Last year I pointed to MIT’s programme dedicated to Douglas Hofstadter’sÂ GÃ¶del, Escher, Bachâ€”the Pulitzer Prize-winning book on cognition that defies categorisation.
Just to update you on GEB news; MIT have now produced a series of video lectures dedicated to the book. (6 lectures, each approx. 1 hour in length.)
(I have a sort of love-hate relationship with GEB: I know I’m going to love it, but I hate the fact that for the last 18 months the book’s been staring at me, tempting me to pick it up, while I’ve been getting through my book ‘backlog’.)
I was introduced toÂ Stephen Kinsellaâ€”Junior Lecturer in Economics at Kemmy Business School, University of Limerickâ€”through his beautiful looking economics presentations available on SlideShare.Â Of course, the problem with (the majority of) beautiful presentations is that they lack context and thus, without a voiceover, end up being a confusing set of beautiful pictures with scant text.
Not to worry; Kinsella’s economics lectures are also available on Vimeo.
In seven videos, each between 9 and 19 minutes in length, some of Stanford’s best researchers discuss cutting-edge cognitive science research.
Learn about the frontiers of human health from seven of Stanford’s most innovative faculty members. Inspired by a format used at the TED Conference, each speaker delivers a highly engaging talk in just 10–20 minutes about his or her research. Learn about Stanford’s newest and most exciting discoveries in neuroscience, bioengineering, brain imaging, psychology, and more.
via Mind Hacks
On a large number of ‘best of’ or ‘books that changed my life’ lists I always spot GÃ¶del, Escher, Bach (GEB), the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Douglas Hofstadter.
When my copy arrived at my door recently I was taken aback by this tome and realised that it was going to be a dense read that will needâ€”and hopefully rewardâ€”all of my attention. As with similar books, I will undertake background research and reading first so that I can fully appreciate all the concepts contained within.
This is when I found MIT’s ‘special programme’ specifically based on the book. While it doesn’t provide a wealth of useful, supplementary material (much like the Wikipedia entry), it does mention some good Bach pieces to accompany your reading.
Quantum Physics Made Relatively Easy:
In 1999, legendary theoretical physicist Hans Bethe delivered three lectures on quantum theory to his neighbors at the Kendal of Ithaca retirement community (near Cornell University). Given by Professor Bethe at age 93, the lectures are presented here as QuickTime videos synchronized with slides of his talking points and archival material.
Freeman Dyson called Bethe the “supreme problem solver of the 20th century.” Coming from Dyson, that’s praise indeed.