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Friday, October 23, 2020

The storehouse of knowledge

 Essays in Idleness observes that the libraries are metaphorically burning:

For a new generation of reactionaries, old printed books can provide a way to preserve the culture and knowledge now being systematically “re-curated” (i.e. censored and physically destroyed) everywhere I look.

But of course I meant small private libraries, that will have to be hidden from public view, and guarded against electronic penetration; not the extravagant starchitectural wonders that pass for “highbrow” among people who never formed the habit of reading.

Too, as in Aldous Huxley, and the age of Homer, we should be memorizing our most treasured works for the dark age to come. Intelligent schooling, even rote learning must, like the Catholic Church, survive underground.

This is one of the reasons we founded Castalia Library. It allows every subscriber to take on the role of those monks who saved so much human knowledge from the rise of the Dark. Given their censorious behavior, do you really believe Google Books and Amazon and other converged institutions aren't going to systematically eradicate those books that they find "problematic" for one reason or another?


UPDATE: Speaking of Castalia Library, the bindery just sent a picture of the test stamping of the Libraria edition of AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND.



50 comments:

  1. They also certainly plan to rewrite all the ebooks they will permit to survive. For example the word Jew might be replaced by "benevolent wealthy community member and philanthropist" in all ebooks and websites and also all MS, Apple and Linus and Android computers and phones overnight.

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  2. I've been on the hunt for a collection of biographies I read as a kid that really solidified by love for history and brought some figures into wonderful perspective.

    I found out recently they were Jean Lee Latham's collection. Carry on Mr. Bowditch is still findable, but a lot of her other stuff is very hard to find.

    Is this a possibility for Castalia House?

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  3. This is why collections like the Great Books series are so important; the works of Western Civilization are problematic to the new elites, so these books need to be saved, preserved and kept from their evil clutches.

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  4. I started acquiring and preserving the Western canon when Newt Gingrich still taught his college course by audio tape. Why? I stumbled into an Episcopal church on Christmastime only to learn I was mistaken -- the entire congregation was singing and singing about "Good Christian Friends" rejoicing with heart and soul &c.

    No, I was not in a Meeting House. They censored the damned hymnal of the word "men."

    That wall of books behind me must have cost at least $30,000 in 1990's money.

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  5. I always chuckle when libraries have a display for "banned books" with the typical Harry Potter, Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

    What I never see is:

    -Human Action (Nazis AND Soviets were "Recurating" whatever copies they could find.)
    -Tragedy and Hope (certain chapters were removed by original publisher)
    -Mein Kampf (banned in Germany)

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  6. In the near future, anyone who can operate a pencil will be a person of great power.

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    Replies
    1. "I predict that one day Earth will deploy the manned bomber"!

      Delete
  7. The Castalia Library is excellent. But what if - and I don't know if this is already your plan - you have Castalia House with a massive collection of all of the western classics and other important works Cicero, Theodor Mommsen, Oman, Lucan etc. And click what format you want it in, digital, paperback, hardback - maybe the premium stays as a limited amount. And your order goes off to the printers.

    Anyway, I know you can get a lot of books from penguin and oxford etc. But I don't trust them. I don't like the optical scanning of old books either, I've had to return many for being illegible.

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  8. Yes, that's why I'm so glad you are printing these books. Thank you Vox.

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  9. I can hardly wait for the newest edition of The Lord of the Rings where Frodo is black, and Sam really is gay.

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  10. Just look how hard they've come after Huck Finn for a few " bad" words deapite its pro+African message. Imagine what they will do to books that tell the truth when they have the opportunity. kipling will be completely disappeared. Lewis, Tolkien, etc. will be "re-imagined" out of existence. And so on.

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  11. Bradbury was right, more so even the Huxley or Orwell

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  12. Even computer gaming is not immune to their crap!

    https://www.riotgames.com/en/news/lessons-learned-guiding-riot-games-through-a-cultural-crisis

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  13. Download and archive in offline and durable media the Gutenberg project ebooks.

    The more copies there are, the less power there is to destroy the entire library

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  14. Recognized and primary reason I am taking part personally.

    I must have a thousand books as it is but returning from Greece two weeks ago to Meditations in the box was above expectations. The quality is phenomenal and absolutely has the capacity to go 1000+ years.

    It's great that this is a thing out there as ive been thinking about it for some time and before my trip, I told my best friend that I was building up a library for the preservation of Western Civilization and the effort has begun.

    The Castalia volumes have instantly become integral to this long term effort. I have some of the 1909 harvard classics and they are 'okay' after a hundred years but to compare the paper quality would be laughable.

    They are designed to last and I appreciate it.

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  15. Is "Foundation" a sci-fi trilogy about librarians taking over the galaxy?

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    1. No, that's Act 1 of the first book. Things quickly turn to crap and Asimov writes himself into the story as a gary stu super villain.

      Asimov is overrated.

      Delete
  16. This sounds like the Edmonton Public Library, which is more interested in promoting "anti-racism" (with no white people on their "anti-racism" panel) and sodomy than in promoting literacy. EPL received the American Library Association's Library of the Year Award a few years ago, after trashing their entire collection of old magazines.

