Burning Books, Erasing Memories

whitewave

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This was a difficult article for me to write. As a bibliophile, the very thought of burning books (accidentally or intentionally) produces a visceral reaction. Throughout history there have been numerous book burnings done intentionally in an effort to erase a conquered people's culture, history, language, and sense of national identity. As seekers of historical facts on this site, we are at a distinct disadvantage because so many original documents have been deliberately destroyed and most of what we are left with are the victors' version of events. The sheer volume of destroyed documentation makes our task even more daunting. Depressingly, the list of book burnings was so extensive that I had to pare it down for conciseness. This is by no means a comprehensive list but links are provided for further reference. As you will see, the holocaust continues into the present.

Xianyang Palace and State Archives Xianyang Qin China, 206 BC. Xiang Yu, rebelling against emperor Qin Er Shi, led his troops into Xianyang in 206 BC. He ordered the destruction of the Xianyang Palace by fire. (Qin Shi Huang had ordered the burning of books and burying of scholars earlier.) This was also done by Cambodia in the 20th century-destroying not only the written knowledge accumulated but also killing those who might be able to recreate it.

Library of Alexandria, Ancient Egypt - Disputed cause/perpetrator(s).
Library of the Serapeum, Alexandria Ancient Egypt in 392 Theophilus of Alexandria. The library was burned and looted at the perpetrator's decree, who was ordered to do so by Theodosius I.

Nalanda, India1193 Bakhtiyar Khilji Nalanda University complex (the most renowned repository of Buddhist knowledge in the world at the time) was sacked by Turkic Muslim invaders under the perpetrator; this event is seen as a milestone in the decline of Buddhism in India.[18] The library of Nalanda, known as Dharma Gunj (Mountain of Truth) or Dharmagañja (Treasury of Truth), was the most renowned repository of Hindu and Buddhist knowledge in the world at the time. Its collection was said to comprise hundreds of thousand of volumes, so extensive that it burned for months when set aflame by Muslim invaders in 1193.

Madrassah Library Granada Crown of Castile 1499 Cardinal Cisneros The library was ransacked by troops of Cardinal Cisneros in late 1499, the books were taken to the Plaza Bib-Rambla, where they were burned.

Glasney College Penryn, Cornwall England1548 Royal officials The smashing and looting of the Cornish colleges at Glasney and Crantock brought an end to the formal scholarship which had helped to sustain the Cornish language and the Cornish cultural identity.

Maya codices of the Yucatán Maní, Mexico and Guatemala 1562-07-12 Diego de Landa Bishop De Landa, a Franciscan monk and conquistador during the Spanish conquest of Yucatán, wrote: "We found a large number of books in these characters and, as they contained nothing in which were not to be seen as superstition and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they (the Maya) regretted to an amazing degree, and which caused them much affliction." Only three extant codices are widely considered unquestionably authentic.

Raglan Library Raglan Castle Wales 1646 Parliamentary Army The Earl of Worcester's library was burnt during the English Civil War by forces under the command of Thomas Fairfax

Library of Congress Washington, D.C. United States 1814 Troops of the British Army. The library was destroyed during the War of 1812 when British forces set fire to the U.S. Capitol during the Burning of Washington. Immediately following the British withdrawal, former President Thomas Jefferson sold to the US Government his entire private library, 6,700 volumes, to replace the loss – from which the Library of Congress went on to expand to its enormous present size though a fire in 1851 destroyed around two-thirds of Jefferson's collection. The material destroyed in 1814 is the modern digital storage equivalent of 3.42 gigabytes and could easily be hosted on one single present-day smartphone, tablet, or SD card. (Wiki's downplaying of the amount of material lost is insulting as it is not only the number of books lost but the type of books and the age in which they were written)

University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama United States 1865-05-04 Troops of the Union Army. During the American Civil War, Union troops destroyed most buildings on the University of Alabama campus, including its library of approximately 7,000 volumes.

Royal library of the Kings of Burma, Mandalay Palace Burma 1885 – 1887 Troops of the British Army. The British looted the palace at the end of the 3rd Anglo-Burmese War (some of the artifacts which were taken away are still on display in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London)[27] and burned down the royal library.

