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Good evening, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m Stewart Brand from the Long Now Foundation. One of the conversations that Long Now has had with itself all along, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m thinking long term, is weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re constantly wondering, is there something we could do thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s better than a university. And in some ways these series of talks is an outgrowth of that conversation. And well, universities persist, theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve been around for a thousand years and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not bad. But if you look back the first university in the west really was the Library of Alexandria, which wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t called a library, it was called a Museion, Museum, Museum comes from that. It was a place where thinkers accumulated and, indeed, all the books at the time it accumulated and brightest people interacted with each other. And as you look around what are current amazing alternatives to university, the Smithsonian Institution stands out. Because it does all the things university does, does education, does science, does a major interaction of conversation, unlike universities, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not in one place, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s all over hell and gone. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s been around damn near as long as America and so it has already been helping Americans and everybody who visitÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s these places, seven million a year something like that, to think long term. And the new head of the Smithsonian secretary as heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s called, Wayne Clough is extending that, heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s extending it tonight. Before we let him do that, we want to present him with a thing. And Laura Welcher is here to do that. You know, I give talks, and they come up and give you a Pendleton blanket or, which was the best one I ever got, I think itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d be a weird little memento which you try to lose on the way to the airport. We hope this is better than that. So, my name is Laura Welcher and I direct the Rosetta project at the Long Now Foundation. And when the Long Now Foundation was first getting started and Stuart wrote the book The Clock of the Long Now, he proposed that along with the clock we should also have a library. A ten thousand year library and, so, alongside the clock weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve had a couple of projects that have been our thinking about what this library would be. It may eventually be a physical space but up to now itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s mostly been a mental space. And one of that, one of those projects is Long Bets, so, a place where you can, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s kind of a, an accountability record over time and the other project that we have is Rosetta, and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a collection of information about the worlds languages and that content turns out to be a pretty good kind of content for the Long View because languages are a product of millennia of human cultural development. So tonight, on the occasion of Dr. CloughÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s talk to us about Smithsonian Forever, we would like to present him with our, a new version of the Rosetta Disk, a new version of the Rosetta Disk, which you can see here, and you can see up on our screen, and so, this, Dr. Clough is an archive of the worldÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s languages. It has on it microscopically etched, which youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll have to read with a microscope, documents on over fifteen hundred human languages and thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s thirteen thousand pages on that disk. So from our ten thousand year archive to your forever archive, on behalf of the Long Now Foundation. Thank you very much. Thank you Stuart and Laura, thank you very much for that wonderful and thoughtful presentation to the Smithsonian, of course they wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t let me have it, I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t get to touch anything at the Smithsonian as my archivist always tell me, donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t touch that, so you have to be very careful. But it will become part of the Smithsonian archives and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s an important part of it and at some point of my remarks I will speak to this matter of languages which is really part of the protection if you will of our culture and the Smithsonian is involved in all of these things. Well IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve had a wonderful experience to be involved in, with institutions here in the Bay Area in my past because I went to Berkley for my doctorate back in the wild and woolly sixties and, alright, and then after a small stint back at Duke University I taught at Stanford for about a decade and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s, it was a a wonderful time here in the Bay Area and have many friends here, the Smithsonian has many friends whoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s help support us in our mission as well and weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re very grateful to all of them. So, if you lived as long as I have and youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve been as many places as I have, sometimes things circle around on themselves and it turned out at the Smithsonian one of the exciting things I got to do was to accept a gift from Christo and Jeanne-Claude of the remnants of the Running Fence project and one of the young archivists at the Smithsonian American Art museum asked me, are you old enough to have been there when the running fence project was there? And of course I had to say yes I was old enough to have been