Re: Clock of the Long Now

From: Robert Owen (
Date: Sun Jan 02 2000 - 23:45:55 MST

Eliezer S Yudkowsky wrote:

> It may mean that the human race is indeed getting ready to vanish to
> wherever inscrutable ancient races go, leaving behind only such strange
> remnants as a giant clock that goes cuckoo once every 10,000 years.

That's the good news; the bad news is that they don't go anywhere but
remain latent in the gene pool. That is, if it looks like a Neaderthal or an
Etruscan, it probably is.

While our monolithic chronometer has a plate-tectonic metabolism, it
is not explained what chemical power source can endure such extended
periods of relative inactivity. A mere tick or bong cannot extend the
shelf-life to 10,000 years; on the other hand, if it turns out to be what
you rather archly dismiss, such self-regenerating sources are no doubt
widely distributed even as we speak.

Robert M. Owen
The Orion Institute
57 W. Morgan Street
Brevard, NC 28712-3659 USA

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