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February 14 2014

22:33

January 13 2014

20:42

Vernor Vinge: What If the Singularity Does NOT Happen? - The Long Now

Non-Singularity scenarios Vinge began by declaring that he still believes that a Singularity event in the next few decades is the most likely outcome— meaning that self-accelerating technologies will speed up to the point of so profound a transformation that the other side of it is unknowable. And this transformation will be driven by Artificial Intelligences (AIs) that, once they become self-educating and self-empowering, soar beyond human capacity with shocking suddenness. He added that he is not convinced by the fears of some that the AIs would exterminate humanity. He thinks they would be wise enough to keep us around as a fallback and backup— intelligences that can actually function without massive connectivity! (Later in the Q&A I asked him about the dangerous period when AI’s are smart enough to exterminate us but not yet wise enough to keep us around. How long would that period be? “About four hours,” said Vinge .) Since a Singularity makes long-term thinking impractical, Vinge was faced with the problem of how to say anything useful in a Seminar About Long-term Thinking, so he came up with a plausible set of scenarios that would be Singularity-free. He noted that they all require that we achieve no faster-than-light space travel. The overall non-Singularity condition he called “The Age of Failed Dreams.” The main driver is that software simply continues failing to keep pace with hardware improvements. One after another, enormous billion-dollar software projects simply do not run, as has already happened at the FBI, air traffic control, IRS, and many others. Some large automation projects fail catastrophically, with planes running into each. So hardware development eventually lags, and materials research lags, and no strong AI develops. To differentiate visually his three sub-scenarios, Vinge showed a graph ranging over the last 50,000 and next 50,000 years, with power (in maximum discrete sources) plotted against human populaton, on a log-log scale. Thus the curve begins at the lower left with human power of 0.3 kilowatts and under a hundred thousand population, curves up through steam engines with one megawatt of power and a billion population, up further to present plants generating 13 gigawatts. His first scenario was a bleak one called “A Return to MADness.” Driven by increasing environmental stress (that a Singularity might have cured), nations return to nuclear confrontation and policies of “Mutually Assured Destruction.” One “bad afternoon,” it all plays out, humanity blasts itself back to the Stone Age and then gradually dwindles to extinction. His next scenario was a best-case alternative named “The Golden Age,” where population stabilizes around 3 billion, and there is a peaceful ascent into “the long, good time.” Humanity catches on that the magic ingredient is education, and engages the full plasticity of the human psyche, empowered by hope, information, and communication. A widespread enlightened populism predominates, with the kind of tolerance and wise self-interest we see embodied already in Wikipedia. One policy imperative of this scenario would be a demand for research on “prolongevity”— “Young old people are good for the future of humanity.” Far from deadening progress, long-lived youthful old people would have a personal stake in the future reaching out for centuries, and would have personal perspective reaching back for centuries. The final scenario, which Vinge thought the most probable, he called “The Wheel of Time.” Catastrophes and recoveries of various amplitudes follow one another. Enduring heroes would be archaeologists and “software dumpster divers” who could recover lost tools and techniques. What should we do about the vulnerabilities in these non-Singularity scenarios? Vinge ’s main concern is that we are running only one, perilously narrow experiment on Earth. “The best hope for long-term survival is self-sufficient off-Earth settlements.” We need a real space program focussed on bringing down the cost of getting mass into space, instead of “the gold-plated sham” of present-day NASA. There is a common critique that there is no suitable place for humans elsewhere in the Solar System, and the stars are too far. “In the long now,” Vinge observed, “the stars are not too far.” (Note: Vinge’s detailed notes for this talk, and the graphs, may be found online at: http://rohan.sdsu.edu/faculty/vinge /longnow/index.htm ) --Stewart Brand http://longnow.org/seminars/02007/feb/15/what-if-the-singularity-does-not-happen/

