Emotional Truth, Political Lies #05

We Need a Bigger Boat

Add a Bigger Us to the Long Now and a Wider Here.

Alan Tabor
12 min readMay 21, 2022


Jaws — PR Photo & “Great white shark” by Gussy (Luke) is marked with CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Longer Now, Wider Here, Bigger Us

The Concept

In 2003, Brian Eno explained the insight behind the name of the Long Now Foundation.

After noting that he liked to move around, see the shops, and meet people in any neighborhood he lived in, he described going to a house-warming party in New York in the late ’70s.

The taxi delivered him to an address in a bad neighborhood. He suspected he was at the wrong address until, arriving at the top floor, he found himself in a “multi-million dollar palace.” He asked the host if she liked the neighborhood? The reply: “Oh, the neighborhood? Well, that’s outside.”

Thinking about the difference between a very ‘small here’ and a larger one, it occurred to him that time was being treated similarly.

I noticed that this very local attitude to space in New York paralleled a similarly limited attitude to time. Everything was exciting, fast, current, and temporary. Enormous buildings came and went, careers rose and crashed in weeks. You rarely got the feeling that anyone had the time to think two years ahead, let alone ten or a hundred. Everyone seemed to be passing through. It was undeniably lively, but the downside was that it seemed selfish, irresponsible and randomly dangerous. I came to think of this as “The Short Now”, and this suggested the possibility of its opposite — “The Long Now”.

Brian describes the Short Now elsewhere as a “lack of empathy for the future.” Bigger here, longer now, I agree, but there’s a piece missing — the third leg as it were.

We need a Bigger Us added to a Wider Here and a Longer Now.


Selfishness beats altruism within groups. Altruistic groups beat selfish groups. Everything else is commentary.
David Sloan Wilson & Edward O Wilson*1

Politics is organized hatred.
— Henry Adams

There are challenges.



Alan Tabor

Berkeley Backpacking Biz Lifer, System Builder, Coder, Community Organizer, Music and Evolutionary Biology Geek. Sign up and my projects at http://altabor.org/