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January 31 2012

00:53

How Money Corrupts Congress and a Plan to Stop It

How Money Corrupts Congress and a Plan to Stop It
A dazzlingly incisive presenter, Lawrence Lessig specializes in identifying deep systemic problems in public process (such as copyright malfunction and Congressional dysfunction) and then showing how they can be cured. Currently he is bearing down on the corruption of Congress by the practice of private funding for public elections through campaign contributions. He writes: "The dependency of modern campaign finance is the single most important cause of the bankruptcy of Congress. Fixing this bankruptcy is the single most important reform effort that Americans face just now." As he did with helping fix copyright problems viaCreative Commons, he has a plan for reforming elections to reestablish Congressional trust and effectiveness. (Public trust in Congress is currently at 12%.)

Lessig is director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University and author of Republic, Lost (2011) and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (2000 and 2006).
Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2012 19:30:00 -0800
Location: San Francisco, CA, Novellus Theater, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2012/01/17/How_Money_Corrupts_Congress_and_a_Plan_to_Stop_It

January 06 2012

23:23

Rick Prelinger: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, 6

Rick Prelinger: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco, 6
Rick Prelinger, a guerrilla archivist who collects the uncollected and makes it accessible, presents the 6th of his annual Lost Landscapes of San Francisco screenings. You'll see an eclectic montage of rediscovered and rarely-seen film clips showing life, landscapes, labor and leisure in a vanished San Francisco as captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen and studio filmmakers.
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2011 19:30:00 -0800
Location: San Francisco, California, The Castro Theater, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2011/12/08/Rick_Prelinger_Lost_Landscapes_of_San_Francisco_6
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December 12 2011

22:18

Brewster Kahle: Universal Access to All Knowledge

Brewster Kahle: Universal Access to All Knowledge
As founder and librarian of the storied Internet Archive (deemed impossible by all when he started it in 1996), Brewster Kahle has practical experience behind his universalist vision of access to every bit of knowledge ever created, for all time, ever improving.

He will speak to questions such as these:

Can we make a distributed web of books that supports vending and lending? How can our machines learn by reading these materials? Can we reconfigure the information to make interactive question answering machines? Can we learn from past human translations of documents to seed an automatic version? And, can we learn how to do optical character recognition by having billions of correct examples? What compensation systems will best serve creators and networked users? How do we preserve petabytes of changing data?
Date: Wed, 30 Nov 2011 19:30:00 -0800
Location: San Francisco, CA, The Cowell Theater, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2011/11/30/Brewster_Kahle_Universal_Access_to_All_Knowledge

November 08 2011

19:39

Alexander Rose: Millennial Precedent

Alexander Rose: Millennial Precedent
Alexander Rose, Long Now Executive Director and project manager for the Clock of the Long Now, discussed lessons learned in multi-millennial site design. Rose covers his trip to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault as well as other sites and precedents like the Mormon Genealogical Vault and the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste site.
Date: Tue, 05 Apr 2011 19:30:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, The Long Now Foundation Museum, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2011/04/05/Alexander_Rose_Millennial_Precedent

August 09 2011

23:28

Why Cities Grow, Corporations Die, and Life Gets Faster

Why Cities Grow, Corporations Die, and Life Gets Faster

Why Cities Keep on Growing, Corporations Always Die, and Life Gets Faster



As organisms, cities, and companies scale up, they all gain in efficiency, but then they vary. The bigger an organism, the slower. Yet the bigger a city is, the faster it runs. And cities are structurally immortal, while corporations are structurally doomed. Scaling up always creates new problems; cities can innovate faster than the problems indefinitely, while corporations cannot.



These revolutionary findings come from Geoffrey West's examination of vast quantities of data on the metabolic/economic behavior of organisms and organizations. A theoretical physicist, West was president of Santa Fe Institute from 2005 to 2009 and founded the high energy physics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.


Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2011 19:30:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Cowell Theatre, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2011/07/25/Why_Cities_Grow_Corporations_Die_and_Life_Gets_Faster

July 11 2011

23:31

Peter Kareiva: Conservation in the Real World

Peter Kareiva: Conservation in the Real World
As chief scientist of one of the most highly respected conservation organizations, The Nature Conservancy, Peter Kareiva is surprisingly radical. "Look," he says, "we're in nature. The deal is how to work with it and how to help it work for us. The better we are at ensuring that people get nature's benefits, the better we'll be at doing conservation." Through his insistence on "evidence-based conservation," he finds most ecosystems far less fragile than people think and none that can be protected as pristine, because pristine doesn't exist any more. His focus is on working the human/nature interface for maximum benefit to both.

