Discussion:
"53 linear miles of shelving" - Vatican Secret Archives
(too old to reply)
occam
2018-05-07 08:07:40 UTC
Permalink
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?

quote:
"The grandeur is obvious. Located within the Vatican’s walls, next door
to the Apostolic Library and just north of the Sistine Chapel, the VSA
houses 53 linear miles of shelving dating back more than 12 centuries."

The second phrase "dating back more than 12 centuries" also puts a
perspective on current state secrecy laws. Normally classified
information in the UK has a shelf-life of 50 - 100 years, beyond which
documents are either declassified or destroyed. 12 centuries makes the
Vatican the most secretive state on the planet.

Full article from The Atlantic here:

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/vatican-secret-archives-artificial-intelligence/559205/
grabber
2018-05-07 08:32:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
Seems an easy one to me. You measure shelf space in metres. Six 3-metre
shelves arranged one above another provide 18 metres of shelf space. I
don't know where the 30 metres comes from.
occam
2018-05-07 09:07:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by grabber
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"?  A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
Seems an easy one to me. You measure shelf space in metres. Six 3-metre
shelves arranged one above another provide 18 metres of shelf space. I
don't know where the 30 metres comes from.
'30 meters' comes from clumsy editing.
Janet
2018-05-07 14:27:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
Post by grabber
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"?  A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
Seems an easy one to me. You measure shelf space in metres. Six 3-metre
shelves arranged one above another provide 18 metres of shelf space. I
don't know where the 30 metres comes from.
'30 meters' comes from clumsy editing.
I thought it was another cover-up lie by the Vatican.

Janet.

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http://www.avg.com
Bart Dinnissen
2018-05-07 20:59:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Janet
Post by occam
Post by grabber
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"?  A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
Seems an easy one to me. You measure shelf space in metres. Six 3-metre
shelves arranged one above another provide 18 metres of shelf space. I
don't know where the 30 metres comes from.
'30 meters' comes from clumsy editing.
I thought it was another cover-up lie by the Vatican.
Janet.
Ah. You want row 113-344, that's 231 meters times 6, so that's probably a two-year pass, no?
That will be 300.500.000 lira. Cash, please.
Post by Janet
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Bart Dinnissen
Richard Tobin
2018-05-07 21:58:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bart Dinnissen
Ah. You want row 113-344, that's 231 meters times 6, so that's probably a two-year pass, no?
That will be 300.500.000 lira. Cash, please.
Not Lira. The Vatican issues its own Euros.

-- Richard
Peter T. Daniels
2018-05-08 02:32:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Bart Dinnissen
Ah. You want row 113-344, that's 231 meters times 6, so that's probably
a two-year pass, no?
That will be 300.500.000 lira. Cash, please.
Not Lira. The Vatican issues its own Euros.
Not back when Italy used lire, it didn't.
occam
2018-05-08 07:25:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Bart Dinnissen
Ah. You want row 113-344, that's 231 meters times 6, so that's probably
a two-year pass, no?
That will be 300.500.000 lira. Cash, please.
Not Lira. The Vatican issues its own Euros.
Not back when Italy used lire, it didn't.
The Lira was made official in early 1800's. For most of the life of
these archives, the currency was probably Papal scudos.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_coins_in_Italy#Papal_States_scudo
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-05-08 07:38:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
Post by Peter T. Daniels
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Bart Dinnissen
Ah. You want row 113-344, that's 231 meters times 6, so that's probably
a two-year pass, no?
That will be 300.500.000 lira. Cash, please.
Not Lira. The Vatican issues its own Euros.
Not back when Italy used lire, it didn't.
Nor, indeed, did Italy or anywhere else.
Post by occam
The Lira was made official in early 1800's. For most of the life of
these archives, the currency was probably Papal scudos.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_coins_in_Italy#Papal_States_scudo
--
athel
J. J. Lodder
2018-05-08 07:36:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Bart Dinnissen
Ah. You want row 113-344, that's 231 meters times 6, so that's probably
a two-year pass, no?
That will be 300.500.000 lira. Cash, please.
Not Lira. The Vatican issues its own Euros.
And it is an important source of income for them.
Their euros are sold to collectors at more than the nominal value.
Fortunately the Euro treaty limites how many they can mint.
For actually paying things they use the same non-vatican euros
as everybody else,

