Frequently Asked Questions

Long Now

The Interval



The 10,000-Year Clock

Seminars About Long-term Thinking

Long Now

When was Long Now founded?

The Long Now was founded in 01996 to develop the Clock and Library Projects and to become a long lasting cultural institution. You can read more about the Long Now on our About page and about our Board of Directors on our People page.

Who founded Long Now?

Our founding Board Members were Stewart Brand, Douglas Carlston, Esther Dyson, Brian Eno, Danny Hillis, Kevin Kelly, Paul Saffo, and Peter Schwartz. You can read about them, and those who joined later on our People page.

Why do you write the year with 5 digits?

The five digit date serves as a reminder of the time scale that we endeavor to work in. Since the Clock is meant to run well past the Gregorian year 10,000, the extra zero is to solve the deca-millennium bug which will come into effect in about 8,000 years.

Where does Long Now's funding come from?

The Long Now Foundation is funded by a roughly even three-way split between our Membership Program, individual donations, and grants from other foundations.

What projects is Long Now working on?

The Long Now Foundation’s major projects include The 10,000 Year Clock, a monument scale, all-mechanical clock designed to last 10,000 years; The Rosetta Project, a durable archive of human languages; Long Bets, a public arena for accountable predictions; Revive & Restore, a project to enhance biodiversity through genetic rescue of endangered and extinct species; and PanLex, which aims to help you express any lexical concept (such as “democracy”, “elongate”, “à la carte”, or “Africa”) in any language.

What is The 10,000-Year Clock?

Designed by Danny Hillis, the 10,000-Year Clock is currently under construction and designed to run for ten millennia with minimal maintenance and interruption. The entire mechanism will be installed in an underground facility in west Texas. Stewart Brand writes:

Such a clock, if sufficiently impressive and well-engineered, would embody deep time for people. It should be charismatic to visit, interesting to think about, and famous enough to become iconic in the public discourse. Ideally, it would do for thinking about time what the photographs of Earth from space have done for thinking about the environment. Such icons reframe the way people think.

What is The Rosetta Project?

The Rosetta Project is a global collaboration of language specialists and native speakers working to build a publicly accessible digital library of human languages.

What is Long Bets?

Long Bets is an arena for competitive, accountable predictions (Long Bets), a forum for focused discussion and debate about prediction, an attractive tool for philanthropic giving, and a way to foster better long-term thinking.

What is Revive and Restore?

Revive and Restore‘s mission is to enhance biodiversity through genetic rescue of endangered and extinct species.

Molecular biologists and conservation biologists all over the world are working on these techniques. The role of Revive & Restore is to help coordinate their efforts so that genomic conservation can move ahead with the best current science, plenty of public transparency, and the overall goal of enhancing biodiversity and ecological health worldwide.

What is PanLex?

The vision underlying the PanLex project is that the world’s thousands of human languages can flourish over the long-term future. To help make them all useful for global communication, PanLex aims to translate any word (or word-like phrase such as “sweet potato”) from any language into any other language.

How do I find out about jobs or internships with Long Now?

Open positions are posted on our Jobs page.

How can I keep up with Long Now's announcements and events?

You can follow our blog, you can like us on Facebook, and you can follow us on Twitter. We're also on FlickR and have a group on LinkedIn.

Who do I contact about press/image/interview requests?

Send an email to services@longnow.org.

Can you help me get in contact with Stewart Brand/Brian Eno/etc.?

Send an email to services@longnow.org.

Is there Long Now gear I can buy to show my support?

Long Now t-shirts and caps, as well as books, are for sale at The Interval, our public venue at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.

Can I visit The Long Now Foundation?

Please come visit us at our headquarters: The Interval café, bar, and library at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. Open seven days a week from 10 AM to midnight, The Interval is a coffee shop by day, full cocktail bar by night, and features many Long Now artifacts and other information about the Foundation’s projects. Tours may be arranged upon request. Please email us at services@longnow.org for more information.

The Interval

What are your opening hours?

We are open seven days a week from 10 AM to midnight. We close to the public for our Salon talk series on some Tuesdays from 6.30-8:30 PM, as well as for some private events. Please check our website or the @Interval Twitter feed for the specific times and dates of any upcoming closures.

How can I find out about events going on at The Interval?

All ticketed events, including our Salon talk series, are listed on The Interval’s events page. Any special closures will also be listed on this page. Donors to The Interval and Members of Long Now receive advance notice of Salon talks at The Interval.

