The 1000 year clock

May 20, 1997 in filtered based on organisation


Many of the projects related to The Long Now Foundation have similar goals as the 22nd century voices. One of the brilliant ideas is the 1000 year clock.


The idea to build a monument scale, multi-millennial, all mechanical clock as an icon to long-term thinking came from computer scientist Danny Hillis and was published in the form of an email to friends. Later it was followed up with an essay published in the 01995 Wired magazine “Scenarios” issue. Danny reasoned that by actually building a remote monument, the discussions around long-term thinking would be far more focused and it would lend itself to good storytelling and myth — two key requirements of anything lasting a long time.


In 01996, a group of these friends led by Stewart Brand incorporated a non-profit around the idea of long-term thinking and responsibility. This group became the founding board of The Long Now Foundation. One of the members, Peter Schwartz, suggested that 10,000 years be the time frame, as it was about how long humans have had a stable climate and technological progression.


In 01997, the Foundation held a design meeting around the 10,000 Year Clock idea where Danny presented his prototype of a binary mechanical computer. It was at this meeting the Foundation got its name from Brian Eno, and its first employee Alexander Rose.


The current outline for the clock face looks like this:

For more information please click here

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