This is a series on the book * Gödel, Escher, Bach: An eternal golden braid * by Douglas Hofstadter.

Earlier diaries are here

Today, we will look at * Prelude *, p. 275 - 284.

From the Overview:

This dialogue attaches to the next one. They are based on preludes and fugues from Bach's

Well Tempered Clavier. Achilles and the Tortoise bring a present to the Crab, who has a guest: The Anteater. The present turns out to be a recording of the WTC; it is immediately put on.

As they listen to a prelude, they discuss the structure of preludes and fugues, which leads Achilles to ask how to hear a fugue, as a whole, or as a sum of parts? This is the debate between holism and reductionism, which is taken up in theAnt Fugue

Some questions and comments to get the ball rolling:

p. 277 - bottom - **all** integers appear somewhere in the decimal expansion of pi.

p. 278 - bottom - Achilles' last statement on this page seems dubious.

p. 279 - top - the 'calculations involving the motions of all the molecules' is done in by two things: First, no computer is big enough; second, quantum mechanics.

- the Tortoise's statement just after the formula is an isomorphism to Fermat's notation in the margin.

- middle - Achilles statement about EITHER working - well, if either works why continue?

p 282 - top - a fugue is an isomorphism to an anthill

## Comment Preferences