Can I host a private event at The Interval?

Yes, The Interval is available for private events. Please tell us more about your event and we will get right back to you.

Who put together your menu?

Our cocktail menu was designed by award-winning bartender and mixologist Jennifer Colliau.

Does The Interval serve food?

We serve a number of small bites. You can find our full offer of food and drinks on our website. Private events may bring in outside catering.

How is The Interval connected to Long Now?

The Interval is a project of The Long Now Foundation. It serves as the Foundation’s headquarters, but also directly furthers the Long Now mission as our event space, library, and museum. The Interval is a gathering place meant to inspire conversation about long-term thinking. The space houses Long Now’s Manual for Civilization, as well as many prototypes and other artifacts connected to Long Now’s varied projects.


What are the benefits of becoming a Member?

Members provide essential support to the Foundation (about a third of our operating budget!). Members receive complimentary tickets to the Seminars About Long-term Thinking, access to the live audio stream of the Seminars, our Monthly Email Newsletter, advance notice of events at The Interval, progress reports on the 10,000-Year Clock, can get on the interest list for visiting The Clock, and more. Please see the Membership sign-up page for a full list of benefits. Due to our limited capacity at The Interval, we are not able to offer members discounts on tickets to our Salon talks.

What do you do with the income from the Membership program?

The income we receive goes directly to operational costs, such as running our offices and producing our monthly Seminar series. Member support has a direct impact on the resources we have to give to our various projects - thank you!

Is my Membership tax deductible?

Your membership dues are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, minus the fair market value of any gifts you have received from us. For an estimate of the fair market value of your gifts, please email us at membership@longnow.org. For more detailed information about the tax deductibility of your membership dues, please consult your local tax laws, or speak with a tax professional. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 68-038 4748.

Can I cancel my Membership before the year is up?

Yes you can. We do appreciate your support and any feedback you can give to us about your decision not to continue your membership is valued. To let us know you’d like to cancel, send us comments, or if you need any help with your account, please contact us at membership@longnow.org.

What is my Member card made of?

It is stainless steel, with a photo-etched design and they are individually engraved.

How can I get a replacement Membership card?

If you've lost your Membership card, send an email to membership@longnow.org and let us know. We ask for a $25 payment to cover the cost of re-engraving and shipping your replacement card.

What is the design on the Membership card?

The design is the outline of the rete, the curving arcs on the face of the first prototype of The Clock of the Long Now. The two widest arcs of the rete delineate the range of view of the night sky as seen from the earth from a sea level elevation. The two narrower arcs delineate the range of view of the night sky from a high elevation. The two arcs that meet and point show the location of the celestial pole, which is currently the North Star, Polaris.

How do I update my payment information?

When signed in on our site, you can click 'Settings' on the right side of the page, under the main banner. Payment information can be changed under the 'Billing Details' tab. This part of our site is SSL secure.

Keeping.com used for Membership Customer Support

In April 02019, Long Now started using Keeping.com for Membership customer support. Keeping.com is a Gmail plugin that creates support tickets for all inquiries coming into membership@longnow.org and helps the staff keep track of and answer all incoming emails in a timely manner.

The plug in also has an auto response that confirms that Long Now has received your question. Most responses will be handled on weekdays, from 10am-6pm PT, Monday through Friday.


How can I make a donation to Long Now?

You can make a donation via credit card through our website. You can also send in a check, or give via wire- or stock transfer (including restricted stock). In addition, we can accept donations on site at The Interval. Please visit our donations webpage to learn more, or email us at donate@longnow.org. Thank you for supporting Long Now!

Is my donation tax deductible?

Your donation is tax deductible to the extent allowed by law, minus the fair market value of any gifts you may have received from us. For an estimate of the fair market value of your gifts, please email us at donate@longnow.org. For more detailed information about the tax deductibility of your donations, please consult your local tax laws, or speak with a tax professional. Our Federal Tax ID Number is 68-038 4748.

Do you participate in employee gift-matching?

We do, and it’s a wonderful way to increase the impact of your gift! Your HR department will be able to tell you more about how to set up an employer match, and what information they’ll need. They’ll probably ask for our Federal Tax ID Number; it is 68-038 4748.

What kinds of donations do you accept?

We accept donations of any amount via credit card, check, wire transfer, or stock (including restricted stock). Please visit our donations webpage to learn more, or email us at donate@longnow.org.

