Long Now: Conversations at The Interval

The Long Now Foundation

A long-term thinking lecture series from The Long Now Foundation: these hour long talks are recorded live at The Interval, our bar / cafe / museum in San Francisco. Since 02014 this series has presented artists, authors, entrepreneurs, scientists (and more) taking a long-term perspective on subjects like art, design, history, nature, technology, and time. You can learn more about The Interval and this series at theinterval.org, where we have full videos of the talks on this podcast.

All Episodes

Based on four decades in technology and media, constantly in the eye of innovation, O’Reilly is starting vital conversations about our future. Be ready for keen details on how we got here, a frank assessment of emerging challenges, and a bold call to action for the sake of the generations on the horizon. Tim O’Reilly is founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc. If you’ve heard the term “open source software” or “web 2.0” or “the Maker movement” or “government as a platform” or “the WTF economy,” he’s had a hand in framing each of those big ideas. With these and many other efforts over the years, Tim has helped the tech industry better understand itself and its influence beyond innovation for innovation's sake. His leadership and insight continue to be invaluable as he now highlights the responsibility that goes along with that influence. He spoke in Long Now's Seminars About Long-term Thinking series in 02012.

Mar 4

1 hr 9 min

A special night of short talks about the long history and scientific background behind a most persistent malady. And the drinks that can help keep it at bay. Featuring returning Interval speakers
 James Holland Jones (Stanford), James Nestor (Deep), Kara Platoni (We Have the Technology), The Interval’s Beverage Director: Jennifer Colliau, and more.

Jan 29

1 hr 4 min

Rick Prelinger uncovers the diverse histories of
Bay Area telecommunications infrastructure: telephone, radio, television, data, image and sound. A tour of technologies, dead and flourishing, that overlay, underlay and penetrate us all.

Jan 20

1 hr 1 min

Before us, after us, and without our realizing it: geology, ecology, and biology uniquely record human activity. Geoscientist Miles Traer, co-host of the podcast Generation Anthropocene uncovers the many “natures" of the
 San Francisco Bay Area that exist beneath our feet.

Dec 2020

1 hr 6 min

What place is there for art in the 21st century world of technology, business, and science? Everywhere. Award-winning cross-disciplinary artist and current SETI artist-in-residence Scott Kildall discusses collaborating with scientists, technologists, and others. He'll share his work and explain the vital role for Art Thinking as a tool that offers perspective
 in a dynamic, fast-moving world. Scott Kildall is a cross-disciplinary artist whose work includes writing algorithms that transform datasets into 3D sculptures and installations. His art often invites public participation through direct interaction. He has been an artist in residence with the SETI Institute and Autodesk; and his work has been exhibited internationally at venues including the New York Hall of Science, Transmediale, the Venice Biennale and the San Jose Museum of Art. Besides many other fellowships, residencies, and honors.

Sep 2020

1 hr 4 min

Legendary science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson returns to The Interval to discuss his just released novel New York 2140. Robinson will discuss how starting from the most up to date climate science available to him, he derived a portrait of New York City as "super-Venice" and the resilient civilization that inhabits it in his novel. In 02016 Robinson spoke at The Interval about the economic ideas that inform New York 2140. He will be joined by futurist Peter Schwartz in conversation after his talk. Kim Stanley Robinson is an American novelist, widely recognized as one of the foremost living writers of science fiction. His work has been described as "humanist science fiction" and "literary science fiction." He has published more than 20 novels including his much honored "Mars trilogy", New York 2140 (02017), and Red Moon due out in October 02018. Robinson has a B.A. in Literature from UC San Diego and an M.A. in English from Boston University. He earned a Ph.D. in literature from UCSD with a dissertation on the works of Philip K. Dick.

