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Summit of The Book 2018 Report

Edgar and Emily and I are now on a comfortable flight back from Baku, where we had a most wonderful few days. A week ago I could not find the place on a map and now I count it as one of the most friendly places I know.

In addition to getting to know Tai Ai Cheng, the deputy chief executive of the National Library Board, Singapore (mostly through her frequent baby-sitting of Edgar, when the former foreign minister Turkey or the former presidents of Croatia or New Zealand where not running away with him), as well as as a host of other, mostly library people (for the Summit of The Book) and former world leaders from the previous international conference which we essentially gate-crashed. It was quite a thing.

The HyperGlossary project and the notion of Socratic Authoring

I presented the HyperGlossary project and the notion of Socratic Authoring to a good result, with many wanting follow up, particularly on making documents open to the server. Mind you, the night before, at the gala dinner, which Vint Cerf had flown in all the way from the US to give, he gave a special mention to Brewster Kahle who was in the audience, which was to be expected, and to me and the importance of my work (his words), which was certainly much less expected. The context was therefore quite good to present the work.

Deep Linking for eBooks

This afternoon, after the conference, over coffee with a former president of Romania and the chief of the African & Middle East division at the Library of Congress, later joined by representatives of the Library of Alexandria and The Berlin School of Library and Information Science, something which Chris and I had discussed and which I thought was my idea (it wasn’t, it turns out to be mostly a ‘remembering’ of what Chris has been discussing), I presented a way to have high-resolution addressing to digital book media, without the need to have any copyright issues. It’s based on the idea of a citation having two parts (document name and location/page number), just as it did in the physical world, and that the reader should be able to choose how to access the cited book or journal article. The proposal was then this, which went down very well, and which I’ll be sending them a more formal proposal for, in order to engage them in dialogue to design this in a way actually useful in the real world: Deep Linking for eBooks

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The Universe Globe Project

This is a project to build a 2 meter diameter scale model of the universe as we understand it in 2012 with the best manufacturing capability we have available today.

The 2 meter diameter globe is 465,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1 scale
Artist Statement

Imagine the whole universe in front of you, two metes wide, slightly wider than your reach. You can see almost half a million galaxies, like snow flakes, beautiful and serene.

This is everything there is, as far as we understand it today, at a scale impossible to fully comprehend even as you as staring right at it.

Yet you are part of this connected to it and your location while looking at the sculpture is not only physically impossible, it’s also theoretically impossible: There is no outside the universe.


The 2 meter diameter globe is 465,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1 scale.

As would be described on the plinth: At this scale our milky way galaxy is in reality 0.000,215 millimeters in diameter but the smallest detail the manufacturing can present with current technology is 0.1 millimeters so the dots in the sphere will be 500 times larger than the galaxies actually are  – to see a galaxy in the size of a 10th of a millimeter dot the sculpture would need to be a kilometer in diameter…

Sphere Production

The sphere will be created as well as we can today, and there may well be artifacts and limitations but that is fine, it is still a reflection of what we understand and can accomplish in 2016.

Plinth Production

The plinth will have the name of the sculpture, list the primary creators and donors as well as the stats of the universe as we understand it today.

Scales will be included here such as how big would our solar system be if the model was the size of the earth.

Augmented Reality

The future can include building at AR app where looking at the model can produce many types of useful visual overlay.


The data will be used from the best available sources as of today.

Notes on measurements and scales

The known universe is 93 billion light-years wide.

1 light year is: =
10 trillion kilometres or
10,000,000,000,000 kilometers or
10,000,000,000,000,000 meters
10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 meters is 1 billion light years (light year * billion (1,000,000,000))
93 billion light years therefore is =
930,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 meters and if we divide that by two we get the scale of the model:
465,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1.

The Milky ways is 100,000 light years in diameter, or
1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 meters.
Divide this by the scale of the model:
=0.000,002,150,537,634 meters in diameter. This is 0.000,215 millimeters.

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