What do we mean when we talk about “the future”? Next year? The next election cycle? The next generation? Or do we stretch our imaginations to conceive of “the next 10,000 years,” as Stewart Brand did when he created the Long Now Foundation in 1996?
Brand’s foundation is dedicated to the principle of longtermism, a philosophy, as the British author Richard Fisher wrote in 2020, that “allows the mind to transcend the stresses of the present, and travel to other times. In times of difficulty, it tells you ‘this will pass’, providing perspective; in times of uncertainty, it can offer a set of secular guiding principles for navigating the world.”
A visualization of “now,” “nowadays,” and “the long now” via the Long Now Foundation.