Jul 2020

1 hr 4 min

Science fiction does more than predict future inventions. Stories are a testbed for exploring the unexpected ways people could incorporate technology into their cultures. Science journalist and novelist Annalee Newitz will discuss how scientists, innovators, and the rest of us benefit from the crucible of imaginative fictions. Annalee is the author of the bestselling novel Autonomous. Her nonfiction book Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize in science. She is the founding editor of io9.com, and formerly the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo. Currently she is editor-at-large for Ars Technica. Her work has appeared in New York Times, The New Yorker, Atlantic, Wired, Washington Post, Technology Review, 2600, and many other publications. Formerly she was a policy analyst at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a lecturer in American Studies at UC Berkeley. She received a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship from MIT, and has a Ph.D. in English and American Studies from UC Berkeley.

Jul 2020

1 hr 12 min

From 01960s political protests to successfully eradicating smallpox, Brilliant recalls his long, strange trips around a changing world. His personal stories include icons of the last century from Steve Jobs to MLK to the Grateful Dead. Recollections of a visionary physician, technologist, and seeker, in conversation with Long Now's Stewart Brand with whom Dr. Brilliant founded The Well online community in 01985.

Jun 2020

1 hr 2 min

Through building and analyzing systems, D. Fox Harrell's research investigates how the computer can be used to express cultural meanings through data-structures and algorithms. In his talk he showed that identities are complicated by their intersection with technologies like social networking, gaming, and virtual worlds. Data-structures and algorithms in video games and social media can perpetuate persistent issues of class, gender, sex, race, and ethnicity. They also create dynamic constructions of social categories, metaphorical thought, body language, and fashion. He showed work from his team at the Imagination, Computation, and Expression Laboratory (ICE Lab) at MIT which provides alternatives that can evolve those industry norms. Dr. Harrell is an associate professor of digital media in the Comparative Media Studies Program and the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT. He holds a PhD in computer science and cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego. In 02010 he was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for his project "Computing for Advanced Identity Representation." He was a 02014-15 fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford, co-sponsors of this talk.

Jun 2020

57 min 59 sec

The future of privacy begins with the current state of surveillance. The 21st century practices of US intelligence agencies push the technological, legal and political limits of lawful surveillance. Jennifer Granick is a civil liberties and privacy law expert with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) who is the perfect guide to how the system works and the technological and political means we have to defend our privacy. Jennifer Granick fights for civil liberties in an age of massive surveillance and powerful digital technology. As surveillance and cybersecurity counsel with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, she litigates, speaks, and writes about privacy, security, technology, and constitutional rights. She is the former Executive Director of Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society and also former Civil Liberties Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Her book American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, and What To Do About It won the 02016 Palmer Civil Liberties Prize for scholarship exploring the tension between civil liberties and national security in contemporary American society. An experienced litigator and criminal defense attorney, she has taught subjects like surveillance law, cybersecurity, and encryption policy at Stanford Law School.

May 2020

1 hr 14 min

Clandestine influence campaigns are rampant on social media. Whether pushing Russian agitprop or lies about vaccines, they can impact policy and make us question what is true. A technologist, Wall Street veteran, and citizen advisor to Congress, DiResta will tell us how bad it is and some things we can do. Renée DiResta studies narrative manipulation as the Director of Research at New Knowledge. She is a Mozilla Foundation fellow on Media, Misinformation and Trust, and is affiliated with the Berkman-Klein Center at Harvard and the Data Science Institute at Columbia University. Renee is a WIRED Ideas contributor, writing about discourse and the internet. In past lives she has been on the founding team of supply chain logistics startup Haven, a venture capitalist at OATV, and a trader at Jane Street.

Apr 2020

1 hr 12 min

Burning Man co-founder Michael Mikel (aka Danger Ranger), who serves as Director of Advanced Social Systems for the Burning Man Project will discuss the thirty-year history of the event. Outlining the five eras of Burning Man, he will 
explain how over time the event and organization
 have evolved and been molded by external and internal forces.