Library of the Catholic University of Leuven Leuven, Belgium 1914-08-25 German Occupation Troops. The Germans set the library on fire as part of the burning of the entire city in an attempt to use terror to quell Belgian resistance to occupation.

Public Records Office of Ireland Dublin, Ireland 1922 Disputed. Poss. deliberately by Anti-Treaty IRA or accidental ignition of their stored explo-sives due to shelling by Provisional Government forces.The Four Courts was occupied by the Anti-Treaty IRA at the start of the Irish Civil War. The building was bombarded by the Provisional Government forces under Michael Collins. At the culmination of the April 1922 fighting in and around the Four Courts in Dublin, as the Republican forces hitherto barricaded in the building were surrendering, the west wing was obliterated in a huge explosion, destroying the Irish Public Record Office located at the rear, with nearly one thousand years of irreplaceable archives being destroyed. Responsibility for the incident has never been established. Blame has been placed on either the national army which was shelling anti-Treaty forces or anti-Treaty forces who were believed to have purposely blown up the records in an act of defiance. (Not a library this time but a public records office. This isn't suspicious at all.)

Several religious libraries. Madrid, Spain 1931 Anarchists and anti-clericalists. In 1931, several groups of radical leftists and anarchists, with the complicit inaction of the Republican government, burned down several convents in Madrid. Most included important libraries. Among them, the Colegio de la Inmaculada y San Pedro Claver and the Instituto Católico de Artes e Industrias with a library of 20,000 volumes; including the archives of the paleographer García Villada, and 100,000 popular songs compiled by P. Antonio Martínez. Everything was lost.The Casa Profesa with a library of 80,000 volumes, considered the second best in Spain at the time, after the National Library; and the Instituto Católico de Artes e Industrias,

Institut für Sexualwissenschaft Berlin,Nazi Germany 1933-05-? Members of the Deutsche Studentenschaft. On 6 May 1933, the Deutsche Studentenschaft made an organised attack on the Institute of Sex Research. A few days later, the Institute's library and archives were publicly hauled out and burned in the streets of the Opernplatz.

Library of the Catholic University of Leuven. Leuven, Belgium 1940-05-? German Occupation Troops. Caught fire during German invasion of Louvain, Belgium. On 25 August 1914, the university library of Leuven was destroyed by the Germans. Among the 300,000 books destroyed were many irreplaceable books, and more than 1,000 incunabula (handwritten books before the invention of the printing press). After the war, a new library was built. During World War II, the new building was again set on fire and nearly a million books were lost, including Gothic and Renaissance manuscripts. At the time, this destruction aroused shock and dismay around the world. One of the notable losses was that of Rongorongo text E, which was one of only two dozen surviving examples of the as yet undeciphered rongorongo script of Easter Island. Rubbings and possibly 3-dimensional replicas were preserved in libraries and collections elsewhere. They are all that remain of the original. (I wonder what Easter Island had to say that we weren't meant to hear?)

Załuski Library. Warsaw, Poland 1944 Nazi German troops. The library was burned down during the Nazi suppression of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The burning of this library was part of the general setting on fire of a large part of the city of Warsaw.[33]

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National Library of Serbia. Belgrade, Yugoslavia 1941-04-06 Nazi German Luftwaffe. Destroyed during the World War II bombing of Belgrade.

Central University Library of Bucharest. Bucharest, Romania 1989-12-2? Romanian Land Forces. Burnt down during the Romanian Revolution.
 

sonoman

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hey whitewave,

from what Im told, nearly all courthouses of the CSA were burned during the so called 'civil' war (war crime of federal aggression)

the way I look at it, they were burning the records (memorials) but not the actual living memories. they killed many flesh and blood too but not those souls and the each soul is where the memory lives and lives forever.

the aggressors chose to not honor the book of life or the living and instead to serve the book of the dead, now all their victories are temporary.

'let the dead bury the dead'
 
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whitewave

whitewave

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National and University Library of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina 1992-08-25 Bosnian Serb Army. The library was completely destroyed during the Siege of Sarajevo.