there, in fact, I was there before it was there, but it was a wonderful experience to meet Christo and Jeanne-Claude and I had the great obvious, another experience to see their Gates project in New York City which are marvellous things. So these are the great experience you get to have as secretary of the Smithsonian and in this process of choosing objects and bringing them in the Smithsonian and it really relates to the topic weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re gonna talk about tonight. The Smithsonian like any other cultural and or educational institution today is facing budget challenges and difficult choices that we have to make because none of us are immune from these things. At the same time we have remarkable opportunities that I will describe to you tonight and so we have to make choices. So in the process of getting our arms around where we are going as an institution weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve been doing some heavy duty thinking, strategic planning if you will, and weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve been able to fortunately have the services of Global Business Network and Peter Schwartz whoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s worked with us on scenario based planning and is a member of the Long Now Foundation and Peter arranged for me to meet with the Long Now Board and have one of our scenario based discussions about the future and we began thinking about time and what time really meant at the Smithsonian, how that plays out. And really thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s where this talk comes from, I think, and it set me to thinking about time in the Smithsonian and I wanna share some of those thoughts with you because itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a very important issue for us. So, we are at that point where you have to make important decisions. One of the other groups that Peter arranged for me to meet with was a group of young Millennials here in California. These are people who are shall we say younger than me, probably twenty, twenty-two, twenty-three, you know, born in about 1989, 1990, and their memory of things is quite different than my memory of things. And so, it was interesting in that discussion, very lively discussion. And at one point I asked the group, what would you like the Smithsonian to do for you and I explained to them, you own the Smithsonian, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s publicly owned, you own it and you own our one hundred and thirty-seven million objects that are in our collection but you probably never seen them. And one young woman looked at me and she said surprise me, surprise me, so she wanted to be surprised. And you could say on one sense if you wanted to be a little cynical, well this is just that new generation, young generation, always looking for something new and wanting to be surprised but I think it was a deeper sentiment that she had. Because we know really when you look at creativity, creativity and surprise are two sides of the same coin. ThereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s no such thing as creativity without surprise. One of the interesting things if you Google surprise and creativity what it takes you to is a page on robotics. As it turns out, as astute as robots can be about mechanical tasks they cannot be surprised, yet. There are people who are working on that. But surprise is an important part of what humans do. And so what I want to talk about tonight is surprise in the sense of the Smithsonian. So in the timeframe of what we might say is now, IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m hoping that we will also be able to talk about what we would call the Long Now and what the Long Now Foundation brings to us and what the Smithsonian does in the same sense. When I speak to you now, now IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m really going to divide this up into three parts. The first part could be now, because I want to explain a little bit of what the Smithsonian does, I found, even myself when I went there I didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t understand the Smithsonian and I think thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s important. The second part could be called the Long Now of the past. And because the Smithsonian deals a lot with history and historical objects and objects actually that go back fairly far into time and it reflects on what we will know about the future when we study history, of course. And the third element of the talk would be the Long Now of the future because it really is all about the future. Learning about the past is actually all about the future. Tell you a little bit about the Smithsonian, and let me get this going here, so those are the three things I just mentioned. The Smithsonian owes its existents to a British scientist, a chemist named James Smithson who never set foot in this country, but bequeathed his estate to the United States in a very broad mandate saying, for the establishment of an institution called the Smithsonian Institution that would increase and diffuse knowledge. And it was physically created by an act of Congress in 1846, it took a while, ten years after the bequest, it took Congress ten years to figure out what we would do with the money. But it was in fact to create the Smithsonian Institution. So one hundred and sixty three years later, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re still focus on this dual missions of research and education, and I think our education missions probably more obvious than of the two, to most people, most people in fact see us through the glimpses of our 19 museum, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re the largest museum complex in the world and we also operate the National Zoo and that has a historical basis in it. And in fact some 27 million visits are made to the Smithsonian. We will get seven million visits at anyone of our museums, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a huge number of people coming to see us, everyday of the year but one, Christmas, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re open all the time. Many others subscribe to Smithsonian Magazine and I encourage you to do that because it helps us with the advertising and we need a little