Mar 2020

1 hr 30 min

Is it possible to preserve and read memories after someone has died? Robert McIntyre thinks it is, and that the technology is closer than most people realize. His company Nectome is working on documenting the physical properties of memory formation, and studying ways to preserve those physical properties after death. McIntyre has already won the Brain Preservation Institutes' "Small Mammal" & "Large Mammal" prizes for preserving a full brain down to the synaptic level, and is now taking the next steps in figuring out how to decode those synapses. These are early experiments, but this is the type of work that will be required if we are someday able to preserve a mind and memories past biological death. Robert McIntyre is a former AI researcher at MIT, where he worked with Marvin Minsky, Patrick Winston, and Gerald Sussman studying the role of embodiment in AI. He left MIT in 02015 to compete for the Brain Preservation Prizes, and is currently CEO of Nectome, a company he founded to further develop brain preservation technology.

Mar 2020

1 hr 6 min

The future is a kind of history that hasn’t happened yet. The past is a kind of future that has already happened. The present moment vanishes before it can be described. Language, a human invention, lacks the power to fully adhere to reality. We live in a very short now and here, since the flow of events in spacetime is mostly closed to human comprehension. But we have to say something about the future, since we have to live there. So what can we say? Being “futuristic” is a problem in metaphysics; it’s about getting language to adhere to an unknowable reality. But the futuristic quickly becomes old-fashioned, so how can the news stay news? Bruce Sterling is a futurist, journalist, science-fiction author, and culture critic. He is the author of more than 20 books including ground-breaking science ficiton and non-fiction about hackers, design and the future. He was the editor in 01986 of Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology (1986) which brought the cyberpunk science fiction sub-genre to a much wider audience. He previous spoke for Long Now about "The Singularity: Your Future as a Black Hole" in 02004. His Beyond the Beyond blog on Wired.com is now in its 15th year. His most recent book is Pirate Utopia.

Feb 2020

2 hr 4 min

Fred Lyon is a time traveler with a camera and tales to tell. At 94-years-old, this former LIFE magazine photographer and fourth generation San Franciscan has an eye for the city and stories to match. We showed photos from Fred's books San Francisco, Portrait of a City: 1940-1960 and San Francisco Noir, and images spanning his diverse career. In conversation he'll discuss his art, work, and life; recollections of old friends like Herb Caen and Trader Vic Bergeron; and more. He shared his unique perspective after nearly a century in San Francisco. Fred Lyon's career began in the early 01940's and has spanned news, architecture, advertising, wine and food photography. In the golden years of magazine publishing his picture credits were everywhere from LIFE to VOGUE and beyond. These days find him combing his picture files for galleries, publishers and print collectors. He has been called San Francisco's Brassaï. He's also been compared to Cartier Bresson, Atget and Andre Kertez, but all with a San Francisco twist. That's fine with this lifelong native who happily admits his debt to those icons.

Feb 2020

1 hr 16 min

The ambition to think on the scale of thousands, millions, even billion of years emerged in the 19th century. Historian and author Caroline Winterer chronicles how the concept of “deep time” has inspired and puzzled thinkers in cognitive science, art, geology (and elsewhere) to become one of the most 
influential ideas of the modern era. Caroline Winterer is Anthony P. Meier Family Professor in the Humanities and Director of the Stanford Humanities Center. She is an American historian, with special expertise in American thought and culture. Her most recent book is American Enlightenments: Pursuing Happiness in the Age of Reason. Other books include The Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750-1900, and The Culture of Classicism: Ancient Greece and Rome in American Intellectual Life, 1780-1910. She has received fellowships from among others the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Humanities Center. Her writing appears in numerous publications and academic journals. For mapping the social network of Benjamin Franklin she received an American Ingenuity Award from the Smithsonian Institution.

