A new GEB subreddit has just started →
Hey, GEBsters: I know a lot of you are collegians... →
Escher for Real →
New! Ask the group a question.
Hey folks - Max here! Have a question for the group about Gödel, Escher, Bach? Go ahead and ask the group right here. (I’m about to post about chapter 3 to get us started for the week - I was celebrating MLK day pretty hardcore).
RE: Did Anyone Solve the MU-Puzzle in Chapter 1?
SPOILER ALERT. Mouseover this link to see my response.
I think I’ve found a strange loop. I say it that way because, while I’m pretty sure I know what they are, I’m also still a little confused. In the process of trying to figure it out, exactly, I realized that I had encountered something in the past semester that I felt was rather loopy. Therefore, I’m presenting that writing (in this case, Book Delta, Chapter 6 in...
My name is Bailey (@baileyfuriosa), and I’m a sophomore at Arizona State University studying Spanish, linguistics, economics, and Romanian. @companionablesniffles is my best friend, and I visited her at Goucher last spring. I loved it and now follow a lot of Goucher students on Tumblr. I’ve enjoyed math and science for a long time but once I got to college, I fell in love with...
Hey, guys! I’m Nony and I’ve always been interested in Math and studied Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems years ago. I would consider myself to be an autodidact, avoiding school to study things that I was interested in on my own. This hasn’t been very conducive to being successful in our society but I have persevere! Anyway, I’m very excited to read this book with you...
The Two-Part Invention and Stone Soup
When I was in 4th grade, the teacher had us read Stone Soup, and then we made stone soup. The story goes like this: A poor beggar bets this man that he can make a delicious soup using only a stone. Then the beggar says something like, “You know, this soup would taste just a bit better with some potatoes.” so the man rushes off to get potatoes to put into the boiling water with the...
Hello to all our new followers!
The tumblr staff blog put us on their Tumblr Tuesday! Really, it’s such an honor. Hello to all our new followers, and thank you to everyone who was already following us, and BIG thank yous to the Tumblr staff! I have a draft saved for this week, I’ll go post it now.
A Historical Bedtime Story...
When Hofsteder states that the implications of Godal’s thrm tore mathematics apart he brushes over the horrifing time mathematicisans had with Geometry, and it brings to mind one of my fav stories in math history. Once upon a time (1800s) there was an old mathematician named Farkas Bolyai who had a son named Janos Bolyai. Farkas’ main focus in his mathematical carreer was geometry,...
[Godel’s Incompleteness] Theorem can be likened to a pearl, and the method...– G.E.B., pg 17. These sentences alone made me stop reading and stare off to visualize every oyster/pearl pairing I’ve met. What a beautiful description of that feeling you get when you’re working through a nasty problem with a hodgepodge of data, but finally something clicks, it all...
Is it so simple to "talk about language in...
On page 17 (of my edition at least), Hofstadter writes “While it is very simple to talk about language in language, it is not at all easy to see how a statement about numbers can talk about itself.” I understand the point that he is making here, trying to illustrate the fact that it’s hard to understand self-reference within number theory, but it seems strange to me that, within...
I have a sneaking suspicion...
That it may be more productive and less time consuming to attempt to prove that it is impossible to solve the MU puzzle than to attempt to solve it. Just to be careful, I’m putting the rest below the fold. I’ve already noticed that the only step that is capable of producing an I is step 2. I’ve also noticed that no matter how many times you multiply something by two, you never...
Did Anyone Solve the MU-Puzzle in Chapter 1?
I worked on for about a half hour today at lunch without success. I think there’s a way to solve it that would take a zillion steps, but I couldn’t work out the details. Update: Further testing of my theory proved unsuccessful, and I gave up and searched the Internet for the actual solution. I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s there in Wikipedia under “MU...
Hello from Nathan
I’m Nathan, aka nnailling, a 27 year-old accountant from Arkansas. I try to look for creative avenues to think beyond the cubicle life (hence my Tumblog). I’m hoping GEB will do this, as well as help fulfill a resolution to read more books. It looks like a real challenge. I’ve struggled with reader’s block the last couple of years (and my whole life, really), so I’m...
A bit of an introduction. I’m Amanda Udoff and I live in Baltimore, MD where I’m heading back to school for my M.A.T. to teach high school social studies. I graduated from Goucher in 12/2008 with a degree in Political Science and Theatre. I’m pretty right brained, so the reading of this will be an exercise out of my comfort zone, but I’m really looking forward to it. ...
