Concern with the authenticity of this website
This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Ray 9 months, 2 weeks ago.
September 13, 2017 at 2:59 am #21651
I’ve noticed that whenever I search a string of characters, it always and without fail appears somewhere in the middle of the block of gibberish text. Why don’t these characters ever appear anywhere else on the page? Does the search engine specifically target pages that produce the searched string in the middle of the page? Why wouldn’t it pull up the first one it could find, which would result in finding the string placed randomly on the page? I’m sure everyone else has noticed this – it happens every time I search. This suggests to me that the website really is just taking whatever you search and sticking it in between a bunch of randomly generated letters, meaning that it did not actually exist before I searched it. I was very disappointed when I realized this. Hopefully someone can explain to me how this is not the case, because I’d very much like to believe that the website is authentic.September 13, 2017 at 5:12 am #21654
The website is authentic, but your guess is correct. The text you search for is put in the middle of the page with other randomness because it mathematically has to, in order to find the hex/wall/shelf/volume numbers. The book you find has most likely never “existed” before (or more accurately never been “found” before), but all books exist already. What the search function does is just finds many possible locations where the book would be if you had been using the Random button or typing in your own in the Browse section. I explain this more in depth in another post.
If you were to look at the additional results, you can find pages where your searched text can be more towards the top or bottom:
“this is some random text”
Towards the top: https://libraryofbabel.info/bookmark.cgi?random_text_on_top
Towards the bottom: https://libraryofbabel.info/bookmark.cgi?random_text_on_bottom
I made a crude example just now of how the page generation works to show what’s (most likely) happening under the hood, so you can see for yourself.
Copy the RAW code from here: https://pastebin.com/UP5DkwJA
Paste it here: http://www.runphponline.com/
Use the “Output HTML” on the right to make the page look uniform and click “Run” as many times as you’d like.October 7, 2017 at 12:34 am #22134
” This suggests to me that the website really is just taking whatever you search and sticking it in between a bunch of randomly generated letters ”
Quite simply, this IS what happens, but not in the way you expect.
The search engine, in order to reverse engineer itself, needs a full page of text. Because of this, it creates a full page through RNG. It can then check the algorithm to find locations where the pages it generates appear.