m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

The Clock of the Long Now

No, it’s not a new Gene Wolfe novel; it’s a binary mechanical computer designed to keep time for 10,000 years, somewhere in the Nevada desert. Michael Chabon has a column up about the clock and our quickly disappearing future:

I don’t know what happened to the Future. It’s as if we lost our ability, or our will, to envision anything beyond the next hundred years or so, as if we lacked the fundamental faith that there will in fact be any future at all beyond that not-too-distant date. Or maybe we stopped talking about the Future around the time that, with its microchips and its twenty-four-hour news cycles, it arrived. Some days when you pick up the newspaper it seems to have been co-written by J. G. Ballard, Isaac Asimov, and Philip K. Dick.