If ya’ll are interested in what Beecher is talking about in regards to how un-rigorous* math was in the beginning of the century, the book The Artist and the Mathematician is a very approachable short history of brining rigor back into the mathematicx. It also goes on to discuss the movements in this time period with word play, and languagge play. I wish i had a copy to quote from but i...
Another strange loop, “Sudanese” Mobius style.
A prequel to Godel
I’d like to make a suggestion for some supplementary reading. The Logicomix It’s a comic, and a very quick read. If you’re unfmaliar with the state of mathmatics prior to Godel’s theorems this is an excellent way to understand the context around Godel’s work. In the first few chapters you’re going to hear about Bertrand Russell and his quest for absolute...
Hey, I’m Ben Beecher. I’m living and working in nyc as a computer programmer, free software advocate/linux nerd, and amature go player. I graduated from goucher back in 2007, and I still make it down there from time to time. I’ve got a pretty left-brain centric mind, so I’m going to be coming at this from a mathematical and logical perspective, and I’m happy to have...
Week One - Here We Go!
Hey folks, Max here. Ok - so today is the first day of our first week! This week we’re going to power through the Introduction, A Musico-Logical Offering, the first dialogue, Three Part Invention, and the first chapter, The MU-Puzzle. The introduction is a broad overview of Hofstadter’s project. You’ll be introduced to Bach through an amazing story about the creation of the...
Allow Myself to Introduce Myself
Hi, I’m Andy Cohen, A.K.A. Inadvisable on Tumblr. I work at Newsweek magazine in New York and co-host a weekly call-in radio show on WFMU called SHUT UP, WEIRDO (which has it’s own Tumblog). I’ve been trying to read GEB since it first came out in 1979, because as a kid I was really into Escher. The book sounded exciting, but the math and music was way over my head. I tried again...
Hey guys, my name is Jon and I’m pretty pumped to have a group to read this book with. I’m reading my Dad’s old copy, and if I get past chapter two it will have beaten the record my 14 year old self set 8 years ago. I’ve always been a closet philosophy nerd, but don’t expect formal language or ‘real’ knowledge. I’m also a closet artist, and I...
Me: Oh my god I'm so angry at "Godel, Escher, Bach" right now.
Cweed: ok lets talk it out
Cweed: are you in a safe place?
Cweed: is it still threatening you?
Cweed: I need you to calm down
Cweed: what is your address
Me: (Address removed)
Me: I think I have it locked in my closet.
Cweed: ok the police are on their way
Me: Thank you, sir.
Me: I think the book is lying to me.
Me: Or maybe that's the point...
Me: MY MIND IS BLOWN.
Cweed: you have no idea
Cweed: you're doing it right though
Me: I'm afraid.
Me: I read it under the covers with a flashlight.
Das Musikalische Opfer performed by The Kuijken... →
“The ‘Strange Loop’ phenomenon occurs whenever, by moving upwards (or downwards) through the levels of hierarchical system, we unexpectedly find ourselves right back where we started.” Chris had mentioned he didn’t know as much about Bach’s musical pieces as he would have liked, and I assume it’s a bit similar for other people. I found a good youtube...
In a way, this book is a statement of my religion. I hope that this will come...– Douglas Hofstadter
Apologies for Jumping the Gun...
…but, I decided to pregame our journey’s beginning tomorrow by reading the Preface to the Twentieth-Anniversary edition of GEB. Just having finished it, I can tell you that the prospect of attacking the book’s main text is both exciting and terrifying. There are three things, coming out of the Preface, that I want share before we get going: 1. Hofstadter talks a lot about...
hey there, I'm Christie...
Yes, I’m Christie, though you may know me as christielouwho. I don’t know if I was even given the option of reading GEB, I was simply told to read it as well. Regardless, the decision was made and I immersed myself into the preface and knew it’d be easily interesting. I’m rather glad this group has started up. With so many different minds, expertises, and backgrounds to...
I am called Arthur by name
I have a tumblr called thethirdoption (links to my other tumblrs and the name explanation there). My main areas of expertise are metaphysics and meta- just about everything, which may explain why MC Escher has been my favorite artist (and MC) (that was a joke) (just the MC part was a joke) (yes I overuse parentheses) since I was a little kid. For the period of time in middle school when I was...