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The Libraries of our Mind

Lethologica's picture

Alright, so I've noticed that people seem to be revisiting the idea of the Library of Babel, and thought that I would give it a go too. Despite everything that was explained when the idea was initially introduced, and everything we have discussed since, I still kind of like the idea of this all-inclusive Library. I might, however, have a slightly different image in mind when I picture the Library of Babel than the one that Dennett did, one that might account for some of the irregularities that we, as a class, picked up on for Dennett's model. Granted, this image has gone through several revisions since I first conceived of it, but I believe that I have settled on something (for now!) that I quite like.

The Library of Babel, in my mind, is a collection of everything that has ever been, all of the possibilities and all of the actualities, and the components of of everything that might yet be.

I picture the Library thusly: a great expanse of corridor, winding over and under and between itself, the very essence of complexity itself, lined with thousands upon thousands of towering shelves (despite the fact that they don't really seem to fit!) filled with scrolls and tombs and portfolios and books and web-pages of every and all size. Between each stack is a door, leading to a room (smaller than it seems!) which only holds more books and tombs and scrolls and portfolios and web-pages. Like any good Library it is ever expanding, the Librarian (whoever or whatever or however you want it to be) collecting more portfolios and tombs and web-pages and books and scrolls as necessary. It is filled from end to ever-expanding end with stories of all kinds, and most especially templates and boxes and boxes of raw creation--clays and pencils and paper and little-odds-and-ends of all sizes, shapes and colors. Every mind or soul or what-have-you has its own little room here, grown organically through the passing of time. 

It is a library of pasts and potentialities, not a library of future certainties. My Library leaves room for improvements.


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