Feb 2020

1 hr 9 min

As the world is becoming more technologically connected, finding time for oneself and face-to-face connections is becoming increasingly difficult.  Many of our talks at Long Now have aimed to help expand our collective now by centuries or even millennia, but what about our personal present?  Tiffany Shlain's new book 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day A Week discusses one way to slow down and be more engaged: a technological shabbat, or day of rest. She will be explaining some of the neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, and history of this 3000 year old concept, and how it can help promote creativity in our busy world. Honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century,” Tiffany Shlain is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, founder of The Webby Awards and author of 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day A Week. Tiffany’s films and work have received over 80 awards and distinctions including being selected for the Albert Einstein Foundation Genius:100 Visions of the Future. She lectures worldwide on the relationship between technology and humanity.

Jan 2020

1 hr 21 min

Recent data shows damage from climate change rapidly increasing. There are many scientifically proposed methods (from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the U.K. Royal Society, and the American Geophysical Union among others) for directly reducing atmospheric heat. Yet to date there are still no formal research programs or capabilities to further explore these geoengineering ideas. What are the potential risks and benefits? How do we balance this effort vs. emissions reduction and restoring the natural system?
 Kelly Wanser of SilverLining discusses her work advocating, educating and coordinating research on this important effort to combat climate change. Kelly Wanser, as Executive Director of SilverLining, helps drive research that will ensure safe pathways for climate for people and ecosystems within the coming decade. She works to accelerate adoption of technologies that help us understand and manage climate as a complex systems problem. Ms. Wanser works closely with leading scientists, engineers, technologists and government leaders on efforts to increase research and accelerate progress on reducing atmospheric heat. She testified before the U.S. House Space, Science and Technology Committee as part of a panel on "Geoengineering: Innovation, Research, and Technology." She serves as Board Director for BioCarbon Engineering, who use drone and AI technology to help restore ecosystems, and is a Senior Advisor to BlackBirch, whose hyper-local data helps companies manage weather risk.

Jan 2020

1 hr 27 min

Long Now board member Esther Dyson shares her ongoing work to move communities away from short-term thinking and into health. In conversation with previous Interval speaker Kara Platoni, she discusses how short-term desire is addiction, affecting not just individuals but institutions and culture. Dyson’s founded the 10-year Wellville project, now underway in five communities across the US, to tap into people’s natural resilience and build long-term desire: purpose. Esther Dyson is a Long Now Board member, founder of Wellville, and chairman of EDventure Holdings. She is an active angel investor, best-selling author, board member and advisor concentrating on emerging markets and technologies, new space and health. She sits on the boards of 23andMe and is an investor in Crohnology, Eligible API, Keas, Omada Health, Sleepio, and StartUp Health, among others. For 6 months in 02008-02009, Esther lived outside Moscow, Russia, training as a backup cosmonaut. Kara Platoni is a science reporter who has traveled around the world interviewing scientists and biohackers. She is lecturer and assistant dean for students at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. She has spoken twice at The Interval: once about her book We Have the Technology and also as part of our Scurvy Salon event.

Jan 2020

1 hr 16 min

Millennia before engineering or software, robots and
 artificial intelligence were brought to life in Greek myths. The author of Gods and Robots Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology traces the link between technology and tyranny from modern day concerns over AI to back to antiquities fear of beings were "made, not born.” Adrienne Mayor is a folklorist and historian of ancient science who investigates natural knowledge contained in pre-scientific myths and oral traditions. She has been at Stanford University since 02006; Gods and Robots (2018) is her most recent book. Her other books include The First Fossil Hunters: Paleontology in Greek and Roman Times (2000); Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, and Scorpion Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World (2003); The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women (2014); and a biography of Mithradates, The Poison King (2010), a National Book Award finalist. She is a 02018-19 Berggruen Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), co-sponsors of this talk. While at CASBS she is continuing her investigations about how imagination is a link between myths about technology and science. Other projects include researching interdisciplinary topics in geomythology, to discover natural knowledge and scientific realities embedded in mythological traditions about nature.

