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Monday, May 30, 2011

M381 mathematical logic - or Escher, Goedel, Bach - Revisited

Although I believe the academic world is at least as closed as it always has been, the access to ( mathematical knowledge ) is ( almost ) a level playing field for those in and those outside the thick walls of academia. All thanks to the development of Internet. Some people say we live in a short period of a truly free Internet that once the technology stabilizes ( whenever that will be ) more and more sites will become accessible to the elite only. A bit like today's access to scientific journals for example, which give professors a six month to a year lead.

To the point: I still haven't watched the MIT video-series 'Gödel, Escher, Bach: A Mental Space Odyssey' because it is stored in Real format and I don't want to install Real with it's bogus Adware. But these files play well in VLC Media Player which is my favorite media player. Now is the time to watch these videos, I suppose. In the middle of doing M381 mathematical logic. Now that I have two ( real ) books on the subject the Open University booklets seem so much more accessible. In retrospect I think that M208 is an extremely difficult course IF you go by the booklets alone. Enough said over that subject.

I noticed that understanding a mathematical topic is something continuous it's not a discrete 'I get it' versus 'I don't get it'. The Jigsaw pieces are slowly getting on their right place and the image becomes clearer every day, Goedel's Incompleteness Theorems. I remember that when I read Hofstadter's book that I thought that he was an absolute genius ( he might be ) and that it was impossible for me to =ever= understand Goedel at a mathematical level. And now, years later, I am getting closer to that every day. I still have this idea about unreachable highs of mathematical knowledge represented by mountains disappearing in the clouds. I am far from the mountains on low ground. As long as I keep walking I must get there one day.

MIT video, six lectures on GEB.

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