Based on his recent comments to shareholders about Amazon.com’s willingness to be misunderstood for many years, we knew Jeff Bezos was good at taking a long view.
But it turns out that his view is much, much longer than most people knew.
On a new website, the Amazon founder explains his involvement in an extraordinary project to construct a clock that will keep time for the next 10,000 years.
An excerpt from his introductory message …
It’s a special clock, designed to be a symbol, an icon for long-term thinking. It’s of monumental scale inside a mountain in West Texas. The father of the Clock is Danny Hillis [co-founder of the Long Now Foundation]. He’s been thinking about and working on the Clock since 1989. He wanted to build a Clock that ticks once a year, where the century hand advances once every 100 years, and the cuckoo comes out on the millennium. The vision was, and still is, to build a Clock that will keep time for the next 10,000 years. I’ve been helping Danny with the project for the last half dozen years. As I see it, humans are now technologically advanced enough that we can create not only extraordinary wonders but also civilization-scale problems. We’re likely to need more long-term thinking.
The clock is currently under construction inside a mountain in the Sierra Diablo Range in West Texas. See Bezos’ full message for all of the details, including plans for special “anniversary chambers” — for the 100, 1,000, and 10,000 year marks — that will be left for future generations to animate.
Also see this post by Kevin Kelly for a great behind-the-scenes look at the project.