Tuesday, May 19, 2009

the national debt

. . . as of 5/3/09 at approximately 2:30 am.
Before 2000, this clock on a building facing
Union Square was counting down the minutes
until the millennium.  Now it's tracking the
national debt.  I stood there and watched for
a bit, and I didn't see the numbers going down!


  1. We had a millennium countdown near where I worked in Tokyo. I watched that countdown for nearly 13 years but it did hit zero.

    So what’s the idea behind a countdown that is infinite and never ending? And what are they (we, actually) going to do to keep adding numbers when they run out of, not just floors in that building, but all the floors in all the buildings in all of the U.S.?

  2. Yikes. And I get stressed if I spend too much on Amazon and see my credit card statement.

  3. So it's really a count up? How confusing. So is it rounded to the nearest cent?

  4. wow, you were out late, weren't you?

  5. About two months ago, I had a discussion with one of the vendors at the Green Market stalls about the clock and she said it displays the time in hours, minutes, seconds, micro-seconds, etc. I looked at my iPhone clock and she was right.

    But other times, I have noticed that the numbers on the board do not match the clock on my iPhone.

    So either they change the meaning of the numbers there frequently OR the clock is highly inaccurate.

  6. Ming -- you may be right. It was my ex who told me it recorded the national debt. Of course, that was at 2:30 in the morning, after a night of listening to my brother's band at the Rodeo Bar (and alcohol was involved, natch).

    Lily -- I was wondering whether anyone would remark about the hour this photo was taken!


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