neil / tags / long now

Tagged with “long now” (3)

  1. David Byrne:Good News & Sleeping Beauties - The Long Now

    David Byrne is a Scottish-American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, artist, actor, writer and filmmaker who was a founding member, principal songwriter and lead singer and guitarist of the American new wave band Talking Heads.

    Byrne has released solo recordings and worked with various media including film, photography, opera, fiction, and non-fiction. He has received Academy, Grammy, and Golden Globe Awards, and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Bio courtesy of Wikipedia)

    David Byrne’s Homepage
    David Byrne’s Wikipedia page
    

    David Byrne has become a scholar and promoter of new good ideas that work in the world.

    He finds them in health, education, culture, economics, climate, science & technology, transportation, and civic engagement. He has great examples and great slides—as you might expect from an acclaimed visual as well as musical artist. His goal is to spread the word that there are a LOT of new things that work surprisingly well, and they can be applied far and wide.

    He has also delved into history for “sleeping beauties”—brilliant ideas that got overlooked or forgotten but can be revived. He’s interested in how that rediscovery process works and can be made better.

    Now 67, David Byrne’s prolific artistic career has earned honors including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards. Most famed for his new-wave band “Talking Heads” (1975-1991), Byrne continues to perform on the road and has made numerous films, books, and graphic art works. He frequently collaborates with Long Now board member Brian Eno.

    http://longnow.org/seminars/02019/jun/04/good-news-sleeping-beauties/

    —Huffduffed by neil

  2. The Interview Project - Hans Obrist & Danny Hillis

    When we think of cultural artifacts, we often think of objects – a painting, a book, or a Clock. But perhaps not all artifacts take tangible form: can the ideas that inspired such objects be considered cultural artifacts, too? And if so, how can we save these for future generations?

    Hans Ulrich Obrist answers that first question with a resounding ‘yes’ – and offers an answer to that second one, as well. The swiss-born curator and art historian has been working on a project of cultural preservation – but rather than collect objects, he is capturing ideas as they materialize in conversation. Part art project, part oral history, and part exercise in the workings of memory, the Interview Project is an effort “to preserve the voices of the world’s artists and innovative thinkers of the last 50 years in a digital archive.”

    Through a series of “sustained conversations” with influential figures from the worlds of art, science, and culture, Obrist seeks to do more than just document the important ideas that drive today’s culture: he hopes to capture their dynamic and transformative nature. Focusing on how ideas are born and recreated through dialogue, the Interview Project explores the role of time, evolution, and global connections in shaping human culture and innovation.

    As part of this project, Obrist recently interviewed Danny Hillis, co-chair of the Long Now Foundation’s board of directors. In a public event organized in conjunction with the Institute for the 21st Century, a Los Angeles-based initiative that works to archive Obrist’s interviews, he and Hillis spoke about the ideas that inspired Long Now’s 10,000-year clock, and the cultural evolution it hopes to encourage.

    Discussing the convergence of science, technology, and art, their conversation (which you can listen to here) illustrates that no cultural artifact emerges in a vacuum. New ideas are born from those that came before, and go on to inspire others in return. Culture is carried by, and created through, the dynamic exchange of conversation. “Knowing something is so 20th century,” says Hillis in the interview, speaking about the pre-internet age, in which a person’s knowledge was the sum of what his memory could hold. Today more than ever, in a world where billions of bits of digital information can be accessed at the tap of a finger, human knowledge and culture reside in our global network of exchange. And just as Hillis’ Connection Machine proved that linking processors together can transform the capability of computers, so can the connection of ideas produce unprecedented opportunities for new cultural creation. The Clock of the Long Now grew from the convergence of ideas that inspired its creators, and will hopefully contribute to the development of many new ideas and directions in the future.

    —Huffduffed by neil

  3. Philip Tetlock: Superforecasting - The Long Now

    All it takes to improve forecasting is KEEP SCORE

    Will Syria’s President Assad still be in power at the end of next year?

    Will Russia and China hold joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean in the next six months?

    Will the Oil Volatility Index fall below 25 in 2016?

    Will the Arctic sea ice mass be lower next summer than it was last summer?

    Five hundred such questions of geopolitical import were posed in tournament mode to thousands of amateur forecasters by IARPA—the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity—between 2011 and 2015.

    (Tetlock mentioned that senior US intelligence officials opposed the project, but younger-generation staff were able to push it through.)

    Extremely careful score was kept, and before long the most adept amateur “superforecasters” were doing 30 percent better than professional intelligence officers with access to classified information.

    They were also better than prediction markets and drastically better than famous pundits and politicians, who Tetlock described as engaging in deliberately vague “ideological kabuki dance."

    What made the amateurs so powerful was Tetlock’s insistence that they score geopolitical predictions the way meteorologists score weather predictions and then learn how to improve their scores accordingly.

    Meteorologists predict in percentages—“there is a 70 percent chance of rain on Thursday.”

    It takes time and statistics to find out how good a particular meteorologist is.

    If 7 out of 10 such times it in fact rained, the meteorologist gets a high score for calibration (the right percentage) and for resolution (it mostly did rain).

    Superforecasters, remarkably, assigned probability estimates of 72-76 percent to things that happened and 24-28 percent to things that didn’t.

    How did they do that?

    They learned, Tetlock said, to avoid falling for the “gambler’s fallacy”—detecting nonexistent patterns.

    They learned objectivity—the aggressive open-mindedness it takes to set aside personal theories of public events.

    They learned to not overcompensate for previous mistakes—the way American intelligence professionals overcompensated for the false negative of 9/11 with the false positive of mass weapons in Saddam’s Iraq.

    They learned to analyze from the outside in—Assad is a dictator; most dictators stay in office a very long time; consider any current news out of Syria in that light.

    And they learned to balance between over-adjustment to new evidence (“This changes everything”) and under-adjustment (“This is just a blip”), and between overconfidence ("100 percent!”) and over-timidity (“Um, 50 percent”).

    “You only win a forecasting tournament,” Tetlock said, “by being decisive—justifiably decisive."

    Much of the best forecasting came from teams that learned to collaborate adroitly.

    Diversity on the teams helped.

    One important trick was to give extra weight to the best individual forecasters.

    Another was to “extremize” to compensate for the conservatism of aggregate forecasts—if everyone says the chances are around 66 percent, then the real chances are probably higher.

    In the Q & A following his talk Tetlock was asked if the US intelligence community would incorporate the lessons of its forecasting tournament.

    He said he is cautiously optimistic.

    Pressed for a number, he declared, “Ten years from now I would offer the probability of .7 that there will be ten times more numerical probability estimates in national intelligence estimates than there were in 2005.”

    Asked about long-term forecasting, he replied, “Here’s my long-term prediction for Long Now.

    When the Long Now audience of 2515 looks back on the audience of 2015, their level of contempt for how we go about judging political debate will be roughly comparable to the level of contempt we have for the 1692 Salem witch trials."

    —Stewart Brand

    http://longnow.org/seminars/02015/nov/23/superforecasting/

    —Huffduffed by neil