Can you pass the marshmallow test?  You’re a little kid.  A marshmallow is 
placed on the table in front of you.  You’re told you can eat it any time, but 
if you wait a little while, you’ll be given two marshmallows to eat.

The kids who have the self-control to pass this most famous of psychological 
tests turn out to have more rewarding and productive lives.  Walter Mischel, 
who first ran the test in the 1960s, spent the rest of his career exploring how 
self-control works, summarized in his 2014 book The Marshmallow Test: Mastering 
Self-Control.  “The ability to delay gratification and resist temptation has 
been a fundamental challenge since the dawn of civilization,” he writes.  “It 
is the ‘master aptitude’ underlying emotional intelligence, essential for 
constructing a fulfilling life.”

This talk spells out the remarkable things have has been learned about 
willpower and self-control in the individual.  It also considers wider 
implications.  Does it make a difference when an organization or society has 
more people able to fully engage self-control?  Does it make a difference when 
that kind of behavior is publicly expected and trained for explicitly?  Is 
there a social or political or cultural level of surmounting marshmallow-test 
temptations?  That might be the essence of responsible long-term behavior.

"The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control," Walter Mischel, SFJAZZ Center, 
Hayes Valley, San Francisco, 7pm, Monday May 2. The show starts promptly at 

To be sure of a seat:
• Long Now Members <> can use the discount code 
on the Mischel Seminar page to reserve 2 free seats 
• You can purchase tickets for $15 each 
• Seminar at SFJAZZ Center <> 201 
Franklin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
• Tune into the live audio stream <> for Long Now 
Members at 7:30 PT - become a member <> for just 
$8 a month.
Share this talk: Walter Mischel, "The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control" 
Long Now talk on 5/2 <>

Talks coming up:
June 20 (Mon.) - Brian Christian, Algorithms to Live By 
Oct. 17 (Mon.) - Doug Coupland,The Extreme Present

High-quality videos of the talks and other benefits (such as priority tickets) 
are available to Long Now members.  Membership, which starts at $8/month 
($96/year), helps support the series and other Long Now projects. Joinable here 

This is one of a monthly series of Seminars About Long-term Thinking (SALT) 
organized by The Long Now Foundation. Free audio and my summaries of all 
previous talks are available for download here <> 
(or stay up to date with the podcast here 
<>). You'll find a range of long-term 
thinking items on our Blog <> (RSS 
<>).  If you would like to be notified by 
email (like this one) of forthcoming talks, go here 
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questions, contact Danielle Engelman at Long Now -- 415-561-6582 x1 
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You are welcome to forward this notice to anyone you think might be interested.

 --Stewart Brand <>

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