money, but it helps you understand a little bit more about the Smithsonian. We have multiple research centers, we have 20 libraries and we work in 88 different countries. And now with digital access, we have an even greater reach, teachers and students across the United States and around the world now are beginning to us because of something called the Encyclopaedia of Life, which is a project from our museum of natural history, which is going to develop a web page for every species that we know that exists on earth and that's a remarkable device. And our interactive seminars have just begun, we just did one about Lincoln. We simply didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t advertise it because we wanted to see if it worked, 4,200 people joined in because they could see all of our exhibits on Lincoln and participate and interact with curators. It attracted people from all 50 States and then the surprise because we never thought we would see it, 70 countries participated. We didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t advertise it at all and yet people from 70 countries are interested in Abraham Lincoln. And then we thought that was a good thing. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll do another one, the next one is in September, primarily directed at the K-12 environment. It will be on global warming. It is Smithsonian has a great deal to say about it. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re also working in social media activities. For example, you can play online games with Smithsonian American Art Museum called Ghost of a Chance which is basically a scavenger game that gets kids interested, young people interested in arts. And so we are active now in the digital world and you will see more that to come. So all of these avenues of education and communication point to our vast collection of things and material objects that we have a mass since we begin collecting in 1846. Now in a very real sense of Smithsonian in a curator to the world because we collect objects all over the world, not just from our country. We even collect objects in outer space and I'll talk about that a little bit later. The question is, what is worth preserving when youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re collecting? What is worth preserving? It's a challenging task. Out of all of the material objects that make up our world, Out of all of the information that is flashing by us today in bits and bytes, how do we decide what to grasp and keep? WhatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s important for the future? Some things are unique and spectacular, a space suit from John Glenn is spectacular; we would preserve that. But many things in our collections may have been considered rather ordinary in their day but theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve taken on significance through time. So that decision is an important one. As an example, our specimens of animals. We for example, have 650,000 deceased birds in our collections, they are important, they were important to type species in the past to understand something about evolution species, but today we can extract DNA from these species and learn even more about what it means, what the different species that manifest themselves as and so forth. We are collecting now a genetic database as part of the Barcode of Life that will help us establish, actually how many species there are on planet earth. And we can serve unexpected needs. For example, when the US Airlines plane went down over the Hudson River as you may remember it, as they say, ingested birds into the engines and had to make an emergency landing, they came to this Smithsonian with the remains of the birds because we identify things like that and so of to 4,500 birds strikes per year come to Smithsonian because we have the bird collection and we can actually identified the birds. It turns out these were as you probably read Canada Geese, there were two females we determine, one male and in fact they were not the hang around New York City type of Canada Geese, they are migratory. Why is that important? If theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re hanging around the airport, you can get rid of them. If theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re migrating, theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re migrating, folks. Makes you a little nervous when youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re taking off for landing but thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the way life is. So thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a useful use of our collection. But at a deeper level, the essence weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re searching for in everything we collect and on all of the research we do is meaning. We want to capture what it means to be human and to gather a collective statement of how our society understands and remembers itself. And then we want to put that meaning in a larger context to the unfolding of our species and indeed the universe. So we care much more than just about the objects or the facts. Much of our search is for meaning based on connections, and relationships. These relationships between humans and our tangible objects in the immediate world of everyday life over time constitute our identity and make our culture what it is. And then the relationship between human beings and the larger context of the planet and universe, our search for meaning bring history art, the sciences into relationship with each other. And Smithsonian is unusual in that regard that it spends all of these different areas, most museum, most complex, most research complexes are focused, and we are focused but on these broad areas. The relationship between human beings, us, and the objects that comprise our world are invariably sensory as what we see, what we hear, what we taste and indeed perhaps what we hear. The Smithsonian is getting interested in that side of the equation. What we hear because itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s part of the understanding of the object itself. For example, if we were to think about making pottery and the object of collecting pottery and the art that is in pottery, what do we miss? We miss the process of the making of the pottery. Think of the potter turning a