top of page

Library's Vindications

There is a story called The Library of Babel written by Jorge Luis Borges. It's about a library so big it contains every piece of text imaginable.

Someone then made this real by creating a website of the same name. Using an algorithm, it creates a predefined collection of random strings of letters, in random chapters, in random books. Of which there are 10^4677 (so a lot). Except the website comes with a search bar, so you can search for a certain string of text in the library and it will find you books containing that exact string. Given that the library contains everything, the string existed in the library before you searched for it. All you did was merely "discover" it.

Something the website also has that the story doesn't is a visual element. There is a webpage in the Library of Babel website that generates a new assortment of pixels every 5 seconds. It usually looks like random noise, but given time it will by chance generate an image. Again, there is a search option where you can upload an image and "discover" where it is in the Library.

Given enough time it will generate a perfect screenshot of all of our bank details. Spooky.

However, like in the story, if you wanted to *really* discover something in this library (without reverse searching) then it's basically pointless. For instance I uploaded this image I made and it told me it was image number 10^961761. So I would probably have to outlive the universe an innumerable number of times before I "discovered it" naturally.

To be honest, I just thought this was cool to think about but if I had to take something away from this: it's probably best to "write" your own "book" than spend forever "discovering" the perfect one. Only after doing that might you make the perfect one more attainable.

bottom of page