Dec 2019

1 hr 10 min

Annalee Newitz's new novel, The Future of Another Timeline, is about time travelers in an edit war over history. But it's also about using stories to change the course of civilization. Annalee will discuss the idea of time travel, as well as the extensive scientific and historical research they did for the novel.  Annalee Newitz writes science fiction and nonfiction. They are the author of the recent novel The Future of Another Timeline. Their previous novel, Autonomous, was nominated for the Nebula and Locus Awards, and winner of the Lambda Literary Award. As a science journalist, they are a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and have a monthly column in New Scientist. They have published in The Washington Post, Slate, Popular Science, Ars Technica, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic, among others. They are also the co-host of the Hugo Award-winning podcast Our Opinions Are Correct. They were the founder of io9 and served as the editor-in-chief of Gizmodo.

Dec 2019

1 hr 12 min

If we use AI to write our favorite music for us, will we lose the ability to write music ourselves? If an AI coach keeps divorced parents from arguing by text, can they get along without it? If the only novels and screenplays that get a green light are the ones that AI believes match up with past hits, will we wind up reading and watching the same thing over and over? In this conversation, NBC’s Jacob Ward, will describe the loop: the endless feedback cycle of pattern-recognition that threatens to collapse the complexity of human behavior into a predictable set of patterns across politics, entertainment, relationships, and art itself. Why is the loop so powerful? Why do companies keep empowering it? And what can we, as private citizens, do to resist its pull? Jacob Ward is a Berggruen Fellow at Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), co-sponsor of this talk. Jacob Ward is technology correspondent for NBC News, where he reports on-air for Nightly News with Lester Holt, MSNBC, and The TODAY Show. The former editor-in-chief of Popular Science magazine, Ward was Al Jazeera’s science and technology correspondent from 02013 to 02018, and has hosted investigative documentaries for Discovery, National Geographic, and PBS. As a writer, Ward has contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, and many other publications. His ten-episode Audible podcast, Complicated, discusses humanity’s most difficult problems, and he’s the host of an upcoming four-hour public television series, “Hacking Your Mind,” about human decision making and irrationality. Ward is a 02018-19 Berggruen Fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, where he’s writing The Loop: Decision Technology and How to Resist It, due for publication by Hachette Book Group in 02020. The book explores how artificial intelligence and other decision-shaping technologies will amplify good and bad human instincts.

Dec 2019

1 hr 17 min

From the cultivation of the first crops to the founding of modern states, the human story is the story of environmental forces, from plate tectonics and climate change, to atmospheric circulation and ocean currents. Professor Lewis Dartnell will dive into the planet’s deep past, where history becomes science, to explore a web of connections that underwrites our modern world, and that can help us face the challenges of the future. Lewis Dartnell is a Professor of Science Communication at the University of Westminster. Before that, he completed his biology degree at the University of Oxford and his PhD at UCL, and then worked as the UK Space Agency research fellow at the University of Leicester, studying astrobiology and searching for signs of life on Mars. He has won several awards for his science writing and contributes to the Guardian, The Times, and New Scientist. He is also the author of three books. He lives in London, UK.

Nov 2019

1 hr 12 min

From kings and philosophers to craftsmen and inventors, horology has been prized as an extraordinary marriage between art and science. Antiquarian Horologist Brittany Nicole Cox will share her unique experience with objects born from this lineage. We will trace their origins to discover how these objects serve as critical mirrors in a world of accelerated discovery. Her lifelong passion for horology has seen her through nine years in higher education where she earned her WOSTEP, CW21, and SAWTA watchmaking certifications, two clockmaking certifications, and a Masters in the Conservation of Clocks and Related Dynamic Objects from West Dean College, UK. In 2015 she opened Memoria Technica, an independent workshop where she teaches, practices guilloché, and specializes in the conservation of automata, mechanical magic, mechanical music, and complicated clocks and watches. Her original work has been exhibited at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and she is currently working on a series of bestiary automata inspired by illuminated texts and a manuscript to be published by Penguin Press.

