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City Planet: What Does a Globalized World Look Like?The Long Now Foundation - The Long Now FoundationStewart Brand addresses The Long Now Foundation on Cities and Time.Cities are humanity's longest-lived organizations (Jericho dates back 10,500 years), but also the most constantly changing. Even in Europe they consume 2-3% of their material fabric a year, which means a wholly new city every 50 years. In the US and the developing world it's much faster.Every week in the world a million new people move to cities. In 2007 50% of our 6.5 billion population will live in cities. In 1800 it was 3% of the total population then. In 1900 it was 14%. In 2030 it's expected to be 61%. This is a tipping point. We're becoming a city planet.One of the effects of globalization is to empower cities more and more. Communications and economic activities bypass national boundaries. With many national governments in the developing world discredited, corporations and NGOs go direct to where the markets, the workers, and the needs are, in the cities. Every city is becoming a "world city." Many elites don't live in one city now, they live "in cities" - The Long Now Foundation
Everybody's an Expert: Fox vs. Hedgehog PersonalitiesThe Long Now Foundation - The Long Now FoundationWhy Foxes Are Better Forecasters Than HedgehogsFrom his perspective as a pyschology researcher, Philip Tetlock watched political advisors on the left and the right make bizarre rationalizations about their wrong predictions at the time of the rise of Gorbachev in the 1980s and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union. (Liberals were sure that Reagan was a dangerous idiot; conservatives were sure that the USSR was permanent.) The whole exercise struck Tetlock as what used to be called an "outcome-irrelevant learning structure." No feedback, no correction.He observes the same thing is going on with expert opinion about the Iraq War. Instead of saying, "I evidently had the wrong theory," the experts declare, "It almost went my way," or "It was the right mistake to make under the circumstances," or "I'll be proved right later," or "The evilness of the enemy is still the main event here."Tetlock's summary: "Partisans across the opinion spectrum are vulnerable to occasional bouts of ideologically induced insanity." He determined to figure out a way to keep score on expert political forecasts, even though it is a notoriously subjective domain (compared to, say, medical advice), and "there are no control groups in history." - The Long Now Foundation
Patterns in Nature: How Photographs Magnify EvolutionThe Long Now Foundation - Long Now FoundationLife's Journey Through Time with Frans Lanting speaking at a seminar hosted by The Long Now Foundation.It began on a New Jersey beach. Frans Lanting was photographing horseshoe crabs for a story about how they are being ground up for eel bait and at the same time their blood is used for drug testing - a $100 million industry. The crabs have primordial eyesight, which they employ mainly for finding sex partners. Photographing the horseshoes having a spawning orgy one spooky twilight, Lanting felt like he was suddenly back in the Silurian, 430 million years ago...So Lanting and his wife Chris Eckstrom set out in search of "time capsules," places on the present Earth where he could find and photograph all the ancient stages of life. A two-year project expanded to seven years - Stewart Brand blog excerpt, The Long Now Foundation
Risk Averse Philanthropists Are Smart, Not WiseThe Long Now Foundation - The Long Now FoundationThe Deeper News About the New Philanthropy10,000 families in the US, Katherine Fulton reported, have assets of $100 million or more. That's up from 7,000 just a couple years ago. Most of that money is "on the sidelines." The poor and the middle class are far more generous in their philanthropy, proportionally, than the very wealthy.Philanthropy across the board is in the midst of intense, potentially revolutionary, transition, she said. There's new money, new leaders, new rules, new technology, and new needs. Where great wealth used to come mainly from inheritance and oil, now it comes from success in high technology and finance - and ideas and expectations from those business experiences inform (and sometimes over-simplify) the new philanthropy. Some of the great older institutions like the Rockefeller Foundation are radically reorganizing around new ideas and opportunities. But still the greatest amount comes from individuals, many of whom are now "giving while living" instead of handing over the task to heirs - The Long Now Foundation
Is the Internet More Powerful Than Our Immune System?The Long Now Foundation - Long Now FoundationThe New Great Transformation with Paul Hawken speaking at a seminar hosted by The Long Now Foundation.The title of Paul Hawken's talk, "The New Great Transformation," has two referents, he explained. Economist Karl Polanyi's 1944 book, THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION, said that the "market society" and modern nation state emerged together in Europe after 1700 and divided society in ways that have yet to be healed.Karen Armstrong's 2006 book, THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION, explores "the Axial Age" between 800 and 200 BC when the world's great religions and philosophies first took shape. They were all initially social movements, she says, acting on revulsion against the violence and injustice of their times.Both books describe conditions in which "the future is stolen and sold to the present," said Hawken - a situation we are having to deal with yet again - Stewart Brand blog excerpt, The Long Now Foundation
GOP, Circa 1956: When Nixon Was Welcome in San FranciscoThe Long Now Foundation - The Castro TheaterRick Prelinger, a guerrilla archivist who collects the uncollected and makes it accessible, presents the 6th of his annual Lost Landscapes of San Francisco screenings. You'll see an eclectic montage of rediscovered and rarely-seen film clips showing life, landscapes, labor and leisure in a vanished San Francisco as captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen and studio filmmakers."
