Gödel, Escher, Bach

Gödel, Escher, Bach

An Eternal Golden Braid

Book - 1999
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Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c1999.
Edition: 20th anniversary ed.
ISBN: 9781518231995
Branch Call Number: 510.1 Hofstadt
Characteristics: 23, vi-xxi, 777 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.


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Nov 12, 2020

A great book! It engages the mind, imagination, and one's feelings of wonder and possibility. Its long, but there are many pictures and diagrams, as well as extra-informal parts. One cannot come away from it un-edified, un-stimulated, without one's own thoughts buzzing in the brain. Certainly worth re-reading (again)! The most surprising part was what he wrote in the new introduction, where he says that the point of the book was to show how life could come from non-life. Well, that certainly didn't occur to me at all the first time I read it, and even now its rather unclear (I always though that it was about the real possibility of artificial intelligence and its limitations).

Aug 05, 2019


May 18, 2019

" dualism is the conceptual division of the world into categories. Perceptual, as well as.. . .then doku said sadly, 'i cannot understand you or follow you.' 'i cannot understand myself,' said his master.' " But should children be reared this way, to be taught that non-verbalism is the only way to communicate? Or, should i say---non-communicate? "Zen is holism, carried to its logical extreme. There is no recipe: zen is a system which cannot be its own meta-system." " ESCHER AND ZEN; MUMON ON MU; INDRA'S NET; CODES AND IMPLICIT MEANING." " ' Has a dog Buddha-Nature?/ This most serious question./ If you say you remember, you have lost your Majestic- Buddha -Nature./' " " dialogue between Achilles, a crab, and an anteater " "LIFTABILITY OF INTELLIGENCE" " BRAIN AND MIND: A NEURAL TANGLE SUPPORTING A SYMBOLIC TANGLE" Or, perhaps the message was, it is not important to me that you communicate with me. bugger off.

Jan 07, 2018

This is a very stimulating and witty discussion of meaning and intelligence (biological and artificial) from various perspectives. It primarily presents a mathematical (number theory) perspective, but the author does draw frequent parallels from the worlds of art and music, as the title suggests, as well as biology, physics and literature. It does leave me wishing for an update, since a great deal has been learned in relevant areas (biology and AI in particular) since this book was written back in 1979, and even since the new preface was written in 1999. However it still offers a brilliant and insightful analysis of intelligence, consciousness and their limits.
The reader should be forewarned however, that it is 742 pages long (not counting the lengthy preface) and it does expect you to do some “math” to follow the arguments. If that is not a problem then I highly recommend this book.
(I was primarily looking for insight into Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, and was not disappointed!)

Dec 22, 2015

NECESSARY reading for anyone interested in symmetry amongst subjects -- math, philosophy, physics, music

shows the aesthetic beauty & symmetry in all things, it's quite amazingly profound as well.

Nov 01, 2015

This book was great!! It links together the mathematics of Kurt Gödel, the art of M. C. Escher, and the music of J S Bach in an "Eternal golden braid," following themes of formal logic, self-reference, and paradox in math, art, and music. It has a lot of information on computers and artificial intelligence, which is interesting, although it happens to be 36 years old.
I would say Godel Escher Bach is the #2 wisest book I have read (second only to Winnie the Pooh), and I would recommend it to anyone with a love of math and art who is ready for a very large and fairly difficult book.

Apr 13, 2015

A pithy, and for me, challenging read that's well worth the time. If you like patterns, puzzles, and perplexity this book may be for you.

Oct 26, 2010

An esoteric and lovely meditation on human thought, creativity and the meaning of self. Love the way this book combines art, music, math, and cognitive science told through clever and witty language.


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