Preface to GEB's Twentieth-anniversary Edition
So what is this book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid—usually known by its acronym, "GEB"— really all about? That question has hounded me ever since I was scribblin its first drafts in !en, way back in "#$%& 'riends would inquire, of course, what I was so ri!!ed by, but I was hard !ressed to e(!lain it concisely& ) few years later, in "#*+, when GEB found itself for a while on the bestseller list of The New York Times, the obli atory one-sentence summary !rinted underneath the title said the followin , for several weeks runnin , -) scientist ar ues that reality is a system of interconnected braids&- )fter I !rotested vehemently about this utter ho wash, they finally substituted somethin a little better, .ust barely accurate enou h to kee! me from howlin a ain& /any !eo!le think the title tells it all, a book about a mathematician, an artist, and a musician& 0ut the most casual look will show that these three individuals per se, au ust thou h they undeniably are, !lay but tiny roles in the book1s content& There1s no way the book is about those three !eo!le2 3ell, then, how about describin GEB as -a book that shows how math, art, and music are really all the same thin at their core-? ) ain, this is a million miles off—and yet I1ve heard it over and over a ain, not only from nonreaders but also from readers, even very ardent readers, of the book& )nd in bookstores, I have run across GEB racin the shelves of many diverse sections, includin not only math, eneral science, !hiloso!hy, and co nitive science 4which are all fine5, but also reli ion, the occult, and 6od knows what else& 3hy is it so hard to fi ure out what this book is about? 7ertainly it1s not .ust its len th& 8o, it must be in !art that GEB delves, and not .ust su!erficially, into so many motley to!ics—fu ues and canons, lo ic and truth, eometry, recursion, syntactic structures, the nature of meanin , 9en 0uddhism, !arado(es, brain and mind, reductionism and holism, ant colonies, conce!ts and mental re!resentations, translation, com!uters and their lan ua es, :8), !roteins, the enetic code, artificial intelli ence, creativity, consciousness and free will—sometimes even art and music, of all thin s2—that many !eo!le find it im!ossible to locate the core focus&

The Key Images and Ideas that Lie at the Core of GEB
8eedless to say, this wides!read confusion has been quite frustratin to over the years, since I felt sure I had s!elled out my aims over and over in the te(t itself& 7learly, however, I didn1t do it sufficiently often, or sufficiently clearly& 0ut since now I1ve ot the chance to do it once more—and in a !rominent s!ot in the book, to boot—let me try one last time to say why I wrote this book, what it is about, and what its !rinci!al thesis is& In a word, GEB is a very !ersonal attem!t to say how it is that animate bein s can come out of inanimate matter& 3hat is a self, and how can a self come out of stuff that is as selfless as a stone or a !uddle? 3hat is an -I-, and why are such thin s found 4at least so far5 only in association with, as !oet ;ussell Edson once wonderfully !hrased it, -teeterin bulbs of dread and dream-—that is, only in association with certain kinds of

ooey lum!s encased in hard !rotective shells mounted ato! mobile !edestals that roam the world on !airs of sli htly fu<<y, .ointed stilts? GEB a!!roaches these questions by slowly buildin u! an analo y that likens inanimate molecules to meanin less symbols, and further likens selves 4or -I- 1s or -souls-, if you !refer—whatever it is that distin uishes animate from inanimate matter5 to certain s!ecial swirly, twisty, vorte(-like, and meaningful !atterns that arise only in !articular ty!es of systems of meanin less symbols& It is these stran e, twisty !atterns that the book s!ends so much time on, because they are little known, little a!!reciated, counterintuitive, and quite filled with mystery& )nd for reasons that should not be too difficult to fathom, I call such stran e, loo!y !atterns -stran e loo!s- throu hout the book, althou h in later cha!ters, I also use the !hrase -tan led hierarchies- to describe basically the same idea& This is in many ways why /& 7& Escher—or more !recisely, his art—is !rominent in the - olden braid-, because Escher, in his own s!ecial way, was .ust as fascinated as I am by stran e loo!s, and in fact he drew them in a variety of conte(ts, all wonderfully disorientin and fascinatin & 3hen I was first workin on my book, however, Escher was totally out of the !icture 4or out of the loo!, as we now say5= my workin title was the rather mundane !hrase -6>del1s Theorem and the ?uman 0rain-, and I ave no thou ht to insertin !arado(ical !ictures, let alone !layful dialo ues& It1s .ust that time and a ain, while writin about my notion of stran e loo!s, I would catch fleetin lim!ses of this or that Escher !rint flashin almost subliminally before my mind1s eye, and finally one day I reali<ed that these ima es were so connected in my own mind with the ideas that I was writin about that for me to de!rive my readers of the connection that I myself felt so stron ly would be nothin less than !erverse& )nd so Escher1s art was welcomed on board& )s for 0ach, I1ll come back to his entry into my -meta!horical fu ue on minds and machines- a little later& 0ack to stran e loo!s, ri ht now& GEB was ins!ired by my lon -held conviction that the -stran e loo!- notion holds the key to unravelin the mystery that we conscious bein s call -bein - or -consciousness-& I was first hit by this idea when, as a teen-a er, I found myself obsessedly !onderin the quintessential stran e loo! that lies at the core of the !roof of @urt 6>del1s famous incom!leteness theorem in mathematical lo ic—a rather arcane !lace, one mi ht well think, to stumble across the secret behind the nature of selves and -I-s, and yet I !ractically heard it screamin u! at me from the !a es of 8a el and 8ewman that this was what it was all about& This !reface is not the time and !lace to o into details—indeed, that1s why the tome you1re holdin was written, so it would be a bit !resum!tuous of me to think I could outdo its author in .ust these few !a es2—but one thin has to be said strai ht off, the 6>delian stran e loo! that arises in formal systems in mathematics i!e!, collections of rules for churnin out an endless series of mathematical truths solely by mechanical symbol-shuntin without any re ard to meanin s or ideas hidden in the sha!es bein mani!ulated5 is a loo! that allows such a system to -!erceive itself-, to talk about itself, to become -self-aware-, and in a sense it would not be oin too far to say that by virtue of havin such a loo!, a formal system ac"uires a self!

Meaningless Symbols Acquire Meaning

es!ite Themsel"es

3hat is so weird in this is that the formal systems where these skeletal -selvescome to e(ist are built out of nothin but meanin less symbols& The self, such as it is, arises solely because of a s!ecial ty!e of swirly, tan led pattern amon the meanin less symbols& 0ut now a confession, I am bein a bit coy when I re!eatedly ty!e the !hrase -meanin less symbols- 4as at the ends of both of the !revious sentences5, because a crucial !art of my book1s ar ument rests on the idea that meanin cannot be ke!t out of formal systems when sufficiently com!le( isomor!hisms arise& /eanin comes in des!ite one1s best efforts to kee! symbols meanin less2 Aet me re!hrase these last cou!le of sentences without usin the sli htly technical term -isomor!hism-& 3hen a system of -meanin less- symbols has !atterns in it that accurately track, or mirror, various !henomena in the world, then that trackin or mirrorin imbues the symbols with some de ree of meanin —indeed, such trackin or mirrorin is no less and no more than what meanin is& :e!endin on how com!le( and subtle and reliable the trackin is, different de rees of meanin fulness arise& I won1t o further into this here, for it1s a thesis that is taken u! quite often in the te(t, most of all in 7ha!ters B, C, D, #, and ""& 7om!ared to a ty!ical formal system, human lan ua e is unbelievably fluid and subtle in its !atterns of trackin reality, and for that reason the symbols in formal systems can seem quite arid= indeed, without too much trouble, one can look at them as totally devoid of meanin & 0ut then a ain, one can look at a news!a!er written in an unfamiliar writin system, and the stran e sha!es seem like nothin more than wondrously intricate but totally meanin less !atterns& Thus even human lan ua e, rich thou h it is, can be drained of its seemin si nificance& )s a matter of fact, there are still quite a few !hiloso!hers, scientists, and so forth who believe that !atterns of symbols per se 4such as books or movies or libraries or 7:;E/1s or com!uter !ro rams, no matter how com!le( or dynamic5 ne#er have meanin on their own, but that meanin instead, in some most mysterious manner, s!rin s only from the or anic chemistry, or !erha!s the quantum mechanics, of !rocesses that take !lace in carbon-based biolo ical brains& )lthou h I have no !atience with this !arochial, bio-chauvinistic view, I nonetheless have a !retty clear sense of its intuitive a!!eal& Tryin to don the hat of a believer in the !rimacy, indeed the uniqueness, of brains, I can see where such !eo!le are comin from& Such !eo!le feel that some kind of -semantic ma ic- takes !lace only inside our -teeterin bulbs-, somewhere behind !airs of eyeballs, even thou h they can never quite !ut their fin er on how or why this is so= moreover, they believe that this semantic ma ic is what is res!onsible for the e(istence of human selves, souls, consciousness, -I-s& )nd I, as a matter of fact, quite a ree with such thinkers that selves and semantics—in other words, that me1s and meanin s—do s!rin from one and the same source= where I take issue with these !eo!le is over their contention that such !henomena are due entirely to some s!ecial, thou h as yet undiscovered, !ro!erties of the microsco!ic hardware of brains& )s I see it, the only way of overcomin this ma ical view of what -I- and consciousness are is to kee! on remindin oneself, un!leasant thou h it may seem, that the -teeterin bulb of dread and dream- that nestles safely inside one1s own cranium is a !urely !hysical ob.ect made u! of com!letely sterile and inanimate com!onents, all of

which obey e(actly the same laws as those that overn all the rest of the universe, such as !ieces of te(t, or 7:-;E/1s, or com!uters& Enly if one kee!s on bashin u! a ainst this disturbin fact can one slowly be in to develo! a feel for the way out of the mystery of consciousness, that the key is not the stuff out of which brains are made, but the patterns that can come to e(ist inside the stuff of a brain& This is a liberatin shift, because it allows one to move to a different level of considerin what brains are, as media that su!!ort com!le( !atterns that mirror, albeit far from !erfectly, the world, of which, needless to say, those brains are themselves deni<ens —and it is in the inevitable self-mirrorin that arises, however im!artial or im!erfect it may be, that the stran e loo!s of consciousness start to swirl&

Kurt G#del Smashes through Bertrand $ussell%s Maginot Line
I1ve .ust claimed that the shift of focus from material com!onents to abstract !atterns allows the quasi-ma ical lea! from inanimate to animate, from nonsemantic to semantic, from meanin less to meanin ful, to take !lace& 0ut how does this ha!!en? )fter all, not all .um!s from matter to !attern ive rise to consciousness or soul or self, quite obviously, in a word, not all !atterns are conscious& 3hat kind of !attern is it, then, that is the telltale mark of a self $ GEB's answer is, a stran e loo!& The irony is that the first stran e loo! ever found—and my model for the conce!t in eneral—was found in a system tailor%made to keep loopiness out! I s!eak of 0ertrand ;ussell and )lfred 8orth 3hitehead1s famous treatise &rincipia 'athematica, a i antic, forbiddin work laced with dense, !rickly symbolism fillin u! volume after volume, whose creation in the years "#"+-"#"% was s!arked !rimarily by its first author1s des!erate quest for a way to circumvent !arado(es of self-reference in mathematics& )t the heart of &rincipia 'athematica lay ;ussell1s so-called -theory of ty!es-, which, much like the rou hly contem!oraneous /a inot Aine, was desi ned to kee! -the enemy- out in a most staunch and waterti ht manner& 'or the 'rench, the enemy was 6ermany= for ;ussell, it was self-reference& ;ussell believed that for a mathematical system to be able to talk about itself in any way whatsoever was the kiss of death, for self-reference would—so he thou ht—necessarily o!en the door to self-contradiction, and thereby send all of mathematics crashin to the round& In order to forestall this dire fate, he invented an elaborate 4and infinite5 hierarchy of levels, all sealed off from each other in such a manner as to definitively—so he thou ht—block the dreaded virus of self-reference from infectin the fra ile system& It took a cou!le of decades, but eventually the youn )ustrian lo ician @urt 6>del reali<ed that ;ussell and 3hitehead1s mathematical /a inot Aine a ainst selfreference could be most deftly circumvented 4.ust as the 6ermans in 3orld 3ar II would soon wind u! deftly sideste!!in the real /a inot Aine5, and that self-reference not only had lurked from :ay Ene in &rincipia 'athematica, but in fact !la ued !oor &' in a totally unremovable manner& /oreover, as 6>del made brutally clear, this thorou h riddlin of the system by self-reference was not due to some weakness in &', but quite to the contrary, it was due to its strength! )ny similar system would have e(actly the same -defect-& The reason it had taken so lon for the world to reali<e this astonishin fact is that it de!ended on makin a lea! somewhat analo ous to that from a brain to a self, that famous lea! from inanimate constituents to animate !atterns&

'or 6>del, it all came into focus in "#%+ or so, thanks to a sim!le but wonderfully rich discovery that came to be known as -6>del numberin -—a ma!!in whereby the lon linear arran ements of strin s of symbols in any formal system are mirrored !recisely by mathematical relationshi!s amon certain 4usually astronomically lar e5 whole numbers& Fsin his ma!!in between elaborate !atterns of meanin less symbols 4to use that dubious term once a ain5 and hu e numbers, 6>del showed how a statement a(out any mathematical formal system 4such as the assertion that &rincipia 'athematica is contradiction-free5 can be translated into a mathematical statement inside number theory 4the study of whole numbers5& In other words, any metamathematical statement can be im!orted into mathematics, and in its new uise the statement sim!ly asserts 4as do all statements of number theory5 that certain whole numbers have certain !ro!erties or relationshi!s to each other& 0ut on another level, it also has a vastly different meanin that, on its surface, seems as far removed from a statement of number theory as would be a sentence in a :ostoevsky novel& 0y means of 6>del1s ma!!in , any formal system desi ned to s!ew forth truths about -mere- numbers would also wind u! s!ewin forth truths—inadvertently but ine(orably—about its own !ro!erties, and would thereby become -self-aware-, in a manner of s!eakin & )nd of all the clandestine instances of self-referentiality !la uin &' and brou ht to li ht by 6>del, the most concentrated doses lurked in those sentences that talked about their own 6>del numbers, and in !articular said some very odd thin s about themselves, such as -I am not !rovable inside &'"! )nd let me re!eat, such twistin -back, such loo!in -around, such sell enfoldin , far from bein an eliminable defect, was an inevitable by-!roduct of the system1s vast !ower& 8ot too sur!risin ly, revolutionary mathematical and !hiloso!hical consequences tumbled out of 6>del1s sudden revelation that self-reference abounded in the bosom of the bastion so carefully desi ned by ;ussell to kee! it out at all costs= the most famous such consequence was the so-called -essential incom!leteness- of formali<ed mathematics& That notion will be carefully covered in the cha!ters to come, and yet, fascinatin thou h it is, incom!leteness is not in itself central to GEB's thesis& 'or GEB, the most crucial as!ect of 6>del1s work is its demonstration that a statement1s meaning can have dee! consequences, even in a su!!osedly meanin less universe& Thus it is the meaning of 6>del1s sentence 6 4the one that asserts -6 is not !rovable inside &'-5 that uarantees that 6 is not !rovable inside &' 4which is !recisely what 6 itself claims5& It is as if the sentence1s hidden 6>delian meanin had some kind of !ower over the vacuous symbol-shuntin , meanin -im!ervious rules of the system, !reventin them from ever !uttin to ether a demonstration of 6, no matter what they do&

&!side-do'n Causality and the Emergence of an (I(
This kind of effect ives one a sense of cra<ily twisted, or u!side-down, causality& )fter all, shouldn1t meanin s that one chooses to read into strin s of meanin less symbols be totally without consequence? Even stran er is that the onl) reason sentence 6 is not !rovable inside &' is its self-referential meanin = indeed, it would seem that 6, bein a true statement about whole numbers, ought to be !rovable, but—thanks to its e(tra level of meanin as a statement about itself, assertin its own non!rovability—it is not&

Somethin very stran e thus emer es from the 6>delian loo!, the revelation of the causal !ower of meanin in a rule-bound but meanin -free universe& )nd this is where my analo y to brains and selves comes back in, su estin that the twisted loo! of selfhood tra!!ed inside an inanimate bulb called a -brain- also has causal !ower—or, !ut another way, that a mere !attern called -I- can shove around inanimate !articles in the brain no less than inanimate !articles in the brain can shove around !atterns& In short, an -I- comes about—in my view, at least—via a kind of vorte( whereby !atterns in a brain mirror the brain1s mirrorin of the world, and eventually mirror themselves, whereu!on the vorte( of -I- becomes a real, causal entity& 'or an im!erfect but vivid concrete analo ue to this curious abstract !henomenon, think of what ha!!ens when a TG camera is !ointed at a TG screen so as to dis!lay the screen on itself 4and that screen on itself, etc&5—what in GEB I called a -self-en ulfin television-, and in my later writin s I sometimes call a -level-crossin feedback loo!-& 3hen and only when such a loo! arises in a brain or in any other substrate, is a person—a unique new -I-—brou ht into bein & /oreover, the more self-referentially rich such a loo! is, the more conscious is the self to which it ives rise& Hes, shockin thou h this mi ht sound, consciousness is not an onIoff !henomenon, but admits of de rees, rades, shades& Er, to !ut it more bluntly, there are bi er souls and smaller souls&

Small-souled Men) Be'are*
I can1t hel! but recall, at this !oint, a horribly elitist but very droll remark by one of my favorite writers, the )merican -critic of the seven arts-, James ?uneker, in his scintillatin bio ra!hy of 'rKdKric 7ho!in, on the sub.ect of 7ho!in1s Ktude E!& BL, 8o& "" in ) minor, which for me, and for ?uneker, is one of the most stirrin and most sublime !ieces of music ever written, -Small-souled men, no matter how a ile their fin ers, should avoid it&-Small-souled men-?2 3hew2 :oes that !hrase ever run a ainst the rain of )merican democracy2 )nd yet, leavin aside its offensive, archaic se(ism 4a crime I, too, commit in GEB, to my reat re ret5, I would su est that it is only because we all tacitly do believe in somethin like ?uneker1s shockin distinction that most of us are willin to eat animals of one sort or another, to smash flies, swat mosquitoes, fi ht bacteria with antibiotics, and so forth& 3e enerally concur that -men- such as a cow, a turkey, a fro , and a fish all !ossess some s!ark of consciousness, some kind of !rimitive -soul-, but by 6od, it1s a ood deal smaller than ours is—and that, no more and no less, is why we -men- feel that we have the !erfect ri ht to e(tin uish the dim li hts in the heads of these fractionally-souled beasts and to obble down their once warm and wi lin , now chilled and stilled !roto!lasm with limitless usto, and not to feel a trace of uilt while doin so& Enou h sermoni<in 2 The real !oint here is that not all stran e loo!s ive rise to souls as rand and lorious as yours and mine, dear reader& Thus, for e(am!le, I would not want you or anyone else to walk away from readin all or !art of GEB, shake their head and say with sadness, -That weird ?ofstadter uy has convinced himself that ;ussell and 3hitehead1s &rincipia 'athematica is a conscious !erson with a soul2?orsefeathers2 0alderdash2 Po!!ycock2 6>del1s stran e loo!, thou h it is my !ara on for the conce!t, is nonetheless only the most bare-bones stran e loo!, and it resides in a system whose com!le(ity is !athetic, relative to that of an or anic brain& /oreover, a

formal system is static= it doesn1t chan e or row over time& ) formal system does not live in a society of other formal systems, mirrorin them inside itself, and bein mirrored in turn inside its -friends-& 3ell, I retract that last remark, at least a bit, any formal system as !owerful as &' does in fact contain models not .ust of itself but of an infinite number of other formal systems, some like it, some very much unlike it& That is essentially what 6>del reali<ed& 0ut still, there is no counter!art to time, no counter!art to develo!ment, let alone to birth and death& )nd so whatever I say about -selves- comin to e(ist in mathematical formal systems has to be taken with the !ro!er rain of salt& Stran e loo!s are an abstract structure that cro!s u! in various media and in varyin de rees of richness& GEB is in essence a lon !ro!osal of stran e loo!s as a meta!hor for how selfhood ori inates, a meta!hor by which to be in to rab a hold of .ust what it is that makes an -I- seem, at one and the same time, so terribly real and tan ible to its own !ossessor, and yet also so va ue, so im!enetrable, so dee!ly elusive& I !ersonally cannot ima ine that consciousness will be fully understood without reference to 6>delian stran e loo!s or level-crossin feedback loo!s& 'or that reason, I must say, I have been sur!rised and !u<<led that the !ast few years1 flurry of books tryin to unravel the mysteries of consciousness almost never mention anythin alon these lines& /any of these books1 authors have even read and savored GEB, yet nowhere is its core thesis echoed& It sometimes feels as if I had shouted a dee!ly cherished messa e out into an em!ty chasm and nobody heard me&

The Earliest Seeds of GEB
3hy, one mi ht wonder, if the author1s aim was merely to !ro!ose a theory of stran e loo!s as the cru( of our consciousness and the source of our irre!ressible -I-feelin , did he wind u! writin such a vast book with so many seemin di ressions in it? 3hy on earth did he dra in fu ues and canons? 3hy recursion? )nd 9en? )nd molecular biolo y? Et cetera&&& The truth of the matter is, when I started out, I didn1t have the fo iest idea that I would wind u! talkin about these kinds of thin s& 8or did I dream that my future book would include dialo ues, let alone dialo ues based on musical forms& The com!le( and ambitious nature of my !ro.ect evolved only radually& In broad strokes, it came about this way& I earlier alluded to my readin , as a teen-a er, of Ernest 8a el and James ;& 8ewman1s little book Gödel's &roof! 3ell, that book .ust radiated e(citement and de!th to me, and it !ro!elled me like an arrow strai ht into the study of symbolic lo ic& Thus, as an under raduate math ma.or at Stanford and a few years later, in my short-lived career as a raduate student in math at 0erkeley, I took several advanced lo ic courses, but to my bitter disa!!ointment, all of them were arcane, technical, and utterly devoid of the ma ic I1d known in 8a el and 8ewman& The u!shot of my takin these hi hbrow courses was that my keen teen interest in 6>del1s wondrous !roof and its -stran e loo!iness- was nearly killed off& Indeed, I was left with such a feelin of sterility that in late "#D$, almost in des!eration, I dro!!ed out of math rad school in 0erkeley and took u! a new identity as !hysics rad student at the Fniversity of Ere on in Eu ene, where my once-ardent fascination with lo ic and metamathematics went into dee! dormancy&

Several years !assed, and then one day in /ay of "#$B, while browsin the math shelves in the Fniversity of Ere on bookstore, I stumbled across !hiloso!her ?oward :eAon 1s su!erb book * &rofile of 'athematical +ogic, took a chance on buyin it, and within weeks, my old love for the reat 6>delian mysteries and all they touch on was reawakened& Ideas started churnin around like mad inside my teeterin bulb of dread and dream& :es!ite this .oy, I was very discoura ed with the way my !hysics studies and my life in eneral were oin , so in July I !acked all my belon in s into a do<en or so cardboard bo(es and set out on an eastward trek across the vast )merican continent in Muicksilver, my faithful "#LD /ercury& 3here I was headed, I wasn1t sure& )ll I knew is that I was lookin for a new life& )fter crossin the beautiful 7ascades and eastern Ere on1s desert, I wound u! in /oscow, Idaho& Since Muicksilver had a little en ine trouble and needed some re!air, I took advanta e of the s!are time and went to the Fniversity of Idaho1s library to look u! some of the articles about 6>del1s !roof in :eAon 1s annotated biblio ra!hy& I !hotoco!ied several of them, and in a day or so headed off toward /ontana and )lberta& Each ni ht I would sto! and !itch my little tent, sometimes in a forest, sometimes by a lake, and then I would ea erly !lun e by flashli ht into these articles until I fell aslee! in my slee!in ba & I was startin to understand many 6>delian matters ever more clearly, and what I was learnin was truly enthrallin &

+rom Letter to ,am!hlet to Seminar
)fter a few days in the 7anadian ;ockies, I headed south a ain and eventually reached 0oulder, 7olorado& There, one afternoon, a host of fresh ideas started ushin out in a s!ontaneous letter to my old friend ;obert 0oenin er& )fter several hours of writin , I saw that althou h my letter was lon er than I1d e(!ected—thirty handwritten !a es or so —I1d said only about half of what I1d wanted to say& This made me think that maybe I should write a !am!hlet, not a letter, and to this day, ;obert has never received my unfinished missive& 'rom 0oulder I headed further east, bouncin from one university town to another, and eventually, almost as if it had been beckonin me the whole time, 8ew Hork 7ity loomed as my ultimate oal& Indeed, I wound u! s!endin several months in /anhattan, takin raduate courses at 7ity 7olle e and teachin elementary !hysics to nurses at ?unter 7olle e, but as "#$% rolled around, I faced the fact that des!ite lovin 8ew Hork in many ways, I was even more a itated than I had been in Eu ene, and I decided it would be wiser to return to Ere on and to finish raduate school there& )lthou h my ho!ed-for -new life- had failed to materiali<e, in certain res!ects I was relieved to be back& 'or one thin , the F of E in those days had the enli htened !olicy that any community member could invent and teach a for-credit -SE);7?course, as lon as one or more de!artments a!!roved it& )nd so I !etitioned the !hiloso!hy and math de!artments to s!onsor a s!rin -quarter SE);7? course centered on 6>del1s theorem, and my request was ranted& Thin s were lookin u!& /y intuition told me that my !ersonal fascination with stran e loo!s—not only with their !hiloso!hical im!ortance but also with their esthetic charm—was not .ust some unique little neurotic obsession of mine, but could well be infectious, if only I could et

across to my students that these notions were anythin but dull and dry, as in those fri id, sterile lo ic courses I1d taken, but rather—as 8a el and 8ewman had hinted—were intimately related to a slew of !rofound and beautiful ideas in mathematics, !hysics, com!uter science, !sycholo y, !hiloso!hy, lin uistics, and so on& I ave my course the half-di!!y, half-romantic title -The /ystery of the Fndecidable- in the ho!es that " mi ht attract students from wildly diverse areas, and the trick worked& Twenty-five souls were sna ed, and all were enthusiastic& I vividly remember the lovely blossoms I could see out the window each day as I lectured that s!rin , but even more vividly I remember :avid Justman, who was in art history, Scott 0uresh, who was in !olitical science, and )vril 6reenber , who was an art ma.or& These three sim!ly devoured the ideas, and we talked and talked endlessly about them& /y course thus turned out very well, both for the sna ees and for the sna er& Sometime durin the summer of "#$%," made a stab at sketchin out a table of contents for my -!am!hlet-, and at that !oint, the ambitiousness of my !ro.ect started dawnin on me, but it still felt more like a !am!hlet than a tome to me& It was only in the fall that I started writin in earnest& I had never written anythin more than a few !a es lon , but I fearlessly !lun ed ahead, fi urin it would take me .ust a few days—maybe a week or two& I was sli htly off, for in fact, the very first draft 4done in !en, .ust like my letter to ;obert, but with more cross-outs5 took me about a month—a month that overla!!ed in time with the -Hom @i!!ur war-, which made a very dee! im!ression on me& I reali<ed this first draft was not the final !roduct, but I felt I had done the ma.or work and now it was .ust a question of revision&

E-!eriments 'ith Literary +orm Start to Ta.e ,lace
)s I was writin that draft, I certainly wasn1t thinkin about Escher !ictures& 8or was I thinkin about 0ach1s music& 0ut one day I found myself on fire with ideas about mind, brain, and human identity, and so, shamelessly borrowin Aewis 7arroll1s odd cou!le of )chilles and the Tortoise, whose droll !ersonalities amused me no end, I sat down and in absolute white heat dashed off a lon , com!le( dialo ue, all about a fictitious, unima inably lar e book each of whose !a es, on a one-by-one basis, contained e(haustive information on one s!ecific neuron in Einstein1s brain& )s it ha!!ened, the dialo ue featured a short section where the two characters ima ined each other in another dialo ue, and each of them said, -Hou mi ht then say this&&& to which I mi ht well re!ly as follows&&& and then you would o on&&&- and so forth& 0ecause of this unusual structural feature, after I1d finally !ut the final !eriod on the final s!eech, I fli!!ed back to the to! of !a e one and there, on a whim, ty!ed out the sin le word -'F6FE-& /y Einstein-book dialo ue was not really a fu ue, of course—not even close— and yet it somehow reminded me of one& 'rom earliest childhood, I had been !rofoundly moved by the music of 0ach, and this off-the-wall idea of marryin 0ach-like contra!untal forms to lively dialo ues with intellectually rich content rabbed me with a !assion& Ever the ne(t few weeks, as I tossed the idea around in my head, I reali<ed how much room for !lay there was alon these lines, and I could ima ine how voraciously I as a teen-a er mi ht have consumed such dialo ues& Thus I was led to the idea of insertin contra!untal dialo ues every so often, !artly to break the tedium of the heavy ideas in my

cha!ters, and !artly to allow me to introduce li hter, more alle orical versions of all the abstruse conce!ts& The lon and the short of it is that I eventually decided—but this took many months—that the o!timal structure would be a strict alternation between cha!ters and dialo ues& Ence that was clear, then I had the .oyous task of tryin to !in!oint the most crucial ideas that I wanted to et across to my readers and then somehow embodyin them in both the form and the content of fanciful, often !unnin dialo ues between )chilles and the Tortoise 4!lus a few new friends5&

GEB Is +irst Cooled off) Then $eheated
In early "#$C, I switched Ph&:& advisors for the fourth and final time, takin on a totally unfamiliar !roblem in solid-state !hysics that smelled very sweet thou h it threatened thorniness& /y new advisor, 6re ory 3annier, wanted me to !lun e in dee!ly, and I knew in my ut that this time it was sink or swim for me in the world of !hysics& If I wanted a Ph&:&—a !recious but horribly elusive oal toward which I had been stru lin for almost a decade by then—it was now or never2 )nd so, with reat reluctance, I stowed my beloved manuscri!t in a desk drawer and told myself, -?ands off2 )nd no !eekin 2- I even instituted food-de!rivation !unishments if I so much as o!ened the drawer and riffled throu h my book-in-the-makin & Thinkin GEB thou hts— or rather, GT*T,B thou hts—was strictly #er(oten! S!eakin of 6erman, 3annier was scheduled to o to 6ermany for a si(-month !eriod in the fall of "#$C, and since I had always loved Euro!e, I asked if there was any way I could o alon & Gery kindly, he arran ed for me to be a wissenschaftlicher *ssistent — essentially a teachin assistant—in !hysics at the FniversitNt ;e ensbur , and so that1s what I did for one semester s!annin the end of "#$C and the start of "#$L& It was then that I ot most of the work done for my Ph&:& thesis& Since I had no close friends, my ;e ensbur days and ni hts were lon and lonely& In a !eculiar sense, my closest friend durin that tou h !eriod was 'rKdKric 7ho!in, since I tuned in to ;adio 3arsaw nearly every ni ht at midni ht and listened to various !ianists !layin many of his !ieces that I knew and loved, and others that were new to me and that I came to love& That whole stretch was GEB%#er(oten time, and thus it continued until the end of "#$L, when finally I closed the book on my thesis& )lthou h that work was all about an e(quisite visual structure 4see 7ha!ter L of this book5 and seemed to offer a ood launch!ad for a career, I had suffered too many blows to my e o in raduate school to believe I would make a ood !hysicist& En the other hand, the rekindlin of old intellectual flames and es!ecially the writin of GT*T,B had breathed a new kind of selfconfidence into me& Jobless but hi hly motivated, I moved to my home town of Stanford, and there, thanks to my !arents1 unquestionin and enerous financial su!!ort 4-a two-year ?ofstadter 'ellowshi!-, I .okin ly called it5, I set out to -retool myself- as an artificialintelli ence researcher& Even more im!ortant, thou h, was that I was able to resume my !assionate love affair with the ideas that had so rabbed me a cou!le of years earlier& )t Stanford, my erstwhile -!am!hlet- bloomed& It was rewritten from start to finish, because I felt that my earlier drafts, thou h focused on the !ro!er ideas, were immature and inconsistent in style& )nd I en.oyed the lu(ury of one of the world1s earliest and best word-!rocessin !ro rams, my new friend Pentti @anerva1s tremendously

fle(ible and user-friendly TG-Edit& Thanks to that !ro ram, the new version .ust flowed out, and ever so smoothly& I .ust can1t ima ine how GEB could have been written without it& Enly at this sta e did the book1s unusual stylistic hallmarks really emer e—the sometimes-silly !layin with words, the concoctin of novel verbal structures that imitate musical forms, the wallowin in analo ies of every sort, the s!innin of stories whose very structures e(em!lify the !oints they are talkin about, the mi(in of oddball !ersonalities in fantastic scenarios& )s I was writin , I certainly knew that my book would be quite different from other books on related to!ics, and that I was violatin quite a number of conventions& 8onetheless I blithely continued, because I felt confident that what I was doin sim!ly had to be done, and that it had an intrinsic ri htness to it& Ene of the key qualities that made me so believe in what I was doin is that this was a book in which form was bein iven equal billin with content—and that was no accident, since GEB is in lar e !art about how content is inse!arable from form, how semantics is of a !iece with synta(, how ine(tricable !attern and matter are from each other& )lthou h I had always known of myself that, in many as!ects of life, I was concerned as much with form as with content, I had never sus!ected how dee!ly I would et cau ht u!, in the writin of my first book, in matters of visual a!!earance on all levels& Thus, thanks to the ease of usin TG-Edit, whatever I wrote underwent !olishin to make it look better on the screen, and thou h such control would at one time have been considered a lu(ury for an author, I was very attached to it and loath to ive it u!& 0y the time I had a solid version of the manuscri!t ready to send out to !ublishers, visual desi n and conce!tual structure were intimately bound u! with each other&

The Clarion Call
I1ve oft been asked if I, an unknown author with an unorthodo( manuscri!t and an off-the-wall title, had to stru le for years a ainst the monolithic !ublishin industry1s fear of takin risks& 3ell, !erha!s I was .ust lucky, but my e(!erience was far more !leasant than that& In mid-"#$$, I sent out a little sam!le to about fifteen hi h-quality !ublishers, .ust as a feeler, to which most re!lied !olitely that this was -not the ty!e of thin - they dealt in& 'air enou h& 0ut three or four e(!ressed interest in seein more, and so, by turns, I let them take a look at the whole thin & 8eedless to say, I was disa!!ointed when the first two turned it down 4and in each case the vettin !rocess took a few months, so the loss of time was frustratin 5, but on the other hand, I wasn1t overly disheartened& Then near 7hristmastime, /artin @essler, head of 0asic 0ooks, a !ublishin outfit I had always admired, ave me some ho!eful thou h tentative si nals& The winter of "#$$-$* was so severe that Indiana Fniversity, where I was now a fled lin assistant !rofessor, ran out of coal for heatin , and in /arch the university was forced to close down for three weeks to wait for warmer weather& I decided to use this free time to drive to 8ew Hork and !oints south to see old friends& 7lear as a bell in my oft-blurry memory is my brief sto! in some din y little diner in the town of 7larion, Pennsylvania, where from a chilly !hone booth I made a quick call to /artin @essler in 8ew Hork to see if he had a verdict yet& It was a reat moment in my life when he said he would be -deli hted- to work with me—and it1s almost eerie to think that this si nal event occurred in that well-named hamlet, of all !laces&&&

$e"enge of the /oley $ollers
8ow that I had found a !ublisher, there came the question of turnin the manuscri!t from crude com!uter !rintout to a finely ty!eset book& It was a !iece of true luck that Pentti, to enhance TG-Edit, had .ust develo!ed one of the world1s first com!uter ty!esettin systems, and he stron ly encoura ed me to use it& @essler, ever the adventurer, was also willin to ive it a try—!artly, of course, because it would save 0asic 0ooks some money, but also because he was by nature a shrewd risk-taker& :o-it-yourself ty!esettin , thou h for me a reat break, was hardly a !iece of cake& 7om!utin then was a lot more !rimitive than it is today, and to use Pentti1s system, I had to insert into each cha!ter or dialo ue literally thousands of cry!tic ty!esettin commands, ne(t cho! each com!uter file into several small !ieces—five or si( !er file, usually—each of which had to be run throu h a series of two com!uter !ro rams, and then each of the resultin out!ut files had to be !unched out !hysically as a cry!tic !attern of myriad holes on a lon , thin roll of !a!er ta!e& I myself had to walk the B++ yards to the buildin where the hole-!uncher was located, load the !a!er ta!e, and sit there monitorin it carefully to make sure it didn1t .am& 8e(t, I would carry this batch of oily ta!es another quarter-mile to the buildin where The -tanford .ail) was !rinted, and if it was free, I would use their !hototy!esettin machine myself& :oin so was a lon , elaborate o!eration involvin cartrid es of !hotosensitive !a!er, darkrooms, chemical baths with rollers throu h which the !a!er had to be !assed to et all the develo!in chemicals off, and clotheslines on which all the five-foot lon alleys with my te(t on them would be hun out to dry for a day or two& The !rocess of actually seeing what my thousands of ty!esettin commands had wrou ht was thus enormously unwieldy and slow& Truth to tell, thou h, I didn1t mind that= in fact, it was arcane, s!ecial, and kind of e(citin & 0ut one day, when nearly all the alleys had been !rinted—two to three hundred of them—and I thou ht I was home free, I made a horrendous discovery& I1d seen each one emer e with .et-black !rint from the develo!in baths, and yet on some of the more recently-dried ones, the te(t looked brownish& 3hat2? )s I checked out others, sli htly older, I saw li ht-brown !rint, and on yet older ones, it was oran y, or even !ale yellow2 I couldn1t believe it& ?ow in the world had this ha!!ened? The sim!le answer left me feelin so an ry and hel!less, the a in rollers, havin worn unevenly, no lon er wi!ed the alleys clean, so acid was day by day eatin the black !rint away& 'or the .ail)'s !ur!oses, this didn1t matter—they chucked their alleys in a matter of hours—but for a book, it s!elled disaster& 8o way could a book be !rinted from yellow alleys2 )nd the !hotoco!ies I1d made of them when they were newborn were shar!, but not shar! enou h& 3hat a ni htmare2 Fntold labor had .ust one u! in smoke& I was filled with the des!air of a football team that1s .ust made a ##-yard downfield march only to be sto!!ed dead on the o!!onent1s one-yard line& I1d s!ent almost all summer "#$* !roducin these alleys, but now summer was drawin to a close, and I had to o back to Indiana to teach courses& 3hat on earth to do? ?ow could I salva e GEB? The only solution I could see was, on my own money, to fly back to Stanford every weekend of the fall, and redo the whole thin from scratch& Auckily, I was teachin only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and so each Thursday afternoon I would <oom from class, catch a !lane, arrive at Stanford, work like a maniac until /onday afternoon, and then dash off to the air!ort to return to Indiana& I will never for et

the worst of those weekends, when I somehow mana ed to work for forty hours strai ht without a wink of slee!& That1s love for you2 In this ordeal there was a savin race, thou h, and it was this, I ot to correct all the ty!esettin errors I1d made in the first batch of alleys& The ori inal !lan had been to use a bunch of correction alleys, which would have had to be sliced u! into little !ieces in 0asic1s 8ew Hork offices and !asted in wherever there were litches—and in that first batch I1d made litches alore, that1s for sure& Such a !rocess would !robably have resulted in hundreds of errors in the layout& 0ut thanks to my ##-yard drive havin been halted at the one-yard line, I now had the chance to undo all these litches, and !roduce a nearly !ristine set of alleys& )nd thus, althou h the chemical catastro!he delayed the actual !rintin of GEB for a cou!le of months, it turned out, in retros!ect, to have been a blessin in dis uise&

0o!s111
There were of course many ideas that vied with each other for entry into the book takin sha!e durin those years, and some made it in while others did not& Ene of the ironies is that the Einstein-book dialo ue, which in its -fu ality- was the ins!iration for all dialo ues to come, was cho!!ed& There was another lon and intricate dialo ue, too, that was cho!!ed, or more accurately, that wound u! ettin transmo rified nearly beyond reco nition, and its curious story is connected with an intense debate that was ra in inside my brain at that time& I had been made acutely aware, by some leaflets I1d read in the student union at Ere on in "#$+, of se(ist lan ua e and its insidious unconscious effects& /y mind was awakened to the subtle ways that eneric -he- and -man- 4and a host of similar words and !hrases5 contribute to the sha!in of one1s sense of what is a -normal- human bein and what is an -e(ce!tion-, and I welcomed this new !ers!ective& 0ut " was not a writer at that time—I was a !hysics rad student—and these issues didn1t seem all that close to my own life& 3hen I started writin dialo ues, thou h, thin s chan ed& There came a !oint when it dawned on me that the characters in my dialo ues—)chilles, the Tortoise, the 7rab, the )nteater, and a cou!le of others with cameo roles—were without e(ce!tion males! I was shocked at my own havin fallen victim to the unconscious !ressures !ushin a ainst the introduction of female characters& )nd yet, when I toyed with the idea of oin back and !erformin a -se(-chan e o!eration- on one or more of these characters, that really rubbed me the wron way& ?ow come? 3ell, all I could tell myself was, -0rin in females and you wind u! im!ortin the whole confusin world of se(uality into what is essentially a !urely abstract discussion, and that would distract attention from my book1s main !ur!oses&- This nonsensical view of mine stemmed from and echoed many tacit assum!tions of western civili<ation at that time 4and still today5& )s I forced myself to ra!!le with my own u ly attitude, a real battle started u! in my mind, with one side of me ar uin for oin back and makin some characters female, and the other tryin to maintain the status "uo! Eut of this internal battle suddenly came a lon and rather amusin dialo ue in which my various characters, havin come to the reali<ation that they are all males, discuss why this mi ht be so, and decide that, des!ite their sense of havin free will, they must in fact be merely characters in the mind of some se(ist male author& Ene way or

another, they mana e to summon this )uthor character into their dialo ue—and what does he do when accused of se(ism? ?e !leads innocent, claimin that what his brain does is out of his control—the blame for his se(ism must instead fall on a se(ist 6od& )nd the ne(t thin you know, 6od !oofs into the dialo ue—and uess what? She turns out to be female 4ho ho ho5& I don1t remember the details of how it went on from there, but the !oint is, I was dee!ly torn, and I was ra!!lin in my own way with these com!le( issues& To my re ret—that is to say, to the re ret of the me of the years that followed— the side that wound u! winnin this battle was the se(ist side, with .ust a few concessions to the other side e!g!, the tower of :.inns in the dialo ue -Aittle ?armonic Aabyrinth-, and )unt ?illary in -Prelude&&& )nt 'u ue-5& GEB remained a book with a dee! se(ist bias sewn into its fabric& Interestin ly, it is a bias that very few readers, females or males, have commented on 4which in turn su!!orts my belief that these kinds of thin s are very subtle and insidious, and esca!e nearly everyone1s !erce!tion5& )s for eneric -man- and -he-, I certainly disliked those usa es at that time, and I tried to avoid them whenever I could 4or rather, whenever it was eas)/, but on the other hand I wasn1t !articularly concerned about cleansin my !rose of every last one of them, and as a consequence the book1s !a es are also marred, here and there, by that more obvious, more e(!licit form of se(ism& Today, I crin e whenever I come across sentences in GEB that talk about the reader as -he-, or that casually s!eak of -mankind- as if humanity were some hu e abstract gu)! Ene lives and learns, I uess& )nd lastly, as for that soul-searchin dialo ue in which the )uthor and 6od are summoned u! by )chilles and com!any to face the accusation of se(ism, well, that was somehow transformed, in a series of many, many small chan es, into the dialo ue with which GEB concludes, -Si(-!art ;icercar-& If you read it with its enesis in mind, you may find an e(tra level of interest&

Mr1 Tortoise) Meet Madame Tortue
) few years later, a wholly une(!ected chance came alon to make amends, at least in !art, for my se(ist sin& That o!!ortunity was afforded me by the challen e of translatin GEB into various forei n lan ua es& 3hen I was writin the book, the idea that it mi ht someday a!!ear in other lan ua es never crossed my mind& I don1t know why, since I loved lan ua es and loved translation, but somehow it .ust never occurred to me& ?owever, as soon as the idea was !ro!osed to me by my !ublisher, I was very e(cited about seein my book in other lan ua es, es!ecially ones that I s!oke to some e(tent—most of all 'rench, since that was a lan ua e that I s!oke fluently and loved very dee!ly& There were a million issues to consider in any !otential translation, since the book is rife not only with e(!licit word!lay but also with what Scott @im dubbed -structural !uns-—!assa es where form and content echo or reinforce each other in some une(!ected manner, and very often thanks to ha!!y coincidences involvin s!ecific En lish words& 0ecause of these intricate medium-messa e tan les, I !ainstakin ly went throu h every last sentence of GEB, annotatin a co!y for translators into any lan ua e that mi ht be tar eted& This took me about a year of on-a ain, off-a ain toil, but finally it was done, and .ust in the nick of time, because contracts with forei n !ublishers started flowin thick and fast around "#*B& I could write a short book—a !am!hlet?—on the

