Those who can do RSS have long been able to wrangle .MP3 audio of The Long Now’s series of Seminars About Long-term Thinking, without having to install iTunes. Now the video versions of the SALT talks are available to all to view — with a donation merely ‘invited’ and only the video file download and HD versions kept back for Long Now members.
These are long talks, not short TED-like skits. So there are a few SALT talks one might want to avoid, mostly because the speakers thought they could just trot out their usual spiel — Tim O’Reilly waffling and riffing on, as if he were at just another trade show. Anne Neuberger making a creaky attempt to sell the NSA to the Long Now crowd. But 95% of the talks are excellent.
The highlights of the SALT series, in my view, are:
* Stephen Pyne: Ecological wildfire (2016)
* Neil Gaiman: How stories last (2015)
* Stewart Brand, Paul Saffo: Pace Layers thinking (2015)
* Jesse Ausubel: Nature is rebounding (2015)
* Brian Eno, Danny Hillis: The Long Now, now (2014)
* Stefan Kroepelin: Civilization’s mysterious desert cradle – rediscovering the deep Sahara (2014)
* Stewart Brand: Reviving extinct species (2013)
* Steven Pinker: The decline of violence (2012)
* Matt Ridley: Deep optimism (2011)
* Rachel Sussman: The world’s oldest living organisms (2010)
* Peter Diamandis: Long-term X-Prizes (2008)
* Freeman Dyson and family: The difficulty of looking far ahead (2005)
* Brian Eno: The Long Now (2003. Poor audio, I seem to remember)
The website is obviously straining under the load, as the news of the free videos percolates through social media. Which, I suspect, means the above links may be unresponsive until the Twittergasm is over.