Jan
Athel Cornish-Bowden
2018-05-08 07:43:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Bart Dinnissen
Ah. You want row 113-344, that's 231 meters times 6, so that's probably
a two-year pass, no?
That will be 300.500.000 lira. Cash, please.
Not Lira. The Vatican issues its own Euros.
And it is an important source of income for them.
They're otherwise too impoverished to manage?
Post by J. J. Lodder
Their euros are sold to collectors at more than the nominal value.
Fortunately the Euro treaty limites how many they can mint.
Does that apply to every country: i.e. is France, for example, limited
in some way related to its population size?
Post by J. J. Lodder
For actually paying things they use the same non-vatican euros
as everybody else,
I think I've received euros from all the real countries. I once had a
Slovenian euro given as change in a service station (in Luxemburg, of
all unlikely places). The majority seem to be German.
--
athel
J. J. Lodder
2018-05-08 11:42:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Bart Dinnissen
Ah. You want row 113-344, that's 231 meters times 6, so that's probably
a two-year pass, no?
That will be 300.500.000 lira. Cash, please.
Not Lira. The Vatican issues its own Euros.
And it is an important source of income for them.
They're otherwise too impoverished to manage?
It is hardship, living on postage stamp only.
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
Their euros are sold to collectors at more than the nominal value.
Fortunately the Euro treaty limites how many they can mint.
Does that apply to every country: i.e. is France, for example, limited
in some way related to its population size?
Yes. There are quota.
There must be, for minting euros is making big money
for national central banks.
They cost a few cents in materials, and are worth euros.
They can't be alowed to flood Euroland for profit.
Post by Athel Cornish-Bowden
Post by J. J. Lodder
For actually paying things they use the same non-vatican euros
as everybody else,
I think I've received euros from all the real countries. I once had a
Slovenian euro given as change in a service station (in Luxemburg, of
all unlikely places). The majority seem to be German.
As they should. Germany has the largest quota.

Jan
Richard Tobin
2018-05-08 10:03:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Richard Tobin
Not Lira. The Vatican issues its own Euros.
And it is an important source of income for them.
Their euros are sold to collectors at more than the nominal value.
Fortunately the Euro treaty limites how many they can mint.
For actually paying things they use the same non-vatican euros
as everybody else,
They give them in change at the Vatican museum, and I spent mine
in Rome.

-- Richard
J. J. Lodder
2018-05-08 11:42:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Richard Tobin
Not Lira. The Vatican issues its own Euros.
And it is an important source of income for them.
Their euros are sold to collectors at more than the nominal value.
Fortunately the Euro treaty limites how many they can mint.
For actually paying things they use the same non-vatican euros
as everybody else,
They give them in change at the Vatican museum, and I spent mine
in Rome.
Another good trick to make money, by encouraging museum sales.
If you have no friends who collect, indeed why not just spend them.
Their collector value, if new,
is much higher that their monetary value.
The record seems to be 6600 euro, paid for a one cent coin,
far more than its weight in gold. (a misprint)

Jan
occam
2018-05-08 11:57:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. J. Lodder
Post by Richard Tobin
Post by Bart Dinnissen
Ah. You want row 113-344, that's 231 meters times 6, so that's probably
a two-year pass, no?
That will be 300.500.000 lira. Cash, please.
Not Lira. The Vatican issues its own Euros.
And it is an important source of income for them.
Their euros are sold to collectors at more than the nominal value.
This is always the case, for any complete set of (newly mint) euros. The
smaller the country, the greater the value above nominal value. It is
true that the Vatican euro set is worth more than a Luxembourgish set,
which is worth more than a Maltese set, the Cypriot set, and so on.
Post by J. J. Lodder
Fortunately the Euro treaty limites how many they can mint.
For actually paying things they use the same non-vatican euros
as everybody else,
Jan
Peter T. Daniels
2018-05-08 12:40:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. J. Lodder
For actually paying things they use the same non-vatican euros
as everybody else,
For actually paying bills?,

