Artists seek site for clock that will keep time for 10,000 years
Monday 11 January 1999
The idea is to build a global monument that will stimulate people to think beyond the normal concept of time, as measured by hours and days, by encouraging them to think in centuries and millennia.
Artists and computer engineers who set up the Long Now Foundation to build the clock believe politicians are the key people to win over to the idea of a 10,000-year timepiece given their predilection for thinking in the short term.
Brian Eno, the British musician and artist who is a board member, came up with the name of Long Now after moving to New York and realising that the city's concept of "now" was even more short term than in Britain.
A prototype clock standing seven feet tall will be completed in the next few weeks and if the foundation secures funding, the full-scale version standing up to 80 feet tall will be built at a dry, desert site.
Using simple mechanical levers and devices that could be mended with Bronze Age technology - in case modern civilisation is destroyed - the clock is designed to tick once a day, move its hands once a year, bong once a century and do something spectacular once every thousand years.
"Most of the workings will be buried below ground as it needs to be fairly well protected, but the moving parts on its face will be visible," said Alexander Rose, director of the Long Now Foundation in San Francisco.
The clock is the brainchild of a computer scientist, Danny Hillis, and Stewart Brand, an author who is writing a book on the project to be published later this year. "Davos is the perfect place to get world leaders and corporate leaders and so on thinking in 10,000-year terms," Mr Brand said.
The clock will be built out of tungsten and steel which in a dry climate should last for thousands of years. A giant torsion pendulum will drive the clock and it will use the sun's position at midday to keep the right time.
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
- 5 I like Corbyn, but let's face it: we don't need another white man at the head of a political party
VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
Bank Holiday Monday opening times: Are Tesco, Asda and other supermarkets open today?
Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
The nine most warmongering countries in the world revealed
Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...
£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...