Nov 2019

1 hr 13 min

Big Data promises unparalleled insights, but the larger the data, the harder they are to find. The key to unlocking them was discovered by mathematicians in the 18th century. A modern mathematician explains how to find patterns in data with new algorithms for old math. Gurjeet Singh is Chief AI Officer and co-founder of Symphony AyasdiAI. He leads a technology movement that emphasizes the importance of extracting insight from data, not just storing and organizing it. Beginning with his tenure as a graduate student in Stanford’s Mathematics Department he has developed key mathematical and machine learning algorithms for Topological Data Analysis (TDA) and their applications. Before starting Ayasdi, he worked at Google and Texas Instruments. Dr. Singh holds a Technology degree from Delhi University and a Computational Mathematics Ph.D. from Stanford. He serves on the Technology Advisory Board at HSBC and on the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Technology Advisory Committee. He was named to Silicon Valley Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list in 02015. Gurjeet lives in Palo Alto with his wife and two children and develops multi-legged robots in his spare time.

Oct 2019

1 hr 14 min

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 the enormous costs. Nicola Twilley is writing the first comprehensive look at the global cold chain, due out in 02019. Nicola Twilley is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker magazine and a co-host of the podcast "Gastropod." She is at work on two books: one about refrigeration and the other on quarantine. She blogs at EdibleGeography.com.

Aug 2019

1 hr 11 min

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, man and machine, angels and demons, gods and followers, the finite and the eternal. In this exhilarating epic, Neal Stephenson raises profound existential questions and touches on the revolutionary breakthroughs that are transforming our future. Combining the technological, philosophical, and spiritual in one grand myth, he delivers a mind-blowing speculative literary saga for the modern age. Neal Stephenson is the bestselling author of the novels Reamde, Anathem, The System of the World, The Confusion, Quicksilver, Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac, and the groundbreaking nonfiction work "In the Beginning...Was the Command Line." He lives in Seattle, Washington.

Aug 2019

1 hr 4 min

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 been described as "humanist science fiction" and "literary science fiction." He has published more than 20 novels including his much honored "Mars trilogy", New York 2140 (02017), and Red Moon due out in October 02018. Robinson has a B.A. in Literature from UC San Diego and an M.A. in English from Boston University. He earned a Ph.D. in literature from UCSD with a dissertation on the works of Philip K. Dick. Ursula K Le Guin was one of the greatest imaginative writers of all time. Her science fiction and fantasy stories (as well as children's books, poetry, essays, and many other genres & forms) have sold millions of copies, earned dozens of awards, and stayed constantly in print. Her honors include six Nebula awards, seven Hugos, and the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 02003 she became the 20th writer ever to receive the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America's Grand Master award. She passed away in January 02018. Le Guin's book of essays No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters won a 02018 Hugo award and the 02017 collected edition of her Hainish Novels and Stories recently won a Locus award. A documentary entitled Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin will debut in 02018.

Jul 2019

1 hr 34 min

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. Hyperledger is an open source collaborative effort created to advance cross-industry blockchain technologies. Previously he was the primary developer of the Apache Web server, the most popular web server software on the Internet, and a founding member of the Apache Software Foundation. He was the founding CTO of CollabNet and CTO of the World Economic Forum. Most recently, Behlendorf was a managing director at Mithril Capital Management LLC, a global technology investment firm. He is a long-serving board member of the Mozilla Foundation and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Jun 2019

1 hr 11 min

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 founding contributors to the field of the social study of Science and Technology, as well as to studies of gender, work and organizations. Her latest books, Pressed for Time and The Sociology of Speed, argue for a sociomaterial approach to the study of time. She was a 02017-18 fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford, co-sponsors of this talk.