vessel on the wheel, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s all part of the process, the creative a process. Suppose we could record that and that would enhance our understanding of how that object came in to being or take Mickey Hart the drummer for the Grateful Dead. Mickey Hart has a new interest these days not just in music but particularly what the cosmos might be saying to us in the form of music. Well it turns out, thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a lot of music in the universe. We have many, we have almost one-sixth of our employees at the Smithsonian are engaged in the business in astronomy or astrophysics most of them in Cambridge Massachusetts at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory who work with Harvard. And as our astronomers will tell me we never thought about listening, we thought about looking and seeing, well Mickey came and said, what about listening? Well, it turns out thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a lot to listen to, you can actually still hear the remnants of the big bang from 14 billion years ago. The sun sends us century messages everyday. And so thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a lot out there to make music from and Mickey working with our astronomers and our astrophysicists going to make music that will be fun. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s one of the things that makes it fun about being at the Smithsonian, these things can happen there. Well, I was fortunate to be born in this country, in a small town of Douglas Georgia in the deep South, a rural town. Along the way I gained an appreciation for Southern writers notably William Faulkner and I read everything he wrote. And I learned something about the time frame of the Long Now from William Faulkner as I thought back to the words of this young man Chick Mallison in FaulknerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s novel, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIntruder in the DustÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬. He said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œTomorrow began 10,000 years agoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬, the timeframe of the clock. To Faulkner we can have the words of Winston Churchill who said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œthe further backwards you can look, the further forward you can seeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬. We believe that it is Smithsonian, our long-term thinking is based on the promise that the history of the universe and planet earth and its inhabitants as a relevant guide to the future. So at the Smithsonian, we see ourselves as time travelers. We spend the considerable effort looking back in the time back even farther than 10,000 years for clues that will help us understand and perhaps anticipate what the future will bring. And tonight IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d like to invite you to join me as we travel back into the very long now of the Smithsonian timeline as defined by a few examples of how we try to understand the past. So as we begin with our little experiment in time at this presentation our scope begins quite close at hand, with ourselves as Americans, members of a country called the United States. And then weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re going to broaden it out as members of the universe. So, letÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s think a little bit about 300 years of US history, 300 years thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s all weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve been around. It represents our efforts to try to capture, when we talk about this time period, capturing an identity of American experience. The experience in this country through our history and culture. Artifacts are an important way to connect people with the heritage and their identity to help successive the generations to relive the experiences of their forbearers and sometimes, they reveal surprises like LincolnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s gold pocket watch. It had been in the SmithsonianÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s collection for many years, as you know, this was probably the only really expensive thing Lincoln ever owned. He bought it before he came to Washington and he treasured it. And he was getting it tuned up by a jeweler in 1861 when the news of the Union attack on Fort Sumter to arrive in Washington DC. The story was claimed then that the jeweler inscribed a secret message in the watch that Lincoln never saw. And so just a few months ago, we re-opened the watch and sure enough, there was the message of this gentleman who had written supporting the abolition of slavery, part of our history. Well, few things are more American than something we called the Star-Spangled Banner, the actual flag that flew over Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Key to write his poem that became our national anthem was put on display at the SmithsonianÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s National Museum of American history when it opened, the Smithsonian came into possession of it in 1907. That flag as you know is almost 200 years old and we recently completed a 10- year project to conserve it in a very special way, I will urge you to go back and see it, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s thrilling. The point was not really to restore this object to its original condition which would actually have obliterated its history, but to clean it and stabilize this very fragile fabric, when you see it, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s stunning and at the same time preserving the marks of two centuries in the many hands that cared for it. One of the most appealing exhibits about this country are those are in our Air and Space Museum, very popular, the space suits which visitors relate to a very personal level to see the size of space suits and image yourself in them. They look at the space suits, for example, John Glenn wore as the very first American to enter space in 1962, and imagine what it was like for themselves to put it on and sit on top of that big rocket. These special garments of course were designed to protect our astronauts from