This topic contains 66 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Kyle S 1 month, 1 week ago.
February 2, 2018 at 2:16 pm #24367
…and page 103.February 2, 2018 at 2:34 pm #24368
Seeing as a hex seems to be MORE than 3200 characters long, and includes numbers (though not spaces, commas or periods), it’s very easy to understand how every hex could be a reference to a unique text snippet of 3200 consecutive characters. All the information required to recreate an arbitrary sequence of 3200 characters is contained in another arbitrary sequence of 3200 characters (the hex); it’s just a hash that gets converted into another text string.
The magic comes from the deterministic nature of the algorithm that converts the hash into the result: you can tell somebody to browse to a certain page of a certain volume of a certain hex, and they will find the same page, every time (so if you’ve searched in advance for an English phrase, that phrase will be on that page for anyone that happens to stumble upon that exact page).
But in the end it’s essentially just a cryptography system to jumble text. A simpler version of the Library of Babel would be a web page that generated a five-letter page based on an input of the alphanumeric locations of the alphabet in that word. So I could tell you to “browse to page 13 1 7 9 3” and you’d be astonished to discover the plain English word “MAGIC” on that page! Every five-letter sequence of characters could be found on the pages of this library. Extrapolating from that, it feels way less impossible that this library could actually contain every possible 3200-letter sequence, it just needs a longer “page number”.
It still makes it no less remarkable that somewhere, on the pages of those “books” in the Library of Babel, there is the story of how I was born, and the truth of how I will die. In 3200 letters or less. 🙂February 4, 2018 at 4:25 pm #24407
In case anyone else was looking at the code of the site and landed here, I also found the repo where the code was in another post, pretty groovy stuff:February 9, 2018 at 2:57 pm #24471
German words and numbers in the english word section? Seems fake to me. The english words section exposed you buddy.February 23, 2018 at 5:05 pm #24666
You appear to be viewing different languages with a very apparent bias. Two different languages on one page is barely far-fetched.March 11, 2018 at 7:46 am #24875
Holy fuck, I didn’t know this many people could be this stupid all at once.March 14, 2018 at 11:46 pm #24950
If it is the fact that it can’t be represented, which someone here mentioned, which is in question… let’s find out.
We enter in a value of up to 3260 numbers and letters to find the hexagon. That’s 36 possibilities (alpha-numeric) to the power of 3260 characters. This results to 3.5168391172241269991211410484182e+5073 hexagon rooms, lets call this H for now.
Each H has 4 walls with 5 shelves which each have 32 volumes. We would multiply H by the number of volumes in each room to get the total number of volumes. So H * (4*5*32) = H * 640 = 2.2507770350234412794375302709877e+5076 total volumes, lets call this V.
Each volume has 410 pages with up to 3200 characters of alpha, space, comma, and period. This is V * 410 * (26+3)^3200 possible arrangements of characters. This gives us a total of 4.7162115404621427649743854464087e+4679 possible combinations of 3200 character pages.
When you search, realize that it is showing you the first result as your search text followed by spaces, which is a character allowed in the alphabet they have defined to use on the pages. They also show you searches where it appears in some pages.
How do they do the search and find the location of such a string in a large set of seemingly random text? The code is out there. I have yet to look, but this is the truly interesting part of the problem, right?