May 2019

1 hr 8 min

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 is actually quite limited. Dr Lonsdorf uses new technology and tools to better understand chimpanzee and gorilla development, and in the process learn more about us. Elizabeth V. Lonsdorf is an Associate Professor of Psychology and the Biological Foundations of Behavior Program at Franklin & Marshall College. She began studying primates as an undergraduate at Duke University where she conducted research on percussive foraging in the endangered aye-aye. She completed her Ph.D. at the Jane Goodall Institute's Center for Primate Studies at the University of Minnesota, and was founding director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. She directs Franklin & Marshall’s primate research laboratory, is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and serves on the board of directors for Chimp Haven and the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary. She returns annually to Gombe to maintain a research program focused on chimpanzee health and infant development in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute and other collaborators. She is a 02018-19 fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University.

May 2019

1 hr 4 min

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 in politics and public policy and an MPA in development studies from Princeton and a BA in economics from Stanford University. Previously she was Special Assistant to Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz at the World Bank, at UNICEF, in the United States Senate, and at the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee. A dual citizen of Germany and the United States, she has lived and worked in Bangladesh, Germany, France, India, Kenya, Pakistan, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and the United States. Dr. Tudor has held fellowships at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Oxford’s Centre for the Study of Inequality and Democracy. She is a 02018-19 fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford, co-sponsors of this talk.

May 2019

1 hr 6 min

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 Brand, Kevin Kelly, and Alexander Rose will be joined by filmmakers David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg to discuss the trip and the things they learned along the way.

Apr 2019

1 hr 22 min

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 research suggests we can motivate long-lasting behavior change by aligning around values. He'll explain how it works. Christopher Bryan studies persuasion and influence with an emphasis on how subtle differences in framing can shape people’s understanding of a behavior or decision and influence their behavior choices. Behavior choices play a critical role in society’s most daunting policy challenges—climate change, global hunger, and obesity, to name some—and have received increasing attention in academic and policy circles. He is a 02018-19 fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University who are co-producers of this talk.

Apr 2019

1 hr 11 min

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 machines and immortality? He'll sign after the talk, and Borderlands Books will be on hand selling all of his books and he will sign after the talk. Hannu Rajaniemi was born in Finland, obtained his PhD in string theory at the University of Edinburgh and now works as a co-founder and CTO of HelixNano, a synthetic biology startup based in the Bay Area. He is the author of four novels including The Quantum Thief trilogy and Summerland.

Apr 2019

1 hr 5 min

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 of Earth System Science and a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. His research combines human ecology, infectious disease dynamics, social network analysis, and biodemography. Some current research interests include: Climate Change, Mobility, and Infectious Disease; The Evolution of Human Economic Preferences; The Evolution of Human Life Histories; Network-Informed Control of Ebola Virus Disease. He previously spoke at The Interval in 02017 about Evolutionary Perspective On Behavioral Economics following his fellowship year at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS).

Apr 2019

1 hr 17 min

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 asteroid impacts, and to understanding the origin and evolution of Earth. Join Dr. Ed Lu, former NASA astronaut, co-founder of B612 Foundation and the current Executive Director of the Asteroid Institute as he makes the case for the need to chart the high frontier of space and learn how you can help. Dr. Ed Lu, Executive Director of the Asteroid Institute, served as a NASA Astronaut for twelve years. He flew aboard the Space Shuttle twice, flew on the Russian Soyuz to the International Space Station and has logged over 206 days in space. Dr. Lu has been an active research scientist working in the fields of solar physics, astrophysics, plasma physics, cosmology, and planetary science. He held positions at the High Altitude Observatory, the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, and the Institute for Astronomy. At Google, he led the Advanced Projects group which built imaging and data gathering systems for Google Earth and Maps, Google StreetView, and Google Books. He is a co-founder of B612 Foundation, the only organization in the world dedicated to finding, mapping and deflecting asteroids.