or For actually paying for things?,

Joseph C. Fineman
2018-05-08 00:50:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by grabber
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
Seems an easy one to me. You measure shelf space in metres. Six
3-metre shelves arranged one above another provide 18 metres of shelf
space. I don't know where the 30 metres comes from.
I once saw a library's shelf space expressed in "cubic acres". A
6-dimensional building, presumably, with plenty of space, but pretty
easy to get lost in.
--
--- Joe Fineman ***@verizon.net

||: Bless you, you will be blameless yet, :||
||: For God forgives, and men forget. :||
grabber
2018-05-08 06:06:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joseph C. Fineman
Post by grabber
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
Seems an easy one to me. You measure shelf space in metres. Six
3-metre shelves arranged one above another provide 18 metres of shelf
space. I don't know where the 30 metres comes from.
I once saw a library's shelf space expressed in "cubic acres". A
6-dimensional building, presumably, with plenty of space, but pretty
easy to get lost in.
I get this kind of feeling in statistics if I stop to contemplate a
variance of, say, 1.5 square seconds.
J. J. Lodder
2018-05-08 07:36:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by grabber
Post by Joseph C. Fineman
Post by grabber
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
Seems an easy one to me. You measure shelf space in metres. Six
3-metre shelves arranged one above another provide 18 metres of shelf
space. I don't know where the 30 metres comes from.
I once saw a library's shelf space expressed in "cubic acres". A
6-dimensional building, presumably, with plenty of space, but pretty
easy to get lost in.
I get this kind of feeling in statistics if I stop to contemplate a
variance of, say, 1.5 square seconds.
You are in good company.
Leopold Bloom often wonders about '32 feet per second per second',
which is a mythic phrese to him,

Jan
Peter T. Daniels
2018-05-07 13:04:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
?? Six shelves three meters wide are 18 meters of shelves. Where could 30
have come from?
Post by occam
"The grandeur is obvious. Located within the Vatican’s walls, next door
to the Apostolic Library and just north of the Sistine Chapel, the VSA
houses 53 linear miles of shelving dating back more than 12 centuries."
The second phrase "dating back more than 12 centuries" also puts a
perspective on current state secrecy laws. Normally classified
information in the UK has a shelf-life of 50 - 100 years, beyond which
documents are either declassified or destroyed. 12 centuries makes the
Vatican the most secretive state on the planet.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/vatican-secret-archives-artificial-intelligence/559205/
What do you think the "VSA" holds on its 53 miles?

At a guess, perhaps everything it was not considered proper for a good
Christian to see -- such as the incomparable holdings of "Oriental"
manuscripts that were scavenged by the peripatetic Jesuits.

And surely also their famous collection of pornography, which presumably
comprises only a very small part of what's on the Index.

When did the modern concept of "classified information" arise?

When a document is declassified, do you suppose it physically moves from
one archive building to another?
Jerry Friedman
2018-05-07 13:04:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
I agree with grabber.
Post by occam
"The grandeur is obvious. Located within the Vatican’s walls, next door
to the Apostolic Library and just north of the Sistine Chapel, the VSA
houses 53 linear miles of shelving dating back more than 12 centuries."
The second phrase "dating back more than 12 centuries" also puts a
perspective on current state secrecy laws. Normally classified
information in the UK has a shelf-life of 50 - 100 years, beyond which
documents are either declassified or destroyed. 12 centuries makes the
Vatican the most secretive state on the planet.
As the article and the Wikipedia article explain, the archives are
secret in name only. Over 1000 researchers a year are given access,
with restrictions, and the article is about a project to OCR the
manuscripts, using trained AI to interpret handwriting, and make the
transcripts publicly accessible. However, all material from after 1939
and material on cardinals' personal matters after 1922 is still secret,
so the limit is much like Britain's 50-100 years.
Post by occam
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/vatican-secret-archives-artificial-intelligence/559205/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vatican_Secret_Archives
--
Jerry Friedman
Stefan Ram
2018-05-07 13:19:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jerry Friedman
As the article and the Wikipedia article explain, the archives are
secret in name only.
OED also gives for "secret":

|b. Of a place: Removed from the resort of men; retired,
|remote, lonely, secluded, solitary; hence, affording privacy
|or seclusion. Also rarely of time. Chiefly arch.
Stefan Ram
2018-05-07 13:29:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stefan Ram
|b. Of a place: Removed from the resort of men; retired,
To "keep or remove from the resort of men" in the sense of
denying access to people is so rare that the only other
example I am aware of is Shakespeare:

DUKE
But she I mean is promised by her friends
Unto a youthful gentleman of worth,
And kept severely from resort of men,
That no man hath access by day to her.

