All the time in the world

19.12.47: THE WORLD'S biggest clock has been unveiled at Gyangze, on the high Tibetan plateau.

Designed to counterbalance the relentless pace of modern life, the Long Clock is intended to last 10,000 years, ticking once a year, bonging once a century and cuckooing every millennium.

The Long Now Foundation began working on designs for the clock nearly 50 years ago and, in the true spirit of the project, it has only just been unveiled.

The location site has been deliberately distanced from major urban centres so as to increase the clock's chances of survival.

As civilisation progresses exponentially, time has increasingly become taken for granted. The Long Clock is intended to challenge these conventions. It is hoped that the clock will encourage a reassessment of attitudes, with a shift of emphasis to slower, better thinking.

Housed in a monumental structure, the clock is a powerful iconic object that transcends the vagaries of technologically obsessed societies.

Despairing at the short-term outlook of market-driven economics, the one-term election focus of western democracies and the increasing distractions of personal multi-tasking, the LC organisation has conceived a monument that is exciting to visit and think about.

The aim is to encourage a long-term view of man's future responsibilities. SC

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