As far as I can tell, this is mankind’s most honest cognitive project. It is frank about the fact that all the information we have about the world comes straight out of our own heads, like Athena out of Zeus’s. People bring to Wikipedia everything they know. If the project succeeds, then this encyclopaedia undergoing perpetual renewal will be the greatest wonder of the world. It has everything we know in it – every thing, definition, event and problem our brains have worked on; we shall cite sources, provide links. And so we will start to stitch together our version of the world, be able to bundle up the globe in our own story. It will hold everything. Let’s get to work! Let everyone write even just a sentence on whatever it is they know best.

Sometimes I start to doubt that it will work. After all, what it has in it can only be what we can put into words – what we have words for. And in that sense, it wouldn’t be able to hold everything at all.

We should have some other collection of knowledge, then, to balance that one out – its inverse, its inner lining, everything we don’t know, all the things that can’t be captured in any index, can’t be handled by any search engine. For the vastness of these contents cannot be traversed from word to word – you have to step in between the words, into the unfathomable abysses between ideas. With every step we’ll slip and fall.

Flights, Olga Tokarczuk