National Archives of Bosnia and Herzegovina (partially) Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina 2014-02-07 Seven Bosnian rioters suspected of having started the fire; two (Salem Hatibović and Nihad Trnka) were arrested.

On 4 April 2014, Salem Hatibović and Nihad Trnka were released (although still under suspicion of terrorism), on conditions that they don't leave their places of residence and abstain from having any contact with each other. Both were also mandated to report to the police once every week.During the 2014 unrest in Bosnia and Herzegovina large amounts of historical documents were destroyed when sections of the Archives of Bosnia and Herzegovina, housed in the presidential building, were set on fire. Among the lost archival material were documents and gifts from the Ottoman period, original documents from the 1878-1918 Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as documentations of the interwar period, the 1941–1945 rule of the Independent State of Croatia, papers from the following years, and about 150,000 files from the 1996–2003 Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In the repositories that were burnt, about 60 percent of the material was lost, according to estimates by Šaban Zahirović, the head of the Archives.

Institute of Scientific Information on Social Sciences (INION) (partially?) Moscow, Russia 2015-01-29 Unknown. Fire spread to 2000 m² in third Floor. Roof caved in. Additional water damage. Ambient temperature too high for self-freezing of damaged Works. Library contains 14 MILLION books, including rare texts in ancient Slavic languages, documents from the League of Nations, UNESCO, and parliamentary reports from countries including the US dating back as far as 1789. A million rare documents damaged in Moscow library fire

Personal Venetian noble library. (There are many recorded instances of personal libraries torched). "For many, many years Razumowski had made a point of embellishing the place with every art-treasure that wealth could buy. The rooms themselves were decorated with as much taste as sumptuousness. Side by side with galleries containing masterpieces of pictorial and statuary art, there was a library, perhaps matchless anywhere, inasmuch as the rarest manuscripts and books were collected there. The Project Gutenberg eBook of Anecdotal Recollections Of the Congress of Vienna, by The Comte A. De La Garde-Chambonas. (The timing of this one, especially, bothers me as it happened during the Vienna Congress after the Napoleonic war when the movers, shakers and most influential people in Europe were gathered in Vienna for the purpose of carving up Europe into its current map designations). It was the only fire recorded in Vienna during those 6 months.)

Censorship of Historical Thought (This seems to be a historically popular method of erasing a cultural memory)

WWII bombing of London
An estimated five million books were lost in the fires caused by tens of thousands of incendiary bombs - including, on the one hand, old and rare books and on the other the whole or most of the print run of recently published books.

WWII destruction of Poland
Works of Macrobius, ca. 1470 is one of the books burned by the Germans during the Planned destruction of Warsaw. Much of Warsaw, Poland was destroyed during World War II by the Nazis: an approximated 85% of buildings, including 16,000,000 volumes. 10% of the buildings were destroyed in the Invasion of Poland that ignited the war in 1939, 15% in the reorganization of Warsaw and the first Warsaw Ghetto uprising, 25% in the second and far more famous Uprising, and the last 35% due to systematic German actions after the Uprising was defeated. 14 libraries, not including the libraries in the University of Warsaw and the Warsaw Institute of Technology that were also razed, were completely burned to the ground. German Verbrennungskommandos (Burning detachments) were responsible for much of the targeted attacks on libraries and other centers of knowledge and learning. In October 1944, the National Library of Poland's manuscript collection was burned to erase Polish national history.

