From 3.5 billion Reddit comments

ProductGPT

Try the custom AI to help you find products that Reddit loves.

2 points

·
4th Jan 2021

> I don't believe anyone has a satisfying answer though.

The question may well be unanswerable. This leads to one of my favorite unanswerable questions: why is there something instead of nothing? (Favorite because anyone who says they've got an answer to this question is almost certainly either delusional or lying... so it's a good litmus test for 'woo'.)

I highly recommend Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid for a very readable exploration on why this is unanswerable.

2 points

·
4th Sep 2020

- Yes, it's possible, although it varies by person.
- Yes - almost any process that can be done by hypnosis can, at least in theory, be done through self-hypnosis.
- The mind is organic, complex, and unpredictable. This might even be structurally built into the study of cognition.

So... nothing is really engraved in a subconscious, because it's constantly changing and it's highly complex. There isn't a function. There's no deactivation switch, because there's no switch in the first place. The mind is not a machine and hypnotists aren't programmers.

Hypnotists are guides. They specialize in navigating some of this very poorly mapped territory. They're often quite good at it. In some cases - like smoking cessation or phobia reduction - they're reliably good at particular functions - so much so that it's published and statistically significant.

Don't let the reliability of some operations fool you, though. The mind isn't a series of mapped switches and mechanical functions, and IMO it never will be. As a result, the reliable answers in spaces like this will generally be frustratingly vague, just because no one can say "yup, I just slap that tear switch and call tech support if it doesn't work."

1 point

·
1st Jun 2022

You should read Gödel, Escher, Bach if you are looking for the links between math, music, and language.

1 point

·
2nd Feb 2022

The property of being able to understand Gödel's theorem. The reason I find this so mind boggling is that the theorem shows precisely that there must be something else than just computation. It is the ability to look at a system "from the outside" to understand its rules. I would say that all people have this even if most are unable to grasp Gödel's theorem. I find it unlikely that this property among people that cannot grasp that theorem would be somehow fundamentally different from this property in people that can. Hence, I would like to return to my initial argument and claim that this is strong evidence for that all human consciousness contains something inherently uncomputable. And probably dogs' consciousness, too.

The theorem is basically a short program (Gödel number) that within the system cannot be proven to neither follow nor break the rules. Its truth value in a sense is undecidable. But from outside of the system you can by understanding it also infer the truth value. The system is Turing complete, so within the system you can do everything that can be done with computation. If people were just Turing complete, they would not be able to understand it either. I am afraid I will not be able to simplify the message of that theorem into something that does it justice in a Reddit post. Sorry.

I actually used to think like you, but this theorem turned everything upside down. -Perhaps you would be willing to read one of my all time favourite books that covers this topic? https://www.amazon.com/Gödel-Escher-Bach-Eternal-Golden/dp/0465026567/

1 point

·
8th Dec 2021

Probably Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. It's not directly related to cognitive science or game design (my education and job, respectively) but was a terrific foundation for both. Plus Hofstadter is an engaging writer and all-around good egg.

1 point

·
20th Feb 2021

There is also this book: Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

This was the firstthing I though of, as I love this book!

1 point

·
19th Aug 2020

CODE is such a unique book. I'm not sure you're going to find something quite like it that just covers other CS related topics in the same way. Or at least I'm not aware of anything that does it as successfully.

One book I recommend a lot is Godel, Escher, Bach. I think I've given away something like 5 copies over the years.

It's a hard book to describe, but roughly speaking, it's about what it means to compute something and how computation relates to math, machines, intelligence, and philosophy. But really you read this book to appreciate the way he wrote it more than to obtain some specific piece of knowledge. I'm including it here because it's very much a "couch readable" book, and it will teach you a fair bit of what goes into computability theory and some AI, but the teaching isn't necessarily the point the way it is with CODE.

1 point

·
13th Jul 2020

If you're interested, check out the book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, which explains Gödel's incompleteness theorem without requiring any math background at all.

This definitely can't happen in Linguistics. Linguistics is the study of human language. In Linguistics, there is no right and wrong way to communicate. If one person spoke, and another understood, that's language. There's no "proof" and there are no absolutes in linguistics.

Gödel's incompleteness theorem does apply to logic. The theorem actually says that any logical system that's sufficiently complex must have statements that are true but aren't provable. It's not limited to only what we call "math" but applies to any logical system you could come up with, as long as it's not trivially simple.

