Archive for August, 2008

Combinatorics and the Library of Babel by Borges

Just published: The Unimaginable Mathematics of Borges’ Library of Babel by William Goldbloom Bloch (Oxford University Press 2008). The Library of Babel has a lot to do with combinatorics. Jorge Luis Borges‘ essay was influenced by another one by the German Kurd Lasswitz, the father of modern “science fiction”: Die Universalbibliothek (The universal library).

See also Catarina Caetano da Rosa’s German paper with the title “Bibliotheken von Babel: Wunsch- und Albtraum des unendlichen Wissensraumes (Libraries of Babel: great dream and nightmare of the infinite knowledge space)” at the Workshop called “Architekturen der digitalen Weltbibliothek aus historischer und aktueller Perspektive (Architectures of the digital world library from a historical and actual view)” at a computer sciences conference in Germany in 2007 (37. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI)).