Steven Johnson with Kevin Kelly - Extra Life (Online Event)

Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 5:00pm

Book Passage Presents • With the Long Now Foundation

Thurs., May 20th, 2021 • 5:00pm PT • Live • Online

In conversation with Kevin Kelly

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The surprising and important story of how humans gained what amounts to an extra life, from the bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Where Good Ideas Come From.

As a species, we have doubled our life expectancy in just one hundred years. All the advances of modern life—the medical breakthroughs, the public health institutions, the rising standards of living—have given us each about twenty thousand extra days on average. There are few measures of human progress more astonishing than our increased longevity.

This book is Steven Johnson’s attempt to understand where that progress came from. How many of those extra twenty thousand days came from vaccines, or the decrease in famines, or seatbelts? What are the forces that now keep us alive longer? Behind each breakthrough lies an inspiring story of cooperative innovation, of brilliant thinkers bolstered by strong systems of public support and collaborative networks.

But it is not enough simply to remind ourselves that progress is possible. How do we avoid decreases in life expectancy as our public health systems face unprecedented challenges? What current technologies or interventions that could reduce the impact of future crises are we somehow ignoring?

A study in how meaningful change happens in society, Extra Life is an ode to the enduring power of common goals and public resources. The most fundamental progress we have experienced over the past few centuries has not come from big corporations or start-ups. It has come, instead, from activists struggling for reform; from university-based and publicly funded scientists sharing their findings open-source-style; and from nonprofit agencies spreading new innovations around the world.

Steven Johnson is the bestselling author of thirteen books, including Where Good Ideas Come From, Farsighted, and The Ghost Map. He’s the host and cocreator of the Emmy–winning PBS/BBC series How We Got to Now, and the host of the podcast American Innovations. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Marin County, California, with his wife and three sons.

Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor for its first 7 years. His most recent book is The Inevitable, which is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. His other books include the bestselling New Rules for the New Economy, the classic Out of Control, and his summary theory of technology in What Technology Wants. From 1984-1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Catalogs. He co-founded the Hackers’ Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He also founded the popular Cool Tools website in 2003.

Our mission at The Long Now Foundation is to foster long-term thinking and responsibility. Recognizing that many problems of global magnitude can be traced back to a lack of long-term perspective, we offer a counterpoint to today’s pervasive “faster and cheaper” mindset. Through a variety of creative programs that bring arts and culture into dialogue with science and technology, we try to show that the theme of “slower and better” is an especially effective guide to help us generate ideas and insights that will benefit society within the framework of the next 10,000 years. By encouraging thought and conversation about what might be in store for us in the next century, the next millennium, and the next geological era, The Long Now Foundation ultimately tries to expand our collective sense of the present moment: rather than focus only on the immediate “here and now,” we encourage people to become aware of the Big Here and the Long Now. Find more at https://longnow.org/.

 

Steven Johnson photo by Nutopia Ltd.; Kevin Kelly photo by Christopher Michel

 

Location: 
Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525538851
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 11th, 2021

Enemy of All Mankind: A True Story of Piracy, Power, and History's First Global Manhunt Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780735211612
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 11th, 2021