Libraries and Gardens

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
Posts: 1373
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Libraries and Gardens

Post by Jason » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:03 pm

What we now know as America, went through three stages: Monarchy, Republicanism, Democracy. A good book on this is "The Radicalism of The American Revolution" by Gordon S. Wood. In the monarchy-republicanism era, which was pretty much the British Nobelmen running the country, the ownership of slaves was part of the air that was breathed. That's why there is the 3/5th line in the Constitution. I am not excusing them, especially since Wilberforce was already creating change in England. However, people are subject to the mores and ethos of the time. Owning slaves was consistent with the time.

However, by the mid-19th century, the country is now a full blown democracy. Equality has eclipsed liberty as the normative ethos. There is widespread revulsion against the slave society, the abolition movement is in full force, and public opinion is calling for it to end. Owning slaves is no longer consistent with the times. Slave owners are now hearing why it is wrong, yet they come up with an interpretation of the Bible that in the history of Christian exegesis, only the US south has ever defended. They are now perpetuating a way of life that is pushing against the normative values of the time.

I think you have to cut human nature some slack. I believe people will look back at 2017 and say what the fuck were we thinking on issues that we don't even think about. That's why during this recent debate, I believe there is a difference between Thomas Jefferson and Jefferson Davis. Yes, Jefferson was a virulent, tyrannical racist, from our perspective, but within his historical context, he was not. Jefferson Davis was willing to blow up the whole project for cotton profits. Personally, I don't think any human being should have his visage etched on a mountain or have a statue created of himself just for this reason. They are fallible creatures.

User avatar
Posts: 3911
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Libraries and Gardens

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:44 pm


Interesting. Added title to my list.

On semi-related to this thread note, J.Bozo and NoBreastInc. have finally pushed me to the point in my dealings with him/them/it where I very well may choose to place behind boundary equivalent to my Toxic-Bad-Ex-Boyfriend Boundary, which would be roughly equivalent to the boundary enacted by Diogenes when he said something to the King along the lines of "Fuck you and your entire power structure too, I would rather scrape lentils out of the bottom of a maggot infested dumpster and sell my old ass to the black-snaggle-toothed, iron-hook-membered pirates in their dank, odiferous lair, than kneel down and kiss your ring." Therefore, I am at this very moment attempting to figure out how to best convert my e-library from Swindle format.

User avatar
Posts: 2483
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Libraries and Gardens

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:09 pm

Thank you. That's what I was hoping for. I don't want to get too far into this, here and now, but have you read

I have read quite a bit about Jefferson, and the contradictory thoughts he expressed were hard to reconcile. I haven't read much about Davis. But the more I read, the less I agree with "the civil war was about slavery" narrative I was taught back in school.

If you have a JSTOR account, I have some links you may want to read.

Posts: 1373
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: Libraries and Gardens

Post by Jason » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:35 pm

I am familiar with the nullification crisis. Not sure with tariff of abominations

Yes, this is a topic one needs to be careful with on a public message board.

Jefferson possesses all the complexities, ambiguities and hypocrisies of his age. He fell more on the enlightenment side of things than on the Judeo Christian side of things.

I found these classes helpful.

Some people actually think that the Revolutionary War didn't end until the end of the Civil War, as at least doctrinally, America didn't truly represent it cores principals, at least on paper until the 13th amendment. The bottom line, there are train tracks running throughout US history.

User avatar
Posts: 3911
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Libraries and Gardens

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:14 pm

T. Jefferson did have a kickin' garden and library. Rule of thumb is that anybody who wrote gardening essays can't be all bad.
“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous, and they are tied to their country and wedded to it’s liberty and interests by the most lasting bands.”

-Thomas Jefferson
Books constitute capital. a library book lasts as long as a house, for hundreds of years. it is not then an article of mere consumption but fairly of capital.

Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, Monticello, 16 Sept. 1821
When the small town I once inhabited voted down the library millage, I made a huge sign with Jefferson's quote "I can not live without books" and plunked it down, right by the very high centennial-era pole flying huge flag, in the middle of my front lawn which was on the main historic drag where all the parades marched by. I don't know if my overt nerd form of political action had any real effect, but the millage was approved in a special election held a few months later.

User avatar
Posts: 3973
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Libraries and Gardens

Post by Ego » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:15 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:44 pm
Therefore, I am at this very moment attempting to figure out how to best convert my e-library from Swindle format.
Calibre. Free.

