01 January 2004

New Year's Day

Can't do much at work today, since there's almost nobody else around - nobody to answer some of the questions I need answering, in any case. So I finished reading a book I've been working through on and off throughout the intersemester gap, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter (sometimes referred to simply as "GEB").

The book is about a lot of things, but I think it's mostly about artifical intelligence. I had to admit, I was disappointed. I've run across references to this book constantly, almost invariably hearing it held up with high praise. But I didn't find it engaging. Perhaps I was too lazy to put the effort into really appreciating it, because there are fairly lengthy sections of simple computer code used to demonstrate various points, and I just wasn't interested enough to work through them in detail.

I did find several points of note, though. One of the funniest to me was,,, well earlier in this journal I've occasionally referred to Zen's Law of Time: "Everything takes longer than you expect." Now, I must bow to my elders, since page 152 of GEB contains Hofstatder's Law: "It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstatder's Law."

Contrary to proverb, I think there is something new under the sun, but my law of time wasn't it. Dang.

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