Autodidact: self-taught



by V. L. Craven

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.

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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