I have not read Douglas Hofstadter very thoroughly, but I have perused some of his work and I enjoy and recommend him. He whets the appetite for something more, which is a good thing. He stirs the passion of the subject… What am I? After reading large chunks of I am a Strange Loop, I [more …]
This section contains excerpts of books I am reading or have read and perhaps even some stream of consciousness notes I have taken while reading these books.
In the preface of his book, Everything and More: A Compact History of Infinity, the late David Foster Wallace talks about the power of abstraction to suck you into an abyss of insanity. Mathematicians, who deal in pure abstraction, are more prone to insanity than poets and artists, he claims. Trying to define the mathematical [more …]
The following excerpts are taken from the book, “A Short History of Nearly Everything”. These are truly awesome statements.
Astronomers these days can do the most amazing things. If someone struck a match on the Moon, they could spot the flare.
With their radio telescopes they can capture wisps of radiation so preposterously faint that the TOTAL amount of energy collected from outside the solar system by all of them together since collecting began in 1951 is “less than the energy of a single snowflake striking the ground,” in the words of Carl Sagan.