Number 13 - The Library of Babel

This website requires a little bit of background (also explained wonderfully on the site itself). The 26 characters that make up our alphabet as well as 'space' 'fullstop' & 'comma' can be arranged in a huge number of ways in one page of text. The Library of Babel (along with a sophisticated computer program) has created individual web pages to display all possible pages of text consisting of 3200 characters. This means the website is humongous and made up of a lot of pages of random letter/punctuation collections. 

However, within this system is every piece of writing ever written in the past, or the future for that matter. One page describes your entire (yet to be completed) life story, another has the lyrics for next year's biggest pop-music hit, a third has the poem you will write in Year 12 English, yet another page has Sunday June the 5th as described by your cat, and finally one page has the speech you will one day give as you become president of a post-apocalyptic world. You get the idea, every thing that has been or can ever be written is already in existence on the internet. 


This raises the important issue of discovery vs invention. Do the owners of the website have a right to ownership? Should we feel we have original control of our own writing? Do the same concepts apply for Mathematics and Science? I'll let you ponder that...


Have fun exploring the site:  Library of Babel


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