What I’m reading…intellectual stuff

A little light reading I’m doing:

Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern by Douglas R. Hofstadter. In case you thought I my last few posts were boring and downright frivolous. Yeah, I know, they were.

I bought this book in my early 20s and it’s survived 3 moves. It’s taken me over a decade to really get into. I was just sort of vaguely interested in it once upon a time and never really had the time to get really into it. I think, in a major way, having access to high speed internet has been integral to understanding the book’s content a little better, since if I don’t understand something, a few keystrokes later, I can, for instance, call up a youtube video of Chopin’s Etude in C major from Opus 10, and hear it and “get” what the author is saying (aside from the fact you can actually see the pattern of the written notes, it’s still more interesting to hear the complexity of sounds), or quickly see many examples of what an ambigram is. My personal favorite being the one from the cover of the 20th anniversary edition of the Princess Bride DVD. (Flip the image 180 degrees and it’s reads the same). Similar to a palindrome but different.

In this collection of articles my favorites (so far) are self-referential statements (“This sentence has no period”); the intricate pattern in music such as Chopin’s piano Etudes; tesselations; ambigrams. There’s even a detailed discussion of the Rubik’s cube.

I consider myself to be a sampler of knowledge rather than a diver. I like how I can read something and be spurred to look up those things to come back to the original text at some point.

For instance, I have been interested in finding the intersection of math and art – examples can be found in quilting, in mandalas, in tesselations, in MC Escher’s works, and in music.

I also didn’t see the big picture for math and patterns in school. They are everywhere. Here’s a great link exploring patterns in nature, in art, music and in math.

I’m having fun exploring on my timetable different concepts, just wondering, reading here and there (in between taking care of the girls).

I’m not sure where I’m going with it. It’s just something I’ve been drawn to lately. I know things like these affect how I think about learning and that technology can definitely facilitate understanding.

Hopefully I can come up with some posts regarding some of the connections I find in things.

My husband thinks I’m a bit odd to think about very strange things, but hey, I’m a bored housewife/mom. What else does my brain have to do?

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