There's no way anyone can explain it in a paragraph or two. The book I mentioned above carefully builds up a series of analogies to explain it over the course of hundreds of (very entertaining) pages. I've seen people try to give you a hint of it in a few minutes, but that's all you'll get, a hint.

Here's my attempt at a "hint". Gödel's theorem says, suppose that you could start with all axioms (things assumed to be true), and then list all possible true statements you could derive from those, in some sort of order. If you tried to do this, Gödel says, I'll show you how you could construct a statement that's true (by definition) but written in such a way that it couldn't possibly be on your list of all provable statements.

Does that help at all?

1 point

·
27th May 2010

Infinity (Aleph-0 in this case) is a fine number, at least as good as *i*.

And the hotel has special elevators that take constant time to get from any room to any other room. See Hofstader and the story of the djinn for an explanation.

6 points

·
25th May 2021

What's "this"? Studying computer science? Or building computers and programming them?

What you're asking is quite a broad question.

Computer Science has it root's in the decidability problems trying to figure out if Mathematics is a complete system, to which Godel said "Maths is incomplete and inconsistent", to which Turning then said "Maths is undecidable". Whilst figuring out that maths is undecidable Turing invented the mathematical concept of a general computing system. (Other, real, ad-hoc computing systems already existed at the time). And from this general computing system (a Turing machine) lots of other ideas about what is and isn't computable began to be studying, and now we have computer science.

So whilst I don't know of a single book covering "why" or the early history, you could read some of the early papers?

- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entscheidungsproblem
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6del%27s_incompleteness_theorems
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilbert%27s_program
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turing_machine

Or try <em>Godel, Escher, Bach</em>? I've owned that for years but never actually read it, so who knows what it contains?!

I'd also recommend <em>Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software</em> by Charles Petzold, it's not specifically about the history of computer science but it does present a nice "how to build a computer from first principals" that makes a nice read and you might find satisfies your curiosity, as it tackles some similar questions in a very pragmatic way.

2 points

·
18th Jan 2021

This is a great book. Godel Escher Bach... mind expanding is what I would call it.

https://www.amazon.com/G%C3%B6del-Escher-Bach-Eternal-Golden/dp/0465026567

2 points

·
22nd Jul 2020

There is a popular book devoted to this topic entitled "Godel Escher Bach - The Eternal Golden Braid". It is not a particularly Christian book, it was written by a Buddhist mathematician in the 1970's, as he contemplated computers, math, artificial intelligence, and the like.

One of the central ideas of the book involves "Godel's Incompleteness Theorem", which says that you can never prove a "set" from only the data/information inside that set. For example, you cannot prove 2+2=4 unless there is something else, outside of the equation, that proves what a "2" or a "4" even are. Taken to the extreme -- we cannot even prove there is a universe (from inside the universe, as we are), unless there is something outside of the universe to give it some sort of context/meaning. When people say "you can't prove there's a god!", I always say "according to Godel's Theorem, you can't even prove there's a YOU".

In short - my argument would be... if there's a universe, then there "must" be "something" outside of the universe that gives the universe a context... is this "God"? Is it "Ultimate Truth"? This gives new insight into the meaning of the Hebrew name for God -- "I Am".

https://www.amazon.com/Gödel-Escher-Bach-Eternal-Golden/dp/0465026567

2 points

·
29th Oct 2015

Two of my favorites:

- Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Not precisely about math but it's very logic-driven and most of the arguments D. Hofstadter makes are math related. This book has given me a lot of insight.
- Flatland. Basically a kids book regarding geometry and how do we look at "space" and dimensions. It's simple, yet intriguing.

1 point

·
16th Nov 2022

For those who are wondering: "GEB" is the book <em>Gödel, Escher, Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid</em>

1 point

·
23rd Oct 2022

1 point

·
27th Sep 2022

And you are back handedly calling GantzDuck stupid.

I liked Douglas Hofstadter's look at self referential stuff.

1 point

·
11th Sep 2022

I've been fascinated by consciousness and the mind/body problem since I was a teen. Never quite found the "answer" (spoiler: no one has), but some of my reading on how human consciousness works inadvertently left me with coping strategies for our mortality.

It's a long, dense read, but I would always recommend Gödel, Escher, Bach as my favorite among these types of books. The follow-up, I Am A Strange Loop is great as well.

