The Long Now Blog Â» Blog Archive Â» Neal Stephenson – King of the Worlds
Building the clock, it turns out, has been an antidote to the toxic fixation on short-term thinking that permeates our culture. Hillis and the friends who joined himâ€”like fellow Long Now cofounders Stewart Brand (who wrote a book about the project) and Brian Eno (who composed a CD of chimes inspired by the clock)â€”found that its design and construction required recalibrating oneâ€™s own mental clock to envision what things would be like in the distant future. Ideally, that mindset encourages behavior that tends to preserve the environment for clock customers in the year 12000, instead of gobbling up resources and leaving behind trash that tends to mess things up for those folks.
Also see this article in Wired Mag on Stephenson’s new book.
“I could never get that idea, the notion that society in general is becoming aliterate, out of my head,” he says. “People who write books, people who work in universities, who work on big projects for a long time, are on a diverging course from the rest of society. Slowly, the two cultures just get further and further apart.”