Jacqueline ?enry and 0ob 'rench. and I even felt I was referrin to the selfsame -!erson. +e 'onde. I must ruefully mention that in the marvelous but little-known Aewis 7arroll dialo ue from which I borrowed these deli htful characters 4re!rinted in GEB as 1Two-!art Invention-5. not .in 'rench& 3hen in the s!rin of "#*%. ri ht? 3hereas a male character in a -neutral. and so. the translators into Italian. the moment I read their idea.ust one—how to render the sim!le-seemin !hrase -/r& Tortoise. the Tortoise& 0y the way. fantastic fi ure of /adame Tortue.cra<y. chose to follow suit and to convert my -/r& Tortoiseinto -si norina Tartaru a-& Ef course these radical switches in no way affect the !erce!tions of GEB1s !urely an lo!hone readers.conte(t 4e!g!. another lan ua e that I adored and s!oke quite well. an author only introduces a female character for some s!ecial reason. and myself was when a truly lowin full-!a e review by Jacques )ttali a!!eared in the most !resti ious 'rench news!a!er.in both lan ua es& In its own funny way. the book1s e(cellent translators into 'rench. knotty !u<<les and dilemmas that arose in translatin GEB. if you look carefully. in which I would start out in En lish usin the !ronoun -he-.that I was ecstatic with her& 3hat !articularly amused me were a few bilin ual conversations that I had about the Tortoise. I unthinkin ly and uncritically envisa ed it as a male& Thus does se(ism silently !ervade well-meanin but susce!tible brains& 0ut let1s not for et Jacqueline and 0ob2 )lthou h they could sim!ly have blud eoned their way throu h the !roblem by inventin a -/onsieur Tortue. the 'rench GEB's !a es are raced throu hout with the fresh. they rather in erly asked me if I would ever consider lettin them switch the Tortoise1s se( to female& To them. of course.ust !raisin the book for its ideas and style. but as a matter of fact. the question never entered my mind& This was clearl) a he-tortoise& Etherwise. a female does& )nd so. who runs !erverse intellectual circles around her male com!anion )chilles. I feel. then switch to 'rench and to elle as well& Either !ronoun felt !erfectly natural. it !robably seemed !retty farfetched to ima ine that the author would even ive such a !ro!osal the time of day. redoublin my !leasure. they instantly ran headlon into the conflict between the feminine ender of the 'rench noun tortue and the masculinity of my character. iven no clue as to the Tortoise1s se(. they hel! to make u! for the lamentable outcome of my internal battle of a few years earlier& 2en Buddhism) 3ohn Cage) and My 4oguish Irrationality The 'rench translation was reeted. deli htful. but here I will mention . be an to tackle the dialo ues. overall. erstwhile 6reek warrior and amateur !hiloso!her& There was somethin so deli htful and ratifyin to me about this new vision of -the Tortoise. to their taste. very favorably& Ene s!ecially ratifyin moment for 0ob. I would have known not only that it was female but also wh) it was female& )fter all. I sei<ed u!on it with reat enthusiasm& )nd as a result. but in some small way.character. that route felt distinctly unnatural in 'rench. Jacqueline. never to have been attributed either ender& 0ut when I first read it. but also makin a !articular !oint of !raisin its translation& . in one of our many e(chan es of letters. !hiloso!hy5 needs no raison d'0tre. the Tortoise turns out. this seemed faithful to 7arroll1s tortoise1s se(ual neutrality& )nd then.

and the cha!ter that follows it.um!ed on. for some odd reason I had felt very sure. and Ja!an& The 6erman GEB. that in my -7anon by Intervallic )u mentation.not a contradiction in terms. wait.ussian version all ready. I had a rowin inner feelin that GEB would make some sort of s!lash& . to ri! GEB a!art as un pi1ge tr1s gra#e 4-a very dan erous tra!-5 in which the mindless bandwa on of 9en 0uddhism was ea erly . Escher. I find 9en not only confusin and silly.umanisme. but on a very dee! level utterly inimical to my core beliefs& ?owever. both antiscientific and !ro-9en. wait—isn1t -hea!in res!ectful scorn. e(actly as ?oulou claims. with the iconoclastic 9en-influenced )merican com!oser John 7a e as the !atron saint of it all& )ll I could do was chuckle. and I tackled them with interest& The first one was quite len thy and. even refreshin .ournal !ut out by the Society of 'rench 'reemasons& 0oth had issued from the !en of one author. my havin s!rinkled little traces of 9en here and there does not mean that I am a 9en monk in shee!1s clothin & )s for John 7a e. dee! down. u! till readin ?oulou1s weird about-face.oulou! Somehow. and—!erha!s une(!ectedly—with reat virtuosity into 7hinese& There is also a fine . an obscure . and its translated selves hit the bestseller lists in 4at least5 'rance. . and in which a rabidly antiscientific. Italian. occu!ied the O" rank on the nonfiction list for somethin like fi#e months durin "#*L. I certainly can1t com!lain about the si<e or the enthusiasm of its readershi! around the world& The ori inal En lish-lan ua e GEB was and continues to be very !o!ular. and it was sim!ly fun for me to s!rinkle a bit of Eastern s!ice into my basically very 3estern casserole& ?owever. to my ama<ement. les 2pines!!! 4-)fter roses.ust waitin in the win s until it finds a !ublisher& )ll of this far transcends anythin I ever e(!ected. albeit in a somewhat res!ectful manner& 0ut wait. thorns&&&-5. may have crucially s!arked GEB's !o!ularity there& GEB has also been lovin ly translated into S!anish. Swedish.) few months later. beatnik-influenced. hi!!ie-like irrationality ty!ical of )merican !hysicists was embraced as the su!reme !ath to enli htenment. that I am. after all? 3ell. so be it& Even if I feel my book is as often misunderstood as understood. I had unambi uously hea!ed scorn on 7a e1s music. lowed with !raise= I was ratified and rateful& I then went on to the second review. aided by the other 6ermanic names on the cover. ?un arian. like that in +e 'onde. in fact. I received a !air of reviews !ublished in successive issues of . which started out with the !oetic !hrase *pr1s les roses. indeed a !atent im!ossibility? )nd doesn1t such coy flirtin with self-contradiction and !arado( demonstrate. and Portu uese. es!ecially in those heady Stanford days. 7a e-?5 and mana ed to read into my coy allusions to and minor borrowin s from 9en an uncritical acce!tance thereof. ?olland. and throw my hands u! in bewilderment at these Tatiesque #acarmes de monsieur . 4his reviewer saw me !raisin 7a e to the skies 4-6>del. even thou h I can1t deny that as I was writin it. which in fact is not at all my stance& )s I declare at the start of 7ha!ter #. I also find 9en1s silliness—es!ecially when it ets reall) silly—quite amusin . and which then !roceeded for several !a es. )lain ?oulou. the %++th birthyear of J& S& 0ach& It seems a bit absurd to me& 0ut who knows—that anniversary.

as well as in their wanderin throu h many disci!lines. constituted my "#*L book 'etamagical Themas: 4uesting for the Essence of 'ind and &attern! Ene of the new !ieces was a rather <any )chilles-Tortoise dialo ue called -3ho Shoves 3hom )round Inside the 7areenium?-.My Subsequent Intellectual . and a closely related !henomenon that I came to call -lockin -in. without ever quite knowin . !hiloso!her :aniel :ennett& Eur !ur!ose. the title of the wonderful column by /artin 6ardner that had occu!ied the same slot in the ma a<ine for the !recedin BL years5& )lthou h the to!ics I dealt with in my column were.ath5 ecade 6 Since sendin GEB off to the !rinters two decades a o. soul. closely related to that of GEB. stran e loo!s. -I-2—!erha!s better than anythin else I1ve written—maybe even better than GEB does. all over the ma!. I s!ent the ne(t year !ullin to ether the essays I1d done and !rovidin each of them with a substantial -Post Scri!tum-= these BL cha!ters. I was afflicted with a severe case of ambi rammitis-. and out of which came my "#*$ book *m(igrammi! )n ambi ram 4or an -inversion-. and so *m(igrammi. after all& :urin the years "#*"-"#*%. was The 'ind's 3. I found that selfobservation ave me many new insi hts into the nature of creativity. an antholo y coedited with a new friend.4an ana ram of -/athematical 6ames-. and one of the !leasures for me was that I finally ot to see my Einstein-book dialo ue in !rint. and the infamous -I--word—namely. our dee! and almost ineradicable sense of !ossessin a unique -I--ness transcendin our !hysical bodies and mysteriously enablin us to e(ercise somethin we call -free will-. I1ve somehow mana ed to kee! myself !retty busy& )side from strivin .essays echoed the flavor of GEB! )lthou h I sto!!ed writin my column in "#*%. thou h that mi ht be oin too far& 'or several years durin the "#*+1s. self-reference. and as I develo!ed my own skill at this odd but ele ant art form.were occasional themes in my columns& In that sense. as Scott calls them in his own book. my -/etama ical Themas. which I cau ht from my friend Scott @im.oltin manner. I1ve also written several further books. on their surface. 3n#ersions/ is a calli ra!hic desi n that mana es to squee<e two different readin s into the selfsame set of curves& I found the idea charmin and intellectually fascinatin . . which I called -/etama ical Themas. a!!earin in late "#*". was to force our readers to confront. thou h only very briefly& The first of these. the fundamental conundrum of human e(istence. I had the o!!ortunity to write a monthly column for -cientific *merican. with a team of e(cellent raduate students. which I feel ca!tures my !ersonal views on self. in the most vivid and even .ust what that is& :an and I used stories and dialo ues from a motley crew of e(cellent writers. to develo! com!uter models of the mental mechanisms that underlie analo y and creativity. alon with ei ht fresh ones. each of which I1ll comment on here. in some sense they were unified by their incessant quest for -the essence of mind and !attern-& I covered such thin s as !attern and !oetry in the music of 7ho!in= the question of whether the enetic code is arbitrary or inevitable= strate ies in the never-endin battle a ainst !seudoscience= the boundary between sense and nonsense in literature= chaos and stran e attractors in mathematics= ame theory and the Prisoner1s :ilemma= creative analo ies involvin sim!le number !atterns= the insidious effects of se(ist lan ua e= and many other to!ics& In addition. recursion.

writin . and in redient of. in the Psycholo y :e!artment5& )fter a decade and a half of develo!ment of com!uter models.esearch 6rou!. and indeed '). and finally a!!eared in !rint in "##L& In it are !resented a series of closely related com!uter !ro rams—Seek-3hence. also features a te(t—in fact. and I re ret to say that it is no lon er available& My Subsequent Intellectual . Tableto!. but from there it s!un off in many directions at once& To make a lon story short. and that the latter is but another term for conceptual fle9i(ilit). +e Ton (eau de 'arot: 3n &raise of the 'usic of +anguage. when !ut to ether into com!ounds. I e(!erienced much the same feelin of e(hilaration as I had twenty years earlier. !ossessin a sense of self so dee! and ineradicable that it blurs into causality—is an inevitable concomitant to. the time seemed ri!e for a book that would !ull all the main threads to ether and describe the !ro rams1 !rinci!les and !erformance in clear and accessible lan ua e& Thus over several years.ath5 ecade II )s I said above.a iven lan ua e 4or a blur of lan ua es5= how constraints can enhance creativity= how meanin erminates. *m(igrammi: 5n microcosmo ideale per lo studio della creati#it6 was !ublished only in Italian and by a tiny !ublisher called ?o!eful /onster. and this led me. scientific discovery. centered on the makin of ambi rams but branchin out to include musical com!osition. 7luid 8oncepts and 8reati#e *nalogies took sha!e. to the territory of verse translation& It all started in "#*$ with my attem!t to mimic in En lish a beautiful 'rench miniature by si(teenth-century 'rench !oet 7lement /arot. 7o!ycat. buds. which in turn means meaningful s)m(ols! ) very different strand of my intellectual life was my dee! involvement in the translation of GEB into various lan ua es. and flowers in minds and mi ht someday do so in machines= how words. when writin GEB! This book. thou h crucial. 8umbo. creative writin . !erha!s inevitably. but !erha!s most im!ortant of all is the basic !hiloso!hical article of faith that bein an -I-— in other words. and so on& 'or reasons not worth oin into.aside from showcasin some B++ of my ambi rams. I wound u! writin a com!le( and dee!ly !ersonal book about translation in its most eneral and meta!horical sense. often melt to ether and lose some or all of their identity= how a lan ua e s!oken on a neutron star mi ht or mi ht not resemble human lan ua es= how !oetry written hundreds of years a o should be rendered today= how translation is . winds throu h many diverse terrains.6 ets its !ro!er billin as my collective co-author& The book shares much with GEB. in my discussion of 0on ard !roblems. wanderin meditation on the creative act.ust the erms of an actual architecture. and althou h those were . I feel it is fair to say that des!ite many years of refinement. most of those ideas can be found in one form or another in the models develo!ed in my research rou! at Indiana Fniversity and the Fniversity of /ichi an 4where I s!ent the years "#*C-"#**. includin what it means to -think in. the fle(ibility and !ower that are synonymous with intelligence. in retros!ect. was not my only intellectual focus= research into co nitive mechanisms was an equally im!ortant one& /y early hunches about how to model analo y and creativity are actually set forth quite clearly in GEB's 7ha!ter "#. and while writin it. and 4still in !ro ress5 /etacat and Aetter S!irit—to ether with !hiloso!hical discussions that attem!t to set them in conte(t& Several of its cha!ters are co-authored by members of the 'luid )nalo ies . Jumbo. a dialo ue—that is a lon .

in that I take . my :negin has not yet come out. and I can see why they mi ht do so& 0ut it1s so lon since I wrote GEB that !erha!s the ma ical feelin I had when writin it has faded. if any. by contrast. and on its first !a e.ing Boo. but many !eo!le seemed to see somethin va uely alon those lines in it. eventually stunnin myself by devotin a whole year to recreatin the entire novel—nearly C++ s!arklin sonnets—in En lish verse& Ef course.ing and Bac. includin the evanescent oals of -I. +e Ton (eau de 'arot mi ht be seen as a -backward-lookin book. Eugene :negin! I first came into contact with this work throu h a cou!le of En lish translations.ussian.'ard-loo. not so much because it was ins!ired by a si(teenth-century !oem and deals with many other authors of the !ast.ust about the same time in "### as the book you are holdin —the twentiethanniversary version of Gödel.ust that way. Bach! )nd the year "### !lays an equally im!ortant role in my E:'s creation. my . bein the B++th birthyear of )le(ander Pushkin& +or'ard-loo. sim!ly because I had written a lon treatise that dealt quite a bit with com!uters and their vast !otential 4in the most !hiloso!hical of senses5. at least in the short run. there1s no denyin that. while the ma ic of +eT(' is still vivid& Still. +eT(' has had far less im!act than GEB did.s +e Ton (eau de 'arot is a bit lon er than GEB. and I confess that that1s disa!!ointed me quite a bit& Permit me to s!eculate for a moment as to why this mi ht be the case& In some sense. which is of course ridiculous. are intrinsically untranslatable= what it means to translate nonsense !assa es from one lan ua e to another= the absurdity of su!!osin that today1s mostly money-driven machine-translation immickry could handle even the sim!lest of !oetry= and on and on& The two middle cha!ters of +e Ton (eau de 'arot are devoted to a work of fiction that I had recently fallen in love with. I was often !i eonholed in . and because my book was quite a hit amon youn !eo!le interested in com!uters& 3ell. durin that time. but because there sim!ly is nothin in the book1s !a es that could be confused with lib technolo ical lit< and surreal futuristic !romises& 8ot that GEB had those either. in +eT('! In fact.and free will and consciousness& )lthou h I am the furthest thin in the world from bein a futurist. thou h it still is far from conversationally fluent& )s I write. )le(ander Pushkin1s novel in verse. always fascinated by the translators1 different !hiloso!hies and styles& 'rom this first flame of e(citement. I slowly was drawn into tryin to read the ori inal te(t. I could not !revent myself from tryin to translate a stan<a or two& Thus started a sli!!ery slo!e that I soon slid down. and then read others. Escher. and then somehow. some mi ht see it almost as technolo y-bashin . but it will be a!!earin at .ussian im!roved by lea!s and bounds. but the fact is that many youn students read it and cau ht the bu of my own fascination with the modelin of mind in all of its elusive as!ects. such as :ante and Pushkin. des!ite havin a !oor command of .book. whereas there1s nothin of that sort to latch onto. a science-fiction addict. GEB was a -forward-lookin . I o out on a limb and call it -!robably the best book I will ever write-& Some of my readers will maintain that GEB is su!erior. or at least on its surface it ave that a!!earance& /any hailed it as somethin like -the bible of artificial intelli ence-.intimately related to analo y and to the fundamental human !rocess of understandin one another= what kinds of !assa es. or a technolo y uru.

then. for which I have the dee!est res!ect& )nyone who has read GEB with any care should have seen this same -backwardlookin . and about which I already knew somethin way back in "#$D? 3hy not talk more about machine translation. those few !a es nonetheless e(!ress a set of !hiloso!hical beliefs to which I am still committed in the stron est sense& To Tam!er) or to Lea"e .ristine7 6iven that I was quite wron in a !rediction made twenty years a o. so I rewrote the ca!tion as . and what mi ht militate a ainst.urt Gödel a#ec un pa)san non identifi2 4-@urt 6>del with unknown !easant-5& 0ut as anyone who has lived in the twentieth century can see in a s!lit second. and es!ecially its weaknesses? 3hy not have a whole cha!ter about the most !romisin develo!ments 4andIor e(a erated claims5 over the !ast two decades in artificial intelli ence—featurin my own research rou! as well as others? Er why not. my ma istrally 0ach-savvy friend 0ernie 6reenber informed me that the -0)7? oblet.section.etched into the lass itself—is .flavor !ermeatin the book. im!rovements were made in the translated versions& 'or e(am!le. whose very subtle architecture started e(ertin . incor!orate those amusin chan es into a revised edition in En lish? En a more substantial level. and comin out with a s!ankin new "### edition of GEB! 3hat mi ht militate for.4!!& D$D-D*+5. only a year or two alter GEB came out. this brin s u! a much lar er issue. a vast im!act on my own com!uter models. as . !erha!s most e(!licitly so in the key section -Ten Muestions and S!eculations. if small. undertakin such a !ro. character-less !hoto of 6>del by a far more en a in sna!shot in which he1s in a s!iffy white suit and is strollin with some old cod er in a forest& The latter. decked out in a flo!!y hat and ba y !ants held u! by awky sus!enders.ect? I don1t deny that some deli htful. of course. why not talk a bit about the !ioneerin artificialintelli ence !ro ram ?earsay II. looks every inch the quintessential rube. the pa)san non identifi2 is none other than )& Einstein& 3hy not. and insisted on havin a !hoto ra!h of the 0)7? oblet in the 'rench GEB! )nother delicious touch in the 'rench GEB was the re!lacement of the very formal. why not rewrite the -Ten Muestions and S!eculations. for in the end.actually e(ists2 The real oblet is not 4as in my dialo ue5 a !iece of lass blown by 0ach. u!datin it and talkin about how I feel in li ht of :ee! 0lue? 3ell. but I am a ainst vast oversim!lifications and underestimations of the challen es that they re!resent.ust as I said in the dialo ue2 This was such an ama<in coincidence that I rewrote the dialo ue for the 'rench version to reflect the real oblet1s e(istence. that amounts to a vast underestimation of the human s!irit. that of revisin the "#$# book from to! to bottom.I had invented out of whole cloth in my dialo ue -7ontracrosti!unctus.many artificial-intelli ence researchers and machine-translation develo!ers to task for wildly e(a erated claims& I am not an enemy of these fields. but rather a ift from one of his !ri<e students= nonetheless. which is a very romantic way of lookin at the de!th of the human s!irit& )lthou h my !rediction about chess-!layin !ro rams !ut forth there turned out to be embarrassin ly wron 4as the world saw with :ee! 0lue versus @as!arov in "##$5. its key feature—that of havin the melody -0)7?.

and wouldn1t dream of chan in my book1s 5rte9t! That1s out2 Thus in my sternness. aside from those listed e(!licitly under -ty!os. what would be tossed out? 3ere I to take that task on.ust don1t buy them& The 7:-.QSE8T)TIE 7GPI:I )G7TE. I . and as such—at least so say I—it should not be touched& Indeed. Escher.EAI6IE8IS& . des!ite the fact that for years. I mi ht well wind u! rewritin every sin le sentence—and.E/ su estion. to my cha rin.ust a cra<y !urist= !erha!s I1m .IS .EMGIES7)T I8 7E8ST)8TI). Bach u! to date and make it a book worthy of usherin in the twenty-first century—indeed. that is more com!le(& 3here would one draw the line? 3hat would be sacrosanct? 3hat would survive.ust a la<y lout= but stubborn no doubt. . is that GEB was written in one sittin . when one fine day he finally reaches m) ri!e a e.6E. was remarkably similar to yours truly. -a statement of my reli ion-& )t least I know what he meant& . I somehow feel a stran e inner confidence that the true author of GEB.some have su ested. that there are a few. will tender to me the truest of thanks for not havin tam!ered with the vessel into which he !oured so much of his youn and ea er soul—the work that he even went so far as to call. not as a multimedia circus. I1ve felt sad at havin inadvertently left them out& I won1t even correct the book1s ty!os 4and. the only answer I can ive.in the inde(52 3hy on earth am I such a stick-in-the-mud? 3hy not brin Gödel. the one most often made to me. I won1t allow myself to add the names of two !eo!le—:onald @ennedy and ?oward Edenber —to my -3ords of Thanks-.E/ with Escher !ictures and 0ach music on it. however. let1s not for et. in what some mi ht see as a cry!tic or even naPvely romantic remark. E.EP. come out with a 7:-. over the decades. other than that life is short. reverse-en ineerin old /r& T&&& Perha!s I1m . but someone who nonetheless had a sli htly different !ers!ective and a sli htly different a enda& GEB was that !erson1s labor of love. so to s!eak& GEB was a clean and !ure vision that was dreamed by someone else—someone who. as well as recordin s of all of GEB's dialo ues as !erformed by to!-notch actors? 3ell. I can see the ar uments for any of these. to be sure. I did find. the third millennium? 8u9rendo In"enietis111 3ell. but unfortunately. is the sim!lest to dismiss& I intended GEB as a book. and book it shall remain— end of story& )s for the idea of revisin the te(t.

rocesses 8anon () 3nter#allic *ugmentation Cha!ter 4I5 The Location of Meaning 8hromatic 7antas).umber Theory * 'u :ffering Cha!ter I<5 Mumon and G#del C+ DL D# $# *B #* "+" ""B ""# "C+ "DB "** "#% B"B B"L B%% B%D BDC B$$ BL %" %D .ro!ositional Calculus 8ra( 8anon Cha!ter 4III5 Ty!ogra!hical . 6E0 Introduction5 A Musico-Logical 0ffering Three%&art 3n#ention Cha!ter I5 The M&-!u::le Two%&art 3n#ention Cha!ter II5 Meaning and +orm in Mathematics -onata for 5naccompanied *chilles Cha!ter III5 +igure and Ground 8ontracrostipunctus Cha!ter I45 Consistency) Com!leteness) and Geometry +ittle .armonic +a()rinth Cha!ter 45 $ecursi"e Structures and . *nd 7eud Cha!ter 4II5 The .Contents Everview Aist of Illustrations 3ords of Thanks Part I.

T and $elated Systems Birthda) 8antatatata!!! Cha!ter <45 3um!ing out of the System Edif)ing Thoughts of a To(acco -moker Cha!ter <4I5 Self-$ef and Self-$e! The 'agnificra(. and +loo.+5.i) and 0thers -.i#erse <ariations Cha!ter <III5 Bloo.ro!ositions of T.=. *ir on G's -tring Cha!ter <I45 0n +ormally &ndecidable .esigning Cha!ter <4III5 Artificial Intelligence5 $etros!ects 8ontrafactus Cha!ter <I<5 Artificial Intelligence5 .Part II. E60 &relude!!! Cha!ter <5 Le"els of escri!tion) and Com!uter Systems *nt 7ugue Cha!ter <I5 Brains and Thoughts English 7rench German -uite Cha!ter <II5 Minds and Thoughts *ria with . and Gloo. To) of 'an's .ros!ects -loth 8anon Cha!ter <<5 Strange Loo!s) 0r Tangled /ierarchies -i9%&art =icercar 8otes 0iblio ra!hy 7redits Inde( %+L %"C %%* %DB %*# %#B C"B CBD CL" CL# C*" C*L C## L"C LDD L$D D+" D+* DCD DLC D#B D#L $B# $L" $LC $D$ $D# . 3ndeed Cha!ter <4II5 Church) Turing) Tars.

its symbols are suddenly revealed to !ossess meanin by virtue of the form of the theorems they a!!ear in& This revelation is the first im!ortant insi ht into meanin . and is referred to several times later in the book& Cha!ter II5 Meaning and +orm in Mathematics1 ) new formal system 4the !q-system5 is !resented.round-& . such as truth. reasonin about reasonin . this leads to a discussion of !arallel ideas in Escher1s drawin s and then 6>del1s Theorem& ) brief !resentation of the history of lo ic and !arado(es is iven as back round for 6>del1s Theorem& This leads to mechanical reasonin and com!uters. thus makin a sort of -/etamusical Efferin -& Self-reference and the inter!lay between different levels in 0ach are discussed.in various conte(ts—e& &. even sim!ler than the /IF-system of 7ha!ter I& )!!arently meanin less at first. a(iom. decision !rocedure. 6E0 Introduction5 A Musico-Logical 0ffering1 The book o!ens with the story of 0ach1s /usical Efferin & 0ach made an im!rom!tu visit to @in 'rederick the 6reat of Prussia.Everview Part I. and I in turn borrowed them from 7arroll& The to!ic is the relation between reasonin . that reasonin is im!ossible& It is a beautiful !arado(. Escher1s art& The :ialo ue itself forms an e(am!le of the distinction. formal system. seemin to show. and so on& It !arallels.round. theorem. the Tortoise and )chilles—the main fictional !rota onists in the :ialo ues—are -invented. and was requested to im!rovise u!on a theme !resented by the @in & ?is im!rovisations formed the basis of that reat work& The /usical Efferin and its story form a theme u!on which I -im!rovise. symbol mani!ulation. in a way. !roof. )chilles is the only s!eaker. to illustrate 9eno1s !arado(es of motion5& Gery short. 9eno1s !arado(es about the im!ossibility of motion. by usin infinite re ress. strin . and the Tortoise1s lines —im!licit in )chilles1 lines—form a . and the debate about whether )rtificial Intelli ence is !ossible& I close with an e(!lanation of the ori ins of the book—!articularly the why and wherefore of the :ialo ues& Three%&art 3n#ention! 0ach wrote fifteen three-!art inventions& In this three-!art :ialo ue. it sim!ly ives the flavor of the :ialo ues to come& Cha!ter I5 The M&-!u::le1 ) sim!le formal system 4the /IA1-system5 is !resented. at the far end of which is the Tortoise& Their conversation concerns the conce!ts of -fi ure.throu hout the book. reasonin about reasonin about reasonin .by 9eno 4as in fact they were. and the elusive conce!t. since )chilles1 lines form a -fi ure-. -form-& -onata for 5naccompanied *chilles& ) :ialo ue which imitates the 0ach Sonatas for unaccom!anied violin& In !articular. its dee! connection to isomor!hism& Garious issues related to meanin are then discussed. but by Aewis 7arroll in "*#L& 7arroll borrowed )chilles and the Tortoise from 9eno. and the reader is ur ed to work out a !u<<le to ain familiarity with formal systems in eneral& ) number of fundamental notions are introduced. rule of inference. workin insideIoutside the system& Two%&art 3n#ention! 0ach also wrote fifteen two-!art inventions& This two-!art :ialo ue was written not by me. derivation.and . since it is a transcri!t of one end of a tele!hone call.

musical !atterns. instead of finishin as e(!ected. undeci!hered inscri!tions on ancient tablets. to 0ach1s 8hromatic 7antas) and 7ugue& It concerns the !ro!er way to mani!ulate sentences so as to !reserve truth-and in !articular the question of whether there e(ist rules for the usa e of the word -and-& This :ialo ue has much in common with the :ialo ue by Aewis 7arroll& .and the word -contra!unctus-. decoder.rocesses1 The idea of recursion is !resented in many different conte(ts. lin uistic !atterns. and receiver& E(am!les !resented include strands of :8). a Aatin word which 0ach used to denote the many fu ues and canons makin u! his *rt of the 7ugue& Some e(!licit references to the )rt of the 'u ue are made& The :ialo ue itself conceals some acrostic tricks& Cha!ter I45 Consistency) Com!leteness) and Geometry1 The !recedin :ialo ue is e(!licated to the e(tent it is !ossible at this sta e& This leads back to the question of how and when symbols in a formal system acquire meanin & The history of Euclidean and non-Euclidean eometry is iven. -'or each record !layer there is a record which it cannot !lay&. however. in a !eculiar sense& Cha!ter 4I5 The Location of Meaning1 ) broad discussion of how meanin is s!lit amon coded messa e. when !layed on a set of different !hono ra!hs. that these melodies are -the same-. so the reader is left dan lin without resolution& Ene nested story concerns modulation in music—!articularly an or an !iece which ends in the wron key. and others& 8anon () 3nter#allic *ugmentation& )chilles and the Tortoise try to resolve the question.eometries& Throu h this discussion the notion of undefined terms is clarified. and the relation of undefined terms to !erce!tion and thou ht !rocesses is considered& +ittle .Cha!ter III5 +igure and Ground1 The distinction between fi ure and round in art is com!ared to the distinction between theorems and nontheorems in formal systems& The question -:oes a fi ure necessarily contain the same information as its round?. as an illustration of the elusive notion of -undefined terms-& This leads to ideas about the consistency of different and !ossibly -rival.meanin is !ostulated& 8hromatic 7antas). com!uter !ro rams. eometric structures. nested structures& It contains stories within stories& The frame story. e(ce!t in title.leads to the distinction between recursively enumerable sets and recursive sets& 8ontracrostipunctus& This :ialo ue is central to the book. leavin the listener dan lin without resolution& Cha!ter 45 $ecursi"e Structures and . !hysical theories.armonic +a()rinth& This is based on the 0ach or an !iece by the same name& It is a !layful introduction to the notion of recursive—i&e&. mathematical functions. and !hono ra!h records sailin out in s!ace& The relationshi! of intelli ence to -absolute. !roduces two quite different melodies. for it contains a set of !ara!hrases of 6>del1s self-referential construction and of his Incom!leteness Theorem& Ene of the !ara!hrases of the Theorem says. is left o!en. or the !hono ra!h which !lays it? This odd question arises when the Tortoise describes a sin le record which. *nd 7eud& ) short :ialo ue bearin hardly any resemblance.The :ialo ue1s title is a cross between the word -acrostic. -3hich contains more information—a record. 0-)-7-? and 7-)-6-E& It turns out.

umber Theory1 )n e(tension of the Pro!ositional 7alculus called -T8T. 6>del1s fundamental idea of 6>delnumberin is introduced.Cha!ter 4II5 The . nuclei. and a first !ass throu h 6>del1s Theorem is made& Part II. is a central fi ure& In a way. such as s!orts teams. since 9en kRans are deliberately illo ical stories& 8ra( 8anon& ) :ialo ue based on a !iece by the same name from the 'usical :ffering& 0oth are so named because crabs 4su!!osedly5 walk backwards& The 7rab makes his first a!!earance in this :ialo ue& It is !erha!s the densest :ialo ue in the book in terms of formal trickery and level!lay& 6>del. and com!uter systems are discussed& The last of these is then e(amined in detail& This involves describin machine lan ua es.ro!ositional Calculus1 It is su ested how words such as -and. and so forth& Then the discussion turns to com!osite systems of other ty!es. assembly lan ua es. which is soon taken u! in the )nt 'u ue& Cha!ter <5 Le"els of escri!tion) and Com!uter Systems1 Garious levels of seein !ictures. and so forth& The question arises as to how many intermediate levels e(ist—or indeed whether any e(ist& . somewhat ton ue-incheek. or as a sum of !arts? This is the debate between holism and reductionism. 9en ideas bear a meta!horical resemblance to some contem!orary ideas in the !hiloso!hy of mathematics& )fter this -9ennery-. they discuss the structure of !reludes and fu ues. of strin s in number theory& There are fleetin references to molecular biolo y—!articularly the 6enetic 7ode& There is no close affinity to the 'usical :ffering. o!eratin systems. which leads )chilles to ask how to hear a fu ue. chessboards. E60 &relude&&& This :ialo ue attaches to the ne(t one& They are based on !reludes and fu ues from 0ach1s >ell%Tempered 8la#ier& )chilles and the Tortoise brin a !resent to the 7rab. Escher.can be overned by formal rules& Ence a ain. and 0ach are dee!ly intertwined in this very short :ialo ue& Cha!ter 4III5 Ty!ogra!hical . as a whole. atoms. it is actually a thinly veiled discussion of theoremhood and nontheoremhood.is !resented& In T8T. the weather. other than in the title and the !layin of self-referential ames& Cha!ter I<5 Mumon and G#del1 )n attem!t is made to talk about the stran e ideas of 9en 0uddhism& The 9en monk /umon. the ideas of isomor!hism and automatic acquisition of meanin by symbols in such a system are brou ht u!& )ll the e(am!les in this 7ha!ter. incidentally. who ave well known commentaries on many kRans. number-theoretical reasonin can be done by ri id symbol mani!ulation& :ifferences between formal reasonin and human thou ht are considered& * 'u :ffering& This :ialo ue foreshadows several new to!ics in the book& Estensibly concerned with 9en 0uddhism and kRans. who has a uest. truth and falsity. are -9entences--sentences taken from 9en kRans& This is !ur!osefully done. com!iler lan ua es. the )nteater& The !resent turns out to be a recordin of the 3&T&7&= it is immediately !ut on& )s they listen to a !relude.

ro!ositions of T. each voice enters with the same statement& The theme—holism versus reductionism—is introduced in a recursive !icture com!osed of words com!osed of smaller words& etc& The words which a!!ear on the four levels of this stran e !icture are -?EAIS/-. and whose content is related to number-theoretical !roblems such as the 6oldbach con.or !arts of 6>del1s !roof are one throu h carefully& It is shown how the assum!tion of consistency of T8T forces one to conclude that T8T 4or any similar system5 is incom!lete& .1 These are the names of three com!uter lan ua es& 0looP !ro rams can carry out only !redictably finite searches.T and $elated Systems1 This 7ha!ter1s title is an ada!tation of the title of 6>del1s "#%" article. in some ob. 3hat do all human brains have in common? ) eo ra!hical analo y is used to su est an answer& The question arises. by an outsider?*ria with . while 'looP !ro rams can carry out un!redictable or even infinite searches& The !ur!ose of this 7ha!ter is to ive an intuition for the notions of !rimitive recursive and eneral recursive functions in number theory. -7an a brain be understood.onto each other& ?ow is communication !ossible between two se!arate !hysical brains.i#erse <ariations& ) :ialo ue whose form is based on 0ach1s 6oldber Gariations.S*nt 7ugue! )n imitation of a musical fu ue.elations to Euclidean and non-Euclidean eometry are discussed& Im!lications for the !hiloso!hy of mathematics are one into with some care& . themes from the Prelude return& transformed considerably& Cha!ter <I5 Brains and Thoughts1 -?ow can thou hts he su!!orted by the hardware of the brain is the to!ic of the 7ha!ter& )n overview of the lar e scale and small-scale structure of the brain is first iven& Then the relation between conce!ts and neural activity is s!eculatively discussed in some detail& English 7rench German -uite! )n interlude consistin of Aewis 7arroll1s nonsense !oem -Jabberwocky11 to ether with two translations. some of them lead to finite searches. and +loo. can be -ma!!ed. a conscious ant colony& The various levels of her thou ht !rocesses are the to!ic of discussion& /any fu al tricks are ensconced in the :ialo ue& )s a hint to the reader.ective sense. and Gloo. for they are essential in 6>del1s !roof& *ir on G's -tring& ) :ialo ue in which 6>del1s self-referential construction is mirrored in words& The idea is due to 3& G& E& Muine& This :ialo ue serves as a !rototy!e for the ne(t 7ha!ter& Cha!ter <I45 0n +ormally &ndecidable . one into 'rench and one into 6erman.ecture& This hybrid has as its main !ur!ose to show how number theory1s subtlety stems from the fact that there are many diverse variations on the theme of searchin throu h an infinite s!ace& Some of them lead to infinite searches. in which his Incom!leteness Theorem was first !ublished& The two ma. -. and -/A-& The discussion veers off to a friend of the )nteater1s )unt ?illary. while some others hover in between& Cha!ter <III5 Bloo. both done last century& Cha!ter <II5 Minds and Thoughts1 The !recedin !oems brin u! in a forceful way the question of whether lan ua es. references are made to !arallel tricks occurrin in the fu ue on the record to which the foursome is listenin & )t the end of the )nt 'u ue.E:F7TIE8IS/-. or indeed minds.

esiring. To) of 'an's . a com!uter or !roteins5 are discussed—!articularly the fu<<iness of the distinction& ?ow information travels between various levels of such systems is the central to!ic of this 7ha!ter& The 'agnificra(. !articularly in terms of their im!lications for simulatin human thou ht mechanically. one movement of 0ach1s 7antata "C$& Cha!ter <4III5 Artificial Intelligence5 $etros!ects1 This 7ha!ter o!ens with a discussion of the famous -Turin test-—a !ro!osal by the com!uter !ioneer )lan Turin for a way to detect the !resence or absence of -thou ht.0irthday 7antatatata&&& In which )chilles cannot convince the wily and ske!tical Tortoise that today is his 4)chilles15 birthday& ?is re!eated but unsuccessful tries to do so foreshadow the re!eatability of the 6>del ar ument& Cha!ter <45 3um!ing out of the System1 The re!eatability of 6>del1s ar ument is shown. and self-re!roducin entities e& &. com!ose music. are amon the e(am!les used& The title comes from a !oem by J& S& 0ach himself. ?o) of 'an's . is !resented in several versions of differin stren ths& )ll are analy<ed.+5. solve !roblems. with the thrust bein !roblems connected with self-re!lication and self-reference& Television cameras filmin television screens.& Aucas. to the effect that 6>del1s Theorem demonstrates that human thou ht cannot in any sense be -mechanical-. and use -natural lan ua e.i) and 0thers1 The fictional 7rab of the !recedin :ialo ue is re!laced by various real !eo!le with ama<in mathematical abilities& The 7hurch-Turin Thesis. which enters in a !eculiar way& Cha!ter <4I5 Self-$ef and Self-$e!1 This 7ha!ter is about the connection between self-reference in its various uises. which relates mental activity to com!utation.in a machine& 'rom there. only a few names have been chan ed& In it& a !ro ram communicates with a !erson about the so-called -blocks world.in rather im!ressive En lish& The com!uter !ro ram a!!ears to e(hibit some real understandin —in its limited world& The :ialo ue1s title is based on ?esu.4e& &.:AF.esigning& This :ialo ue is lifted out of an article by Terry 3ino rad on his !ro ram S?. the haltin !roblem of Turin . !layin them on his flute.The fairly notorious ar ument by J& .=. do mathematics. com!uter !ro rams or :8) molecules5& The relations between a self-re!roducin entity and the mechanisms e(ternal to it which aid it in re!roducin itself 4e& &. or !ro rammin into a machine an ability to sense or create beauty& The connection between brain activity and com!utation brin s u! some other to!ics. En lish5& . and viruses and other subcellular entities which assemble themselves. and determinin whether they are -beautiful. who ives the a!!earance of havin a ma ical !ower of distin uishin between true and false statements of number theory by readin them as musical !ieces. with the im!lication that T8T is not only incom!lete. but -essentially incom!lete&. !rove theorems. and Tarski1s Truth Theorem& -. 3ndeed! The title is a !un on 0ach1s /a nificat in :& The tale is about the 7rab. is analy<ed and found to be wantin & Edif)ing Thoughts of a To(acco -moker& ) :ialo ue treatin of many to!ics.or not& Cha!ter <4II5 Church) Turing) Tars. we o on to an abrid ed history of )rtificial Intelli ence& This covers !ro rams that can—to some de ree—!lay ames.

)rtificial Intelli ence.ros!ects1 The !recedin :ialo ue tri ers a discussion of how knowled e is re!resented in layers of conte(ts& This leads to the modern )I idea of -frames-& ) frame-like way of handlin a set of visual !attern !u<<les is !resented. free will.into words of the most com!le( !iece in the /usical Efferin . for the !ur!ose of concreteness& Then the dee! issue of the interaction of conce!ts in eneral is discussed. while a third voice is free& ?ere. and rabid hater of counterfactuals& Cha!ter <I<5 Artificial Intelligence5 . art violatin the rules of art. which be an the book= it is simultaneously a -translation. and finally. only u!side down and twice as slowly.8ontrafactus& )bout how we unconsciously or ani<e our thou hts so that we can ima ine hy!othetical variants on the real world all the time& )lso about aberrant variants of this ability— such as !ossessed by the new character. and 6>del1s Theorem& . humans thinkin about their own brains and minds& :oes 6>del1s Theorem have anythin to say about this last -snarl-? )re free will and the sensation of consciousness connected to 6>del1s Theorem? The 7ha!ter ends by tyin 6>del. which leads into some s!eculations on creativity& The 7ha!ter concludes with a set of !ersonal -Muestions and S!eculations. thus makin the book into one bi self-referential loo!. the Sloth.icercar& This duality imbues the :ialo ue with more levels of meanin than any other in the book& 'rederick the 6reat is re!laced by the 7rab. and so on& /any sur!rises arise& The :ialo ue1s content concerns !roblems of mind. and so forth. Escher. only ne ated 4in a liberal sense of the term5 and twice as slowly. an avid lover of 'rench fries. and 0ach to ether once a ain& -i9%&art =icercar! This :ialo ue is an e(uberant ame !layed with many of the ideas which have !ermeated the book& It is a reenactment of the story of the /usical Efferin . Escher1s drawin s. the Sloth utters the same lines as the Tortoise does. overnment investi atin overnmental wron doin .on )I and minds in eneral& -loth 8anon& ) canon which imitates a 0ach canon in which one voice !lays the same melody as another. science !robin science. the Si(-Part . which have been introduced earlier& It concludes with an im!licit reference to the be innin of the book. the Turin test. consciousness. while )chilles is free& Cha!ter <<5 Strange Loo!s) 0r Tangled /ierarchies1 ) rand windu! of many of the ideas about hierarchical systems and self-reference& It is concerned with the snarls which arise when systems turn back on themselves—for e(am!le. symboli<in at once 0ach1s music. !ianos by com!uters.

usin mainly a band saw. The be innin of 6enesis. by /& 7& Escher& $& ?and with .ust under C inches on a side&5 'acin 3ords of Thanks.armonic +a()rinth& B$& . by Elias 6ottlieb ?aussmann& B& 7lute 8oncert in -anssouci.0&. ) -6E0. in ancient ?ebrew.0&. by /& 7& Escher& "%& Aiberation.is the name which I have iven to blocks sha!ed in such a way that their shadows in three ortho onal directions are three different letters& The tri!-let idea came to me in a flash one evenin as I was tryin to think how best to symboli<e the unity of 6odel. Escher. by )dol!h von /en<el& %& The . by /& 7& Escher& BL& 7retan Aabyrinth& BD& The structure of the :ialo ue +ittle . and 0ach by somehow fusin their names in a strikin desi n& The two tri!-lets shown on the cover were desi ned and made by me.ATE . by /& 7& Escher& "C& /osaic II.eflectin 6lobe. and are .C= .Aist of Illustrations 7over. castin their symbolic shadows on three !lanes that meet at the corner of a room& 4-Tri!-let. by /& 7& Escher& B%& 8on#e9 and 8onca#e. 9#iii Part I. by /& 7& Escher& BC& =eptiles.of all theorems of the /IF-system& "B& Sky 7astle.T8 with one node recursively e(!anded& B L D $ "" "B "% "C "D %+ C+ CB L$ D" D$ D* D# $" *+ *C *# #* "+$ ""$ ""# "B# "%B "%C . by /& 7& Escher& BB& =elati#it). by /& 7& Escher& "L& -/)IA 0ET-& "D& Tilin of the !lane usin birds.E 'i ure. by /& 7& Escher& "$& 'I6F. .& B*& The +A. by Scott E& @im& "*& :ia ram of the relationshi!s between various classes of T8T strin s& "#& The last !a e of 0ach1s *rt of the 7ugue& B+& Gisual rendition of the !rinci!le underlyin 6>del1s Theorem& B"& Tower of Ba(el. with an end mill for the holes= they are redwood.ecursive Transition 8etworks for 0$. by /& 7& Escher& D& )scendin and :escendin .tri!-let sus!ended in s!ace. by /& 7& Escher& ""& -Tree. by /& 7& Escher& *& 'etamorphosis 33.E-'I6F.7).0&.C= . and +A. The -6E0.and an -E60. by /& 7& Escher& #& @urt 6>del& "+& 'ö(ius -trip 3.1& L& 3aterfall.oyal Theme& C& 0ach1s acrostic on 1.tri!-let castin its three ortho onal shadows& "& Johann Sebastian 0ach.I7E.

osetta Stone& C+& ) colla e of scri!ts& C"& 0ase sequence for the chromosome of bacterio!ha e fT"$C& CB& 8ra( 8anon. by /& 7& Escher& C*& *nother >orld.T8 for 'ibonacci numbers& %B& 6ra!h of the function I8T495& %%& Skeletons of I8T and 6!lot& %C& 6!lot. by /& 7& Escher& L"& &uddle.of two well-known names& D%& Photo of an ant brid e 4de 'ourmi. by /& 7& Escher& CD& Three >orlds. by /& 7& Escher& LL& Pierre de 'ermat& LD& 8u(e with 'agic =i((ons.ewdrop.a) and Night. by /& 7& Escher& Part II. by /& 7& Escher& %*& ) tic-tac-toe ame tree& %#& The .B#& :ia rams 6 and ? re!resented im!licitly& %+& :ia ram 6 further e(!anded& %"& )n . by /& 7& Escher& DB& ) -crisscross. a recursive ra!h& %L& ) com!le( 'eynman dia ram& %D& 7ish and -cales. by /& 7& Escher& L+& =ind. by /& 7& Escher& C#& . by /& 7& Escher& C$& . and levels of com!uter lan ua es& L#& Intelli ence as built u! layer by layer& D+& The -/F-!icture-& D"& *nt 7ugue. com!ilers.tri!-let castin its three ortho onal shadows& LC& 'ö(ius -trip 33. by /& 7& Escher& C%& ) short section of one of the 7rab1s 6enes& CC& 8ra( 8anon from the /usical Efferin . Aierre5& "%L "%D "%D "%# "C" "C% "CL "C$ "C* "L" "DL "D* "$D "#* B+" B+B B%L BC$ BC# BL+ BLB BL% BLD BL$ BL* B$D B$* B*B B** B#C %++ %"+ %B% %%" %%C . by J& S& 0ach& CL& +a 'e@"uita. by /& 7& Escher& L$& The idea of -chunkin -& L*& )ssemblers. by /& 7& Escher& LB& =ippled -urface. The -E60. by /& 7& Escher& %$& Butterflies. by /& 7& Escher& L%& Three -pheres 33.