1 point

·
12th Aug 2022

Yes, I am saying everything I do is based on physical laws of nature. My decision was ultimately the result of that.

You mention that if the mind is purely physical, then we are not capable of writing anything true or using reason. I do not understand how you come to this conclusion.

As to the question of how brains change and memories store. I agree. People change. You are not the same person you were in the past. My pedestrian understanding of neuroscience is that we have long term memory. The way we recall those memories may change based on time and due to our life experiences. Memories are not photographs forever kept perfectly preserved in time.

You mention determinism. I want to emphasis that I did not claim determinism as fact. I regard it as an unknown. As mentioned, there is a lot of evidence that points to indeterminism.

Consider a dice roll. If you could known every value could you calculate what the result would be? It's complicated and opinions vary. Read here

Regardless, I do consider reality to be governed be natural physical principles.

And yes, I do believe moral choice is nonsensical. I'm a moral nihilist. In our society, we seem to establish laws to maintain social order. At even a casual glance it's not about morality or justice. It's about maintaining power.

I would also like to point you to an interesting resource. You see to be under the impression that I regard the mind as an unimpressive heap of meat. Even though I equate only physical properties to our mind, it's still a beautiful symphony of nature. How can something entirely physical made of nothing but atoms and cells become "sentient"?

I want to suggest that you read: Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

It's not a science book. It will help you understand exactly what I mean.

1 point

·
18th Jun 2022

1 point

·
5th Jun 2022

An Eternal Golden Braid is a really great read if you are into the Asimov style of writings.

1 point

·
9th Feb 2022

Question is, why do you think the universe is fundamentally logical? Are you familiar with Gödel's incompleteness theorems?

> **First incompleteness theorem**

> Any consistent formal system F within which a certain amount of elementary arithmetic can be carried out is incomplete; i.e., there are statements of the language of F which can neither be proved nor disproved in F.

> **Second incompleteness theorem**

> For any consistent system F within which a certain amount of elementary arithmetic can be carried out, the consistency of F cannot be proved in F itself.

Both of these have been proven. The consequence is, there will always be an element of __faith__ to any formal (logical) system. The system itself cannot prove itself. Your __faith__ in logic is just that: faith. So, why are you putting your faith there? And are you sure it's because it's the "logical" thing to do or maybe you're a sinner and don't want to stop sinning?

If you really want to understand this logic stuff, and also get an introduction to formal systems, infinities, artificial intelligence, music theory, image composition etc. etc., may I suggest the fantastic book: "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An eternal Golden Braid"? It's quite a difficult read, but you are the one asking for "logic" so there you go. The book doesn't conclude the existence of God directly, but it makes it very clear that a purely rational approach to understanding the universe and our own minds is... completely irrational. The book won the Pullitzer Price and is being taught at universities - it's not redneck propaganda.

I wrote all this out because being a Christian isn't strictly logical. For example, how is it logical that God created the earth in seven days? Many people argue this. Some even read it it metaphorically, because all physical evidence suggests the earth is __billions__ of years old. Where is the logic in that? I, however, simply find it amazing that God created a universe in 7 24 hour days that looks like that! Because why wouldn't He make it like that? Who am I to question the Creator?

That is faith. It must come first. But then again, if you want logic, read GEB. It'll make your head hurt, but you're the one looking for the logistics of God so maybe you deserve it! Otherwise, just read the Bible and trust your heart: It has transformed millions of people's lives and shaped the civilization we live in for thousands of years. It will do the same for you if you let it.

Wish you the best and I hope your health gets better.

1 point

·
15th Dec 2021

>In the end, we are self-perceiving, self-inventing, locked-in mirages that are little miracles of self-reference.

— Douglas Hofstadter, *I Am a Strange Loop*, p. 363

​

What is the internet? It isn't computers, fiber optics, switches, routers, modems, or hard drives. The internet is communication, it isn't the photons in the fiber optics, it is the information encoded in those photons. Request, responses, data and packets are the internet. If you take away those things the physical objects remain, but the internet is gone.

What is a society? It isn't cities, or roads, or music, or books, or even people. It isn't the things, it is the interaction between all of these things. It is the way the people interact with the environment and each other. The competition and collaboration. It is a dynamic system constantly changing, growing, shrinking, and sometimes decaying. If all the things stop interacting they don't cease existing, but the society does.

