Monday, October 16, 2006

The Long Now and a history of "the future"

In surfing the net researching Stewart Brand, I came across The Long Now Foundation -- set up to fund the Clock of the Long Now and get people thinking long-term again. Author Michael Chabon:
I don’t know what happened to the Future. It’s as if we lost our ability, or our will, to envision anything beyond the next hundred years or so, as if we lacked the fundamental faith that there will in fact be any future at all beyond that not-too-distant date.

As he explains, once we lose our ability to think about a future beyond ourselves and our progeny, we lose something fundamentally human:

If you don’t believe in the Future, unreservedly and dreamingly, if you aren’t willing to bet that somebody will be there to cry when the Clock finally, ten thousand years from now, runs down, then I don’t see how you can have children. If you have children, I don’t see how you can fail to do everything in your power to ensure that you win your bet, and that they, and their grandchildren, and their grandchildren’s grandchildren, will inherit a world whose perfection can never be accomplished by creatures whose imagination for perfecting it is limitless and free.

"The Omega Glory" by Michael Chabon

The Long Now Foundation

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