WWII bombing of Germany
The firebombing of German cities during World War II caused extensive destruction of German libraries, including the Library of the Technical University of Aachen (50,000 volumes), the Berlin Staatsbibliothek (2 million volumes), the Berlin University Library (20,000 volumes), the Bonn University Library (25% of its holdings), the Bremen Staatsbibliothek (150,000 volumes), the Hessische Landesbibliothek in Darmstadt (760,000 volumes), the Library of the Technical University in Darmstadt (two-thirds of its collection), the Stadt- und Landesbibliothek in Dortmund (250,000 of 320,000 volumes), the Sächsische Landesbibliothek in Dresden (300,000 volumes), the Stadtbibliothek in Dresden (200,000 volumes), the Essen Stadtbücherei (130,000 volumes), the Frankfurt Stadt- und Universitätsbibliothek (550,000 volumes, 440,000 doctoral dissertations, 750,000 patents), the Giessen University Library (nine-tenths of its collection), the Greifswald University Library (17,000 volumes), the Hamburg Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek (600,000 volumes), the Hamburg Commerz-Bibliothek (174,000 of 188,000 volumes), the Hannover Stadtbibliothek (125,000 volumes), the Badische Landesbibliothek in Karlsruhe (360,000 volumes), the Library of the Technical University in Karlsruhe (63,000 volumes), the Kassel Landesbibliothek (350,000 of 400,000 volumes), the Murhardsche Bibliothek in Kassel (100,000 volumes), the Kiel University Library (250,000 volumes), the Leipzig Stadtbibliothek (175,000 of 181,000 volumes), the Magdeburg Stadtbibliothek (140,000 of 180,000 volumes), the Marburg University Library (50,000 volumes), the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich (500,000 volumes), the Munich University Library (350,000 volumes), the Munich Stadtbibliothek (80,000 volumes), the Munich Benedictine Library (120,000 volumes), the Münster University Library (360,000 volumes), the Nürnberg Stadtbibliothek (100,000 volumes), the Württembergische Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart (580,000 volumes), the Library of the Technical University in Stuttgart (50,000 volumes), the Würzburg University Library (200,000 volumes and 230,000 doctoral dissertations). The above is only a shortlist of the most notable losses; in all it is estimated that a third of all German books were destroyed. Among the books destroyed at the Municipal Library of Frankfurt was its Cairo Genizah document collection – an important resource for Jewish History which was spared by the Nazis and destroyed in the Allied bombing. It should also be mentioned that on May 10, 1945, soldiers of the Red Army destroyed parts of the collection of the University of Breslau. (Does anyone else find it odd that the NAZIS spared "an important resource for Jewish History" and that the Allied bombers didn't)?

Duchess Anna Amalia Library. Weimar, Germany 2004-09-02 The destruction of movable industrial heritage remains almost totally ignored. List of destroyed heritage. (This is significant in that we can see the ruins of destroyed buildings and learn of the great loss of written documents but no one is really giving much attention to the technology/industrial heritage that existed during those times of destruction. How much have we lost?)
Pennsylvania Station was a historic railroad station in New York City, named for the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), its builder and original tenant. The station occupied an 8-acre plot bounded by Seventh and Eighth Avenues and 31st and 33rd Streets in Midtown Manhattan. It was designed by McKim, Mead, and White and completed in 1910. Its head house and train shed were considered a masterpiece of the Beaux-Arts style and one of the great architectural works of New York City. Construction 1904-1910 Demolition October 28, 1963 (Up for only 50 years? This one may need a thread of its own).
The history of Brazil is being systematically destroyed.
As is Croatia/Cyrillic language and culture.
And, of course, obliteration of American Indian heritage/culture continues.
History and evidence of a conflicting narrative seem especially prone to "accidents".

The history of Brazil is being systematically destroyed.
As is Croatia/Cyrillic language and culture.
And, of course, obliteration of American Indian heritage/culture continues.

In 2014 a 4,500-year-old Coast Miwok Indian burial ground and village was found near Larkspur, California, and destroyed to make way for a multimillion-dollar housing development.[141]
Grand Coulee Dam, constructed between 1933 and 1942 on the Columbia River disturbed burial grounds and destroyed ancient villages on 18,000 acres (7,300 ha) of the Colville Indian Reservation, home to a dozen tribes at the time.[142]

History and evidence of a conflicting narrative seem especially prone to "accidents".

