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 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 huge atomic bombs
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£15000 - £70000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to ...
£12 - £14 per hour: Recruitment Genius: We are looking for someone to join a s...
£15310 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has arisen for a...