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"The Omega Glory," a short essay by Michael Chabon about the Long Now Foundation and its vision for the future (or The Future), is one of the best things I've ever read.

The piece was published in Details Magazine in 2006. My only regret is that I didn't find this sooner. 

As a parent -- and someone who tends to default to optimism -- the final paragraph really hit home:

"When I told my son about the Clock of the Long Now, he listened very carefully, and we looked at the pictures on the Long Now Foundation’s website. 'Will there really be people then, Dad?' he said. 'Yes,' I told him without hesitation, 'there will.' I don’t know if that’s true, any more than do Danny Hillis and his colleagues, with the beating clocks of their hopefulness and the orreries of their imaginations. But in having children — in engendering them, in loving them, in teaching them to love and care about the world — parents are betting, whether they know it or not, on the Clock of the Long Now. They are betting on their children, and their children after them, and theirs beyond them, all the way down the line from now to 12,006. If you don’t believe in the Future, unreservedly and dreamingly, if you aren’t willing to bet that somebody will be there to cry when the Clock finally, ten thousand years from now, runs down, then I don’t see how you can have children. If you have children, I don’t see how you can fail to do everything in your power to ensure that you win your bet, and that they, and their grandchildren, and their grandchildren’s grandchildren, will inherit a world whose perfection can never be accomplished by creatures whose imagination for perfecting it is limitless and free. And I don’t see how anybody can force me to pay up on my bet if I turn out, in the end, to be wrong."

The full essay is here:
http://bit.ly/PqFVxL
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Tobias Reeuwijk's profile photo
 
He really sticks it to the man with that last haymaker of a sentence. I'm sure we all think about the future and what we need to do to get there at some point in our lives. But I am enamored by Chabon's ability to unapologetically crystallize the abstraction of distant futures, which, as he so explicitly points out, are often tarnished by people's failure to say "why not?" I'll fight under Longnow's battle-standard anyday.
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