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Godel, Escher, Bach Paperback – 31 Dec 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 777 pages
  • Publisher: Random House USA Inc; Corners Dog Earred, Cover Torn edition (31 Dec 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394745027
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394745022
  • Product Dimensions: 24.9 x 20.3 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 282,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Sep 1999
Format: Paperback
This feast of a book is concerned with the nature of intelligence and the possibility (or otherwise) of artificial intelligence.
Drawing on ideas from the music of J. S. Bach and the perspective-illusion images of M. C. Escher, Hofstadter brilliant explains many ideas from philosophy, psychology, computing, mathematics and biology in his quest to answer the fundamental question: is artificial intelligence possible?
Along the way we learn about cell replication, viruses, number theory, and Zen Buddhism - as well as discovering how Kurt Godel shattered David Hilbert's dream of a mathematical formula that would test the truth of any mathematical hypothesis.
We also meet Alan Turing, the British genius who laid the foundations for modern computing, and who's pioneering work at Bletchley Park led to the breaking of the German 'Enigma' code - the man who arguably saved the world from Hitler, and was subsequently hounded to death by MI5 because, as a homosexual, he was considered a liability.
This book is massive, mind-expanding, and eminently readable; probably the most important 'popular science' book I've read. Hofstadter is a very good writer indeed. Without oversimplifying his subject matter, he makes it interesting and understandable to the intelligent general reader.
Mike Alexander Brighton
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 Sep 1999
Format: Paperback
If you have ever wondered why you have the ability to wonder about anything ...
Who am I? Who is asking that question, and who is the I it is asking about?
What is the nature of intelligence, and of consciousness?
Is there an absolute in the universe? Is it intelligence?
This book is absolutely brilliant, takes you on a journey through the nature of human consciousness. It compares ants to brain cells, and ant colonies to a human brain. It tries to define the soul, the mind, emotions, spontaneity, and many other baffling aspects of being a human. If you have ever wondered about the nature of yourself, read it. It is really worth sticking with; follow his mental gymnastics and you will feel exhilarated and satisfied.
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A book that I would recommend to serious thinkers who like to think for fun. The book melds salient points of music, art, and mathematics in exploring what distinguishes homo sapiens as a species.
The people at MIT thought enough of the book to offer a free online, course as an aid in understanding the it.
I gave it four stars on the recommendation of my closest and most respected friend. He gave me a copy and was very disappointed when I finally told him that I couldn't get int it. Tony died years ago, now I am trying to get into it again, mostly in his memory; I still am finding the book incomprehensible.
I wonder if Winston Churchill would have enjoyed it.
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One of the great books of all time. Although it gets very complex very quickly, the author does a good job of trying to help you keep up. One day I will be able to say I understand every point...!
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By gerryk on 17 Sep 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fast postage... delighted
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