What is a person? It isn't the cells, organs, bacteria, fungus, neurotransmitters, enzymes or DNA. It is the intangible interaction of these things, electrical impulses that move your muscles, the neurotransmitters fitting into a neuroreceptor, and the communication networks constantly vibrating in your brain. If I kill those things I kill the person but the physical object remains.

Many systems can be described with very simple rules yet evolve infinite complexity.

Gravity quite simply is the way matter interacts (bends space/time) . This interaction can be summed up in the following equation: F=G(m1*m2/r^(2)) and yet this simple creation creates this:

https://stsci-opo.org/STScI-01EVT8YHAGM2WGQTV3DGKRFZ7Q.jpg

^(Note: Yes electromagnetism, and the strong and weak forces are at play. Yes Einstein's field equations in general relativity has supplanted Newton's law of Gravity, but all of these are local effects and have little to no influence in the creation of truly vast structures.)

Conway's game of life follows very simple rules:

On an infinite grid of square cells:

- Any live cell with two or three live neighbours survives.
- Any dead cell with three live neighbours becomes a live cell.
- All other live cells die in the next generation. Similarly, all other dead cells stay dead.

It has been discovered these very simple rules and a grid as an environment is a universal Turing Machine capable of running any and all computer programs, including itself:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xP5-iIeKXE8

If you graph out the imaginary numbers defined by the simple iterative equation explained with these song lyrics:

*Just take a point called Z in the complex plane*

*Let Z1 be Z squared plus C*

*And Z2 is Z1 squared plus C*

*And Z3 is Z2 squared plus C*

*And so on*

*If the series of Z's should always stay*

*Close to Z and never trend away..*

you end up with a very curious shape. Even more curious is if you assign various colors to the points that do trend away based on how quickly they do so you can then see the graph is infinitely complex and detailed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jGaio87u3A

​

You are not nebulous, you are both abstract and real. You are a dialectic. You are a strange loop. The entire idea of chaos theory can be summarized as the study of systems following simple rules yet creating infinite complexity. Electromagnetism and a little bit of gravity are the rules that everything in our body is governed by, yet those simple rules belie the infinite complexity that is who we are.

Further reading:

1 point

·
9th Dec 2021

Not a programmer, but back when I was in school, one of the CS professors always recommended An Eternal Golden Braid.

1 point

·
12th Nov 2021

It's very hard for me to figure out where to start.

Math is a means of solving problems abstractly and generally. This means that methods of problem-solving can be applied to problems with the same general form, but quite varying details. Numbers themselves fit this criteria. You can have 3 fingers, 3 cards, 3 radios, 3 bumper stickers, even 3 numbers! So you can apply numbers to almost any problem, like selling sheep, or killing deer, or mining diamonds. However, in order to solve more complex problems, you need more complex methods. You might have to come up with more than just numbers, but also addition, division, and calculus. In order to keep all of these methods straight, it helps to have a formal system to keep track of all the abstractions. As adults in the modern world we've already been programmed with a system of symbols that takes care of a lot of this sort of thing so I can write something like 2(*x* + 4) = 92 and you'll know to find *x* to find the answer to the ultimate question.

But at some point you might start asking yourself "but *why* does this all work?" And that's when you actually get to things like axioms and proofs. And then you can ask yourself "and can I expand on this system and framework based on the reasons this works, without having a particular problem to solve in mind?" And boom you've got all of modern mathematics (some steps left as an exercise for the reader).

The problem is that once you get to axioms and proofs, you've gotten extremely fundamental. Like to the point of asking questions like "is math a subset of logic, logic a subset of math, or some third option?" Perhaps you're familiar with the Münchhausen trilemma. Math, like other things so fundamental, falls to this problem, but mathematicians have found ways to make things even more complicated. Gödel's incompleteness theorems are something to look into on that front.

All that said, perhaps the best simple version of this to understand is that yes, in mathematics, proofs rely on fundamental axioms, or on theorems which are themselves proven by fundamental axioms, using logically and/or mathematically valid steps. Some theorems are *conditionally* proven (you can look up stuff related to the Riemann hypothesis to find a few), in that proofs are given for them under the assumption that an unproven conjecture is true. You can prove things by different methods (one of Paul Erdős's first notable proofs was to give a better method to prove a particular theorem, but don't ask me to remember what it was lol), so even if a theorem was found to be false, it is not necessarily the case that a theorem based on it would also be false. As for what are the most foundational axioms, different areas of math sometimes rely on different sets of axioms, so that's a tricky question to answer.

