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The 10,000 Year Clock

These are the principles that Danny Hillis used in the initial stages of designing a 10,000 Year Clock. We have found these are generally good principles for designing anything to last a long time.

  1. Longevity

    With occasional maintenance, the clock should reasonably be expected to display the correct time for the next 10,000 years.

  2. Maintainability

    The clock should be maintainable with bronze-age technology.

  3. Transparency

    It should be possible to determine operational principles of the clock by close inspection.

  4. Evolvability

    It should be possible to improve the clock with time.

  5. Scalability

    It should be possible to build working models of the clock from table-top to monumental size using the same design.