The Library of Babel

Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges wrote a famous short story called The Library of Babel. In it he conceives of an endless universe made up of small hexagonal rooms. On the shelves of these rooms are books, all the books put together contain every possible permutation of single characters (all the letters of the alphabet and punctuation marks). Most of the books on these shelves then are complete nonsense, but some of these books contain true and accurate descriptions of the universe, including everything that has ever happened and everything that will happen.

Every “once in a while”, shall we say, is a book of wisdom. It’s a nice thought experiment if you’re that way inclined, lots of thinkers have drawn on it for their various purposes. Perhaps you too can use it for something. I’ve included an English translation of the story as an audio file below:

Jorge Luis Borges – The Library of Babel

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