harsh conditions in outer space, but surprisingly, they deteriorate very quickly back on earth. And so itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s up to the Smithsonian to preserve this object as long as we can. Indeed forever if we can, caring conservation and technically dealing with the issues associated with it is very important to the Smithsonian. Art of course captures another aspect of our personality as it conveys the perspectives of our ideas, and our emotional tenor and knows it usually reflect a time at which the art work was done. Smithsonian American Art Museum for example is presently featuring an exhibit called 1934, a New Deal for Artists, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in the middle of the depression, said we will have art and he funded artists to paint artwork. This art work reminds us of a nation which had traditional values of hard work, community, and optimism and this particular painting is of the California Golden Hills. Today, it gives Americans who are once again in rough economic times an opportunity to reconnect with our forebearers who went through similar or maybe worse experiences and survived and in fact remained optimistic. And if you canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t make it to our museum to see this objects we have all of them, not just the 30 or 40 in the exhibition, we have the whole collection up on Flickr commons and you can see them all. Now, letÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s say that weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve now done our 300 year time back, letÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s take another Smithsonian time line back 30,000 years ago, and our horizons broaden to the first humans, who are arrived in America or in this hemisphere. The Smithsonian has been studying the native peoples of North, Central and South America for many years and it has one of the most extensive collections of artifacts and arts from this period in the world. The research in the collection which is the focus particularly of the new Museum of the American Indian touches on about 12,000 different cultures that extend back more than 12,000 years. Now some people argue it goes even further back than that. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s another way of looking at the timeline. Of course, art is an outgrowth of the concept of using symbols which humans developed, we believe, some time, perhaps as much as 300,000 years ago. These examples of symbols is a dawn of a new era and the relationship of humans and the world around them. It vested a new meaning in the objects that previously were only a utilitarian and it enabled the development of languages. The SmithsonianÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s early efforts at cultural preservation includes the preservation of languages because language is embodiment of our culture. Language is the way we historically preserve the record of our experiences and shared values. Recovering voices is a long term effort by the Smithsonian to capture the look sound and structure of endangered languages for they disappear and we do it with the Rosetta Stone Foundation. One of our prized possessions is a set of cards made by Thomas Jefferson, who as Secretary of State wrote down, short phrases of Indian languages and translated them into English and we have the set of cards and its amazing to see them and hold them in your hand. So we are glad to share with Rosetta, a Long Now Foundation Rosetta disk project and particularly honored to receive the presentation tonight and an important effort to preserve that part of our culture. Now we shift the gears again in Smithsonian time line, one that takes us back about 5 million years, when the very earliest hominoid begin to walk around in Africa upright on 2 feet. The Smithsonian begins studying paleolithic material in 1869 and has amassed a sizeable body of research in artifact documenting the earliest human ancestors and next year weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll open an exciting new exhibit on the origins of man, which incidentally will be pitched around the notion of climate change but its human development was very much affected by epochs of climate change. Skulls, of course have always been an important way for scientist to understand the development of human beings. We also pay a lot of attention to hands and feet which change significantly as ancestors moved out of the trees to live on the ground. Climbing trees and running away from a dangerous predator are two different things. You need different appendages to do that. The big toe is no longer needed to function like a thumb if youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re trying to run away from the bad guys, and get away from it. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a different kind of thing, and your hand it turns out is different as a result of our evolution. So this is important for us then, and it actually helped us to understand the difference when the new Hobbit was found, to understand it was a different species than Homo sapiens. One more jump in Smithsonian timeline 55 million years ago, when the Eocene epoch was just beginning and this is a moment when our own earliest primate relatives first showed up on earth as well as the earliest ancestors of horses, sheep, and pigs and that happens to be my hand, picture was taken in Wyoming and the larger jawbone there is that of an early horse IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m told. The interesting about this horse was it was about the size of a cat and it had something to do with climate change and this period we all talk about just a little bit later on. But that was the time when primates had the chance to become prominent on earth. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re interested in these early developments of primates. One of those weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re interested in PrzewalskiÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s horse, the last remaining truly wild horse in the world, comes from Mongolia primarily. The wild horses in the American and Australian plains and island like Chinkatink and Cumberland are from the same genetic line as domestic horses, in contrast PrzewalskiÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s horses 66 genes two more than domestic horses. All the Przewalski horses alive in world today are descended from 14 individuals who were snatched from the brink of total extinction as result their continued survival, continues to be threatened by lack of genetic diversity and the National Zoo specializes in production of habitat and in breeding endangered species is a leader in re-introducing PrzewalskiÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s horses back into the wild. Now, one more time to understand this 55 million year ago, time period I referred to, the larger context of the emergence of earliest mammals. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re going to go to the Bighorn Basin located in the Wyoming badlands, a place where towns have names Buffalo and Greybull and as I learned the local brew that they like to market and is very tasty is called Moose Drool, very good beer. The Bighorn Basin is a unique place because it was formed as the Rocky Mountains were simultaneously rising up but being eroded away. The rivers eroding the Rockies laid down thick layers of mud in the Bighorn Basin which subsequently themselves were eroded into badland so that the rocks and fossils of million of years ago are quite close to the surface. Now, we went to Worland, Wyoming and the Bighorn Basin just a few months ago to visit with our Smithsonian researchers and some other colleagues where they have been trying to excavate fossil for about 30 years. Our folks are paleobotanists, paleobiologists and theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re looking not for dinosaur bones but for plant fossils, very important. And their discoveries are making an important contribution to our understanding of global warming, we believe. Smithsonian researchers in polar regions along with others study global warming by boring deep in a glacial ice, many of you are familiar with that and removing a core and looking at one that was laid down over the course of many thousands of years. A really good ice core will take you back 800,000 years, However the past million years which encompasses that period was actually a time of cooling of our planet. And if you only look at that time frame, you look at whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happen within that time frame, youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re only looking at data day set about global warming. But if you look at fossils and look back 55 million years ago, youÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll see a different perspective. The earth at this time, 55 million years ago was in a 30 million year warm period, warmer than itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s been at anytime since then and the Paleocene as it give way to the Eocene things heated even more for various reasons probably having to do with a period of high volcanic eruption. The earth entered a period of rapid global warming in almost 10,000 years called the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum which lasted over total about 200,000 years and during that time, the averagge surface temperature of the earth rose by 4 to 8 degrees Celsius and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached levels triple that of today. Remember, mammals were small, it was very hot and hard for them to survive. Cold blooded animals like snakes got bigger and so Smithsonian folks have recently discovered snakes as big as 45 feet and weighing 2,500 pounds, they do well, some forms of life do very well when it gets hot. Well, palm leaf fossils, I like to comment, the type, size and features of these fossilized leaves provide a rough thermometer if you will, to the temperatures, the rough rain gauge and so forth. What a Bighorn Basin plant fossil indicates that 55 million years ago during the Paleocene/Eocene maximum therm is that the equatorial tropics moves north covering all the United States and this particular fossils is something that IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢m actually looking at and its amazing to open up a rock and see a fossil has been there for and has not been seen for 55 million years ago. The change was so rapid that in terms of a geological clock it was like going to bed in my home state of Georgia and waking up the next morning in Southern Mexico. As global warming has become an increasing concern for a long term future the Smithsonian collection of leaf fossils in the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum are an important resource for us to understand the future. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re going to take a further step back 55 million years are not enough and weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re gonna leave the earth for outer space to study the development of our solar system, our galaxy and the universe itself. Smithsonian first secretary was a physicist, who started the institution on a course that is made the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory the largest and most diverse astrophysical institution in the world. We operate telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona and partners in activity in Chile. We also operate space based telescope like the one shown here. Telescopes are in fact, the astronomers and the astrophysicist will tell us, time machines. Of course in the course of the year light travels 5.9 trillion miles. