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Inhale - Best definition I've heard for a NS reading experience. His best books "permeate" your mind / soul during their reading, and usually long after.

I haven't read Anathem (not sure it's available yet in Australia), but I understood the final part of the section you quoted:

"They were thinking that plenty of avout would always be here to maintain it. But I take your point. Some of the other Millennium Clocks are more like what you have in mind: designed so that they can run form millennia with no maintenance at all. It just depends on what sort of statement the designer wanted to make"

as meaning that the clock was designed to *require* maintenance. A clock that's designed to run without maintenance doesn't require a collection of followers to maintain it. That is, the millennium clock was designed to be a social object to be engagd with and a point of focus for the faithful, rather than something remote from the faithful.

Ben, you are right: the clock was designed to be maintained.

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