Photo: 10,000 Year Clock
Jeff Bezos was serious when he said he thinks about the long term.The Amazon founder is helping to build a 10,000 year clock on a piece of land he owns in West Texas.
The click ticks once every year, and there’s a century hand that moves once every 100 years, as well as a cuckoo that comes out every millennium. The idea is to get people to think about the distant future and how our actions today will impact future generations.
The clock was conceived by inventor Danny Hillis in 1995, and a non-profit group called the Long Now Foundation has been promoting the idea since the late 1990s.
Bezos explains in a recent post to the 10,000 Year Clock site that the initial planning is done and the actual machinery is now being built.
The team has carved out a bunch of chambers for the clock in the side of a mountain. The first chamber contains an animation featuring planets, the moon, and all the spacecraft launched by mankind in the 20th century. It will run once a year on a predetermined date.
There are also chambers for the hundred, thousand, and 10-thousand year marks, but the group is leaving the design of those animations to future generations.
Visiting the clock is a real commitment: it’s several hours away from the nearest airport and the trail up to it rises 2,000 feet.
Wired editor Kevin Kelly is also involved in the project, and he has a blog post with more details about the 10,000 Year Clock.
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