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The future of libraries, Paris Syndrome, and more...

The treasure of TimbuctooMany thanks to those of you were able to attend my Reddit AMA live. For those who were unable to attend, I’ll be sharing a selection of questions and answers over the next couple of weeks. To view the entire AMA, please click the above link.

Q. Do you have any thoughts about the future of libraries to share?

A. On nights when I cannot sleep, i dream that I’m stepping into a massive, ancient enchanted library. Cobwebs everywhere. Candelabras, too. And that for me is the greatest human achievement — a massive ancient library. As for their future: I hope libraries will continue forever. i’m certainly collecting books with as much zeal as ever.

Q. From what I understand Paris syndrome seems to mostly affect Japanese visitors to Paris. Does this happen with other cultures and people visiting other cities often? Has there been enough research in this area to determine that?

A. Yes, it happens to other cities such as Jerusalem (hence JERUSALEM SYNDROME)… and it usually happens because of total overwhelming, coupled with an almost manic obsession with that place. I felt it in Jerusalem… people have held that city as a focal point for their entire lives and so it’s no great surprise they have such a heavy reaction.

And other nationalities (other than Japanese) do get PARIS SYNDROME, although the Japanese are the most obsessed with that city.

Q. What are the odds on someone with no experience, finding a treasure?

A. Very often experience is the one thing that holds people up from realising the goals of their dreams, and their greatest ambitions. Much better to believe in yourself and follow your gut.

Q. I’ve really enjoyed the unique qualities of each Secretum Mundi release whether it was the cool cover art, cartography, or overall design. I’m really excited about Roger Burrows Think 3D release and I’ve been wondering about patterns and Geometry and levels of organization available in your works. It seems like they have many dimensions available. Is this something you have been trying to help people see with the “golden head” search (triangulations?). I’ve wondered about this and the publishing name, Secretum Mundi…

A. Secretum Mundi… the ‘Secret World’. I chose it as a name because I love the idea that there are worlds within our own world. We can’t see them. But they are there. Just as no one had actually seen individual cells until relatively recently (through a microscope) I am sure there’s far more to see. But it’s a question of learning to ‘see’ in new ways. I am preoccupied with the idea that society un-educates us in the education system. It teaches us to think like robots. But, as you know, robots don’t really think. They just regurgitate.

Roger Burrows’s Think 3D amazed me. I love the way he charts patterns through geometry. I regard his work as some of the most important and interesting of its kind being done today.

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