As any Amazon (AMZN) investor will tell you, Jeff Bezos believes in long-term thinking. Make that really, really long-term thinking. So long, in fact, that he’s spending at least $42 million to build a giant clock that will tick for 10,000 years deep inside a mountain in West Texas.
The clock is being constructed by the Long Now Foundation, which aims to promote a more patient, far-sighted mindset in an increasingly fast-paced world. The clock will play a new tune every year, century, and millennium, and will not repeat a melody throughout its entire lifespan. It doesn’t have a practical purpose, per se, and it certainly won’t make money. It’s more of a conceptual art piece designed to encourage people to be good stewards of humanity’s distant future. Journalists can only hope that Bezos’s purchase of the profit-challenged Washington Post will be similarly philosophically driven.
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Here are four articles you should read about the world’s most permanent timepiece:
- The basics on how the clock works, from the Long Now Foundation.
- “What Makes Jeff Bezos Tick? A $42 Million Clock, for Starters,” includes details about the cell phone air bag Bezos is working on, from The Wall Street Journal.
- The gritty details on “How to Make a Clock Run for 10,000 Years,” from Wired.
- And Michael Chabon writes about what the clock represents in Details.