Our video this week comes courtesy of the Long Now Foundation, which has just begun installing a mechanical clock in a West Texas mountain that will keep time for 10,000 years.
Conceived by US engineer and entrepreneur Danny Hillis, the Clock of the Long Now aims to shift humanity’s thinking away from the immediate, inspiring a more long-term view of the world and our place in it. The mechanism is made primarily from special grades of stainless steel, titanium and dry running ceramic ball bearings. It has been designed to run with minimum intervention or maintenance, harvesting energy from temperature fluctuations between day and night.
The clock will tick just once a year, with a century hand marking every 100 years, and a cuckoo making an appearance every millennium. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos – a supporter of the project who has pumped $42m into it – has encouraged people to visit the temporal monument, but warned them that doing so will take ‘commitment’. The nearest airport is several hours away by car, and the foot trail to the clock rises about 2,000 ft above a valley.