17 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

 Encyclopedia as a Directory of Associations

Every science overlaps with others: they are two continuous branches off a single trunk. He who composes an opus does not enter abruptly into his subject, does not close himself strictly within it, does not leave it abruptly: he is obliged to anticipate terrain adjoining his; its consequences often take him onto another contiguous terrain on the opposite side; and how many other excursions are necessary in the body of the work? What is the purpose of the forewords, introductions, prefaces, ex...
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19 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Measurements Change Dramatically Depending on the Methodo...

Benoit Mandelbrot asked his famous question “How long is the coast of Britain?” long before this symposium was written, but it perfectly captures the sort of puzzle people in this crowd love. The question seems simple. Just look it up in the encyclopedia. But as Mandelbrot observed, the length of the coast of Britain depends on what you use to measure it. If you draw lines on a map to approximate the coastline, you get one length, but if you try to measure the real bumps in every inlet an...
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David Brook's relating Benoit Mandelbrot's experience measuring the British coast.

01 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 The Encyclopedia Could Only Emerge in an Enlightened Age

I have I have said I have said that it could only belong to a philosophical age to attempt an encyclopidie; and I have said this because such a work constantly demands more intellectual daring than is commonly found in ages of pusillanimous taste. All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. . . . We must ride roughshod over all these ancient puerilities, overturn the barriers that reason never erected, give back to the arts an...
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Where ideas may be openly debated and discussed, and people exist who are interested in giving back to society.

30 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Definition of the Encyclopedia

ENCYCLOPEDIE, f. n. (Philosophy). This word means the interrelation of all knowledge; it is made up of the Greek prefix en, in, and the nouns kyklos, circle, and paideia, instruction, science, knowledge. In truth, the aim of an encyclopedia is to collect all the knowledge scattered over the earth, to present its general outlines and structure to the men with whom we live, and to transmit this to those who will come after us, so that the work of past centuries may be useful to the following ce...
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The noble purpose of this important work.