Day 190: Library of Blabber

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I wish I read more.

It’s not an issue of interest on my part, moreso time. I’ve also had to come to grips with my advanced aging in recent years and admit that I simply don’t have the ability to sit and focus on a book for long stretches anymore. Not sure if I should blame the ADD or the concussions for that.

I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

During my youth, reading was just about all I did, even more than playing video games. I was a daydreamer anyway, so anything that helped enable me to fantasize about distant worlds was welcome. Soon enough, I started to gravitate towards the more… esoteric settings; unsettling backdrops where fridge horror would creep in days or even weeks after reading. I recall specifically a short story by Jorge Luis Borges about a library that contained every possible combination of text that could exist. In it would, theoretically, be everything that was ever written, or to be written; every life story and permutation of such, every world event, including those yet to happen. It would also be bogged down by completely incomprehensible gibberish. You could search for years, even centuries and not stumble upon a single book that made sense, made even worse by the knowledge that somewhere was that novel you started writing when you were 14, a word-for-word recreation of the Great Gatsby, and the answers to every question about life. You could be two feet away and never know.

Such is the exact frustration simulated in Library of Blabber.

I spent a good hour walking through those endless corridors, occasionally stopping to see if there was a word that I recognized. Upon opening one of the books, I was always met with pages upon pages of nonsense, broken up once in a while with a string of words such as “no here is” or “as not all”. I seems silly to think that I went around doing this for so long, but imagine if I actually had stumbled upon something readable. It could have been the equivalent of a 4th grader’s book report and I wouldn’t have cared. In that moment, it would have felt like the most important thing I’d ever read.

As a game, to most, it’s meaningless, but to me, as a thought experiment, it’s captivating. I can’t help but think that, if I were responsible for programming, that I would have intentionally placed one public domain novel in the code for someone to eventually find, turning the fruitless exercise into a literary Easter egg hunt.

Maybe I should go back and check again. You know, for science.

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