December 31 2013

14:23

10,000 Year Clock Challenges Approach To Time : NPR

In this final interview in our series of conversations about the future, Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep talks to Danny Hillis, a scientist and engineer and the inventor of a clock designed to last 10,000 years. The clock is meant to encourage people to think about the long-range future; the "long now" as Hillis calls it. http://www.npr.org/2013/12/31/258548386/10-000-year-old-clock-challenges-approach-to-time

December 18 2013

19:40

Peter Schwartz: The Art Of The Really Long View - The Long Now

The art of the really long view For such a weighty subject there was a lot of guffawing going on in the Seminar Thursday night. The topic was "The Art of the Really Long View." Peter Schwartz chatted through his slides for tonight's lecture, then the discussion waded in. Present were Danny Hillis, Leighton Read, Angie Thieriot, Ryan Phelan, David Rumsey, Eric Greenberg, Kevin Kelly, Anders Hove, Schwartz, and me. The event was very well audio and video taped, so we can link you to a fuller version later. For now, here's a few of my notes. Much of discussion circled around Schwartz's assertion that the most durable and influential of human artifacts are IDEAS. And a distinction worth drawing is between POWERFUL ideas and GOOD ideas. Not all powerful ideas turn out to be good, in the long run. For example, Schwartz proposed that monotheism has been an extremely powerful idea, dominating all kinds of human activity for millennia, but its overall goodness is increasingly questionable. Or take the powerful idea of Communism and the powerful idea of Capitalism. Looking at them when both were being touted as world solutions around, say, 1890, how would you distinguish which one was likelier to play out as good? Most of us, then, would probably have given the nod to Communism, particularly in light of robber-baron excesses in the US, etc. Danny Hillis proposed that bad powerful ideas are essentially collective hallucinations which mask reality, whereas good powerful ideas have built into them all kinds of reality checks. So Capitalism---expressed as markets---has prevailed so far because it is an emergent, distributed, out-of-control feedback system. Some notable quotes (among many): "The future is the ONLY thing we can do anything about." --Hillis "Denial is a special case of optimism." --Leighton Read. Revisiting Long Now's frequent chant that multiplying options is the great good to do for future generations, we examined the idea of "toxic choice"---for instance the stupefying multiplicity of choices in a supermarket or department store that make you long for a good boutique. "But lots of boutiques," said Ryan Phelan. "I've got it! " said Read, "We'll have two big toxic choice emporiums, connected by a bunch of boutiques! I think we've just invented the mall." Contemplating work to be done, Schwartz said: "We know it would be a good idea to have the rule of law extended to include ecological systems, but we haven't figured out how to make that a powerful idea yet." --Stewart Brand http://longnow.org/seminars/02003/dec/12/the-art-of-the-really-long-view/
10:24

Peter Schwartz: The Art Of The Really Long View - The Long Now

The art of the really long view For such a weighty subject there was a lot of guffawing going on in the Seminar Thursday night. The topic was "The Art of the Really Long View." Peter Schwartz chatted through his slides for tonight's lecture, then the discussion waded in. Present were Danny Hillis, Leighton Read, Angie Thieriot, Ryan Phelan, David Rumsey, Eric Greenberg, Kevin Kelly, Anders Hove, Schwartz, and me. The event was very well audio and video taped, so we can link you to a fuller version later. For now, here's a few of my notes. Much of discussion circled around Schwartz's assertion that the most durable and influential of human artifacts are IDEAS. And a distinction worth drawing is between POWERFUL ideas and GOOD ideas. Not all powerful ideas turn out to be good, in the long run. For example, Schwartz proposed that monotheism has been an extremely powerful idea, dominating all kinds of human activity for millennia, but its overall goodness is increasingly questionable. Or take the powerful idea of Communism and the powerful idea of Capitalism. Looking at them when both were being touted as world solutions around, say, 1890, how would you distinguish which one was likelier to play out as good? Most of us, then, would probably have given the nod to Communism, particularly in light of robber-baron excesses in the US, etc. Danny Hillis proposed that bad powerful ideas are essentially collective hallucinations which mask reality, whereas good powerful ideas have built into them all kinds of reality checks. So Capitalism---expressed as markets---has prevailed so far because it is an emergent, distributed, out-of-control feedback system. Some notable quotes (among many): "The future is the ONLY thing we can do anything about." --Hillis "Denial is a special case of optimism." --Leighton Read. Revisiting Long Now's frequent chant that multiplying options is the great good to do for future generations, we examined the idea of "toxic choice"---for instance the stupefying multiplicity of choices in a supermarket or department store that make you long for a good boutique. "But lots of boutiques," said Ryan Phelan. "I've got it! " said Read, "We'll have two big toxic choice emporiums, connected by a bunch of boutiques! I think we've just invented the mall." Contemplating work to be done, Schwartz said: "We know it would be a good idea to have the rule of law extended to include ecological systems, but we haven't figured out how to make that a powerful idea yet." --Stewart Brand http://longnow.org/seminars/02003/dec/12/the-art-of-the-really-long-view/