Swedish National Archives
In 1697, gross negligence caused the burning down of the Tre Kronor in Stockholm, including the National Library and its archives, resulting in irreparable loss of much information about centuries of Swedish history.[116]

China's Qianlong Emperor (1711–1799) embarked on an ambitious program – the Siku Quanshu, largest compilation of books in Chinese history (possibly in human history in general). The enterprise included, however, also the systematic banning and burning of books considered "unfitting" to be included – especially those critical, even by subtle hints, of the ruling Qing Dynasty. During this Emperor's nearly sixty years on the throne, the destruction of about 3,000 "evil" titles (books, poems, and plays) was decreed, the number of individual copies confiscated and destroyed is variously estimated at tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands. As well as systematically destroying the written works, 53 authors of such works were executed, in some cases by lingering torture or along with their family members (see literary inquisition#Qing, Qianlong Emperor#Burning of books and modification of texts). A famous earlier Chinese encyclopedia, Tiangong Kaiwu was included among the works banned and destroyed at this time, and was long considered to be lost forever – but some original copies were discovered, preserved intact, in Japan.

According to national and international organizations about 1000,000 books in Albanian language have been sent to the paper mill in Lipjan for pulping. Among those books were collections of national heritage, which explained the nation's origins and history.

Records of criminal activity destroyed to protect the guilty.

On September 20, 2010 the Pentagon bought and burned 9,500 copies of Operation Dark Heart, nearly all the first run copies for supposedly containing classified information.

In 1812 the Goa Inquisition was suppressed, after hundreds of years in which it had been enacting various kinds of religious persecution in the Portuguese colony of Goa, India. In the aftermath, most of the Goa Inquisition's records were destroyed – a great loss to historians, making it is impossible to know the exact number of the Inquisition's victims.

n 1868 the French police, under Napoleon the Third, seized the extensive papers and Europe-wide correspondence of the Parisian Pacifist and Social Reformer Edmond Potonie. The papers, which might have been of considerable value to historians, have disappeared irrevocably and are assumed to have been destroyed.

In 1901 the Russian Council of Ministers banned a five-volume work on the socioeconomic conditions of Jews in the Russian Empire, the result of a decade-long comprehensive statistical research commissioned by Ivan Bloch. (It was entitled "Comparison of the material and moral levels in the Western Great-Russian and Polish Regions"). The research's conclusions – that Jewish economic activity was beneficial to the Empire - refuted antisemitic demagoguery and were disliked by the government, which ordered all copies to be seized and burned. Only a few survived, circulating as great rarities.

Yrjö Leino, a Communist activist, was Finland's Minister of the Interior in the crucial 1945–1948 period. In 1948 he suddenly resigned for reasons which remain unclear and went into retirement. Leino returned to the public eye in 1958 with his memoirs of his time as Minister of the Interior. The manuscript was prepared in secret – even most of the staff of the publishing company Tammi were kept in ignorance – but the project was revealed by Leino because of an indiscretion just before the planned publication. It turned out the Soviet Union was very strongly opposed to publication of the memoirs. The Soviet Union's Chargé d'affaires in Finland Ivan Filippov (Ambassador Viktor Lebedev had suddenly departed from Finland a few weeks earlier on October 21, 1958) demanded that Prime Minister Karl-August Fagerholm's government prevent the release of Leino's memoirs. Fagerholm said that the government could legally do nothing, because the work had not yet been released nor was there censorship in Finland. Filippov advised that if Leino's book was published, the Soviet Union would draw "serious conclusions". Later the same day Fagerholm called the publisher, Untamo Utrio, and it was decided that the January launch of the book was to be cancelled. Eventually, the entire print run of the book was destroyed at the Soviet Union's request. Almost all of the books – some 12,500 copies – were burned in August 1962 with the exception of a few volumes which were furtively sent to political activists. Deputy director of Tammi Jarl Hellemann later argued that the fuss about the book was completely disproportionate to its substance, describing the incident as the first instance of Finnish self-censorship motivated by concerns about relations to the Soviet Union (see Finlandization).[194] The book was finally published in 1991, when interest in it had largely dissipated.

Anthony Comstock founded the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice (NYSSV) in 1873 and over the years burned 15 TONS of books, 284,000 pounds of plate, and almost 4 million pictures. The NYSSV was financed by wealthy and influential New York philanthropists. Lobbying the United States Congress also led to the enactment of the Comstock laws. (Considering the time frame of when photography was invented, 4 million pictures would probably constitute every picture ever taken by 1873).

