Jeff Bezos Invests in Time: The Story of a $42 Million Clock
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and the world’s richest person, has been making headlines for his extravagant spending. One example is the “Clock of the Long Now,” a mechanical clock that will tell time for the next 10,000 years. Bezos and his millionaire scientist friend, Danny Hillis, have been building the clock on Bezos’s property in Texas, and so far, it has cost $42 million.
The clock is a towering structure, standing 500 feet tall and powered by the Earth’s thermal cycles. It ticks yearly and chimes once per millennium, with the century hand advancing once every 100 years. The cuckoo emerges on the millennium, marking a milestone in the clock’s long life.
The Clock of the Long Now has been in the works for nearly three decades, with Hillis first imagining it in 1986. According to a blog post signed by Bezos, the clock is “designed to be a symbol, an icon for long-term thinking.” It is meant to encourage people to think beyond the short term and consider the impact of their actions on future generations.
Jeff Bezos spent roughly $42 Million on a 500FT clock that will last longer than humanity ?⏱ pic.twitter.com/vOUIbBoUbg
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) March 30, 2023
The clock’s engineering is a massive challenge, given its long operation duration. Experts are blasting rooms out of the mountain’s interior to install piles of gears and flywheels that will keep the clock ticking for the next 10,000 years. Bezos has described the clock as “all mechanical, powered by day/night thermal cycles” and “synchronized at solar noon.”
Construction on the clock began in 2018, and there is no end in sight. Although it won’t take another 10,000 years to complete, Bezos and Hillis are dedicated to creating a legacy. The Clock of the Long Now symbolizes their long-term vision and commitment to leaving a positive impact on the world.