December 17 2013

00:32

Richard Kurin: American History in 101 Objects - The Long Now

American objects Figuratively holding up one museum item after another, Kurin spun tales from them. (The Smithsonian has 137 million objects; he displayed just thirty or so.) The Burgess Shale shows fossilized soft-tissue creatures ("very early North Americans") from 500 million years ago. The Smithsonian’s Giant Magellan Telescope being built in Chile will, when it is completed in 2020, look farther into the universe, and thus farther into the past than any previous telescope---12.8 billion years. Kurin showed two versions of a portrait of Pocahontas, one later than the other. "You’re always interrogating the objects," he noted. In the early image Pocahontas looks dark and Indian; in the later one she looks white and English. George Washington’s uniform is elegant and impressive. He designed it himself to give exactly that impression, so the British would know they were fighting equals. Benjamin Franklin’s walking stick was given to him by the French, who adored his fur cap because it seemed to embody how Americans lived close to nature. The gold top of the stick depicted his fur cap as a "cap of liberty." Kurin observed, "There you have the spirit of America coded in an object." In 1831 the first locomotive in America, the "John Bull," was assembled from parts sent from England and took up service from New York to Philadelphia at 15 miles per hour. In 1981, the Smithsonian fired up the John Bull and ran it again along old Georgetown rails. It is viewed by 5 million visitors a year at the American History Museum on the Mall. The Morse-Vail Telegraph from 1844 originally printed the Morse code messages on paper, but that was abandoned when operators realized they could decode the dots and dashes by ear. In the 1840s Secretary of the Smithsonian Joseph Henry collected weather data by telegraph from 600 "citizen scientists" to create: 1) the first weather maps, 2) the first storm warning system, 3) the first use of crowd-sourcing. The National Weather Service resulted. Abraham Lincoln was 6 foot 4 inches. His stylish top hat made him a target on battlefields. It had a black band as a permanent sign of mourning for his son Willie, dead at 11. He wore the hat to Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865. When you hold the hat, Kurin said, "you feel the man." In 1886 the Smithsonian’s taxidermist William Temple Hornaday brought one of the few remaining American bison back from Montana to a lawn by the Mall and began a breeding program that eventually grew into The National Zoo. His book, The Extermination of the American Bison, is "considered today the first important book of the American conservation movement." Dorothy’s magic slippers in The Wizard of Oz are silver in the book but were ruby in the movie (and at the museum) to show off the brand-new Technicolor. The Smithsonian chronicles the advance of technology and also employs it. The next Smithsonian building to open in Washington, near the White House, will feature digital-projection walls, so that every few minutes it is a museum of something else. --Stewart Brand http://longnow.org/seminars/02013/nov/18/american-history-101-objects/

