Dee Glazer

The Long Now

  • May


    I recently listened to an episode of the Stuff You Should Know podcast about a project going on with the goal of building a 10,000 year clock. The foundation building the clock is called The Long Now. The clock itself is designed to tick for 10,000 years. It will be built in such a way that it will only require Bronze Age technology to power it. That is, there will be no electric power to it other than a human operated crank, a weighted system, and a pendulum.


    I thought it was interesting that although it will outlive them, the clock is dependent on the existence of humans to maintain it. The location of the clock will be inside of a mountain in Texas. There will also be rooms within the mountain with relics of centuries past. So it will be up to humans at the time to pick a relic to put in their centuries alcove. I wonder if perhaps we are going to put an ipod, or maybe a television with Netflix hooked up.

    The clock can even account for the inconsistencies in the Earth?s rotation, i.e. the inconsistencies of time passing throughout the year. It will be able to determine solar noon via a prism sticking out of the mountain, and reset its time accordingly.

    I imagine the clock to look like the inner workings of the industry in Metropolis. With millions of people cranking the wheels, pulling its levers, and sweating profusely so we can keep time. Although it will not look like this at all, I can still dream.