DC& ) ?EAIS/-.enK /a ritte& *%& E!imenides e(ecutin his own death sentence& *C& )n E!imenides-!arado( iceber & *L& ) Muine-sentence soa!cake& *D& ) self-re!roducin son & *$& The Ty!o enetic 7ode& **& The tertiary structure of a ty!oen<yme& *#& Table of bindin -!references for ty!oen<ymes& #+& The 7entral :o ma of Ty!o enetics& #"& The four constituent bases of :8)& #B& Aadder-like structure of :8)& #%& /olecular model of the :8) double heli(& #C& The 6enetic 7ode& #L& Secondary and tertiary structure of myo lobin& #D& ) section of m.E:F7TIE8IS/ -!ro!eller-& DL& Schematic drawin of a neuron& DD& The human brain. by /& 7& Escher& $B& The structure of a call-less 0looP !ro ram& $%& 6eor 7antor& $C& *(o#e and Below. by /& 7& Escher& $$& The -hadows. by /& 7& Escher& $L& -/ultifurcation.es!onses to !atterns by certain sam!le neurons& D*& Everla!!in neural !athways& D#& The construction of an arch by termite workers& $+& ) tiny !ortion of the author1s -semantic network-& $"& :rder and 8haos. by .8) !assin throu h a ribosome& #$& ) !olyribosome& #*& ) two-tiered molecular canon& ##& The 7entral :o ma!& "++& The 6>del 7ode& "+"& The TC bacterial virus& %%L %%# %C" %CL %L$ %L* %$+ %## C"L CB% C%B CD$ C$C C*+ C*" C*L C*# C#+-" C#C C#D C#D C#$ L++ L"+ L"" L"" L"% L"L L"L L"D LB+ LB" LB% LBD LB$ L%% L%L L%$ . by . by . seen from one side& D$& .enK /a ritte& $#& Tobacco /osaic Girus& *+& The 7air 8apti#e.enK /a ritte& $*& -tate of Grace.ragon.enK /a ritte& *"& Self-en ulfin TG screens& *B& The *ir and the -ong. by .of T8T& $D& .

ream.:AF& L*# )lan /athison Turin & L#C Pons )sinorum Proof& D+D 9eno1s endless oal tree& D"+ ) meanin ful story in )rabic& DBC 'ental *rithmetic.rawing . by /& 7& Escher& D#+ )bstract dia ram of /& 7& Escher1s .enK /a ritte& $++ The Two ')steries. by .D%" 0on ard !roblem L"& DCD 0on ard !roblem C$& DC* 0on ard !roblem #"& DC# 0on ard !roblem C#& DL+ ) small !ortion of a conce!t network for 0on ard !roblems& DLB 0on ard !roblem %%& DLC 0on ard !roblems *L-*$& DLL 0on ard !roblem LL& DL* 0on ard !roblem BB& DL* 0on ard !roblem L*& DL# 0on ard !roblem D"& DL# 0on ard !roblems $+-$"& DD+ ) schematic dia ram of the :ialo ue 8ra( 8anon& DDD Two homolo ous chromosomes .enK /a ritte& $+" -moke -ignal.:AF& L*D ) later scene from the :ialo ue with S?. by the author& $+B &ipe .an and one of his stran e Indian melodies& LD% lsomor!hisms connectin natural numbers.ands. by J& S& 0ach& D*B )n authorshi! trian le& D*# .rawing .enK /a ritte& DB$ Procedural re!resentation of -a red cube which su!!orts a !yramid.ands& D#+ 8ommon -ense. by /& 7& Escher& LL+ Srinivasa .oined at the center by a centromere& DD* --loth 8anon. by the author& $+% ."+B& "+%& "+C& "+L& "+D& "+$& "+*& "+#& ""+& """& ""B& ""%& ""C& ""L& ""D& ""$& ""*& ""#& "B+& "B"& "BB& "B%& "BC& "BL& "BD& "B$& "B*& "B#& "%+& "%"& "%B& "%%& "%C& "%L& "%D& "%$& "%*& "%#& "C+& Infection of a bacterium by a virus& L%* The mor!ho enetic !athway of the TC virus& L%# 8astro#al#a. by .from the 'usical :ffering.amanu.the to! level of the brain& L$% 7onflict between low and hi h levels of a brain& L$D The o!enin scene from a :ialo ue with S?. calculators. and human brains& LD* 8eural and symbolic activity in the brain& L$" -Skimmin off. by .:AF& L*$ Ene last scene from the :ialo ue with S?.

from the ori inal edition of the 'usical :ffering."C"& "CB& "C%& "CC& "CL& "CD& "C$& "C*& "C#& "L+& "L"& "LB& The . by . notated for !iano& <er(um.enK /a ritte& &rint Galler).isin 7anon. by /& 7& Escher& 7harles 0abba e& The 7rab1s Theme& Aast !a e of the -i9%&art =icercar. by J& S& 0ach& $+L $"C $"L $"L $"D $"D $"$ $"* $%B $%% $C+ $C" . by /& 7& Escher& )bstract dia ram of /& 7& Escher1s &rint Galler)& ) colla!sed version of 'i ure "C%& 'urther colla!se of 'i ure "C%& )nother way of colla!sin 'i ure "C%& 0ach1s Endlessly . !layed in She!ard tones.uman 8ondition 3. forms a Stran e Aoo!& Two com!lete cycles of a She!ard tone scale.

throu h his book. a n d time and a ain has iven me ood ideas which I have deli htedly incor!orated& /y only re ret is that I won1t be able to include all the future ideas :on will come u! with.3ords of Thanks This book was brewin in my mind over a !eriod of !robably nearly twenty years—ever since I was thirteen and thinkin about how I thou ht in En lish and 'rench& )nd even before that. they have always believed in me& It is to them that this book is dedicated& To two friends of many years—. analo ies. my father initiated me into the mysteries of square roots. which !leases me reatly& . !ersistent. once the book is in !rint& )nd let me not for et to thank :on for the marvelous fle(ibility-in-infle(ibility of his music-!rintin !ro ram. who knows this book forwards and backwards and every which w a y& & & ?e has an unerrin sense for its overall oals and structure. lon a o in Germont and more recently in 8ew Hork& ?oward :eAon . I am much indebted for his havin tau ht me to !ro ram when we were both youn . there were clear si ns of my main-line interest& I remember that at some early a e. S/FT& ?e s!ent many lon days and arduous ni hts coa(in S/FT to sit u! and do !re!osterous tricks& Some of his results are included as fi ures in this book& 0ut :on1s influence is s!read throu hout. humor. the resonance between the two of us has been incredible& )side from his tan ible contributions of art.obert 0oenin er. and i!!! I owe more to my !arents than to anyone else& They have been !illars of su!!ort I could rely on at all times& They have uided me. which owes a reat deal to him& Scott @im has e(erted a i antic influence on me& Ever since we met some two and a half years a o. and so on—includin mucha!!reciated volunteer labor at crucial times—Scott has contributed new !ers!ectives and insi hts which have chan ed my own views of my endeavor as it has evolved& If anyone understands this book. and for his constant !ushin and !loddin —im!licit !raise—and occasional criticism& I am !leased to acknowled e the immense influence of Ernest 8a el. for they hel!ed mold a million ways of thou ht. it is Scott& 'or advice on matters of lar e scale or small. there was nothin more fascinatin to me than the idea of takin three %1s. reawakened in me a lon -dormant love of the matters in this book& I truly owe him a reat debt& :avid Jonathan Justman tau ht me what it is to be a Tortoise—an in enious. a lon -time friend and mentor& I loved -8a el and 8ewman-.oy this book. I have turned re!eatedly to :on 0yrd. and she answered -8ine-& I wasn1t sure she knew what I meant. and I have learned much from many conversations. and humorous bein . with a fondness for !arado( and contradiction& I ho!e that he will read and en. and their influences and ideas are s!read all around in this book& To 7harles 0renner. o!eratin u!on % with itselfA I was sure that this idea was so subtle that it was inconceivable to anyone else—but I dared ask my mother one day how bi it was anyway. and sustained me& /ost of all. encoura ed me. thou h& Aater. ins!ired me. Peter Jones—I owe s!ecial thanks. music.

Steve Emohundro. and 6re ory 3annier& I a!!reciate their understandin attitudes& In addition. is a lon -time friend and he was e(tremely enerous to me.obin 'reeman. Peter E& Parks. ivin me access to an outstandin com!uter system. Pete . /ike /oravcsik. . however. Paul 7sonka. and 0ob 3olf for -resonatin with me at crucial times in my life. the author of the te(t-editin !ro ram to which this book owes its e(istence& I have said to many !eo!le that it would have taken me twice as lon to write my book if I hadn1t been able to use -TGEdit-. 'rancois Gannucci. John /c7arthy. Aouis /endelowit<. my sister Aaura ?ofstadter has contributed much to my outlook on the world& ?er influence is !resent in both the form and content of this book& I would like to thank my new and old friends /arie )nthony. to Pentti @anerva is due much of the credit& It was in the )SSF Ty!esettin Sho! that this book was actually born& I would like to offer many hearty words of thanks to its director. ty!eset my own book& ?e has been a ma. :ianne @anerva. for two whole years—and then some& This brin s me to Pentti @anerva. Phil 3adler. Aarry Tesler. Eric ?ambur . 'rancisco 7laro. and to her crew.obert ?erman. :avid Policansky. 6ayle Aandt. /ike /ueller. 8ai-?ua :uan. Sydney )rkowit<. :an 'riedman. 6uy Steele. Jos /arlowe. . and in eneral an e(cellent workin environment. Pat Su!!es. his sense of style& If my book looks ood. Paul 7sonka read an entire early version and made hel!ful comments& Thanks to E& E& 3ilson for readin and commentin on an early version of my &relude. :ave Jennin s. 0ill Aewis. at Stanford Fniversity& Its director.udy ?wa. Pranab 6hosh. 'eli( 0loch. .I could not !ossibly have written this book if it were not for the facilities of the Institute for /athematical Studies in the Social Sciences. .ay ?yman. Paul E!!enheimer. *nt 7ugue! Thanks to /arsha /eredith for bein the meta-author of a droll kRan& . Persi :iaconis.osemary 8elson. /ichael 6oldhaber. and thereby contributin in various and sundry ways to this book& I wrote this book twice& )fter havin written it once. 3ilfried Sie . Jim /c:onald. in housin me in Gentura ?all. that raceful !ro ram which is so sim!le in s!irit that only Pentti could have written it& It is also thanks to Pentti that I was able to do somethin which very few authors have ever done.or force in the develo!ment of com!uter ty!esettin at the I/SSS& Equally im!ortant to me. is Pentti1s rare quality. 0everly ?endricks. 0en t Elle 0en tsson. )vril 6reenber . I started all over a ain and rewrote it& The first o-round was when I was still a raduate student in !hysics at the Fniversity of Ere on. In a @arliner. for hel! in times of dire need. and for consistently ood s!irits in the face of one disaster after another& I would also like to thank 7ecille Taylor and 0arbara Aadda a. and four faculty members were mi hty indul ent concernin my aberrant ways.osser. who did most of the actual work of runnin off alleys& Ever the years. . Jonathan and Ellen @in . John Ellis. Terry 3ino rad. Aauri @anerva. @athy .imbey.

this book is a statement of my reli ion& I ho!e that this will come throu h to my readers. for enerously hel!in me make tri!-lets& Thanks to my uncle and aunt. and that my enthusiasm and reverence for certain ideas will infiltrate the hearts and minds of a few !eo!le& That is the best I could ask for& :& .Thanks to /arvin /insky for a memorable conversation one /arch day in his home. "#$#& . !arts of which the reader will find reconstructed herein& Thanks to 0ill @aufmann for advice on !ublication. who ave me a record of the 'usical :ffering one sad 8ovember lon a o= and to Etto 'risch. and to Jeremy 0ernstein and )le( 6eor e for encoura in words when needed& Gery warm thanks to /artin @essler. Gincent Torre. who took so many !hone messa es over the years= also to the Pine ?all crew. Jimmy and 0etty 6ivan. for the 7hristmas !resent they never knew would so deli ht me.& ?& 0loomin ton and Stanford January.which I s!ent hours !hoto ra!hin & Thanks to Jerry Pryke. who develo!ed and maintained much of the hardware and software that this book has so vitally de!ended on& Thanks to :ennis :avies of the Stanford Instructional Television 8etwork for his hel! in settin u! the -self-en ulfin televisions. but I have undoubtedly failed to include all of them& In a way. I would like to ive s!ecial thanks to my freshman En lish teacher.which had no other function than to turn itself off& 'inally. who first s!ran 9en on me= to @ees 6u elot. for undertakin this !ublishin venture which is unusual in quite a few ways& Thanks to Phoebe ?oss for doin well the difficult . and Ginnie )veni of the machine sho! in the ?i h Ener y Physics Aaboratory at Stanford.ob of co!y editin . in whose office at 7ambrid e I first saw the ma ic of Escher& I have tried to remember all the !eo!le who have contributed to the develo!ment of this book. and to Aarry 0reed for valuable last-minute !roofreadin & Thanks to my many Imlac-roommates. Ted 0radshaw. 0rent ?arold. a -0lack 0o(. /aureen 0ischoff. Aeon :orin. 0ob Parks. and all the other !eo!le at 0asic 0ooks.

73G5=E B! ?ohann -e(astian Bach.aussmann! . in BCDE! 7rom a painting () Elias Gottlie( .

throu h entle hints to Phili!! Emanuel. 0ach was si(ty-two. who wrote some of their most influential works while there& 0ut music was 'rederick1s real love& ?e was an avid flutist and com!oser& Some of his com!ositions are occasionally !erformed even to this day& 'rederick was one of the first !atrons of the arts to reco ni<e the virtues of the newly develo!ed -!iano-forte. by ?& T& :avid and )& /endel&5 In "$C$. where 0artolommeo 7ristofori had made the first one. see The Bach =eader. came to !ower in "$C+& )lthou h he is remembered in history books mostly for his military astuteness. 7arl Phili!! Emanuel 0ach was the 7a!ellmeister 4choirmaster5 at the court of @in 'rederick& 'or years the @in had let it be known. but also to e(tem!ori<e.E)T. how !leased he would be to have the elder 0ach come and !ay him a visit= but this wish had never been reali<ed& 'rederick was !articularly ea er for 0ach to try out his new Silbermann !ianos. as well as !hiloso!hers—includin Goltaire and Aa /ettrie. was endeavorin to make a -!erfect. had reached Potsdam.!iano-forte& Fndoubtedly @in 'rederick was the reatest su!!orter of his efforts—it is said that the @in owned as many as fifteen Silbermann !ianos2 Bach 'rederick was an admirer not only of !ianos. in fact. but also of an or anist and com!oser by the name of J& S& 0ach& This 0ach1s com!ositions were somewhat notorious& Some called them -tur id and confused-.4-softloud-5& The !iano had been develo!ed in the first half of the ei hteenth century as a modification of the har!sichord& The !roblem with the har!sichord was that !ieces could only be !layed at a rather uniform loudness —there was no way to strike one note more loudly than its nei hbors& The -soft-loud-. @in of Prussia. bein an or anist not only meant bein able to !lay. while others claimed they were incom!arable master!ieces& 0ut no one dis!uted 0ach1s ability to im!rovise on the or an& In those days.E:E.Introduction5 A Musico-Logical 0ffering *uthor: '. and his fame. as its name im!lies. which he 4'rederick5 correctly foresaw as the reat new wave in music& It was 'rederick1s custom to have evenin concerts of chamber music in his court& Eften he himself would be the soloist in a concerto for flute& ?ere we have re!roduced a . as well as one of his sons. the foremost 6erman or an builder of the day. and 0ach was known far and wide for his remarkable e(tem!ori<ations& 4'or some deli htful anecdotes about 0ach1s e(tem!ori<ation.I7@ T?E 6. !rovided a remedy to this !roblem& 'rom Italy. he was also devoted to the life of the mind and the s!irit& ?is court in Potsdam was one of the reat centers of intellectual activity in Euro!e in the ei hteenth century& The celebrated mathematician Aeonhard Euler s!ent twenty-five years there& /any other mathematicians and scientists came. the soft-loud idea had s!read widely& 6ottfried Silbermann.

that he resolved to buy them all u!& ?e collected fifteen& I hear that they all now stand unfit for use in various corners of the .oyal Palace&-V The musicians went with him from room to room. !robably to see how far such art could be carried. with a kind of a itation.!aintin of such an evenin by the 6erman !ainter )dol!h von /en<el.ust as he was ettin his flute ready. who had ali hted at his son1s lod in s. -6entlemen. old 0ach is come&. and immediately e(ecuted it to the astonishment of all !resent in the same ma nificent and learned manner as he had done that of the @in & ?is /a. and 0ach was invited everywhere to try them and to !lay un!remeditated com!ositions& )fter he had ene on for some time.ect that is fit for such full harmony. he asked the @in to ive him a sub. and said. an officer brou ht him a list of the stran ers who had arrived& 3ith his flute in his hand he ran ever the list. -The !ianofortes manufactured by Silbermann. as he had before been to Silbermann1s forte!ianos& )fter his return to Aei!<i . but immediately turned to the assembled musicians. and invited 0ach. who did not even ive him time to chan e his travelin dress for a black chanter1s own. one of 0ach1s earliest bio ra!hers. and old 0ach. an une(!ected uest showed u!& Johann 8ikolaus 'orkel. under the title of -/usikalisches E!fer. and the fi ure furthest to the ri ht is Joachim Muant<.The flute was now laid aside. in order to e(ecute it immediately without any !re!aration& The @in admired the learned manner in which his sub.ect for a 'u ue. in three and si( !arts. of 'reyber .ect was thus e(ecuted e(tem!ore= and. which stood in several rooms of the !alace& U'orkel here inserts this footnote. . made a series of !aintin s illustratin the life of 'rederick the 6reat& )t the cembalo is 7& P& E& 0ach. he com!osed the sub.esty desired also to hear his !erformance on the or an& The ne(t day therefore 0ach was taken to all the or ans in Potsdam. and his musicians were assembled. then already called the Eld 0ach. that in 3ilhelm 'riedemann1s mouth they made a formal :ialo ue between the @in and the )!olo ist& 0ut what is mere im!ortant than this is that the @in ave u! his 7oncert for this evenin .U 'usical :fferingV. who. and I must say that I still think with !leasure on the manner in which he related it& )t that time it was the fashion to make rather !roli( com!liments& The first a!!earance of J& S& 0ach before so reat a @in . 0ach chose one himself. and had it en raved. who accom!anied his father. to try his forte!ianos.ect. made by Silbermann. e(!ressed a wish to hear a 'u ue with si( Ebli ato !arts& 0ut as it is not every sub. in the "*++1s. which he had received from the @in . told me this story. Ene evenin . tells the story as follows. must necessarily be attended with many a!olo ies& I will not here dwell on these a!olo ies. the @in 1s flute master—and the only !erson allowed to find fault with the @in 1s flute !layin & Ene /ay evenin in "$C$. and dedicated it to the Inventor&" . added several artificial !assa es in strict canon to it. was immediately summoned to the Palace& 3ilhelm 'riedemann. but merely observe. !leased the @in so much.

73G5=E F! 7lute 8oncert in -anssouci. () *dolph 'en@el BEGF/! .

to any I have heard or can ima ine.ect which he had iven this old 0ach. while those who knew his father claim that he.esty a musical offerin . 'orkel dedicated his bio ra!hy of 0ach.)7IEFS @I862 In dee!est humility I dedicate herewith to Hour /a. to lorify. for lack of necessary !re!aration. who has been for a while in 0erlin& This artist U3ilhelm 'riedemann 0achV is endowed with a talent su!erior. was even reater& The @in is of this o!inion. if only in a small !oint.esty1s Self dei ned to !lay to me a theme for a fu ue u!on the clavier. that. and it has none other than this irre!roachable intent. July $ "$C$ Some twenty-seven years later. and then make it known to the world& This resolve has now been carried out as well as !ossible. incidentally.esty1s most au ust . as in all the sciences of war and !eace. then in five !arts. and 0eethoven dedicated his 'irst Sym!hony—had a conversation with @in 'rederick. a 0aron named 6ottfried van Swieten—to whom.esty1s own au ust hand& 3ith awesome !leasure I still remember the very s!ecial . Hour /a. ?e U'rederickV s!oke to me. and continue to rant Hour /a. may Hour /a. it !robably ives somethin of the flavor of 0ach1s a!olo y for his a!!earance& /EST 6.esty1s most au ust !resence& To obey Hour /a. who on the s!ot had made of it a fu ue in four !arts.oyal race when. of music. which he re!orted as follows. and to !rove it to me he san aloud a chromatic fu ue sub. and finally in ei ht !arts&% Ef course there is no way of knowin whether it was @in 'rederick or 0aron van Swieten who ma nified the story into lar er-than-life !ro!ortions& 0ut it shows how . everyone must admire and revere& I make bold to add this most humble request. and at the same time char ed me most raciously to carry it out in Hour /a.oyal theme more fully. the fame of a monarch whose reatness and !ower. however. T?E )FT?E. so es!ecially in music.73G5=E H! The =o)al Theme! 3hen 0ach sent a co!y of his /usical Efferin to the @in . the e(ecution of the task did not fare as well as such an e(cellent theme demanded& I resolved therefore and !rom!tly !led ed myself to work out this ri ht .oyal race to Hour /a. when 0ach had been dead for twenty-four years. he included a dedicatory letter. and of a reat or anist named 0ach. in de!th of harmonic knowled e and !ower of e(ecution. in turn. Aei!<i . the noblest !art of which derives from Hour /a. which is of interest for its !rose style if nothin else rather submissive and flattersome& 'rom a modern !ers!ective it seems comical& )lso.esty1s most humble and obedient servant.esty1s command was my most humble duty& I noticed very soon. durin my visit in Potsdam. some time a o. amon other thin s.esty dei n to di nify the !resent modest labor with a racious acce!tance.

ten canons. but carries the same kind of im!lication.esolved with 7anonic )rt&-5 ?ere 0ach is !unnin on the word -canonic-. and now desi nated an erudite kind of fu ue.had survived. in the entire 3ell-Tem!ered 7lavier by 0ach. the ori inal name for the musical form now known as -fu ue-& 0y 0ach1s time. only two have as many as five !arts. the . the word -fu ue.emainder . and . and its theme is. 73G5=E D! 4-)t the @in 1s 7ommand.icercar-. in fact. 0ach himself never wrote them out in full& This was deliberate& They were !osed as !u<<les to @in 'rederick& It was a familiar musical ame of the day to ive a sin le theme. literally.!owerful 0ach1s le end had become by that time& To ive an idea of how e(traordinary a si(-!art fu ue is. the word -recherche.means. shown in 'i ure %. namely of esoteric or hi hbrow cleverness& The trio sonata forms a deli htful relief from the austerity of the fu ues and canons. but the term -ricercar.4or fu a. -sou ht out-. on the !a e !recedin the first sheet of music. rhythmically irre ular and hi hly chromatic 4that is. chromatic and austere as it is& It is rather miraculous that 0ach could use such a theme to make so !leasin an interlude& The ten canons in the /usical Efferin are amon the most so!histicated canons 0ach ever wrote& ?owever. in Aatin and Italian5 had become standard. and nowhere is there a si(-!art fu ue2 Ene could !robably liken the task of im!rovisin a si(-!art fu ue to the !layin of si(ty simultaneous blindfold ames of chess. identical with the one which 0ach im!rovised for @in 'rederick& The si(-!art fu ue is one of 0ach1s most com!le( creations. was the followin inscri!tion. since it means not only -with canons. filled with tones which do not belon to the key it is in5& To write a decent fu ue of even two voices based on it would not be easy for the avera e musician2 0oth of the fu ues are inscribed -. meanin -to seek-& )nd certainly there is a reat deal to seek in the 'usical :ffering& It consists of one three-!art fu ue. almost danceable& 8evertheless. curiously enou h.but also -in the best !ossible way-& The initials of this inscri!tion are RICERCAR —an Italian word. and winnin them all& To im!rovise an ei ht-!art fu ue is really beyond human ca!ability& In the co!y which 0ach sent to @in 'rederick.was. containin forty-ei ht Preludes and 'u ues. to ether with some more or less tricky hints.oyal Theme& That theme. it too is based lar ely on the @in 1s theme. is a very com!le( one. of course. one si(-!art fu ue. and a trio sonata& /usical scholars have concluded that the three-!art fu ue must be. because it is very melodious and sweet. !erha!s too austerely intellectual for the common ear& ) similar usa e survives in En lish today. in essence. the Son and the . rather than -'u a-& This is another meanin of the word= -ricercar.

is the retro rade co!y —where the theme is !layed backwards in time& ) canon which uses this trick is affectionately known as a cra( canon. the first voice mi ht sin the theme startin on 7. or -'rere Jacques-& ?ere. some . the latter augmentation 4since the theme seems to shrink or to e(!and5& 3e are not yet done2 The ne(t sta e of com!le(ity in canon construction is to in#ert the theme. mi ht overla! with the first two. each of its notes must be able to serve in a dual 4or tri!le. or twice as slowly. and secondly it must be !art of a harmoni<ation of the same melody& 3hen there are three canonical voices. the theme enters in the first voice and. as well as melodically& Thus. as the first voice& The former is called diminution.!reserves all the information in the ori inal theme. each note in a canon has more than one musical meanin = the listener1s ear and brain automatically fi ure out the a!!ro!riate meanin .of the theme !layed by the various !artici!atin voices& 0ut there are many ways to do this& The most strai htforward of all canons is the round.to let the canon based on that theme be -discovered. the third voice enters carryin the theme. overla!!in with the first voice. -. .of the theme are sta ered not only in time. the second voice mi ht sin twice as quickly. on 6& ) third voice. which means to make a melody which . such as -Three 0lind /ice-. a !leasin canon results&5 'inally. the most esoteric of -co!ies.ow.ow Hour 0oat-. startin on the : yet five notes hi her. and they show u! often in his work —and the 'usical :ffering is no e(ce!tion& 4'or a sim!le e(am!le of inversion. . you must understand a few facts about canons& Canons and +ugues The idea of a canon is that one sin le theme is !layed a ainst itself& This is done by havin -co!ies. each note of the theme must act in two distinct harmonic ways. or quadru!le5 role. a -co!y.of it enters. for instance.um!s down wherever the ori inal theme .ow. and so on& /ost themes will not harmoni<e with themselves in this way& In order for a theme to work as a canon theme. because of the !eculiarities of crab locomotion& 0ach included a crab canon in the 'usical :ffering. and the second voice. and we will have much traffic with isomor!hisms in this book& Sometimes it is desirable to rela( the ti htness of the canon form& Ene way is to allow sli ht de!artures from !erfect co!yin . it be ins to seem quite natural& 0ach was es!ecially fond of inversions. startin an octave a!art and sta ered with a time-delay of two beats. but also in pitch= thus. it must firstly be !art of a melody.um!s up. in the sense that the theme is fully recoverable from any of the co!ies& Such an information !reservin transformation is often called an isomorphism. by referrin to conte(t& There are more com!licated sorts of canons. try the tune -6ood @in 3enceslas-& 3hen the ori inal and its inversion are sun to ether. of course& The first escalation in com!le(ity comes when the -co!ies. but when one has heard many themes inverted.by someone else& In order to know how this is !ossible. needless to say& 8otice that every ty!e of -co!y. mi ht sin the identical theme startin five notes hi her. after a fi(ed time-delay. and so on& The ne(t escalation in com!le(ity comes when the s!eeds of the different voices are not equal= thus. for the sake of more fluid harmony& )lso. in !recisely the same key& )fter the same fi(ed time-delay in the second voice. and by e(actly the same number of semitones& This is a rather weird melodic transformation.

sin in the -countersub.oyal Theme5. and in which !layful double meanin s and subtle allusions are common!lace& )nd it is a very beautiful creation of the human intellect which we can a!!reciate forever& 4The entire work is wonderfully described in the book ?! -! Bach's 'usical :ffering.ect-.voices—voices which do not em!loy the canon1s theme. but now is in : minor& Somehow 0ach has contrived to modulate 4chan e keys5 ri ht under the listener1s nose& )nd it is so constructed that this -endin . but which sim!ly harmoni<e a reeably with the voices that are in canon with each other& Each of the canons in the 'usical :ffering has for its theme a different variant of the @in 1s Theme.ect& Each of the voices enters in turn. and the u!!er of the !air sin s the same theme dis!laced u!wards in !itch by an interval of a fifth& 3hat makes this canon different from any other. you will discover-5& )ll of the canon !u<<les have been solved& The canonical solutions were iven by one of 0ach1s !u!ils. they are occasionally combined& Thus. with a sin le voice sin in its theme& 3hen it is done. or four down& /eanwhile the first voice oes on. and occasionally at different s!eeds or u!side down or backwards& ?owever. usin the devices of au mentation and inversion& )nother bears sim!ly the cry!tic label -Muaerendo invenietis. then a second voice enters. in that it is usually based on one theme which ets !layed in different voices and different keys. in which many ideas and forms have been woven to ether. Johann Phili!! @irnber er& 0ut one mi ht still wonder whether there are more solutions to seek2 I should also e(!lain briefly what a fu ue is& ) fu ue is like a canon. however. rather.ect in some other voice. chosen to !rovide rhythmic. and melodic contrasts to the sub. it sin s the . sin in the theme. a secondary theme.oyal Theme.canons have -free. then there are no rules& There are. it has three voices& The u!!ermost voice sin s a variant of the .4-0y seekin . one three-voice canon is labeled -7anon !er )u mentationem. either five scale-notes u!. while underneath it.ties smoothly . with the remainin voices doin whatever fanciful thin s entered the com!oser1s mind& 3hen all the voices have -arrived-. often to the accom!animent of the countersub. standard kinds of thin s to do — but not so standard that one can merely com!ose a fu ue by formula& The two fu ues in the 'usical :ffering are outstandin e(am!les of fu ues that could never have been -com!osed by formula-& There is somethin much dee!er in them than mere fu ality& )ll in all. is that when it concludes—or. seems to conclude—it is no lon er in the key of 7 minor. and consequently it allows for more emotional and artistic e(!ression& The telltale si n of a fu ue is the way it be ins. to be sure. and all the devices described above for makin canons intricate are e(!loited to the hilt= in fact. harmonic. the 'usical :ffering re!resents one of 0ach1s su!reme accom!lishments in counter!oint& It is itself one lar e intellectual fu ue. by ?& T& :avid&5 An Endlessly $ising Canon There is one canon in the 'usical :ffering which is !articularly unusual& Aabeled sim!ly -7anon !er Tonos-. the notion of fu ue is much less ri id than that of canon. two voices !rovide a canonic harmoni<ation based on a second theme& The lower of this !air sin s its theme in 7 minor 4which is the key of the canon as a whole5. while the other two dance canonically above and below it. contrario /otu-= its middle voice is free 4in fact.

by movin u!wards 4or downwards5 throu h the levels of some hierarchical system. and here the !iece may be broken off in a musically a reeable way& Such. other times it will be u!side down. or double-meanin & /athematicians were amon the first admirers of Escher1s drawin s. reali<ed in artistic form& )nd in !articular. the system is that of musical keys&5 Sometimes I use the term Tangled .To em!hasi<e its !otentially infinite as!ect. I like to call this the -Endlessly . the theme of Stran e Aoo!s will recur a ain and a ain& Sometimes it will be hidden. the ori inal key of 7 minor has been restored2 )ll the voices are e(actly one octave hi her than they were at the be innin .onto the be innin a ain= thus one can re!eat the !rocess and return in the key of E.oin a ain to the be innin & These successive modulations lead the ear to increasin ly remote !rovinces of tonality. at the litho ra!h >aterfall 4'i & L5. the Stran e Aoo! is one of the most recurrent themes in Escher1s work& Aook. so may the @in 1s 6lory&. for e(am!le. after e(actly si( such modulations.ierarch) to describe a system in which a Stran e Aoo! occurs& )s we o on. other times it will be out in the o!en= sometimes it will be ri ht side u!. we une(!ectedly find ourselves ri ht back where we started& 4?ere. so that after several of them.ust symmetry or !attern= there is often an underlyin idea.is my advice to the reader& Escher To my mind. or backwards& -Muaerendo invenietis. and this is understandable because they often are based on mathematical !rinci!les of symmetry or !attern&&& 0ut there is much more to a ty!ical Escher drawin than . one would e(!ect to be ho!elessly far away from the startin key& )nd yet ma ically.!henomenon occurs whenever. illusion. was 0ach1s intention= but 0ach indubitably also relished the im!lication that this !rocess could o on ad infinitum. and com!are its si(-ste! endlessly fallin loo! with the si(-ste! endlessly risin loo! of the -7anon !er Tonos-& The similarity of vision is remarkable& 0ach and Escher are !layin one sin le theme in two different -keys-. who lived from "#+B to "#$B& Escher was the creator of some of the most intellectually stimulatin drawin s of all time& /any of them have their ori in in !arado(.isin 7anon-& In this canon. 0ach has iven us our first e(am!le of the notion of -trange +oops& The -Stran e Aoo!. the most beautiful and !owerful visual reali<ations of this notion of Stran e Aoo!s e(ist in the work of the :utch ra!hic artist /& 7& Escher. one ima ines. music and art& . which is !erha!s why he wrote in the mar in -)s the modulation rises. only to .

BIJB/! . () '! 8! Escher lithograph.73G5=E G! 3aterfall.

BIJK/! .73G5=E J! )scendin and :escendin . () '! 8! Escher lithograph.

BIHG/! . not only in 73G5=E C! ?and with .—for instance. in which monks trud e forever in loo!s.ust as easily as havin four levels 4staircases5 as forty-five levels 4stairs5? It is indeed true that there is an inherent ha<iness in level-countin . which.eflectin 6lobe! -elf%portrait 3n.Escher reali<ed Stran e Aoo!s in several different ways.escending be seen . couldn1t *scending and . as we already observed. is the loosest version. '! 8! Escher lithograph.escending 4'i & D5. and they can be arran ed accordin to the ti htness of the loo!& The litho ra!h *scending and . involves only si( discrete ste!s& Hou may be thinkin that there is some ambi uity in the notion of a sin le -ste!. since it involves so many ste!s before the startin !oint is re ained& ) ti hter loo! is contained in >aterfall.

73G5=E E! /etamor!hosis II. BIHI%DK/ . () '! 8! Escher woodcut BI!G cm! W DKK cm!.

o er Penrose. in which.rawing . or liar parado9& . for any one level. the theme of the Stran e Aoo! was already !resent in Escher1s work in "#C*. in which each of two hands draws the other. a two-ste! Stran e Aoo!& )nd finally. worlds filled with Stran e Aoo!s. one sin le theme can a!!ear on different levels of reality& 'or instance. and what is fantasy? The enius of Escher was that he could not only concoct. a staircase—so this discovery.than it is& This can be mind-bo lin in itself& ?owever. .Escher !ictures.ands 4'i & "%L5. 6>del1s discovery involves the translation of an ancient !arado( in !hiloso!hy into mathematical terms& That !arado( is the so-called Epimenides parado9. half-mythical worlds.isin 7anon-.ands& &rint Galler) dates from "#LD&5 Im!licit in the conce!t of Stran e Aoo!s is the conce!t of infinity. but actually !ortray. and hence a stron sense of !arado(& Intuition senses that there is somethin mathematical involved here& )nd indeed in our own century a mathematical counter!art was discovered. many-level systems& 3e will shar!en our understandin of this ha<iness later on& 0ut let us not et too distracted now2 )s we ti hten our loo!. one level in a drawin mi ht clearly be reco ni<able as re!resentin fantasy or ima ination= another level would be reco ni<able as reality& These two levels mi ht be the only e(!licitly !ortrayed levels& 0ut the mere !resence of these two levels invites the viewer to look u!on himself as !art of yet another level= and by takin that ste!. do<ens of half-real. but by . we come to the remarkable . formin visual analo ues to the canons of 0ach& Several such !atterns can be seen in Escher1s famous !rint 'etamorphosis 4'i & *5& It is a little like the -Endlessly .rawing . there are already su estions of infinity& 0ut wilder visions of infinity a!!ear in other drawin s by Escher& In some of his drawin s. a 0ritish mathematician. but in hierarchical. what ha!!ens if the chain of levels is not linear.escending and >aterfall was not invented by Escher. with the most enormous re!ercussions& )nd. and likewise.ust as the 0ach and Escher loo!s a!!eal to very sim!le and ancient intuitions —a musical scale. the ti htest of all Stran e Aoo!s is reali<ed in &rint Galler) 4'i & "CB5. of a Stran e Aoo! in mathematical systems has its ori ins in sim!le and ancient intuitions& In its absolutely barest form. a !icture of a !icture which contains itself& Er is it a !icture of a allery which contains itself? Er of a town which contains itself? Er a youn man who contains himself? 4Incidentally. the year he drew . the illusion underlyin *scending and . there is a conflict between the finite and the infinite. the viewer cannot hel! ettin cau ht u! in Escher1s im!lied chain of levels. but forms a loo!? 3hat is real. since what else is a loo! but a way of re!resentin an endless !rocess in a finite way? )nd infinity !lays a lar e role in many of Escher1s drawin s& 7o!ies of one sin le theme often fit into each other. which he seems to be invitin his viewers to enter& G#del In the e(am!les we have seen of Stran e Aoo!s by 0ach and Escher. in "#L*& ?owever. -more ima inary. it suddenly is back& In the tiled !lanes of /etamor!hosis and other !ictures. there is always another level above it of reater -reality-. by @& 6>del. then. there is always a level below. wanderin further and further from its startin !oint.

then it immediately backfires on you and makes you think it is false& 0ut once you1ve decided it is false. a similar backfirin returns you to the idea that it must be true& Try it2 The E!imenides !arado( is a one-ste! Stran e Aoo!. because if you tentatively think it is true.) shar!er version of the statement is sim!ly -I am lyin -= or.!roved to be enormously !owerful. like Escher1s &rint Galler)& 0ut how does it have to do with mathematics? That is what 6>del discovered& ?is idea was to use mathematical reasonin in e(!lorin mathematical reasonin itself& This notion of makin mathematics -intros!ective. and !erha!s its richest im!lication was the one 6>del found. -)ll 7retans are liars&. -This statement is false-& It is that last version which I will usually mean when I s!eak of the E!imenides !arado(& It is a statement which rudely violates the usually assumed dichotomy of statements into true and false.urt Gödel! E!imenides was a 7retan who made one immortal statement. 6>del1s Incom!leteness Theorem& 3hat the Theorem states and how it is !roved are two different thin s& 3e shall discuss both in .73G5=E I! .

as statements of number theory. in other words. To every w-consistent recursive class L of formulae there corres!ond recursive classsi ns r. it took enius merely to connect the idea of self-referential statements with number theory& Ence 6>del had the intuition that such a statement could be created. somethin like a tele!hone number or a license !late. if only numbers could somehow stand for statements& The idea of a code.or hurdle& The actual creation of the statement was the workin out of this one beautiful s!ark of intuition& 3e shall e(amine the 6>del construction quite carefully in 7ha!ters to come. it is not at all easy to see how a statement about numbers can talk about itself& In fact. such that neither # 6en r nor 8e 4# 6en r5 belon s to 'l 4@5 4where # is the free #aria(le of r5& )ctually. nor are their !ro!erties& ) statement of number theory is not about a& statement of number theory= it . in a few strokes. each statement of number theory. the difficulty should be made absolutely clear& /athematical statements—let us concentrate on number—theoretical ones—are about !ro!erties of whole numbers& 3hole numbers are not statements. in the same way as the E!imenides !arado( is a self-referential statement of lan ua e& 0ut whereas it is very sim!le to talk about lan ua e in lan ua e. the core of the idea. and also as statements about statements of number theory& . it was in 6erman.ust is a statement of number theory& This is the !roblem= but 6>del reali<ed that there was more here than meets the eye& 6>del had the insi ht that a statement of number theory could be about a statement of number theory 4!ossibly even itself5. acquires a 6>del number. he was over the ma.It states. ho!in that what you see will tri er ideas in your mind& 'irst of all. and !erha!s you feel that it mi ht as well be in 6erman anyway& So here is a !ara!hrase in more normal En lish. usually called -6>del-numberin -.quite some detail in this book& The Theorem can be likened to a !earl. but so that you are not left com!letely in the dark. bein a sequence of s!eciali<ed symbols. I will sketch here. )ll consistent a(iomatic formulations of number theory include undecidable !ro!ositions& This is the !earl& In this !earl it is hard to see a Stran e Aoo!& That is because the Stran e Aoo! is buried in the oyster—the !roof& The !roof of 6>del1s Incom!leteness Theorem hin es u!on the writin of a self-referential mathematical statement. is at the heart of his construction& In the 6>del 7ode. and the method of !roof to an oyster& The !earl is !ri<ed for its luster and sim!licity= the oyster is a com!le( livin beast whose innards ive rise to this mysteriously sim!le em& 6>del1s Theorem a!!ears as Pro!osition GI in his "#%" !a!er -En 'ormally Fndecidable Pro!ositions in &rincipia 'athematica and . numbers are made to stand for symbols and sequences of symbols& That way. by which it can be referred to& )nd this codin trick enables statements of number theory to be understood on two different levels.elated Systems I&.

the 6>del sentence 6 should more !ro!erly be written in En lish as. -This statement of number theory is false-.in the title of 6>del1s article is a tellin one. %.ust !art of a lon attem!t by mathematicians to e(!licate for themselves what !roofs are& The im!ortant thin to kee! in mind is that !roofs are demonstrations within fi9ed s)stems of !ro!ositions& In the case of 6>del1s work.refers is that of &rincipia 'athematica &!'!/. he had to work out in detail a way of trans!ortin the E!imenides !arado( into a number-theoretical formalism& ?is final trans!lant of E!imenides did not say. no matter how com!licated. 6>del1s !roof !ertained to any a(iomatic system which !ur!orted to achieve the aims which 3hitehead and .results—but back in "#%". these days.ussell and )lfred 8orth 3hitehead. ". +. and their !hiloso!hically disorientin messa es have reached the !ublic. then others could have been ins!ired to im!rove u!on P&/& and to outwit 6>del1s Theorem& 0ut this was not !ossible. -This statement of number theory does not have any !roof-& ) reat deal of confusion can be caused by this. alon with the conce!tual revolutions of relativity and quantum mechanics. This statement of number theory does not have any !roof in the system of &rincipia 'athematica! Incidentally. this 6>del sentence 6 is not 6>del1s Theorem—no more than the E!imenides sentence is the observation that -The E!imenides sentence is a !arado(&. since in the interim our culture has absorbed 6>del1s Theorem. but rather. B. a iant o!us by 0ertrand .ussell had set for themselves& )nd for each different system. because !eo!le enerally understand the notion of -!roof. one basic method did the trick& In short. of -limitative. the fi(ed system of number-theoretical reasonin to which the word -!roof. mathematicians.rather va uely& In fact.ussell and 3hitehead. for if 6>del1s result had merely !ointed out a defect in the work of . 6>del1s work was . even if cushioned by several layers of translation 4and usually obfuscation5& There is a eneral mood of e(!ectation.elated Systems. 6>del showed that !rovability is a weaker notion than truth. no matter what a(iomatic system is involved& Therefore 6>del1s Theorem had an electrifyin effect u!on lo icians. it was certainly not the last2 The !hrase -and .3e can now state what the effect of discoverin 6 is& 3hereas the E!imenides statement creates a !arado( since it is neither true nor false.Ence 6>del had invented this codin scheme. could re!resent the com!le(ity of the whole numbers. !ublished between "#"+ and "#"%& Therefore.&&& /odern readers may not be as non!lussed by this as readers of "#%" were. the 6>del sentence 6 is un!rovable 4inside P&/&5 but true& The rand conclusion? That the system of &rincipia 'athematica is -incom!lete-—there are true statements of number theory which its methods of !roof are too weak to demonstrate& 0ut if &rincipia 'athematica was the first victim of this stroke. for it showed that no fi(ed system. this came as a bolt from the blue& . and !hiloso!hers interested in the foundations of mathematics.

the solution to the dilemma may be a!!arent.Mathematical Logic5 A Syno!sis ) !ro!er a!!reciation of 6>del1s Theorem requires a settin of conte(t& Therefore. the set containin only Joan of )rc is not Joan of )rc 4a set is not a !erson5—and so on& In this res!ect. the En lish lo icians 6eor e 0oole and )u ustus :e /or an went considerably further than )ristotle in codifyin strictly deductive reasonin !atterns& 0oole even called his book "The +aws of Thought"—surely an e(a eration. was develo!ed by 6eor 7antor in the "**+1s& The theory was !owerful and beautiful. eometries—whereby -a eometry. because it dee!ly challen ed the idea that mathematics studies the real world& ?ow could there be many different kinds of -!oints.sets do contain themselves as members. but it was an im!ortant contribution& Aewis 7arroll was fascinated by these mechani<ed reasonin methods. for ood !resentations of history&5 It all be an with the attem!ts to mechani<e the thou ht !rocesses of reasonin & 8ow our ability to reason has often been claimed to be what distin uishes us from other s!ecies= so it seems somewhat !arado(ical. even to some nonmathematicians—but at the time. @neebone. which looked worse2 The most famous is . to mechani<e that which is most human& Het even the ancient 6reeks knew that reasonin is a !atterned !rocess.and -lines. interestin develo!ments were takin !lace in classical mathematics& ) theory of different ty!es of infinities. a variety of set-theoretical !arado(es had been unearthed& The situation was very disturbin . and Euclid codified eometry= but thereafter.ust as mathematics seemed to be recoverin from one set of !arado(es—those related to the theory of limits. and so . some -self-swallowin . are not members of themselves—for e(am!le. the set of walruses is not a walrus. the dilemma created havoc in mathematical circles& Aater in the nineteenth century.ussell1s !arado(& /ost sets. or the set of all thin s e(ce!t Joan of )rc.is meant a theory of !ro!erties of abstract !oints and lines& It had lon been assumed that eometry was what Euclid had codified. they were unim!ortant and any real !ro ress in eometry would be achieved by e(tendin Euclid& This idea was shattered by the rou hly simultaneous discovery of non-Euclidean eometry by several !eo!le—a discovery that shocked the mathematics community. on first thou ht. althou h there mi ht be small flaws in Euclid1s !resentation. in the calculus—alon came a whole new set. or 8a el and 8ewman. it would seem. such as the set of all sets. known as the theor) of sets.in one sin le reality? Today. many centuries had to !ass before !ro ress in the study of a(iomatic reasonin would take !lace a ain& Ene of the si nificant discoveries of nineteenth-century mathematics was that there are different. and is at least !artially overned by statable laws& )ristotle codified syllo isms. and equally valid. most sets are rather -run-of-the-mill-& ?owever. I will now attem!t to summari<e in a short s!ace the history of mathematical lo ic !rior to "#%"—an im!ossible task& 4See :eAon . and invented many !u<<les which could be solved with them& 6ottlob 're e in Jena and 6iuse!!e Peano in Turin worked on combinin formal reasonin with the study of sets and numbers& :avid ?ilbert in 6>ttin en worked on stricter formali<ations of eometry than Euclid1s& )ll of these efforts were directed towards clarifyin what one means by -!roof-& In the meantime. because . and that. but intuition-defyin & 0efore lon .

