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Long Now: Seminars About Long-term Thinking

Society-and-culture • Education • Technology

Explore hundreds of lectures by scientists, historians, artists, entrepreneurs, and more through The Long Now Foundation's award-winning lecture series, curated and hosted by Long Now co-founder Stewart Brand (creator of the Whole Earth Catalog). Recorded live in San Francisco each month sinceRead more

Popular episodes

Alexander Rose: Continuity: Discovering the Lessons behind the World’s Longest-lived Organizations

Sep 23 • 45:07
One of Long Now’s founding premises is that humanity’s most significant challenges require long-term solutions, including institutions that caretake and guide the knowledge and commitment needed to work over long time scales.

However, there are a limited number of organizations that have managed to stay stable over many centuries, and in some cases, over a millennium. Long...

Nathaniel Rich, Ryan Phelan, Ben Novak: Second Nature: Green Rabbits, Passenger Pigeons, Cloned Ferrets, and the Birth of a New Ecology

Apr 8 • 43:08
Reporter and writer Nathaniel Rich delves deep into conversation with Revive & Restore's Ryan Phelan and Ben Novak to discuss his newest book Second Nature: Scenes from a World Remade,which attempts to come to terms with the massive changes that are underway on our planet, and how humans can better understand our role to caretake, conserve and thoughtfully manage our relat...

Peter Leyden: The Transformation: A Future History of the World from 02020 to 02050

Feb 10 • 01:06:49
A compelling case can be made that we are in the early stages of another tech and economic boom in the next 30 years that will help solve our era’s biggest challenges like climate change, and lead to a societal transformation that will be understood as civilizational change by the year 02100.

Peter Leyden has built the case for this extremely positive yet plausible scenario...

Jason Tester: Queering the Future: How LGBTQ Foresight Can Benefit All

Jan 27 • 52:28
Jason Tester asks us to see the powerful potential of "queering the future" - how looking at the future through a lens of difference and openness can reveal unexpected solutions to wicked problems, and new angles on innovation. Might a queer perspective hold some of the keys to our seemingly intractable issues?

Tester brings his research in strategic foresight, speculative ...

James Nestor: The Future of Breathing

Dec 9 • 01:09:05
Drawing on thousands of years of medical texts and recent cutting-edge studies in pulmonology, psychology, biochemistry, and human physiology, journalist James Nestor questions the conventional wisdom of what we thought we knew about our most basic biological function, breathing.

Nestor tracks down men and women exploring the science behind ancient breathing practices like ...

Nadia Eghbal: The Making and Maintenance of our Open Source Infrastructure

Nov 18 • 01:10:05
Nadia Eghbal is particularly interested in infrastructure, governance, and the economics of the internet - and how the dynamics of these subjects play out in software, online communities and generally living life online.

Eghbal, who interviewed hundreds of developers while working to improve their experience at GitHub, argues that modern open source offers us a model throug...

Roman Krznaric: Becoming a Better Ancestor

Oct 28 • 01:23:40
Human beings have an astonishing evolutionary gift: agile imaginations that can shift in an instant from thinking on a scale of seconds to a scale of years or even centuries. The need to draw on our capacity to think long-term has never been more urgent, whether in areas such as public health care, to deal with technological risks, or to confront the threats of an ecologic...

Julia Watson: Design by Radical Indigenism

Sep 16 • 59:50
Responding to climate change by building hard infrastructures and favoring high-tech homogenous design, we are ignoring millennia-old knowledge of how to live in symbiosis with nature. Without implementing soft systems that use biodiversity as a building block, designs remain inherently unsustainable.

There is a cumulative body of multigenerational knowledge, practices, an...

Genevieve Bell: The 4th Industrial Revolution: Responsible & Secure AI

Aug 13 • 59:54
"I have always felt I have an obligation to build the future I want to see.

We know that AI-powered cyber-physical systems (CPS) will scale in society. The challenge we face now is how we do that responsibly and sustainably? If we act proactively, we can avoid some of the negative impacts we have seen during other technological leaps.

We need to start creating now for that f...

Craig Childs: Tracking the First People into Ice Age North America

Aug 5 • 01:02:32
Craig Childs chronicles the last millennia of the Ice Age, the violent oscillations and retreat of glaciers, the clues and traces that document the first encounters of early humans, and the animals whose presence governed the humans chances for survival.

With the cadence of his narrative moving from scientific observation to poetry, he reveals how much has changed since the...

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