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Adrian

Gödel, Escher, Bach

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What a powerhouse of a book this is. It's impossible to describe the book because in some weird way the more you try to narrow it down, the more the book escapes you. I'd start by saying it's about maths, art and music, but as somebody said, "That's like saying The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is about a cupboard."

 

I couldn't find the "Crab Canon" that I posted the first time I started this thread (BGO lost a lot of posts in a crash), so here's an article he wrote about the letter A, specifically about typefaces and the way the brain recognises things:

 

on seeing A's and seeing As

 

Or here if the above doesn't work:

 

http://www.stanford.edu/group/SHR/4-2/text/hofstadter.html

 

hofstadteranj0.gif

 

Hofstadter was interviewed by Karen Green in the book House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski.

 

ETA: Something wrong with the link. Hopefully fixed now.

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Found the Crab Canon for those who enjoy wordplay, mastery of the English language and that strange enjoyability of playing with language.

 

Glad elder son enjoyed it, megustaleer. Did he get the tattoo as a direct result of reading the book?! I fancy the idea of a tattoo of Escher's Drawing Hands but done as if it was a pair of tattooists tattooing the image of Escher's Drawing Hands onto my skin.

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Adrian, I get an Address Not Valid message for your first link, which I'd be interested in reading when I have a bit more time. I don't think that's something that would be a problem just with my machine.

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Glad elder son enjoyed it,

I'm thinking of a future gift - maybe Christmas, or more likely his next birthday.
Did he get the tattoo as a direct result of reading the book?!
I don't know, I have to find out if he has read it - which is why I might not give it to him as a Christmas present
I fancy the idea of a tattoo of Escher's Drawing Hands but done as if it was a pair of tattooists tattooing the image of Escher's Drawing Hands onto my skin.
That would be a great tattoo, but quite a lot of work. ES (who was only 17 at the time) had a very simple - and possibly simplified - line drawing done, no shading. He found that more than painful enough. I can't remember exactly what it is, it's years since I've seen it

:D

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I hate Macromedia Flash. It forces its own rules on a website, and generally designers go overboard and the site is so annoying I just close the page.

 

Unfortunately, an otherwise great typeface creation site uses it, which I wouldn't mind for the creation of a typeface but you even need it to see the typeface that results. They're just static images of letters and numbers: why should I have to have Flash?

 

Anyway, enough of my pointless ranting and onto the typefaces. I liked horrorhouse

 

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" style="width:570px; height:90px;" data="http://fontstruct.fontshop.com/widget.swf">

<param name="movie" value="http://fontstruct.fontshop.com/widget.swf" />

<param name="wmode" value="opaque" />

<param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" />

<param name="flashvars" value="d=dD0wJmFtcDtmPTY0NTgw" />

</object>

 

and Shadowmask Gridified

 

<object type="application/x-shockwave-flash" style="width:570px; height:90px;" data="http://fontstruct.fontshop.com/widget.swf">

<param name="movie" value="http://fontstruct.fontshop.com/widget.swf" />

<param name="wmode" value="opaque" />

<param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" />

<param name="flashvars" value="d=dD0wJmFtcDtmPTc4NDA0" />

</object>

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This looks so interesting, Adrian. I have a book about Escher but it mainly shows his interesting drawings. And my elder son loves him, too. So, if not a Christmas present for meg's son, maybe for mine.

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I replied to the first post Adrian posted on this book and am an owner of the book (as opposed to someone who has read it all). I've been a huge fan of Escher for years (a tattoo isn't a bad idea!!) and that eventually led me to this book and I totally love it. I'd be lying if I said I understood it all or even half of it but in any case, I can still recommend it for anyone vaguely interested in either Escher's works or books like '1089 and all that' because the ideas it expresses are so mind-boggling interesting. I think our society does far too much specialisation and I love that this book brings disciplines back together in a modern renaissance humanism way.

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It was the Escher aspect that drew me to the book in the first place (rather than Gödel or Bach) as I've been a fan of his works from a young age. And you're spot on in that you don't have to understand every part of the book. I'd rather read something like this than a dumbed-down everyman book.

 

And I agree too on the wide-ranging nature of the book. That he manages to write intelligently and in an approachable manner on so many topics, whilst also tying them all back together in some way, in quite astonishing.

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