Shift your selling over to abebooks or ebay? There are some companies that do fulfillment for ebay just like Amazon. I imagine they can fulfill orders for both.

User avatar
Posts: 3911
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Libraries and Gardens

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:45 am


I got Calibre, but I still can't figure out how to get/convert files from Swindle Reading App on Iphone.

In the olden days (2002) when I first started dealing used/rare books on the internet, I sold on 5 different competitive sites including ABE and Ebay, but then J.Bozo/NoBreastInc. pretty much monopolized the market. Now that JB/NBInc. has changed its business model to directly competing with SprawlFart to sell corn syrup to Bridge card recipients, they no longer seem to be much interested in picking up pennies in the twilight zone of the rare paper copy book industry. That's cool. Life goes on. I'm just angry because they are not releasing the proceeds from the liquidation of the remainder of my warehoused inventory in a timely manner. Kind of like when Trump ordered pianos from a small manufacturer for one of his projects, and then declared bankruptcy after the order was fulfilled. Actually, I don't even care. They all smell the same after they bloat up monstrously, just shortly before leaking foul fluid from busted trust bowels. Meanwhile, I remain small, nimble, bouncy, cheerful, resilient and tough. Like an omnivorous, scavenging, systems-thinking red rubber ball, picking up new impressions with the plasticity of a fresh snap of silly putty, and reverberating with F.U. energy and initiative.


Anyways, back to the problem of storing rare books in digital format. According to the internet, if you have your personal library stored in digital format, the best you can hope for is 10 years of archival survival without access to electricity. Modern paper lasts much longer than that. So, if I want to include a survivalist library as part of my perma-culture project, various methods of re-copying, and the energy necessary to perform the re-copying will have to be included in the design of the system.

When I warehoused over 10,000 volumes myself, they covered the entire bottom floor of an old barn, on a grid of pallets with access aisles, and 16 banker boxes/pallet, 12-20 volumes/box. So, pretty obvious that digital storage would be much less expensive to maintain pre-grid-destroying-apocalypse. However, might be more problematic post-grid-destroying-apocalypse. Once you own a piece of modern technology, it is cheaper to maintain and fuel than a human for most functions, but the infrastructure needed for initial manufacture is humongous. To make a human scribe copying machine, all you need is some kind of ink, some kind of paper, writing implement, basic literacy education system, potatoes, cabbage, maybe meat rabbits, alfalfa, water, sunshine, fuel wood, inter-mating group of maybe 32 unrelated fertile humans... what else?

Site Admin
Posts: 10232
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73

Re: Libraries and Gardens

Post by jacob » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:32 pm

IMHO storing things digitally is shite for any kind of preservation. It's extremely convenient but unless it's on paper, I think of information in terms of a subscription model. Similar to how Scott2 buys books expecting to donate them w/o trying to recover any $ value. I'm getting to that point and I'm almost there.

The problem with digital cf paper is that paper only requires the ability to read (admittedly not encouraging that the average human reads at a 6th grade level and demand writing to match accordingly) whereas digital requires advanced technological infrastructure to even begin reading. Not only that, it also requires either propagation, maintenance, or preservation of such infrastructure!

I have/had old school work from 1987 (first year I owned a computer) both on paper printout and as well as stored on 5 1/4 floopy disks. I can easily read the embarrassing essays on text. It just may be that I'm lucky enough to acquire disk drives and old PC-XT computers on eBay to be able to load the disks ... if I can even find the appropriate proprietary software ... but as far as I'm concerned, those 30 yo writings are forever gone.

Perhaps more pertinently, consider the ERE book. It exists in 4 different forms or spheres.

1) About 15000 copies have been printed and existed in paper form scattered all over which I suspect is mostly the US with maybe <5% in the rest of the English speaking world. So paper copies on book shelves, boxes, and basements. Question: If you had to evacuate, would you bring a copy .. or would it burn or drown? Now repeat such event-risk for a few centuries and how many are left? (I imagine some FIRE acolyte frantically clutching the ERE book while escaping the zombie invasion ... but maybe not.)

2) Another 15000 copies exist on various kindle accounts and devices. These could be gone tomorrow if one of JB's underpaid minions had a bad day. It's happened before to other books. All of these have a significant bottle-neck risk.

3) I have an HTML copy of the kindle version. Last year some @$@#$@$ .. and the kindle version was taken offline until I fixed some @$#@$@#$. It took me a (1-2) day's work to recover and fix it. If I hadn't done it or been able to do it, the ERE book would have been gone permanently from kindle but not from paper. So ... suppose I had been hit by a bus in the interrim, it would have meant no more electronic copies. In that sense, the e-version of ERE lasted 6 years. (Not counting the pirate copies which may have more persistence.)

