Paradoxical Theory in the Library of Babel

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Joshua The Samurai 10 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #14028 Reply

    Elian Dupre

    We’ve all seen the posts of various “Library of Babel adventurers”, stating that they fear “finding an image of their death”, or “the end of the humankind”. Yet, only months later I realized that these events would not be possible, ever.

    Yes, the Library of Babel can be deemed as one of the most useless human inventions of all time, the lack of verification, infinite randomness, finding something could either be entirely true or entirely false. We can’t verify anything we find. Cure for cancer? One string difference and it isn’t a cure. It’s a virus.

    Yet, I want to dig deeper.

    Imagine you find an image of your death. A rabid bloodhound finishing the bits of your remains. Deep forest, darkness, no help. We see this image and we say “so this is how I must die”. Yet, we never will. In the event of finding an image like this (regardless if true), our means to protect ourselves from our destined fate will result in the image being false — even if it was originally intended to be true (actually happen).

    You’ll never stray into woods again. You’ll always bring a radio, watch, compass, map. Your death never occurs in the woods. The supposedly true image dictated the contrary. This is how you die. Yet, you don’t. You would have, but you didn’t. You found the truth thus rendering it false.

    The Library of Babel — in it’s indefiniteness and randomness — will never predict even in the least, our future. They will predict our future up until the point that somebody finds it. Then, means taken (the ripple effect) will cause the event to undeniably never occur, even if it was meant to. Except for past events. Those have been dictated by nature itself, the Library of Babel is able to confirm these.

    False will always equal to false. True will always equal to false in the Library of Babel. It’s a paradox, like Pinocchio’s paradox. By telling the truth, the truth will never occur. By lying, the truth will never occur. It’s impossible to predict and impossible to solve. That’s how I see the Library as working.


    #14036 Reply


    well, you can avoid woods in ur entire life (to remain at your example), still, you are going to die somehow. and it IS depicted somewhere, so some kind of truth is included, indeed.

    #14067 Reply


    Well just to throw an argument up in the air if our destiny is on a set path then we could take all the precautions in the world but in reality it wouldn’t matter, going off of the example that you used of the hound attacking you in the middle of the woods. While after you have seen that picture you can take all of the precautions in the world but an unaccounted variable still has the possibility to pop up no matter how obscene. For one after you have kids, while you may not live directly near woods they may still be in your plan and one of your kids decides to run off and explore. Or if you choose to have no kids you may be driving to visit family over holiday and hit a patch of ice and skid off the road into the woods, you may be flying to an important business meeting and have to make either an emergency or crash landing and are stranded. And the list goes on and on.

    But if you still think that the fixed destiny is bunk, going off of messiah if you do manage to avoid the woods your entire life whose to say that it is truely your death and not just a parallel universes death of you because with the images being endless there inevitably will be another depiction of your death that has yet to be generated.

    #14078 Reply


    I think what you fail to account for is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is possible you will see an image of your death, and then trying to prevent that death, you’ll die as a result. You could also fail to predict, as Chegg mentioned, the events leading up to your death.

    #14098 Reply

    Elian Dupre

    Thank you all for your thoughts. I must admit, there were some things I forgot to account for. Yes, any possible situation is infinity possible, my post was mostly concerning the fact that we’ll never be able to predict it through this library.

    I’m on the fence with fixed destiny and controllable destiny. Fixed destiny is a very interesting and a frankly frightful possibility as Chegg stated. Either way, they’re both plausible and we’ll just never have a way to know. Thanks for your responses though, everyone. Really appreciate it and you brought up very valid points and arguments.

    #23467 Reply


    I believe that humans cannot use this library to predict the future, but the future IS predicted somewhere in the library

    #24282 Reply

    Joshua The Samurai

    Let’s say that the moment I die, someone snaps a picture of it. Then they do an image search of the photo they took, they WOULD find it in the archive. Meaning, this hypothetical picture is ALREADY in the archive. So yes, how I will actually die is in fact depicted in here somewhere. We don’t know which of the innumerable scenes of me dying is the correct one just yet, but it is in fact in there. It is practically unfindable and unverfiable, but it is factual to say this photo exists.

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