Re: The Long Now (WAS: a to-do list for the next century)

From: Michael S. Lorrey (
Date: Thu Mar 23 2000 - 17:29:18 MST

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:
> In the western spiral arm of our galaxy lies a star system and a planet
> occupied ages ago. On one mountain of that planet there is a great
> structure, thousands of cubits tall. It is constructed of sapphire and
> diamond, is self-repairing, and derives energy from both solar power and
> an internal power supply which we do not understand.
good story.

> Still, I like the Clock of the Long Now. If there's a clause in the
> Sysop instructions about protecting artifacts like the Great Pyramid or
> the Declaration of Independence, I'd be the first to nominate the Clock
> of the Long Now for addition to the set. It's such a wonderful example
> of life imitating science fiction, especially if we can use
> nanotechnology to make the Clock really permanent.

Seems the Stonehengers had a good idea: no moving parts.

here's my idea:
make a sundial, only the tip of the sundial has a great lensed crystal
in it.

Build the sundial where there is a spring, and build small chimney
like structures that collect water inside them. As the focused light
from the lense
drifts upon each of these chimneys, the light heats up the water inside,
producing steam.
The steam billows up the chimney, into which is built a whistle
so that the steam blows the whistle. Each chimney's whistle strikes a
different note,
and since the sun track from each day will follow a different path,
each day will have its own melody.

> I'm not suggesting that building the Clock is morally wrong while little
> children are starving in Africa.

But that is your point. I'd rather that the Clock get built by someone
who might have spent that money on another superyacht.

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