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#1 caliban

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 07:07 PM


Intrinsic to the idea of wanting to live a long life is to develop a philosophy about the place and value of history.

Critics point out that time and again through the centuries people felt that they were on the verge of obtaining the ‘key’ to living forever. Conversely, a lot of positive ‘hype’ in life extension is based on an assertion that never before have we been so serious about achieving a breakthrough. You will need to form your own perspective on this - but this cannot be done without an appreciation of some relevant history.

 

But does this knowledge hold its own dangers? By insisting on an awareness of what has come before, do we stymie the enthusiasm of the next generation?

When LongeCity was founded in 2001, the Internet had just recently taken hold in every home in the developed world and proven that it was ‘here to stay’. Since then a new generation has encountered our mission who cannot imagine a life without the internet.

In between, thoughts were expressed and ideas exchanged online that are relevant to the longecity mission – and most of these are now lost.  Websites were build, blogs, chatrooms, other discussion forums, organisations… and many have disappeared again. But not on Longecity.

And this is a virtue we aim to cultivate: perhaps discussions in chatrooms, messengers, facebook, twitter etc. are sometimes more immediate, but what is the value if they are “here today- gone tomorrow”?  

Keeping information at Longecity has the great benefit of allowing a knowledge base to grow and improve, thus building on what has gone before rather than constantly starting from an empty slate. 

 

Maintaining this consistent Archive also has some of challenges:

  • We need to ensure that content is backed up securely at regular intervals. This is a not insignificant strain on volunteers and our partners canaca.com.     
  • We need to make sure that ‘old’ information is curated well. On the forums functions like the ‘search’, ‘’similar topics’ and ‘tags’ (which have even be edited subsequently) help to keep an overview.
  • Everyone needs to be mindful that discussions are put into the proper historic context. Often, posters bristle at the fact that something they may have posted some time ago cannot be changed whereas they may have since altered their position or new facts have emerged. The Longecity solution, in most cases, is not to ‘falsify’ history by editing the information directly, but by adding clarifying comments in a continuing narrative. 
  • We need to leave room for the ‘new generation’ to discover and discuss initially without any ‘baggage’. This may mean that veterans are willing to revisit ‘old’ topics on occasion with an open mind and some patience. Despite its extensive archives requiring newcomers to study them for weeks before being ‘permitted’ to open a new topic has never been part of the longecity culture.

 

While it is import to appreciate that any information on LongeCity is always only current as of its unique datestamp, there are sections of the forums which are specifically designated ‘archives’ including:

  • The general ‘Archive’ section – this has mainly some past ‘official’ items which have been moved there to ensure that they are not misunderstood as current.  
  • The ‘Decisions Archive’ – accessible only to members this is the most important place to share leadership decisions and deliberations.
  • The newly established “Applications Archive”: Usually, when someone makes an application to LongeCity for funding or partnership they can decide if the proposal is to be considered 'confidential'. The usual route is for ‘triaging’ proposals in the public ‘Project Ideas’ Forum. However, in response to specific initiatives, most notably in response to open calls posted in the Commission forum, some correspondents may prefer to use email or our contact form, for a less public approach. If the proposal gets endorsed eventually, we usually disclose the deliberations in the "Decisions Archive" section of the Immortality Institute section. However, if a proposal gets rejected it may still be very worthwhile in the interest of transparency and accountability to share why. On the other hand this has downsides: commentators may feel constrained to speech openly, if they know that they perspective will be disclosed to the applicant or more widely. Applicants may feel misgivings about having criticisms published, and there may be good reasons for maintaining commercial, personal or scientific confidentiality. Where these factors dominate, the discussion will be archived confidentially in the directors forum. However, where these factors are less important, the discussions will be posted in this "ApplicationsArchive" - this is still not a 'public' place and any Members reading threads in this sub-forum are asked to please keep this information IN CONFIDENCE.   

 

Preserving information 

In order to strengthen Longecity's value as a resource and archive we have issued an open call (and some funds) to ‘take on’ external content.

 

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