Thursday, July 17, 2008

Shrinking future

I don't usually go in for the type of posts where a found sign is presented for easy mockery. You know, the kind that Boing Boing might post where someone has mistyped the word 'temporarily' as 'temporally' and the writer and readers try to outdo each other with jokes about time travel. Or a Japanese translation that reads "Traveler from to get into by bus". In Toronto "Bernardo's Funeral Home" was a popular one, after a murderer of the same name was caught.

But I can't resist this one. I've been spending time on the site for the Long Now Foundation, an organization that hopes to foster long-term thinking with such projects as a clock that will keep time for ten thousand years. The origins of the project are pretty fascinating -

"When I was a child, people used to talk about what would happen by the year 2000. For the next thirty years they kept talking about what would happen by the year 2000, and now no one mentions a future date at all. The future has been shrinking by one year per year for my entire life. I think it is time for us to start a long-term project that gets people thinking past the mental barrier of an ever-shortening future." ―Danny Hillis

So this recent notification, that a seminar has been brought forward by three hours elicited a self-indulgent laugh. Forgive me.

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