Italian Nationalist literature
(by Austrian authorities in Trieste)
The authorities had the condemned material meticulously weighted, it was found to measure no less than 4.7 metric tons. Thereupon, on February 13, 1909, the books and periodicals were officially burned at the Servola blast furnaces.

Of the surviving documents that escaped obliteration, most can be found in technical or academic books/paper which most people don't read. Links for follow-up investigation are provided below. I recommend tracking the bibliography sources to see what the authors had to say about the surviving documents since most of us are not academicians and will never have access to the documents the authors viewed.

List of destroyed libraries - Wikipedia

List of book-burning incidents - Wikipedia (This link has an extensive bibliography worth investigating)

"ISIS Burns 8000 Rare Books and Manuscripts in Mosul"

"Lebanon Loses 78000 Books To Terrorism: Tripoli's "Al Sa'eh" Library Burned". Archived from the original on 2014-01-05.

Fleeing Islamists burn priceless Timbuktu library, accessed 29 January 2013

The House of Wisdom was destroyed during the Mongol invasion of Baghdad in 1258, along with all other libraries in Baghdad. It was said that the waters of the Tigris ran black for six months with ink from the enormous quantities of books flung into the river.

During the Kumul Rebellion in Xinjiang in the 1930s, Buddhist murals were vandalized by Muslims.

Andrew Nikiforuk (30 December 2013). "Secret Memo Casts Doubt on Feds' Claims for Science Library Closures: Goal stated is 'culling' research, not preserving and sharing through digitization". The Tyee. (Now this is a curious turn of events. Why would the federal government want to destroy decades of aquatic research and cover up their atrocity with the lie of "preserving it for the people")?

"Irreplaceable research lost from purged federal libraries: BC Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver says government didn't digitize entire libraries as promised". News1130. 6 January 2014.

A Moscow library containing rare UN documents, ancient Slavic texts, and 14 million books is on fire (2015)

Repository UP AC ZA

death Archives - Andrea Gibbons

I haven't even really touched on all the buildings, statues, monuments, paintings and other aspects of a people's heritage that have been bombed to smithereens, deliberately torched, or otherwise demolished. And, as I mentioned, no one is really even paying attention to the technical heritage that has been lost to history. Sometimes I think we don't deserve a planet.
 

sonoman

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what is going on here!? damage report is damaged?

thats some serious damage throughout the years though! being opti myst ic, multiple uni verses might not be such a bad thing after all. and if that is the case, multiple plan ettes!


be interesting to see where this reply fits in here.

p.s. good to see this thread is back in order now.
 
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whitewave

whitewave

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First off, thanks for whoever fixed the post.
Next, I know it's a lot to read but this is evidence of our history being stolen/destroyed right now in today's news. A few troubling points (for those who didn't read the entire post): 1) The federal government is currently destroying decades of aquatic research while telling us they're digitizing it for our benefit. Now why would the federal government (who probably paid for most of the research) want to get rid of that information?
2) What does the ancient Slavic history have that's so discriminating that the entire culture and 14 million of their books have to be destroyed?
3) Is the destruction of history/culture the real reason for all the wars?
Finally, what can we do to preserve what has so far escaped the wholesale destruction of our history?
 

UnusualBean

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3) Is the destruction of history/culture the real reason for all the wars?
I don't know if it's the only reason, but it's absolutely one of the main ones. People don't talk about it a lot, but so many priceless artifacts and historical sites have been destroyed over the course of all the fighting in the Middle East. It's truly saddening.
 

Ice Nine

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You know if a person wasn't already tuned into this sort of subject I'd think you'd get one of those gut punched, weak in the knee moments, when you are enlightened about something very sinister. Even the most jaded skeptic would have to admit something is really going on with history wiping.

