The Forever Library

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Friends of the Library groups are typically the most active, local proponents of the library — traditionally, they host booksales, run a small gift shop, or organize mixers. But the results are tremendous! Many libraries are able to pay for programming solely due to the support of their Friends group. Foundations are more hands-off groups — they also raise money, but do so on a grander scale to fund large projects.

Consequently, if you are a successful business owner with little time on your hands but a desire to serve the community, working with a Library Foundation would be the way to go. They are well-equipped to handle large monetary or in-kind donations, and can advise about other sponsorship opportunities. Why is this vital?

Because many elected officials may not have the time or interest to learn how outstanding their libraries are. So when budget time comes around, they have little evidence with which to weigh library funding.


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A yearly letter from an actual constituent reminding them that libraries are a smart investment is a lot more persuasive than library staff reports, even if both say the same thing. Want to go a step further? Organize a letter-writing tea party! EveryLibrary is the only national organization that rallies people around libraries. Friends groups, Foundations, and the American Library Association ALA are severely limited in the political arena due to their tax status.

Not EveryLibrary, which is a c 4. So what exactly does EveryLibrary do? First of all, EveryLibrary provides training and support to any library in the United States that has a referendum or measure on the ballot and asks for assistance. Third, they help bring justice for libraries and librarians by leading mail-in and other direct action campaigns.

If you want to learn more click here. The final way you can help libraries stay around forever is simply by spreading the word about how awesome libraries are! When you see a library article in the media, share it on your feeds and tell your friends about it. If your local library has a social media presence, follow them, share their successes, and interact with their posts! And when you see nay-sayers poo-pooing libraries, put them in their place this handy guide can help.

One of the biggest challenges for libraries is getting the word out about their many services. While big companies have multi-million dollar marketing budgets, libraries do the best they can stretching every cent to serve the public. Of course, she started with spoken language and knowledge of some stories. How exactly would this go down? Say you start with a post-apocalyptic scenario, with civilization reduced to a hunter-gatherer level — and then what? How does the book come to have an influence? Does someone just pick it up out of curiosity?

And then what, does it teach them a language? How durable does this thing have to be? Would it be shaped like a monolith? Kidding on that last one…sorta. Hell, all the monolith in had to do to kick-start humanity was teach them how to think and how to use tools. Then it just vanished.

Interesting idea. Two thoughts on that: First, as you already mention briefly, there probably would have to be many Forever Books, because they depend on what you already have. As the chicken egg needs a mother to incubate it, the Forever Book needs at least some natural fiber to created paper from etc. Not very helpfull if you are stranded on the moon or something.

So where is the boundary between what you take for granted and what can be taken from the environment? Can a Neandertal man use your book? Maybe you have to teach him language first and writing? I can imagine that it would be possible to create such a book though. Maybe for a kind of Robinson who learns how to create such a book again on his island. But the DVD is much much more difficult. You need actual computer chips and chip factories to do this, probably one of the technically most difficult things to do. We only had DVDs for a few years now. So it would be impossible for one person, even a thousand persons to create this from scratch in a few years.

How to feed themselves when half of the population is working on this DVD project.

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How to not kill each other when they disagree. You have to teach them how to communicate effectively, how to travel to other parts of the world to get raw material, to get this material out of the ground, to build international trade, basically you have to teach them how to build a society. Because only a complex society like ours has the means to re build the Technium. So there have to be many things in this DVD, not only those things you directly need to make a DVD but all the things that support those things, on those that support those… On the other hand: The first time we build this Technium all we started from was the big bang.

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Maybe thats all the instructions needed. It worked the first time around, it might work again. So maybe your seed is really small, just a few laws of physics? Yes, Jochen, there would have to be different books — different seeds — for different staring fields. A stark moon, or a biologically rich planet, or our own earth in some dark age. And I agree that recreating a DVD is a gigantic undertaking. But it is not impossible. And it may be that if you only wanted to teach how to make a DVD and nothing else, it may be a shorter path then you think.

However you do ask a reasonable question about survival in the development time. A seed that took 50 years to fruit would need to convey the essentials of surviving for 50 years. There was a similar idea in the story Hegira by Greg Bear written in Part of the theme of that book though was the fact that the knowledge was interpreted differently by whoever read it, and the cultures the obelisks created were never the same.

My comments are less about metallurgy-anvil-machines unfolding and more about semiotics. I realize Forever Books are more towards road building than happiness or personal mission statement building. Coming from the USA Southeast, and raised in an environment where protestant fundamentalism was a norm, I saw how a large book took on a high degree of effect in building the society. A circular response loop starts between the source and interpreter. I guess it is that unfolding ripple effect that my post is pointing at.

And this sometimes invisible loop is intertwined with the stuff called anvils and satellites. I recommend a Forever Book especially the feral version which is what we needed in my home country of Arkansas contains some help, e. One of your central tenets of evolution is central to this undependable punctuation of unfolding : disequilibrium. I guess my post, at first, was an expression of discomfort over the tension supplied by disequilibrium.

But I can see a level of cross-purposes where the Forever Book writer may have to make a decision that is a hard one. If the goal is civilization, how much disequilibrium is the book creator comfortable in generating?

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Should this Forever Book aim for utopia? Or the world like we have now? Finally , its ironic that the Forever Book concept comes along so far upstream from the origin source of civilization. It is in of itself a paradox. No, Lance, the Forever Book does not deliver, or try to deliver, utopia. It is an unfolding, a process that never finishes, and that is, because it is real, a flawed, imperfect tradeoff of various benefits and their side effects — and many unexpected things.

Third year more complex, etc. Series 2 rolls out the industry from concepts in Series 1, making mass communication trivial and internationalizing transport, development and resource sharing. What better way to spread ourselves and our horrible, horrible planetary population problem throughout the universe than to freeze a chunk of this place surplus people included , pack it up with seeds and embryos and mail it out every week or so? Am I wrong here?

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All could be enclosed in a huge complex, like the designs conceptualized to mark nuclear wasted deposits for 1,s of years, possibly with knowledge etched on the stone construction elements the goal of studying it to be replication of Forever Series 1 in distributable book form. You could cryptographically or steganographically encode Series 2, 3, 4 etc.

I personally would invent a neutral language to put all this knowledge in… but you could encode the Rosetta Project in all of this, too.

Maybe bury the Stones themselves in the Forever Complex, or etch the language primers in the walls if there is room. Hell, you could cut matrices in the walls and make 2D barcodes for the complicated stuff — society would have to evolve from steps 1, 2, 3 to understand how to get it out of there. It would provide impetus to continue studying the site — indicate the strange glyphs on the walls have hidden meaning: see page 3 for how to build a machine that understands page 2 for what a machine IS. Thanks for posting them. Do you want to try to make a Forever Book, series 1? Hell yes I do!