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    The Gutenberg Bible, printed in 1455, was thought to be the world's first printed book, until a British archaeologist found a manuscript hidden among more than 50,000 in a cave in a remote part of north-west China. That manuscript, known as the Diamond Sutra, is a Buddhist religious text, written in Chinese and printed on paper from woodblock prints around 868 AD. It's the oldest dated printed book in history and is held by the British Library. ABC RN Book Show


    Listened to this broadcast today. I was interested to learn that the motivation for producing the world's first printed book was, in part, the idea in some strands of Buddhism that the simple repetition of prayers or mantras will help to bring about enlightenment.

    This first printed book was dedicated to the parents of the maker of the book, suggesting that its repetition of the meaning of the sutra, by the reproduction of a printed hardcopy, was in order to help the parents. This is analogous to the spinning of a Tibetan prayer wheel can. (Though that's more imitative of visualised spiritual processes.)



    In an age of electronic digital reproduction such repetition has never been easier.

    Thus I'd like to suggest that we view printing, mechanical reproduction, as very early file sharing. Steampunk file sharing even. For, the 'format' is not the book, nor ebooks, no, the format is the distribution.

    The physical book, the tome, the scroll, and its libraries, its publishing houses, distracts us from reproductions' primary purpose, to share the book's contents. To share and to be mindful.

    File sharing is a prayer wheel. File sharing is the New Meditation. Share files and gain enlightenment, or at least, spread it around a little.

    crossposted at formeika
    Thu, Oct 14, 2010  Permanent link
    Categories: epiphany, social web
    Sent to project: The Total Library
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    In aggregation I left the islands
    of leaving with nothing to say.

    Had I stayed to learn what everyone heard,
    playing tag on objects in compilations,
    not so very composing, well, I'd be
    publishing among peers with more semance than
    words (what everyone has spoken for) but
    I'd still be gone, too far gone, to
    fiddle in these our stools with any consistency.

    Instead I went, coming into world with a great big me
    saying, "let's mash it all up, humans without conditions,
    leaving wants with nothing to do, singular— and well behind,"
    but alongside me, taking leave in an unsaving face
    the eye bright link clicked in our heads, and we ignore me,
    —that's a yes, that's a handshake, that's a solid connexion.



    face paint Melinda Oogjes


    Thus I remain, burdened with complex thoughts
    still too simple for the halfmade day, with no idea
    and too much to say.

    So then, I writ no more
    that is to say,
    when I took mine own eye out
    and no one
    could hear me go,

    "I walked like a mountain."
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