24 February 2018

Live Science: “This Giant Clock will tick for 10,000 Years”

On Tuesday (Feb. 20), Bezos tweeted the first video footage of an unusual project he’s funding, called the 10,000-Year Clock. True to its name, the clock is designed to accurately keep time for 10,000 years. It’s powered by a combination of solar energy and occasional windings by any intrepid visitors who stray into the limestone cliffs of Texas’ Sierra Diablo mountain range sometime over the next 10 millennia.

To Bezos, who reportedly invested $42 million in the clock’s construction, the timepiece is the ultimate symbol of long-term thinking. To Danny Hillis, an inventor and computer scientist who first described the idea for the clock in Wired magazine in 1995, it’s a vision come to life.

Brandon Specktor

Amazing project! Reminds me of the giant horologe at the center of the concent of Saunt Edhar in the sci-fi novel Anathem.

Clock of the Long Now - Installation Begins

Above the power station, engineers will eventually install a cascading tower of 20 huge, 1,000-lb. (450 kg) gears known as Geneva wheels. This will be the clock’s time generator — or, as Long Now board member Kevin Kelly described it, “the world’s slowest computer”. Once a day, the gears will turn and interlace an elaborate system of slots and pins in a different combination, which determines the precise order in which the clock’s 10 bells will ring. According to Kelly, the clock will reportedly chime once a day, producing a unique combination of tones every day for the next 10,000 years.

It would be even more amazing if, at the end of this 10,000 years, there will still be some (recognizable) form of humanity left to appreciate this achievement.

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