Related readings:

Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Principia Mathematica

What is the name of this book? By Raymond Smullyan

Pretty much any real analysis or abstract algebra introductory textbook

1 point

·
3rd Apr 2021

In that case you might love GEB or it's simpler cousin I Am A Strange Loop. They're both tons of fun and basically about that, how systems can observe and comprehend other systems. The books created the inspiration for the ML revolution we have today. And it could be argued, but isn't consciousness how a system comprehends the world? So these books dive into how consciousness works as well as other fun topics like how intelligence works.

1 point

·
9th Jan 2021

1 point

·
28th Apr 2014

**Gödel, Escher, Bach** (Amazon, Goodreads, Wikipedia )

That thing is half typography, font, indentation, ... puns and metaphors. For example this holism/reductionism joke: http://i93.photobucket.com/albums/l76/orestesmantra/MU.jpg

I can't think of a way that could work on Kindle. You could try, and some things might not make sense, and some you might miss altogether, just because the font is different.

1 point

·
2nd Jul 2018

Gödel-Escher-Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. Will provide you a good introduction to the mechanism behind computer science and math. (also its like 20$ on amazon).

1 point

·
11th Jul 2018

https://www.amazon.com.au/Godel-Escher-Bach-Eternal-Golden/dp/0465026567

The reviews say it better than I did. I did philosophy at uni and read a ton of philosophy books - this was the best. Won the Pulitzer Prize to.

1 point

·
22nd Apr 2018

You might already know this, but all of mathematics is a measurement of some sort. If it can be observed it can be measured. However, finding a way to make it scientific is a bit harder.

You might like GEB or it's sibling I Aam A Strange Loop. If you like any of those as a follow up Metamagical Themas is pretty entertaining.

As for mapping the system of the mind, that has quite a bit to it, depending on what level of detail you're looking for. Hofstadter is a great start, but outside of that is there anything specific you're curious about? Consciousness is a big word, which is why there are multiple ≈thousand page books talking about only parts of it.

1 point

·
21st Mar 2018

I hate to say this but you do not have a very good understanding as to what "Math" actually is... Mathematical systems are based on axioms. Math itself is just the logic that defines a system (i.e. the system must be consistent, etc) and it is the mathematical logic that backs up the system. In other words, you were looking for something of the scientific method in mathematics... It's mathematical logic.

You can even change the axioms all you want but if the result leads you to contradictions, then it is inconsistent. Look at Gauss's work with non-euclidean systems for example. It is not that math is based on certain axioms but it does use axioms in the construction of systems.

To use you ethics example: It is one thing to say that such ethical axioms could exist (there are a lot of things that could exist) but coming up with a consistent set of ethical axioms (of sufficient size, etc, etc) or a mathematical ethical system, is a whole other ball of wax. While I can't prove that a consistent set of ethical axioms doesn't exist (enter problems of proving a negative here), the odds of such a systems existing is (very, very, very, ... ) low by my estimation.

No mathematician worth their salt would say that mathematics describes "the real world", physics (for the most part) does that. Mathematics is just applying a specific process to different systems (different sets of axioms) and working out the result (consistency, figuring out theories in that system, trying to find mappings to other systems, etc).

I'm not sure this explanation has helped... It's hard to explain these ideas without a wall of text. But if you are interested in philosophy of mathematics, GEB is a good book and A Profile of Mathematical Logic is a great book but a little dense.

1 point

·
16th Feb 2018

> I'm talking about why the awareness that I experience is experiencing sensory inputs from the point of view of this body-abstraction instead of any other body-abstraction in existence.

Ohhh. That's a very big question. Years ago I went out to explore this, so I ended up writing a program that analyzes visual information. I ended up throwing the stock market at it.

From this I have an idea how the underlining processes work, but they're only a guess -- the way I re-engineered them onto a computer, but from modeling my own awareness machine. If you want the finer underlining details, I can explain, but I think it is a bit of a rabbit hole for what you're probably looking for.

Then from there, at a higher level falls into the abstraction bit. So like, if you see a pattern a bunch of times (a bunch of similar patterns) the mind will "compress" this pattern into a single concept and from that concept into a single word, or a set of words. This makes all the things we know of in the universe.

