Have you ever found on Facebook, a school’s picture where you studied, completely changed, modern or falling to pieces?
Then you realize that many who lived on the same stage are there on Facebook, tagged in a photo taken with a Kodak 110 mm. As you discover more people you find out there are more recent photos taken by people sooner or later from the same place; who drop same tears at 8 pm from different parts of the world. Similar stories, anecdotes, students who returned as teachers to be all what they hated, but that, 26 years later, want to return to those days.
This is how all of us humans are, throwing away our son’s sketchbook, just because it doesn’t fit in the study cabinet. It’s the same with the note from our 12 years bride, for which would be willing to give everything, just to have it in our hands, to live the moment again.
Long Now is a foundation formed with the intention of creates ideas that enshrine in History what should not be lost in time. That time, which goes so fast that we forget, that we destroy, we waste, but that year later we want to recover.
Here and now, just mean in this room, these 5 minutes. Because tomorrow and then in a year or in 10 years, it will be totally different. What not to say in 10.000 years.
Long now comes under that idea. It comes with the altruistic intention to create a historic preservation project in the long term.
- Now, it’s just three days: yesterday, today and tomorrow
- Nowdays is the last decade, this decade and the next … well, does not even include years when we shake our head at Cinderella’s beat.
- Long now is a period of 20,000 years. This period ranges from 8,000 BC to 12,000.
While it is a very astral smoke of dreamy people, it is the way how many libraries, museums and encyclopedias were formed. With the difference that in this case refers to a “now”, which includes 10,000 years ago and equal amount forward; for this reason, these gentlemen have added a zero to the years (we are in year 02011), providing a similar phenomenon to the Y2K when 9,999 year will be passed. The idea, to create something that will be for history in long term, as it is now Stonehenge or the Giza pyramid, which are only about 4,000 years ago.
With the variant, that what is made can be upgraded in time, and someone in 10,000 years can see what we did right today, our customs, fashions, forms of government, infrastructure … well, so they can see that there were cavemen in year 2011 in places with absurd names like Mexico, Argentina, Spain, Peru or Honduras. In that age we thought, acted, fought over silly things, did cave paintings in an Ipad 2 tablet and we used to be connected by obsolete matchboxes called satellites and we screamed news with grunts in a language called Twitter.
Long now consider at least 5 time layers, from which it is wanted to preserve history:
- The natural layer, which should include earth satellite images, glaciers behavior, natural disasters, deforestation, and other aspects that may be useful for environmental issues.
- The cultural layer, which includes anthropological expressions which particularized different regions of the planet, that makes us unique and therefore we should not discuss.
- The governance layer, in which different forms of Government and administrative political developments occur.
- The infrastructure layer, with what is happening between us and nature. That which serves to transport us, live and survive, what today is and tomorrow no longer.
- The business layer, with the world economic aspects, now more and more globalized.
- And finally the art and fashion layer, where would be seen humanity creative expressions.
It will seem dreamy, somewhat naive. But if that had happened to someone from the moment camera was invented, even out of a single city block, would be extremely valuable if it had been captured systematically. Long now project is based on take what we have now, computers and storage media.
For this there are various instruments trying to model how it would work. It includes Rosetta Project that with worldwide linguistics specialists collaboration, are building an inventory of world’s different languages and dialects. Another is Long Bets, which seeks to create predictions of what might happen in the future. We understand Long Server is a project for information storage and Long Viewer is a sort of Google Earth viewer but with layers that allow for back history consultation using interactive mode.
But Long Now most significant project is 10,000 years clock. An ingenious dream that seeks to have a watch that lasts over time, which can be preserved, maintained by a caveman, understood by future generations that survive a global extinction and which is able to give a stroke in the year 12,000.
So if one day you desire to join to a fascinating case, Long Now is one of these. Perhaps now seems illusory and people who have signed on this idea will be considered something unrealistic, coming out of human basic realities. But it will not be in 50 years, much less in 10,000.
If there are those who dream of subjects as in the long term, it is likely that short-term dream must not be considered delusional.