to which class does it belon ? If it seems questionable to include hy!henated words. and accordin ly. why not try bannin selfreference and anythin that allows it to arise? This is not so easy as it mi ht seem. for either choice leads to !arado(&. or -Stran e Aoo!iness-& So if the oal is to ban all !arado(es. but which skirts the !arado(es?. and no set can be both& 8ow nothin !revents us from inventin . mi ht seem a rather run-of-the-mill invention—but that o!inion must be revised when you ask yourself.at each other& In the same way. and heterological 4X -nonself-descri!tive-5& The question then becomes.. the set of all run%of%the%mill sets & )t first. they are harmless and even !otentially useful sentences& The -blame.Try it2 0ut if .ussell and 3hitehead did subscribe to this view. such as -!entasyllabic-. those which are self-descri!tive.ussell1s !arado(. every set is either run-of-the-mill or self-swallowin . reasonin systems& ) startlin variant of .ective. &rincipia 'athematica was a mammoth e(ercise in e(orcisin Stran e Aoo!s from lo ic. . and -recherche-.on& 7learly. -.for this Stran e Aoo! can1t he !inned on either sentence—only on the way they -!oint. The followin sentence is false& The !recedin sentence is true& Taken to ether. each local re ion of )scendin and :escendin is quite le itimate= it is only the way they are lobally !ut to ether that creates an im!ossibility& Since there are indirect as well as direct ways of achievin self-reference.as an ad.rawing . then what is it? )t the very least.?ere. we can use two terms invented s!ecially for this !arado(. -incom!lete-. yet se!arately. autological 4X -self-descri!tive-5. namely self-reference.ands. is neither run-of-the-mill nor self-swallowin . set theory.ectives in En lish into two cate ories. can be made usin ad. the !roblem is in tryin to line u! intuition with formali<ed.version of E!imenides. itself -a run-of-the-mill set or a self-swallowin set?. one must fi ure out how to ban both ty!es at once—if one sees self-reference as the root of all evil& Banishing Strange Loo!s . such as -edible-. and those which are not. -3hat is wron with our intuitive conce!t of 1set1? 7an we make a ri orous theory of sets which corres!onds closely with our intuitions. is neither run-of-the-mill nor self-swallowin . -Is 1heterolo ical1 heterolo ical?. -Is . -awkwardnessful-.Try it2 There seems to he one common cul!rit in these !arado(es. !atholo ical& 0ut no one was satisfied with evasive answers of that sort& )nd so !eo!le be an to di more dee!ly into the foundations of set theory& The crucial questions seemed to be. because it can be hard to fi ure out .ust where self-reference is occurrin & It may be s!read out over a whole Stran e Aoo! with several ste!s. and number theory& The idea of their system was basically this& ) set of the lowest .Hou will find that the answer is. called -6rellin 1s !arado(-. or a(iomati<ed. reminiscent of .ectives instead of sets& :ivide the ad. as in this -e(!anded. as in number theory and eometry. these sentences have the same effect as the ori inal E!imenides !arado(. and -bisyllabic-& 8ow if we admit -non-selfdescri!tive.

this theor) of t)pes. then. it mentions me—a !erson whom I should not be allowed to s!eak of at all2 This e(am!le !oints out how silly the theory of ty!es seems. an all-!ervadin !art of life. which we mi ht also call the -theory of the abolition of Stran e Aoo!s-. or sets of the lowest ty!e& In eneral. when you im!ort it into a familiar conte(t& The remedy it ado!ts for !arado(es—total banishment of self-reference in any form—is a real case of overkill. it mentions -this book-.ect lan ua e itself 4such as its rammatical rules. and for otten& )n analysis can be attem!ted on the two-ste! E!imenides loo! iven above& The first sentence. -In this book. which deals with abstractions that we don1t use all the time. the second sentence must be on a hi her level than the first& Since this is im!ossible.belon ?5 8ow in set theory.um!in u! and down a hierarchy of lan ua es when we s!eak about various thin s& ) rather matter-of-fact sentence such as. nor metametalan ua e. some similar -hierarchi<ation. since it s!eaks of the second. this was quite adequate—but for !eo!le interested in the elimination of !arado(es enerally. successfully rids set theory of its !arado(es. such sentences sim!ly cannot be formulated at all in a system based on a strict hierarchy of lan ua es& This !revents all versions of the E!imenides !arado( as well as 6rellin 1s !arado(& 4To what lan ua e level could -heterolo ical. and so on& It would be required that every sentence should belon to some !recise level of the hierarchy& Therefore. nor metalan ua e. must be on a hi her level than the second& 0ut by the same token.ects. reference could be made only to a s!ecific domain—not to as!ects of the ob. old . the two sentences are -meanin less-& /ore !recisely. and of disallowin the formation of certain kinds of sets—such as the set of all run-of-the-mill sets& Intuitively. would have to a!!ly to all discussions of the theory of lin uistic ty!es 4such as that of this very !ara ra!h5 for they clearly could not occur on any of the levels—neither ob. even if a little stran e—but when it comes to lan ua e. a stratification like the theory of ty!es seems acce!table.ussell1s !arado(. which should only be mentionable in a metabook-—and secondly. because it does not belon to any finite ty!e& To all a!!earances. I critici<e the theory of ty!es.ects& Every set would belon to a s!ecific ty!e& 7learly. but it did nothin about the E!imenides !arado( or 6rellin 1s !arado(& 'or !eo!le whose interest went no further than set theory. or ob. if one could find no level in which a iven utterance fit. no set could contain itself because it would have to belon to a ty!e hi her than its own ty!e& Enly -run-of-the-mill. to forbid loo!in back inside lan ua e& )t the bottom of such a hierarchy would be an o(Mect language& ?ere.seemed necessary. brandin many !erfectly ood constructions as meanin less& The ad. this is not the way we ima ine sets& The theory of ty!es handled .ects.—the set of all run-of-the-mill sets—no lon er is considered a set at all.could contain only -ob. or s!ecific sentences in it5& 'or that !ur!ose there would be a metalanguage& This e(!erience of two lin uistic levels is familiar to all learners of forei n lan ua es& Then there would be a metametalan ua e for discussin the metalan ua e.ect lan ua e.sets e(ist in such a system= furthermore. . but only at the cost of introducin an artificial-seemin hierarchy.as members.ective -meanin less-.-ty!e. then the utterance would be deemed meanin less.would be doubly forbidden in the system we are discussin & 'irstly. a set of a iven ty!e could only contain sets of lower ty!e. such stratification a!!ears absurd& 3e don1t think of ourselves as . by the way. not sets& ) set of the ne(t ty!e u! could only contain ob.

this very question—-)re mathematics and lo ic distinct. such as the study of whole numbers 4number theory5. and what is an ille al one? Since mathematical reasonin had always been done in -natural lan ua e. 'rench or Aatin or some lan ua e for normal communication5.4e& &. you know somethin is wron & These ty!es of issues in the foundations of mathematics were res!onsible for the hi h interest in codifyin human reasonin methods which was !resent in the early !art of this century& /athematicians and !hiloso!hers had be un to have serious doubts about whether even the most concrete of theories. and thereby cast in doubt all of mathematics& This was es!ecially worrisome to those—and there were a ood number—who firmly believed that mathematics is sim!ly a branch of lo ic 4or conversely.ured u! different ima es. which !ur!orted to derive all of mathematics from lo ic. mi ht turn out to be internal to mathematics. were built on solid foundations& If !arado(es could !o! u! so easily in set theory —a theory whose basic conce!t. and. but then it shows that such theories are e(tremely academic and have little to say about !arado(es e(ce!t when they cro! u! in s!ecial tailor-made systems& 0esides. and with the aid of which any two mathematicians could resolve dis!utes over whether a su ested !roof was valid or not& This would require a com!lete codification of the universally acce!table modes of human reasonin . and so forth& It seemed reasonable and even im!ortant to establish a sin le uniform notation in which all mathematical work could be done. and too little on the quirky and bi<arre. but when this effort forces you into a stu!endously u ly theory. to be sure.rogram This was the oal of &rincipia 'athematica. or se!arate?-—was the source of much controversy& This study of mathematics itself became known as metamathematics—or occasionally. which make life and mathematics interestin & It is of course im!ortant to try to maintain consistency. such as the E!imenides !arado(. or 4B5 the methods iven were even self-consistent& . that of a set. since mathematics and lo ic are so intertwined& The most ur ent !riority of metamathematicians was to determine the true nature of mathematical reasonin & 3hat is a le al method of !rocedure. the drive to eliminate !arado(es at any cost.etc& So the very act of discussin the theory would be the most blatant !ossible violation of it2 8ow one could defend such theories by sayin that they were only intended to deal with formal lan ua es—not with ordinary. but no one was sure if 4"5 all of mathematics really was contained in the methods delineated by . metalo ic. informal lan ua e& This may be so. there was always a lot of !ossible ambi uity& 3ords had different meanin s to different !eo!le.ussell and 3hitehead. that lo ic is sim!ly a branch of mathematics5& In fact. con. es!ecially when it requires the creation of hi hly artificial formalisms. at least as far as they a!!lied to mathematics& Consistency) Com!leteness) /ilbert%s . is surely very intuitively a!!ealin —then mi ht they not also e(ist in other branches of mathematics? )nother related worry was that the !arado(es of lo ic. without contradictions2 It was widely admired. !uts too much stress on bland consistency.

unless it were an inconsistent system2 )nd finally.ussell and 3hitehead1s ori inal aims were illusory& Babbage) Com!uters) Artificial Intelligence111 3hen 6>del1s !a!er came out. and were not. and com!lete 4i&e&. if such a !roof could be found usin only methods inside &!'!. who set before the world community of mathematicians 4and metamathematicians5 this challen e. but more enerally. by any mathematicians whatsoever.ust don1t seem to be able to et away from these Stran e Aoo!s25 ?ilbert was fully aware of this dilemma. it made it far less interestin to mathematicians. which in some ways utterly demolished ?ilbert1s !ro ram& This !a!er revealed not only that there were irre!arable -holes. for it showed that . then—and this is one of the most mystifyin consequences of 6>del1s work—&!'! itself would be inconsistent2 The final irony of it all is that the !roof of 6>del1s Incom!leteness Theorem involved im!ortin the E!imenides !arado( ri ht into the heart of &rincipia 'athematica. the ho!e of !rovin the consistency of a system such as that !resented in &!'! was shown to be vain. that no a(iomatic system whatsoever could !roduce all number-theoretical truths. in modern !arlance. how can you . by invokin only a smaller set of methods& This oal may sound rather esoteric.ussell and 3hitehead—that the system defined in &rincipia 'athematica was both consistent 4contradiction-free5. 0abba e was most famous durin his . 6>del !ublished his !a!er.ussell and 3hitehead? This question !articularly bothered the distin uished 6erman mathematician 4and metamathematician5 :avid ?ilbert. to demonstrate ri orously— !erha!s followin the very methods outlined by . of course. however. that every true statement of. Pascal and Aeibni< desi ned machines to !erform fi(ed o!erations 4addition and multi!lication5& These machines had no memory.in the a(iomatic system !ro!osed by . and one could critici<e it on the rounds that it was somewhat circular.modes of reasonin & These were a small set of reasonin methods usually acce!ted by mathematicians& In this way. and therefore e(!ressed the ho!e that a demonstration of consistency or com!leteness could be found which de!ended only on -finitistic. but it occu!ied the minds of many of the reatest mathematicians in the world durin the first thirty years of this century& In the thirty-first year. a bastion su!!osedly invulnerable to the attacks of Stran e Aoo!s2 )lthou h 6>del1s Stran e Aoo! did not destroy &rincipia 'athematica. the world was on the brink of develo!in electronic di ital com!uters& 8ow the idea of mechanical calculatin en ines had been around for a while& In the seventeenth century.ustify your methods of reasonin on the basis of those same methods of reasonin ? It is like liftin yourself u! by your own bootstra!s& 43e . number theory could be derived within the framework drawn u! in P&/&5& This was a tall order.ussell and 3hitehead. !ro rammable& The first human to conceive of the immense com!utin !otential of machinery was the Aondoner 7harles 0abba e 4"$#B-"*$"5& ) character who could almost have ste!!ed out of the !a es of the &ickwick &apers. followin the methods of . however. the sum total of mathematical methods mi ht be !roved sound. ?ilbert ho!ed that mathematicians could !artially lift themselves by their own bootstra!s.3as it absolutely clear that contradictory results could never be derived.

Aady Aovelace was ske!tical about the artificial creation of intelli ence& ?owever. and the !sycholo y of intelli ence& These same years saw the theory of com!uters develo! by lea!s and bounds& This theory was ti htly linked to metamathematics& In fact.ust as these somewhat eerie limits were bein ma!!ed out. no less than 0abba e.4memory5 and a -mill. . Aady )da Aovelace 4dau hter of Aord 0yron5. discovered by )lan Turin . Aeibni<. however. 6>del1s Theorem has a counter!art in the theory of com!utation. real com!uters were bein built .Thou h she well understood the !ower of artificial com!utation. !oetically commented that -the )nalytical En ine wea#es alge(raic patterns . for no )&E& was ever built.were desi ned and built& They cataly<ed the conver ence of three !reviously dis!arate areas.L she wrote that the )&E& -mi ht act u!on other thin s besides num(er-& 3hile 0abba e dreamt of creatin a chess or tic-tac-toe automaton. the first . with !itches and harmonies coded into its s!innin cylinders. the )&E& was to !ossess both a -store.in even the most !owerful com!uter ima inable& Ironically. and 0abba e died a bitterly disa!!ointed man& Aady Aovelace.In nearly the same breath.ust as the Jacquard-loom weaves flowers and leaves&Fnfortunately.4calculatin and decision-makin unit5& These units were to be built of thousands of intricate eared cylinders interlocked in incredibly com!le( ways& 0abba e had a vision of numbers swirlin in and out of the mill tinder control of a program contained in !unched cards—an idea ins!ired by the Jacquard loom. and he would furiously chase them down the street& Today.4the way 0abba e described the Stran e Aoo! created when a machine reaches in and alters its own stored !ro ram5& In an "*CB memoir. she cautions that -The )nalytical En ine has no !retensions whatever to originate anythin & It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform&. she su ested that his En ine. lovin to et his oat. or Aady Aovelace& In the "#%+1s and "#C+1s. the study of mechanical com!utation. his -)nalytical En ine-& . mankind was flirtin with mechani<ed intelli ence— !articularly if the En ine were ca!able of -eatin its own tail. which reveals the e(istence of ineluctable -holes. he wrote. was !rofoundly aware that with the invention of the )nalytical En ine. -mi ht com!ose elaborate and scientific !ieces of music of any de ree of com!le(ity or e(tent&. her use of the !resent tense was misleadin . 0abba e became obsessed with a much more revolutionary idea. the -:ifference En ine-. we reco ni<e in 0abba e a man a hundred years ahead of his time. he was also one of the first to battle noise !ollution& ?is first machine. 0abba e. could enerate mathematical tables of many kinds by the -method of differences-& 0ut before any model of the -:&E&.ather immodestly. not only inventor of the basic !rinci!les of modern com!uters.iant electronic brains. could her keen insi ht allow her to dream of the !otential that would be o!ened u! with the tamin of electricity? In our century the time was ri!e for com!uters—com!uters beyond the wildest dreams of Pascal. a card-controlled loom that wove ama<in ly com!le( !atterns& 0abba e1s brilliant but ill-fated 7ountess friend.had been built.lifetime for his vi orous cam!ai n to rid Aondon of -street nuisances-—or an rinders above all& These !ests. would come and serenade him at any time of day or ni ht. the theory of a(iomatic reasonin . -The course throu h which I arrived at it was the most entan led and !er!le(ed which !robably ever occu!ied the human mind&-1 Fnlike any !reviously desi ned machine.

to su est that a shar! borderline e(ists is !robably silly& 0ut essential abilities for intelli ence are certainly. desireless. to wallow in it. the animate and the inanimate. who once declared he would ladly ive u! the rest of his life if he could come back in five hundred years and have a three-day uided scientific tour of the new a e. to take it a!art.whose !owers seemed to row and row beyond their makers1 !ower of !ro!hecy& 0abba e.ust !lain. a creature is faced with millions of situations of com!letely different ty!es& In some situations. there are stereoty!ed res!onses which require -.ust !lain- .to modify the metarules. there always cro!!ed u! some new barrier to the actual creation of a enuine thinkin machine& 3as there some dee! reason for this oal1s mysterious recession? 8o one knows where the borderline between non-intelli ent behavior and intelli ent behavior lies= in fact.could !ossibly ca!ture all of what we think of as intelli ent behavior. to turn it over. can intelli ent behavior be !ro rammed? Isn1t this the most blatant of contradictions in terms? Ene of the ma.rules& Some situations are mi(tures of stereoty!ed situations—thus they require rules for decidin which of the 1. for each barrier crossed.rules& There must be -metarules. however? 7ertainly there must be rules on all sorts of different levels& There must be many -.ust !lain. the fle(ible and the infle(ible& This is what )rtificial Intelli ence 4)I5 research is all about& )nd the stran e flavor of )I work is that !eo!le try to !ut to ether lon sets of rules in strict formalisms which tell infle(ible machines how to be fle(ible& 3hat sorts of -rules. and levels of rules& The reason that so many rules on so many different levels must e(ist is that in life. and by their une(!ected limitations& 0y the early "#L+1s.or !ur!oses of this book is to ur e each reader to confront the a!!arent contradiction head on. rule-followin of beasts& 'ast thou h they may be.or theses of this book is that it is not a contradiction at all& Ene of the ma. then. mechani<ed intelli ence seemed a mere stone1s throw away= and yet. to savor it.to modify the -. to res!ond to situations very fle(ibly= to take advanta e of fortuitous circumstances= to make sense out of ambi uous or contradictory messa es= to reco ni<e the relative im!ortance of different elements of a situation= to find similarities between situations des!ite differences which may se!arate them= to draw distinctions between situations des!ite similarities may link them= to synthesi<e new conce!ts by takin old them to ether in new ways= to come u! with ideas which are novel& ?ere one runs u! a ainst a seemin !arado(& 7om!uters by their very nature are the most infle(ible. so that in the end the reader mi ht emer e with new insi hts into the seemin ly unbreachable ulf between the formal and the informal. and so on& The fle(ibility of intelli ence comes from the enormous number of different rules. would !robably have been thrilled s!eechless a mere century after his death—both by the new machines. they are nonetheless the e!itome of unconsciousness& ?ow.ust !lainrules= then -metametarules.

the 7horale which he dictated in his blindness to the !en of another.in the multilevel sense described above& 1 1 1and Bach In the year "$LC. the foremost of the -cham!ions of /aterialism. four years after the death of J& S& 0ach. let alone wishes to !lay it to himself or to form a . author of +'homme machine 4-/an. by way of Aewis 7arroll& 9eno of Elea. yieldin a set of concrete. but which was left unfinished because his blindness intervened. almost every new conce!t is first !resented meta!horically in a :ialo ue.ud ment of the author& Everythin that the cham!ions of /aterialism !ut forward must fall to the round in view of this sin le e(am!le&D Muite likely. >enn wir in höchsten Nöthen se)n & I am sure that he will soon need his soul if he wishes to observe all the beauties contained therein. the only characters in my :ialo ues were )chilles and the Tortoise. or wills. which has a!!eared in co!!er en ravin .rules to a!!ly& Some situations cannot be classified—thus there must e(ist rules for inventin new rules&&& and on and on& 3ithout doubt. and /aterialist Par E(cellence& It is now more than B++ years later. in a thinly dis uised way& Eri inally. the /achine-5. 8ot many years a o it was re!orted from 'rance that a man had made a statue that could !lay various !ieces on the 7leuttra#ersiere. as a counter!oint between :ialo ues and 7ha!ters& The !ur!ose of this structure is to allow me to !resent new conce!ts twice. are at the core of intelli ence& Sometimes the com!le(ity of our minds seems so overwhelmin that one feels that there can be no solution to the !roblem of understandin intelli ence—that it is wron to think that rules of any sort overn a creature1s behavior. who came to me from 9eno of Elea. or even does anythin at all similar& Aet anyone who wishes to be convinced look carefully at the last fu al work of the above-!raised 0ach.here alluded to was none other than Julien Effroy de la /ettrie—!hiloso!her at the court of 'rederick the 6reat. as an intuitive back round for a more serious and abstract !resentation of the same conce!t& In many of the :ialo ues I a!!ear to be talkin about one idea on the surface. and let him observe the art that is contained therein= or what must strike him as even more wonderful. the Aei!<i theolo ian Johann /ichael Schmidt wrote. or com!oses. Stran e Aoo!s involvin rules that chan e themselves. durin the readin of the followin 7ha!ter. !laced the flute to its li!s and took it down a ain. in a treatise on music and the soul. with . rolled its eyes. etc& 0ut no one has yet invented an ima e that thinks. and those who a ree with Julien Effroy de la /ettrie& I ho!e in this book to ive some !ers!ective on the battle& (G#del) Escher) Bach( The book is structured in an unusual way. the followin noteworthy !assa e. visual ima es= then these serve. but in reality I am talkin about some other idea. directly or indirectly. and the battle is still ra in between those who a ree with Johann /ichael Schmidt. even if one takes -rule. lived in the fifth century 0&7& Ene of his !arado(es was an alle ory. inventor of !arado(es.

it is re!rinted here as Two%&art 3n#ention& 3hen I be an writin :ialo ues. a few dominant features afford !ro!er orientation at first si ht or hearin . and soon touched 0ach and Escher& It took some time for me to think of makin this connection e(!licit. ?is form in eneral was based on relations between se!arate sections& These relations ran ed from com!lete identity of !assa es on the one hand to the return of a sin le !rinci!le of elaboration or a mere thematic allusion on the other& The resultin !atterns were often symmetrical. and while in the course of study one may discover unendin subtleties. Three%&art 3n#ention& In "*#L. which deserves to be far better known than it is. intendin to write an essay at the core of which would be 6>del1s Theorem& I ima ined it would be a mere !am!hlet& 0ut my ideas e(!anded like a s!here. and which are so well described by :avid and /endel in The Bach =eader. somehow I connected them u! with musical forms& I don1t remember the moment it ha!!ened= I . 6>del. instead of .ect. Escher. but by no means necessarily so& Sometimes the relations between the various sections make u! a ma<e of interwoven threads that only detailed analysis can unravel& Fsually. 0ach& I be an. Aewis 7arroll reincarnated )chilles and the Tortoise for the !ur!ose of illustratin his own new !arado( of infinity& 7arroll1s !arado(. !lays a si nificant role in this book& Eri inally titled -3hat the Tortoise Said to )chilles-. 6>del and Escher and 0ach were only shadows cast in different directions by some central solid essence& I tried to reconstruct the central ob.above an early :ialo ue. and from then on the idea stuck& Eventually I decided to !attern each :ialo ue in one way or another on a different !iece by 0ach& This was not so ina!!ro!riate& Eld 0ach himself used to remind his !u!ils that the se!arate !arts in their com!ositions should behave like -!ersons who conversed to ether as if in a select com!any-& I have taken that su estion !erha!s rather more literally than 0ach intended it= nevertheless I ho!e the result is faithful to the meanin & I have been !articularly ins!ired by as!ects of 0ach1s com!ositions which have struck me over and over. one is never at a loss to ras! the unity that holds to ether every sin le creation by 0ach&D I have sou ht to weave an Eternal 6olden 0raid out of these three strands.ust lettin it be a !rivate motivatin force& 0ut finally " reali<ed that to me. and came u! with this book& .)chilles and the Tortoise as !rota onists& 9eno1s invention of the ha!!y !air is told in my first :ialo ue. however.ust remember one day writin -'u ue.

heavens. S!eakin of 7a!itali<ed Essences. sooner or later—most likely sooner& Tortoise.ect& *chilles. the !loddin est of the !lodders2 There can be no !oint to such a race& Tortoise. 3hat is that stran e fla down at the other end of the track? It reminds me somehow of a !rint by my favorite artist. 7ould it be that the hole in it resembles the holes in a />bian stri! Escher once drew? Somethin is wron about the fla . I1ve never had the time to analy<e 0eauty& It1s a 7a!itali<ed Essence.Three%&art 3n#ention *chilles a Greek warrior. there is no doubt of its beauty& Tortoise. 0ut I will catch you. /r& T. Hou mi ht ive me a head start& *chilles. Eh. yes. That is 9eno1s fla & *chilles. have you ever wondered about the Pur!ose of Aife? Tortoise. or who invented us? Tortoise. and I never seem to have time for 7a!itali<ed Essences& *chilles. I can tell& Tortoise. The rin which has been cut from it has the sha!e of the numeral for <ero. and I must a ree that such a fla is indeed im!ossible& 0ut it is beautiful anyway. the fleetest of foot of all mortals/ and a Tortoise are standing together on a dust) runwa) in the hot sun! 7ar down the runwa). through which one can see the sk)! *chilles. I wonder if its beauty is related to its im!ossibility& I don1t know. /&7& Escher& Tortoise. Hour ar ument is !ersuasive. there hangs a large rectangular flag! The flag is solid red. It would have to be a hu e one& Tortoise. which is 9eno1s favorite number& *chilles. /r& T. The rin which hasn1t been invented yet2 It will only be invented by a ?indu mathematician some millennia hence& )nd thus. on a tall flagpole. my ar ument !roves that such a fla is im!ossible& Tortoise. 8ot if thin s o accordin to 9eno1s !arado(. no= *chilles. I don1t ob. Eh. you see& It is only in the mind that motion seems !ossible. Eh. that is quite another matter& 3e are inventions of 9eno 4as you will shortly see5 and the reason we are here is to have a footrace& *chilles. you won1t& 9eno is ho!in to use our footrace to show that motion is im!ossible. ?aven1t you ever wondered why we are here. ) footrace? ?ow outra eous2 /e. /otion Is Inherently Im!ossible& ?e !roves it quite ele antly& . the fleetest of foot of all mortals. accordin to 9eno& In truth. e9cept where a thin ring% shaped hole has (een cut out of it. versus you. is it not? *chilles. )chilles.

The si(th !atriarch.4-uddenl) a soft warm (ree@e picks up! 5 Eh. )chilles& 9eno is no 9en master. he will be celebrated for his !arado(es of motion& In one of those !arado(es. 9en kRan? 9en /aster? 3hat do you mean? *chilles. mind is movin &Tortoise. a 6reek !hiloso!her from the town of Elea 4which lies halfway between !oints ) and 05& 7enturies hence. The si(th !atriarch is 9enoS. far from it& ?e is in fact. 9eno. -The si(th !atriarch is 9eno. yes. BIJB/ *chilles. -The wind is movin &. It oes like this. -8ot the wind. not the fla .The other said. ha!!ened to be !assin by& ?e told them. it comes back to me now. this very footrace between you and me will !lay a central role& *chilles.7igure BK! />bius stri! () '!8! Escher wood%engra#ing printed from four (locks. Two monks were ar uin about a fla & Ene said. too2 . look /r& Tortoise—look at the fla wavin 2 ?ow I love to watch the ri!!les shimmer throu h it1s soft fabric& )nd the rin cut out of it is wavin . Eh. and I always said. the famous 9en kRan about 9en /aster 9eno& )s you say it is very sim!le indeed& Tortoise. -The fla is movin &. I1m all confused& I remember vividly how I used to re!eat over and over the names of the si( !atriarchs of 9en. I am afraid you are a little befuddled.

was only moments a o s!eakin of you with reat veneration—and he mentioned es!ecially your !arado(es& Neno. the fleetest of foot of all mortals5. E friends. I1d . -9eno1s Theorem-? )re you. he ets a head start of. 7ould I !ossibly !ersuade you two to hear me out as to why this is the case? I1ve come all the way to Elea from !oint ) this afternoon. the !hiloso!her 9eno of Elea? Neno. The fla is movin & Tortoise. since my com!anion. I !romise you—in his eccentric theories& *chilles. and they don1t have time& Hou1ve no idea how disheartenin it is to meet with refusal after refusal& Eh. The wind is movin & Neno. Eh. since the Tortoise is a much slower runner. )chilles 4a 6reek warrior. my /aster.ust like to ask you one thin . :on1t be silly& The fla is im!ossible. /r& Tortoise. 3ould the two of you humor a silly old !hiloso!her for a few moments—only a few. the fifth !atriarch. 'riends2 7ease your ar umentation2 )rrest your vitriolics2 )bandon your discord2 'or I shall resolve the issue for you forthwith& ?o2 )nd on such a fine day& *chilles. tau ht me that reality is one. by any chance. . and motion are mere illusions of the senses& Some have mocked his views= but I will show the absurdity of their mockery& /y ar ument is quite sim!le& I will illustrate it with two characters of my own Invention. and a Tortoise& In my tale. by all means2 Please do illuminate us2 I know I s!eak for both of us. This fellow must be !layin the fool& Tortoise. hence it can1t be wavin & The wind is wavin & *t this moment. -/otion Fne(ists&*chilles. )chilles& Aet us hear what he has to say& Eh Fnknown Sir. nor is anythin movin at all& 'or I have discovered a reat Theorem. and unchan in = all !lurality. say.ust tryin to find someone who1ll !ay some attention to my closely honed ar ument& 0ut they1re all hurryin hither and thither. sir.Tortoise. which states= -/otion Is Inherently Im!ossible&.)nd from this Theorem follows an even reater Theorem— 9eno1s Theorem. )chilles& *chilles. not the fla —neither one is movin . immutable. ten rods& 8ow the race be ins& In a few bounds )chilles has reached the s!ot where the Tortoise started& . ?allo2 ?ulloo2 3hat1s u!? 3hat1s new? *chilles. wait. I1m sorry to burden you with my troubles. /ost willin ly& 8ot the wind. 8o. do im!art to us your thou hts on this matter& Neno. they are !ersuaded by a !asserby to run a footrace down a runway towards a distant fla wavin in the bree<e& Aet us assume that. Thank you& Hou see. I am indeed. scratching his head in pu@@lement5& 8ow how did he know my name? Neno. chan e. Neno happens ()!/ Neno.

I can1t quite make out what1s wron with it Neno. )chilles has attained that s!ot& *chilles. the Tortoise has mana ed to advance a sli ht amount& In a flash.ust told us what will come to known. at the far end of the runway? *chilles. ?o ho2 Neno. and so )chilles is still behind& 8ow you see that in order for )chilles to catch the Tortoise. 0ut in that very short flash. En your mark2 6et set2 6o2 . this ame of -try-to-catch-me. I1ve only had one 6reat Idea Y I .*chilles. I swear. Het.ust e(!loit it in different ways& *chilles. as 9eno1s -)chilles !arado(. I don1t know— Tortoise. in that short moment. ?ow about ten rods? Neno. Eh. one has to o halfway first Y and of that stretch one also has to o halfway.will have to be !layed an I8'I8ITE number of times—and therefore )chilles can 8EGE. isn1t that so? Neno. )nd now the Tortoise is but a sin le rod ahead of )chilles& 3ithin only a moment. these ar uments contain a flaw& I don1t quite see where. will you !osition yourself ten rods u!wind? The Tortoise mo#es ten rods closer to the flag/ Tortoise and *chilles. shame on me& Ef course. the Tortoise has mana ed to inch ahead by ever so little. both those !arado(es really have the same flavor& 'rankly. which shows 4ahem25 that )chilles will never catch the Tortoise= but the !roof that /otion Is Inherently Im!ossible 4and thence that /otion Fne(ists5 is your -dichotomy !arado(-. well. allowin /r& T a fair head start of. The im!ossible one. ?mmS ?mmS ?mmS ?mmS ?mmSThat ar ument sounds wron to me& )nd yes. Isn1t it a teaser? It1s my favorite !arado(& Tortoise. )chilles covers that distance too& *chilles. but I believe your tale illustrates the wron !rinci!le. does it not? Hou have . E(actly& 3hat do you say to you and /r& Tortoise racin for it. in oin from ) to 0. and so on and so forth& 0ut you see.. 9eno. Hou doubt the validity of my !arado(? 3hy not .ust try it outZ? Hou see that red fla wavin down here. based on an Escher !rint? Neno. ?eh heh heh heh2 *chilles. ?ee hee hee2 Neno. ?ah2 Neno. but they cannot be correct& Neno. E(cellent2 ?ow e(citin 2 )n em!irical test of my ri orously !roven Theorem2 /r& Tortoise.eady2 Neno. )ny time& Neno. you1re ri ht& That1s the new one about how. centuries hence. Gery ood—ten rods& *chilles. . E(cuse me. catch u! with the Tortoise& Tortoise.

you may. but— there is nothin that will dictate which rule you should use. is that you must not do anythin which is outside the rules& 3e mi ht call this restriction the -. however. with which you can chan e one strin into another& If one of those rules is a!!licable at some !oint. it !robably won1t need to be stressed at all& Stran e thou h it may sound. you will find yourself violatin the . . in case there are several a!!licable rules& That is left u! to you—and of course. and you want to use it. M& &IM M&&M&& &II&MI&&IM&II&MI&&IM&II& [ In this book. as lo ic dictates& 'or e(am!le. M) I) && That means that the only strin s of the /IFsystem are strin s which are com!osed of those three letters& 0elow are some strin s of the /IF-system. I !redict that when you !lay around with some of the formal systems of 7ha!ters to come. that strin will be MI& Then you will be told some rules. the first letter of this sentence is 1'1.Cha!ter I The M&-!u::le +ormal Systems E8E E' T?E most central notions in this book is that of a formal s)stem& The ty!e of formal system I use was invented by the )merican lo ician Emil Post in the "#B+1s.or !oint. which almost doesn1t need statin .equirement of 'ormality-& In the !resent 7ha!ter. unless you have worked with formal systems before& The first thin to say about our formal system—the '35-s)stemOis that it utili<es only three letters of the al!habet. unless clarity demands them& 'or e(am!le. I have !osed a little !u<<le& -7an you !roduce M&?. thou h. that is where !layin the ame of any formal system can become somethin of an art& The ma. it is my ho!e that you will want to e(!lore this formal system at least a little= so to !rovoke your curiosity. and is often called a -Post !roduction system-& This 7ha!ter introduces you to a formal system and moreover. the first letter of 8uadrata is 8. you will be su!!lied with a string 4which means a strin of letters5&[ 8ot to kee! you in sus!ense. quotes will usually be left off.is the !u<<le& To be in with. then it will be enclosed in sin le or double quotes& Punctuation which belon s to the sentence and not to the strin under discussion will o outside of the quotes. while the first letter of 1this sentence1 is 1t1& 3hen the strin is in 8uadrata $oman. we shall em!loy the followin conventions when we refer to strin s& 3hen the strin is in the same ty!eface as the te(t.equirement of 'ormality over and over a ain.

the only strin in your !ossession so far is MI& Enly by usin the rules. you could make MI& 4also M&I5& 'rom IIMII. you may make a new strin with & in !lace of III& E(am!les.FAE II. you can add another strin to your collection= but you have to et M& first2 I want to add one last comment about the letter 1 91. you can1t et anywhere usin this rule& 4The three I1s have to be consecutive&5 . MI and IM are two different strin s& ) strin of symbols is not .0ut althou h all of these are le itimate strin s. you may et M&M&M& 'rom M&.of symbols.FAE III. and 1&1 are& It is useful for us. you may et MI&I&& 'rom M&M. about to be introduced. in a few e(am!les& 'rom MI&. it is not !art of the formal system in the same way as the three letters 1 M1. in which the order doesn1t make any difference& ?ere is the second rule. . . you have done somethin wron .ust a -ba .FAE I. because strin s of the /IFsystem never contain -9. you could make &M&M&& 'rom MIIII. you have to stick with your choice 4until you use the rule a ain. 1I1. 'rom &MIIIM&. symbolically—and that is the function of the 191. they are not strin s which are -in your !ossession-& In fact. can you enlar e your !rivate collection& ?ere is the first rule. a fact about the meanin of -strin is that the letters are in a fi(ed order& 'or e(am!le. If III occurs in one of the strin s in your collection. Su!!ose you have M9& Then you may add M99 to your collection& 3hat I mean by this is shown below. at which !oint you may make a new choice5& 8otice the third e(am!le above& It shows how. . to stand for an arbitrary strin & If you ever add a strin containin an 191 to your -collection-. If you !ossess a strin whose last letter is I. you can add on a & at the end& 0y the way. once you !ossess M&. you may et M&&& So the letter 191 in the rule sim!ly stands for any strin = but once you have decided which strin it stands for. to have some way to talk in eneral about strin s of the system. if u! to this !oint you had not uessed it. thou h.1s2 ?ere is the third rule.

et && 'rom M&&&III. or several. namely MI& Such -free. I will ado!t the followin convention in this book. or even infinitely many a(ioms& E(am!les of all these ty!es will a!!ear in the book& . of course. you have built u! your own !rivate collection of strin s& Such strin s.will have its technical meanin a strin !roducible in some formal system& In these terms. make MIII . theorems are merely produced.ules are one-way& ?ere is the final rule& .is ca!itali<ed. If && occurs inside one of your strin s. its meanin will be the everyday one—a Theorem is a statement in ordinary lan ua e which somebody once !roved to be true by some sort of lo ic ar ument& 3hen unca!itali<ed. as in the followin e(am!le. as if by machine. 'rom M&. such as 9eno1s Theorem about the -une(istence. -theorem. make M&& :on1t. a common usa e mathematics which is quite different from this one& It means some statement in ordinary lan ua e which has been !roven to be true by a ri orous ar ument.has. accordin to certain ty!o ra!hical rules& To em!hasi<e this im!ortant distinction in meanin s for the word -theorem-.theorem is called an a9iomOthe technical meanin a ain bein quite different from the usual meanin & ) formal system may have <ero.'rom MIII.of motion. what im!ortant is not findin the answer. under any circumstances. are called theorems& The term -theorem. et M&III& There you have it& 8ow you may be in tryin to make M&& :on1t worry you don1t et it& Just try it out a bit—the main thin is for you to et the flavor of this /F-!u<<le& ?ave fun& \ This is wron & Theorems) A-ioms) $ules The answer to the /F-!u<<le a!!ears later in the book& 'or now. or Euclid1s Theorem about the infinitude of !rimes& 0ut in formal system theorems need not be thou ht of as statements—they are merely strin s of symbols& )nd instead of bein pro#en. but lookin for it& Hou !robably hay made some attem!ts to !roduce M&& In so doin . you can dro! it& 'rom &&&. when -theorem.FAE IG. the /F-!u<<le asks whether M& is a theorem of the /IF-system& I ave you a theorem for free at the be innin . !roducible by the rules. think you can run this rule backwards.

and these observations ive him ood insi ht into the task—insi ht which the com!uter !ro ram. then. lacks& . which have the !ro!erty that they make each new theorem inherit its first letter from an earlier theorem= ultimately. but you could understand it by lookin at the rules. quite at random. line-by-line demonstration of how to !roduce that theorem accordin to the rules of the formal system& The conce!t of derivation is modeled on that of !roof. the !attern emer ed. they be in to notice some !ro!erties of the theorems they have made= that is where human intelli ence enters the !icture& 'or instance. . all theorems1 first letters can be traced back to the first letter of the sole a(iom MI—and that is a !roof that theorems of the /IF-system must all be in with M& There is somethin very si nificant about what has ha!!ened here& It shows one difference between !eo!le and machines& It would certainly be !ossible—in fact it would be very easy—to !ro ram a com!uter to enerate theorem after theorem of the /IFsystem= and we could include in the !ro ram a command to sto! only u!on eneratin && Hou now know that a com!uter so !ro rammed would never sto!& )nd this does not ama<e you& 0ut what if you asked a friend to try to enerate &? It would not sur!rise you if he came back after a while. until you had tried a few& Then. and not only could you see the !attern. it was !robably not obvious to you that all theorems would be in with M.Every formal system has symbol-shuntin rules. such as the four rules of the /IFsystem& These rules are called either rules of production or rules of inference& I will use both terms& The last term which I wish to introduce at this !oint is derivation& Shown below is a derivation of the theorem M&II&. but it does not sound so stran e to say you have deri#ed M&II&& Inside and 0utside the System /ost !eo!le o about the /F-!u<<le by derivin a number of theorems. and therefore it is a wild oose chase& Even if a !erson is not very bri ht.ust to see what kind of thin turns u!& Pretty soon. com!lainin that he can1t et rid of the initial M. as we have described it. but a derivation is an austere cousin of a !roof& It would sound stran e to say that you had pro#en M&II&. he still cannot hel! makin some observations about what he is doin . 4"5 MI 4B5 MII 4%5 MIII 4C5 MIIII& 4L5 M&I& 4D5 M&I&&I& 4$5 M&II& a(iom from 4"5 by rule II from 4B5 by rule II from 4%5 by rule I from 4C5 by rule III from 4L5 by rule II from 4D5 by rule IG ) derivation of a theorem is an e(!licit.

the !ro!erty of bein = unobservant seems to be the characteristic feature of machines.ust that some machines are& 8or am I sayin that all !eo!le are always makin so!histicated observations= !eo!le. althou h any !erson would !ick u! the !ick u! the re!etitive behavior very quickly& Er. that only a machine could do it over and over without ever com!lainin . to take a silly e(am!le. a car will never !ick u! the idea. if somebody says that some task is -mechanical-. that it is su!!osed to avoid other cars and obstacles on the road= and it will never learn even the most frequently traveled routes of its owner& The difference. su!!ose !erson ) is watchin television when !erson 0 comes in the room. or feelin bored& 3um!ing out of the System It is an inherent !ro!erty of intelli ence that it can .into an addin machine.and yet it seems the most natural thin in the world to us& Er. and a ain. but that does not mean that it always will& ?owever. no matter how much or how well it is driven.um! out of the task which it is !erformin . and do it itself. is that it is possi(le for a machine to act unobservant= it is im!ossible for a human to act unobservant& 8otice I am not sayin that all machines are necessarily inca!able of makin so!histicated observations= . are often very unobservant& 0ut machines can be made to be totally unobservant= many !eo!le cannot& )nd in fact. in fact. then. and survey what it has done= it is always lookin for and often findin .um! out of the system? I will cite one e(am!le which sur!rised some observers& In a com!uter chess tournament not lon a o in 7anada.8ow let me be very e(!licit about what I meant by sayin this shows a difference between !eo!le and machines& I meant that it is possi(le to !ro ram a machine to do a routine task in such a way that the machine will never notice even the most obvious facts about what it is doin = but it is inherent in human consciousness to notice some facts about the thin s one is doin & 0ut you knew this all alon & If you !unch -". and try to remedy it by e(itin the !resent system 4that television !ro ram5. and a ain. and shows evident dis!leasure with the situation& Person ) may think he understands the !roblem. a little !rom!tin will often suffice& 'or e(am!le. to most !eo!le& 'or e(am!le. one !ro ram—the weakest of all the com!etin ones—had the unusual feature . there are cases where only a rare individual will have the vision to !erceive a system which overns many !eo!les lives. is does not mean that !eo!le are inca!able of doin the task= it im!lies thou h. and then add " to it.um! out of its task. most machines made so far are !retty close to bein totally unobservant& Probably for this reason. !atterns& 8ow I said that an intelli ence can . and continue doin so for hours and hours. a human bein who is readin a book may row slee!y& Instead of continuin to read until the book is finished he is .ust as likely to !ut the book aside and turn off the li ht& ?e has ste!!ed -out of the system. and then add " a ain. and fli!!in the channel knob. the machine will never learn to antici!ate you. a system which has never before even been reco ni<ed as a system= then such !eo!le often devote their lives to convincin other !eo!le that the system really is there and that it ou ht to be e(ited from2 ?ow well have com!uters been tau ht to . lookin for a better show& Person 0 may have a more radio conce!t of what it is to -e(it the system-—namely to turn the television off& Ef course.

