I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library — Jorge Luis Borges

Recently, during one of my recurring adventures down internet rabbit holes, I discovered the library of babel. I think it’s super cool. I am fascinated by it, I mean, I’m writing a post about it.

*TLDR; The library of babel contains every single book, song, written stuff that exists and could ever possibly exist.*

**Borge**

Jorge Luis Borges was an Argentine author who wrote short stories. Mystical is the word I would use If I were to describe Borges style of writing. This article by BBC aptly describes reading the work of Jorge Luis Borges for the first time to discovering a new letter in the alphabet, or a new note in the musical scale.

La Biblioteca de Babel off Borges 1941 collection *The Garden of Branching Paths* is one of his best-known pieces. The first paragraph of La Biblioteca de Babel describes the arrangement of the hexagons that make up the universe(which others call the Library).

Although the idea of the library of babel was *popularised* by Borge, In his *“The Garden of Branching Paths”* collection, He pointed his readers to an earlier essay that made mention of the library.

**The Library of Babel**

jonathan basile, a programmer created a digital library based on the ideas from Borges la biblioteca de babel. the library contains every possible combination of lower case english alphabets along side , and .

No really, No kidding. The above paragraph can be found on **Page 4,** **Volume 21** on **Shelf 4** of **Wall 3** of the library using this hex. How cool is that? You can mess around with it and try to search for your full name.

The Library is built to search for any set of 3200 characters at once. Micheal Stevens of the Vsauce youtube channel, made mention of the fact that the library has 10^5000 different pages & there are about 10^80 atoms in the universe. Mind-blowing stuff.

The Library is organised into hexagon-shaped rooms, with four walls of book. Each wall contains 5 shelves with 32 volumes with 410 pages each. It is arranged in a pseudo-random fashion. The library is based on permutations. Each page is given a sequential base number in base 10. Basile developed an algorithm to use a seed, the page number to generate a random but unique sequence of numbers in base 10. The randomly generated sequence in base 10 is then converted to base 29 so it can be represented using all the letters of the English alphabet, the comma, space and period. This process can be reversed. The content of a page can be converted to base10, given as the input of the algorithm and the output is the page number.

Although in Borges original work, 22 letters were used, Basile’s algorithm uses different alphabets as the basis for the iterations done on the digital library.

**Originality**

[Is there anything new? …….]

**Conclusion**

The logic behind the library of babel can get pretty confusing. There are certain technical details of the library I am yet to fully understand. I hope to write another post discussing the technicalities of the library on a deeper level when I have gathered sufficient knowledge. To help you understand the library of babel here are some great resources that could help get you started.

- I mean, The Library of Babel, by Jorge Luis Borges (1941)
- Basile does a great job of explaining the library, you want to check out the theory page(https://libraryofbabel.info/theory.html)
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDrBIKOR01c
- https://youtu.be/nyYKlLeig7Q
- https://electricliterature.com/putting-borges-infinite-library-on-the-internet/

## HEX

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