This is DJ Shadow. His “Midnight in a Perfect World” contains is one of many pop culture references to The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist’s “Doomsday Clock” that tracks the level of nuclear danger in the world. (Jeffrey adds: Paul is so money.)
In a few days, The Bulletin will move the hands on the Doomsday Clock—most likely closer to midnight.
The Bulletin is planning events on Jan 17 in London and Washington, DC (9:30 a.m. ET, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Auditorium, 1200 New York Avenue NW, Washington) Looks like they are launching a new website too. I thought their old site was quite good, so hopefully the new one will be equally useful.
The Bulletin has moved the hands seventeen times since the inception of the clock in 1947. The furthest from midnight: 17 minutes in 1991; the closest: 2 minutes from midnight in 1953 following tests of the thermonuclear weapons by the US and Russia.
I know the clock is symbolic and comparative in terms of relative closeness to midnight. So, I really shouldn’t ask how much danger a minute represents or whether it is linear—even though that is always my immediate question when reading about the clock. However, I would be very interested in another point that the clock reflects… Is the clock perceived and understood differently by The Bulletin’s Board and Sponsors today than in the 50’s? Or have the assessments of when to move the hands and how much pretty consistent?