I1s. it is often ne(t to im!ossible to break thin s neatly u! into -inside the system.of quittin lon before the ame was over& It was not a very ood chess !layer. you work -in your ca!acity as a thinkin bein -. if you define -the system. and &1s= on the second sheet. usin shorthand 4such as the letter 1915. com!ressin several ste!s into one. since I1s are otten rid of in three1s.that it may seem sim!listic to think of thin s in those terms& 0ut it is often im!ortant to formulate sim!le ideas very clearly so that one can use them as models in thinkin about more com!le( ideas& )nd that is why I am showin you formal systems= and it is about time we went back to discussin the /IFsystem& M-Mode) I-Mode) &-Mode The /F-!u<<le was stated in such a way that it encoura ed some amount of e(!loration within the /IF-system-derivin theorems& 0ut it was also stated in a way so as not to im!ly that stayin inside the system would necessarily yield fruit& Therefore it encoura ed some oscillation between the two modes of work& Ene way to se!arate these two modes would be to have two sheets of !a!er= on one sheet. it is clear that this !ro ram had a so!histicated. and to resi n then and there.as -makin moves in a chess ame-. and &1s in two1s—and doublin of len th 4e(ce!t for the M5 is allowed by rule II& So the second sheet mi ht also have some fi urin on it& .and -outside the system-= life is com!osed of so many interlockin and interwoven and often inconsistent -systems. and this an(iety finally built u! to the !oint where without any need for further consideration. and are allowed to do whatever your intelli ence su ests—which mi ht involve usin En lish. as do most !eo!le. !re!ro rammed ability to e(it from the system& En the other hand. instead of waitin for the other !ro ram to o throu h the borin ritual of checkmatin & )lthou h it lost every ame it !layed. it did it in style& ) lot of local chess e(!erts were im!ressed& Thus. modifyin the rules of the system to see what that ives. thus fillin it with nothin but M1s. and wonderin why it was that you had not succeeded in !roducin M&& Perha!s you found a reason why you could not !roduce M&= that is thinkin about the system& Perha!s you !roduced MI& somewhere alon the way= that is workin within the system& 8ow I do not want to make it sound as if the two modes are entirely incom!atible= I am sure that every human bein is ca!able to some e(tent of workin inside a system and simultaneously thinkin about what he is doin & )ctually. but it at least had the redeemin quality of bein able to s!ot a ho!eless !osition. in human affairs. by workin within the system= and that you then radually started ettin an(ious. you e(ited from the system. if you think of -the system.as bein -whatever the com!uter had been !ro rammed to do-. then there is no doubt that the com!uter had no ability whatsoever to e(it from that system& It is very im!ortant when studyin formal systems to distin uish workin within the system from makin statements or observations a(out the system& I assume that you be an the /F-!u<<le. tryin to take stock of what you had !roduced. workin backwards. sketchin ideas. or whatever else you mi ht dream u!& Ene thin you mi ht do is notice that the numbers % and B !lay an im!ortant role. you work -in your ca!acity as a machine-.

is a !ossible way the enie mi ht o about it Ste! ". but missin others& 0ut there remains the !ossibility of some more elaborate test which discriminates !erfectly between those strin s which can be !roduced by the rules and those which cannot& ?ere we have to face the question. it doesn1t be in with an M 4whereas all theorems must5& It is very convenient to have such a sim!le way to detect nontheorems& ?owever who says that that test will detect all nontheorems? There may be lots of strin s which be in with M but are not !roducible& /aybe M& is one of them& That would mean that the -first-letter test. for instance. and then e(tractin !iece after !iece until only two symbols are left= or.rocedures )n observation about this !u<<le is that it involves rules of two o!!osite tendencies—the lengthening rules and the shortening rules& Two rules 4I and II5 allow you to increase the si<e of strin s 4but only in very ri id. and we will call them the 'echanical mode '%mode5 and the 3ntelligent mode 3%mode5& To round out our mode with one for each letter of the /IF-system. the case of & and the case of M& seem quite different& It is by very su!erficial feature of & that we reco ni<e the im!ossibility of !roducin it. and who en. I will also mention a final mode—the 5n%mode 5%mode5. MI&I&. )!!ly every a!!licable rule to the a(iom MI& This yields two new theorems MI&.3e will occasionally refer back to these two modes of dealin with a formal system. in a rather methodical way& ?ere.which somehow seems to violate the s!irit of the word& Ima ine a enie who has all the time in the world. of course5= and two others allow you to shrink strin s somewhat 4a ain in very ri id ways5& There seems to be an endless variety to the order in which these different ty!es of rules mi ht be a!!lied. which is the 9en way of a!!roachin thin s& /ore about this in a few 7ha!ters& ecision . -3hat do mean by a test?. )!!ly every a!!licable rule to the theorems !roduced in ste! "& This yields three new theorems.is of limited usefulness able only to detect a !ortion of the nontheorems. M& could be !roduced& It mi ht involve len thenin the strin to some i antic si<e. MII&. it mi ht involve successive sta es of len thenin and then shortenin and then len thenin and then shortenin .oys usin it to !roduce theorems of the /IF-system. and so on& 0ut there is no uarantee of it& )s a matter of fact.It may not be obvious why that question makes sense. and this ives ho!e that one way or another. of im!ortant. we already observed that & cannot be !roduced at all and it will make no difference if you len then and shorten till kin dom come& Still. !rescribed ways. MII& Ste! B. worse yet. MIIII& . in this conte(t& 0ut I will ive an e(am!le of a -test.

MIIII&. MIIIIIIII. if you are interested in a s!ecific strin 4such as M&5. )!!ly every a!!licable rule to the theorems !roduced in ste! B& This yields five new theorems. it is not clear how lon to wait for a iven strin to a!!ear on this list. since theorems are listed accordin to the 73G5=E BB! * s)stematicall) constructed "tree" of all the theorems of the '35%s)stem! The 8th le#el down contains those theorems whose deri#ations contain e9actl) 8 steps! The encircled num(ers tell which rule was emplo)ed! 3s M& an)where in this tree$ shortness of their derivations& This is not a very useful order. a test which does always terminate in a finite amount of time. and you don1t even know if it has any derivation. because the rules are a!!lied in every conceivable order& 4See 'i & ""&5 )ll of the len thenin -shortenin alternations which we mentioned above eventually et carried out& ?owever. MI&I&I&I&. it mi ht seem that the rules and a(ioms of the formal system !rovide no less com!lete a characteri<ation of . then that test is called a decision procedure for the iven formal system& 3hen you have a decision !rocedure. then you have a very concrete characteri<ation of the nature of all theorems in the system& Effhand. much less how lon that derivation mi ht be& 8ow we state the !ro!osed -theoremhood-test-.Ste! %. you know it is a theorem—and if it never ha!!ens. you know that it is not a theorem& This seems ridiculous. M&I& This method !roduces every sin le theorem sooner or later. MII&II&. 3ait until the strin in question is !roduced= when that ha!!ens. because it !resu!!oses that we don1t mind waitin around literally an infinite len th of time for our answer& This ets to the cru( of the matter of what should count as a -test-& Ef !rime im!ortance is a uarantee that we will et our answer in a finite len th of time& If there is a test for theoremhood.

one requirement on formal systems is that the set of a9ioms must be characteri<ed by a decision !rocedure—there must be a litmus test for a(iomhood& This ensures that there is no !roblem in ettin off the round at the be innin . the test is . those strin s that are theorems& Even more im!licitly. it was still totally unclear whether M& is. a theorem& .for theoremhood2 Incidentally. as checkin whether the first letter of the strin is M& ) decision !rocedure is a -litmus test. . im!licitly.the theorems of the system than a decision !rocedure would& The tricky word here is -characteri<ation-& 7ertainly the rules of inference and the a(ioms of the /IF-system do characteri<e. but it takes him infinitely lon to deduce that some !articular strin is not a theorem. so the theorems had been im!licitly characteri<ed—and yet it was still quite unclear what the consequences of that characteri<ation were& In !articular. but the latter may not& I am sure you will a ree that when you looked at the /IF-system for the first time. it is guaranteed to terminate& In !rinci!le. they characteri<e those strin s that are not theorems& 0ut im!licit characteri<ation is not enou h. is that you can !erform a test for theoremhood of a strin . even if the test is com!licated. the rules of inference were sim!le. in effect. you would !robably tend to say that there is somethin lackin in that characteri<ation—it is not quite concrete enou h& )nd that is why discoverin that a decision !rocedure e(ists is a very im!ortant ste!& 3hat the discovery means. or is not. for many !ur!oses& If someone claims to have a characteri<ation of all theorems.ust as finite. . the former always has a decision !rocedure. . you had to face this !roblem e(actly& The lone a(iom was known. at least& That is the difference between the set of a(ioms and the set of theorems.ust as mechanical.ust as easy.ust as full of certitude. and that.

BIFE/! . () '! 8!: Escher woodcut.73G5=E BF! Sky 7astle.

and 9.. now.Two-Part Invention or. >hat the Tortoise -aid to *chilles by Aewis 7arroll" )chilles had overtaken the Tortoise.E a heavy wei ht. 4)5 Thin s that are equal to the same are equal to each other& 405 The two sides of this Trian le are thin s that are equal to the same& 495 The two sides of this Trian le are equal to each other& .the Tortoise interru!ted& -?ow then?-Then I shouldn1t be here. that 9 follows lo ically from ) and 0. I mean.said )chilles& -It ?)S been done2 -ol#itur am(ulando& Hou see the distances were constantly :I/I8IS?I86= and so—-0ut if they had been constantly I87.ust T3E ste!s. that most !eo!le fancy they can et to the end of in two or three ste!s. which will not be till some two thousand years later—will rant T?)T&-)nd if some reader had 8ET yet acce!ted ) and 0 as true.said the 6recian warrior. !lease2 S?E.. let1s take a little bit of the ar ument in that 'irst Pro!osition . each one lon er than the !revious one?-Gery much indeed2.the Tortoise murmured dreamily& -Hou admire Euclid?-Passionately2 So far. 0.eaders of Euclid will rant. at least. so that any one who acce!ts ) and 0 as true. and had seated himself comfortably on its back& -So you1ve ot to the end of our race-course?.T?)8: isn1t invented yet2-That beautiful 'irst Pro!osition by Euclid2.)chilles modestly re!lied= -and HEF would have ot several times round the world. by this time2-Hou flatter me—'A)TTE8. I su!!ose..E)SI86?. as he drew from his helmet 4few 6recian warriors !ossessed PE7@ETS in those days5 an enormous note-book and !encil& -Proceed2 )nd s!eak SAE3AH.said the Tortoise& -Even thou h it :EES consist of an infinite series of distances? I thou ht some wiseacre or other had !roved that the thin couldn1t be done?-It 7)8 be done. as one 7)8 admire a treatise that won1t be !ublished for some centuries to come2-3ell. while it .said the Tortoise= -for you ).E)AAH consists of an infinite number of distances. he mi ht still acce!t the SEMFE87E as a G)AI: one. and the conclusion drawn from them& @indly enter them in your note-book& )nd in order to refer to them conveniently. and 8E mistake2 3ell now. let1s call them ). I su!!ose?- . would you like to hear of a race-course. /FST acce!t 9 as true?-Fndoubtedly2 The youn est child in a ?i h School—as soon as ?i h Schools are invented.

I want you to consider /E as a reader of the SE7E8: kind. isn1t it? )nd. ?y!othetical. also.. you /FST acce!t 9& -)nd why must I?-0ecause it follows AE6I7)AAH from them& If ) and 0 and 7 are true. and to force me.. of course. 1I acce!t as true the hy!othetical !ro!osition that. 9 must be true= but I :E81T acce!t ) and ) as true&1 Such a reader would do wisely in abandonin Euclid..)chilles was be innin & -—an anomaly.the Tortoise continued. and STIAA not acce!t 9. I see2.. I mi ht acce!t ) and 0 and 7.said the Tortoise. mi htn1t I?- .. 9 must be true& 495 The two sides of this Trian le are equal to each other&-Hou should call it :. 9 /FST be true. but I :E81T acce!t the ?y!othetical1?-7ertainly there mi ht& ?E. had better take to football&-)nd 8EIT?E. 4)5 Thin s that are equal to the same are equal to each other& 405 The two sides of this Trian le are thin s that are equal to the same& 475 If ) and 0 are true.said )chilles. to acce!t 9 as true&-) tortoise !layin football would be—.said the Tortoise& -Then I must ask you to acce!t 7&-I1ll do so. and takin to football&-)nd mi ht there not )ASE be some reader who would say 1I acce!t ) and 0 as true. -a few memoranda of—of the battles in which I have distin uished myself2-Plenty of blank leaves. now.)chilles assented& -3ell. lo ically. and football afterwards2-I1m to force you to acce!t 9. I ima ine?-If ) and 0 and 7 are true. am I?.4)chilles shuddered&5 -8ow write as I dictate. -as soon as you1ve entered it in that notebook of yours& 3hat else have you ot in it?-Enly a few memoranda..the Tortoise hastily interru!ted& -:on1t wander from the !oint& Aet1s have 9 first. 9 must be true&-That is my !resent !osition. I' ) and 0 be true. not 9. -is )S HET under any lo ical necessity to acce!t 9 as true?-Muite so. nervously flutterin the leaves.the Tortoise cheerily remarked& -3e shall need them )AA2.the Tortoise thou htfully re!eated& -That1s )8ET?E.said )chilles& -It comes 8ETT to the other three& If you acce!t ) and 0 and 7..said the Tortoise& -—but you :E81T acce!t 475 If ) and 0 are true.-8o doubt such a reader mi ht e(ist& ?e mi ht say.. if I failed to see its truth. but you :E81T acce!t the ?y!othetical—-Aet1s call it 7. of these readers..)chilles said musin ly& -)nd your !resent !osition is that you acce!t ) and 0. 9 /FST be true& Hou can1t dis!ute T?)T.

H ste!.said )chilles= and there was a touch of sadness in his tone& ?ere the narrator. !lease& 3e will call it 4E5 If ) and 0 and 7 and : are true. you see&-3hatever AE6I7 is ood enou h to tell me is worth 3.oyfully e(claimed.said the Tortoise innocently& -Aet1s make that quite clear& I acce!t ) and 0 and 7 and :& Su!!ose I STIAA refused to acce!t 9?-Then Ao ic would take you by the throat. as soon as you1ve written it down& 3e will call it 4:5 If ) and 0 and 7 are true.. -?ave you ot that last ste! written down? Fnless I1ve lost count. in the hollow tones of des!air.the candid hero admitted= -thou h such obtuseness would certainly be !henomenal& Still.-Hou mi ht. which a!!eared to be nearly full& The Tortoise was sayin . 9 must be true& ?ave you entered that in your note-book?-I ?)GE2. and 'E. and allowin yourself to be renamed T)F6?T-FS?-)s you !lease..ITI86 :E38.. as a !ersonal favor.SE you acce!t 9&-:o I?. the event is PESSI0AE& So I must ask you to rant E8E more ?y!othetical&-Gery ood. I1m quite willin to rant it. and was writin in his notebook. of course I needn1t rant 9& So it1s quite a 8E7ESS). considerin what a lot of instruction this colloquy of ours will !rovide for the Ao icians of the 8ineteenth 7entury—3EFA: you mind ado!tin a !un that my cousin the /ockTurtle will then make. you see?-I see. was obli ed to leave the ha!!y !air.7E you to do it2. and allow yourself to be re-named ) @IAA-E)SE2- . )chilles was still seated on the back of the much-endurin Tortoise.)chilles trium!hantly re!lied& -Ao ic would tell you.)chilles . E' 7EF. will ado!t a !un the /ock-Turtle never made.re!lied the weary warrior. havin !ressin business at the 0ank. and did not a ain !ass the s!ot until some months afterwards& 3hen he did so.. as he ran the !encil into its sheath& -)nd at last we1ve ot to the end of this ideal race-course2 8ow that you acce!t ) and 0 and 7 and :. as he buried his face in his hands& -Provided that HEF. for HEF. 9 must be true& Fntil I1ve ranted T?)T.said the Tortoise& -So enter it in your book. you /FST acce!t 921 So you1ve no choice. !art. 1Hou can1t hel! yourself& 8ow that you1ve acce!ted ) and 0 and 7 and :. that makes a thousand and one& There are several millions more to come& )nd 3EFA: you mind.

TE$ II Meaning and +orm in Mathematics T?IS Two%&art 3n#ention was the ins!iration for my two characters& Just as Aewis 7arroll took liberties with 9eno1s Tortoise and )chilles.ust a sim!le invention of mine& Its im!ortance lies only in the fact that it !rovides an e(cellent e(am!le of many ideas that !lay a lar e role in this book& There are three distinct symbols of the !q-system. we have to have some other way of describin what they are& )ctually. with its wit subtracted out. or do the) not$ That !roblem is the !roblem of this book& In this 7ha!ter and the ne(t.ust a descri!tion of the a(ioms= we want a way to tell whether some iven strin is an a(iom or not& ) mere descri!tion of a(ioms mi ht characteri<e them fully and yet weakly —which was the !roblem with the way theorems in the /IF-system were characteri<ed& 3e don1t want to have to stru le for an indeterminate—!ossibly infinite len th of time. we will define a(ioms in such a way that there is an obvious decision !rocedure for a(iomhood of a strin com!osed of !1s. ! q - —the letters !. and hy!hens& . still leaves a dee! !hiloso!hical !roblem. only each time on a hi her and hi her level= it is a wonderful analo ue to 0ach1s Ever-.C/A. we will look at several new formal systems& This will ive us a much wider !ers!ective on the conce!t of formal system& 0y the end of these two 7ha!ters.ust to find out if some strin is an a(iom or not& Therefore. it is . so have I taken liberties with Aewis 7arroll1s Tortoise and )chilles& In 7arroll1s dialo ue. and why they are of interest to mathematicians and lo icians& The !q-System The formal system of this 7ha!ter is called the p"%s)stem& It is not im!ortant to mathematicians or lo icians—in fact. you should have quite a ood idea of the !ower of formal systems.isin 7anon& The 7arrollian :ialo ue. .o words and thoughts follow formal rules. q1s. and the hy!hen& The !q-system has an infinite number of a(ioms& Since we can1t write them all down. q. . the same events take !lace over and over a ain. we want more than .

a strin such as --!--!--!--q--------& 8ow.is an a(iom& The literal e(!ression 19!-q9-1 is not an a(iom.FAE. take 9 to be 1--1. . and @ to be 1-1& The rule tells us. and the se!aratin elements are one !. then so will --!----q--& )s is ty!ical of rules of !roduction. whenever 9 is com!osed of hy!hens only& 8ote that 191 must stand for the same strin of hy!hens in both occurrences 'or e(am!le. and then a final hy!henrou!& 0ack to the decision !rocedure&&& The criterion for theoremhood is that the first two hy!hen. let us ive the name well formed string to any strin which be ins with a hy!henrou!.will start to et rather more com!licated and abstract. --!-- . to the third hy!hen.ust the way one could show that all /IFsystem theorems had to be in with M&5 This means that we can rule out. then has one !. --!-q--. stressin the !hrase -from its form alone. then has a second hy!hen. 9!-q9 is an a(iom. Su!!ose 9. and one q. thou h it may seem too obvious to mention. ).rocedure I !resume you have tried it& 'irst of all. then a q.rou!& for instance .:E'I8ITIE8. and we will have to think more about the meanin of the word -form-& In any case. in len th. from its form alone. .rou!s should add u!.rou!. of course 4because 191 does not belon to the !q-system5= it is more like a mold in which all a(ioms are cast— and it is called an a(iom schema& The !q-system has only one rule of !roduction.is a theorem& 'or e(am!le.turns out to be a theorem. If --!---q. I would like to !oint out that every theorem of the !q-system has three se!arate rou!s of hy!hens. but without assertin theoremhood for either one on its own& ) most useful e(ercise for you is to find a decision !rocedure for the theorems of the !q-system& It is not hard= if you !lay around for a while you will !robably !ick it u!& Try it& The ecision . in that order& 4This can be shown by an ar ument based on -heredity-. ) to be 1---1. the statement establishes a causal connection between the theoremhood of two strin s. and @ all stand for !articular strin s containin only hy!hens& )nd su!!ose that 9!)q@ is known to be a theorem& Then 9!)-q@.may seem silly= what else is there to a strin e(ce!t its form? 3hat else could !ossibly !lay a role in determinin its !ro!erties? 7learly nothin could& 0ut bear this in mind as the discussion of formal systems oes on= the notion of -form.

since B !lus B equals C. you -reduce. and the test is over& So su!!ose instead that it1s not an a(iom& Then. or you1ll come to a !oint where you1re stuck. to be contrasted with a (ottom%up decision !rocedure. but is com!licated by the !resence of an a(iom schema& 3e are oin to form a -bucket. even before findin the addition criterion& That fact is that the !q-system is not com!licated by the o!!osin currents of lengthening and shortening rules= it has only len thenin rules& )ny formal system which tells you how to make lon er theorems from shorter ones. eventually either you will find that one of your short strin s is an a(iom. thin s are ho!eless5& If it is an a(iom. it only manufactures a(ioms which satisfy the addition criterion& Second. a fact about the !q-system which would enable us to say with confidence that it has a decision !rocedure.into which we throw theorems as they are enerated& ?ere is how it is done. in that none of your short strin s is an a(iom. incidentally. it must have come from a shorter strin . and !ut the result into the bucket& 4Ba5 Throw the second-sim!lest a(iom into the bucket& .ected to the same test& The worst that can ha!!en is a !roliferation of more and more.the !roblem to determinin whether any of several new but shorter strin s is a theorem& Each of them can in turn be sub. whereas --!--q-is not. so must the second one—and conversely. and none of them can be further shortened by runnin some rule or other backwards& This !oints out that there really is not much dee! interest in formal systems with len thenin rules only= it is the inter!lay of len thenin and shortenin rules that ives formal systems a certain fascination&& Bottom-u! #s& To!-do'n The method above mi ht be called a top%down decision !rocedure. which I ive now& It is very reminiscent of the enie1s systematic theorem. you can !in!oint not only the rules that could conceivably !roduce that strin . if the first strin does not satisfy the addition criterion.ust can1t et shorter and shorter indefinitely= therefore. then neither does the second strin & The rule makes the addition criterion into a hereditary !ro!erty of theorems. look first at the a(iom schema& Ebviously. but never the reverse. via one of the rules& 0y oin over the various rules one by one. has ot to have a decision !rocedure for its theorems& 'or su!!ose you are iven a strin & 'irst check whether it1s an a(iom or not 4I am assumin that there is a decision !rocedure for a(iomhood—otherwise. but shorter and shorter. then it is by definition a theorem. 4"a5 Throw the sim!lest !ossible a(iom (-!-q--5 into the bucket& 4"b5 )!!ly the rule of inference to the item in the bucket. look at the rule of !roduction& If the first strin satisfies the addition criterion. since B !lus B is not "& To see why this is the !ro!er criterion. you must be ettin closer to the source of all theorems—the a(iom schemata& Hou .eneratin method for the /IF-system.is a theorem. any theorem !asses the !ro!erty on to its offs!rin & This shows why the addition criterion is correct& There is.q---. to be a theorem. but also e(actly which shorter strin s could be its forebears on the -family tree-& In this way. strin s to test& )s you continue inchin your way backwards in this fashion.

and see it from another !ers!ective& The word -isomor!hism1 a!!lies when two com!le( structures can be ma!!ed onto each other. and throw all results into the bucket& etc&. . in such a way that to each !art of one structure there is a corres!ondin !art in the other structure.actually mean -B !lus % equals L-? 3hat would make us feel that way? /y answer would be that we have !erceived an isomorphism between !q-theorems and additions& In the Introduction. does the strin --!---q---. as time oes on& It is a ain a consequence of that lack of shortenin rules& So if you have a !articular strin . I deliberately chose 1 !1 to remind you of 1!lus1. for et it—it is not a theorem& This decision !rocedure is bottom-u! because it is workin its way u! from the basics. which is to say the a(ioms& The !revious decision !rocedure is to!-down because it does !recisely the reverse.is . and throw all results into the bucket& 4%a5 Throw the third-sim!lest a(iom into the bucket& 4%b5 )!!ly the rule to each item in the bucket.oy when a mathematician discovers an isomor!hism between two structures which he knows& It is often a -bolt from the blue-. whose meaning is that B !lus % is L& Is this a reasonable way to look at thin s? 3ell.4Bb5 )!!ly the rule to each item in the bucket. since they come in many sha!es and si<es.is derived from a more !recise notion in mathematics& It is cause for . checkin all the while for the strin in question& If it turns u! —theorem2 If at some !oint everythin that oes into the bucket is lon er than the strin in question. it works its way back down towards the basics& Isomor!hisms Induce Meaning 8ow we come to a central issue of this 7ha!ter—indeed of the book& Perha!s you have already thou ht to yourself that the !q-theorems are like additions& The strin --!---q--. written in an odd notation.was defined as an information !reservin transformation& 3e can now o into that notion a little more dee!ly. and a source of wonderment& The !erce!tion of an isomor!hism between two known structures is a si nificant advance in knowled e—and I claim that it is such !erce!tions of isomor!hism which create meanings in the minds of !eo!le& ) final word on the !erce!tion of isomor!hisms.is a theorem because B !lus % equals L& It could even occur to you that the theorem --!---q-is a statement. the word -isomor!hism. fi uratively s!eakin . and 1q1 to remind you of 1equals1&&& So. -isomor!hism.means that the two !art !lay similar roles in their res!ective structures& This usa e of the word -isomor!hism. which you want to test for theoremhood. the bucket is ettin filled with lon er and lon er theorems. where -corres!ondin . etc& ) moment1s reflection will show that you can1t fail to !roduce every theorem of the !qsystem this way& /oreover. such as --!---q-----.ust follow the numbered ste!s. it is not always totally clear when you really have found an isomor!hism& Thus.

interpretation& Secondly. your !roblem is how to assi n inter!retations to its symbols in a meanin ful way—that is. and if you ho!e to discover some hidden meanin in it.of our isomor!hism—that is. the only way to !roceed is by trial and error.a word with all the usual va ueness of words—which is a defect but an advanta e as well& In this case. and they invariably have an inter!retation in mind for the formal systems which they use and !ublish& The idea of these !eo!le is to set u! a formal system whose theorems reflect some !ortion of reality isomor!hically& In such a case. a ma!!in between the !arts of the two structures. and some others5 are the only users of formal systems. we have an e(cellent !rototy!e for the conce!t of isomor!hism& There is a -lower level. on a hi her level.ecipherment of +inear B by John 7hadwick& 0ut it is uncommon.choice.ust feel ri ht. !hiloso!hers. as is the choice of ty!o ra!hical rules of !roduction& 3hen I devised the !q-system. all of a sudden thin s . I was in this !osition& Hou see why I chose the symbols I chose& It is no accident theorems are isomor!hic to additions= it ha!!ened because I deliberately sou ht out a way to reflect additions ty!o ra!hically& . or to deci!her inscri!tions in an unknown lan ua e like Ainear 0 of 7rete. and work s!eeds u! enormously& Pretty soon everythin falls into !lace& The e(citement of such an e(!erience is ca!tured in The . the choice of symbols is a hi hly motivated one. to say the least. based on educated uesses& 3hen you hit a ood choice. a -meanin ful. lin uists. in such a way that a hi her-level corres!ondence emer es between true statements and theorems& Hou may make several tentative stabs in the dark before findin a ood set of words to associate with the symbols& It is very similar to attem!ts to crack a code. for someone to be in the !osition of -decodin . ! q ---Ü Þ !lus Ü Þ equals Ü Þ one Ü Þ two Ü Þ three etc& This symbol-word corres!ondence has a name. there is the corres!ondence between true statements and theorems& 0ut—note carefully—this hi her-level corres!ondence could not be !erceived without the !rior choice of an inter!retation for the symbols& Thus it would be more accurate to describe it as a corres!ondence between true statements and interpreted theorems& In any case we have dis!layed a two-tiered corres!ondence. which is ty!ical of all isomor!hisms& 3hen you confront a formal system you know nothin of.a formal system turned u! in the e(cavations of a ruined civili<ation2 /athematicians 4and more recently.

assi"e Meanings Probably the most si nificant fact of this 7ha!ter. and mi ht even lead them to favor this mode of inter!retin !q-strin s2 ?owever. theorems and truths corres!ond—that is. this inter!retation has very little -meanin fulness-= under inter!retation. an isomor!hism e(ists between theorems and some !ortion of reality& That is why it is ood to distin uish between interpretations and meanings& )ny old word can be used as an inter!retation for 1 !1.based on an isomor!hism 4if we can find one5 between theorems and true statements& 0ut this does not ive us the license to o out and add new theorems to the . theorems don1t sound any truer. certainly even less reason to make an inter!retation under which there is no correlation at all. when we have learned a meanin for a word. the theorems are !redefined. we can have a meaningless inter!retation. and reality& Such inter!retations abound—any random choice a will do& 'or instance. -a!!le horse a!!le hat a!!le a!!le-—a !oetic sentiment. than nontheorems& ) horse mi ht en. if understood dee!ly this. between theoremhood and truth& Aet us therefore make a distinction between two ty!es of inter!retations a formal system& 'irst.Meaningless and Meaningful Inter!retations Hou can choose inter!retations other than the one I chose& Hou need make every theorem come out true& 0ut there would be very little reason make an inter!retation in which. or any better. since it brin s into bein a new rule for creatin sentences& This means that our command of lan ua e is not like a finished !roduct. the !qsystem seems to force us into reco ni<in that s)m(ols of a formal s)stem. which mi ht a!!eal to horses. but 1!lus1 is the only meaningful choice we1ve come u! with& In summary.oy -ha!!y ha!!y ha!!y a!!le horse. cannot a#oid taking on "meaning" of sorts at least if an isomorphism is found! The difference between meanin it formal system and in a lan ua e is a very im!ortant one.ust as much as any inter!reted theorem& The other kind of inter!retation will be called meaningful& Fnder such an inter!retation. by the rules of !roduction& 3e can choose -meanin s. one in which we fail to see any isomor!hic connection between theorems of system. however& It is this.Ü Þ a!!le 8ow -!-q-. say. the rules for makin sentences increase when we learn new meanin s& En the other hand. in a lan ua e. the meanin of 1 !1 seems to be 1!lus1 thou h it can have a million different inter!retations& Acti"e #s! . we then make new statements based on the meanin of the word& In a sense the meanin becomes acti#e. ! Ü Þ horse q Ü Þ ha!!y . all theorems came out false.4ma!!ed onto q q q-!5 . !ositive or ne ative. take this one. though initiall) without meaning. in a formal system.acquires a new inter!retation.

-0ut which one is the meanin of the strin ?. and systems with meanin & Their strin s can be thou ht of as -e(!ressin . one mi ht be seduced by the newly found -meanin . but this must come only as a consequence of the formal !ro!erties of the system& ouble-Entendre* )nd now.ust as meanin ful as the old one& Ebviously. . one sin le formal system can be isomor!hic to both.ust because B !lus B !lus B !lus B equals *& It would even be misleadin to attribute it any meanin at all. since it is not well-formed.equirement of 'ormality in 7ha!ter I was warnin you of& In the /IF-system. the meanin must remain passi#e= we can read each strin accordin to the meanin s of its constituent symbols. because no inter!retation was sou ht or found& 0ut here. one mi ht wish that this strin were a theorem& 0ut wishin doesn1t chan e the fact that it isn1t& )nd it would be a serious mistake to think that it -must. and our meanin ful inter!retation is entirely derived from lookin at well-formed strin s& In a formal system. annoyin & 0ut it will come back in dee!er conte(ts and brin with it a reat richness of ideas& .has a new inter!retation.be a theorem. in our new system. but we do not have the ri ht to create new theorems !urely on the basis of the meanin s we1ve assi ned the symbols& Inter!reted formal systems straddle the line between systems without meanin . curious.)n inter!retation will be meanin ful to the e(tent that it accurately reflects some isomor!hism to the real world& 3hen different as!ects of the real world are isomor!hic to each other 4in this case. of course. I want to destroy any illusion about havin found the meanin s for the symbols of the !q-system& 7onsider the followin association. it is silly to ask.established theorems& That is what the . there was no tem!tation to o beyond the four rules.Ü Þ two etc& 8ow. --!---q----. and therefore can take on two !assive meanin s& This kind of double-valuedness of symbols at strin s is an e(tremely im!ortant !henomenon& ?ere it seems trivial.of each symbol into thinkin that the strin --!--!--!--q------is a theorem& )t least.Ü Þ one -. additions and subtractions5. ! Ü Þ equals q Ü Þ taken from . -B equals % taken from L-& Ef course it is a true statement& )ll theorems will come out true under this new inter!retation& It is .thin s.

but which are not theorems& +ormal Systems and $eality This is our first e(am!le of a case where a formal system is based u!on !ortion of reality. and seems to mimic it !erfectly. to modify them. as far formal systems o= it is natural to wonder about what !ortion of reality can be imitated in its behavior by a set of meanin less symbols overned by formal rules& 7an all of reality be turned into a formal system? In a very broad sense.?ere is a summary of our observations about the !q-system& Fnder either of the two meanin ful inter!retations iven. which would be a theorem& That oal was achieved& 8otice. yield grammatical sentences& 4Ef course. was5 the ori inal confi uration of all the !articles at the -be innin of time-& This is so randiose a conce!tion. are defined by an a(iom schema. however. that there is an end to the descendin chain of matter.instant& So the theorems of this rand formal system are the !ossible confi urations of !articles at different times in the history of the universe& The sole a(iom is 4or !erha!s. or any formal system.are the laws of !hysics. the answer mi ht a!!ear to be yes& Ene could su est. there one in mind&5 )mon the well-formed strin s occur the theorems& The. I wanted every true addition of !recisely two !ositive inte ers to be translatable into a strin . which tell how. iven the !ositions and velocities of all !articles at a iven instant.is still a theorem whether or not we connect it with addition& Hou mi ht wonder whether makin this formal system. whether or not we know that -!-q-. I wanted every theorem to e(!ress a true addition under inter!retation= conversely. quantum mechanics 4and other !arts of !hysics5 casts at least some . that reality is itself nothin but one very com!licated formal system& Its symbols do not move around on !a!er. but usually.makes sense&5 The -ty!o ra!hical rules. therefore. that all false additions. such as -B !lus % equals D-.is a theorem= and -!-q-. that it is easily mimicked by a ty!o ra!hical rule overnin meanin less symbols& This still should not be a bi sur!rise since addition is such a sim!le conce!t& It is a common!lace that addition can be ca!tured in the s!innin ears of a device like a cash re ister& 0ut it is clear that we have hardly scratched the surface. for instance. and a rule of !roduction& /y oal in inventin the !qsystem was to imitate additions. sheds new li ht on truths in the domain of its inter!retation& ?ave we learned any new additions by !roducin !q-theorems? 7ertainly not= but we have learned somethin about the nature of addition as a !rocess—namely. are ma!!ed into strin s which are well-formed. but rather in a three-dimensional vacuum 4s!ace5= they are the elementary !articles of which everythin is com!osed& 4Tacit assum!tion. reality and the formal systems are inde!endent& 8obody need be aware that there is a isomor!hism between the two& Each side stands by itself—one !lus or equals two. when inter!reted symbol for symbol. resultin in a new set of !ositions and velocities belon in to the -ne(t. so that the e(!ression -elementary !articles. in that its theorems are isomor!hic to truths about that !art of reality& ?owever. some false& The idea of well%formed strings in any formal system is that they are those strin s which. every well-formed strin has a rammatical assertion for its counter!art—some are true. that it has only the most theoretical interest= and besides. it de!ends on the inter!retation.

&&&5 with the ty!o ra!hical symbols of a formal system& 3e will try to understand the relationshi! between what we call -truth. we actually did discover some mysterious formal system& 3e would try out various inter!retations and !erha!s eventually hit u!on one which seemed to make every theorem come out true. ". a serious question arises. unless we know everythin there is to know about both the formal system and the corres!ondin domain of inter!retation? It is in somewhat this odd !osition that we will find ourselves when we attem!t to match the reality of natural numbers 4i&e&. and others false& ?ow much is "B times "B? Everyone knows it is "CC& 0ut how many of the !eo!le who ive that answer have actually at any time in their lives drawn a "B by "B rectan le. and then counted the little squares in it? /ost !eo!le would re ard the drawin and countin unnecessary& They would instead offer as !roof a few marks on !a!er. if we don1t already know all about the truths in the disci!line to be in with? Su!!ose that in an e(cavation somewhere. +. and every nontheorem come out false& 0ut this is somethin which we could only check directly in a finite number of cases& The set of theorems is most likely infinite& ?ow will we know that all theorems e(!ress truths under this inter!retation.ob accurately —es!ecially if we1re not one hundred !er cent familiar with that !ortion of mathematics already? Su!!ose the oal of the formal system is to brin us new knowled e in that disci!line& ?ow will we know that the inter!retation of every theorem is true. if we1ve tried to model a formal system on some !art of mathematics. "B W "B ]]] BC "B ]]] "CC . such as are shown below. we are askin if the universe o!erates deterministically.doubt on even the theoretical worth of this idea& 0asically. B. that we1ve done the . unless we1ve !roven that the isomor!hism is !erfect? )nd how will we !rove that the isomor!hism is !erfect. ?ow can we be sure.in number theory and what we can et at by symbol mani!ulation& So let us briefly look at the basis for callin some statements of number theory true. the nonne ative inte ers. which is an o!en question& Mathematics and Symbol Mani!ulation Instead of dealin with such a bi !icture. let1s limit ourselves to mathematics as our -real world-& ?ere.

drive one hundred miles.ostlin it u! and down= the number of books we have will not chan e if we !ack them u! in a bo(.ust too likely that somewhere. for many children. because the number of such cases is infinite& 3e take them for ranted= we believe them 4if we ever think about them5 as dee!ly as we could believe anythin & The amount of money in our !ocket will not chan e as we walk down the street. as soon as some undeniable fact is written down. I invented situations in which they were wron & Hou may have done the same& It oes to .is false after all& I am such a !erson. un!ack it. are the rhyme reason of that !rocess& The di it-shuntin laws for multi!lication are based mostly on a few !ro!erties of addition and multi!lication which are assumed to hold for all numbers& The Basic La's of Arithmetic The kind of assum!tion I mean is illustrated below& Su!!ose that you lay down a few sticks. because it is so basic= either you see it or you don1t—but in the latter case. you would et "CC of them= few !eo!le feel that outcome is in doubt& The conflict between the two !oints of view comes into shar!er focus when you consider the !roblem of determinin the value #*$DLC%B" ( "B%CLD$*#& 'irst of all. a !roof won1t hel! you a bit& 'rom this kind of assum!tion. load them into our car. money. somebody else counts them. one can et to the commutativity and associativity of addition 4i&e&. and !lace the books in a new shelf& )ll of this is !art of what we mean by num(er& There are certain ty!es of !eo!le who. somehow.)nd that would be the -!roof-& 8early everyone believes that if you counted the squares. startin from the other end& Is it clear that the two of you will et the same answer? The result of a countin !rocess is inde!endent of the way in which it is done& This is really an assum!tion about what countin is& It would be senseless to try to !rove it.ust a little bit& So is it ever !ossible to know what the answer is? If you trust the symbolic !rocess which involves mani!ulatin di its accordin to certain sim!le rules. it is virtually im!ossible to construct the a!!ro!riate rectan le= and what is worse. find it amusin to show why that -fact. yes& That !rocess is !resented to children as a device which ets ri ht answer= lost in the shuffle. the number of cubes will not chan e& 8ow these assum!tions are not verifiable in all !ossible cases. somebody bobbled . and second that ( P c P d/ Q ( P c/ P d always5& The same assum!tion can also you to the commutativity and associativity of multi!lication= . I II II II I I 8ow you count them& )t the same time. only a very ullible !erson would be willin to believe their final answer& It is . and as soon as I had written down the e(am!les above involvin sticks. and books. unload the bo(. even if it were constructed and hu e armies of !eo!le s!ent centuries countin the little squares.ust the assum!tions that when you rotate the solid in various ways.ust think of many cubes assembled to form a lar e rectan ular solid& /ulti!licative commutativity and associativity are . first that ( P c Q c P ( always. .

if you try to look it u!. is it really !ossible to do the . and so on& I mean the kinds of !ro!erties which mathematicians are interested in e(!lorin . one of Escher1s most beautiful.are themselves fu<<y& Ideal . or -" !lus " !lus " equals ".4the Trinity5& Hou can easily !ick holes in those slo ans. such as -" and " make ". removed from countin beads. and their more advanced consequences constitute number theory& There is only one relevant question to be asked.show that numbers as abstractions are really quite different from the everyday numbers which we use& Peo!le en. in makin the transition from numbers as !ractical thin s to numbers as formal thin s& Ence you have decided to try to ca!suli<e all of number theory in an ideal system. showin why.numbers constitute arithmetic.and -dialect. for instance.umbers 8umbers as realities misbehave& ?owever. and where some other word is wanted& If you think about the question. I don1t .ust mean !ro!erties such as the sum of a !articular !air of inte ers& That can be found out by countin . usin the !lus-si n is ina!!ro!riate in both cases& 0ut such cases !roliferate& Two raindro!s runnin down a window!ane mer e= does one !lus one make one? ) cloud breaks u! into two clouds—more evidence for the same? It is not at all easy to draw a shar! line between cases where what is ha!!enin could be called -addition-. -There are "$ lan ua es in India.ob com!letely? )re numbers so clean and crystalline and re ular that their nature can be com!letely ca!tured in the rules of a formal system? The !icture +i(eration 4'i & "%5. you can !robably find a statement such as. this assertion& The best we could do would be to count !rimes for a while and concede that there are -a lot-& 0ut no amount of countin alone . or clouds= and there ou ht to be a way of talkin about numbers without always havin the silliness of reality come in and intrude& The hard-ed ed rules that overn -ideal. you will !robably come u! with some criterion involvin se!aration of the ob. -There are infinitely many !rime numbers&.truths. addin . there is no countin !rocess which will ever be able to confirm.oy inventin slo ans which violate basic arithmetic but which illustrate -dee!er. with a fascinatin transition re ion& )re numbers really as free as birds? :o they suffer as much from bein crystalli<ed into a rule-obeyin system? Is there a ma ical transition re ion between numbers in reality and numbers on !a!er? 3hen I s!eak of the !ro!erties of natural numbers. and anybody who has rown u! in this century cannot doubt the mechani<ability of such !rocesses as countin . dialects. when the conce!ts -lan ua e. is a marvelous contrast between the formal and the informal. questions for which no countin !rocess is sufficient to !rovide the answer—not even theoretically sufficient& Aet us take a classic e(am!le of such a !ro!erty of natural numbers& The statement is. multi!lyin . or refute. there is an ancient and innate sense in !eo!le that numbers ou ht not to misbehave& There is somethin clean and !ure in the abstract notion of number. and makin sure each one is clearly distin uishable from all the others& 0ut then how could one count ideas? Er the number of ases com!risin the atmos!here? Somewhere. and CDB dialects&There is somethin stran e about !recise statements like that.4for lovers5.'irst of all.ects in s!ace.

or a!!ealin .4notice the ca!ital -T-5—is quite unobvious& It may seem reasonable.would ever resolve the question of whether the number of !rimes is finite or infinite& There could always be more& The statement—and it is called -Euclid1s Theorem. but it is not obvious& ?owever. mathematicians since Euclid have always called it true& 3hat is the reason? .

BIGG/! .73G5=E BH! Aiberation. () '!8! Escher lithograph.

ust . when you divide by N5= In other words. written -N2-& 3hat you et is divisible by every number u! to N& 3hen you add " to N2. when you divide by %5= can1t be a multi!le of C 4because it leaves " over. com!ellin . or !rime divisors are reater than N! 0ut in either case we1ve shown the must e(ist a !rime above N& The !rocess holds no matter what number is& 3hatever 8 is. because we believe in reasonin & If you acce!t reasonin .rather than . the end result is not obvious& 3e can never check directly whether the statement is true or not. and we will meet a ain later in a more formal conte(t& It is where we !hrase an ar ument terms of a sin le number 4N5. . and then !oint out that N was uns!ecified and therefore the ar ument is a eneral one& Euclid1s !roof is ty!ical of what constitutes -real mathematics-& It is sim!le. the result can1t be a multi!le of B 4because it leaves " over. the startin !oints are basic ideas about multi!lication and division and forth& The short ste!s are the ste!s of reasonin & )nd thou h every individual ste! of the reasonin seems obvious. incidentally. and beautiful& It illustrates that by takin several rash short ste!s one can et a lon way from one1s startin !oint& In our case. if it is divisible at all 4other than by " and itself only is divisible by numbers reater than N& So either it is itself !rime. N2 ^ ".Euclid%s .ood evidence-& In mathematics the oal always to ive an ironclad !roof for some unobvious .and what statements to label -false-& This !roof e(em!lifies an orderly thou ht !rocess& Each statement related to !revious ones in an irresistible way& This is why it is called -!roof. yet we believe it. when you divide by C5= . .roof The reason is that reasoning tells them it is so& Aet us follow the reasonin involved& 3e will look at a variant of Euclid1s !roof& This !roof works by showin that whatever number you !ick. can1t be a multi!le of N 4because it leaves " over. is called generali@ation. there is a !rime lar er than it& Pick a number— N& /ulti!ly all the !ositive inte ers startin with " and endin with N= in other words. there is a !rime reater than N& )nd thus ends the demonstration of the infinitude of the !rimes& This last ste!. you1ll have to a ree with his conclusion& That1s most fortunate—because it means that mathematicians will always a ree on what statements to label -true. form the factorial of N. when you divide by B5= can1t be a multi!le of % 4because it leaves I over. there seems to be no esca!e route= once you a ree to hear Euclid out.

they seem to be statements about numbers and their !ro!erties.ust two or three conce!ts. in some detectable way& 0ut the statements. many small—almost infinitesimal ste!s& If all those ste!s were written out line after line. take on the as!ect of !atterns& In other words.in a few ways which are defined by the thou ht !rocesses of reasonin & That is. there are rules which our usa e of -all. I will show one way of breakin the !roof into atomic units. many of which fired several hundred times in a sin le second& The mere utterance of a sentence involves hundreds of thousands of neurons& If Euclid1s thou hts were that com!licated. and tend to claim we o!erate on the basis of the meaning of the word= but that. we sideste! the a!!arent !roblem that there are an infinite number of facts we want to !rove& 3e use the word -all.nature of reasonin !rocesses& ) !roof can be broken down into a series of tiny but discontinuous . thou h when read aloud. line by line. and instead of callin the !atterns -rules-.obeys& 3e may be unconscious of them.um!s which seem to flow smoothly when !erceived from a hi her vanta e !oint& In 7ha!ter GIII. the !roof would a!!ear incredibly com!licated& To our minds it is clearest when several ste!s are telesco!ed to ether. we never have to deal with infinitely many statements& 3e deal with . the dissection can o only so far. consistin of symbols—suitable only for e(!ressin statements about numbers& Then we can look at the !roof as it e(ists in its translated version& It will be a set of statements which are related. and then we hit the -atomic. they seem to be abstract !atterns—and the lineby-line structure of the !roof may start to look like slow transformation of !atterns accordin to some few ty!o ra!hical rules& Getting Around Infinity )lthou h Euclid1s !roof is a !roof that all numbers have a certain !ro!erty it avoids treatin each of the infinitely many cases se!arately& It ets around it by usin !hrases like -whatever N is-. since they1re re!resented by means a small and styli<ed set of symbols.of words& That discovery was a crucial reco nition in the lon !ath towards the formali<ation of number theory& If we were to delve into Euclid1s !roof more and more carefully. thou h themselves finite. and you will see how incredibly many ste!s are involved& Perha!s it should not sur!rise you. we would see that it is com!osed of many. such as the word -all-—which. still when looked at on !a!er. we would be in to discern individual frames& In other words. is only a circumlocution for sayin that we are uided by rules which we never make e(!licit& 3e have used words all our lives in certain !atterns. it makes sense for his . to form one sin le sentence& If we tried to look at the !roof in slow motion. thou h& The o!erations in Euclid1s brain when he invented the !roof must have involved millions of neurons 4nerve cells5.statement& The very fact of the ste!s bein linked to ether in an ironclad way su ests that there may be a patterned structure bindin these statements to ether& This structure can best be e(!osed by findin a new vocabulary—a styli<ed vocabulary. embody an infinitude= and by usin them. after all. or -no matter what number N is-& 3e could also !hrase the !roof over a ain. so that it uses the !hrase -all N-& 0y knowin the a!!ro!riate conte(t and correct ways of usin such !hrases. we attribute the courses of our thou ht !rocesses to the -meanin s.

more enerally. we will lay out a formal system that 4"5 includes a styli<ed vocabulary in which all statements about natural numbers can be e(!ressed.!roof to contain a hu e number of ste!s2 4There may be little direct connection between the neural actions in his brain. and 4B5 has rules corres!ondin to all the ty!es of reasonin which seem necessary& ) very im!ortant question will be whether the rules for symbol mani!ulation which we have then formulated are really of equal !ower 4as far as number theory is concerned5 to our usual mental reasonin abilities—or. whether it is theoretically !ossible to attain the level of our thinkin abilities. even when the systems involved are very different from each other&5 In 7ha!ters to come. and a !roof in our formal system. by usin some formal system& . but the com!le(ities of the two are com!arable& It is as if nature wants the com!le(ity of the !roof of the infinitude of !rimes to be conserved.

