What do Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and Brian Eno have in common? They’re both members of The Long Now Foundation, an organisation around the idea of long-term thinking and responsibility, who have begun design and production on the ultimate icon to represent their group’s raison d’etre – a monumental, 10,000-year clock.
The clock has been a project of its principal designer Danny Hillis since an idea had in 1989, and attracting help in the form of dedicated engineers and backing from interested owners of mega corporations, is now becoming a reality.
The clock will be a monumental 200ft construction inside a Texan mountain that can only be reached after a day’s hike. Made of stainless steel, titanium and ceramic and powered by solar energy, the clock will tick for 10,000 years, periodically emitting a never-repeated chime sequence, from a generator composed by Brian Eno.
Why 10,000 years? Because that’s approximately how long our human civilization has existed, making the clock a symbolic measurement of “a future of civilization equal to its past.”
Will humans still exist to outlive the clock in 10,000 years? Will the clock itself survive the 10,000 years it’s built for? Er, we’ll never know…
The clock has no deadline to be completed (it’s the Long Term Foundation, remember, they like to spend time over their projects) but you can follow its progress and learn more at The Long Now Foundation’s site.
Amazon’s Jeff Besos owns the land in Texas under which the clock will be built, and is funding a large part of the project. He has a dedicated site here.