Build a Dream for Tomorrow! BART in 1960s San FranciscoThe Long Now Foundation - Castro Theater>Rick Prelinger, a guerrilla archivist who collects the uncollected and makes it accessible, presents the 7th of his annual Lost Landscapes of San Francisco screenings. You'll see an eclectic montage of rediscovered and rarely-seen film clips showing life, landscapes, labor and leisure in a vanished San Francisco as captured by amateurs, newsreel cameramen and studio filmmakers.New sequences in this year's high-definition feast will include the Japanese-American community in the Western Addition before redevelopment; shipwrecks off the Northern shoreline; 1930s demonstrations for China Relief; even more Sutro Baths scenes; family films from the Mission, Richmond, Sunset and Excelsior Districts; rediscovered films of San Francisco transit; and newly discovered, never-shown documentary footage of the Tenderloin and waterfront. Much of the show will be scanned from Kodachrome and original 35mm material.As usual, this year's Castro Theatre screening is an interactive experience: audience members will BE the soundtrack, identifying places and events, asking questions, loudly discussing San Francisco's past and future as the film unreels.Finally, if you have family or historical films of San Francisco, it's not too late to help out -- please contact Rick through The Long Now Foundation, and we'll arrange to have your films scanned and possibly included in this year's show!
Prestige or Diversity? What We Forget About HistoryThe Long Now Foundation - Cowell TheatreThis program features the Paris Urban eXperiment whose members secretly work to preserve famous landmarks. There is at least as much underneath Paris as there is above it. The secretive members of the Paris Urban eXperiment, known internally as "The UX", have spent the last 30 years surreptitiously probing into this world - and improving it. A few years ago these underground hackers and artists became infamous when one morning the clock at the Panthéon, that had not worked in years, began chiming. It was just one of at least 15 such restorations done without permission. In a first-time-ever public presentation, the UX spokesman, who goes under the name Lazar Kunstmann, along with author Jon Lackman fromWired, will present some of the theory and work of the Urban eXperiment. Lackman chronicled much of their work in the February print edition ofWired---which is co-sponsoring this event.
Are You a Coffee Snob? Why We Crave a Good Cup of JoeCommonwealth Club - SF Club OfficeThree of San Francisco’s finest coffee entrepreneurs spill the beans on what it takes to be at the forefront of an artisan coffee revolution. Join the owners of Blue Bottle, Four Barrel and Ritual Coffee Roasters as they discuss sourcing beans directly from farmers they know, roasting on the premises of their local establishments, and brewing the perfect cup of joe. Come early for a “cupping” and taste what Bay Area coffee innovation is all about.
Peering Over the Precipice of ReformPolitics & Prose - Politics & Prose BookstoreThe United States is lagging behind the developed world in an integral category: education. Why is it that students in Finland and Poland, working on traditional blackboards and living in less affluent communities, are bypassing American students in math, reading comprehension and the sciences? The question of education reform has dogged policymakers since the turn of the millennium, yet answers remain sorely lacking.Amanda Ripley's engaging, informative and unique talk achieves a great amount in seeking to understand this problem. By re-framing the question--asking what are other nations' doing right, rather than what we are doing wrong--Ripley begins cracking the code of American educational failures. Her report, which follows three American high school students abroad, compares American emphasis on self-esteem and sports with characteristics such as hard work, resilience, and embracing failure early and often. This is a must-see discussion for all parents preparing to send their kids back to school this fall.
An Educational MysteryPolitics & Prose - Politics & Prose BookstoreThe United States is lagging behind the developed world in an integral category: education. Why is it that students in Finland and Poland, working on traditional blackboards and living in less affluent communities, are bypassing American students in math, reading comprehension and the sciences? The question of education reform has dogged policymakers since the turn of the millennium, yet answers remain sorely lacking.Amanda Ripley's engaging, informative and unique talk achieves a great amount in seeking to understand this problem. By re-framing the question--asking what are other nations' doing right, rather than what we are doing wrong--Ripley begins cracking the code of American educational failures. Her report, which follows three American high school students abroad, compares American emphasis on self-esteem and sports with characteristics such as hard work, resilience, and embracing failure early and often. This is a must-see discussion for all parents preparing to send their kids back to school this fall.
Why 'The Butler' Portrays a Uniquely American HistoryPolitics & Prose - Politics & Prose BookstoreEugene Allen worked as the White House butler for thirty-four years, serving eight presidents. Wil Haygood, author of acclaimed biographies of Sugar Ray Robinson, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Adam Clayton Powell, published a front-page feature on Allen in The Washington Post. Now the story is a movie, directed by Lee Daniels and starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Fonda, and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Join Haygood as he discusses Allen and the translation of the written word to film.
