On September 14, 2020, Long Now Boston welcomed Dr. Anton Howes, historian of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) for a conversation on the 250-year history of the RSA. The RSA has demonstrated that non-profit, public interest organizations can live a long time – but they have to reinvent themselves constantly in the face of rapid social, cultural and technological change. And they also have to have a powerful core vision. For the RSA it is:
“Everyone is able to participate in creating a better future.”
On January 6, 02020, five Long Now Boston members shared their ideas for improving the long term future for planet earth and the human civilization that inhabits it. In one way or another, all five speakers touched on the importance of working together towards outcomes that better match our human values and aspirations. The top vote-getter for the night was Ye Tao of Harvard’s Rowland Institute for his presentation on Mirrors for Earth’s Energy Rebalancing (MEER:ReflEction). Long Now Boston Board Member George Gantz (ineligible for votes) concluded the event with a presentation on Empathy:The Secret Sauce for Human Thriving.
Long Now Boston Conversation Series November 4, 02019, at CIC, 1 Broadway, Cambridge MA, with James (“J”) Hughes (IEET) and Nir Eisikovits (UMAEC).
Synopsis: Human species have co-evolved with technology for hundreds of thousands of years. Fire and stone tools were once the killer apps, giving humans immense advantages – but human physiology and society also evolved with them. It is no different today, but the stakes are higher, as they include global existential risks, and the pace of change is faster by many orders of magnitude. It is impossible to plan or to predict the future, but we can shape its trajectory by better understanding the risks and tradeoffs and by seeking to achieve equity in how we govern technology.
A great deal of planning and preparation had gone into the afternoon picnic, but the time for planning was over. It was time for the event to begin. Thoughts and questions cross through your mind as you walk into a quiet Cambridge neighborhood. Will the event be well-attended? Who will I know? What questions might be asked of me, and what questions would I like to ask?
Long Now Boston Conversation Series May 6, 02019, at the Cambridge Innovation Center.
Featuring eight talks by Long Now Boston Members.
On May 6, Long Now Boston held a 2018 FLASH TALK event. Eight presentations had been selected in advance from the pool of entrants, and each presenter was given 5 minutes, and 3 slides, to explore their ideas. The result was a wide-ranging and surprisingly robust discussion of topics in chemistry, climate, aging, cityscape design, science education and the future of democracy and capitalism.
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.
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.