Neal Stephenson and the 10,000-Year Clock

From Conceptual Trends:

In the ten years since then, Hillis and crew have developed engineering designs for the Long Now 10,000-year Clock. Currently the plan is to build the Clock inside a mountain at the end of a long vertical tunnel entrance. Some details of Neal’s ideas may yet be implimented, but the vast circular compound of gates and inner walls won’t be part of the initial Clock.

However, this wonderful Clock idea lives on and is rendered in much greater detail in Neal’s new novel “Anathem”. Like other Stephenson novels, the book is long and epic. The story is complicated and even confusing at first. The plot explores the friction between the scientific (“mathic”) monks inside the sanctuary of the Clock and the “saecular” superstitious folks living outside the walls in the “extramuros.” The clockers have a different sense of time and responsibility, trying to safegaurd civilization’s knowledge. But the two worlds come clashing together in cataclismic event.