October 31 2013

16:41

Peter Schwartz: The Starships ARE Coming - The Long Now

We now know, Schwartz began, that nearly all of the billions of stars in our galaxy have planets. If we can master interstellar travel, "there’s someplace to go." Our own solar system is pretty boring---one planet is habitable, the rest are "like Antarctica without ice" or worse. So this last year a number of researchers and visionaries have begun formal investigation into the practicalities of getting beyond our own solar system. It is an extremely hard problem, for two primary reasons---the enormous energy required to drive far and fast, and the vast amount of time it takes to get anywhere even at high speed. The energy required can be thought of in three ways. 1) Impossible---what most scientists think. 2) Slow. 3) Faster than light (FTL). Chemical rockets won’t do at all. Nuclear fission rockets may suffice for visiting local planets, but it would take at least fusion to get to the planets of other stars. Schwartz showed Adam Crowl’s scheme for a Bussard Ramjet using interstellar ions for a fusion drive. James Benford (co-author of the book on all this, Starship Century) makes the case for sail ships powered by lasers based in our Solar System. As for faster-than-light, that requires "reinventing physics." Physics does keep doing that (as with the recent discovery of "dark energy"). NASA has one researcher, Harold White, investigating the potential of microscopic wormholes for superluminal travel. Standard-physics travel will require extremely long voyages, much longer than a human lifetime. Schwartz suggested four options. 1) Generational ships---whole mini-societies commit to voyages that only their descendents will complete. 2) Sleep ships---like in the movie "Avatar," travelers go into hibernation. 3) Relativistic ships---at near the speed of light, time compresses, so that travelers may experience only 10 years while 100 years pass back on Earth. 4) Download ships---"Suppose we learn how to copy human consciousness into some machine-like device. Such ‘iPersons’ would be able to control an avatar that could function in environments inhospitable to biological humans. They would not be limited to Earthlike planets." Freeman Dyson has added an important idea, that interstellar space may be full of objects---comets and planets and other things unattached to stars. They could be used for fuel, water, even food. "Some of the objects may be alive." Dyson notes that, thanks to island-hopping, Polynesians explored the Pacific long before Europeans crossed the Atlantic. We might get to the stars by steps. Futurist Schwartz laid out four scenarios of the potential for star travel in the next 300 years, building on three population scenarios. By 2300 there could be 36 billion people, if religious faith drives large families. Or, vast wealth might make small families and long life so much the norm that there are only 2.3 billion people on Earth. One harsh scenario has 9 billion people using up the Earth. Thus his four starship scenarios... 1) "Stuck in the Mud"---we can’t or won’t muster the ability to travel far. 2) "God’s Galaxy"---the faithful deploy their discipline to mount interstellar missions to carry the Word to the stars; they could handle generational ships. 3) "Escape from a Dying Planet"---to get lots of people to new worlds and new hope would probably require sleep ships. 4) "Trillionaires in Space"---the future likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Richard Branson will have the means and desire to push the envelope all the way, employing relativistic and download ships or even faster-than-light travel. Schwartz concluded that there are apparently many paths that can get us to the stars. In other words, "Galactic civilization is almost inevitable." http://longnow.org/seminars/02013/sep/17/starships-are-coming/

June 22 2013

23:01

Ed Lu: Anthropocene Astronomy: Thwarting Dangerous Asteroids Begins with Finding Them - The Long Now

