Long Now Foundation membership…

Since I first heard about the Long Now Foundation and its mission I’ve been delightfully intrigued by it. It’s mission: “The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996* to develop the Clock and Library projects, as well as to become the seed of a very long term cultural institution. The Long Now Foundation hopes to provide counterpoint to today’s “faster/cheaper” mind set and promote “slower/better” thinking. We hope to creatively foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.”

* The Long Now Foundation uses five digit dates, the extra zero is to solve the deca-millennium bug which will come into effect in about 8,000 years.

Yesterday’s mail brought my charter membership card for the Long Now Foundation. It’s made out of metal (hmmm….guess it will last awhile) and I haven’t been paying attention as they began taking memberships and, as it turns out, there were 995 people already as members! I quickly signed up (I’m number 996) and they’re at 1,084 members as of 5pm CDT (GMT -6) on July 4th.

One reason I’m intrigued is how they’ll make a clock that will last 10,000 years and be positioned in a geologically constant place that will potentially be unaltered for that length of time. I like thinking we may be around that long and not be forced to flee the planet as we use it up, pave it over or excrete enough carbon so that all the world is like Phoenix in the summer.

Besides being challenged to look forward for 10,000 years, I can’t imagine 10,000 years back when humans were hunter/gatherers and civilizations like Egypt were thousands of years in to the future. The difference now, of course, is that humans could lay waste to this entire planet in the blink of an eye and destroy ourselves and everything upon it. We also might breed ourselves into destruction (the world population is expected to hit over 9 billion by 2050!). It’s imperative that we all think about how we’re all connected, how what we do impacts our own lives and those of our childrens — and instead focus on the next several hundred or thousand generations. To net-it-out, that’s the goal of creating a foundation with projects like this one…get people to think really long-term.

This is a very serious project and the minds, money and effort going into its creation and deployment is impressive. Poke around the site awhile and consider becoming a member.

2 Comments

  1. Jeff De Cagna on July 4, 2007 at 8:28 pm

    Steve, I learned about the Long Now Foundation about six or seven years ago and, like you, its mission has always captured my imagination. I wasn’t aware of the membership opportunity, however, and so I’m grateful for your post. I have just joined and, from what I can tell, I am Member #1085! Thanks!



  2. Steve Borsch on July 4, 2007 at 8:46 pm

    Jeff…that’s great. I’m interested in trying to get out for one of their events. Just another reason why I’m always bummed I don’t live in the Bay Area with all the great stuff happenin’.



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