Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Godel, Escher, Bach

I'm glad that someone yelled at me for being so whimpy as to stop reading GEB due to its references to music, which I was clueless about. I stopped RIGHT when he was about to explain what canons and fugues are, and also the links between Bach's "Musical Offering", Escher's works, and Godel's theorems about completeness and consistency of formal systems. Now, I'm still only on page 100, scarcely a seventh of the book, but its beauty has already astounded me. It is a work that you can easily become addicted to. (And it's not too dense, so good for reading during boring lectures that you still have to sometimes pay a slight bit of attention to.)

Don't believe me?

Here's one of the dialogues in the book (the book alternates between a dialogue and a chapter of real stuff, someting that explains the dialogue). This one is called the "Sonata for Unaccompanied Achilles" where Achilles has a phone conversation with the Turtoise. Escher's piece "Mosaic II" is included below, it will help you with the puzzle =). Follow the link and scroll down a bit...

Beautiful? No? It's a shame that I lack the musical background to fully enjoy the work.

PS: Getting the answer to the puzzles are important.

- End of Entry