This talk was given at Marines' Memorial Theater in San Francisco, California on Tuesday June 18, 02013. Are humans smarter than dinosaurs? We haven’t proved it yet. In the long now, the greatest threat to life on Earth, or (more frequently) to civilization, or (still more frequently) to cities, is asteroid impact. The technology exists to eliminate the threat permanently. It is relatively easy and relatively cheap to do. However to date, government organizations have not made this a priority. That leaves nonprofits and private funding. Considerable efficiency may be gained by going that route. Ed Lu is CEO and Chairman of the B612 Foundation, which, in partnership with Ball Aerospace is building an asteroid-detection system called Sentinel, aiming for launch in 2018. A three time NASA astronaut, Lu is also the co-inventor of the “gravity tractor” -- one of the several techniques that can be used to nudge threatening asteroids out their collision paths with Earth. Asteroid threat is an attention-span problem blended with a delayed-gratification problem---exactly the kind of thing that Long Now was set up to help with. Taking the extreme danger of asteroids seriously requires thinking at century and millennium scale. Dealing with the threat requires programs that span decades, because asteroids can only be deflected if they are found and dealt with many years before their potential impact. The reality is that the predictability of orbital mechanics makes cosmic planetary defense completely workable. Sometimes real science is more amazing than science fiction. On February 15th of this year, civilization got a wake-up call. A 45 meter asteroid, large enough to completely obliterate a major city, missed Earth by only 17,000 miles, and hours later a smaller rock, 17 meters in diameter, exploded in the air over Chelyabinsk, Russia, injuring 1500 people. Interest in B612’s asteroid detection mission spiked accordingly. http://longnow.org/seminars/02013/jun/18/anthropocene-astronomy-thwarting-dangerous-asteroids-begins-finding-them/

August 22 2012

17:14

SALT - Danny Hillis - Progress on the 10,000-year Clock

Danny Hillis10 September 2004 21:00 Danny Hillis - Progress on the 10,000-year Clock

August 03 2012

23:01

Cory Doctorow: The Coming Century of War Against Your Computer - The Long Now

Who governs digital trust? Doctorow framed the question this way: "Computers are everywhere. They are now something we put our whole bodies into---airplanes, cars---and something we put into our bodies---pacemakers, cochlear implants. They HAVE to be trustworthy." Sometimes humans are not so trustworthy, and programs may override you: "I can’t let you do that, Dave." (Reference to the self-protective insane computer Hal in Kubrick’s film "2001." That time the human was more trustworthy than the computer.) Who decides who can override whom? The core issues for Doctorow come down to Human Rights versus Property Rights, Lockdown versus Certainty, and Owners versus mere Users. Apple computers such as the iPhone are locked down---it lets you run only what Apple trusts. Android phones let you run only what you trust. Doctorow has changed his mind in favor of a foundational computer device called the "Trusted Platform Module" (TPM) which provides secure crypto, remote attestation, and sealed storage. He sees it as a crucial "nub of secure certainty" in your machine. If it’s your machine, you rule it. It‘s a Human Right: your computer should not be overridable. And a Property Right: "you own what you buy, even if it what you do with it pisses off the vendor." That’s clear when the Owner and the User are the same person. What about when they’re not? There are systems where we really want the authorities to rule---airplanes, nuclear reactors, probably self-driving cars ("as a species we are terrible drivers.") The firmware in those machines should be inviolable by users and outside attackers. But the power of Owners over Users can be deeply troubling, such as in matters of surveillance. There are powers that want full data on what Users are up to---governments, companies, schools, parents. Behind your company computer is the IT department and the people they report to. They want to know all about your email and your web activities, and there is reason for that. But we need to contemplate the "total and terrifying power of Owners over Users." Recognizing that we are necessarily transitory Users of many systems, such as everything involving Cloud computing or storage, Doctorow favors keeping your own box with its own processors and storage. He strongly favors the democratization and wide distribution of expertise. As a Fellow of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (who co-sponsored the talk) he supports public defense of freedom in every sort of digital rights issue. "The potential for abuse in the computer world is large," Doctorow concluded. "It will keep getting larger." http://longnow.org/seminars/02012/jul/31/coming-century-war-against-your-computer/

