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on 16 January 2001
Maybe I'm not intelligent enough but I found this book as dull as dishwater. I had to give up on it because I kept nodding off. Nothing else has quite the same effect except maybe IBM mainframe manuals or networking protocols. Yes I work in computing and my job is dull enough without 700+ pages of mathematical theory to plod through. I prefer to listen to music than read about it. I prefer to look at art and make my own judgement about it. I prefer not to think about maths. Not the book for me as you can see. I shall browse the bookshelves for something more entertaining/enlightning.
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on 19 August 2016
This is a really engaging book. It has twists and turns, rythms, conundrums and a great mixture of different media to keep you going in an exploration of the possibility of identity arising from 'machine-like' operants. There are great illustrations and a good use of humour that permeates the dialogue format that carries the book from section to section. You can learn alot from this tome and enjoy learning it.
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on 12 August 2001
Science and art have never been less accessible. They have become obscure private languages, requiring rites of initiation and proficiency in coding and decoding. But while art has largely remained the preserve of an elite - science has been popularized by both its practitioners and a host of talented observers and reporters. The reason is that science is all-pervasive while art is still a museum thing. In the genre of popular science there is nothing that comes close to this book. It combines music and literature with formal logic and computer science. It is poetic while being rigorous, breathless without deteriorating to pseudo-science. In short: a masterpiece. The book strives - and succeeds - to demonstrate that ostensibly disparate phenomena like ant colonies, Bach's music, the structure and functioning of the brain, and programming languages - have more in common than we imagine. Uncovering these strains of similarity and strands of common order is done in a systematic but highly entertaining manner. The book is as taut as a thriller and as fun as "Alice in Wonderland" that it so often quotes. A treat untouched by the almost three decades that elapsed since it was first published...
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on 29 July 2015
A gift for a third party so can't rathe this edition, but it is a mesmerising book.
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on 9 May 2014
Okay... maybe that's going too far, but this is invaluable reading for pretty much anyone who is interested in anything. Hofstadter's masterpiece. You probably won't agree with everything he comes up with but this is such a thought-provoking and imaginative book you won't care.
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on 24 February 2014
Douglas Hofstadter brings mathematics, arts and music together to explain the basis and building of conciousness. Entertaining and endlessly challenging, this book may contain the closest thing to The Truth, i've ever read.
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on 4 July 2014
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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on 31 October 2015
This book is one of the great masterpieces in science writing. Reading it is hard work, but mastering the ideas discussed will make you feel like you could understand anything.
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on 15 August 2015
Important work for understanding higher brain processes; uses computational science analogies, art and music examples to illustrate the problem and structure of the mind.
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on 2 October 2016
An amazing read, simultaneously technical but still accessible and, in parts, amusing. A must-read for anyone interested in logic or the intersect of mathematics and art.
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