. GeoCities.com) which were about to be trashed by their corporate owner. Today his mission, in his role at the Internet Archive, is to save all the computer games and make them playable again inside modern web browsers....