Gold mine and time capsule
About four decades ago, a friend of mine gave me a set of “TIME Desk Encyclopedia” as a birthday present. It consists of three books not much larger than a computer mouse.
I love this encyclopedia so much since it’s like holding the whole universe of knowledge in the corner of my desk. I could find virtually anything I need in it — the brief history of a particular country, the definition of an exotic term, or what’s on the other side of the world — not unlike what I do with Google today.
At that time, we, in Taiwan, were forbidden from reading descriptions about our own country, the government, or the leader, like North Korea or China today; censorship did once exist in this democratic nation.
Sensitive terms, such as the story of our leader from foreign perspectives shown in the picture below, were blacked out since they could not ban the entire book set. But I always managed to remove the black crayons to fulfill my curiosity, and fortunately, it didn’t get me into any trouble.
The tiny encyclopedia used to be like an information gold mine to me, but it’s now more like a time capsule concealing the knowledge frozen in time and the censorship that used to be there.