Kareiva is co-founder of the Natural Capital Project -- allying with Stanford University and the World Wildlife Fund to measure the economic value of ecosystems -- and co-author of the new textbook, Conservation Science: Balancing the Needs of People and Nature.
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Marines' Memorial Theater, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2011/06/27/Peter_Kareiva_Conservation_in_the_Real_World

June 18 2011

00:43

Carl Zimmer: A Planet of Viruses

Carl Zimmer: A Planet of Viruses
The frontier of biology these days is the genetics and ecology of bacteria, and the frontier of THAT is what's being learned about viruses. "The science of virology is still in its early, wild days," writes Carl Zimmer. "Scientists are discovering viruses faster than they can make sense of them."

The Earth's atmosphere is determined in large part by ocean bacteria; every day viruses kill half of them. Every year in the oceans, viruses transfer a trillion trillion genes between host organisms. They evolve faster than anything else, and they are a major engine of the evolution of the rest of life. Our own bodies are made up of 10 trillion human cells, 100 trillion bacteria, and 4 trillion very busy viruses. Some of them kill us. Many of them help us. Some of them are us. Viral time is ancient and blindingly fast.

Science journalist Carl Zimmer's new book, A Planet of Viruses, is the best introduction to the subject. His previous books include Parasite Rex and Microcosm.
Date: Tue, 07 Jun 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Cowell Theatre, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2011/06/07/Carl_Zimmer_A_Planet_of_Viruses

May 25 2011

00:37

Tim Flannery: Here on Earth

Tim Flannery: Here on Earth
Humans now engage the Earth at Gaian scale. How did Earth and humans get to this state? Given how we got here, how should we proceed? Tim Flannery finds that the evolutionary perspective of Alfred Russell Wallace offers better guidance than the more familiar Darwinian version of evolution.

Australian biologist Tim Flannery is the renowned author of The Weather Makers, The Future Eaters, and a great ecological history of North America, The Eternal Frontier. His current book is Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet.
Date: Tue, 03 May 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Marines' Memorial Theater, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2011/05/03/Tim_Flannery_Here_on_Earth

April 28 2011

23:51

Ian Morris: Why the West Rules -- For Now

Ian Morris: Why the West Rules -- For Now
A Malaysian lawyer told a British journalist: "I am wearing your clothes, I speak your language, I watch your films, and today is whatever date it is because you say so."

Do chaps or maps drive history? Human brilliance and folly, or geography? Or maybe genes, or culture? Ian Morris goes a level deeper than Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel to determine why the standards of Europe and North America now prevail in the world when it was the East that dominated for the 1,200 years between 550 and 1750 CE. Why did that happen, and what will happen next?

Ian Morris is an archaeologist and professor of classics and history at Stanford. His splendid book is Why the West Rules -- For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future.
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Marines' Memorial Theater, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2011/04/13/Ian_Morris_Why_the_West_Rules--For_Now

April 13 2011

00:22

Matt Ridley: Deep Optimism

Matt Ridley: Deep Optimism
Via trade and other cultural activities, "ideas have sex," and that drives human history in the direction of inconstant but accumulative improvement over time. The criers of havoc keep being proved wrong. A fundamental optimism about human affairs is deeply rational and can be reliably conjured with.

Trained at Oxford as a zoologist and an editor at The Economist for eight years, Matt Ridley's newest book is The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. His earlier works include Francis Crick; Nature via Nurture; Genome; and The Origins of Virtue.
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2011 00:00:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Novellus Theater, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2011/03/22/Matt_Ridley_Deep_Optimism

February 28 2011

23:41

Mary Catherine Bateson: Live Longer, Think Longer

Mary Catherine Bateson: Live Longer, Think Longer
We're not just living longer, we're thriving longer, but so far we seem to be thinking shorter. Aging societies the world over can benefit from increased longevity because human lives have added a new stage -- what Bateson calls "Adulthood II: the age of active wisdom." People of grandparent age, finding themselves with more energy and health than obsolete stereotypes had led them to expect, are seeing their lives whole and the world whole and taking on radically new activities in light of that perspective. These older adults have the potential to bring a longer perspective to decision making that affects the future.

Mary Catherine Bateson is a cultural anthropologist now 71, the daughter of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson. Her famed 1989 book Composing a Life showed how women were learning to treat their necessarily fragmented careers as a coherent improvisational art form. Her new book is titled Composing a Further Life: The Age of Active Wisdom.
Date: Wed, 09 Feb 2011 00:00:00 -0800
Location: San Francisco, CA, Fort Mason Center, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2011/02/09/Mary_Catherine_Bateson_Live_Longer_Think_Longer

February 01 2011

00:53

Philip K. Howard: Fixing Broken Government

Philip K. Howard: Fixing Broken Government
Philip K. Howard is a conservative who inspires standing ovations from liberal audiences (short example here). He says that governance in America -- from the capitol to the classroom -- has achieved near-total dysfunctionality by accumulating so many layers of piecemeal legalisms that the requirements of navigating them has replaced any hope of getting actual justice or effectiveness. Most attempts to fix the problems have made them worse. Howard thinks they can be fixed in a way that restores core functionality.

