In my notebook I jotted, Indiana, the Blank State. It was an Escher print, a recursive geometric puzzle receding to a blurred horizon, a metaphor for infinity. My feeble punning efforts made me appreciate punny-man Hofstadter all the more. For him, the world is a cosmic, multidimensional pun seething with meanings.
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Or the image of two hands each drawing the other. An image of a hand drawing a hand seems to imply the first hand is in a world above the drawn hand.
Hofstadter admitted, when I interviewed him for the Barbican project, that the book was going to have an academic title about the human brain that did not refer to Escher or Bach.
But when his father read the first draft he complained that there were no pictures. Thus Escher is there to help the reader see the concept of a strange loop.
One strand of our triptych at the Barbican explores visual feedback in an interactive installation created by the artist Ben Kreukniet. There are interesting examples of strange loops in sound.
An illusion called a Shepard tone consists of notes that seem to get higher and higher in pitch yet never seem to go beyond audible frequencies.
The sound is looped but the frequencies are cleverly chosen to given an illusion of the pitch continually climbing. Bach uses a similar idea in a variation in The Musical Offering. The theme seems to repeat itself, climbing a note higher each time it is played.
Yet at a certain point the theme hits the octave and the piece sounds as if it is beginning again. The variations that make up The Musical Offering illustrate how Bach loved to use algorithms to create complex music from a simple theme. Indeed, I like to call Bach the first musical coder. I have been exploring this idea in my new book The Creativity Code. And, in the second part of the Barbican triptych on 9 March we will explore whether an audience can tell the difference between music created by humans or AI, with the help of harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani.
Ever since the time of the ancient Greeks we have been taking true statements about numbers and giving logical proofs about their truth. It was thought that if a statement about numbers were true, then there would always be a proof of that. Called the incompleteness theorem , it revealed limits to what mathematics can know.
Intelligence, Art, Music, and Life are a Strange Loop: Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
Also, discussion on the strange loops with this theorem. Also, some other examples by Escher regarding loops. Also, thoughts on the extreme complexity of the world. Some discussion on a collective intelligence and some thoughts on us being a part of a collective intelligence, as well. Also, thoughts on our memory, data storage, and how it relates to constructing intelligence and consciousness.
I am a strange loop
As the brain goes, so goes the mind, they say. This leads him to some very fruitful ways of looking at consciousness. Certainly there is a world of difference between the Old Master himself and a folio of his sheet music lying waiting to be played. Poetically speaking, Bach, Mozart, Shakespeare, Plato, Socrates and our loved ones can live on through us insofar as we can see the world through their eyes. Immortality by proxy may not be what most of us have in mind when we think about life after death, but it seems to me Hofstadter is on to something very profound. We are all like Scheherazade, the queen narrating the Arabian Nights, who postponed her execution by seducing the king with one fantastic tale after another. Yet who — or what — is doing this storytelling?
Can AI become conscious? Bach, Escher and Gödel's 'strange loops' may have the answer
This page was last edited on 23 Februaryat May Learn how and when to remove this template message. The details of how to accomplish this are difficult, but the idea is easy. Paradoxes Auditory illusions Optical illusions. Feb 14, Xtrange rated it it was ok. Why would evolution have allowed this strong sense of our own consciousness to use up so much of our mental energy if it was just a figment of our imagination? Hofatadterstrange loopsintelligence.
The Cognitive Scientist: Strange Loops All The Way Down | Chapter Two
Definitions[ edit ] A strange loop is a hierarchy of levels, each of which is linked to at least one other by some type of relationship. A strange loop hierarchy is "tangled" Hofstadter refers to this as a " heterarchy " , in that there is no well defined highest or lowest level; moving through the levels, one eventually returns to the starting point, i. Examples of strange loops that Hofstadter offers include: many of the works of M. Escher , the Canon 5. In I Am a Strange Loop , Hofstadter defines strange loops as follows: And yet when I say "strange loop", I have something else in mind — a less concrete, more elusive notion. What I mean by "strange loop" is — here goes a first stab, anyway — not a physical circuit but an abstract loop in which, in the series of stages that constitute the cycling-around, there is a shift from one level of abstraction or structure to another, which feels like an upwards movement in a hierarchy, and yet somehow the successive "upward" shifts turn out to give rise to a closed cycle.