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Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos builds a $42 million dollar clock for the future

Time is something everyone seems to want more of. Songs have been written about it; sing along now, “If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do…”, or maybe you’re a “Casablanca” fan and know the words to “As Time Goes By.”

Jeff Bezos, of Amazon fame (and fortune), is interested in time. Not in the way most of us are, however. His interest is in the long-term. The really, really, really long-term. And he’s not afraid to spend money on it either. Of course, most of us don’t have Bezos’ fortune, so when you look at the staggering amount he’s paying for this clock, your jaw might drop!

But to think about the reactions that people will have 10,000 years from now is priceless. That’s like us discovering a saber-toothed cat.

It’s only a millennium or 10

Bezos is investing in a project to build a 10,000-year clock, which essentially will keep time for, you guessed it, 10,000 years. The clock will stand 500 feet tall and be powered by day and night cycles. It will be synchronized at solar noon, and the goal behind its creation is to promote long-term thinking.

He has invested $42 million as well as a hollowed-out mountain in west Texas for the clock. How many of us have a spare $42 million? In reality, for Bezos, this is like us buying a Timex. The meg-clock was designed by a man named Danny Hillis. It’s been an idea of his for the past 20 years, and Bezos is one of a handful of people who are helping him bring it to life. The last few years have been spent matching parts and drilling into the mountain.

What kind of room do you need for a clock of this size?

Well, there are actually FIVE rooms they’re calling anniversary chambers, one for the first year, 10 years, 100 years, 1,000 years and 10,000 years. Bezos wrote that the one-year chamber is a special orrery, (do you have your thesaurus handy?). Actually, an orrery predicts planet movements and alignments. They’ve planned events to happen for the first, and 10th anniversary but then said the rest will be left to future generations.

The century hand will move forward once every 100 years, with the cuckoo (what kind of clock would it be without one?) appearing every 1,000 years.

So when is this massive project going to be ready for visitors? Well, that question is still unanswered, building it all is easier said than done. The mountain where it will be is hours away from any airport, with a less-than-easy foot trail and an ascent of about 2,000 feet above the valley floor.

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