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The Total Library
F. Lloyd Wrong (M, 42)
San Francisco, US
Immortal since Dec 19, 2007
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    Building the Antilibrary
    Project: The Total Library
    Nary a post goes by when I don't feel compelled to share a relevant book.

    I'd like to propose a collective recommended reading list
    ,
    and in beginning this list I'll paraphrase the first page
    of my first recommendation.

    It's from a book called "The Black Swan" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb:

    Many people, when they see an immense personal library, are tempted to say something like "WOW! ...how many of those have you read?!" While a small minority will get the point that a library is not an ego boosting appendage, but a research tool. Your library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means will allow you to put there. As you grow older, the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.
    We tend to treat knowledge as personal property to be protected and defended. It's an ornament that allows us to rise in the pecking order. So the tendency to offend the "Antilibrary" sensibility by focusing on the known is a human bias that extends to our mental operations. People don't walk around with anti-resumes telling you what they have not studied or experienced (it's the job of their competitors to do that,) but it would be nice if they did. Just as we need to stand library logic on its head, we will work on standing knowledge itself on its head. We misunderstand the likelihood of surprises, those unread books, because we take what we know a little too seriously.
    Let us call an antischolar —someone who focuses on the unread books, and makes an attempt not to treat his knowledge as a treasure, or even a posession, or even a self-esteem enhancement device— a skeptical empiricist.




    Wed, Jan 2, 2008  Permanent link

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    3LSZVJA9     Wed, Jan 2, 2008  Permanent link
    I completely agree,
    I would be great to have a browsable
    catalog of recommended books
    and an option to create synapsis
    to them.
    I would also suggest a library of text fragments, appart from the main posts page.
    That would keep us quote-junkies at ease and ready to let the random ramble flow.
    Good idea Frank.
    Michael Garrett     Wed, Jan 2, 2008  Permanent link
    Probably should designate some type of category identification for search purposes. The list of books for your antilibrary will be very large.
    bpwnes     Thu, Jan 3, 2008  Permanent link
    Another great idea would be a place to post great ideas on how to improve the Space Collective.
    Wildcat     Thu, Jan 3, 2008  Permanent link
    Fantastic Idea, where's the list?
    maybe we should start by creating each on his own cargo a list of recommended books? and then synapse it.. ?!
    Mission Control     Thu, Jan 3, 2008  Permanent link
    We have created a post for this purpose here: Collective idea space
    Rourke     Thu, Jan 10, 2008  Permanent link
    I think this would work well as a project in its own right in the upcoming project spaces. I hadn't seen your post and yet came up with a very similar proposal only a few days later.

    Watch out, the collective is already mingling of its own accord.
     
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