Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
Great Minds Think Alike
It's rare enough to read a good book. Still rarer is a great book that expands not just human understanding but also human thought. Perhaps not as groundbreaking a work of science as Darwin's Origin of Species, Godel, Escher, Bach comes close to it in reforming the way we think about the world. If you have read it before, you know its strength (and...more
This is how Hofstadter apparently intended to structure his work: a Lewis Carroll styled dialogue between Achilles and Tortoise (and friends) introducing a subject followed by a rigorous but popularly accessible explication of that topic.
This is how I read Hofstadter’s book: as a crab canon. A crab canon, as our musi...more
from Randall Munroe. Mouseover says: 'This is the reference implementation of the self-referential joke.'
I know, I know, I know. I'm just kidding myself. I'm as likely to read this as a book on string theory. (Please don't. Please don't tell me I have read a book on string theory, I'm trying to forget the whole sordid story.) But. I hope you like this.
A friend of mine, Professor John Spiers, http://www.debretts.com/people/biogra... established The Harvester Press in the 1...more
Rabbit: I have been recently reading a book which helps me to counter many of your points Dante. You should take a look at it. Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter carries within it the seed of an answer to your skepticism. Hofstadter argues, using the pictures of Escher, the music of Bach and...more
"My belief is that the explanations of 'emergent' phenomena in our brains --for instance, ideas, hopes, images, analogies, and finally consciousness and free will--are base...more
Personally, I would say that this is one of the most amazing things ever. The more you think about it, the more bizarre it gets... there are mathematical theorems...more
The central thesis is that under certain conditions sufficiently complex, recursive self-editing systems can develop arbitrarily complex behavior without reference to external organization - and given an author who spends his days coding AI systems, you can see where he's going.
That's dense, dense stuff, but helped by the author's charming expository style and vas...more
I first got a copy in early 2007. Ever since, I attempted to read it three times. The first one I came quite close to the end (chapter XVI), but could not finish it. The later ones I didn't progress as much. I have finally finished it. It's easy to relate the sense of accomplishment of finishing a book you started seven years ago. It is much harder to relate the sense of wonder and awe this book left me in.
When I first started reading it, I noticed this strange...more
So here are some things I think I can say about this book:
It's dense with connections among various...more
No, Mr. Hofstadter, blatant self-reference is your favorite topic.
I'm notoriously bad at distancing the creation from the creator, so perhaps I was biased from the start -- reading the 20th anniversary intro was like listening to a narcissist who insists he's modest. I didn't fin...more
This book was made with great care, and is a masterpiece. It is the most...more
I wanted to like this book. In fact, I still do. I don't mind authorial self-indulgence as a rule. I didn't mind feeling ineducable much of the the time (I do). But frankly, I found all the reiteration among the three strips of the braid to be annoying, and despite the apparent need for Hofstadter's conceit in "explaining" recursive mathematics, I couldn't help but finding not only his taste flawed,...more
"Fourth walls are completely unnecessary, I'll just go ahead and smash it to bits.
Indirectly, of course."
So, if you're considering this book, be forewarned that it is long. And slow at many parts. Definitely not easy reading.
But it was brilliant nonetheless.
Being 16 years old, let me say that a great deal of this book went right over my head. I'm probably not even qualified to be writing this review. In fact, after struggling for ages through a parti...more
Start again. It's a large book and confusing. It contains many many drawings and pictures that only serve to further one's sense of "WaitaminuiteIgottarerereadthatagain". And then, click, something ... clicks ... and you try to...more
While you do not need to be a professional mathematician to appreciate this, you really have to like math a lot. You can't just sort of like it. You can't just differ with the masses in not hating mathematics...more
There is much, much more to this book. There are lengthy tangents into mathemat...more
8-10: double function ("double meaning") as canon and impossible figure.
15: emplacement, being "sucked in" -> p.r. and subjectivization in AB, the ethical side.
incompleteness : system :: undecidability : proposition
18: The "difficulty" in writing a SR statement of # theory. Take this farther. It seems that every statement that is about anything at all (as opposed to a...more
But what are its topics? This is a book that is impossible to describe briefly. From the title it is ostensibly about M.C. Escher - artist renowned for his strange and contradictory images, Bach - a brilliant musical theorist and comp...more
And so somewhat in the spirit of the text:
GEB is like this incredibly attractive, incredibly smart, incredibly funny/witty woman that you meet through a f...more
It was no later than the second chapter that I realized how much time I've spending clicking on l...more
If I have one complaint about this books, it's that the proportions are wrong. As it stands, 20% dialogue to 80% essay is too heavy on the explanatory part. I f...more
Questo �� uno di quelli.
Conoscevo Bach (ne ho persino letto la biografia, vedi nella mia libreria), conoscevo Escher e conoscevo G��del. Ma non li avevo mai accostati.
N�� li avevo mai capiti cos�� a fondo.
E' un libro affascinante anche se difficile. sarebbe da studiare. Credo di averlo capito anche se non imparato.
Devo dire che non gli ho dato 4 stelle perch�� verso il fondo si perde. Troppe elucubrazioni personali dell'autore, oltretutto obsolete...more
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|My thoughts on Godel, Escher, Bach..||8||264||Jul 22, 2012 03:48AM|
|r/Literature: Reading club: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter||1||29||Jan 21, 2012 02:15PM|
Hofstadter is the son of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert Hofstadter. Douglas grew up on the campus of St...more
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in the mind of the reader
as in the Haiku.