Sonata for Unaccompanied Achilles The telephone ringsR *chilles picks it up! *chilles. /r& T& ?ow are you? *chilles. no wonder it1s stiff. hello. () '! 8! Escher lithograph. 3ell. it1s all the same to me& . ?ello. ?ow lon did you hold it in that !osition? *chilles. eh? 3hat kinds. well. for e(am!le? *chilles. I1m sorry to hear it& :o you have any idea what caused it? *chilles. 3ondrous many of them. this is )chilles& *chilles. Eh. then& 3hat on earth induced you kee! your neck twisted that way for so lon ? *chilles. ) uitar2? Ef all thin s to be in the midst of all those weird creatures& Say. ) torticollis? Eh. 3asn1t it terrifyin to see so many of them at the same time? *chilles. -!hantasma orical beasts-? 73G5=E BD! /osaic II. Eh. don1t you !lay the uitar? *chilles. BIGC/! *chilles. 3hat do you mean.

round hint. oh. I a ree—can1t do any harm& ?ere it is. relatin it to /H !u<<le& . rather than hinderin you& E(cellent2 0ut I1m still in the dark on your -):)7. I also see how their -ne ative s!ace-—what1s left out—defines the white animals& *chilles. 7ertainly I know 'osaic 332 I know )AA of Escher1s works& )fter all. J& S& 0ach? I . Ef course you1re ri ht—it fulfills the conditions. and let me try to work on it. Gery in enious—but that1s almost cheatin & It1s certainly not what I meant2 *chilles. 3ell. !u<<le. !erha!s you1d better tell it to me. Eh. That1s e(actly it2 ?ow did you come u! with it so fast? *chilles. but it1s a sort of -de eneratesolution& There1s another solution which I had in mind& *chilles.and also ends with -?E-? *chilles. ) word with the letters 1)1. I once heard a word !u<<le a little bit like this one& :o you want to hear it? Er would it . -):)7. Hou1re ri ht= I wonder why I never noticed that difference between fiddles and uitars before& S!eakin of fiddlin . how would you like to come over and listen to one of the sonatas for unaccom!anied violin by your favorite com!oser.!u<<le& *chilles.round-& 0ut what does that have to do with the -):)7. I see& Hes. Eh.*chilles. then& 3here did you hear this infernal riddle? *chilles. what is the solution? *chilles. usin your fi ure. but all ri ht& 3hat1s your hint? *chilles. if it1s T?)T distractin .ust tryin to think u! com!le( word !u<<les? *chilles. 1)1. I fully know what you mean& 3ell. 171 consecutively inside it&&& ?mm&&& 3hat about -abracadabra-? *chilles. Hou mean he looked like he was meditatin on esoteric 0uddhist matters.in this case& *chilles.!u<<le? *chilles. in that word& *chilles. So T?)T1S what you mean by -fi ure.ust bou ht a marvelous recordin of them& I still can1t et over the way 0ach uses a sin le violin to create a !iece with such interest& *chilles. normally I don1t like hints. 1:1.and . but in reality he was . this is too tricky for me& I think I1/ startin to et a headache& *chilles. I1ve ot a !rint of 'osaic 33 han in on my wall. Hou want to come over now? 0ut I thou ht— *chilles.round. he1s my favorite artist& In any case.and . ) headache too? That1s a shame& Perha!s you should . I see all the black animals& *chilles. )ha2—the snail knew what this fellow was u! to& 0ut how did you come to talk to the snail? *chilles. 7on ratulations2 8ow maybe you1ll be able to et to slee!2 So tell me.ust drive you further into distraction? *chilles. Hes. ?ours and hours? It sounds like I1m in for a lon !u<<le. Say. I see& ?ave you tried countin shee!? *chilles. Hes.occurs backwards. True. So here1s a case where havin a headache actually mi ht have hel!ed you. I don1t know what you mean by -fi ure. too& *chilles. in !lain view from here& *chilles. Gery well& Perha!s by then I1ll have thou ht of the ri ht answer to HEF. not forwards. 3hat1s a word that be ins with the letters -?E.ust o to bed& *chilles.

)h. then. yes. I see—sort of an o!tional feature& Ene could listen to them either way—with or without accom!animent& 0ut how would one know what the accom!animent is su!!osed to sound like? *chilles. )ccom!anied by what instrument? *chilles. Hou1ve invented a theory about them? *chilles. /r& T& . if that1s the case. 3ell. as you said.i ht& 3ell. 6ood-bye. I uess that it is best. .*chilles. 0ach never even had accom!animent in mind at all& Those sonatas seem to work very indeed as they are& *chilles. and had it !ublished as well& *chilles. after all. I1ll see you shortly& *chilles. it seems a little stran e that he would have written out the har!sichord !art. to leave it to the listener1s ima ination& )nd !erha!s. I1d love to !lay them for you& *chilles.

by usin .E IS ) stran eness to the idea that conce!ts can be ca!tured by sim!le ty!o ra!hical mani!ulations& The one conce!t so far ca!tured is that of addition. the numbers of hy!hens in the hy!hen-strin s 9. each of them far less than the ability to distin uish !rimes from non!rimes& ?ow. it is im!ortant to s!ecify clearly what is meant by t)pographical o!erations& The com!lete re!ertoire has been !resented in the /IF-system and the !q-system.would be a theorem.TE$ III +igure and Ground . Y. !roblem& 3e could try to make a system similar to the !q-system. then. the letter 191 standin for a hy!hen-strin . ). 4"5 4B5 4%5 4C5 4L5 4D5 readin and reco ni<in any of a finite set of symbols= writin down any symbol belon in to that set= co!yin any of those symbols from one !lace to another= erasin any of those symbols= checkin to see whether one symbol is the same as another= kee!in and usin a list of !reviously enerated theorems& The list is a little redundant. could we com!ound some of these o!erations to make a formal system in which !rimes are distin uished from com!osite numbers? The tq-System ) first ste! mi ht be to try to solve a sim!ler.should be a theorem because B times % equals D. instead of addition& Aet1s call it the t"%s)stem. but . but related.rimes #s! Com!osites T?E. e(ce!t that it re!resents multi!lication. and where the only such theorems would be ones in which the hy!hen-strin contained e(actly a !rime number of hy!hens& Thus. and @& 48otice I am takin s!ecial !ains to distin uish between a strin and the number of hy!hens it contains&5 Then we wish the strin 9 t ) q @ to be a theorem if and only if S times Y equals N& 'or instance. and N are. . res!ectively.--.would not& ?ow could this be done ty!o ra!hically? 'irst. but no matter& 3hat is im!ortant is that it clearly involves only trivial abilities.C/A. --t---q----.ust one a(iom schema and one rule of inference. and it may not have a!!eared very stran e& 0ut su!!ose the oal were to create a formal system with theorems of the form . but --t--q--should not be a theorem& The tq-system can be characteri<ed . so we really only need to make a list of the kinds of thin s we have !ermitted. 1t1 for 1times1& /ore s!ecifically.9.---.ust about as easily as the !q-system namely. su!!ose S. .

)TIE/ S7?E/), 9 t - q 9 is an a(iom, whenever 9 is a hy!hen strin & ;FAE E' I8'E;E87E, Su!!ose that 9, ), and @ are all hy!hen-strin s& )nd su!!ose that 9 t ) q @ is an old theorem& Then, 9 t ) - q @ 9 is a new theorem& 0elow is the derivation of the theorem --t---q-----4"5 4B5 4%5 --t-q---t--q-----t---q------4a(iom5 4by rule of inference, usin line 4"5 as the old theorem5 4by rule of inference, usin line 4B5 as the old theorem5

8otice how the middle hy!hen-strin rows by one hy!hen each time the rule of inference is a!!lied= so it is !redictable that if you want a theorem with ten hy!hens in the middle, you a!!ly the rule of inference nine times in a row&

Ca!turing Com!ositeness
/ulti!lication, a sli htly trickier conce!t than addition, has now been -ca!turedty!o ra!hically, like the birds in Escher1s +i(eration& 3hat about !rimeness? ?ere1s a !lan that mi ht seem smart, usin the tq-system define a new set of theorems of the form C(, which characteri<e composite numbers, as follows, ;FAE, Su!!ose 9, ), and @ are hy!hen-strin s& If 9 - t ) - q @ is a theorem then C@ is a theorem& This works by sayin that N 4the number of hy!hens in @5 is com!osite as lon as it is the !roduct of two numbers reater than "—namely, S ^ " 4the number of hy!hens in 9-5, and Y ^ " 4the number of hy!hens in )-5& I am defendin this new rule by ivin you some -Intelli ent mode- .ustifications for it& That is because you are a human bein , and want to know wh) there is such a rule& If you were o!eratin e(clusively in the -/echanical mode-, you would not need any .ustification, since /-mode workers .ust follow the rules mechanically and ha!!ily, never questionin = them2 0ecause you work in the I-mode, you will tend to blur in your mind the distinction between strin s and their inter!retations& Hou see, thin s can become quite confusin as soon as you !erceive -meanin - in the symbol which you are mani!ulatin & Hou have to fi ht your own self to kee! from thinkin that the string 1%%%1 is the num(er %& The ;equirement of 'ormality, which in 7ha!ter I !robably seemed !u<<lin 4because it seemed so obvious5, here becomes tricky, and crucial& It is the essential thin which kee!s you from mi(in u! the I-mode with the /-mode= or said another way, it kee!s you from mi(in u! arithmetical facts with ty!o ra!hical theorems&

Illegally Characteri:ing ,rimes
It is very tem!tin to .um! from the 7-ty!e theorems directly to P-ty!e theorems, by !ro!osin a rule of the followin kind, P;EPESE: ;FAE, Su!!ose 9 is a hy!hen-strin & If C9 is not a theorem, then ,9 is a theorem& The fatal flaw here is that checkin whether C9 is not a theorem is not an e(!licitly ty!o ra!hical o!eration& To know for sure that M& is not a theorem of the /IF-system, you have to o outside of the system&&& and so it is with this Pro!osed ;ule& It is a rule which violates the whole idea of formal systems, in that it asks you to o!erate informally —that is, outside the system& Ty!o ra!hical o!eration 4D5 allows you to look into the stock!ile of !reviously found theorems, but this Pro!osed ;ule is askin you to look into a hy!othetical -Table of 8ontheorems-& 0ut in order to enerate such a table, you would have to do some reasonin outside the s)stemOreasonin which shows why various strin s cannot be enerated inside the system& 8ow it may well be that there is another formal system which can enerate the -Table of 8ontheorems-, by !urely ty!o ra!hical means& In fact, our aim is to find .ust such a system& 0ut the Pro!osed ;ule is not a ty!o ra!hical rule, and must be dro!!ed& This is such an im!ortant !oint that we mi ht dwell on it a bit more& In our 8% s)stem 4which includes the tq-system and the rule which defines 7-ty!e theorems5, we have theorems of the form C9, with 191 standin , as usual, for a hy!hen-strin & There are also nontheorems of the form C9& 4These are what I mean when I refer to -nontheorems-, althou h of course t t - C q q and other ill-formed messes are also nontheorems&5 The difference is that theorems have a com!osite number of hy!hens, nontheorems have a !rime number of hy!hens& 8ow the theorems all have a common -form-, that is, ori inate from a common set of ty!o ra!hical rules& :o all nontheorems also have a common -form-, in the same sense? 0elow is a list of 7-ty!e theorems, shown without their derivations& The !arenthesi<ed numbers followin them sim!ly count the hy!hens in them& C---- 4C5 C------ 4D5 C-------- 4*5 C--------- 4#5 C---------- 4"+5 C------------ 4"B5 C-------------- 4"C5 C--------------- 4"L5 C---------------- 4"D5 C------------------ 4"*5

...

The -holes- in this list are the nontheorems& To re!eat the earlier question, :o the holes also have some -form- in common? 3ould it be reasonable to say that merely by virtue of bein the holes in this list, they share a common form? Hes and no& That they share some ty!o ra!hical quality is undeniable, but whether we want to call it -form- is unclear& The reason for hesitatin is that the holes are only negati#el) defined—they are the thin s that are left out of a list which is positi#el) defined&

+igure and Ground
This recalls the famous artistic distinction between figure and ground& 3hen a fi ure or -!ositive s!ace- 4e& &, a human form, or a letter, or a still life5 is drawn inside a frame, an unavoidable consequence is that its com!lementary sha!e—also called the - round-, or -back round-, or -ne ative s!ace-—has also been drawn& In most drawin s, however, this fi ure— round relationshi! !lays little role& The artist is much less interested in round than in the fi ure& 0ut sometimes, an artist will take interest in round as well& There are beautiful al!habets which !lay with this fi ure- round distinction& ) messa e written in such an al!habet is shown below& )t first it looks like a collection of somewhat random blobs, but if you ste! back a ways and stare at it for a while, all of a sudden, you will see seven letters a!!ear in this&&&

73G5=E BG!

'or a similar effect, take a look at my drawin -moke -ignal 4'i & "%#5& )lon these lines, you mi ht consider this !u<<le, can you somehow create a drawin containin words in both the fi ure and the round? Aet us now officially distin uish between two kinds of fi ures, cursi#el) drawa(le ones, and recursi#e ones 4by the way, these are my own terms are not in common usa e5& ) cursi#el) drawa(le fi ure is one whose round is merely an accidental by-!roduct of the drawin act& ) recursi#e fi ure is one whose round can be seen as a fi ure in its own ri ht& Fsually this is quite deliberate on the !art of the artist& The -re- in -recursive- re!resents the fact that both fore round and back round are cursively drawable—the fi ure is -twice-cursive-& Each fi ure- round boundary in a recursive fi ure is a double-ed ed sword& /& 7& Escher was a master at drawin recursive fi ures —see, for instance, his beautiful recursive drawin of birds 4'i & "D5&

73G5=E BJ! Tilin of the !lane usin birds, () '! 8! Escher from a BIDF note(ook/!

Eur distinction is not as ri orous as one in mathematics, for who can definitively say that a !articular round is not a fi ure? Ence !ointed out, almost any round has interest of its own& In that sense, every fi ure is recursive& 0ut that is not what I intended by the term& There is a natural and intuitive notion of reco ni<able forms& )re both the fore round and back round reco ni<able forms? If so, then the drawin is recursive& If you look at the rounds of most line drawin s, you will find them rather unreco ni<able& This demonstrates that There e(ist reco ni<able forms whose ne ative s!ace is not any reco ni<able form& In more -technical- terminolo y, this becomes, There e(ist cursively drawable fi ures which are not recursive& Scott @im1s solution to the above !u<<le, which I call his -'I6F;E-'I6F;E 'i ure-, is shown in 'i ure "$& If you read both black and white, you will see -'I6F;E-

everywhere, but -6;EF8:- nowhere2 It is a !ara on of recursive fi ures& In this clever drawin , there are two nonequivalent ways of characteri<in the black re ions, 4"5 as the negati#e space to the white re ions= 4B5 as altered copies of the white re ions 4!roduced by colorin and shiftin each white re ion5& 4In the s!ecial case of the 'I6F;E-'I6F;E 'i ure, the two characteri<ations are equivalent —but in most black-and-white !ictures, they would not be&5 8ow in 7ha!ter GIII, when we create our Ty!o ra!hical 8umber Theory 4T8T5, it will be our ho!e that the set of all false statements of number theory can be characteri<ed in two analo ous ways, 4"5 as the ne ative s!ace to the set of all T8T-theorems= 4B5 as altered co!ies of the set of all T8T-theorems 4!roduced by ne atin each T8T-theorem5& 0ut this ho!e will be dashed, because, 4"5 4B5 inside the set of all nontheorems are found some truths outside the set of all ne ated theorems are found some falsehoods&

Hou will see why and how this ha!!ens, in 7ha!ter TIG& /eanwhile, !onder over a !ictorial re!resentation of the situation 4'i & "*5&

+igure and Ground in Music
Ene may also look for fi ures and rounds in music& Ene analo ue is the distinction between melody and accom!animent—for the melody is always in the forefront of our attention, and the accom!animent is subsidiary, in some sense& Therefore it is sur!risin when we find, in the lower lines of a !iece of music, reco ni<able melodies& This does not ha!!en too often in !ost-baroque music& Fsually the harmonies are not thou ht of as fore round& 0ut in baroque music—in 0ach above all-the distinct lines, whether hi h or low or in between, all act as -fi ures-& In this sense, !ieces by 0ach can be called -recursive-&

73G5=E BC! 'I6F;E-'I6F;E 'i ure, () -cott E! ;im BICG/!

)nother fi ure- round distinction e(ists in music, that between on-beat and offbeat& If you count notes in a measure -one-and, two-and, three-and, four-and-, most melody-notes will come on numbers, not on -and- 1s& 0ut sometimes, a melody will be deliberately !ushed onto the -and-1s, for the sheer effect of it& This occurs in several etudes for the !iano by 7ho!in, for instance& It also occurs in 0ach—!articularly in his Sonatas and Partitas for unaccom!anied violin, and his Suites for unaccom!anied cello& There, 0ach mana es to et two or more musical lines oin simultaneously& Sometimes he does this by havin the solo instrument !lay -double sto!s-—two notes at once& Ether times, however, he !uts one voice on the on-beats, and the other voice on the off-beats,

73G5=E BE! 8onsidera(le #isual s)m(olism is featured in this diagram of the relation (etween #arious classes of TNT strings! The (iggest (o9 represents the set of all TNT strings The ne9t%(iggest (o9 represents the set of all well%formed TNT strings! >ithin it is found the set of all sentences of TNT! Now things (egin to get interesting! The set of theorems is pictured as a tree growing out of a trunk representing the set of a9ioms/! The tree%s)m(ol chosen (ecause of the recursi#e growth pattern which it e9hi(its: new (ranches theorems constantl) sprouting from old ones! The fingerlike (ranches pro(e into the corners of constraining region the set of truths/, )et can ne#er full) occup) it! The (oundar) (eta the set of truths and the set of falsities is meant to suggest a randoml) meandering coastline which, no matter how closel) )ou e9amine it, alwa)s has finer le#els of structure, an conse"uentl) impossi(le to descri(e e9actl) in an) finite wa)! -ee B! 'andel(rot's (ook 'ractals!/ The reflected tree represents the set of ne ations of theorems: all of them false )et una(le collecti#el) to span the space of false statements! U.rawing () the author!V

so the ear se!arates them and hears two distinct melodies weavin in and out, and harmoni<in with each other& 8eedless to say, 0ach didn1t sto! at this level of com!le(ity&&&

$ecursi"ely Enumerable Sets #s! $ecursi"e Sets
8ow let us carry back the notions of fi ure and round to the domain formal systems& In our e(am!le, the role of !ositive s!ace is !layed by 7-ty!e theorems, and the role of ne ative s!ace is !layed by strin s with a !rime number of hy!hens& So far, the only way we have found to re!resent !rime numbers ty!o ra!hically is as a ne ative s!ace& Is there, however, some way—I don1t care how com!licated—of re!resentin the !rimes as a positi#e s!ace—that is, as a set of theorems of some formal system? :ifferent !eo!le1s intuitions ive different answers here& I remember quite vividly how !u<<led and intri ued I was u!on reali<in the difference between a !ositive characteri<ation and a ne ative characteri<ation& I was quite convinced that not only the !rimes, but any set of numbers which could be re!resented ne atively, could also be re!resented !ositively& The intuition underlyin my belief is re!resented by the question, -,ow could a figure and its ground not carr) e9actl) the same information ?- They seemed to me to embody the same information, .ust coded in two com!lementary ways& 3hat seems ri ht to you? It turns out I was ri ht about the !rimes, but wron in eneral& This astonished me, and continues to astonish me even today& It is a fact that, There e(ist formal systems whose ne ative s!ace 4set of nontheorems5 is not the !ositive s!ace 4set of theorems5 of any formal system& This result, it turns out, is of de!th equal to 6>del1s Theorem—so it is not sur!risin that my intuition was u!set& I, .ust like the mathematicians of the early twentieth century, e(!ected the world of formal systems and natural numbers to be more !redictable than it is& In more technical terminolo y, this becomes, There e(ist recursively enumerable sets which are not recursive& The !hrase recursi#el) enumera(le 4often abbreviated -r&e&-5 is the mathematical counter!art to our artistic notion of -cursively drawable-—and recursi#e is the counter!art of -recursive-& 'or a set of strin s to be -r&e&- means that it can be enerated accordin to ty!o ra!hical rules—for e(am!le, the set of 7-ty!e theorems, the set of theorems of the /IF-system—indeed, the set of theorems of any formal system& This could be com!ared with the conce!tion of a -fi ure- as -a set of lines which can be enerated accordin to artistic rules- 4whatever that mi ht mean25& )nd a -recursive setis like a fi ure whose round is also a fi ure-not only is it r&e&, but its com!lement is also r&e& It follows from the above result that, There e(ist formal systems for which there is no ty!o ra!hical decision !rocedure&

?ow does this follow? Gery sim!ly& ) ty!o ra!hical decision !rocedure is a method which tells theorems from nontheorems& The e(istence of such a test allows us to enerate all nontheorems systematically, sim!ly by oin down a list of all strin s and !erformin the test on them one at a time, discardin ill-formed strin s and theorems alon the way& This amounts to a ty!o ra!hical method for eneratin the set of nontheorems& 0ut accordin to the earlier statement 4which we here acce!t on faith5, for some systems this is not !ossible& So we must conclude that ty!o ra!hical decision !rocedures do not e(ist for all formal systems& Su!!ose we found a set 7 of natural numbers 4171 for 1'i ure15 which we could enerate in some formal way—like the com!osite numbers& Su!!ose its com!lement is the set G 4for 16round15—like the !rimes& To ether 7 and G make u! all the natural numbers, and we know a rule for makin all the numbers in set 7, but we know no such rule for makin all the numbers in set G& It is im!ortant to understand that if the members of were always enerated in order of increasing si@e, then we could always characteri<e G& The !roblem is that many r&e& sets are enerated by methods which throw in elements in an arbitrary order, so you never know if a number which has been ski!!ed over for a lon time will et included if you .ust wait a little lon er& 3e answered no to the artistic question, -)re all fi ures recursive?- 3e have now seen that we must likewise answer no to the analo ous question in mathematics, -)re all sets recursive?- 3ith this !ers!ective, let us now come back to the elusive word -form-& Aet us take our fi ure-set and our round-set G a ain& 3e can a ree that all the numbers in set 7 have some common -form-—but can the same be said about numbers in set G? It is a stran e question& 3hen we are dealin with an infinite set to start with—the natural numbers—the holes created by removin some subs may be very hard to define in any e(!licit way& )nd so it may be that they are not connected by any common attribute or -form-& In the last analysis it is a matter of taste whether you want to use the word -form-—but .ust thinkin about it is !rovocative& Perha!s it is best not to define -form-, but to leave it with some intuitive fluidity& ?ere is a !u<<le to think about in connection with the above matter 7an you characteri<e the followin set of inte ers 4or its ne ative s!ace5 " % $ "B "* BD %L CL LD D#&&&

?ow is this sequence like the 'I6F;E-'I6F;E 'i ure?

,rimes as +igure $ather than Ground
'inally, what about a formal system for eneratin !rimes? ?ow is it done? The trick is to ski! ri ht over multi!lication, and to o directly to nondi#isi(ilit) as the thin to re!resent !ositively& ?ere are an a(iom schema and rule for !roducin theorems which re!resent the notion that one number does not di#ide 4 ; 5 another number e(actly, )TIE/ S7?E/), 9 ) ; 9 where 9 and ) are hy!hen-strin s&

'or e(am!le ----

;

--, where 9 has been re!laced by 1Y1 and ) by 1---1&

;FAE, If 9 ; ) is a theorem, then so is 9 ; 9 ) & If you use the rule twice, you can enerate this theorem, ----- ; ------------which is inter!reted as -L does not divide "B-& 0ut --- ; ------------ is not a theorem& 3hat oes wron if you try to !roduce it? 8ow in order to determine that a iven number is !rime, we have to build u! some knowled e about its nondivisibility !ro!erties& In !articular, we want to know that it is not divisible by B or % or C, etc&, all the way u! to " less than the number itself& 0ut we can1t be so va ue in formal systems as to say -et cetera-& 3e must s!ell thin s out& 3e would like to have a way of sayin , in the lan ua e of the system, -the number 9 is di#isor free u! to T-, meanin that no number between B and T divides 9& This can be done, but there is a trick to it& Think about it if you want& ?ere is the solution, ;FAE, If -- ; @ is a theorem, so is @ + --& ;FAE, If @ + 9 is a theorem and also 9- ; @ is a theorem, @ + 9 - is a theorem& These two rules ca!ture the notion of divisor freeness& )ll we need to do is to say that !rimes are numbers which are divisor-free u! to " less than themselves, ;FAE, If @- + @ is a theorem, then , @ - is a theorem& Eh—let1s not for et that B is !rime2 )TIE/, ,--. )nd there you have it& The !rinci!le of re!resentin !rimality formally is that there is a test for divisibility which can be done without any backtrackin & Hou march steadily u!ward, testin first for divisibility by B, then by %, and so on& It is this -monotonicity- or unidirectionality—this absence of cross-!lay between len thenin and shortenin , increasin and decreasin —that allows !rimality to be ca!tured& )nd it is this !otential com!le(ity of formal systems to involve arbitrary amounts of backwards-forwards interference that is res!onsible for such limitative results as 6>del1s Theorem, Turin 1s ?altin Problem, and the fact that not all recursively enumerable sets are recursive&

Contracrostipunctus
*chilles has come to #isit his friend and Mogging companion, the Tortoise, at his home *chilles, ?eavens, you certainly have an admirable boomeran collection Tortoise, Eh, !shaw& 8o better than that of any other Tortoise& )nd now would you like to ste! into the !arlor? *chilles, 'ine& 4>alks to the corner of the room &5 I see you also have a lar e collection of records& 3hat sort of music do you en.oy? Tortoise, Sebastian 0ach isn1t so bad, in my o!inion& 0ut these days, I must say, I am develo!in more and more of an interest in a rather s!eciali<ed sort of music& *chilles, Tell me, what kind of music is that? Tortoise, ) ty!e of music which you are most unlikely to have heard of& I call it -music to break !hono ra!hs by-& *chilles, :id you say -to break !hono ra!hs by-? That is a curious conce!t& I can .ust see you, sled ehammer in hand, whackin one !hono ra!h after another to !ieces, to the strains of 0eethoven1s heroic master!iece >ellington's <ictor)& Tortoise, That1s not quite what this music is about& ?owever, you mi ht find its true nature .ust as intri uin & Perha!s I should ive you a brief descri!tion of it? *chilles, E(actly what I was thinkin & Tortoise, ;elatively few !eo!le are acquainted with it& It all be an when my friend the 7rab—have you met him, by the way?—!aid me a visit& *chilles, 1twould be a !leasure to make his acquaintance, I1m sure& Thou h I1ve heard so much about him, I1ve never met him& Tortoise, Sooner or later I1ll et the two of you to ether& Hou1d hit it off s!lendidly& Perha!s we could meet at random in the !ark on day&&& *chilles, 7a!ital su estion2 I1ll be lookin forward to it& 0ut you were oin to tell me about your weird -music to smash !hono ra!hs by-, weren1t you? Tortoise, Eh, yes& 3ell, you see, the 7rab came over to visit one day& Hou must understand that he1s always had a weakness for fancy ad ets, and at that time he was quite an aficionado for, of all thin s, record !layers& ?e had .ust bou ht his first record !layer, and bein somewhat ullible, believed every word the salesman had told him about it—in !articular, that it was ca!able of re!roducin any and all sounds& In short, he was convinced that it was a Perfect !hono ra!h& *chilles, 8aturally, I su!!ose you disa reed& Tortoise, True, but he would hear nothin of my ar uments& ?e staunchly maintained that any sound whatever was re!roducible on his machine& Since I couldn1t convince him of the contrary, I left it at that& 0ut not lon after that, I returned the visit, takin with me a record of a son which I had myself com!osed& The son was called -I 7annot 0e Played on ;ecord Player "-& *chilles, ;ather unusual& 3as it a !resent for the 7rab? Tortoise, )bsolutely& I su ested that we listen to it on his new !hono ra!h, and he was very lad to obli e me& So he !ut it on& 0ut unfortunately, after only a few notes,

the record !layer be an vibratin rather severely, and then with a loud -!o!-, broke into a lar e number of fairly small !ieces, scattered all about the room& The record was utterly destroyed also, needless to say& *chilles, 7alamitous blow for the !oor fellow, I1d say& 3hat was the matter with his record !layer? Tortoise, ;eally, there was nothin the matter, nothin at all& It sim!ly couldn1t re!roduce the sounds on the record which I had brou ht him, because they were sounds that would make it vibrate and break& *chilles, Edd, isn1t it? I mean, I thou ht it was a Perfect !hono ra!h& That1s what the salesman had told him, after all& Tortoise, Surely, )chilles, you don1t believe everythin that salesmen tell you2 )re you as naPve as the 7rab was? *chilles, The 7rab was naPver by far2 I know that salesmen are notorious !revaricators& I wasn1t born yesterday2 Tortoise, In that case, maybe you can ima ine that this !articular salesman had somewhat e(a erated the quality of the 7rab1s !iece of equi!ment&&& !erha!s it was indeed less than Perfect, and could not re!roduce every !ossible sound& *chilles, Perha!s that is an e(!lanation& 0ut there1s no e(!lanation for the ama<in coincidence that your record had those very sounds on it&&& Tortoise, Fnless they ot !ut there deliberately& Hou see, before returnin the 7rab1s visit, I went to the store where the 7rab had bou ht his machine, and inquired as to the make& ?avin ascertained that, I sent off to the manufacturers for a descri!tion of its desi n& )fter receivin that by return mail, I analy<ed the entire construction of the !hono ra!h and discovered a certain set of sounds which, if they were !roduced anywhere in the vicinity, would set the device to shakin and eventually to fallin a!art& *chilles, 8asty fellow2 Hou needn1t s!ell out for me the last details, that you recorded those sounds yourself, and offered the dastardly item as a ift&&& Tortoise, 7lever devil2 Hou .um!ed ahead of the story2 0ut that wasn1t the end of the adventure, by any means, for the 7rab did not believe that his record !layer was at fault& ?e was quite stubborn& So he went out and bou ht a new record !layer, this one even more e(!ensive, and this time the salesman !romised to ive him double his money back in case the 7rab found a sound which it could not re!roduce e(actly& So the 7rab told me e(citedly about his new model, and I !romised to come over and see it& *chilles, Tell me if I1m wron —I bet that before you did so, you on a ain wrote the manufacturer, and com!osed and recorded a new son called -I 7annot 0e Played on ;ecord Player B-, based on the construction of the new model& Tortoise, Ftterly brilliant deduction, )chilles& Hou1ve quite ot the s!irit& *chilles, So what ha!!ened this time? Tortoise, )s you mi ht e(!ect, !recisely the same thin & The !hono ra!h fell into innumerable !ieces, and the record was shattered& *chilles, 7onsequently, the 7rab finally became convinced that there could be no such thin as a Perfect record !layer&

Tortoise, ;ather sur!risin ly, that1s not quite what ha!!ened& ?e was sure that the ne(t model u! would fill the bill, and havin twice the money, he— *chilles, Eho—I have an idea2 ?e could have easily outwitted you, by obtainin a AE3fidelity !hono ra!h—one that was not ca!able of re!roducin the sounds which would destroy it& In that way, he would avoid your trick& Tortoise, Surely, but that would defeat the ori inal !ur!ose—namely, to have a !hono ra!h which could re!roduce any sound whatsoever, even its own selfbreakin sound, which is of course im!ossible& *chilles, That1s true& I see the dilemma now& If any record !layer—say ;ecord Player T —is sufficiently hi h-fidelity, then when attem!ts to !lay the son -I 7annot 0e Played on ;ecord Player T-, it will create .ust those vibrations which will cause to break&&& So it fails to be Perfect& )nd yet, the only way to et around that trickery, namely for ;ecord Player T to be of lower fidelity, even more directly ensures that it is not Perfect& It seems that every record !layer is vulnerable to one or the other of these frailties, and hence all record !layers are defective& Tortoise, I don1t see why you call them -defective-& It is sim!ly an inherent fact about record !layers that they can1t do all that you mi ht wish them to be able to do& 0ut if there is a defect anywhere, is not in T?E/, but in your e(!ectations of what they should be able to do2 )nd the 7rab was .ust full of such unrealistic e(!ectations& *chilles, 7om!assion for the 7rab overwhelms me& ?i h fidelity or low fidelity, he loses either way& Tortoise, )nd so, our little ame went on like this for a few more rounds, and eventually our friend tried to become very smart& ?e ot wind of the !rinci!le u!on which I was basin my own records, and decided to try to outfo( me& ?e wrote to the !hono ra!h makers, and described a device of his own invention, which they built to s!ecification& ?e called it -;ecord Player Eme a-& It was considerably more so!histicated than an ordinary record !layer& *chilles, Aet me uess how, :id it have no movin !arts? Er was it made of cotton? Er — Tortoise, Aet me tell you, instead& That will save some time& In the first !lace, ;ecord Player Eme a incor!orated a television camera whose !ur!ose it was to scan any record before !layin it& This camera was hooked u! to a small built-in com!uter, which would determine e(actly the nature of the sounds, by lookin at the roove!atterns& *chilles, Hes, so far so ood& 0ut what could ;ecord Player Eme a do with this information? Tortoise, 0y elaborate calculations, its little com!uter fi ured out what effects the sounds would have u!on its !hono ra!h& If it deduced that the sounds were such that they would cause the machine in its !resent confi uration to break, then it did somethin very clever& Eld Eme a contained a device which could disassemble lar e !arts of its !hono ra!h subunit, and rebuild them in new ways, so that it could, in effect, chan e its own structure& If the sounds were -dan erous-, a new confi uration was chosen, one to which the sounds would !ose no threat, and this new confi uration would then be built by the rebuildin subunit, under direction

of the little com!uter& Enly after this rebuildin o!eration would ;ecord Player Eme a attem!t to !lay the record& *chilles, )ha2 That must have s!elled the end of your tricks& I bet you were a little disa!!ointed& Tortoise, 7urious that you should think so&&& I don1t su!!ose that you know 6>del1s Incom!leteness Theorem backwards and forwards, do you? *chilles, @now 3?ESE Theorem backwards and forwards? I1ve never heard of anythin that sounds like that& I1m sure it1s fascinatin , but I1d rather hear more about -music to break records by-& It1s an amusin little story& )ctually, I uess I can fill in the end& Ebviously, there was no !oint in oin on, and so you shee!ishly admitted defeat, and that was that& Isn1t that e(actly it? Tortoise, 3hat2 It1s almost midni ht2 I1m afraid it1s my bedtime& I1d love to talk some more, but really I am rowin quite slee!y& *chilles, )s am I& 3ell, I1ll be on my way& 4 *s he reaches the door, he suddenl) stops, and turns around&5 Eh, how silly of me2 I almost for ot& I brou ht you a little !resent& ?ere& 4,ands the Tortoise a small neatl) wrapped package&5 Tortoise, ;eally, you shouldn1t have2 3hy, thank you very much indeed& I think I1ll o!en it now& 4Eagerl) tears open the package, and inside disco#ers a glass go(let&5 Eh, what an e(quisite oblet2 :id you know that I am quite an aficionado for, of all thin s, lass oblets? *chilles, :idn1t have the fo iest& 3hat an a reeable coincidence2 Tortoise, Say, if you can kee! a secret, I1ll let you in on somethin , I tryin to find a Perfect oblet, one havin no defects of a sort in its sha!e& 3ouldn1t it be somethin if this oblet—let1s call it -6-—were the one? Tell me, where did you come across 6oblet 6? *chilles, Sorry, but that1s /H little secret& 0ut you mi ht like to know who its maker is& Tortoise, Pray tell, who is it? *chilles, Ever hear of the famous lassblower Johann Sebastian 0ach? 3ell, he wasn1t e(actly famous for lassblowin —but he dabbled at the art as a hobby, thou h hardly a soul knows it—and this oblet is the last !iece he blew& Tortoise, Aiterally his last one? /y racious& If it truly was made by 0ach its value is inestimable& 0ut how are you sure of its maker? *chilles, Aook at the inscri!tion on the inside—do you see where the letters 101, 1)1, 171, 1?1 have been etched? Tortoise, Sure enou h2 3hat an e(traordinary thin & 46entl) sets Go(let G down on a shelf!5 0y the way, did you know that each of the four letters in 0ach1s name is the name of a musical note? *chilles, 1tisn1t !ossible, is it? )fter all, musical notes only o from _)1 throu h 161& Tortoise, Just so= in most countries, that1s the case& 0ut in 6ermany, 0ach1s own homeland, the convention has always been similar, e(ce!t that what we call 101, they call 1?1, and what we call 10-flat1, they call 101& 'or instance, we talk about 0ach1s -/ass in 0 /inor-, whereas they talk about his -?-moll /esse-& Is that clear?

*chilles,&&& hmm&&& I uess so& It1s a little confusin , ? is 0, and 0 0-flat& I su!!ose his name actually constitutes a melody, then& Tortoise, Stran e but true& In fact, he worked that melody subtly into one of his most elaborate musical !ieces—namely, the final 8ontrapunctus in his *rt of the 7ugue& It was the last fu ue 0ach ever wrote& 3hen I heard it for the first time, I had no idea how would end& Suddenly, without warnin , it broke off& )nd then&&& dead silence& I reali<ed immediately that was where 0ach died& It is an indescribably sad moment, and the effect it had on me was—shatterin & In any case, 0-)-7-? is the last theme of that fu ue& It is hidden inside the !iece& 0ach didn1t !oint it out e(!licitly, but if you know about it, you can find it without much trouble& )h, me—there are so many clever ways of hidin thin s in music&&& *chilles, &&&or in !oems& Poets used to do very similar thin s, you know 4thou h it1s rather out of style these days5& 'or instance, Aewis 7arroll often hid words and names in the first letters 4or characters5 of the successive lines in !oems he wrote& Poems which conceal messa es that way are called -acrostics-& Tortoise, 0ach, too, occasionally wrote acrostics, which isn1t sur!risin & )fter all, counter!oint and acrostics, with their levels of hidden meanin , have quite a bit in common& /ost acrostics, however, have only one hidden level—but there is no reason that one couldn1t make a double-decker—an acrostic on to! of an acrostic& Er one could make a -contracrostic-—where the initial letters, taken in reverse order, form a messa e& ?eavens2 There1s no end to the !ossibilities inherent in the form& /oreover, it1s not limited to !oets= anyone could write acrostics—even a dialo ician&

73G5=E BI! The last page of Bach's )rt of the 'u ue! 3n the original manuscript. is written: "N!B! 3n the course of this fugue.! was (rought in as countersu(Mect. in the handwriting of Bach's son 8arl &hilipp Emanuel. at the point where the name B!*!8!. de#eloped at 3ndiana 5ni#ersit)V .onald B)rd's program "-'5T". the composer died!" B%*%8%. in (o9!/ 3 ha#e let this final page of Bach's last fugue ser#e as an epitaph! U'usic &rinted () .

by which I meant a writer of dialo ues& ?mm&&& somethin . I uess I1ll have to ive you a demonstration& Aet me . a shattering sound rudel) interrupts his performance! Both he and *chilles spin around. do you su!!ose it would be more !ro!er for him to acrostically embed his E38 name—or that of 0ach? Eh.ust occurred to me& In the unlikely event that a dialo ician should write a contra!untal acrostic in homa e to J& S& 0ach. Must in time to catch a glimpse of m)riad fragments of glass tinkling to the floor from the shelf where Go(let G had stood.*chilles. if !layed u!side down and backwards. why worry about such frivolous matters? )nybody who wanted to write such a !iece could make u! his own mind& 8ow ettin back to 0ach1s melodic name. you1re quite a ske!tic.ust o and fetch my fiddle— >alks into the ne9t room. now&&& &laces his cop) of the *rt of the 7ugue on his music stand and opens it to the last page!/ &&&here1s the last 7ontra!unctus. suddenl). ?ow can anythin be !layed u!side down? 0ackwards. and here1s the last theme&&& The Tortoise (egins to pla): B%*%8% O (ut as he (ows the final . 7orrection. I can see-you et ?-7)-0—but u!side down? Hou must be !ullin my le & Tortoise. well. onl) moments (efore! *nd then!!! dead silence! . is e(actly the same as the ori inal? *chilles. did you know that the melody 0-)-7-?. without warning.. I said -dialo ician-. aren1t you? 3ell. and returns in a Miff) with an ancient%looking #iolin!/ —and !lay it for you forwards and backwards and every which way& Aet1s see. 1!on my word. ) dial-a-lo ician? That1s a new one on me& Tortoise.

