Are we talkin' moon-distance?
According to the oracle, there are about 354000 votable writeups on E2, and I'll take a biblical estimate of 1700 pages per inch of book thickness. For comparison, some modern paperbacks I have lying around come out to about 400 pages per inch. Once the site is stable again, I'll see if I can get a count of the number of characters in all the writeups on E2. This should provide a reasonable lower-bound on the size of a book containing them all. In lieu of that information, I'm going to estimate that, on average, we can fit three nodes per page. That works out to 69 inches thick. To make it concrete: that's 35 two-inch-thick (5 cm) volumes. That's beyond biblical; it's encyclopedic.
So it's way too big to just print the whole thing out. Right. Instead, in the spirit of the E2 Podcasts1, I would like all of you to sumbit to me the titles of your most favorite writeups (with the author if there is more than one in the node). Don't hold back: the more suggestions, the better. Point me at your bookmarks, categories, or homenode. Put a nice juicy list in a draft and point me at it. Make sure to hit all the best nodes, and spread them out over as many awesome noders and awesome nodestyles as you can think of. I will tally everything up and compile a List. Authors will be contacted and their permission sought. Then: typesetting! The output will be two digital documents: one suitable for reading on a computer, and the other suitable for printing on a home/office printer and hand-binding. If it ends up being really huge or the work spreads out over a long time, I may split it up into more than one volume.
"But links! Database!" I hear your cries. There are a number of ways to deal with hyperlinks in flat media:
- Drop. This will likely happen for old-style unnecessarily hardlinked words, or links which are more distracting than relevant.
- Footnote or margin note. This will be useful for pipelinks which are used to provide more or hidden information, instead of having an existing destination node. Also for destination nodes which are not included in the book, and possibly even for those which are (including a page number).
- Superscript page number. This might be useful for links whose destination node is also in the book. I can't imagine this will happen terribly often, but it would be nice to see cross-references of this sort. The disadvantage is the title isn't immediately visible.
It will vary largely from writeup to writeup, although I will attempt to find some consistent style. Softlinks will probably not be included, unless they are particularly relevant and not already linked in the writeup.
Feedback and Suggestions Welcome
Status as of December 12, 2011: Gathering nodes. I have about 850 nodes lined up for organizing. The list is composed of a few users' bookmarks lists, the Decaversary Interviews, my C!ed writeups list (~400, obviously biased toward my tastes, and will be trimmed considerably), a serial or two, and other odds and ends. Hit me with more! No limit to the number.
Status as of November 19, 2012: It's been almost exactly a year since I posted this. I'm now up to 1423 nodes with 2415 writeups by 1013 authors, mostly gathered from new writeups or while randomly browsing the database. At some point after iron noder, I'm going to see if I can't get a first volume of this put together. I'll be aiming low so as to get some easy momentum---20 nodes would be acceptable.
Status as of December 2, 2017: Five years since the last update. I was just organizing some old data and stumbled on this project again. The database has 2222 nodes, 3823 writeups, and 1225 authors. I don't know when I'm going to get around to this, but I'm going to leave the "next step" as it was five years ago. Because that's the next step.
Next step: Organizing the gathered. I'm probably going to pare down the list to a number of roughly-related groups, then go from there.
1. If the podcasts are "text 2.0", this is "text 0.1".