I’ve recently started to re-read Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter. It’s an insanely great book about emergence. I first read it during high school, around ’98 or so. It’s getting a second read cause it deals with a lot of issues rolling about in my brain-parts lately- one of the ideas I’m mulling over for an animated short deals with emergence, and I figured its time to brush up on it.
My mangled gist of the book is that Hofstadter uses connections between the work of Mathman Godel, Artist Escher, and Musician Bach and plenty of others to show how a set of rules can create a whole complex system/reality/self. The Matrix is pretty much an adaptation of this book. BTW, here’s an awesome comic about Hofstadter.
What I’m totally loving about this go around of the book are the new connections I’m making this time around. Half due to the fact that a good amount went over my head at the time, and half cause I see examples of what he’s talking about everywhere now. A good amount of the themes in this book touch on self-reference (meta) and paradoxes, and thanks to people like JJ Abrams and Dan Harmon, I’m pretty solid on both these days.
I wish I had an audiobook version of this narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson, but that would take precious time away from him being generally awesome.
Speaking of meta, I’m really excited for Community returning March 15th- only 2 more days!
(full disclosure, I edited the crap outta this post cause I quickly realized that I can go on for hours about this. If you are into that sorta thing, leave a comment, and we can talk more!)