Mar 2019

1 hr 5 min

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 decisions about resource use, especially use of energy and water. She is an Associate Professor at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. She holds a joint PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering & Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon, as well as a BS in Engineering Physics from the University of Illinois. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Earth Institute and the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) at Columbia University. Dr Attari is a 02017-18 Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University (co-producers of this talk) and a 02018 Andrew Carnegie Fellow.

Aug 2018

1 hr 7 min

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 Emerita of International Studies in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. She became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 2002, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2015.

Apr 2018

1 hr 9 min

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.

Mar 2018

1 hr 10 min

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.

Feb 2018

56 min 19 sec

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.

Jan 2018

1 hr 1 min

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 voting rights, political parties, campaign finance and redistricting. A sought-after nonpartisan voice in voting rights, he has served as a court-appointed expert to draw legislative districting plans for Georgia, Maryland and New York and as special master for the redistricting of Connecticut’s congressional districts. His other principal area of scholarly interest concerns American public opinion toward various constitutional controversies. Persily designed the Constitutional Attitudes Survey, a national public opinion poll executed in both 02009 and 02010. The survey includes an array of questions concerning attitudes toward the Supreme Court, constitutional interpretation and specific constitutional controversies. He also served on the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, a bipartisan commission created by President Obama to deal with the long lines at the polling place and other administrative problems witnessed in the 02012 election.

Dec 2017

1 hr 6 min

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.

Dec 2017

1 hr

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. And that's where things get really weird. From February 02015.

Nov 2017

1 hr

Millions are migrating under duress. Refugee camps the size of cities have persisted for decades. Real dangers and sensationalized fear drive short term news cycles. In a special panel discussion hosted by Long Now academics and on the ground non-profits discuss global migration, the refugee reality, and ideas for the future. From February 02016.

Oct 2017

1 hr 18 min

A conceptual artist and experimental philosopher, Jonathon Keats' work has included personalizing the metric system, copyrighting his own mind, applying general relativity to time management, and attempting to genetically engineer God. Recently he opened the shutter on his first millennium-long photograph. Co-sponsored by The ZERO1 Art & Technology Network. From April 02015.

Sep 2017

57 min 9 sec

Humanity’s adaptation to climate change will require novel, global cooperation and societal evolution. The award-winning science fiction author of 2312, the Mars Trilogy, and Aurora shares his vision for how the world must change in advance of his 02017 novel New York 2140. Hosted by Stewart Brand. From May 02016. Kim Stanley Robinson is an American novelist, widely recognized as one of the foremost living writers of science fiction. His work has been described as "humanist science fiction" and "literary science fiction." He has published more than 20 novels including his much honored "Mars trilogy", New York 2140 (02017), and Red Moon due out in October 02018. Robinson has a B.A. in Literature from UC San Diego and an M.A. in English from Boston University. He earned a Ph.D. in literature from UCSD with a dissertation on the works of Philip K. Dick.

Aug 2017

1 hr 2 min

Kara Platoni went around the world to document the ways we humans are trying to expand our experience of the world beyond our basic senses. She found scientists, doctors, inventors, and cooks who are actively exploring the frontiers of perception. She gave us a taste of the science and shared amazing stories of biohackers, foodies, virtual reality researchers, and other sensory pioneers. Kara Platoni is a science reporter who works the Nancy Drew beat, going anywhere there is a possibility of a weird adventure involving pirates, old clocks or (ideally) ghosts. For her book, We Have the Technology, she sofa-surfed through four countries and eight US states, visiting any lab, military base or biohacker basement that would let her get in on an experiment on the cutting edge of sensory science. She teaches narrative writing and is an assistant dean at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism.

Jul 2017

58 min 17 sec

The co-founder of Because We Can, the architecture/design firm that designed The Interval at Long Now, discusses the future of building: automation, communication, and whether "robots" will change everything. An informed and realistic overview of how architects and builders use automation today and how they may use it tomorrow. From February 02015.

Jun 2017

57 min 8 sec