Of course, I'm using language to describe language here, and that gets a little twisty (loopy particularly), but one thing at a time. No need to get overloaded.

You might like the book GEB or it's easier cousin I Am A Strange Loop.

>If multiple points of experience exist, then you have not answered what separates them. You have instead linked to something incoherent about abstractions, which is all anyone ever does when asked this question.

You can get into perceptions. The book Prometheus Rising does a great job diving into that and is a fun read too.

But are you talking about perceptions, which is interpretations of patterns, or multiple instances of awareness? Like how one eye is different from the other?

A simpler answer, which might be what you're looking for, is the mind machine has a process that identifies difference. This has to have memory to do so, most likely in time, but theoretically it only needs a single frame of space to do so.

1 point

·
8th Mar 2016

The skill which cannot be named, that you can only access with u-mode thinking.

1 point

·
27th Mar 2016

Absolutely!

Math is everywhere and it's just about seeing the patterns emerge from simplicity. My knowledge on this topic has mainly been from my own work in Artificial Life and encoding AI genetic knowledge combined with my general interest in biological patterns (which are everywhere in nature) but the first thing that got many things to click for me was playing around with Turtle Logo in high school that is all about using simple constructs to create amazingly complex structures (i.e. one, two - look familiar?).

Sadly I don't work on my AI research anymore due to ethical concerns so I'm a bit out of date but I'd highly recommend the following that weren't mentioned in the original post though:

1 point

·
17th Feb 2015

Here are a few:

The go-to book for feeling lizards inside my skull:

Nice books that propose another way of looking at Evolution and Chaos:

If you want some maths... Thar ya go:

1 point

·
20th Jan 2012

Godel, Escher, Bach is a good one.

I haven't read it yet so I'm not sure exactly at what level it is but Kolmogorov's Mathematics its content and meaning is supposed to be an excellent overview of mathematics up to the 1960s (including some quite advanced topics) that is aimed at nonspecialists.

Bertrand Russell's the wisdom of the west is primarily looking at the roots of western philosophy but luckily this covers the roots of mathematics as well including many of the classic problems.

Stephen Hawking's God Invented the Integers does an excellent overview of many huge mathematics problems. This actually analizes the original papers but I don't think it's overly technical.

If you want to google for the "A Mathematician's Lament" by Lockhart and "A Mathematician's Apology" by Hardy you can get a good overview of the mind of a mathematician and the "why" they do it. These are both well written brief essays.

This is another one of those "been meaning to read" but I have heard good things about "What is Mathematics" as both a lamen introduction and an introduction to higher maths for people serious about getting into the field.

1 point

·
11th Dec 2011

some amazing books I would suggest to you are:

Road to Reality By Roger Penrose.

Code by Charles Petzold.

Pi in the Sky by John Barrow.

All of these I would love to read again, if I had the time, but none more so than Godel, Escher, Bach, which is one of the most beautiful books I have ever come across.

Road to Reality is the most technical of these books, but gives a really clear outline of how mathematics is used to describe reality (in the sense of physics).

Code, basically, teaches you how you could build a computer (minus, you know, all the engineering. But that's trivial surely? :) ). The last chapter on operating systems is pretty dated now but the rest of it is great.

Pi in the Sky is more of a casual read about the philosophy of mathematics. But its very well written, good night time reading!

You have a really good opportunity to get an intuitive understanding of the heart of mathematics, which even at a college level is somewhat glossed over, in my experience. Use it!

1 point

·
13th May 2010

Ever since reading Gödel, Escher, Bach, I find stuff like this so fascinating.

1 point

·
3rd Jun 2010

For those interested in context: It's the cover of an old bestselling book. Link

1 point

·
2nd Feb 2010

Currently only 1/4th through it, but so far it's the most amazing book I've ever read: Godel, Escher, Bach

1 point

·
30th Jun 2010

Godël, Escher, Bach —how pretentious to have abbreviated it...

0 points

·
5th Aug 2020

Reminds me of the cover of this book: https://www.amazon.com/G%C3%B6del-Escher-Bach-Eternal-Golden/dp/0465026567

Very clever use of this technique!

