Autodidact: self-taught



by V. L. Craven

G Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter
01. The topic is about the relation between reasoning, reasoning about reasoning, reasoning about reasoning about reasoning, and so on. It parallels, in a way, Zeno’s paradoxes about the impossibility of motion, seeming to show, by using infinite regress, that reasoning is impossible.
02. [About Godel’s self-referential construction and of his Incompleteness Theorem.] One of the paraphrases of the Theorem says, ‘For each record player there is a record which it cannot play.’
03. Quaerendo invenietis. –By seeking, you will discover.
04. The telltale sign of a fugue is the way it begins; with a single voice singing its theme. When it is done, than a second voice enters, either five scale-notes up, or four down. Meanwhile, the first voice goes on, singing the ‘countersubject': a secondary theme, chosen to provide the rhythmic, harmonic, and melodic contrasts to the subject.

G Gracefully Insane: Life and Death Inside America’s Premier Mental Hospital   by Alex Beam
-01- In large part, the story of McLean is the story of an idea that originated in Europe at the end of the eighteenth century. The idea was that a relaxed life in a pastoral setting would go a long way toward alleviating the suffering of the mentally ill.
-02- The rule seemed to be that the crazier you were the better you talked but the worse you wrote.
-03- It was all quite simple, in the end. Figure out what society deems to be sane behaviour and copy it.
-04- [Comments from a person who was committed to McLean in the 60s when he was a teenager.] You look for people who are intelligent, who are rebellious and pissed off, who at least have a sense of humour. … a lot of them are substance-abuse people, like alcoholics, because they’re all smarter, believe it or not, and they’re funnier, they’re more intelligent. I think they’re so smart and they see through things so clearly that they have to take something to blot it out. [This reminds me of the premise behind How I Became Stupid by Martin Page.]

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