June 20 2011

16:23

Endangered languages, lost knowledge and the future

Daniel Everett discusses the Pirahã and their language. The language has no words for numbers, no words for right and left and lacks any examples of recursion. This last trait forces us to rethink everything we thought we knew about language. The discussion of the Pirahã language itself is excellent, but Everett's discussion of why endangered languages need to be preserved is absolutely fascinating. His recommendations for preserving endangered languages include preserving natives speaker's land and their heath. He also recommends studying and documenting these languages over a long period of time, as he has done with the Pirahã language. From http://www.longnow.org/projects/seminars/ More information on this seminar is available at http://blog.longnow.org/2009/03/23/daniel-everett-endangered-languages-lost-knowledge-and-the-future/

April 24 2011

23:19

Matt Ridley: Deep Optimism

Everything's going to Hell in a handbasket! Or is it? Not according to Matt Ridley. Ridley takes a long-term view of humanity's past to project a deeply optimistic view of our future. This program was recorded in collaboration with the Long Now Foundation, on March 22, 2011. This program contains visual aids. A complete video version is available at: http://fora.tv/2011/03/22/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. Matt Ridley's books have sold over 800,000 copies, been translated into 27 languages and been short-listed for six literary prizes. In 2004 he won the National Academies Book Award from the US National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine for Nature via Nurture. He is married to the neuroscientist Professor Anya Hurlbert. They have two children and live at Blagdon near Newcastle upon Tyne.

March 22 2011

00:36

The Rosetta Project and The Language Commons

by Laura Welcher Languages are works of art, great libraries, how-to guides for living on planet Earth, windows into our minds and inalienable human rights. Long Now's own Dr. Laura Welcher, Director of Operations and The Rosetta Project, spoke on March 3rd to a group of Long Now Members about the beauty, variety and value in the almost 7,000 languages spoken in the world. The event was part of our new Salon Series: occasional, intimate talks held in The Long Now Museum & Store for Members of the Foundation. Laura's talk was called The Rosetta Project and The Language Commons and in it she discussed several efforts to preserve linguistic diversity around the world. The Long Now Foundation's role thus far, she explained, has been to develop and manufacture The Rosetta Disk: a durable, nickel archive of linguistic data. Laura also discussed her work with The Language Commons Working Group - a collaboration of linguists, archivists and programmers working to create an open and accessible encyclopedia of languages and linguistic diversity as a tool for teaching, studying, preserving and sharing languages.

February 17 2011

10:21

Lera Boroditsky: How Language Shapes Thought — The Long Now

Languages are Parallel Universes "To have a second language is to have a second soul," said Charlemagne around 800 AD. "Each language has its own cognitive toolkit," said psychologist/linguist Lera Boroditsky in 2010 AD. Different languages handle verbs, distinctions, gender, time, space, metaphor, and agency differently, and those differences, her research shows, make people think and act differently. http://longnow.org/seminars/02010/oct/26/how-language-shapes-thought/

February 10 2011

01:10

Jill Tarter , Robin Sloan “Long Conversation 5 of 19”

This is one conversation out of the 19 that took place as part of the Long Conversation. Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. http://longnow.org/seminars/02010/oct/16/long-conversation-5-19/
01:08

Stewart Brand , Jane McGonigal “Long Conversation 19 of 19”

This is one conversation out of the 19 that took place as part of the Long Conversation. Long Conversation, an epic relay of one-to-one conversations among some of the Bay Area's most interesting minds, took place over 6 hours in San Francisco on Saturday October 16, 02010. http://longnow.org/seminars/02010/oct/16/long-conversation-19-19/

December 30 2010

14:18

Long Now: The World's Oldest Living Organisms

Creative photographer Sussman showed beautiful slides of very elderly organisms. The captions were as crucial as the images---naming the species, the place, and the approximate age. You can see many of them here: http://rachelsussman.com/portfolios/OLTW/main.html The series began with the only animal---an eighteen-foot brain coral in the waters of Tobago, thought to be 2,000 years old. An enormous baobob in South Africa might be 2,000 years old. Then there is the astounding welwitschia mirabilis of the Namibian desert, a conifer that feeds on mist, with the longest leaves in the plant kingdom. http://www.longnow.org/seminars/02010/nov/15/worlds-oldest-living-organisms/