    The ALA is the notorious organization that has a "Freedom to Read" Week, but sided with Fidel Castro when he imprisoned 10 Cuban librarians for possession of such seditious literature as the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the U.S. Constitution--which led former ALA award winner Nat Hentoff to disassociate himself from the ALA.

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  17. Google and Amazon will not target libraries or books about technology - their goal is only to build a herd of mindless human cattle to provide stable revenue, over which they will ride as cowboy. They will strip away the educational, inspirational and aspirational, so that the total purpose of life in the herd is reduced to maximizing personal comfort and pleasure in the moment. Technological books about improving efficiencies in data transfer rates through fiber optics, or innovations in the internal combustion engine are quite safe. In fact, technology is the weapon by which they intend to secure their rule.

    At least, that's their vision.

    What they don't realize is, the cowboy never REALLY rules the herd, and one day he will make a mistake, or something random and seemingly innocuous will happen, and by the time the dust settles the cowboy will have been torn apart and trampled. And in the herd's murderous rage against the cowboy, it will destroy and reject the hated technology that was the symbol and source of the cowboy's power. Living like a savage, but free from cowboy oppression and technology, will be venerated as "the good life", and the return to the dark age will be complete.

    That's why homeschooling, and raising children to read is so important. That's why Castalia's Junior Classics revival is so important. If the spark in the minds of men is kept alive by 100,000 little strongpoints like Castalia and its subscribers, this unhappy future can be avoided entirely.

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    Replies
    1. Future LA denizens will be very impressed by the crumbling remains of the 4- level interchsnge.

      Delete
    2. Future LA denizens will be very impressed by the crumbling remains of the 4- level interchsnge.

      Delete
  18. JovianStorm wrote:Download and archive in offline and durable media the Gutenberg project ebooks.

    The more copies there are, the less power there is to destroy the entire library


    Here's the basic instructions for mirroring using rsync:

    https://www.gutenberg.org/help/mirroring.html

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  19. @13: That is only useful as long as there are computer systems that can read the media you downloaded them to.

    Printed books do not need computers.

    Unfortunately, they make good fire starting materials.

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  20. How long before Fahrenheit 451 becomes just another manual for contemporary society?

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  21. Good thing the 1000+ books on my kindle are all various trash manga, light novels and such.

    Nothing of value will be lost if they disappear.

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  22. I go to an old bookstore by my house a few times a year and spend a couple hundred dollars on collector's editions of great literature. Even if I don't have an interest in a particular book, I figure my future kids, grandkids, or neighbors might. There are definitely going to be some cool underground libraries in the coming decades.

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  23. This sums up for Castalia House for me. If you plan for a year plant rice, if you plan for 10 years plant trees, if you plan for 100 years educate your children. Confucius

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  24. I've heard the blockchain allows permanent messages to be stored because of the nature of it (you have to be able to verify the transaction blocks for future blocks). Is that a potential avenue for storage of digital media?

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    Replies
    1. IMHO 0.
      Which block chain will be around in 5/10 years?

      Likely just one maybe, but hard to know which as none have stickiness.

      The transaction log grows infinitely generally.

      Delete
  25. We need a vault for Western Civilization culture. Literature, photos, films, music, science, etc. It is shocking seeing photos of Paris, London, NYC from the 1950s. Moves, too. These will all be vanished.

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  26. 21. Saint October 23, 2020 11:53 AM
    No, that's Act 1 of the first book. Things quickly turn to crap and Asimov writes himself into the story as a gary stu super villain.

    Asimov is overrated.


    Are you saying Asimov wrote himself in as the mule? Or the 2nd foundation dude? Or the holograms?

    I still think Foundation started as a "monks inherit the earth" librarian dream of empire.

    From a concept standpoint the trilogy was fascinating, and I particularly enjoyed the General Bel Riose story as a simple but insightful look at the corrupting effect of power on human jealousies - David and Saul with a different winner. The Mule was a cautionary tale about dependence on data and the falseness of inevitabilities.

    In many ways it wasn't a sci-fi book at all, but a book about psychology, mass psychology, and how the elite reduce every human thought and action into mathematical equations, as they do in real life. Asimov's prose is sterile and metallic and the plots are basic A > B > C progression, but they're just window dressing to the concept he was introducing us to.

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  27. @21 Saint:

    No, that's Act 1 of the first book. Things quickly turn to crap and Asimov writes himself into the story as a gary stu super villain.

    The Mule is an Asimov self-insert? Must explain why I can remember so little of the trilogy from when I read it in the late 1970s or a bit later.

    @22. Rakshasa:

    Good thing the 1000+ books on my kindle are all various trash manga, light novels and such.

    Nothing of value will be lost if they disappear.


    I don't know, the big advantage of Japan's cultural output is that it's by and large a-Christian. That sure beats the anti-Christain Zeitgeist that was strong enough in the 1950s that Charles Schultz had to put his foot down and make the real meaning of Christmas a non-negotiable with the producers of the show. And a lot of the works are moral, even if they aren't quite our morality; personal responsibility is frequently a major theme. Again, a vast improvement over works intended to degrade the reader; I don't miss new western SF (OK, the old stuff was sometimes really sketchy) when I these works to substitute.

