The goal of The Earthark Project is to maximize the long term health of humanity and the Earth.

Humanity in a longer termed temporal sense means accessing the accumulation of human thought and experience and access to the summation of its collective thinking processes with the ability to put that wisdom into practical usage by human beings. Wikipedia is a good current example of this type of self improving collective knowledge. The collective wisdom of science is perhaps even better example of practical human wisdom but as of this moment it hasn’t been wiki-ized. That central encyclopedia of scientific wikiwisdom would have to include clear experiments, counter experiments and alternative explanations for the observed phenomena from different perspectives. Wikiwisdom is not a general agreement of knowledge as is Wikipedia but a summation of experiments and interpretations of observed phenomena. These things are wholly electronic at present but occasionally a largish number of them, at their current state, should be printed out on acid free paper and put in remotely located deep cold-storage sites such as Eartharks. This may seem to be an extravagant waste of time and money but if you read the excellent book A Universal History of the Destruction of Books by Fernando Báez you will better understand the danger. See the picture below from p. 282 for a quick overview of some of the burnings. These book burnings were not intended to be the mere combustion of paper and ink but the destruction of cultures. These types of events have been common occurrences for thousands of years and because of their recurrent nature it is necessary to place the stored wisdom of humanity where it is safe from the occasional destructive impulses of humans. This may be even more important for their long term survival than the destruction of time and the elements. This isolation from humans is another reason for storing them securely at the Earthark mountains in Antarctica. ( -83.5 +83.5 )

Ten worst moments in the history of books

Top 10 book burnings - Fernando Báez

Top 10 Book burnings

  1. Library of Alexandria, Egypt 48 BCE
  2. Qin Shi Huang, destruction of scrolls, China, 213 BCE
  3. Mongol destruction of Baghdad libraries, 1258
  4. Cordoba, Spain, 980
  5. Savonarola’s autos-da-fe, Florence, Italy 1498
  6. Burned Mayan writings, Mexico, 1562
  7. Burning of the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 1814
  8. Nazi bibliocaust, Berlin, May 10, 1935
  9. Destruction of National Library of Bosnia, Herzegovina, Sarajevo 1992
  10. Libraries burned in Iraq, 2003

If the past is any predictor of the future book burnings will probably continue. These days when the internet is becoming the primary source of information for most people the need for information presented on paper in the form of books and newspapers has dwindled. Newspapers are closing down as are bookstores for lack of sales and the books that have already been printed are being recirculated via Amazon which depresses the used book stores’ business also. To further depress the book business there is the Amazon Kindle which can present a good quality reading experience on a smaller than book thickness machine. Amazon hopes to present every book ever written in any language to its customers over the current cell phone technology. It seems unlikely that the book burning crowd will make kindling of Kindles, but who knows? In the past it was information which was being burned but by destroying a Kindle not only is unwanted information destroyed but even the access to information. That would cut the victim off from everything so maybe there will be Kindle burnings. We need to protect humanity from the occasional outrages of some of its more active members.

Send your discarded books to the Earthark Project for permanent storage.