September 25 2010

22:38

Martin Rees: Life's Future in the Cosmos

Cosmologist Martin Rees posits the question: What if human success on Earth determines life's success in the universe? This program was recorded in collaboration with the Long Now Foundation, on August 2, 2010. This program features visual aids. A complete video version is available at: http://fora.tv/2010/08/02/Martin_Rees_Lifes_Future_in_the_Cosmos President of the Royal Society, England's Astronomer Royal, Lord Martin Rees brings a lifetime of cosmological inquiry to a crucial question: What if human success on Earth determines life's success in the universe? He thinks that civilization's chances of getting out of this century intact are about 50-50. He is hopeful that extraterrestrial life already exists, but there's no sign of it yet. But even if we are now alone, he notes that we may not even be the halfway stage of evolution. There is huge scope for post-human evolution, so that "it will not be humans who watch the sun's demise, 6 billion years from now. Any creatures that then exist will be as different from us as we are from bacteria or amoebae." Appropriately, Rees's Long Now talk was at the Chabot Space and Science Center in the hills above Oakland, in the planetarium. Martin Rees is Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics and Master of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge. He holds the honorary title of Astronomer Royal and also Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and at Leicester University. After studying at the University of Cambridge, he held post-doctoral positions in the UK and the USA, before becoming a professor at Sussex University. In 1973, he became a fellow of King's College and Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge (continuing in the latter post until 1991) and served for ten years as director of Cambridge's Institute of Astronomy. From 1992 to 2003 he was a Royal Society Research Professor. Stewart Brand is a co-founder and managing director of Global Business Network, founded and runs the GBN Book Club, and is the president of The Long Now Foundation.

August 21 2010

23:17

Jesse Schell: Visions of the Gamepocalypse

Game designer Jesse Schell discusses the potential benefits and pitfalls of an increasingly video game-oriented world. This program was recorded in collaboration with the Long Now Foundation, on July 27, 2010. Games perpetually revolutionize computer use toward denser interaction with the human mind. To do that, they perpetually revolutionize themselves. Understanding the next frontiers of the genre is one way to understand where society is going. In this talk Jesse Schell explores the social, cognitive, and technological trends in computer game design and use. Prior to starting Schell Games in 2004, Jesse was the Creative Director of the Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio, where he worked and played for seven years as designer, programmer and manager on several projects for Disney theme parks and DisneyQuest, as well as on Toontown Online, the first massively multiplayer game for kids. Before that, he worked as writer, director, performer, juggler, comedian, and circus artist for both Freihofer's Mime Circus and the Juggler's Guild. Jesse is also on the faculty of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University where he teaches classes in Game Design and serves as advisor on several innovative projects. Formerly the Chairman of the International Game Developers Association, he is also the author of the award winning book The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses. In 2004, he was named one of the world's Top 100 Young Innovators by Technology Review, MIT's magazine of innovation. His primary responsibility at Schell Games is to make sure everyone is having fun and creating beautiful things.

August 13 2010

13:01

Jesse Schell: Visions of the Gamepocalypse

Games perpetually revolutionize computer use toward denser interaction with the human mind. To do that, they perpetually revolutionize themselves. Understanding the next frontiers of the genre is one way to understand where society is going. In this talk Jesse Schell explores the social, cognitive, and technological trends in computer game design and use. Jesse Schell is the CEO of Schell Games, the author of the authoritative text, The Art of Game Design: A book of lenses, and a Professor of Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon, specializing in Game Design. At Walt Disney, he was Creative Director of the Imagineering VR Studio. Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2010 00:00:00 -0700 Location: San Francisco, CA, Novellus Theater, Long Now Foundation Program and discussion: http://fora.tv/2010/07/27/Jesse_Schell_Visions_of_the_Gamepocalypse
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