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Godel's Proof

Ernest Nagel, James R. Newman, Douglas R. Hofstadter · 1 HN comments
HN Books has aggregated all Hacker News stories and comments that mention "Godel's Proof" by Ernest Nagel, James R. Newman, Douglas R. Hofstadter.
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Amazon Summary
An accessible explanation of Kurt Gödel's groundbreaking work in mathematical logic In 1931 Kurt Gödel published his fundamental paper, "On Formally Undecidable Propositions of Principia Mathematica and Related Systems." This revolutionary paper challenged certain basic assumptions underlying much research in mathematics and logic. Gödel received public recognition of his work in 1951 when he was awarded the first Albert Einstein Award for achievement in the natural sciences―perhaps the highest award of its kind in the United States. The award committee described his work in mathematical logic as "one of the greatest contributions to the sciences in recent times." However, few mathematicians of the time were equipped to understand the young scholar's complex proof. Ernest Nagel and James Newman provide a readable and accessible explanation to both scholars and non-specialists of the main ideas and broad implications of Gödel's discovery. It offers every educated person with a taste for logic and philosophy the chance to understand a previously difficult and inaccessible subject. New York University Press is proud to publish this special edition of one of its bestselling books. With a new introduction by Douglas R. Hofstadter, this book will appeal students, scholars, and professionals in the fields of mathematics, computer science, logic and philosophy, and science.
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Surprised to see Permutation City in that list. Given that the book is written in 1994, Gregg displays admirable prescience about how computing would develop. Honestly you would think it was written in the last 5 years or so. His vision of cloud computing is absolutely outstanding. It blew me away when I checked when the book was written after reading the first few chapters.

I'd read Schild's Ladder prior to reading Permutation city, which is also a good read. It does seem to get bogged down in the technical and descriptive side of things at times, however, it's a fantastic idea for a story. The main premise of the film would make a great movie.

Whilst I'm on the subject of good "Hard sci-fi" novels, Tau Zero is also worth reading.

Edit - I'll also throw this in:

Magic :-)

Read the Orthogonal trilogy. I think it may be Egan's best work.

Although it's more like Schild's Ladder than Permutation City, I suppose. (Physics ideas rather than computation.)

Cloud computing isn't really anything new. Back in the day they just called them "servers". And clients were "dumb terminals".
If you like Permutation City, you might also enjoy another of Egan's works, Diaspora.

"Since the Introdus in the twenty-first century, humanity has reconfigured itself drastically. Most chose immortality, joining the polises to become conscious software. Others opted for gleisners: disposable, renewable robotic bodies that remain in contact with the physical world of force and friction. Many of these have left the solar system forever in fusion-drive starships.

And there are the holdouts: the fleshers left behind in the muck and jungle of Earth—some devolved into dream apes, others cavorting in the seas or the air—while the statics and bridgers try to shape out a roughly human destiny."

Egan's books have been some of the most thought-provoking I've ever read as far as science fiction technology. A lot of the works were out of print until recently; I'm glad to see there's been a resurgence of interest in his writing, and the availability of his works.

Another Egan book well worth reading is Schild's Ladder, which reminds me a lot of Diaspora and was recently reissued in the US:

Those are all great, in fact I'd recommend reading pretty much all of his books. I've got a shelf full of them. :)
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