- Two Gentlemen of Verona
John Varela
2018-05-07 20:56:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stefan Ram
Post by Jerry Friedman
As the article and the Wikipedia article explain, the archives are
secret in name only.
|b. Of a place: Removed from the resort of men; retired,
|remote, lonely, secluded, solitary; hence, affording privacy
|or seclusion. Also rarely of time. Chiefly arch.
And if one were to put something in such a place, it would be
secreted.
--
John Varela
occam
2018-05-08 07:27:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Varela
Post by Stefan Ram
Post by Jerry Friedman
As the article and the Wikipedia article explain, the archives are
secret in name only.
|b. Of a place: Removed from the resort of men; retired,
|remote, lonely, secluded, solitary; hence, affording privacy
|or seclusion. Also rarely of time. Chiefly arch.
And if one were to put something in such a place, it would be
secreted.
By a secretary, of course.
John Varela
2018-05-07 20:54:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
To me, the width of the shelf is the distance that it projects from
the wall, and distance along the wall is the shelf's length. So,
what you describe is not a three-meter-wide shelf, it is a
three-meter-long shelf.
Post by occam
"The grandeur is obvious. Located within the Vaticans walls, next door
to the Apostolic Library and just north of the Sistine Chapel, the VSA
houses 53 linear miles of shelving dating back more than 12 centuries."
The second phrase "dating back more than 12 centuries" also puts a
perspective on current state secrecy laws. Normally classified
information in the UK has a shelf-life of 50 - 100 years, beyond which
documents are either declassified or destroyed. 12 centuries makes the
Vatican the most secretive state on the planet.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/vatican-secret-archives-artificial-intelligence/559205/
--
John Varela
Jerry Friedman
2018-05-07 21:53:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Varela
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
To me, the width of the shelf is the distance that it projects from
the wall, and distance along the wall is the shelf's length. So,
what you describe is not a three-meter-wide shelf, it is a
three-meter-long shelf.
...

To me, a shelf doesn't have tiers; the tiers are the shelves. So
I mentally changed "A three meter wide bookshelf with 6 tiers"
to "A three-meter-wide bookcase with six shelves." However, Google
knows of people who refer to the whole many-shelved furniture item
as a bookshelf.

In a library those can be "the stacks", but do people refer to
one "stack"?
--
Jerry Friedman
Peter T. Daniels
2018-05-08 02:32:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jerry Friedman
Post by John Varela
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
To me, the width of the shelf is the distance that it projects from
the wall, and distance along the wall is the shelf's length. So,
what you describe is not a three-meter-wide shelf, it is a
three-meter-long shelf.
...
To me, a shelf doesn't have tiers; the tiers are the shelves. So
I mentally changed "A three meter wide bookshelf with 6 tiers"
to "A three-meter-wide bookcase with six shelves." However, Google
knows of people who refer to the whole many-shelved furniture item
as a bookshelf.
In a library those can be "the stacks", but do people refer to
one "stack"?
"Range" fits in their somewhere -- it might be the singular of "stack."
Can one vertical shelving unit be a "bookcase" even though it's not
physically distinct from its neighbors?
Quinn C
2018-05-07 22:18:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Varela
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
To me, the width of the shelf is the distance that it projects from
the wall, and distance along the wall is the shelf's length. So,
what you describe is not a three-meter-wide shelf, it is a
three-meter-long shelf.
Companies that sell shelves specify their width and depth, but no
length. That's what I thought, but I quickly confirmed it with one US
and one UK retailer.
--
- It's the title search for the Rachel property.
Guess who owns it?
- Tell me it's not that bastard Donald Trump.
-- Gilmore Girls, S02E08 (2001)
Tony Cooper
2018-05-07 23:41:27 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 7 May 2018 18:18:50 -0400, Quinn C
Post by Quinn C
Post by John Varela
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
To me, the width of the shelf is the distance that it projects from
the wall, and distance along the wall is the shelf's length. So,
what you describe is not a three-meter-wide shelf, it is a
three-meter-long shelf.
Companies that sell shelves specify their width and depth, but no
length. That's what I thought, but I quickly confirmed it with one US
and one UK retailer.
If you asked for a 6" deep shelf, would you be surprised if they asked
you how long a shelf you wanted?