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a light year but itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s also a measure of time for example in this picture from SmithsonianÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s telescope in Arizona of the Whirlpool Galaxy is 20 million light years from earth. So the collision we see here reflect how things looked 20 million years ago. As we explore the history of the universe, one of the more intriguing question is, are there other planets out there similar to the earth that might have living organisms on it? And this question is the focus of the Kepler satellite which is a project where Smithsonian is an important component of it. It was launched in March. For the next four years, Kepler will scan the Milky Way to detect and categorize planets that are in, what we would call the habitable zone that means it meets the requirements for life. Kepler will continuously monitor 100,000 stars that are similar to the sun watching for orbiting planet across their face. And by the way, the Kepler project is listening as well as looking because other stars like our sun might just be broadcasting messages to us acoustically. Kepler indeed has already identified a number of interesting planets like earth. So take two. We move a little further back, in the timeline for the Smithsonian. And turn once more to the Smithsonian collections of meteorites, the Allende meteorite. This meteorite which was discovered by Smithsonian scientist in Northern Mexico in 1969 is the oldest known natural specimen in the world 4.5 billion years old. It contains some of the very first matter that condensed out of the solar nebula when our solar system formed and it also contained tiny diamonds from the supernova explosions of other solar system as well as amino acids that are not part of our natural world here on earth. The wealth of significant information it brought us has caused some to call this meteorite the Rosetta stone of planetary science. So we now end our journey about Smithsonian timeline back on a high mountain top in Chile, 8,000 feet above sea level and a climate that is so dry, very little grows there, there is no water vapor, no clouds; great place for observatories. The air is crisp and clear and devoid of moisture and ambient light. When I was there and walked out at night, it was stunning to see a sky I had never seen before because you saw so much. We are partners of the Las Campanas observatory with the Carnegie Institution and others and we are involve presently with the so called the Magellan Telescopes. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the only place in the world, and I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know if you can see this closely, where you have a sign that says parking reserve for astronomers. Now over the course for the next decade something called the Giant Magellan Telescope will be built in Las Campanas by an international consortium of which we are a member. This is a powerful new telescope that will allow us to see stars in the universal ten times more clearly than the space based Hubble. Not only will we gain a clear picture what happened in space millions of years ago, but as we looked further out in the universal, will be looking further back we may be able to see events associated with the big bang 14 billion years ago, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s exciting. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s human of course, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s human nature for us to often focus on our differences, how different we are than others, people do that on an individual level in their daily lives and we began Smithsonian time in line with the celebration and preservation of unique cultures and languages. But as we journey back further in time, those differences fade away. And weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re reminded that an infinite scheme of the planet and the universe such differences are superficial. We are all from Africa, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re all made up of stardust that traces time back to the formation our solar system and beyond. Now that weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve sort taken our quick journey, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve gone through the Smithsonian timeline back to the origin of the universe, what about the Long Now of the future? Of course, our extensive collections come from the past to the present, but as we look forward the SmithsonianÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s breadth of interest and expertise provide a unique opportunity for collaborative long-term thinking about across disciplines and indeed around the world. I want to give you a couple a quick examples about ecosystems. We begin in Kenya, the same country where Smithsonian anthropologists are researching the emergence of the worldÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s first human being. Over this time we go to Mpala to a Wildlife Research Centre where, in partnership with others, weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ve helped establish a scientific preserve of 48,000 acres in Kenya, very near at Mount Kenya. Our purpose here is to help find ways to sustain a complex ecosystem that includes human beings as well as a diverse and exotic population of magnificent animals. My recent visit to the Mpala Wildlife Preserve begins elephants and ended with ants, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s important because the research institution, the research center correctly views all of this as an ecosystem and all of the large and tiny species work together. The ants lives in bulbous hollow nuts at the joints of acacia trees which you see up here and they protect the acacia tree and I can vouch for that, if you tap an acacia tree, out come the ants, donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t stand too close because they will defend their territory and they protect the acacia against parasites, but they keep their acacia healthy that keeps the grasses healthy and it keeps the elephants healthy and its all connected. Food is important here of course, because the Mpala Reserve is surrounded by native peoples, the Maasai tribe for example and the Samburu tribe. Their livestock compete with the wildlife for food resulting in overgrazing. Any plan to conserve the wildlife must consider the people, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the challenge: all parts of the ecosystem, humans as well as wildlife can adapt to each other the chances of survival wil be higher, very important. Ecosystem is deteriorating rapidly: Kenya went from 9 million people to 39 million people in a very short period of time so the competition for habitat is substantial. Take you to the forest in Panama, the rainforest where the Smithsonian has been studying tropical forest system for upwards of 100 years not long by Long Now standards, but longer than anybody else, we have the longest running continuously observed plot of land in the Barro Colorado Island in the middle of the Panama Canal of any place in the world. Our studies have made it clear the tropical ecosystems are incredibly