And the thing about kindle I just keep thinking about,why would I want books on something like that? Dag nabit, I want to hold a book and have the book in a real physical form.
And oh oh, here comes my tin-foil hat, but I have no doubt there is going to be some cataclysmic apocalyptic event sooner or later. What good is a kindle going to do me when I'm living in a cave (if I'm lucky) someplace.
 

UnusualBean

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the thing about kindle I just keep thinking about,why would I want books on something like that?
You might not want it, but for many people it's a convenient and affordable way to access a large collection of literature.

Don't get me wrong, preserving physical books (especially the originals) is very very important, but just remember that digitization of information is the entire reason we're able to be here discussing this right now. It's something with plenty of pros to go along with the cons.
 
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whitewave

whitewave

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I like the idea of digitizing books but it's way too easy to change what a book says when it's digitized. Wiki actually encourages "updates". I've been visiting used book stores and garage sales trying to scoop up any old book (especially history and dictionaries) that I can find. It's alarming how few are still left.
As a forager/wildcrafter/herbalist, I began to notice a trend about 15-20 years ago in the type of herbalist literature being produced. There was an alarmist quality to the information (which I wrote an article about) basically warning that foragers were playing with fire by eating things not found in grocery stores. I usually like to counter that argument with reminding those concerned with my safety that I've never had to worry about an E. coli outbreak from eating my lawn lunches.
School texts are another source of noticeable change. Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was in school, we learned there was a difference between "Democracy" and a "Republic" (that had no bearing on political parties bearing the same names). I've since been surprised to hear POTUS (Clinton, for example) refer to America as a Democracy.
I, too, prefer a book in my hand that doesn't require scrolling or battery chargers. If you can change a peoples language, you can change their thinking. Slang and colloquialisms signal the willingness of the populace to be participants in their own mental manipulation.
 

AgentOrange5

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This is so incredibly tragic. I thought the burning of the Alexandria Library was bad, I had no idea how wide-spread all of this was. The lesson to be learned, stuff that needs to survive needs to be spread out tremendously, any congregating of knowledge will make it easy to be destroyed. Of course, the more spread out the knowledge, the harder and less likely it will be reconstructed, especially if people don't understand the value of what they have.

Like for example, a 100 page book that contains irreplaceable knowledge. To guard it's survival, distribute 1 page of that book to different people all over the world. People looking to destroy that book, would easily recognize entire copies of it, but finding single pages of it would be like looking for a needle in a hay stack. Unfortunately, that would also be true for people, say 3 generations later, who are trying to reconstruct the book, when many of the original page owners have died and the people inheriting the page may have no idea of why the page was saved or how valuable it is.

The other way, would be to disguise the work. Hide the words in another picture or art work, or erase and then write over them (I recently read about this being done with some of the monastery books, and technology is making it possible to see what the original erased words were.)

Would person(s) in a society before ours had reason to fear that all knowledge might be purposefully destroyed and seek to hide it for future generations somehow? I think if they had knowledge of previous "resets", then yes, they would have. How would they have attempted to hide the information, maybe even in plain sight?
 
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whitewave

whitewave

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Knowledge truly is power. With all the book burnings think of how much power we've lost.

Yes, having collections in one place is convenient but dangerous. This would include all libraries, museums, and any specialty areas. It's a sign of an orderly mind to want to keep things in order (or a sign of OCD) but rather than destroy books that need preserving, I'd prefer to make or buy more copies and distribute them.

I once bought and distributed so many copies of a particular book that the author wrote to me. How she knew I was buying her books en masse is a mystery to me. We corresponded briefly and I thanked her for her influential book and that was that. Best to get any pertinent knowledge in the hands of the masses so that even if every copy of a book is destroyed, it can be recreated from memory. Not ideal but better than a total loss.
 
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whitewave

whitewave

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Brazil seems to be a target right now. We have a thread on here somewhere about Brazilian scientists saying the earth is convex and soon after their report is published stuff starts burning down. I wonder if the two are related?
 
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dreamtime

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Brazil seems to be a target right now. We have a thread on here somewhere about Brazilian scientists saying the earth is concave and soon after their report is published stuff starts burning down. I wonder if the two are related?
Where can I find this thread?
 

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