Worth it, Even if You Don’t Understand it All

Godel, Escher, Bach book coverDouglas Hofstadter won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for his book, Gödel, Escher, Bach. It is an exploration of thought and creativity through examining common threads in the music of Bach, the art of Escher and the mathematical theories of Gödel. Hofstadter then takes his observations on human thought and extends them to the possibility of artificial intelligence. It is 800-plus pages of cognitive science and the philosophy of self as illustrated through art and music. There are times when it feels dated, like when Hofstadter mentions LPs or the idea that a computer could never beat a human at chess, but as a whole, G.E.B. is still the gold star book on the nature of human consciousness.