Cha!ter I4 Consistency) Com!leteness) and Geometry Im!licit and E-!licit Meaning I8 7?)PTE. in fact. e(tremely implicit. in the sense that the brain !rocesses required to understand the events in the story. we shall have to ado!t a far more fle(ible conce!tion of what isomor!hisms can be than we have u! till now& In my o!inion. rather than to the link between that ob. and thin s in the real world& The more com!le( the isomor!hism.that imbues them with meanin s& This is an easy enou h error to make& It attributes all the meanin to the ob.ects& This is a false belief= if two ob.ects collide in a vacuum. where !eo!le often attribute meanin to words in themselves. I used the word -isomor!hism. without bein in the sli htest aware of the very com!le( -isomor!hism. the error stems from attributin the noise e(clusively to the collision. strictly s!eakin .meanin is. we shall consider the events in the story to be the e(!licit meanin of the :ialo ue. II. and not reco ni<in the role of the medium. in eneral. we are tem!ted to say that the meanin which it allows us to see is e(!licit& 3e see the meanin without seein the isomor!hism& The most blatant e(am!le is human lan ua e.overned symbols.ects to the ear& )bove. which carries it from the ob. and assume that every reader of En lish uses more or less the same -isomor!hism.ect and the real world& Hou mi ht com!are it to the naPve belief that noise is a necessary side effect of any collision of two ob. the more -equi!ment-—both hardware and software—is required to e(tract the meanin from the symbols& If an isomor!hism is very sim!le 4or very familiar5. if we want to continue thinkin of meanin as mediated by isomor!hisms. iven only the black marks on !a!er. the key element in answerin the question -3hat is consciousness?.ect 4the word5.in quotes to indicate that it must be taken with a rain of salt& The symbolic !rocesses which underlie the understandin of human lan ua e are so much more com!le( than the symbolic !rocesses in ty!ical formal systems. are incredibly com!le(& 8evertheless.in suckin that meanin from the marks on the !a!er& . we saw how meanin —at least in the relatively sim!le conte(t of formal systems—arises when there is an isomor!hism between rule.will be the unravelin of the nature of the -isomor!hismwhich underlies meanin & E-!licit Meaning of the 8ontracrostipunctus )ll this is by way of !re!aration for a discussion of the 8ontracrostipunctusOa study in levels of meanin & The :ialo ue has both e(!licit and im!licit meanin s& Its most e(!licit meanin is sim!ly the story which was related& This -e(!licit. there will be no noise at all& ?ere a ain. that.

because it is mediated by the chain of two isomor!hisms& It is the Aevel Two meanin which -backfires-.ust !ullin it down the rooves& )fter this sta e.Even so.ust as they did on the escalatin series of !hono ra!hs& . and destroyed it& Similar comments a!!ly to the oblet& Ene difference is that the ma!!in from letters of the al!habet to musical notes is one more level of isomor!hism. the vibrations act back on the oblet .meanin of the rooves& 3hat is the Aevel Two meanin of the rooves? It is the sequence of vibrations induced in the record !layer& This meanin can only arise after the Aevel Ene meanin has been !ulled out of the rooves. since the vibrations in the air cause the vibrations in the !hono ra!h& Therefore. a relatively strai htforward device= in fact you can do it with a !in. causin the record !layer to break a!art& 3hat is of interest is that the !roduction of the Aevel Ene meanin forces the !roduction of the Aevel Two meanin simultaneously—there is no way to have Aevel Ene without Aevel Two& So it was the im!licit meanin of the record which turned back on it. the ear converts the vibrations into firin s of auditory neurons in the brain& Then ensue a number of sta es in the brain. the Aevel Two meanin de!ends u!on a chain of two isomor!hisms. or a succession of emotional res!onses in a brain? It is both& 0ut before there can be emotional res!onses. there have to be vibrations& 8ow the vibrations et -!ulled. I1d like to be a little more e(!licit about the e(!licit meanin of the story& 'irst I1ll talk about the record !layers and the records& The main !oint is that there are two levels of meanin for the rooves in the records& Aevel Ene is that of music& 8ow what is -music-—a sequence of vibrations in the air. which radually transform the linear sequence of vibrations into a com!le( !attern of interactin emotional res!onses—far too com!le( for us to o into here. which we could call -transcri!tion-& That is followed by -translation-—conversion of musical notes into musical sounds& Thereafter. arbitrary air vibrations and !hono ra!h vibrations This chain of two isomor!hisms is de!icted in 'i ure B+& 8otice that isomor!hism I is the one which ives rise to the Aevel Ene meanin & The Aevel Two meanin is more im!licit than the Aevel Ene meanin . much thou h I would like to& Aet us therefore content ourselves with thinkin of the sounds in the air as the -Aevel Ene. 4"5 Isomor!hism between arbitrary roove !atterns and air vibrations= 4B5 Isomor!hism between ra!h vibrations. .out of the rooves by a record !layer.

not Must ones produced () the phonograph itself.eminiscent of the backfirin of the records1 music—or the oblet1s inscri!tion—or !erha!s of the Tortoise1s boomeran collection? Hes. you can o a little further& Ebserve that in the first half of the story. 6oblets and records which backfire= Aevel Two. as follows&&& Aevel Ene. the 7rab becomes the Tortoise.73G5=E FK! <isual rendition of the principle underl)ing Gödel's Theorem: two (ack%to%(ack mappings which ha#e an une9pected (oomeranging effect! The first is from groo#e patterns to sounds. the rooves become the etched auto ra!h. will cause such #i(rations! The paraphrase of Gödel's Theorem sa)s that for an) record pla)er. etc& Ence you notice this sim!le isomor!hism. in that its own structure is isomor!hic to the events it !ortrays& 4E(actly as the oblet and records refer im!licitly to themselves via the back-to-back mor!hisms of . indeed& The story is about backfirin on two levels. but his own method has turned around and backfired on him2 . the !hono ra!h becomes a violin. for an) sound in the #icinit). the story itself is an e(am!le of the backfirin s which it discusses& So we can think of the 7ontracrosti!unctus as referrin to itself indirectly.rawing () the author!V Im!licit Meanings of the Contracrosti!unctus 3hat about im!licit meanin s of the :ialo ue? 4Hes. it has more than one of these&5 The sim!lest of these has already been !ointed out in the !ara ra!hs above—namely. there are records which it cannot pla) (ecause the) will cause its indirect self%destruction! U. carried out () a phonograph! The secondOfamiliar. that the events in the two halves of the dialo ue are rou hly isomor!hic to each other. in which we equate the way in which the records and oblet boomeran back to destroy themselves. he is the victim& 3hat do you know. with the way in which the Tortoise1s own fiendish method boomeran s back to et him in the end& Seen this way. (ut usuall) ignoredOis from sounds to #i(rations of the phonograph! Note that the second mapping e9ists independentl) of the first one. The Tortoise1s devilish method of e(!loitin im!licit meanin to cause backfires—which backfires& Therefore we can even make an isomor!hism between the two levels of the story. the Tortoise becomes )chilles. while in the second half. the Tortoise is the !er!etrator of all the mischief.

a(iomatic system -Perfect. which.!layin and vibration-causin &5 Ene may read the :ialo ue without !erceivin this fact.a(iomatic system hi h-fidelity !hono ra!h Ü Þ -stron . as I said in the Introduction. but it is the core of it& Hou need not worry if you don1t fully ras! 6>del1s Theorem by now—there are still a few 7ha!ters to o before we reach it2 8evertheless. -I 7annot 0e Played -I 7annot 0e :erived on . son title Ü Þ im!licit meanin of 6>del1s strin . I have carefully charted it out below& Phono ra!h Ü Þ a(iomatic system for number theory low-fidelity !hono ra!h Ü Þ -weak. relies heavily on two different levels of meanin of statements of number theory& Each of the two halves of the 7ontracrosti!unctus is an -isomor!hic co!y.Ü Þ com!lete system for number theory -blue!rint.!hono ra!h. havin read this :ialo ue you have already tasted some of the flavor of 6>del1s Theorem without necessarily bein aware of it& I now leave you to look for any other ty!es of im!licit meanin in the 7ontracrosti!unctus& -Muaerendo invenietis2- .of !hono ra!h Ü Þ a(ioms and rules of formal system record Ü Þ strin of the formal system !layable record Ü Þ theorem of the a(iomatic system un!layable record Ü Þ nontheorem of the a(iomatic system sound Ü Þ true statement of number theory re!roducible sound Ü Þ inter!reted theorem of the system unre!roducible sound Ü Þ true statement which isn1t a theorem. of course—but it is there all the time& Ma!!ing Bet'een the 8ontracrostipunctus and G#del%s Theorem 8ow you may feel a little di<<y—but the best is yet to come& 4)ctually. levels of im!licit meanin will not even be discussed here—they will be left for you to ferret out&5 The dee!est reason for writin this :ialo ue was to illustrate 6>del1s Theorem.of 6>del1s Theorem& 0ecause this ma!!in is the central idea of the :ialo ue and is rather elaborate.ecord Player Tin 'ormal System T- This is not the full e(tent of the isomor!hism between 6>del1s theorem and the 7ontracrosti!unctus.

he lost his si ht for the better !art of the last year of his life& This did not kee! him from vi orous work on his monumental !ro. difference between human reasonin and mechanical . u!on this very act. leavin it for others to s!eculate on the incom!leteness of the *rt of the 7ugue& 7ould it have been caused by 0ach1s attainment of self-reference? . and they radually increase in com!le(ity and de!th of e(!ression& Toward the end. he inserted his own name coded into notes as the third theme& ?owever. without warnin . at first si ht. 0ach wished to have an o!eration& It was done= however. is called -incom!leteness. they soar to such hei hts of intricacy that one sus!ects he can no lon er maintain them& Het he does&&&until the last 8ontrapunctus& The circumstances which caused the break-off of the *rt of the 7ugue 4which is to say. of 0ach1s life5 are these. in the sense of re!roducin every sin le true statement as a theorem& 0ut as the Tortoise !ointed out with res!ect to !hono ra!hs.of that system& ) most !u<<lin fact about 6>del1s method of !roof is that he uses reasonin methods which seemin ly cannot be -enca!sulated-—they resist bein incor!orated into any formal system& Thus. 0ach uses a very sim!le theme in the most com!le( !ossible ways& The whole work is in a sin le key& /ost of the fu ues have four voices. mathematicians be an this century with . in any iven formal system. writin the 'usical :ffering was an ins!iration to 0ach& ?e decided to com!ose another set of fu ues on a much sim!ler theme. it seems that 6>del has unearthed a hitherto unknown. but dee!ly si nificant.roblems Caused by G#del%s $esult The Tortoise says that no sufficiently !owerful record !layer can be !erfect. it came out quite !oorly. and as a consequence.The Art of the +ugue ) few words on the *rt of the 7ugue&&& 7om!osed in the last year of 0ach1s life. and usa e of multi!le themes was one im!ortant facet of it& In what he !lanned as the ne(t-to-last fu ue. in the sense of bein able to re!roduce every !ossible sound from a record& 6>del says that no sufficiently !owerful formal system can be !erfect. he mana ed to dictate to his son-in-law a final chorale !relude. he suffered a stroke= and ten days later. it is a collection of ei hteen fu ues all based on one theme& )!!arently. 0ach re ained his vision& 0ut a few hours later.ect& In his illness. however& ?is aim was to construct a com!lete e(!osition of fu al writin . to demonstrate the full ran e of !ossibilities inherent in the form& In the *rt of the 7ugue. -The e(!ression of !ious resi nation and devotion in it has always affected me whenever I have !layed it= so that I can hardly say which I would rather miss—this 7horale. he died. his eyesi ht havin troubled him for years. this fact only seems like a defect if you have unrealistic e(!ectations of what formal systems should be able to do& 8evertheless.ust such unrealistic e(!ectations. or the end of the last fu ue&Ene day.ect. his health became so !recarious that he was forced to abandon work on his cherished !ro. of which 0ach1s bio ra!her 'orkel wrote. thinkin that a(iomatic reasonin was the cure to all ills& They found out otherwise in "#%"& The fact that truth transcends theoremhood.

you may well have detected the fallacies in what I have said& The crucial fallacy came when I unquestionin ly ado!ted the very same inter!retin words for the new system as I had for the old one& . for instance. If 9 is a hy!hen-strin . )TIE/ S7?E/) II. since it contains statements which disa ree with one another such as -!-q-. you are bound to dama e the isomor!hism& It . and -B !lus B equals %-& It can be seen that our new system contain a lot of false statements 4if you consider strin s to be statement& Thus. with the !ur!ose of misleadin & In fact. very sli htly& 3e add one more a(iom schema 4retainin the ori inal one. then. and that reason was that the s)m(ols acted isomorphicall) to the concepts which they were matched with. and so --!--q---& )nd yet. and that of theoremhood or at least that is a -romantic. we also have internal !roblems with our new system. it is necessary to see in more de!th why and how meanin is mediated. by the inter!retation& 0ut when you modify the rules overnin the system. by isomor!hisms& )nd I believe that this leads to a more romantic way to view the situation& So we now will !roceed to investi ate some further as!ects of the relation between meanin and form& Eur first ste! is to make a new formal system by modifyin our old friend. as well as the sin le rule of inference5.way to view the situation& The Modified !q-System and Inconsistency In order to see the situation more realistically. therefore. internally& 3ould.is a theorem in the new system. in formal systems. leavin all the others constant= in !articular.4an old a(iom5 and -!-q.. I have tried to !ress fu<<y-headed ar uments as stron ly as !ossible. our new system is inconsistent with the e9ternal world! )s if this weren1t bad enou h. then 9!-q9 is an a(iom& 7learly. inter!ret q by the !hrase -is reater than or equal to-& 8ow.4a new a(iom5& So our system is inconsistent in a second sense. their inter!retations are. our .emember that there was only one reason for ado!tin those words in in the last 7ha!ter.reasonin & This mysterious discre!ancy in the !ower of livin and nonlivin systems is mirrored in the discre!ancy between the notion of truth.ust cannot be hel!ed& Thus all the !roblems which were lamented over in !recedin !ara ra!hs were bo us !roblems= they can made to vanish in no time. res!ectively. --!-q-. the only reasonable thin to do at this !oint be dro! the new system entirely? ?ardly& I have deliberately !resented the -inconsistencies. by suita(l) reinterpreting some of the s)m(ols of s)stem& 8otice that I said -some-= not necessarily all symbols will have to ma!!ed onto new notions& Some may very well retain their -meanin s. -B !lus " equals B-.ust the symbol q.while others chan e& $egaining Consistency Su!!ose. that we reinter!ret . that is. the !q-system.in a wool!ullin manner.

or could it have structural weaknesses? Every word which we use has a meanin to us. who. -strai ht line-. and the more dee!ly rooted is its meanin & Therefore. Euclid1s Elements. common words such as -!oint-. there will be no visible crash if one of the !roofs is invalid& The irders and struts are not !hysical. that it is standin is !roof enou h that its structural elements are holdin it u!& 0ut in a book on eometry. the stuff out of which !roofs were constructed was human lan ua e—that elusive. which uides us in our use of it& The more common the word. around %++ 0&7&. and 4B5 the internal inconsistency& )nd our new inter!retation is a meanin ful inter!retation= of course the ori inal one is meaningless& That is. -" !lus " is reater than or equal to "-. definitions. of the architectural stren th of the Elements? Is it certain that it is held u! by solid structural elements. the more associations we have with it. and so forth& ?ow can you define somethin of which everyone already has a clear conce!t? The only way is if you can make it clear that your . this lesson about how to inter!ret symbols by words may not seem terribly difficult once you have the han of it& In fact. when each !ro!osition is claimed to follow lo ically from earlier !ro!ositions. it is not& )nd yet it is one of the dee!est lessons of all of nineteenth century mathematics2 It all be ins with Euclid. a skyscra!er& 4See 'i & B"&5 In the latter.and -!-q-. in Euclid1s Elements. it is meanin less for the new s)stem= for the ori inal !q-system.theorems -!-q. -circle-. by what our minds find in their associative stores& I mention this because it is the sort of !roblem which Euclid created in his Elements. say.inter!retation to the old !q-system& The /istory of Euclidean Geometry )lthou h I have tried to catch you off uard and sur!rise you a little. when someone ives a definition for a common word in the ho!es that we will abide by that definition. then. com!iled and systemati<ed all of what was known about !lane and solid eometry in his day& The resultin work. an architecture which made it stron and sturdy& 8evertheless. and radually built u! a vast body of results or ani<ed in such a way that any iven result de!ended only on fore oin results& Thus. and -" !lus " is reater than or equal to B-& 3e have simultaneously otten rid of 4"5 the inconsistency with the e(ternal world.come out harmlessly as. and so forth. it is fine& 0ut it now seems as !ointless and arbitrary to a!!ly it to the new !qsystem as it was to a!!ly the -horse-a!!le-ha!!y. it is a fore one conclusion that we will not do so but will instead be uided. but abstract& In fact. lar ely unconsciously. was so solid that it was virtually a bible of eometry for over two thousand years—one of the most endurin works of all time& 3hy was this so? The !rinci!al reason was that Euclid was the founder of ri or in mathematics& The Elements be an with very sim!le conce!ts.-contradictory. tricky medium of communication with so many hidden !itfalls& 3hat. the architecture was of a different ty!e from that of. by attem!tin to ive definitions of ordinary. there was a definite !lan to the work.

BIFE/! .73G5=E FB! Tower of 0abel. () '! 8! Escher woodcut.

oinin any two !oints& 4B5 )ny strai ht line se ment can be e(tended indefinitely in a strai ht line& 4%5 6iven any strai ht line se ment. Euclid did not do this. or !ostulates.round story. and would not have made any sim!leminded errors& 8onetheless.word is su!!osed to be a technical term. did not share their race.ured u! by those words cre!t into the !roofs which he created& ?owever. however. 4L5 If two lines are drawn which intersect a third in such a way that the sum of the inner an les on one side is less than two ri ht an les.of the infinite skyscra!er of eometry. a!s are there. do not by any means e(!ect to find larin -. because he felt that the !oints and lines of his Elements were indeed the !oints and lines of the real world& So by not makin sure that all associations were dis!elled. for Euclid was a !enetratin thinker. they are very subtle. creatin sli ht im!erfections in a classic work& 0ut this is not to be com!lained about& Ene should merely ain an a!!reciation for the difference between absolute ri or and relative ri or& In the lon run. if you read !roofs in the Elements. 4"5 ) strai ht line se ment can be drawn . over two thousand years after he wrote his work& Euclid ave five !ostulates to be used as the . Euclid was invitin readers to let their !owers of association run free&&& This sounds almost anarchic. then the two lines inevitably must intersect each other on that side if e(tended far enou h& . and is not to be confused with the everyday word with the same s!ellin & Hou have to stress that the connection with the everyday word is only su estive& 3ell. of which his Elements constituted only the first several hundred stories& The first four !ostulates are rather terse and ele ant.in the reasonin & En the contrary.um!s. which were su!!osed to be used in the !roofs of !ro!ositions& In fact. nothin other than those a(ioms and !ostulates was su!!osed to be used& 0ut this is where he sli!!ed u!. for an inevitable consequence of his usin ordinary words was that some of the ima es con. and is a little unfair to Euclid& ?e did set down a(ioms. a circle can be drawn havin the se ment as radius and one end !oint as center& 4C5 )ll ri ht an les are con ruent& The fifth. Euclid1s lack of absolute ri or was the cause of some of the most fertile !ath-breakin in mathematics.

he robbed himself of much !osthumous lory.ussian mathematician. since he mana ed to avoid usin it in the !roofs of the first twentyei ht !ro!ositions& Thus. the reat 'rench mathematician )drien-/arie Ae endre came u! with what he was sure was a !roof of Euclid1s fifth !ostulate. and therefore the soundness of Euclid1s fifth !ostulate& 3e need not o into details here& Suffice it to say that with reat skill. forty years after Aambert. in one of those ine(!licable coincidences. he decided to try a novel a!!roach to the !roof of the famous fifth. a bifurcation in the hitherto sin le stream of mathematics& In "*B%. Saccheri worked out !ro!osition after !ro!osition -Saccherian eometry. Janos 4or Johann5 0olyai. at least twenty-ei ht deficient !roofs had been !ublished—all erroneous2 4They were all critici<ed in the dissertation of one 6& S& @l` el&5 )ll of these erroneous !roofs involve a confusion between everyday intuition and strictly formal !ro!erties& It safe to say that today. nonEuclidean eometry was reco ni<ed for what it was—an authentic new brand of eometry. su!!ose you assume its o!!osite= then work with that as your fifth !ostulate&&& Surely after a while you will create a contradiction& Since no mathematical system can su!!ort a contradiction. this time comin even closer.and eventually became tired of it& )t one !oint. since he had unwittin ly discovered what came later to be known as -hy!erbolic eometry-& 'ifty years after Saccheri. very much alon the lines of Saccheri& . you will have shown the unsoundness of your own fifth !ostulate. he !ublished his work under the title Euclid 7reed of E#er) 7law. by a ?un arian mathematician. and then e(!ired& 0ut in so doin . and a . decided he had reached a !ro!osition which was -re!u nant to the nature of the strai ht line-& That was what he had been ho!in for —to his mind. and therefore ado!ted it& 0ut the disci!les of Euclid were no ha!!ier about havin to assume this fifth !ostulate& Ever the centuries. ironically. J& ?& Aambert re!eated the -near miss-.that !art of eometry which can be derived on the basis of the first to !ostulates of the Elements.holds any mathematical or historical interest —but there are certain e(ce!tions& The Many +aces of . hardly any of these -!roofs. non% Euclidean geometr) was discovered simultaneously. the first twenty-ei ht !ro!ositions belon to what mi ht be called -four-!ostulate eometry.Thou h he never e(!licitly said so. a e twenty-one. 8ikolay Aobachevskiy. without the hel! of the fifth !ostulate& 4It is also often called a(solute geometr)&5 7ertainly Euclid would have found it far !referable to !rove this u ly ducklin . and ninety years after Saccheri. if !ossible& 'inally.oneuclid 6irolamo Saccheri 4"DD$-"$%%5 lived around 0ach1s time& ?e had the ambition to free Euclid of every flaw& 0ased on some earlier work he had done in lo ic. a e thirty& )nd. Euclid considered this !ostulate to be somehow inferior to the others. in that same year. untold numbers of !eo!le ave untold years of their lives in attem!tin to !rove that the fifth !ostulate was itself !art of four-!ostulate eometry& 0y "$D%. rather than to have to assume it& 0ut he found no !roof. it was the lon -sou ht contradiction& )t that !oint.

must mean& If. 0olyai1s father. a ed twenty-five. which e(tin uished all li ht and . '& )& Taurinus. leave the science of !arallels alone&&& I thou ht I would sacrifice myself for the sake of the truth& I was ready to become a martyr who would remove the flaw from eometry and return it !urified to mankind& I accom!lished monstrous. who in "*"* sent a !a e describin a new -astral. then you have achieved a radically new view!oint& &ndefined Terms This should be in to sound familiar& In !articular. and its variant. 'arkas 4or 3olf an 5 0olyai.Incidentally. '& @& Schweikart. he ur ed him to !ublish it. it harks back to the !q-system. 3hen the time is ri!e for certain thin s. he tried to dissuade him from thinkin about such matters. invested much effort in tryin to !rove Euclid1s fifth !ostulate& In a letter to his son Janos. since its -meanin . who died in "*"$. #ergit ad imum! I turned back when I saw that no man can reach the bottom of this ni ht& I turned back unconsoled.if you cannot free yourself of !reconceived notions of what -strai ht line.chan ed when a new a(iom schema was added& In that very same way. "line". you can divest yourself of those !reconceived ima es.about the !ro!ositions which emer e in eometries like Saccheri1s and Aambert1s& The Saccherian !ro!ositions are only -re!u nant to the nature of the strai ht line.eometry to 6auss= Schweikart1s ne!hew. who did non-Euclidean tri onometry= and '& A& 3achter. however.be somethin which satisfies the new !ro!ositions. a close friend of the reat 6auss. and merely let a -strai ht line. and so on (e determined () the set of theorems or propositions/ in which the) occur& This was the reat reali<ation of the discoverers of non-Euclidean eometry& They found different sorts of non-Euclidean eometries by denyin Euclid1s fifth . !ityin myself and all mankind&&& I have traveled !ast all reefs of this infernal :ead Sea and have always come back with broken mast and torn sail& The ruin of my dis!osition and my fall date back to this time& I thou htlessly risked my life and ha!!iness—aut 8aesar aut nihil!" 0ut later. Hou must not attem!t this a!!roach to !arallels& I know this way to its very end& I have traversed this bottomless ni ht. these thin s a!!ear in different !laces in the manner of violets comin to li ht in early s!rin &B ?ow true this was in the case of non-Euclidean eometry2 In 6ermany. 6auss himself and a few others had more or less inde!endently hit u!on non-Euclidean ideas& These included a lawyer.oy of my life& I entreat you. when convinced his son really -had somethin -. a student of 6auss. one can let the meanings of "point". in which the symbols acquired !assive meanin s by virtue of their roles in theorems& The symbol q is es!ecially interestin . havin found several dee! results in non-Euclidean eometry& The clue to non-Euclidean eometry was -thinkin strai ht. enormous labors= my creations are far better than those of others and yet I have not achieved com!lete satisfaction& 'or here it is true that si paullum a summo discessit. antici!atin correctly the simultaneity which is so frequent in scientific discovery.

and only one.!ostulate in different ways and followin out the consequences& Strictly s!eakin . or four-!ostulate. there e(ists one. the reason that such variations are still called . like the equator. called the parallel postulate. and a !oint not on it.when the everyday sense is desired& Then. but rather. in a definition& Ene could maintain that a full definition of the undefined terms resides in the !ostulates alone. we can say that a PEI8T consists of a !air of diametrically o!!osed !oints of the s!here1s surface& ) AI8E is a reat circle on the s!here 4a circle which.PEI8T.and -AI8E s!eak of the oin s-on on a s!here. you reach h)per(olic geometr)& Incidentally. at least two such lines e(ist. they 4and Saccheri5 did not deny the fifth !ostulate directly. -have-5. which are consequently called undefined terms& Fndefined terms. in e(actly one sin le PEI8T2 )nd . even if the s!ace is not as intuitive as ordinary s!ace& )ctually. then you reach elliptical geometr)= if you assert that.and -AI8E.PEI8T. they denied an equivalent !ostulate. althou h the everyday meanin has been drained out of s!ecial words like . rather than e(!licitly.and so forth are to be !arts of the surface of an ordinary s!here& Aet us write . no matter how far they are e(tended& The second strai ht line is then said to be !arallel to the first& If you assert that no such line e(ists. and -!oint. 6iven any strai ht line. which runs as follows. -.when the technical term is meant. not a !lane& 8otice that two AI8ES always intersect in e(actly two anti!odal !oints of the s!here1s surface that is. eometry—is embedded in them& It is the !resence of this minimal core which makes it sensible to think of them as describin !ro!erties of some sort of eometrical s!ace.oin-. all of the undefined terms bein defined in terms of the others& .and -AI8E-. elli!tical eometry is easily visuali<ed& )ll -!oints-. -lines. has its center at the center of the s!here5& Fnder these inter!retations.as if they had only the meanin instilled in them by the !ro!ositions in which they occur.is that the core element—absolute. implicitl)—by the totality of all !ro!ositions in which they occur. do et defined in a sense. strai ht line which !asses throu h that !oint and never intersects the first line.eometries. thou h they contain words like -PEI8T. like the ! and q of the !qsystem. we take ste! towards com!lete formali<ation of eometry& This semiformal version still uses a lot of words in En lish with their usual meanin s 4words such -the-. -and-.ust as two AI8ES determine PEI8T. the !ro!ositions of elli!tical eometry. so two PEI8TS determine a AI8E& 0y treatin words such as -PEI8T. 1 if -. since the !ro!ositions which follow from them are im!licit in the !ostulates already& This view would say that the !ostulates are im!licit definitions of all the undefined terms.

the symbols automatically !ick u! !assive meanin s in accordance with the theorems they occur in& It is another question. inconsistency is not an intrinsic !ro!erty of any formal system& 4arieties of Consistency 3e have been s!eakin of -consistency. in the ori inal !q-system& )lthou h this is rather a trivial e(am!le. turnin every term into a -meanin less. without definin them& 3e have . !resumably one has an intended inter!retation for each symbol. that we had chosen unfortunate inter!retations for the symbols& 0y chan in the inter!retations. as well as inconsistent with the e(ternal world& 0ut a moment later we took it all back. 2 as -9eno-. (ut depends on the interpretation which is proposed for it & 0y the same token.because. thou h. as you know. Tb2. that every theorem.and q as -taken from-. which no one has yet noticed& 'or instance. so that the !assive meanin s are built into the system& That is what I did for ! and q when I first created the !q-system& 0ut there may be other !assive meanin s which are !otentially !erce!tible. and internally consistent if all inter!reted theorems were com!atible with one another& 7onsider. . E as -E bert-. then we have the followin inter!reted theorems.all alon . when we reali<ed our error. 2bE. we re ained consistency2 It now becomes clear that consistenc) is not a propert) of a formal s)stem per se. when inter!reted.ossibility of Multi!le Inter!retations ) full formali<ation of eometry would take the drastic ste! of makin every term undefined—that is. for e(am!le. whether !eo!le discover those meanin s. and 9b) as -9 beats ) in chess always-. and EbT& If T is inter!reted as -the Tortoise-.and -inconsistency.ust relied on ood old everyday notions& 0ut now let us say e(actly what is meant by consistenc) of a formal system 4to ether with an inter!retation5. becomes a true statement& )nd we will say that inconsistency occurs when there is at least one false statement amon the inter!reted theorems& This definition a!!ears to be talkin about inconsistency with the e(ternal world —what about internal inconsistencies? Presumably. it contains the essence of the idea that symbols may have many meanin ful inter!retations—it is u! to the observer to look for them& 3e can summari<e our observations so far in terms of the word -consistency-& 3e be an our discussion by manufacturin what a!!eared to be an inconsistent formal system—one which was internally inconsistent. for to do so requires findin a set of conce!ts which can be linked by an isomor!hism to the symbols in the formal system& If one be ins with the aim of formali<in eometry. a system would be internally inconsistent if it contained two or more theorems whose inter!retations were incom!atible with one another.The .symbol of a formal system& I !ut quotes around -meanin less. a formal system which has only the followin three theorems. there were the sur!rise inter!retations of ! as -equals.

ust a question of truth—it is question of !ossibility& )ll three theorems would come out false if the ca!itals were inter!reted as the names of real !eo!le—but that is not why we would call the system internally inconsistent= our rounds for doin so would be the circularity. but only on that of b. it doesn1t matter whether the individual statements are true or false—and !erha!s there is no way to know which ones are true. the first says that system-!lusinter!retation is consistent with the e9ternal world if every theorem comes out true when inter!reted= the second says that a system-!lus-inter!retation is internall) consistent if all theorems come out mutually com!atible when inter!reted& 8ow there is a close relationshi! between these two ty!es of consistency& In order to determine whether several statements at mutually com!atible. the form= system in which those three strin s are theorems is internally consistent althou h. althou h they describe a rather bi<arre circle of chess !layers& ?ence.The Tortoise always beats 9eno at chess& 9eno always beats E bert at chess& E bert always beats the Tortoise at chess& The statements are not incom!atible. -the e(ternal world. and on the fact that the three ca!itals are cyclically !ermuted around the occurrences of b& Thus.is allowed to be an) imagina(le world. and which are not& 3hat is nevertheless certain is that not all three can (e true at once! Thus. . you try to ima ine a world in which all of them could be simultaneously true& Therefore. you1ll find more on this -authorshi! trian le. it may be clear that there is no way that the rest of them can be inter!reted so that all theorems will come out true& 0ut it is not .in 7ha!ter TT&5 /y!othetical >orlds and Consistency 3e have iven two ways of lookin at consistency. one can have internal inconsistency without havin inter!reted all of the symbols of the formal system& 4In this case it sufficed to inter!ret a sin le symbol&5 0y the time sufficiently many symbols have been iven inter!retations. in !oint of fact. but merely that they come out compati(le with one another& 8ow su!!ose instead that 9b) is to be inter!reted as -9 was invented by )-& Then we would have. combined with the inter!retation of the letter b& 40y the way. none of the three statements is true2 Internal consistency does not require all theorems to come out true. internal consistency de!ends u!on consistency with the e(ternal world—only now. instead of the one we live in& 0ut this is an e(tremely va ue. under this inter!retation. the inter!retation makes the system internally inconsistent& The internal inconsistency de!ends not on the inter!retations of the three ca!ital letters. The Tortoise was invented by 9eno& 9eno was invented by E bert& E bert was invented by the Tortoise& In this case.

for want of a better word.ust as lon as all its inter!reted theorems are com!atible with !hysical law= then comes biolo ical consistency. for formal systems. then. come to think of it. of course& Some of these worlds seem more ima inable than others. and E as ""& 8otice that two theorems come out true this way. these fancier kinds of inconsistency are not studied. there could be a theorem whose inter!retation is the statement -Shakes!eare wrote an o!era-. hold? Is it !ossible to ima ine a world in which somethin can be simultaneously reen and not reen? Er a world in which animals e(ist which are not made of cells? In which 0ach im!rovised an ei ht-!art fu ue on a theme of @in 'rederick the 6reat? In which mosquitoes are more intelli ent than !eo!le? In which tortoises can !lay football—or talk? ) tortoise talkin football would be an anomaly. instead. one false& If. it is !ossible to ima ine a world in which three characters invent each other cyclically& Er is it? Is it !ossible to ima ine a world in which there are square circles? Is a world ima inable in which 8ewton1s laws.ust the lo ical and mathematical kinds& )ccordin to this convention. !uttin no restraints on thin s at all. the values assi ned to T. for the reason that they are very hard to disentan le from one another& 3hat kind of inconsistency. and not relativity. we haven1t yet found an inter!retation which makes the trio of theorems Tb2. there would have been two falsehoods and only one truth& 0ut either way. when inter!reted as statements. since some seem to embody logical contradictions—for e(am!le. and so on& In a biolo ically consistent system. reen and not reen—while some of them seem.ou hly. 2. 2 as +. EbT inconsistent& 3e can do so by inter!retin b as -is bi er than-& 3hat about T and 2 and E? They can be inter!reted as natural numbers— for e(am!le. e(ce!t those of lo ic& /ore s!ecifically. should one say is involved in the !roblem of the three characters who invent each other cyclically? Ao ical? Physical? 0iolo ical? Aiterary? Fsually. -!lausible-—such as 0ach im!rovisin an ei ht-!art fu ue. as lon as it is understood that they are restricted to natural numbers& Ence a ain we see a case where only some of the inter!retation is needed. a system-!lus-inter!retation would be logicall) consistent . it should be !ossible to establish different brands of consistency& 'or instance. the most lenient would be -lo ical consistency-. a world in which the laws of !hysics are different&&& . the borderline between uninterestin and interestin is drawn between !hysical consistency and mathematical consistency& 4Ef course. then. in order to reco ni<e internal inconsistency& . and E are irrelevant. T as B.ust as lon as no two of its theorems.unsatisfactory conclusion& 3hat constitutes an -ima inable. it is the mathematicians and lo icians who do the drawin —hardly an im!artial crew&&&5 This means that the kinds of inconsistency which -count-. for e(am!le. directly contradict each other= and mathematicall) consistent . but no theorem whose inter!retation is the statement -7ell-less animals e(ist-& 6enerally s!eakin . or animals which are not made of cells& Er even. are .ust as lon as inter!reted theorems do not violate mathematics= and ph)sicall) consistent .world? )fter all. we1d have had inconsistency& In fact. 2bE. we had inter!reted 2 as %.

those whose meanin is fi(ed and immutable. is reminiscent of doin eometry in natural lan ua e usin some words as undefined terms& In such a case. we try to e(tend our understandin . manner& 'or e(am!le. which then further restrict the !assive meanin s of the undefined terms& This the case with Euclidean versus nonEuclidean eometry& Layers of Stability in 4isual . or hierarchical.res!onse—a 9en attitude towards symbolism&5 . which can vary 4Euclidean or nonEuclidean eometry5& 'ormal systems are often built u! in . in which some symbols could have inter!retations while others didn1t. we acquire new knowled e. actually. of another sort& There1s no way of backtrackin and -undecidin . hierarchical way. or hands—they are . somewhere outside of eometry& Those words form a ri id skeleton. new vocabulary or !erceive unfamiliar ob. those whose meanin is to be ad. words are divide into two classes. in which there occur blatantly im!ossible ima es& Hou mi ht think that we would seek to reinter!ret the !icture over and over a ain until we came to an inter!retation of its !arts which was free of contradictions —but we don1t do that at all& 3e sit there amused and !u<<led by staircases which o every which way. and so on& It is also !ossible—and eometry is a ood e(am!le of this—to have a system 4e& &.erce!tion In a similar. and. with rules and a(ioms that ive certain intended !assive meanin s to its symbols& Then 'ormal System I is incor!orated fully into a lar er system with more symbols—'ormal System II& Since 'ormal System I1s a(ioms and rules are !art of 'ormal System II.ust staircases& 4There is. one other out—to leave all the lines of the !icture totally uninter!reted.that they are staircases& They are not fishes.of a formal system& This ultimate esca!e route is an e(am!le of a -F-mode.usted until the system is consistent 4these are the undefined terms5& :oin eometry in this way requires that meanin s have already been established for words in the first class.Embedding of 0ne +ormal System In Another The !recedin e(am!le. we encounter trouble& 0ut if we attem!ted to backtrack—that is. and which can be su!!lemented by e(tra rules or a(ioms.u!on which we base our inter!retation of the overall !icture& ?avin once identified them. such as =elati#it) 4'i & BB5. like the -meanin less symbols.ects& It is !articularly interestin in the case understandin drawin s by Escher.ust this ty!e of sequential. the !assive meanin s of 'ormal System I symbols remain valid= they form an immutable skeleton which then !lays a lar e role in the determination of the !assive meanin s of the new symbols of 'ormal System II& The second system may in turn !lay the role of skeleton with res!ect to a third system. by seekin to establish the relationshi! which they bear to one another& )t that sta e. ivin an underlyin structure to the system= fillin in that skeleton comes other material. absolute eometry5 which partl) !ins down the !assive meanin s of its undefined terms. or whi!s. to question the -islands of certainty-—we would also encounter trouble. and by !eo!le oin in inconsistent directions on a sin le staircase& Those staircases are -islands of certainty. 'ormal System I may be devised.

to see either a cra<y world or .ust a bunch of !ointless lines& ) similar analysis could be made of do<ens of Escher !ictures. !hysics. resultin in a com!rehensible total system. one can still manufacture hy!othetical worlds.73G5=E FF! . com!rehensible inter!retations can be found for the undefined terms. which are then !ut to ether in nonstandard ways= and by the time the observer sees the !arado( on a hi h level. no matter how lon one stares at the !ictures& Ef course. by the hierarchical nature of our !erce!tive !rocesses. . it is too late—he can1t o back and chan e his mind about how to inter!ret the lower-level ob. in which Escherian events can ha!!en&&& but in such worlds.elativity. () '! 8! Escher lithograph. which rely heavily u!on the reco nition of certain basic forms.ects& The difference between an Escher drawin and nonEuclidean eometry is that in the latter. the end result is not reconcilable with one1s conce!tion of the world. the laws of biolo y. BIGH/! So we are forced. whereas for the former.

where normal ravitation a!!lies to the movin water. mathematics and lo ic should be the same as in our world—in which all the inter!reted theorems come out true& E9ternal consistency.mathematics. must all concei#a(le worlds share? 7ould it be as little as lo ic itself? Er is even lo ic sus!ect? 7ould there be worlds where contradictions are normal !arts of e(istence—worlds where contradictions are not contradictions? 3ell. then we are assertin that non-Euclidean eometry is inconceivable. that internal consistency of a form= system 4to ether with an inter!retation5 requires that there be some imagina(le world—that is. in some sense. " !lus " would have to be B= likewise. they are also quite inconceivable& 4This in itself is a little contradiction&5 Muite seriously. we have to ado!t some common base. but where the nature s!ace violates the laws of !hysics&5 Is Mathematics the Same in E"ery Concei"able >orld7 3e have stressed the fact. it would seem that the difference between the two ty!es of consistency should fade away. by merely inventin the conce!t. in every conceivable world. or even lo ic will be violated on one level. in li ht of what1s . a world whose only restriction is that in it.ect this !oint of view—it is too lo ical& In !articular. there would have to be infinitely many !rime numbers= furthermore. all imagina(le worlds ha#e the same mathematics as the real world& Thus. and so&&&what can one say?5 . since. however. while simultaneously bein obeyed on another. which !uts us back in the same mental state as Saccheri and Aambert— surely an unwise move& But what. in every conceivable world. which makes them e(tremely weird worlds& 4)n e(am!le of this is in >aterfall 4'i & L5. however—consistency with the e(ternal world—requires that all theorems come of true in the real world& 8ow in the s!ecial case where one wishes to create consistent formal system whose theorems are to be inter!reted as statements of mathematics. but then bein inconsistent is !art of 9en. 9en embraces contradictions and non-contradictions with equal ea erness& This may seem inconsistent. above. and it !retty well has to include lo ic& 4There are belief systems which re. accordin to what we sat above. it seems that if we want to be able to communicate at all. if not all of mathematics.ust been said& If in all conceivable worlds the !arallel !ostulate is obeyed. we have shown that such worlds are indeed conceivable= but in a dee!er sense. then. all ri ht an les would have to be con ruent= and of course throu h any !oint not on a iven line there would have to be e(actly one !arallel line&&& 0ut wait a minute2 That1s the !arallel !ostulate—and to assert its universality would be a mistake.

say. an invariant in redient of all number theories which identified them as number theories rather than. like -PEI8T.better thou ht of as an undefined term. a -core.nature ives an ambi uous answer not only in mathematics. -3hich eometry is true?. since in the as!ects relevant to the real world. which ou ht to be included. the sum of the an les in a trian le is "*+ de rees only in Euclidean eometry= it is reater in elli!tic eometry. the number of -brandsof number theory is infinite.Is . there would be standard and nonstandard number theories& 0ut there would have to be some counter!art to absolute eometry. is that all? Is it really conceivable that. we shall have more to say on it after oin throu h 6>del1s Theorem in detail& Com!leteness If consistency is the minimal condition under which symbols acquire !assive meanin s. which makes the situation of number theory considerably more com!le(& 'or !ractical !ur!oses. which kind of eometry really rules our universe& It was a hundred years later that Einstein ave a theory 4 eneral relativity5 which said that the eometry of the universe is determined by its content of matter. number theory would be a bifurcated theory. is the ma(imal confirmation of those !assive meanin s& 3here consistency is the !ro!erty that.theory. but also in !hysics& )s for the corres!ondin question.or -AI8E-? In that case. there are not infinitely many !rimes? 3ould it not seem necessary that numbers should obey the same laws in all conceivable worlds? Er&&& is the conce!t -natural number. Everythin !roduced by the system is true-. once and for all. but we will in 7ha!ters to come5. com!leteness. like eometry. less in hy!erbolic& There is a story that 6auss once attem!ted to measure the sum of the an les in a lar e trian le defined by three mountain !eaks. in some worlds. and we shall formali<e it in 7ha!ter GIII& )lso. in what we consider to be -conceivable worlds-& This core of number theory. then its com!lementary notion. -Every true statement is !roduced by the system-& 8ow to refine the notion sli htly& 3e can1t mean every true statement in the world—we mean only those which belon to the domain which we at attem!tin to . com!leteness is the other way round. ->hich num(er theor) is true$-. in order to determine. it is now well established—as a matter of fact as a direct consequence of 6>del1s Theorem—that number theory is a bifurcated theory. if brid e buildin de!ended on number theory 4which in a sense it does5. theories about cocoa or rubber or bananas& It seems to be the consensus of most modern mathematicians and !hiloso!hers that there is such a core number theory. however. all number theories are the same& In other words. alon with lo ic. the fact that there are different number theories would not matter.umber Theory the Same In All Concei"able >orlds7 If we assume that logic is !art of every conceivable world 4and note that we have not defined lo ic. all number theories overla!& The same cannot be said of different eometries= for e(am!le. so that no one eometry is intrinsic to s!ace itself& Thus to the question. the counter!art to absolute eometry—is called &eano arithmetic. with standard and nonstandard versions& Fnlike the situation in eometry.

are theorems& )n e(am!le of a formal system which is com!lete on its own mode level is the ori inal !q-system. !rovided we are very conscious of the blurrin that is takin !lace. des!ite bein translatable into the notation of the system 4e& &. and hence should be considered to be . and which can be e(!ressed as well-formed strin s of the system. com!leteness means.instead of -theorems-. there is no way that the !q-system tells us how many !rime numbers there are& 6>del1s Incom!leteness Theorem says that any system which is -sufficiently !owerful. u!on inter!retation. comes out true 4in some ima inable world5& 7om!leteness.re!resent in the system& Therefore. on the rounds that additions of three !ositive inte ers 4such as B ^ % ^ C X#5 are not re!resented by theorems of the !q-system. but which are not theorems& 4There are truths belon in to number theory which are not !rovable within the system&5 Systems like the !q-system.ust as devoid of meanin as is !q!---q!q& Tri!le additions are sim!ly not e9pressi(le in the notation of the system—so the com!leteness of the system is !reserved& :es!ite the com!leteness of the !q-system under this inter!retation. it certainly falls far short of ca!turin the full notion of truth in number theory& 'or e(am!le. -)ll true additions of two !ositive inte ers are pro#a(le within the system&. which are com!lete but not very !owerful. 3hen we start usin the term -!rovable statements. in the sense that there are well-formed strin s which e(!ress true statements of number theory. by virtue of its !ower.is. when all statements which are true 4in some ima inable world5.43arnin . and !rovided that we remember that multi!le inter!retations are sometimes !ossible&5 The !q-system with the ori in inter!retation is complete= it is also consistent. with the ori inal inter!retation& )ll true additions of two !ositive inte ers are re!resented by theorems of the system& 3e mi ht say this another way. since no false statement is —to use our new !hrase—!rovable within the system& Someone mi ht ar ue that the system is incom!lete. -Every true statement which can be e(!ressed in the notation of the system is a theorem&7onsistency. it shows that we at be innin to blur the distinction between formal systems and their inter!retations& This is all ri ht. incom!lete. when every theorem. --!---!---q---------5. this strin is not well-formed. ?owever. are more like low-fidelity !hono ra!hs= they are so !oor to be in with that it is obvious that they cannot do what we would wish them to do—namely tell us everythin about number theory& .

that -com!leteness is the ma(imal confirmation of !assive meanin s-? It means that if a system is consistent but incom!lete. as I did above.e or Brea. we will be !ulled in the other direction-towards addin new rules. makin it more !owerful. then we will say our record !layer was defective& 3hat. we would have to !lay friends1 records on it. and think carefully2 . or our record !layer& In order to test our record. to make the system more !owerful& The irony is that we think.a little. the feedback-induced vibrations 4as caused by the Tortoise1s records5 interfere so much that we do not even reco ni<e the tune& 3e conclude that something is defective—either our record. and we also have a record tentatively labeled -7anon on 0-)-7-?-& ?owever.ustify bein inter!reted that way& Sometimes. if the record !asses its test. that we surely have made the system com!lete now2 The nature of the dilemma can be illustrated by the followin alle ory&&& 3e have a record !layer. we will encounter incom!leteness a ain= but there. we would have to !lay it on friends1 record !layers. -B !lus % is reater than or equal to ". and see if the music we hear a rees with the labels& If our record !layer !asses its test. each time we add a new rule. to remedy the situation. we should say -equals or e(ceeds by "-& 8ow the modified !q-system becomes both consistent and com!lete& )nd the com!leteness confirms the a!!ro!riateness of the inter!retation& Incom!leteness of +ormali:ed . there is a mismatch between the symbols and their inter!retations& The system does not have the !ower to . we modified the inter!retation for q from -equalsto -is reater than or equal to-& 3e saw that the modified !q-system was consistent under this inter!retation= yet somethin about the new inter!retation is not very satisfyin & The !roblem is sim!le.ust too slo!!y2 It doesn1t accurately reflect what the theorems in the system do& Fnder this slo!!y inter!retation. and listen to its quality& In order to test our phonograph. can we conclude when we find out that (oth !ass their res!ective tests? That is the moment to remember the chain of two isomor!hisms 4'i & B+5. The inter!retation is . let1s look at the modified !q-system 4includin )(iom Schema II5 and the inter!retation we used for it& )fter modifyin the !q-system. Com!leteness 3hat does it mean to say./o' an Inter!retation May Ma. if the inter!retations are -trimmed. there are now many e(!ressible truths which are not theorems& 'or instance. when we !lay the record on the record !layer. the system can become com!lete& To illustrate this idea. or by 4B5 tightening up the interpretation& In this case. however. the !q-system is not com!lete& 3e could re!air the situation either by 4"5 adding new rules to the system. then we will say the record was defective= contrariwise. the sensible alternative seems to be to ti hten the inter!retation& Instead of inter!retin q as -is reater than or equal to-.is e(!ressed by the nontheorem --!---q-.umber Theory In number theory.

Little Harmonic Labyrinth
The Tortoise and *chilles are spending a da) at 8one) 3sland! *fter (u)ing a couple of cotton candies, the) decide to take a ride on the 7erris wheel! Tortoise, This is my favorite ride& Ene seems to move so far, and reality one ets nowhere& *chilles, I can see why it would a!!eal to you& )re you all stra!!ed in? Tortoise, Hes, I think I1ve ot this buckle done& 3ell, here we o& *chilles, Hou certainly are e(uberant today& Tortoise, I have ood reason to be& /y aunt, who is a fortune-teller told me that a stroke of 6ood 'ortune would befall me today& So I am tin lin with antici!ation& *chilles, :on1t tell me you believe in fortune-tellin 2 Tortoise, 8o&&& but they say it works even if you don1t believe it& *chilles, 3ell, that1s fortunate indeed& Tortoise, )h, what a view of the beach, the crowd, the ocean, the city&&& *chilles, Hes, it certainly is s!lendid& Say, look at that helico!ter there& It seems to be flyin our way& In fact it1s almost directly above us now& Tortoise, Stran e—there1s a cable dan lin down from it, which is very close to us& It1s comin so close we could !ractically rab it *chilles, Aook2 )t the end of the line there1s a iant hook, with a note& ,e reaches out and snatches the note! The) pass () and are on their wa) down!/ Tortoise, 7an you make out what the note says? *chilles, Hes—it reads, -?owdy, friends& 6rab a hold of the hook time around, for an Fne(!ected Sur!rise&Tortoise, The note1s a little corny but who knows where it mi ht lead, Perha!s it1s ot somethin to do with that bit of 6ood 'ortune due me& 0y all means, let1s try it2 *chilles, Aet1s2 :n the trip up the) un(uckle their (uckles, and at the crest of the ride, gra( for the giant hook! *ll of a sudden the) are whooshed up () the ca(le which "uickl) reels them sk)ward into the ho#ering helicopter! * large strong hand helps them in!/ <oice, 3elcome aboard—Suckers& *chilles, 3h-who are you?