I doubt if the Vatican went to the U-Shelve-It! store for those
shelves. They were probably made by hand by an order of woodworking
monks.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Tony Cooper
2018-05-07 22:21:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Varela
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
To me, the width of the shelf is the distance that it projects from
the wall, and distance along the wall is the shelf's length. So,
what you describe is not a three-meter-wide shelf, it is a
three-meter-long shelf.
Post by occam
"The grandeur is obvious. Located within the Vaticans walls, next door
to the Apostolic Library and just north of the Sistine Chapel, the VSA
houses 53 linear miles of shelving dating back more than 12 centuries."
The second phrase "dating back more than 12 centuries" also puts a
perspective on current state secrecy laws. Normally classified
information in the UK has a shelf-life of 50 - 100 years, beyond which
documents are either declassified or destroyed. 12 centuries makes the
Vatican the most secretive state on the planet.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/vatican-secret-archives-artificial-intelligence/559205/
Of course. 53 linear miles of shelving is the total of the length of
all the shelves if laid end-to-end. The depth - how wide they are
from wall to front - is not a factor in the statement.

To incorporate both figures would provide the number of square meters
(or yards, or feet, or whatever) of shelving.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Horace LaBadie
2018-05-07 23:14:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by John Varela
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
To me, the width of the shelf is the distance that it projects from
the wall, and distance along the wall is the shelf's length. So,
what you describe is not a three-meter-wide shelf, it is a
three-meter-long shelf.
Post by occam
"The grandeur is obvious. Located within the Vaticans walls, next door
to the Apostolic Library and just north of the Sistine Chapel, the VSA
houses 53 linear miles of shelving dating back more than 12 centuries."
The second phrase "dating back more than 12 centuries" also puts a
perspective on current state secrecy laws. Normally classified
information in the UK has a shelf-life of 50 - 100 years, beyond which
documents are either declassified or destroyed. 12 centuries makes the
Vatican the most secretive state on the planet.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/vatican-secret-archi
ves-artificial-intelligence/559205/
Of course. 53 linear miles of shelving is the total of the length of
all the shelves if laid end-to-end. The depth - how wide they are
from wall to front - is not a factor in the statement.
To incorporate both figures would provide the number of square meters
(or yards, or feet, or whatever) of shelving.
If all the girls attending the Yale prom were laid end to end, it
wouldn't surprise me, to paraphrase Dorothy Parker.
Peter Moylan
2018-05-08 03:27:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Varela
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
To me, the width of the shelf is the distance that it projects from
the wall, and distance along the wall is the shelf's length. So,
what you describe is not a three-meter-wide shelf, it is a
three-meter-long shelf.
While your three-metre-wide shelf is my three-metre-deep shelf.

(Not that I've ever met a shelf that deep.)
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Tony Cooper
2018-05-08 04:40:12 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 8 May 2018 13:27:16 +1000, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by John Varela
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
To me, the width of the shelf is the distance that it projects from
the wall, and distance along the wall is the shelf's length. So,
what you describe is not a three-meter-wide shelf, it is a
three-meter-long shelf.
While your three-metre-wide shelf is my three-metre-deep shelf.
(Not that I've ever met a shelf that deep.)
I can't fathom that line of reasoning. "Wide" is what we use to
describe the left-to-right dimension of something.

"Is the door wide enough to get the couch through it?"

"The shelf is wide enough to hold about 20 books"

"The football player looked wider than he was tall".