Howard is the author of Life Without Lawyers and Death of Common Sense and is the founder and chair of Common Good, a reform advocacy nonprofit.
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011 00:00:00 -0800
Location: San Francisco, CA, Fort Mason Center, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2011/01/18/Philip_K_Howard_Fixing_Broken_Government

January 07 2011

01:43

Rick Prelinger: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco 5

Rick Prelinger: Lost Landscapes of San Francisco 5
Rick Prelinger, a guerrilla archivist who collects the uncollected and makes it accessible, presents the fifth of his annual Lost Landscapes of San Francisco screenings. You'll see an eclectic montage of rediscovered and rarely-seen film clips showing life, landscapes, labor and leisure in a vanished San Francisco as captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen and industrial filmmakers.

New material this year will include test flights over the unbuilt dunes of the Sunset District, Prohibition-era libertines partying in Golden Gate Park and drinking in their cars, lost travelogues and scenes from San Francisco countercultures.

Suzanne Ramsey, aka Kitten on the Keys, will be back to open for Rick again this year; she will regale us with vintage tunes and a vivacious style that has entertained crowds from here in San Francisco to the Cannes Film Festival.
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2010 00:00:00 -0800
Location: San Francisco, CA, Herbst Theatre, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2010/12/16/Rick_Prelinger_Lost_Landscapes_of_San_Francisco_5

December 23 2010

00:49

Rachel Sussman: The World's Oldest Living Organisms

Rachel Sussman: The World's Oldest Living Organisms
While we may aspire to live a century, Rachel Sussman documents creatures who don't bat an eye at a millennium or two. Her photography has captured 4,500 year old bristlecone pines, 12,000 year old yucca, 400,000 year old Siberian bacteria, and many other wizened elders, all with stories longer than all of recorded human history.

Thanks to Tom Lowe for the Timescapes Long Short: http://www.timescapes.org/
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2010 00:00:00 -0800
Location: San Francisco, CA, Fort Mason Center, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2010/11/15/Rachel_Sussman_The_Worlds_Oldest_Living_Organisms

November 30 2010

00:52

Lera Boroditsky: How Language Shapes Thought

Lera Boroditsky: How Language Shapes Thought
Do the languages we speak shape the way we think? For example, how do we think about time? The word "time" is the most frequent noun in the English language. Time is ubiquitous yet ephemeral. It forms the very fabric of our experience, and yet it is unperceivable: we cannot see, touch, or smell time. How do our minds create this fundamental aspect of experience? Do patterns in language and culture influence how we think about time?

Do languages merely express thoughts, or do the structures in languages (without our knowledge or consent) shape the very thoughts we wish to express? Can learning new ways to talk change how you think? Is there intrinsic value in human linguistic diversity?

Join us as Stanford cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky re-invigorates this long standing debate with data from experiments done around the world, from China, to Indonesia, Israel, and Aboriginal Australia.
Date: Tue, 26 Oct 2010 00:00:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Fort Mason Center, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2010/10/26/Lera_Boroditsky_How_Language_Shapes_Thought

November 20 2010

00:43

Long Conversation with Katherine Fulton and Paul Hawken

Long Conversation with Katherine Fulton and Paul Hawken
Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over six hours in San Francisco on Saturday, October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T.

Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 00:00:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2010/10/16/Long_Conversation_with_Katherine_Fulton_and_Paul_Hawken
00:10

Long Conversation with Paul Hawken and Tiffany Shlain

Long Conversation with Paul Hawken and Tiffany Shlain
Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over six hours in San Francisco on Saturday, October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T.

Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 00:00:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2010/10/16/Long_Conversation_with_Paul_Hawken_and_Tiffany_Shlain
00:00

Long Conversation with Jane McGonigal and Stewart Brand

Long Conversation with Jane McGonigal and Stewart Brand
Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over six hours in San Francisco on Saturday, October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T.

Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 00:00:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2010/10/16/Long_Conversation_with_Jane_McGonigal_and_Stewart_Brand

November 19 2010

01:13

Long Conversation with Ken Foster and Pete Worden

Long Conversation with Ken Foster and Pete Worden
Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over six hours in San Francisco on Saturday, October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T.

Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 00:00:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2010/10/16/Long_Conversation_with_Ken_Foster_and_Pete_Worden

November 18 2010

23:58

Long Conversation with Danese Cooper and Stuart Candy

Long Conversation with Danese Cooper and Stuart Candy
Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over six hours in San Francisco on Saturday, October 16, 02010. Interpreting the Long Conversation in real time was a data visualization performance by Sosolimited; an art and technology studio out of M.I.T.

Long Conversation was presented with a live performance of 1,000 minutes of composer Jem Finer's Longplayer.
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 00:00:00 -0700
Location: San Francisco, CA, Contemporary Jewish Museum, Long Now Foundation
Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2010/10/16/Long_Conversation_with_Danese_Cooper_and_Stuart_Candy
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