What a load of babble!
Finding the right messages in the library of all human text.
Have you seen your new company strategy? It’s online, along with every other meeting agenda, email, and Yammer post that will ever be written by your colleagues.
You can find it here. Before you click the link, we should add that it’s not just your company’s information on there. It’s everything. Everything that has been, is being, and will ever be, written by humans.
The Library of Babel is a website that contains every combination of characters, spaces and full stops – and therefore all possible text. It’s a vast collection of 104,677 books, each of which is 410 pages long.
This entire article already existed. The source code of this website already existed. The next book, play, song, legal decision or piece of scripture that will change our world is on there, waiting to be discovered. The Library’s creator intends it to be “a place for scholars to do research, for artists and writers to seek inspiration, and for anyone with curiosity or a sense of humour to reflect on the weirdness of existence”.
Put another way, it does those monkeys who were reproducing the entire works of Shakespeare out of a job.
Right… but what does it mean?
In a library that’s published everything, there’s a lot of random gibberish. Full pages, books, volumes and rooms in the Library of Babel contain passages like: xzzxzlxc.sd. mf defkdka mfdkms.fmfdsmmee.
The realisation that human potential is finite enough to be stored on a single website might fill you with fear, wonder or bemusement. So let’s bring the focus to what the Library of Babel teaches us about internal communications and employee engagement.
Michelangelo believed that the figures he sculpted were trapped in stone, and he was freeing them. Sometimes it feels like the work we do is like chipping away at organisations’ everyday processes and routines to bring out their true purposes. In doing this we help organisations rediscover their values, and the people who live and breathe them.
Something else the Library of Babel teaches us is that if your communications channels can be over-inflated with too much information, your people could be finding it a challenge to get to the heart of the matter, and find the messages most important to them.
If you need help finding this out – contact us!