Higher intellect (a.k.a as preterhuman.net) is a web server hosting a searchable database of over 250,000 text files on a variety of subjects. On first sight, Higher Intellect comes across as a pretty obscure website. Having browsed the site for a while, I think it is one of the remains from another time when the Internet was still by and large the playground of the academia. Nevertheless, it is still pretty alive since Facebook page reports regularly about maintenance activities. It is their goal to continue building the archive indefinitely. Operational since 2001, they aim at continuing to remain open and to be free to the public.
The website states that publicly available collections of information such as the Higher intellect archive exist to encourage the learning of subjects not usually found in any official school curriculum. Accordingly, these types of archives exist for those who truly seek knowledge and higher education, and not for those who seek the framed certificate on the wall.
I found the website a bit too obscure with respect to its search and categorization functions, just like the Scribd website. They do have a category called “Religion, Occult, New age,” which leads to a heap of directories from Alchemy to Zen. Many of these directories contain substantial numbers of pdf’s, but others do contain only text documents or nothing at all. More so, they only list the filenames of the documents titles. This does not allow an efficient search, let alone finding high-quality books quickly or getting a feel for the quality of the database. Also, the search engine is very limited. It is not precisely clear what fields are being searched upon entering a search term and the results are pretty obscure. So I did not succeed in establishing an understanding of what can be found in the database in terms of content and quality.
Still, because of its non-commercial nature and extraordinary size, the website comes across as interesting and I think it may contain several gems for the determined seeker.