July 14, 2018 at 12:20 pm #28274
Jonathan said in a discussion in the past that the entire Library repeats itself and that there is another instance of the first page of the library after the end of all the unique pages. Anyone know how to find this second version of the first page?July 17, 2018 at 3:38 am #28351
According to Jonathan, the last hex is at 2^16838 (https://libraryofbabel.info/forum/?topic=to-many-hexes/#post-6273). In base 36, that’s apparently qfjfo…4av4 (http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=2%5E16838+in+base+36) and is 3257 characters long. The Browse search box limits you to 3360 characters and itself mentions a max of 3260 characters (typo?). I had assumed the max was 3200. Others have calculated other max values. If you do a search around for “last hex”, “last book”, or “last page”, it seems people have arrived to different conclusions. Unfortunately, nobody has really been able to pin down exactly where the PRNG starts repeating. Furthermore, it’s not entirely clear how the book titles are generated, at least to my knowledge. If the books indeed start repeating but under different titles, then you’d have to manually look at the contents of the search results to figure out where they repeat, which only makes the task that much harder since you wouldn’t be able to scan for the repeats on the shelf by title.July 17, 2018 at 6:50 am #28356
So can we do it? Can we plug that base 36 string from Wolfram into a hex id see if it works, assuming the character limit is greater than 3200?July 17, 2018 at 7:12 am #28360
Well I went to the hex but of course it’s practically impossible to locate the page where it repeats, as you said. If only we could search for page content within hexes… wouldn’t that be a useful feature?July 17, 2018 at 11:48 am #28365
I tried looking as well, before posting. Page content search within a hex is actually not that computationally intense. Within a hex, there’s only 640 books or 262,400 pages. A modern computer could search for a phrase within there in no more than a minute, I’d say.July 17, 2018 at 1:14 pm #28367
Dang there should be a program for that which searches a hex in the library. Maybe there already is one? I mean if the hex id is correct, it shouldn’t be too much trouble at all to find the “last page.” But we have to hope that Jonathan is correct with the id. Do you see a solution to this, as in are you capable of creating such a program? Also are you a regular user or someone affiliated with Jonathan?July 17, 2018 at 6:11 pm #28372
Well, there’s a caveat. While it would take no more than a minute locally for a computer to search it, doing it online will be much, much slower. 640 books amounts to about 832 MB. Searching for a piece of text within that will halt or timeout most server-side scripts, especially under a free webhost. The only feasible way to do it would be if Jonathan released his source code so others can take up the task in making these accessory scripts. I know I’ve got a few features I’ve wanted myself.
No, I’m not affiliated with Jonathan. I’m just a very regular user, since I keep the forum’s RSS feed in my reader. I really wish this was a more proper forum, though. Perhaps running on phpBB or SMF, and maybe a Discord in lieu of IRC. In a strange way, though, I’ve come to realize that the lack of activity on this website is kind of reminiscent to Borges’ story. People come and go, usually only making one or two posts and then never to return. I feel like it represents how infrequent you’d meet someone in the physical Library due to its massive size.July 18, 2018 at 2:51 am #28381
Yeah and now Jonathan’s also stopped coming on here regularly… kind of a pity really. Wish there was more activity. Are there any other regular users? Also have you seen any valid findings when people report their discoveries that aren’t fake? I want to believe that people have genuinely found things on here despite the incredibly low chance of it happening. The closest thing I could find was this one lone post written by the user Grayson about a book called the “Bee Movie”July 18, 2018 at 9:25 pm #28397
Jonathan actually posted back in March about a book he had been writing, but seems to be busy still. There are no other regular users, though.
For a while there was that troll guy. Thankfully, it seems he’s finally given up. The Bee Movie find was quite hilarious. The only other legitimate ones I’m aware of are the ones I’ve posted, but they’re nothing amazing.July 18, 2018 at 9:28 pm #28398
EDIT: WordPress blocked my initial post. Seeing if I can re-post.
July 18, 2018 at 9:33 pm #28399
- This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Delengroth.
EDIT: I guess the blacklisted words are too sensitive. I tried to mention the name of the troll guy, but it wouldn’t let me post. No wonder he doesn’t come around anymore.
July 19, 2018 at 1:43 am #28405
- This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by Delengroth.
The forum is not letting me create a reply with that guy’s name, I think. Was he the one that always criticizes Jonathan for not doing enough? And then Jonathan also responded to that at one point. And he uses plenty of obscene language, and he has a religiously inclined name?
That aside, what would you do for an art installation about the Babel Image Archives?July 19, 2018 at 11:53 am #28423
Yes, that’s the guy I was talking about.
I think for an art installation based on the image gallery, I would probably keep it vanilla as possible while still making it somewhat interesting. It would take some time, but perhaps finding images that have certain shapes or something to be found in them would be enough to make it intriguing (like the ones I have found). Needless to say, you’d be walking around a gallery of images that all mostly look the same, but upon further inspection would show that they’re more than just grainy noise.July 19, 2018 at 12:39 pm #28425
Yeah I thought of keeping the Universal Slideshow constantly playing on a big screen during the touring of the gallery. Is finding shapes in the Archives a bit like looking for shapes in clouds? The human brain recognizes shapes and visual patterns so easily. For both the Library and the Image Archives, do you think there could be some sort of a “treasure hunt” like situation where visitors browse physical pages of books made from both the Library and the Image Archives and try to find meaningful images/words that ultimately lead up to the discovery of a big “treasure?” Meaningful pages could be “clues” to the big prize or discovery.July 19, 2018 at 1:04 pm #28427
Indeed, it’s very much like gazing at clouds. In much the same way that a cloud will disappear forever unless a photograph is taken of it, so too will images in the Image Archive unless bookmarked.
I’m not sure how a “treasure hunt” would work. The way you describe it though, reminds me of “choose your own adventure” books. That would be tricky to pull off, as flipping to another book will require a small hex location in order to fit the next clue on any given page.