Hofstadter

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weitsicht
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Hofstadter

Post by weitsicht » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:29 pm

I bravely commenced my lecture on Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach. 791 pages ahead.

I have just by coincidence found that book 9 months ago, was looking for what buddhist philosophy and the concept of paradox have in common. Being aware that a good share of this forum's participants are wee older than I am, you may have experienced the hype about it when it was first published in 1979? I'd be curious to see how you perceived that book or what you remember of it.
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

Miroku
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Re: Hofstadter

Post by Miroku » Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:39 pm

weitsicht wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:29 pm
I bravely commenced my lecture on Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach. 791 pages ahead.

I have just by coincidence found that book 9 months ago, was looking for what buddhist philosophy and the concept of paradox have in common. Being aware that a good share of this forum's participants are wee older than I am, you may have experienced the hype about it when it was first published in 1979? I'd be curious to see how you perceived that book or what you remember of it.
Honestly, I kinda hoped this was going to be about The Big Bang Theory... :spy:
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.

~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

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weitsicht
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Re: Hofstadter

Post by weitsicht » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:47 pm

Wanna guess how Leonard got his name?
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

smcj
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Re: Hofstadter

Post by smcj » Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:54 pm

...was looking for what buddhist philosophy and the concept of paradox have in common.
I’ve always suspected that “interdependent origination” was better translated as “paradox”.
I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.

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Dan74
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Re: Hofstadter

Post by Dan74 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:08 pm

I remember that book and remember finding it fun. Not sure how much it has to do with Buddhism. Lots of cool logical puzzles, patterns and self-references. Dennett's philosophy is rather dry though, from memory..

Miroku
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Re: Hofstadter

Post by Miroku » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:03 pm

weitsicht wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:47 pm
Wanna guess how Leonard got his name?
Before this thread it would be a more interesting guess. :D
A boat delivers you to the other riverbank.
A needle stitches up your clothes.
A horse takes you where you want to go.
Bodhicitta will bring you to Buddhahood.

~ Khunu Lama Rinpoche

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: Hofstadter

Post by Kim O'Hara » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:10 pm

Dan74 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:08 pm
I remember that book and remember finding it fun. Not sure how much it has to do with Buddhism. Lots of cool logical puzzles, patterns and self-references. ...
:thumbsup:
That's just about what I would have said.
As for "what buddhist philosophy and the concept of paradox have in common," all that I remember from this distance is that it helped shake us loose from our certainties, loosen our confidence in "the truth" and the power of logic. That's not a lot to get out of such a long book but if the book is fun anyway, then why not ...

:reading:
Kim

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kirtu
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Re: Hofstadter

Post by kirtu » Wed Sep 12, 2018 11:44 pm

weitsicht wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:29 pm
I bravely commenced my lecture on Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach. 791 pages ahead.

I have just by coincidence found that book 9 months ago, was looking for what buddhist philosophy and the concept of paradox have in common. Being aware that a good share of this forum's participants are wee older than I am, you may have experienced the hype about it when it was first published in 1979? I'd be curious to see how you perceived that book or what you remember of it.
I didn't read it in 1979 and have never read it completely. It is very basic computer science (speaking as a person with a computer science background) and it represents primarily the production rule branch of artificial intelligence not terribly well (and I also have a background in fielded production systems broadly for military intelligence support purposes).

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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weitsicht
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Re: Hofstadter

Post by weitsicht » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:50 am

Well Kirt, I guess very basic computer science does not quite cover it. But if that is your memory, possibly that is under which focus your thinking was these days.

The book is about self-referentiality, braids, modulation of themes, recombination, possibly even how cognition works.
It also applies Koans, existing and new ones.

This is one of the more famous Escher drawings
hand Escher.jpg
hand Escher.jpg (13.61 KiB) Viewed 364 times
Ho! All the possible appearances and existences of samsara and nirvana have the same source, yet two paths and two results arise as the magical display of awareness and unawareness.
HO NANG SRI KHOR DAE THAMCHE KUN ZHI CHIG LAM NYI DRAE BU NYI RIG DANG MA RIG CHOM THRUL TE

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kirtu
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Re: Hofstadter

Post by kirtu » Thu Sep 13, 2018 11:57 pm

weitsicht wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:50 am
Well Kirt, I guess very basic computer science does not quite cover it. But if that is your memory, possibly that is under which focus your thinking was these days.

The book is about self-referentiality, braids, modulation of themes, recombination, possibly even how cognition works.
You really don't understand.

It is not about "possibly even how cognition works" it is exactly a presentation of how cognition works and as I mentions is very basic computer science with a focus on artificial intelligence and all for a lay audience. And "self-referentiality, braids, modulation of themes, recombination" are essentially how Hofstadter is presenting the material (self-referentiality = recursion, recombination = genetic algorithms, what you are calling modulation of themes is a combination of production systems and abstraction and he is heavily focused on search as well).

He presents a very basic version of these themes for the layperson. Look for all the lisp code.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

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Re: Hofstadter

Post by DGA » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:47 am

Dan74 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:08 pm
I remember that book and remember finding it fun. Not sure how much it has to do with Buddhism. Lots of cool logical puzzles, patterns and self-references. Dennett's philosophy is rather dry though, from memory..
Agree on Dennett. Dry in the sense of being limited or feeling constricted.

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Wayfarer
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Re: Hofstadter

Post by Wayfarer » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:54 am

I've had that book since the 1970's. I would like to like it, but Hofstader is, unfortunately, a scientific materialist. At the end of the day, we're kind of chemical entities that just happened to have been spat out by a physical process, and he's working out how it appears to be otherwise. That's what he has in common with Dennett. Such types claim to be 'humanists' but they're actually anti-humanist. (Don't start me.)
Only practice with no gaining idea ~ Suzuki Roshi

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