0 points

·
13th May 2018

That was an unsatisfying answer, I suppose. You want me to make a genuine play before we continue, fine, I'll give it a shot. But the supposed delineation between literal and symbolic is the first thing you'll have to discard. It is entirely wrongheaded. It's not even wrong. On one end a literal interpretation has Christians eat the body of Christ and drink his blood, and you end up painting them as vampire cannibals. Which was probably your agenda anyway. On the other, everything is symbolic and the new testament might aswell be referring to Jesus' covert war against clown reptiles. These answers are silly because the question is silly.

In the early 20th century, mathmetician Kurt Gödel set out to create his incompleteness theorem. The theorem was originally intended to show Russel and Whitehead's system for working with natural numbers as complete. This is important, because what use is an incomplete system? Not only did he end up proving the system as incomplete (humiliating two people he actually admired), he ended up proving no consistent system of logic can ever be complete, and vice versa. Neither can the system prove it's own axioms, any more than you can lift yourself by pulling your hair. Why is this crucial to a debate about religion? Because divinity is *complete*.

Source: Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter.

So math and science arrive at what religion already knew. All is one. Duality is false. Symbolic and literal interpretations do not exclude one another, they show aspects of the same complete divine thing. They are shifts in perspective. An unsolved rubix cube does not disprove the solution. One *implies* the other.

And so the singular divine splits itself into male and female. One becomes two. And the coupling of two will beget a third. But duality is false, division is false. Man is fallible and incomplete, so he stifles the world through his ego. The benevolent king becomes the tyrant. The mighty creator becomes Holdfast, the enemy, the dragon.

It's been awhile since I've actually seen a bible, but as I recall the new testament does not start with Mary or God. It was *Herod* who called the census and set the whole thing in motion. The bad, unjust king strangles the land in an attempt to secure his reign. Thereby his actions create the very thing he fears most: the hero.

The tyrant-father is just a different face of the holy creator. When the arch-enemy holds the entire world in his stranglehold, new life springs from the void itself. The story of the savior is the story of *every single human being*. It shows the hero ascending the dominance hierarchy, dethroning the evil tyrant, slaying the dragon and reuniting with the divine. The hero's special weapon is the ability to tell good from evil in all their different guises. And again good and evil are just a perspective shift away from being truth and untruth. What difference does it make if the dragon is an actual dragon, mankind's sin, or the duality of all existance itself? All of it is symbolic. And in the sense that all of us are heroes, all of it is real.

Source: Hero with a thousand faces by Joseph Campbell.

>Clearly we can infer the Apostles and many early Christians believed that these things literally happened, and whether or not you think this is zealotry, the number of Christians who believe this literally is greater than those who see this symbolically.

This part brings a particular quote to mind, and besides there's a third book that I can show off as having read:

>*The sun signifies first of all gold. But just as philosophical gold is not common gold, so the sun is neither just the metallic gold nor the heavenly orb...Redness, heat and dryness are the classical qualities of the Egyptian Set (Greek Typhon), the evil principle which, like the alchemical sulphur, is closely connected with the devil. And just as TYphon has his kingdom in the forbidden sea, so the sun, as sol centralis has its sea, its "crude perceptible water" and as sol coelestis its "subtle imperceptible water." This sea water (Aqua pontica) is extracted from sun and moon...*

>

>We can barely understand such a description, contaminated as it is by imaginative and mythological associations peculiar to the medieval mind. It is precisely this fantastical contamination however that renders the alchemical description worth examining- Not from the perspective of the history of science, concerned with the examination of outdated objective ideas, but from the perspective of psychology, focused on the interpretation of subjective frames of reference...The alchemist could not sperate his subjective ideas from the nature of things, from his *hypotheses* (emphasis by prof. Peterson)...The medieval man lived in a universe that was moral- where everything, even ores and metals, strived above all for perfection.

Source: Maps of meaning by Jordan Peterson.

0 points

·
7th Feb 2013

You should read the following:

You still need to define what consciousness means. You can't model some physical phenomena if you cannot even describe its features.

It seems like you have distilled consciousness to satisfy the following:

- Receive information from the environment using an interface (i.e. sensory input)
- Process the information received through some form of abstraction (i.e. language or symbols)
- Store the information
- React to the information. Store the information.

Do you think computers have consciousness because they can do all those things listed above?

0 points

·
9th Nov 2010

You definitely, definitely want to give him Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid . If he's into mathematical thinking, this book will expand his mind in ways that no other book can. More than books that are directly about mathematics, Godel, Escher, Bach is an exploration of ideas and their relationships that will expand the way he thinks.

$50 - $100