2018/11/19 Niall Ferguson | “Networks and Power” |Long Now (web video + audio)

Complementing the idea of a @longnow , @nfergus provokes the challenge of a #shortthen as the online social media platforms distract the larger perspectives on history.

{Stewart Brand, 5:50] The conceit of long now foundation is that we’re sort of in the midst of a 20,000 years story of civilization dating back to the first towns and agriculture and dating forward to what remains to be seen and what remains to be done.

[06:05] And in consequence we’re sort of in love with historians who are all about killing the long story, in ever new ways.

06:14 And the civilization story is basically a story of argument. Swarms of arguments.

[06:25] And these arguments get played out and firms often of power. There’s an argument about economic power, arguments about political power, arguments about military power.

[06:37] And from time to time arguments about the whole mode that power gets played out in. And that’s what we hear about tonight from historian Niall Ferguson. [….]

[Niall Ferguson 07:34] I’ll be talking quite a bit about what’s in my most recent book, The Square and the Tower, but I’ll also be trying to go a little further than I did in that book, thinking about what we need to do if we are to manage what has been created in the extraordinary giant online social networks made in Northern California, in our time.

[08:06] The Long Now, I guess, is an attempt to situate the present. And I have always admired what Stuart and his colleagues have done in helping us to understand our position in a continuum of human history over thousands of years.

[08:30] But the corollary of the long now is the short then. And the short then is a phrase that hit me as I was hurtling up 280 this evening.

[08:45] What I want to convey to you is how near the past is and how relevant it is to the problems that we confront today, and that some of the things that we know about events 500 years ago can illuminate our long now

Niall Ferguson at The Long Now Foundation (Part 1)
Niall Ferguson at The Long Now Foundation (Part 2)

Source: Niall Ferguson, “Networks and Power”, Long Now, November 19, 2018 at http://longnow.org/seminars/02018/nov/19/networks-and-power/

http://podcast.longnow.org/salt/salt-020181119-ferguson-podcast.mp3
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David Ing blogs at coevolving.com , photoblogs at daviding.com , and microblogs at http://ingbrief.wordpress.com . A profile appears at , and an independent description is on .

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