<<< Breathless Agony


the inevitability factor >>>

GEB day

Sunday,  05/05/24  06:25 PM

After yesterday's ride today was all about taking it easy, and messing around.  A nice quiet Sunday.  I messed around with my 3D printer.  I re-spliced my C-15 mainsheet.  I watched the Giro while doing a [slow, easy] ride on Zwift. And I read a little.

In this connection would note, I've had a Makerbot Replicator 2 for (checks search) 11 years now, and man is it awesome.  Together with Tinkercad - which used to be a separate company, but is now owned by Adobe, who thankfully have left it up and running and amazing - you can think of something, design it, and make it.  Like coding with atoms instead of bits.  So great.

People ask me all the time: "so what do you make with it"?  Um, all sorts of stuff.  Not only the Tesla Model S center console shown at right, but for example a GoPro extension arm as shown at left.

Oh, and this waterproof rendition of a 505 tuning grid.  Lots of useful stuff.

Anyway I wanted to talk about Godel, Escher Bach, my favorite book, aka GEB.

I had this phrase in my mind from the book, about Godel's Theorem, and I wanted to look it up.

I own the book in physical form - a battered much-read paperback of 1,000 pages - but how to look something up?  This amazing book was published in 1979, before Kindles, before the Internet even.  Yeah.  And so no, it cannot be found online.

Oh yeah?  Because I googled* and found it; someone [in Switzerland!] has posted the entire book as a PDF!  Wow.  And so I found the phrase, but also, I started to re-read the book from the online PDF.  Yay.  The experience is pretty un-Kindle-like but not horrible.  So cool.

* BTW when I write "googled", I mean with a lower case "g", as in "aka searching online"; I actually use Perplexity now as my default search engine (in Chrome!) and haven't looked back.  But Perplexity does not verbify as well as Google.

Last note of this day: Daniel Dennett has passed away.  He was one of my very favorite authors, and wrote two of my very favorite books, Consciousness Explained (1991), and Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995).  More recently he was an active participant in the online discussions about AI and theories of self.  Way back in 1991 the idea that consciousness could be explained by evolution was radical, but now, with ChatGPT and indeed Perplexity in our everyday lives, it's not so hard to believe.  He saw far and explained much.