Do you accept planned gifts?

We accept certain types of planned gifts, or legacy gifts. Please email us at donate@longnow.org to learn more. Thank you for supporting Long Now!

What are the benefits of donating to Long Now?

Donations constitute an essential source of support for Long Now’s programs and projects, and help us further our mission of fostering long-term thinking. The specific benefits of your donation may vary; please email us at donate@longnow.org to learn more.

How is a donation different from Long Now membership?

A donation is a one-time gift that may be designated to the Foundation as a whole or to any of its individual projects. A donations membership is a commitment to recurring gifts that support Long Now’s general operations and public programming. Members receive specific benefits, including complimentary tickets to our Seminars, access to the Seminar live stream, and our Monthly Email Newsletter.

The 10,000-Year Clock

When will The Clock be complete?

Construction for Clock One began in western Texas at the end of 02010. The process of excavating the mountain caverns and then manufacturing and installing all the Clock components will take several years at least.

How is The Clock powered?

The Clock will store energy in weights. Those weights will be wound by a combination of human visitors and the change in air temperature between night and day.

How can you be sure it will last 10,000 years?

The Clock has been in development, prototyping and testing for many years. Visit the Clock Principles page to see some of the ways it is designed to be so durable.

Where is The Clock being built?

The Clock is being built inside a limestone mountain that is part of the Sierra Diablo range in Western Texas.

Can I visit during construction?

We can't accept visitors during construction.

Seminars About Long-term Thinking

Where are the Seminars held?

The Seminars are held at various theaters in San Francisco. They’re often at SFJAZZ Center, but we also have used The Herbst Theater, The Novellus Theater, The Marines’ Memorial Theater and several others. The Seminar page specifies the location of each event.

Are the Seminars recorded for listening/watching afterwards?

Audio and video are available for most of our Seminars; you can find the full catalog under the Seminars tab. The public can subscribe to our podcast or watch the SD videos for free. Long Now Members can access and download HD quality videos of the talks.

Is there a Seminar App for my Apple devices?

Though there is a third party Long Now Seminar App for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, it is no longer supported as of 02017.

How much do tickets to the Seminars cost?

Tickets to the Seminars are $25 for the public. Long Now Members can reserve two complimentary tickets to most Seminars, pending availability. Members also receive first notice when tickets are available for the Seminars.

How do I find out what speakers are coming up?

Our Seminar page will tell you.

Is there a way to live stream the Seminars?

Yes. Long Now Foundation Members now have a way to interact with our Seminars About Long-term Thinking from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Using time and bandwidth donated by Stream Guys (thanks!), we’re able to provide live streaming audio of the speaker’s talk. Additionally, a service called CoverItLive allows us to share the presentation slides and provide a forum to discuss the lecture in real-time with other Members. Through this interface, Members can also submit questions for the speaker and follow discussion of the event on Twitter.

How do Members reserve complimentary tickets?

To reserve complimentary tickets for an upcoming lecture, visit the Seminar page for the lecture you’d like to attend. Be sure you’re signed in to your Member account (there’s a ‘Sign In’ option on the right hand side of the site, under the main banner). Once signed in and on the Seminar page, you’ll see a ‘Member Discount Code’ under the green ‘Tickets/RSVP’ button. Look for the option to enter a coupon/discount code after you’ve clicked ‘Tickets/RSVP’ and are on the ticket vendor’s website.

How do I keep up with the Seminar series?

We announce the availability of tickets to upcoming lectures and media from past lectures on our blog, Twitter and Facebook. You can automatically download the audio of our lectures via the Podcast. We also have an email list on which we announce upcoming talks and summarize previous ones. All media and information about Seminars are available on the Seminar pages.

Are the videos publicly available?

Audio and SD video of the talks are publicly available. Members can access and download HD quality videos.

Can I download videos of the lectures?

Video downloads are for Members only. Audio downloads are available for everyone.

Is there a way to read about the Seminars?

Our president Stewart Brand writes summaries of each Seminar. They are emailed to the Seminar email list, posted to the Seminar pages, and are now available as Kindle and paperback books. You can also read and share the summaries through Long Now's chanel on Medium.

Can I suggest a Seminar speaker?

Suggestions for future Seminar speakers can be emailed to services@longnow.org. Please explain why you think they'd be a good speaker and include relevant links to their work and previous speaking appearances.