"He had a wide smile on his face at the mention of chocolate cake".

are all normal sentences to me, and have nothing to do with depth.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Peter Duncanson [BrE]
2018-05-08 11:16:11 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 08 May 2018 00:40:12 -0400, Tony Cooper
Post by Tony Cooper
On Tue, 8 May 2018 13:27:16 +1000, Peter Moylan
Post by Peter Moylan
Post by John Varela
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
To me, the width of the shelf is the distance that it projects from
the wall, and distance along the wall is the shelf's length. So,
what you describe is not a three-meter-wide shelf, it is a
three-meter-long shelf.
While your three-metre-wide shelf is my three-metre-deep shelf.
(Not that I've ever met a shelf that deep.)
I can't fathom that line of reasoning. "Wide" is what we use to
describe the left-to-right dimension of something.
That is one use of "wide". If you remove a shelf from a bookcase (or
whatever you call it) it has length, width and thickness where the
length is greater than the width. That is regardless of your position
with respect to it.

When you put it back to be used as a shelf its length become width and
its width becomes depth.

But when you are dealing with the total storage capacity of many shelves
it is customary, I think, to refer to the combined "length" of the
shelves.
Post by Tony Cooper
"Is the door wide enough to get the couch through it?"
"The shelf is wide enough to hold about 20 books"
"The football player looked wider than he was tall".
"He had a wide smile on his face at the mention of chocolate cake".
are all normal sentences to me, and have nothing to do with depth.
--
Peter Duncanson, UK
(in alt.usage.english)
Horace LaBadie
2018-05-07 23:12:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
You would prefer board feet?
Post by occam
"The grandeur is obvious. Located within the Vatican’s walls, next door
to the Apostolic Library and just north of the Sistine Chapel, the VSA
houses 53 linear miles of shelving dating back more than 12 centuries."
The second phrase "dating back more than 12 centuries" also puts a
perspective on current state secrecy laws. Normally classified
information in the UK has a shelf-life of 50 - 100 years, beyond which
documents are either declassified or destroyed. 12 centuries makes the
Vatican the most secretive state on the planet.
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/vatican-secret-archives
-artificial-intelligence/559205/
Peter Moylan
2018-05-08 03:28:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Horace LaBadie
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
You would prefer board feet?
I've tried surfboard riding, but could never keep my balance. I don't
have board feet.
--
Peter Moylan http://www.pmoylan.org
Newcastle, NSW, Australia
Mark Brader
2018-05-08 03:15:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
18, of course. At least, 6 x 3 is 18 where I live.
--
Mark Brader | "You know, you have a very transparent mind --
Toronto | which in no way implies clear thinking!"
***@vex.net | --Marshall Cahill (Bochco/Hargrove/Kibbee)
Tony Cooper
2018-05-08 04:52:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark Brader
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
18, of course. At least, 6 x 3 is 18 where I live.
I agree with your math (or maths, if you are that sort), but I don't
think of shelves as tiers. There are other oddities in the question.

That question - if I wrote it - would be "Does a three meter wide
bookcase with, say, 6 shelves counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?".

'Course I wouldn't use meters.

A further complication is that Mark has done his usual slicing and
dicing of a post and left out that the subject is the number of lineal
meters of shelving. A three meter wide bookcase takes up 3 meters of
linear floorspace regardless of the number of shelves.
--
Tony Cooper - Orlando, Florida
Mark Brader
2018-05-08 06:52:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tony Cooper
Post by Mark Brader
Post by occam
How do you go about quantifying "53 linear miles of shelving"? A three
meter wide book-shelf with, say, 6 tiers counts as 30 linear meters or 3
meters?
18, of course. At least, 6 x 3 is 18 where I live.
I agree with your math (or maths, if you are that sort), but I don't
think of shelves as tiers. There are other oddities in the question.
I agree. At the time it seemed as if the best thing was to just answer
the intended question, but there's other stuff worth commenting on.
Post by Tony Cooper
A further complication is that Mark has done his usual slicing and
dicing of a post and left out that the subject is the number of lineal
meters of shelving.
Please reread the first requoted line.
--
Mark Brader "You can't [compare] computer memory and recall
Toronto with human memory and recall. It's comparing
***@vex.net apples and bicycles." -- Ed Knowles
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