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 since 02003, past speakers include Brian Eno, Neil Gaiman, Sylvia Earle, Daniel Kahneman, Jennifer Pahlka, Steven Johnson, and many more. Watch video of these talks and learn more about our projects at Longnow.org. The Long Now Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to fostering long-term thinking and responsibility.
James Nestor: The Future of Breathing
Tune in at 5:00pm PT on 12/8/20 to watch the public live stream of this talk on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Long Now Live.
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 Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, and Tummo and teams up with pulmonary specialists to scientifically test long-held beliefs about how we breathe. His inquiry leads to the understanding that breathing is in many ways as important as what we eat, how much we exercise, or whatever genes we’ve inherited.
Nadia Eghbal: The Making and Maintenance of our Open Source Infrastructure
Tune in at 5:00pm PT on 11/17/20 to watch the public live stream of this talk on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Long Now Live.
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 through which to understand the challenges faced by online creators. Her new book, Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software, is about open source developers and what they tell us about the evolution of our online social spaces.
Eghbal sees open source code as a form of public infrastructure that requires maintenance, and that offers us a model through which to understand the challenges faced by online creators on all platforms.
Roman Krznaric: Becoming a Better Ancestor
Tune in at 11:00am PT on 10/28/20 to watch & share the live stream of this talk on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Long Now Live.
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 ecological crisis.
What can we do to overcome the tyranny of the now? The drivers of short-termism threaten to drag us over the edge of civilizational breakdown, while ways to think long-term are drawing us towards a culture of longer time horizons and responsibility for the future of humankind.
Creating a cognitive toolkit for challenging our obsession with the here and now offers conceptual scaffolding for answering one of the most important questions of our time: How can we be good ancestors?
Roman Krznaric is a public philosopher who writes about the power of ideas to change society. His newest book on the history and future of long-term thinking is The Good Ancestor: A Radical Prescription for Long-Term Thinking. Other books include Empathy, The Wonderbox and Carpe Diem Regained, which have been published in more than 20 languages.
Krznaric founded the traveling Empathy Museum and is especially interested in the challenges of how we extend empathy to future generations. Roman Krznaric is also a Long Now Research Fellow.
Julia Watson: Design by Radical Indigenism
Tune in at 5:00pm PT on 9/15/20 to watch the public live stream of this talk on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Long Now Live.
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, and beliefs designed to sustainably work with complex ecosystems. Watson's work reconnects with this sophisticated global body of knowledge.
Julia Watson teaches Urban Design at Harvard and Columbia University and is author of Lo-TEK. Design by Radical Indigenism (02019). Her work focuses on experiential, landscape, and urban design, with an ethos towards global ecological change.
Genevieve Bell: The 4th Industrial Revolution: Responsible & Secure AI
Tune in at 5:00pm PT on 8/12/20 to watch the public live stream of this talk on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Long
"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 future 30 years hence, when we are completely embedded in both a digital and physical environment, and are experiencing a climate unrecognisable from the climate of today [...] for a future characterised by economic prosperity, social equality and wellbeing, and environmental sustainability."
Genevieve Bell is an Australian anthropologist best known for her work at the intersection of cultural practice and technology development. Bell established the 3A Institute (at the Australian National University College of Engineering and Computer Science) to focus on exploring how to bring together data science, design thinking and ethnography to drive new approaches in engineering; and to question of what it means to be human in a data-driven economy and world.
Craig Childs: Tracking the First People into Ice Age North America
Tune in at 5:00pm PT on 8/4/20 to watch the public live stream of this talk on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Long Now Live.
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 time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Across unexplored landscapes yet to be peopled, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light.
Craig Childs is a writer, wanderer and contributing editor at High Country News, commentator for NPR's Morning Edition, and teaches writing at University of Alaska and the Mountainview MFA at Southern New Hampshire University. His books include Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America (02019), Apocalyptic Planet (02013) and House of Rain (02008).