The Long Now Foundation

The world is changing fast, the last 100 years saw the creation of a global network of airplanes, computers, the internet, nuclear energy, and the discovery, sequencing and editing of the genome. The tendency of politics is to focus on the next election (at least in democracies). The tendency of business is to focus on the next quarter. The engines of our fast-changing modern world tend to focus our attention on the narrow world of right now. Because of this, we need a cultural institution that can counteract this and create tools to zoom out to a larger interval of time. That is what the Long Now Foundation was created to do, it’s purpose is to promote long-term thinking.

Here is their visualization of the “long now”:

The long now contains about 20,000 years of history, with the current moment in the middle. One small trick they use to remind people of this wider interval of time is to write years using 5 digits, instead of 4. For example, the day after tomorrow, it will be the year 02019. That way, it will seem a bit more natural to talk about the year 15019, and how there will be a new North Star for the Earth.

Another project they are working on is a clock that will tick for 10,000 years, as a physical embodiment of this long-term perspective.

Today I joined, as member 9945, if you are interested, you can join here.

Have a Happy New Year 02019!