Tuesday, November 18, 2008

sci fi alive

Please, please, please find a way to spend just 23 minutes watching Stewart Brand detail the ideas of The Long Now crew in finding a home for an "impossible" clock. (Apologies to those who have daggy broadband though and won't be able to view this TED talk properly).

What a fantastic story of human ingenuity.

Perhaps it is pointless given the ills of the world! The world though, has always had ills and always will.

The artistry of being a human is that, instead of being bowed and cowed by ills, we can instead, invest in creating monumental mythology! A striking and breath-taking thing which encompasses, science, art, architecture, nature, sound, design in one singular artifact such as a 10,000 year clock.

That which transcends but does not try to usurp the universal laws of life is, in my book... very, very cool. I get really excited by projects like this. They seem to tap into a very deep core of my psyche and resonate almost as beautifully as the bell chimes in the clock itself!

I'd not heard of The Long Now Foundation until today. Now, having been introduced in this small way, I'm completely and utterly energised with a strange kind of excitement.

Why? I could hardly have conceived of something so esoteric as this and yet it seems so right to me that it exists!

Normally, I'd be cynical and wondering of the costs that "should" be going to support the poor and oppressed. Maybe that modus operandi of mine will still kick in with time. However, there is a palpable essence of triumphing over that which would bring us down in this Long Now project that I find exceptional and inspirational.

The IDEA of thinking long term beyond the instantaneous gratification of this moment seems to be essentially a correct and proper approach to all things. If we want to indeed help the poor and oppressed then we need to be looking from the vantage point of what is possible for these peoples long into the future. I suspect much of why we ignore the plight of those in the South is because we are uncomfortable with the possibility that they may be our equals or "shock, horror" our superiors in the distant future, so we oppress now to keep our own immediate sense of rightness in our place in time and history for as long as possible.

I shall endeavour to discover more about The Long Now Foundation now and muse on what it is about this clock project that resonates so deeply within me.

If only I had had the brains to have been a scientist of some kind! *muses wistfully*

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