Saturday, June 18, 2011

10,000 year clock


There's a website called the 10,000 year clock. It explains in detail the project to put a clock inside the Sierra Diablo Mountain Range that will last for 10,000 years. In fact, if you want even more detail, check out this site, where there's a very long post about the clock - and others like it.

Reading through the post on Technium, I had to keep asking myself if this was all some sort of hoax. The explanation for trying to create a clock that will last (of its own accord) for ten millenia is related to people who think long term rather than short.

The clock's inventor, Danny Hillis, wrote: I cannot imagine the future, but I care about it. I know I am a part of a story that starts long before I can remember and continues long beyond when anyone will remember me. I sense that I am alive at a time of important change, and I feel a responsibility to make sure that the change comes out well. I plant my acorns knowing that I will never live to harvest the oaks.

I want to build a clock that ticks once a year. The century hand advances once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium. I want the cuckoo to come out every millennium for the next 10,000 years.

If you're not the sort of person who thinks this way (and I can't say that I truly am) then you may find all this long-term thinking a bit absurd. May be it is...maybe not, but there are some interesting people involved, including Jeff Brazos, the founder of Amazon.com.

The photo shows one of the models relating to the clock.
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