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Tackle Today: The 10,000-year clock

January 14, 2020

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The 10,000-year clock (image source Rolfe Horn/The Long Now Foundation)
Source: Rolfe Horn/The Long Now Foundation

≈ The Clock of the Long Now. ≈

Long-term thinking is essentially gone. Extinguished. The faster/cheaper mentality replaced the slower/better a while ago.

In The Dao of Capital, Mark Spitznagel talks about the depth of field, a concept that helps us focus on the temporal side of things. The seen—visible and immediate—is easily grasped. The yet unseen, coming next as a consequence of the seen can become the foreseen. Once we extend our depth of field from the immediate to the intermediate and beyond we are able to build this time sequence bridge, from seen to unseen, making the future a little bit clearer, although still opaque and unpredictable. 

The Clock of the Long Now, also known as the 10,000-year clock, was a project conceived by Danny Hillis in 1986. According to Wired Magazine, nobody actually started building a full-scale 10,000-year clock until Jeff Bezos put up about $42 million in the project.

Instead of focusing on the amount of resources and work such a project will consume until finished, let’s get to the design principles, clear and concisely laid out by The Long Now Foundation on their own website.


With occasional maintenance, the clock should reasonably be expected to display the correct time for the next 10,000 years.


The clock should be maintainable with bronze-age technology.


It should be possible to determine operational principles of the clock by close inspection.


It should be possible to improve the clock with time.


It should be possible to build working models of the clock from table-top to monumental size using the same design.

The same principles can apply to your trading and investing journey through time. Pave your way. Elongate your depth of field. Embrace time.

Chart of the Day

Paving the way

(Source: Ripley's Believe It or Not!)
(Source: Ripley’s Believe It or Not!)

Video of the Day

The Clock of the Long Now

The Clock of the Long Now is a portrait of Danny Hillis and his brilliant team of inventors, futurists, and engineers as they build The 10,000 Year Clock—a grand, Stone Henge-like monolith, being constructed in a mountain in West Texas.

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