Politics does matter

The Long News #2: stories that might still matter fifty, or a hundred, or ten thousand years from now.

Senator Arlen Specter’s change of party affiliation is a news story that is likely to have long-term consequences; if the opposition can’t filibuster, it makes it much more likely that President Obama’s agenda will pass. Many parts of the agenda (shoring up the banking system, changing the way health care is paid for) seem primarily of short-term significance; but investing in a green economy or in primary research could lead to a very different future.

1. Good news for people who are worried about innovation in the U.S. — the budget for the National Science Foundation is doubling: Obama vows return to US science prominence

2. I, robot: Robots are narrowing the gap with humans

3. Unfortunately, running out of oil may not mean the end of the gas-guzzler: Lab finds new method to turn biomass into gasoline

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The Long Now Foundation is a nonprofit established in 01996 to foster long-term thinking. Our work encourages imagination at the timescale of civilization — the next and last 10,000 years — a timespan we call the long now.

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