Long Now MP3s

We interrupt the fairly steady flow of free music downloads for the occasional spoken-word entry. Several lectures in the Long Now Foundation series held in San Francisco have been mentioned on this site, most recently one by Ray Kurzweil, the keyboard inventor and futurist. Most of those lectures, held since November 2003, are now up online for free download at seminars.longnow.org, including the inaugural one, by Long Now cofounder Brian Eno. Note that the dates listed for the lectures show the years as five digits (02003, 02004), in light of the foundation’s interest in having people think long term, some 10,000 years into the future. Other lecturers available for download include science-fiction author Bruce Sterling and technologist Danny Hillis. Hillis contributed an algorithm used on Eno’s 2003 album January 07003: Bell Studies for the Clock of the Long Now, and he wrote lyrics for Eno’s most recent album, Another Day on Earth. One treat in the Kurzweil lecture: you get to experience his awkward, 20-second silence — mentioned here on September 25 (link) — that follows a question from Long Now cofounder Stewart Brand. The audience starts laughing, good-naturedly, about eight seconds in.

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