Peter Coyote: How the Manhattan Project Poisoned ScienceCommonwealth Club - Lafayette LibraryBay Area actor, writer and film narrator Peter Coyote is also a countercultural visionary whose ordination as a Zen Buddhist priest has led him to an examination of the limits of human intelligence. Though our applied intelligence has resulted in incredible innovations (tools, technology, science), Coyote is concerned with the unintended consequences of advancement: violence, war and destruction. Coyote discusses the power of intelligence to address social ills.
Texture Over Tender: Why Americans Don't Know Good SteakCommonwealth Club - SF Club OfficeINFORUM is taking a bite out of the nose-to-tail trend with some of the nation's best butchers and meat masters. First up we'll talk about the cultural impacts of the whole-animal movement with Incanto's Top Chef, Chris Cosentino, 4505 Meat's Ryan Farr, butchery wonder woman Tia Harrison and John Fink of the Whole Beast. Then premium ticket purchasers can head over to the Ferry Building for some hands-on fun. Learn how to butcher an entire pig as San Francisco's iconic Dave the Butcher kicks of the night with a demo and butchery class. Then find out what nose-to-tail tastes like as you sample dishes and chat with local farmers and butchers from Biagio Artisan Meats, Magruder Farms, Harley Richter Meats, The Whole Beast and more.
Introducing "Wealth and Power"Politics & Prose - Politics & Prose BookstoreChina's development would have astonished those who knew the country as a fading, disorganized power in the nineteenth century. Or would it? Even then, as expert sinologists Schell and Delury recount, Chinese leaders and thinkers were working for a future of fuqiang-wealth and power. Focusing on eleven key individuals, from Wei Yuan to Liu Xiaobo, the authors cast recent Chinese history as a determined effort to restore national greatness. This event will be moderated by New Yorker correspondent Evan Osnos.
'The Butler': Decades of White House History in a CellarPolitics & Prose - Politics & Prose BookstoreEugene Allen worked as the White House butler for thirty-four years, serving eight presidents. Wil Haygood, author of acclaimed biographies of Sugar Ray Robinson, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Adam Clayton Powell, published a front-page feature on Allen in The Washington Post. Now the story is a movie, directed by Lee Daniels and starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Vanessa Redgrave, Jane Fonda, and Cuba Gooding, Jr. Join Haygood as he discusses Allen and the translation of the written word to film.
John Gray: We're Losing Alpha Males to Feminized MenCommonwealth Club - SF Club OfficeJohn Gray will discuss the "gender blind spots" that cause misunderstandings, miscommunications, mistrust, resentment and frustrations in the workplace. He'll explain how biology and social influences can direct how people communicate, solve problems, make decisions, resolve conflict, lead others and deal with stress, enabling them to achieve greater success and satisfaction in their professional and personal lives.
Freedom's Just Another Word: Rereading the ConstitutionThe Society of the Cincinnati - The Society of the CincinnatiAmericans are deeply divided over the Second Amendment. Some passionately assert that the Amendment protects an individual's right to own guns. Others, that it does no more than protect the right of states to maintain militias. Saul Cornell asserts both are wrong in this discussion of his book A Well Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America (the only comprehensive history on the topic). Cornell, a leading constitutional historian, shows that the Founders understood the right to bear arms as neither an individual nor a collective right, but as a civic right--an obligation citizens owed to the state to arm themselves so that they could participate in a well regulated militia. He shows how the modern "collective right" view of the Second Amendment, the one federal courts have accepted for over a hundred years, owes more to the Anti-Federalists than the Founders. Likewise, the modern "individual right" view emerged only in the nineteenth century. The modern debate, Cornell reveals, has its roots in the nineteenth century, during America's first and now largely forgotten gun violence crisis, when the earliest gun control laws were passed and the first cases on the right to bear arms came before the courts. Equally important, he describes how the gun control battle took on a new urgency during the Reconstruction Era South. He concludes with a description of modern Second Amendment case law and recommends ways to approach the issue in a post-Newtown America.
Is Ecodesign a Ripoff? How to Afford a Healthy HomeDwell on Design - LA Convention CenterJoin ASID designers Lori Dennis and Suzanne Furst and designer Annette Stelmack for a conversation about the best ways to incorporate sustainable materials and green products into your home, whether you're renovating, designing a space from scratch, or just looking to upgrade your existing style.Presenters:Annette K. Stelmack, Principal & Verdigoddess, InspiritJaime Gillin, Deputy Editor, Dwell Media, LLCLori Dennis, Owner/Principal, Lori Dennis, Inc.Suzanne Furst, Principal, Suzanne Furst Interiors
Soda War: Mark Bittman Defends Bloomberg's Big Gulp BanCommonwealth Club - Fairmont HotelNew York Times' Food Columnist Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything, with 1 million copies in print, is a mainstay of the modern kitchen. In his latest book, he makes the case that a partially vegan diet can dramatically improve your health. Come hear from one of America's most widely read and entertaining food personalities.