Group Read of Godel, Escher, Bach?
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Would it be to assist members, chapter by chapter, who might have trouble with symbolic logic, musical structures, etc? (Not every reader will be able to parse a Bach fugue nor, for that matter, have a clear idea of the difference between a fugue and a canon.)
Would it be a project with side goals, such as cataloguing the (often outrageous) puns sprinkled throughout the book?
Or perhaps your purpose is simply to provide an exercise in internet gemutlichkeit?
And with this particular book, I think there is also some desire to provide a more structured approach to getting it read, since I (for one) have had it on my nightstand for a couple of months now, but just rarely get around to reading it because it's the kind of reading that requires some real attention in order to get the most out of it, and at the end of a long day of doing nothing but philosophy reading, sometimes I just need something lighter. The approach that was suggested for this read was a chapter or so a week, which is a pace most feel they can maintain, despite whatever other commitments they have.
Should a chapter-by-chapter weekly read be started, I'd be pleased to add my comments. I've been through the book twice, and have a decent working knowledge of the many topics covered.
There hasn't been overwhelming interest in this so far, but we'll leave it open and see if anybody else comes out of the woodwork, I suppose.
I've had GEB on my wishlist for months, so this is a great impetus.
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In 1900, in Paris, the International Congress of Mathematicians gathered in a mood of hope and fear. The edifice of maths was grand and ornate but its foundations, called axioms, were shaking with inconsistency and lurking paradox. And so, at that conference, a young man called David Hilbert set out a plan to rebuild them – to make them consistent, all encompassing and without any hint of a paradox.
Hilbert was one of the greatest mathematicians that ever lived, but his plan failed, spectacularly, and it did so because of the incompleteness theorems. These were the work of Kurt Gödel and they changed the way we understand maths, took us to the very limits of logic and sent challenges spilling out into the worlds of physics, philosophy and beyond.
Marcus du Sautoy, Professor of Mathematics at Wadham College, University of Oxford
John Barrow, Professor of Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge and Gresham Professor of Geometry
Philip Welch, Professor of Mathematical Logic at the University of Bristol