dynamic and subject to climate change, small changes in the climate. So we created the Smithsonian Global Earth Observatories, a network of forest research plots across the world, observing consistently the same way, whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happening to the worldÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s rainforest in comparing those data. The goal is to keep on our hand on the pulse of the planet by monitoring the long-term growth and survival of 65,000 species of trees in the ecosystem that exist around and very important to us for things like carbon sequestration and containing the effects of global warming. Philosophers and historians have argued for millennia about whether or not history actually repeats itself, but Mark Twain probably got it right when he said history doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t repeat itself but it does rhyme. So at the Smithsonian weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re looking for the deep underlying rhythms that will help us prepare for the Long Now of the future. For example when we looked to the history of the planet and the major global challenges facing us today climate change is a common trend and a driving force and that will also be true in our long-term future. So itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a good idea to learn as much as we can about the underlying long-term rhythms of global warming and climate change. Predicting the future of global warming unfortunately is still an inexact science and the patterns and impacts of climate change are not well understood. Global warming and climate change affects the actions and reaction of everything, all living thing. Reality is much more complex than even the most sophisticated computer model today. As our Smithsonian paleobiologist Scott Wing whoÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s working in Wyoming on the sites that I described earlier, says, we still have a lot to learn and a significant portion of what we would call the operators manual is carved in stone in the fossils a place like the Bighorn Basin where we have to learn from nature in the future. The evidence from 55 million years ago contained in plant fossils is giving us a better understanding of global warming and will help refine the models of those who are developing them. WeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re also learning that we may have been modeling with the wrong assumption. We traditionally assume that the goal was optimality in our model, figuring out how to sustain the best possible configuration for the longest possible time. But the Paleocene/Eocene thermal maximum implies, and others, that we should be thinking about different assumptions. Essentially what we need to think about that 10,000 years which carbon boils into the atmosphere rapidly causing dramatic global warming, actually at a slower pace than weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re causing right now though. Because what follow was a much longer stretched of time when which species namely mammals settled down and learn to live in a new environment. Not all did but some did. The key to survival was not optimality but adaptability. The challenge as our work has shown in Mpala and others is to make that consistent with our models. So the challenge of adaptability brings us full circle back to SmithsonianÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s collections and the task of discerning when to hold fast, and when to let go. Several months after 9/11 a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks came to Smithsonian to make a sand Mandala for the healing of American people. Days after painstakingly precise labor yielded an intricate and beautiful sand painting, that was 7 feet across, one of the largest ever made, the Smithsonian, as curator of the world, and our curators said, we will preserve it. But, after itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢d been display about two weeks the monks went through the ritual of dismantling Mandala with brushes. They gathered the sand in a glass jar and they dumped it the Potomac River. For them, the return of the sand to the natural environment from which it came, was a reminder of the Buddhist belief that material life is transitory. For the Smithsonian it illustrated once again the eternal tension between the ephemeral and the permanent. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not always easy to discern which objects should be cast aside and which ones we should hold on to for the future. Those decisions are difficult and we have fortunately wonderful curators and scientists to help make those decision. We collect with a long-term purpose. The title of this talk, Smithsonian Forever, comes from a quotation by David Shayt who was a beloved curator of Smithsonian Museum of American History and he passed away recently. David collected unusual objects, a eclectic objects, some of them more whimsical and speak to our culture, bells, tools, cue sticks, crayons, Playboy bunny costumes, lunchboxes, surf boards and much more. He collected objects from Ground Zero immediately after 9/11 and New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He once explained his work with these words that you see here and I think he spoke for everyone at the Smithsonian. As David noted humans, people, are optimists. They believe in the future, they want things that have meaning to them and they want those things to live on beyond their lifetime. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a recognition that the art and artifacts in the SmithsonianÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s collections play an important role in helping transfer identity, meaning and understanding from one generation to the next, to the next. We also think of all SmithsonianÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s work as taking place in the context of forever. Not only because weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢re engaged in an enormously important effort to learn more about history stretching back through time even to the big bang but also because we believe that understanding that history will be a useful tool in understanding our future into the Long Now and beyond. Thank you very much for joining me this evening.