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Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility

The Ideas Behind the World's Slowest Computer

by Stewart Brand

Using the designing and building of the Clock of the Long Now as a framework, this is a book about the practical use of long time perspective: how to get it, how to use it, how to keep it in and out of sight. Here are the central questions it inspires: How do we make long-term thinking automatic and common instead of difficult and rare? Discipline in thought allows freedom. One needs the space and reliability to predict continuity to have the confidence not to be afraid of revolutions Taking the time to think of the future is more essential now than ever, as culture accelerates beyond its ability to be measured Probable things are vastly outnumbered by countless near-impossible eventualities. Reality is statistically forced to be extraordinary; fiction is not allowed this freedom This is a potent book that combines the chronicling of fantastic technology with equally visionary philosophical inquiry.

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Recommendations: 1

Categories: PhilosophyScience

Reading time: 34 hours


Phil Libin

Probably The Clock of the Long Now by Stewart Brand is maybe the most influential book on me. There’s one chapter of it, which, for me, it was really life changing. I think it’s called the layers of civilization. And it, basically, just talks about the six or seven layers of society and kind of how they interact with each other. And it kind of explains and puts the structure of explaining almost everything that you’d ever wondered about in just a few pages.