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Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid

Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter is a truly unique book. It’s hard to explain exactly what it is about because Hofstadter brings in a multitude of themes. The most prevalent is the origins of intelligence and how intelligence can arise from inanimate matter. Hofstadter weaves in Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, the imagery of Escher and the works of Bach.

Gödel, Escher, Bach is a long read that alternates perfectly between the deep and technical subject matter and easy and lighthearted explanations. All the chapters are generally preceded by a tale that should illustrate the principle. These tales are great to read and introduces the concept to come in an easygoing manner. Then comes the concept itself which can be Gödel’s incompleteness theorem, or how the brain works. I must admit I did not completely understand this book. It is dense and detailed and I think it’s one of these books that keep revealing new details on each reading. Hofstadter has done a magnificent job putting in puns, double meanings (isomorphism) and detail in this book, that I think it is hard to comprehend in the first reading. I would really recommend this book if you are interested in philosophy, artificial intelligence or simply want to challenge yourself.

5 out of 5 stars.