Genomes are The Long Now

 Long Now Boston Conversation Series
April 6, 02017

A Long Now Boston Conversation with Mary Mangan, molecular and computational biologist. 

The genomes of organisms around us today, and some of those that are no longer alive, carry crucial information about our past and also frame our future directions. In addition, it’s also becoming possible to “Revive and Restore” lost species. Organizing and visualizing DNA sequence data is key to using it effectively to understand the history of life of this planet, and for potentially using it to create new variations with impacts on our health and environment. 

Continue reading “Genomes are The Long Now”

The Age of Reason Got It Wrong

 Understanding Social Conflict Through a Brain Science Lens

Long Now Boston Conversation Series
April 3, 02017

A Long Now Boston Conversation with Tim Phillips, co-founder of Beyond Conflict.

Most approaches to solving the most pressing social challenges we face are wrong because they are rooted in the deeply flawed assumption that human behaviors and decisions are purely rational. Brain science and hard-won experience demonstrate just the opposite, revealing the primary role unconscious processes play in shaping our behaviors and decision-making, especially in the aftermath of violence and trauma. To thrive in the 21st century, what is needed is a profound reshaping of our approaches to human conflict and division, one that is rooted in a nuanced, empirical understanding of human behavior.

Continue reading “The Age of Reason Got It Wrong”

The Persistent Illusion of Knowing

Long Now Boston Conversation Series
November 7, 02016

A Long Now Boston Conversation with artist Nathan Miner.

This talk explored the process of invention in the studio. Feeling one’s way through a cloud of unknowing into territories of discovery. In science and art, cultivating intuition and trusting the creative process becomes a guide, when knowing obscures the new.   Making art allows us to embrace the unknown and question our assumptions, freeing us from the illusions of preconceived knowledge. In the studio, translations between the imaginary and the real illuminate possibilities for discovery and invention.

Continue reading “The Persistent Illusion of Knowing”