    @25 Nate73:

    I've heard the blockchain allows permanent messages to be stored because of the nature of it (you have to be able to verify the transaction blocks for future blocks). Is that a potential avenue for storage of digital media?

    Not really, you have to get a whole bunch of computers to cooperate to make anything semi-permanent in a block chain, and I'm not sure its suited towards long passages of text. And those developing the technology are shitlibs, have upon occasion stated that if they could block "Nazis" from using it, they would. Books would be easy to keep out or remove.

    Best answer is lots and lots of copies of every sort, use digital technology to its fullest. For DIY permanent copies, buy a duplexing B&W laser printing like from Brother last time I checked, an extra toner cartridge, a few reams of paper (acid free if that's available), and some sort of binding system. But plenty of copies on hard disks, thumb drives, CD/DVD/BD-ROMs of high quality (no BDs from good companies anymore, last time I checked a year or two ago, though), etc. etc. Too many copies, even as samizdata, and our enemies won't be able to destroy all of them.

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  28. bb wrote:We need a vault for Western Civilization culture. Literature, photos, films, music, science, etc. It is shocking seeing photos of Paris, London, NYC from the 1950s. Moves, too. These will all be vanished.


    I hope you're wrong.

    This is very distressing.

    I'm beginning to think we should have lost the war.

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  29. vox, do I have to sign up for the library subscription and then purchase the catch up payment?

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  30. Yes, this is the 2nd month, so you need to pay for both.

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  31. Just finished Awake in the Nightland and it was awesome, but the subject of this post this is precisely why I have been so excited about the Greek, Roman and Junior classics y’all are publishing. Great quality product and you’re doing God’s work.

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  32. Is there a catalog of books being published in this beautiful format?
    Also what is the process of requesting books is that even allowed ?

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  33. You need to buy books!! ...Oh, hey, *I* sell books...!

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  34. Digz, for a $50 per month subscription you get a really nice leather book every two months.

    https://arkhavencomics.com/product-category/leather/

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  35. They call it "Kindle" for a reason.

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  36. In the future, no one reads books anymore as foretold in Time Machine (2002). A book crumbles as you open it in a relic of a library. Libraries offer an online version. You can checkout books electronically. This is how they change history to suit their politics. No one reads anyways. Funny how the Democrats keep changing the words to mean different things.

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  37. @41: Some groups don't read books anyway.

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  38. Another resource which needs digitizing are all of the archives, from Spains' Archive of the Indies to the local historic society.
    If I can afford to do so, I may set up a mirror of Gutenberg.
    I also buy limited distribution deep-subject books when I find them cheaply, even if they are not in my subjects, just to preserve the knowledge.
    John in Indy

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  39. @Azimus
    >>>"Is "Foundation" a sci-fi trilogy about librarians taking over the galaxy?"
    ____________________
    That's what it seemed like. It's about... uh I guess the future walking through the same history we've already gone through because the central structure became rotten. "The foundation" starts as a library but becomes a renaissance, a merchant prince fleet, and an oligarchal empire in various random waves all according to 'psycho-history' by flim flam master Hari Seldon. His grand plan is literally nothing, everything unfolds according to pattern - based on Seldon's equations documenting the collapse of the empire.

    I'd provide more detail but Asimov did not. Some of the dry humor is alright, as neighbouring middle kingdom splinters of the original empire go through decadent declines of their own. The 'minister of the privy' chapter is my favorite. One of those neighbours received foreign dignitaries in the emperor's gigantic bathroom, and his bath attendants were thus the most powerful advisors in the realm. Most logical story progression of the book, because all context and detail is skipped over.

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  40. Did I miss the "That Cover Confirms Illuminati membership" or have our SDL already banned some of those?

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  41. @31 I'm beginning to think we should have lost the war.

    It would have been better to have not fought it in the first place...

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  42. I try to download everything I want to keep. youtube-dl is my friend. Even an ordinary content producer like Rifftrax has started airbrushing so-called homophobic and transphobic jokes out of some of their old shows, so even if they remain available online, you can't count on them being the same.

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  43. ThatWouldBeTelling wrote:Best answer is lots and lots of copies of every sort, use digital technology to its fullest. For DIY permanent copies, buy a duplexing B&W laser printing like from Brother last time I checked, an extra toner cartridge, a few reams of paper (acid free if that's available), and some sort of binding system.
    You can buy waterproof printer paper, and plastic ``paper.'' If you have info you might want to carry with you, it's worth printing on that stuff.

    Archival quality, acid free paper isn't hard to find, and if you're making hard copies at all, it's silly not to use it for everything that doesn't warrant the extra expense of waterproof paper. Copy places can put hard copies into spiral bindings for you quite cheaply.

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  44. Few read now. I have thousands of books, and most people proudly proclaim "I haven't read any book since school!"

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  45. RedJack wrote:Few read now. I have thousands of books, and most people proudly proclaim "I haven't read any book since school!"
    Most never did.
    120 years ago about 5% of Americans went to university and got an education. Today, about 40% go to university, and fewer than 5% get an education.
    Human nature and human abilities don't change.

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