4) I also have the LaTeX versions that were used for paper, now on their 2nd computer. However, when I tried recompiling them on another system, it didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. Republishing on paper would require material work because the required software packages, etc. have changed, so I can't just stupidly recompile and have it work w/o issues. This is the problem with software rot. I could recover the text (because it's saved as ASCII) ... but digital-to-paper is already past the point of easy-recompile. IOW, it's only a matter of time before there won't be any more paper ERE books insofar I'm not around(*) to recover it.

(*) My remaining life expectancy is apparently finite and significantly less than one century :o

Also consider that if every single thing that had ever been put into writing was to be eternally preserved, I'd imagine the burden of doing so would already leave no energy for new writing, so there's something to be said for "inevitable loss". Maybe digital information is appropriate given .. well .. :?

There's a lot to be said for either carving short messages into rock in multiple languages (Rosetta stone) or publishing in a format that's so popular that's so widely spread that it will survive most things. There are only a few works >2000yo surviving. That's probably not because humanity as of 3000 yrs ago only ever wrote a handful of books but rather because what you're seeing now are the bestsellers of the time. It's rather depressing that we currently consider those to be high wisdom in current times ...

If you have a random $10k lying around, consider ...

Scott 2
Posts: 1026
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: Libraries and Gardens

Post by Scott 2 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:56 pm

Yep, I've given up on the library. Be selective, buy the physical media, then gift it when done. My copy of ERE is now with a friend in Hong Kong. I do the same with video games and niche DVDs.

The social capital of passing along a good gift is an added benefit, aside from avoiding all the library BS.

My local library has become much more of a community center than an information repository. Unfortunately, the accessibility also seems to impose a ceiling on the quality of the experience. Better than nothing, but not even close to what is offered to someone willing to spend for private resources. And this is a well funded suburban library, in an affluent area.

I was bummed when I realized all digital media rots. My carefully archived games on 3.5" floppies - all lost. It's only a matter of time for the CDs and DVDs as well. Another reason to let that stuff go.

User avatar
Posts: 3911
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Libraries and Gardens

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:35 am


I will certainly include a copy of "ERE" in my 5000 core titles to theoretically be preserved post-apocalypse in my permaculture systems design. Of course, at the moment, this is a guarantee worth approximately the equivalent of being offered a tiny piece of plastic cake from a dollhouse kitchen ;)

I absolutely agree that digital storage is inherently fragile, and I also wonder whether it is becoming less appropriately sized and distanced in distribution due to cloud usage? Even public libraries are becoming dependent on subscriptions which simply allow for right to access of property held privately at a distance.

I only partially agree with you on the survival of the popular. For instance, take a look at this list of the best-selling novels of 1917 in the U.S according to Publisher's Weekly.

Mr. Britling Sees It Through by H. G. Wells
The Light in the Clearing by Irving Bacheller
The Red Planet by William J. Locke
The Road to Understanding by Eleanor H. Porter
Wildfire by Zane Grey
Christine by Alice Cholmondeley
In the Wilderness by Robert S. Hichens
His Family by Ernest Poole
The Definite Object by Jeffrey Farnol
The Hundredth Chance by Ethel M. Dell

The classic, although less popular, novels written by other authors of this era, such as Jack London, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad, Edith Wharton, and Sinclair Lewis are still widely available in print. Of course, many other works that were well-regarded or considered to be classic in previous era have been lost or set aside. There is more chance or contingency in this process than might be known to anybody who hasn't personally handled approximately half a million unique titles.

Also, there are obviously many themes, memes, stock characters and creations, which originated in works which may have been popular or well-regarded or both, which are known to almost any 3 year old through process of cultural osmosis, even though the original works are only rarely read anymore. Dracula, Bambi, Zane Grey's notion of a Cowboy, Romeo, Well's notion of a time machine, Alger's notion of a rags-to-riches self-made man, Dickens' notion of an orphan, Mohammed's notion of an orphan, William Henry Hudson's notion of nature, Jack London's notion of nature...

Anyways, obvious suggestion for promotion of survival of "ERE" would be to re-write it in the form of lyrics or chant poem to be set to one or more of the more popular melodies to be referenced in the Roud Folk Song Index. My suggestions would be 19236, 12, or 7925.

Post Reply