Billionaire founder of Amazon.com Jeff Bezos is helping to fund a project to build a clock that will run for 10,000 years. Working with him is Danny Hillis, who designed the clock. Highlights of the clock includes a chime generator that will generate a different chime everyday for 10,000 years and an elaborate cuckoo-like sequence that will be played every year, decade, century, millennium and, finally, 10 millennia. The clock will run on solar power and relies on computers to calculate the sun's positions for 10,000 years.
Interesting also is the choice of location. The clock is built in the Sierra Diablo mountain range where the nearest airport is several hours away by car. And even when you do arrive, the foot trail to the clock is rugged and rises close to 2000 feet above the valley floor. Of this, Bezos said that visiting the clock will take "commitment".
Plans to build a 10,000 year clock has been in the works since 1989 when Danny Hillis first started thinking and working on it. However, it wasn't until when Bezos came up with "a small portion" of his fortune - $42 million - that the project got kickstarted. But why a 10,000 year clock you may wonder? In Bezos' words:
“The reason I’m doing it is that it is a symbol of long-term thinking, and the idea of long-term responsibility. We humans have become so technologically sophisticated that in certain ways we’re dangerous to ourselves. It’s going to be increasingly important over time for humanity to take a longer-term view of its future.”