<oice, )llow me to introduce myself& I am ?e(achloro!hene J& 6oodfortune, @idna!!er )t-Aar e, and :evourer of Tortoises !ar E(cellence, at your service& Tortoise, 6ul!2 *chilles, 4whispering to his friend5, Fh-oh—I think that this -6oodfortune- is not e(actly what we1d antici!ated& 4To Goodfortune/ )h—if I may be so bold—where are you s!iritin us off to? Goodfortune, ?o ho2 To my all-electric kitchen-in-the-sky, where I will !re!are T?IS tasty morsel—4leering at the Tortoise as he sa)s this 5—in a delicious !ie-in-the-sky2 )nd make no mistake—it1s all .ust for my obblin !leasure2 ?o ho ho2 *chilles, )ll I can say is you1ve ot a !retty fiendish lau h& Goodfortune, 4laughing fiendishl)/: ?o ho ho2 'or that remark, my friend, you will !ay dearly& ?o ho2 *chilles, 6ood rief—I wonder what he means by that2 Goodfortune, Gery sim!le—I1ve ot a Sinister 'ate in store for both of you2 Just you wait2 ?o ho ho2 ?o ho ho2 *chilles, Hikes2 Goodfortune, 3ell, we have arrived& :isembark, my friends, into my fabulous all-electric kitchen-in-the-sky& The) walk inside!/ Aet me show you around, before I !re!are your fates& ?ere is my bedroom& ?ere is my study& Please wait here for me for a moment& I1ve ot to o shar!en my knives& 3hile you1re waitin , hel! yourselves to some !o!corn& ?o ho ho2 Tortoise !ie2 Tortoise !ie2 /y favorite kind of !ie2 4E9it&5 *chilles, Eh, boy—!o!corn2 I1m oin to munch my head off2 Tortoise, )chilles2 Hou .ust stuffed yourself with cotton candy2 0esides, how can you think about food at a time like this? *chilles, 6ood ravy—oh, !ardon me—I shouldn1t use that turn of !hrase, should I? I mean in these dire circumstances&&& Tortoise, I1m afraid our oose is cooked& *chilles, Say—take a ander at all these books old 6oodfortune has in his study& Muite a collection of esoterica, Bird(rains 3 ,a#e ;nownR 8hess and 5m(rella%Twirling 'ade Eas)R 8oncerto for Tapdancer and :rchestra&&& ?mmm& Tortoise, 3hat1s that small volume lyin o!en over there on the desk, ne(t to the dodecahedron and the o!en drawin !ad? *chilles, This one? 3hy, its title is &ro#ocati#e *d#entures of *chilles and the Tortoise Taking &lace in -undr) -pots of the Glo(e& Tortoise, ) moderately !rovocative title& *chilles, Indeed—and the adventure it1s o!ened to looks !rovocative& It1s called -:.inn and Tonic-& Tortoise, ?mm&&& I wonder why& Shall we try readin it? I could take the Tortoise1s !art, and you could take that of )chilles&

*chilles, I1m ame& ?ere oes nothin &&& The) (egin reading ".Minn and Tonic"!/ *chilles has in#ited the Tortoise o#er to see his collection of prints () his fa#orite artist, '! 8! Escher!/ Tortoise, These are wonderful !rints, )chilles& *chilles, I knew you would en.oy seein them& :o you have any !articular favorite? Tortoise, Ene of my favorites is 8on#e9 and 8onca#e, where two internally consistent worlds, when .u(ta!osed, make a com!letely inconsistent com!osite world& Inconsistent worlds are always fun !laces to visit, but I wouldn1t want to live there& *chilles, 3hat do you mean, -fun to visit-? Inconsistent worlds don1t ETIST, so how can you visit one? Tortoise, I be your !ardon, but weren1t we .ust a reein that in this Escher !icture, an inconsistent world is !ortrayed? *chilles, Hes, but that1s .ust a two-dimensional world—a fictitious world—a !icture& Hou can1t visit that world& Tortoise, I have my ways&&& *chilles, ?ow could you !ro!el yourself into a flat !icture-universe? Tortoise, 0y drinkin a little lass of PFS?I86-PETIE8& That does the trick& *chilles, 3hat on earth is !ushin -!otion? Tortoise, It1s a liquid that comes in small ceramic !hials, and which, when drunk by someone lookin at a !icture, -!ushes11 him ri ht into the world of that !icture& Peo!le who aren1t aware of the !owers of !ushin -!otion often are !retty sur!rised by the situations they wind u! in& *chilles, Is there no antidote? Ence !ushed, is one irretrievably lost? Tortoise, In certain cases, that1s not so bad a fate& 0ut there is, in fact, another !otion—well, not a !otion, actually, but an eli(ir—no, not an eli(ir, but a—a— Tortoise, ?e !robably means -tonic-& *chilles, Tonic? Tortoise, That1s the word I was lookin for2 -PEPPI86-TE8I7- is what it1s called, and if you remember to carry a bottle of it in your ri ht hand as you swallow the !ushin -!otion, it too will be !ushed into the !icture= then, whenever you et a hankerin to -!o!- back out into real life, you need only take a swallow of !o!!in -tonic, and !resto2 Hou1re back in the real world, e(actly where you were before you !ushed yourself in& *chilles, That sounds very interestin & 3hat would ha!!en it you took some !o!!in -tonic without havin !reviously !ushed yourself into a !icture?

Tortoise, I don1t !recisely know, )chilles, but I would be rather wary of horsin around with these stran e !ushin and !o!!in liquids& Ence I had a friend, a 3easel, who did !recisely what you su ested—and no one has heard from him since& *chilles, That1s unfortunate& 7an you also carry alon the bottle of !ushin !otion with you? Tortoise, Eh, certainly& Just hold it in your left hand, and it too will et !ushed ri ht alon with you into the !icture you1re lookin at& *chilles, 3hat ha!!ens if you then find a !icture inside the !icture which you have already entered, and take another swi of !ushin -!otion? Tortoise, Just what you would e(!ect, you wind u! inside that !icture-in-a!icture& *chilles, I su!!ose that you have to !o! twice, then, in order to e(tricate yourself from the nested !ictures, and re-emer e back in real life& Tortoise, That1s ri ht& Hou have to !o! once for each !ush, since a !ush takes you down inside a !icture, and a !o! undoes that& *chilles, Hou know, this all sounds !retty fishy to me&&& )re you sure you1re not .ust testin the limits of my ullibility? Tortoise, I swear2 Aook—here are two !hials, ri ht here in my !ocket& 4=eaches into his lapel pocket, and pulls out two rather large unla(eled phials, in one of which one can hear a red li"uid sloshing around, and in the other of which one can hear a (lue li"uid sloshing around&5 If you1re willin , we can try them& 3hat do you say? *chilles, 3ell, I uess, ahm, maybe, ahm&&& Tortoise, 6ood2 I knew you1d want to try it out& Shall we !ush ourselves into the world of Escher1s 8on#e9 and 8onca#e? *chilles, 3ell, ah,&&& Tortoise, Then it1s decided& 8ow we1ve ot to remember to take alon this flask of tonic, so that we can !o! back out& :o you want to take that heavy res!onsibility, )chilles? *chilles, If it1s all the same to you, I1m a little nervous, and I1d !refer lettin you, with your e(!erience, mana e the o!eration& Tortoise, Gery well, then& -o sa)ing, the Tortoise pours two small portions of pushing%potion! Then he picks up the flask of tonic and grasps it firml) in his right hand, and (oth he and *chilles lift their glasses to their lips!/ Tortoise, 0ottoms u!2 The) swallow!/

73G5=E FH! 7onve( and 7oncave, () '! 8! Escher lithograph, BIGG/!

*chilles, That1s an e(ceedin ly stran e taste& Tortoise, Ene ets used to it& *chilles, :oes takin the tonic feel this stran e? Tortoise, Eh, that1s quite another sensation& 3henever you taste the tonic, you feel a dee! sense of satisfaction, as if you1d been waitin to taste it all your life& *chilles, Eh, I1m lookin forward to that& Tortoise, 3ell, )chilles, where are we? *chilles, 4taking cogni@ance of his surroundings5, 3e1re in a little ondola, lidin down a canal2 I want to et out& /r& 6ondolier, !lease let us out here& The gondolier pa)s no attention to this re"uest!/ Tortoise, ?e doesn1t s!eak En lish& If we want to et out here, we1d better .ust clamber out quickly before he enters the sinister -Tunnel of Aove-= .ust ahead of us&

*chilles, his face a little pale scram(les out in a split second and then pulls his slower friend out!/ *chilles, I didn1t like the sound of that !lace, somehow& I1m lad we ot out here& Say, how do you know so much about this !lace, anyway? ?ave you been here before? Tortoise, /any times, althou h I always came in from other Escher !ictures& They1re all connected behind the frames, you know& Ence you1re in one, you can et to any other one& *chilles, )ma<in 2 3ere I not here, seein these thin s with my own eyes, I1m not sure I1d believe you& 4They wander out throu h a little arch&5 Eh, look at those two cute li<ards2 Tortoise, 7ute? They aren1t cute—it makes me shudder .ust to think of them2 They are the vicious uardians of that ma ic co!!er lam! han in from the ceilin over there& ) mere touch of their ton ues, and any mortal turns to a !ickle& *chilles, :ill, or sweet? Tortoise, :ill& *chilles, Eh, what a sour fate2 0ut if the lam! has ma ical !owers, I would like to try for it& Tortoise, It1s a foolhardy venture, my friend& I wouldn1t risk it& *chilles, I1m oin to try .ust once& ,e stealthil) approaches the lamp, making sure not to awaken the sleeping lad near()! But suddenl), he slips on a strange shell%like indentation in the floor, and lunges out into space! +urching cra@il), he reaches for an)thing, and manages somehow to gra( onto the lamp with one hand! -winging wildl), with (oth li@ards hissing and thrusting their tongues #iolentl) out at him, he is left dangling helplessl) out in the middle of space!/ *chilles, ?e-e-e-el!2 ,is cr) attracts the attention of a woman who rushes downstairs and awakens the sleeping (o)! ,e takes stock of the situation, and, with a kindl) smile on his face, gestures to *chilles that all will (e well! ,e shouts something in a strange guttural tongue to a pair of trumpeters high up in windows, and immediatel), weird tones (egin ringing out and making (eats each other! The sleep) )oung lad points at the li@ards, and *chilles sees that the music is ha#ing a strong soporific effect on them! -oon, the) are completel) unconscious! Then the helpful lad shouts to two companions clim(ing up ladders! The) (oth pull their ladders up and then e9tend them out into space Must underneath the stranded *chilles, forming a sort of (ridge! Their gestures make it clear that *chilles should hurr) and clim(

on! But (efore he does so, *chilles carefull) unlinks the top link of the chain holding the lamp, and detaches the lamp! Then he clim(s onto the ladder%(ridge and the three )oung lads pull him in to safet)! *chilles throws his arms around them and hugs them gratefull)!/ *chilles, Eh, /r& T, how can I re!ay them? Tortoise, I ha!!en to know that these valiant lads .ust love coffee, and down in the town below, there1s a !lace where they make an incom!arable cu! of es!resso& Invite them for a cu! of es!resso2 *chilles, That would hit the s!ot& *nd so, () a rather comical series of gestures, smiles, and words, *chilles manages to con#e) his in#itation to the )oung lads, and the part) of fi#e walks out and down a steep staircase descending into the town! The) reach a charming small cafe, sit down outside, and order fi#e espressos! *s the) sip their drinks, *chilles remem(ers he has the lamp with him!/ *chilles, I for ot, /r& Tortoise—I1ve ot this ma ic lam! with me2 0ut— what1s ma ic about it? Tortoise, Eh, you know, .ust the usual—a enie& *chilles, 3hat? Hou mean a enie comes out when you rub it, and rants you wishes? Tortoise, ;i ht& 3hat did you e(!ect? Pennies from heaven? *chilles, 3ell, this is fantastic2 I can have any wish want, eh? I1ve always wished this would ha!!en to me&&& *nd so *chilles gentl) ru(s the large letter '+' which is etched on the lamp's copper surface!!! -uddenl) a huge puff of smoke appears, and in the forms of the smoke the fi#e friends can make out a weird, ghostl) figure towering a(o#e them!/ Genie, ?ello, my friends— and thanks ever so much for rescuin my Aam! from the evil Ai<ard-:uo& *nd so sa)ing, the Genie picks up the +amp, and stuffs it into a pocket concealed among the folds of his long ghostl) ro(e which swirls out of the +amp!/ )s a si n of ratitude for your heroic deed, I would like to offer you, on the !art of my Aam!, the o!!ortunity to have any three of your wishes reali<ed& *chilles, ?ow stu!efyin 2 :on1t you think so, /r& T? Tortoise, I surely do& 6o ahead, )chilles, take the first wish&

*chilles, 3ow2 0ut what should I wish? Eh, I know2 It1s what I thou ht of the first time I read the )rabian 8i hts 4that collection of silly 4and nested5 tales5—I wish that I had a ?F8:;E: wishes, instead of .ust three2 Pretty clever, eh, /r& T? I bet HEF never would have thou ht of that trick& I always wondered why those do!ey !eo!le in the stories never tried it themselves& Tortoise, /aybe now you1ll find out the answer& Genie, I am sorry, )chilles, but I don1t rant metawishes& *chilles, I wish you1d tell me what a -meta-wish- is2 Genie, 0ut T?)T is a meta-meta-wish, )chilles—and I don1t rant them, either& *chilles, 3haaat? I don1t follow you at all& Tortoise, 3hy don1t you re!hrase your last request, )chilles? *chilles, 3hat do you mean? 3hy should I? Tortoise, 3ell, you be an by sayin -I wish-& Since you1re .ust askin for information, why don1t you .ust ask a question? *chilles, )ll ri ht, thou h I don1t see why& Tell me, /r& 6enie—what is a meta-wish? Genie, It is sim!ly a wish about wishes& I am not allowed to rant metawishes& It is only within my !urview to rant !lain ordinary wishes, such as wishin for ten bottles of beer, to have ?elen of Troy on a blanket, or to have an all-e(!enses-!aid weekend for two at the 7o!acabana& Hou know—sim!le thin s like that& 0ut meta-wishes I cannot rant& 6E: won1t !ermit me to& *chilles, 6E:? 3ho is 6E:? )nd why won1t he let you rant meta-wishes? That seems like such a !uny thin com!ared to the others you mentioned& Genie, 3ell, it1s a com!licated matter, you see& 3hy don1t you .ust o ahead and make your three wishes? Er at least make one of them& I don1t have all I time in the world, you know&&& *chilles, Eh, I feel so rotten& I was ;E)AAH ?EPI86 wish for a hundred wishes&&& Genie, 6ee, I hate to see anybody so disa!!ointed that& )nd besides, metawishes are my favorite kind of wish& Aet me .ust see if there isn1t anythin I can do about this& This1ll .ust take one moment— The Genie remo#es from the wisp) folds of his ro(e an o(Mect which looks Must like the copper +amp he had put awa), e9cept that this one is made of sil#erR and where the pre#ious one had '+' etched on it, this one has ''+' in smaller letters, so as to co#er the same area!/ *chilles, )nd what is that? Genie, This is my /eta-Aam!&&&

,e ru(s the 'eta%+amp, and a huge puff of smoke appears! 3n the (illows of smoke, the) can all make out a ghostl) form towering a(o#e them!/ 'eta%Genie, I am the /eta-6enie& Hou summoned me, E 6enie? 3hat is your wish? Genie, I have a s!ecial wish to make of you, E :.inn and of 6E:& I wish for !ermission for tem!orary sus!ension of all ty!e-restrictions on wishes, for duration of one Ty!eless 3ish& 7ould you !lease rant this wish for me? 'eta%Genie, I1ll have to send it throu h 7hannels, of course& Ene half a moment, !lease& *nd, twice as "uickl) as the Genie did, this 'eta%Genie remo#es from the wisp) folds of her ro(e an o(Mect which looks Must like the sil#er 'eta% +amp, e9cept that it is made of goldR and where the pre#ious one had ''+' etched on it, this one has '''+' in smaller letters, so as to co#er the same area!/ *chilles, 4his #oice an octa#e higher than (efore5, )nd what is that? 'eta%Genie, This is my /eta-/eta-Aam!&&& -he ru(s the 'eta%'eta%+amp, and a hugs puff of smoke appears! 3n the (illows of smoke, the) can all make out a ghostl) fore towering a(o#e them!/ 'eta%'eta%Genie, I am the /eta-/eta-6enie& Hou summoned me, E /eta-6enie? 3hat is your wish? 'eta%Genie, I have a s!ecial wish to make of you, E :.inn, and of 6E:& I wish for !ermission for tem!orary sus!ension of all ty!e-restrictions on wishes, for the duration of one Ty!eless 3ish& 7ould you !lease rant this wish for me? 'eta%'eta%Genie, I1ll have to send it throu h 7hannels, of course& Ene quarter of a moment, !lease&

*nd, twice as "uickl) as the 'eta%Genie did, this 'eta%'eta% Genie remo#es from the folds of his ro(e an o(Mect which looks Must like the gold 'eta+amp, e9cept that it is made of!!!/

TG:.U

!!!swirls (ack into the 'eta%'eta%'eta%+amp, which the 'eta% 'eta%Genie then folds (ack into his ro(e, half as "uickl) as the 'eta%'eta%'eta%Genie did!/ Hour wish is ranted, E /eta-6enie& 'eta%Genie, Thank you, E :.inn, and 6E:& *nd the 'eta%'eta%Genie, as all the higher ones (efore him, swirls (ack into the 'eta%'eta%+amp, which the 'eta%Genie then folds (ack into her ro(e, half as "uickl) as the 'eta%'eta%Genie did!/ Hour wish is ranted, E 6enie& Genie, Thank you, E :.inn, and 6E:& *nd the 'eta%Genie, as all the higher ones (efore her, swirls (ack into the 'eta%+amp, which the Genie folds (ack into his ro(e, half as "uickl) as the 'eta%Genie did!/ Hour wish is ranted, )chilles& *nd one precise moment has elapsed since he "This will Must take one moment!"/ *chilles, Thank you, E :.inn, and 6E:& Genie, I am !leased to re!ort, )chilles, that you may have e(actly one 4"5 Ty!eless 3ish—that is to say wish, or a meta-wish, or a meta-metawish, as many -meta- 1s as you wish—even infinitely many 4if you wish5&

*chilles, Eh, thank you so very much, 6enie& 0ut curiosity is !rovoked& 0efore I make my wish, would you mind tellin me who—or what— 6E: is? Genie, 8ot at all& -6E:- is an acronym which stands -6E: Ever :.inn-& The word -:.inn- is used desi nate 6enies, /eta-6enies, /eta-/eta6enies, etc& It is a Ty!eless word& *chilles, 0ut-but-how can -6E:- be a word in own acronym? That doesn1t make any sense2 Genie, Eh, aren1t you acquainted with recursive acronyms? I thou ht everybody knew about them& Hou see, -6E:- stands for -6E: Ever :.inn-—which can be e(!anded as -6E: Ever :.inn, Ever :.inn-— and that can, in turn, be e(!anded to -6E: Ever :.inn, Ever :.inn, Ever :.inn-—which can its turn, be further e(!anded&&& Hou can o as far as you like& *chilles, 0ut I1ll never finish2 Genie, Ef course not& Hou can never totally e(!and 6E:& *chilles, ?mm&&& That1s !u<<lin & 3hat did you me when you said to the /eta-6enie, -I have a s!ecial wish to make of you, E :.inn, and of 6E:-? Genie, I wanted not only to make a request of /eta-6enie, but also of all the :.inns over her& The recursive acronym method accom!lishes this quite naturally& Hou see, when the /eta-6enie received my request, she then had to !ass it u!wards to her 6E:& So she forwarded a similar messa e to the /eta-/eta-6enie, who then did likewise to the /eta-/eta-/eta-6enie&&& )scendin the chain this way transmits the messa e to 6E:& *chilles, I see& Hou mean 6E: sits u! at the to! of the ladder of d.inns? Genie, 8o, no, no2 There is nothin -at the to!-, for there is no to!& That is why 6E: is a recursive acronym& 6E: is not some ultimate d.inn= 6E: is the tower of d.inns above any iven d.inn& Tortoise, It seems to me that each and every d.inn would have a different conce!t of what 6E: is, then, since to any d.inn, 6E: is the set of d.inns above him or her, and no two d.inns share that set& Genie, Hou1re absolutely ri ht—and since I am the lowest d.inn of all, my notion of 6E: is the most e(alted one& I !ity the hi her d.inns, who fancy themselves somehow closer to 6E:& 3hat blas!hemy2 *chilles, 0y um, it must have taken enies to invent 6E:& Tortoise, :o you really believe all this stuff about 6E:, )chilles? *chilles, 3hy certainly, I do& )re you atheistic, /r& T? Er are you a nostic? Tortoise, I don1t think I1m a nostic& /aybe I1m meta-a nostic& *chilles, 3haaat? I don1t follow you at all& Tortoise, Aet1s see&&& If I were meta-a nostic, I1d be confused over whether I1m a nostic or not—but I1m not quite sure if I feel T?)T way= hence I must be meta-meta-a nostic 4I uess5& Eh, well& Tell me, 6enie, does any

d.inn ever make a mistake, and arble u! a messa e movin u! or down the chain? Genie, This does ha!!en= it is the most common cause for Ty!eless 3ishes not bein ranted& Hou see, the chances are infinitesimal, that a arblin will occur at any P);TI7FA); link in the chain—but when you !ut an infinite number of them in a row, it becomes virtually certain that a arblin will occur SE/E3?E;E& In fact, stran e as it seems, an infinite number of arblin s usually occur, althou h they are very s!arsely distributed in the chain& *chilles, Then it seems a miracle that any Ty!eless 3ish ever ets carried out& Genie, 8ot really& /ost arblin s are inconsequential, and many arblin s tend to cancel each other out& 0ut occasionally—in fact, rather seldom —the nonfulfillment of a Ty!eless 3ish can be traced back to a sin le unfortunate d.inn1s arblin & 3hen this ha!!ens, the uilty d.inn is forced to run an infinite 6auntlet and et !addled on his or her rum!, by 6E:& It1s ood fun for the !addlers, and quite harmless for the !addlee& Hou mi ht be amused by the si ht& *chilles, I would love to see that2 0ut it only ha!!ens when a Ty!eless 3ish oes un ranted? Genie, That1s ri ht& *chilles, ?mm&&& That ives me an idea for my wish& Tortoise, Eh, really? 3hat is it? *chilles, I wish my wish would not be ranted2 *t that moment, an e#entOor is "e#ent" the word for it$Otakes place which cannot (e descri(ed, and hence no attempt will (e made to descri(e it!/ *chilles, 3hat on earth does that cry!tic comment mean? Tortoise, It refers to the Ty!eless 3ish )chilles made& *chilles, 0ut he hadn1t yet made it& Tortoise, Hes, he had& ?e said, -I wish my wish would not be ranted-, and the 6enie took T?)T to be his wish& *t that moment, some footsteps are heard coming down the hallwa) in their direction!/ *chilles, Eh, my2 That sounds ominous& The footsteps stopR then the) turn around and fade awa)!/ Tortoise, 3hew2 *chilles, 0ut does the story o on, let1s see& or is that the end? Turn the !a e and let1s see&

The Tortoise turns the page of ".Minn and Tonic", where the) find that the stor) goes on!!!/ *chilles, ?ey2 3hat ha!!ened? 3here is my 6enie? /y lam!? /y cu! of es!resso? 3hat ha!!ened to our youn friends from the 7onve( and 7oncave worlds? 3hat are all those little li<ards doin here? Tortoise, I1m afraid our conte(t ot restored incorrectly, )chilles& *chilles, 3hat on earth does that cry!tic comment mean? Tortoise, I refer to the Ty!eless 3ish you made& *chilles, 0ut I hadn1t yet made it& Tortoise, Hes, you had& Hou said, -I wish my wish would not be ranted-, and the 6enie took T?)T to be your wish& *chilles, Eh, my2 That sounds ominous& Tortoise, It s!ells P);):ET& 'or that Ty!eless wish to be ranted, it had to be denied—yet not to rant it would be to rant it& *chilles, So what ha!!ened? :id the earth come to a standstill? :id the universe cave in? Tortoise, 8o& The System crashed& *chilles, 3hat does that mean? Tortoise, It means that you and I, )chilles, were suddenly and instantaneously trans!orted to Tumbolia& *chilles, To where? Tortoise, Tumbolia, the land of dead hiccu!s and e(tin uished li ht bulbs& It1s a sort of waitin room, where dormant software waits for its host hardware to come back u!& 8o tellin how lon the System was down, and we were in Tumbolia& It could have been moments, hours, days—even years& *chilles, I don1t know what software is, and I don1t know what hardware is& 0ut I do know that I didn1t et to make my wishes2 I want my 6enie back2 Tortoise, I1m sorry, )chilles—you blew it& Hou crashed the System, and you should thank your lucky stars that we1re back at all& Thin s could have come out a lot worse& 0ut I have no idea where we are& *chilles, I reco ni<e it now—we1re inside another of Escher1s !ictures& This time it1s =eptiles& Tortoise, )ha2 The System tried to save as much of our conte(t as it could before it crashed, and it ot as far as recordin that it was an Escher !icture with li<ards before it went down& That1s commendable& *chilles, )nd look—isn1t that our !hial of !o!!in -tonic over there on the table, ne(t to the cycle of li<ards?

Tortoise, It certainly is, )chilles& I must say, we are very lucky indeed& The System was very kind to us, in ivin us back our !o!!in tonic—it1s !recious stuff2 *chilles, I1ll say2 8ow we can !o! back out of the Escher world, into my house& Tortoise, There are a cou!le of books on the desk, ne(t to the tonic& I wonder what they are& 4,e picks up the smaller one, which is open to a random page!5 This looks like a moderately !rovocative book& *chilles, Eh, really? 3hat is its title? Tortoise, &ro#ocati#e *d#entures of the Tortoise and *chilles Taking &lace in -undr) &arts of the Glo(e& It sounds like an interestin book to read out of&

73G5=E FD! ;e!tiles, () '! 8! Escher lithograph, BIDH5&

*chilles, 3ell, HEF can read it if you want, but as for me, I1m not oin to take any chances with that !o!!in -tonic—one of the li<ards mi ht knock it off the table, so I1m oin to et it ri ht now2

,e dashes o#er to the ta(le and reaches for the popping%tonic, (ut in his haste he somehow (umps the flask of tonic, and it tum(les off the desk and (egins rolling!/ Eh, no2 /r& T—look2 I accidentally knocked the tonic onto the floor, and it1s rollin towards- towards- the stairwell2 Muick— before it falls2 The Tortoise, howe#er, is completel) wrapped up in the thin #olume which he has in his hands!/ Tortoise 4muttering5, Eh? This story looks fascinatin & *chilles, /r& T, /r& T, hel!2 ?el! catch the tonic-flask2 Tortoise, 3hat1s all the fuss about? *chilles, The tonic-flask-I knocked it down from the desk, and now it1s rollin and— *t that instant it reaches the (rink of the stairwell, and plummets o#er!!! / Eh no2 3hat can we do? /r& Tortoise—aren1t you alarmed? 3e1re losin our tonic2 It1s .ust fallen down the stairwell2 There1s only one thin to do2 3e1ll have to o down one story2 Tortoise, 6o down one story? /y !leasure& 3on1t you .oin me? ,e (egins to read aloud, and *chilles, pulled in two directions at once, finall) sta)s, taking the role of the Tortoise!/ *chilles, It1s very dark here, /r& T& I can1t see a thin & Eof2 I bum!ed into a wall& 3atch out2 Tortoise, ?ere—I have a cou!le of walkin sticks& 3hy don1t you take one of them? Hou can hold it out in front of you so that you don1t ban into thin s& *chilles, 6ood idea& 4,e takes the stick&5 :o you et the sense that this !ath is curvin ently to the left as we walk? Tortoise, Gery sli htly, yes& *chilles, I wonder where we are& )nd whether we1ll ever see the li ht of day a ain& I wish I1d never listened to you, when you su ested I swallow some of that -:;I8@ /E- stuff& Tortoise, I assure you, it1s quite harmless& I1ve done it scads of times, and not a once have I ever re retted it& ;ela( and en.oy bein small& *chilles, 0ein small? 3hat is it you1ve done to me, /r& T? Tortoise, 8ow don1t o blamin me& Hou did it of your own free will&

Eh. Aabyrinth? Aabyrinth? 7ould it )re we in the notorious Aittle ?armonic Aabyrinth of the dreaded /a.*chilles. BICK/! Tortoise. when they wander and da<ed into the center. waitin for innocent victims to et lost in its fearsome com!le(ity& Then. he lau hs and lau hs at them—so hard.otaur has created a tiny labyrinth and sits in a !it in the middle of it. no2 Tortoise.otaur? *chilles. Hiikes2 3hat is that? Tortoise. 'eel these walls& They1re like corru ated tin sheets. Their ?istory and :evelo!ment New York: . )chilles& *nd the dauntless pair trudge on!/ *chilles. 0ut it1s only a myth& 7oura e. /a<es and Aabyrinths. or somethin & 0ut the corru ations have different si<es& .o#er &u(lications. that he lau hs them to death2 *chilles. ?ave you made me shrink? So that this labyrinth we1re in is actually some teeny thin that someone could STEP on? 73G5=E FG! 8retan +a()rinth 3talian engra#ingR -chool of 7iniguerra/! U7rom N 'atthews. They say—althou h I !erson never believed it myself—that an Evil /a.

3hat? )ren1t you over. )chilles& That Aabyrinth may not be a myth. I thou ht you said it was all a myth& Tortoise. and the music resumes!/ Thank you& 8ow as I was about to say.acket& Hour stick scra!in a ainst the stran e sha!es in the wall acts like a needle runnin down the roove. .ust fi ured out where we are& *chilles. Eh. *chilles lowers the stick. /r& Tortoise? Tortoise. Eh. 3hew2 I thou ht for a moment it was the bellowin of the ferocious /a. 3hat was T?)T? *chilles. :o you hear that music? To hear more clearl). he sticks out his walking stick against the wall surface as he walks! *s the stick (ounces (ack and forth against the corrugations. oh.otaur2 *chilles. coming from the point where his stick is scraping the wall!/ Tortoise. rubbin my walkin stick a ainst the wall& Tortoise. is that all that1s botherin you? That1s nothin to fret about. 3ait a minute& 3hat makes you chan e your mind all of a sudden? Tortoise. )chilles& . 3e are walkin down a s!iral roove of a record in its . . no.ust me.To emphasi@e his point. Eh. some musical sounds are heard. after all& *chilles. and continues walking! *s he does so. allowin us to hear the music& *chilles. no&&& Tortoise. *chilles o(e)s. ?ow am I ever oin to win footraces a ainst full-si<ed !eo!le when I am smaller than a flea. strange noises echo up and down the long cur#ed corridor the) are in!/ Tortoise alarmed/. and the strains of melod) cease!/ ?ey2 Put that back2 I want to hear the end of this !iece2 8onfused. Ef course it is& 8othin to be afraid of& *chilles puts his walking stick (ack against the wall. I have .eally? 3here are we? Tortoise.oyed? ?ave you ever had the chance to be in such intimate contact with music before? *chilles. Fh-oh& I have a bad feelin .

The way you talk. I don1t know& 0ut one thin for certain is that I don1t worry about bein small& Es!ecially not when faced with the awful dan er of the dreaded /a. yes& Ene very im!ortant thin a com!oser can do is to -modulate. for althou h in the short term you want to resolve in the new key.armonic +a()rinth. Eh.or. I1m afraid so.otaur2 *chilles. which means that he sets u! a tem!orary oal other than resolution into the tonic& *chilles. 0ut you were oin to tell me about modulations& Tortoise.!artway throu h a !iece. E(actly& The com!oser has uses knowled e of harmonic !ro ressions to mani!ulate your emotions. . ambi uous chords and melodies are used which lead away from the tonic& Aittle by little. I immediately reali<ed that the rooves we1re walkin throu h could only be +ittle . one of 0ach1s lesser known or an !ieces& It is so named because of its di<<yin ly frequent modulations& *chilles. I see&&& I think& :o you mean that some sequence of chords shifts the harmonic tension somehow so that I actually desire to resolve in a new key? Tortoise.or& )nd when the subsidiary oal is reached. which is the key of this one& *chilles. and to build u! ho!es in you to hear that tonic& *chilles.i ht& This makes the situation more com!le(.*chilles. to hear the tonic& *chilles. you know that most music !ieces are written in a key. I had heard the term before& :o that mean that 7 is the note you want to end on? Tortoise. tension builds u!—you feel an increasin desire to return home. the usual word is -tonic-& *chilles. there is— . in a way& )ctually. as if I had waitin my whole life to hear the tonic? Tortoise. all the while at the back of your mind you retain the lon in to hit that ori inal oal-in this case. :oes one then stray away from tonic with the aim of eventually returnin ? Tortoise. 7 acts like a home base. Hes. 3ell. ?ow could it do that? Tortoise. Is that why. at the end of a !ie always feel so satisfied. as 7 ma. I et the im!ression that you never worry at all& Tortoise. That1s ri ht& )s the !iece develo!s. Gery sim!le& 3hen I heard melody 0-)-7-? in the to! voice. or tonality. ?orrors2 )re you tellin me— Tortoise. 7 ma. )chilles& The music ave it away& *chilles. 3h-what are they? Tortoise.

otaur finds us& . let us hurry u! and et here2 Muick2 Aet1s run backwards in the rooves. Eh.otaur is in cahoots with 0ach.for you. but also kee!in in mind that ultimate desire—to resolve trium!hantly into 7 /a. 8o.armonic +a()rinthA Tortoise. he will now lau h you to death—and !erha!s me with you2 *chilles. stron endin 2 3hat a sense of relief2 That1s some resolution2 6ee2 *nd sure enough. settin u! a secondary oal of hearin 6& This means that you e(!erience two tensions at once—waitin for resolution into 6. )re you tellin me that I res!onded to a resolution in a subsidiary key? Tortoise.ust fell into his tra!& It was deliberately contrived to sound like an endin but if you follow the harmonic !ro ression carefully. it IS over& 3hat did I tell you? Tortoise.*chilles 4suddenl) gesturing enthusiasticall)5. It was e(actly what I was tellin you about& ?ere 0ach had modulated from 7 into 6. 3hat a dirty trick 0ach !layed on me2 Tortoise. but most music is not& )nd most of the time your ear or brain does the -calculation. Eh. Sure it is2 3ow2 3hat a !owerful. you will see that it is in the wron key& )!!arently not . That1s ri ht& *chilles. That is his whole ame—to make you lose your way in his Aabyrinth2 The Evil /a. )nd if you don1t watch out. )chilles. and lets your emotions know what they want to hear& Hou don1t have to think about it consciously in this !iece. )chilles. It still sounded like an endin to me& Tortoise.or& *chilles. as the) emerge into an open area with no walls!/ Hou see. at that moment the music stops. and esca!e on the outside of the record before the Evil /a. listen to the or eous u!ward-swoo!in chords which mark the end of this +ittle . Somethin is very wron & This record is a dis race to the world of music& *chilles. 0ach was !layin tricks ho!in to lead you astray& )nd in your case. 3hy should you have to kee! anythin in mind when listenin to a !iece of music? Is music only an intellectual e(ercise? Tortoise. this isn1t the end& It1s merely— *chilles. 8o. he succeeded& *chilles. 3hat do you mean? Tortoise. of course not& Some music is hi hly intellectual. 0ach intentionally made it sound that way& Hou .ust you but this miserable record com!any fell for the same trick—and they truncated the !iece early& *chilles.

Eh. Say. 8ow we1re in a !retty !ickle. Ever here. Enly my !ride is hurt—otherwise I1m fine& *chilles. *chilles& That1s your only ho!e& *chilles.ust ho!e it isn1t !ushcorn2 Pushcorn and !o!corn are e(traordinarily difficult to tell a!art& *chilles. Just a bit shaken u! but otherwise fine& I fell into some bi hole& Tortoise. Hou1ve fallen into the !it of the Evil /a. too2 )re you all ri ht? Tortoise. I smell it. Try to !ay no attention to his lau h. how will we ever et out of here. alarmingl) close to them!/ Tortoise. there is a slight gasp. no2 /y sensibility is far too delicate to handle the bi<arre chord !ro ressions which occur when time is reversed& *chilles. too&&& Tortoise. I1ll come hel! you out& 3e1ve ot to move fast2 *chilles.olly2 I ho!e not& 3ell. or is there a bowl of hot buttered !o!corn around here? *chilles. 3hat1s this about Pushkin? Tortoise. Eh. I think& Eh2 I . let1s di in2 . indeed—it seems to be a bowl of !o!corn2 *chilles. too& 3here is it comin from? Tortoise. *chilles starts running a(out aimlessl) in the dark! -uddenl) there is a slight gasp. /r& T. /r& T—I don1t want HEF to fall in here. I1ll do my best& If only my stomach weren1t em!ty2 Tortoise. 7areful. boy—!o!corn2 I1m oin to munch my head off2 Tortoise. )chilles& Everythin will be all— -uddenl). :on1t fret. ?eavens. /r& T&&& Tortoise. and then a "thud"!/ *chilles. 6o.otaur2 ?ere. and then a "thud"!/ )chilles—are you all ri ht? *chilles. /r& T—you fell in. aren1t we? -uddenl). if we can1t . (ooming laugh is heard. I didn1t say a thin & Hou must be hearin thin s& *chilles. I1m startin to feel weak.ust ran into a bi bowl of the stuff& Hes.ust retrace our ste!s? Tortoise. 3atch out. That1s a very ood question& * little desperatel). ?ee hee hee2 ?o ho2 ?aw haw haw2 *chilles. Aet1s .Tortoise. )chilles2 This is no lau hin matter& 'aMotaur. am I smellin thin s. a giant.

That stuff is renowned for its thirst quenchin !owers& 3hy. :on1t worry—they1re out.oy it? *chilles. now I .was all about& *chilles. the Sch>nber food factory sto!!ed makin tonic. and he is full-si<ed a ain& That1s what the -PEP. and started makin cereal instead& Hou can1t ima ine the u!roar that caused& *chilles.*nd the two friends (egin munching popcornO or pushcorn$/Oand all at onceO&:&A 3 guess it was popcorn. Eh. after all!/ Tortoise. 3hat an amusin story& :id you en. my li!s are burnin & )nd nothin would taste better than a drink of !o!!in -tonic& Tortoise. u! this way& *nd the) go up one stor)!/ *chilles. It1s ood to be back& 0ut somethin seems wron & This isn1t my house2 This is HEF. then. I have an inklin & 0ut let1s o look for the tonic& ?ey—. so it is—and am I lad for that2 I wasn1t lookin forward one whit to the lon walk back from your house& I am bushed.ust a moment& Those li<ards on the desk—you see anythin funny about them? Tortoise.E)AAH want to find that bottle of tonic& 'or some reason. )nythin to et back to my house2 I1m tired of all these !rovocative adventures& Tortoise. 'ollow me. in some !laces !eo!le very nearly o cra<y over it& )t the turn of the century in Gienna. 3ell. 7ould we do the same thin to et Escher !icture we1re in? Tortoise. if you have no !o!!in -tonic& The little li<ards have learned to climb FP when they want to et out of the two-dimensional sketchbook world& *chilles.ust need to o FP one story& :o you want to try it? *chilles. Eh. /r& Tortoise Tortoise. house. didn1t I tell you? Hou can et out of a !icture by movin !er!endicularly to its !lane. :on1t you see it? They1re emer in from that flat !icture without drinkin any !o!!in -tonic2 ?ow are they able to do that? Tortoise. Fmm&&& not !articularly& 3hat do you see of such reat interest? *chilles. and doubt if I could have made it& . I couldn1t tell& 3ell.otaur1s !it or not& Poor )chilles—he wanted to be full-si<ed a ain& Tortoise. Ef course2 3e . /ildly& Enly I wonder whether they ever ot out of that Evil /a.

*chilles. so I uess it1s lucky we ended u! here. I1ll say2 This certainly is a !iece of 6ood 'ortune2 . I don1t mind walkin home. after all& Tortoise.

Cha!ter 4 $ecursi"e Structures and .ussian dolls inside .rocesses >hat Is $ecursion7 3?)T IS . -3ould you mind holdin for a moment?.SIE8? It is what was illustrated in the :ialo ue +ittle . and listenin to some horrible /u<ak !i!ed throu h the !hone lines to !lacate him&&& 8ow the easiest case is if the call with 0 sim!ly terminates.ussian dolls 4even !arenthetical comments in& side !arenthetical comments25—these are . when I show some e(am!les of recursive definitions& Ene of the most common ways in which recursion a!!ears in daily life is when you !ost!one com!letin a task in favor of a sim!ler task.back u! to 0. movies inside movies. and the e(ecutive returns to ) finally& 0ut it could ha!!en that after the conversation with 0 is resumed. .ust a few of the charms of recursion&5 ?owever. !aintin s inside !aintin s. then back to )& This e(ecutive is ho!elessly mechanical. and variations on nestin & The conce!t is very eneral& 4Stories inside stories.E7F. a recursive definition 4when !ro!erly formulated5 never leads to infinite re ress or !arado(& This is because a recursive definition never defines somethin in terms of itself. and continues& /eanwhile ) is sittin at the other end of the line. often of the same ty!e& ?ere is a ood e(am!le& )n e(ecutive has a fancy tele!hone and receives many calls on it& ?e is talkin to ) when 0 calls& To ) he says. but let us not et too bo ed down in our enthusiasm& So let1s say the call with 7 terminates& Then our e(ecutive -!o!s.armonic +a()rinth. and switches to 0& 8ow 7 calls& The same deferment ha!!ens to 0& This could o on indefinitely. if not to !arado( !ro!er& )ctually.Ef course he doesn1t really care if ) minds= he . but always in terms of simpler #ersions of itself& 3hat I mean by this will become clearer shortly. nestin . you should he aware that the meanin of -recursive1 in this 7ha!ter is only faintly related to its meanin in 7ha!ter III& The relation should be clear by the end of this 7ha!ter& Sometimes recursion seems to brush !arado( very closely& 'or e(am!le. to be sure—but we are illustratin recursion in its most !recise form& . a new caller—:—calls& 0 is once a ain !ushed onto the stack of waitin callers. drummin his fin ernails a ain some table.ust !ushes a button. and : is taken care of& )fter : is done. there are recursi#e definitions& Such a definition may ive the casual viewer the im!ression that somethin is bein defined in terms of itself! That would be circular and lead to infinite re ress. back to 0.

ushing) . and I1m talkin with&&&.armonic +a()rinth& 8o. and you have to concentrate carefully to et thin s strai ht& -Aet1s see. of course. it is the stack which restores your conte(t. so after ivin a bit of back round. I have introduced some basic terminolo y of recursion—at least as seen throu h the eyes of com!uter scientists& The terms are push. one of the first lan ua es for )rtificial Intelli ence& Hou have already encountered -!ush. 4B5 what the relevant facts to know were at the !oints of interru!tion 4. more or less& So when you !ush a tray onto the stack. and where you were in the conversation when it was interru!ted& 0y the way. )chilles and the Tortoise a!!eared on all the different levels& Sometimes they were readin a story in which they a!!eared as characters& That is when your mind may et a little ha<y on what1s oin on. wait a minute—I left out one level .than the earlier task& To pop is the reverse—it means to close o!erations on one level. the real )chilles and Tortoise are still u! there in 6oodfortune1s helico!ter.ar on. oftentimes it ha!!ens that they switch you to some forei n corres!ondent& -3e now switch you to Sally Swum!ley in Peafo .ust a table tellin you such thin s as 4"5 where you were in each unfinished task 4. she !lays it& -I1m 8i el 7adwallader. we would et confused in no time flat& )n e(am!le of a more com!le( recursion is.8ow Sally has ot a ta!e of some local re!orter interviewin someone. so you don1t feel lost& In the tele!hone-call e(am!le. and sur!risin ly enou h. one level hi her& 0ut how do you remember e(actly where you were on each different level? The answer is. and stack 4or push%down stack. -!o!-. and to resume o!erations e(actly where you left off. our :ialo ue& There. you store the relevant information in a stack& So a stack is . the -variable bindin s-5& 3hen you !o! back u! to resume some task. the -return address-5. to be !recise5 and they are all related& They were introduced in the late "#L+1s as !art of IPA. the stack tells you who is waitin on each different level. we scarcely have any awareness of the sus!ension& It is all ke!t track of quite easily by our subconscious mind& Probably the reason it is so easy is that each level is e(tremely different in flavor from each other level& If they were all similar.ar on. where the reat robbery took !lace. but the secondar) ones are in some Escher !icture—and then they found this book and are readin in it. the terms -!ush-.ust outside of Peafo . and -stack. so it1s the tertiar) )chilles and Tortoise who wanderin around inside the rooves of the +ittle . the stack !o!s u! a little& Ene more e(am!le from daily life& 3hen you listen to a news re!ort on the radio. En land&.8ow you are three levels down& It may turn out that the interviewee also !lays a ta!e of some conversation& It is not too uncommon to o down three levels in real news re!orts.s In the !recedin e(am!le.in the :ialo ue& 0ut I will s!ell thin s out anyway& To push means to sus!end o!erations on the task you1re currently workin on.o!!ing) and Stac.all come from the visual ima e of cafeteria trays in a stack& There is usually some sort of s!rin underneath which tends to kee! the to!most tray at a constant hei ht. here on scene .and -!o!.. pop. without for ettin where you are—and to take u! a new task& The new task is usually said to be -on a lower level. it sinks a little—and when you remove a tray from the stack.

that we hear music recursively—in !articular. a !seudoresolution should hei hten the lobal tension. however& )ny reasonably musical !erson automatically maintains a shallow stack with two keys& In that -short stack-.s in Music 3hile we1re talkin about the +ittle . one by one.ialogue! 7rom the diagram it is clear that the initial tension OGoodfortune's threatOne#er was resol#edR *chilles and the Tortoise were Must left dangling in the sk)! -ome readers might agoni@e o#er this unpopped push. the most lobal key and the most local key& That the listener knows when the true tonic is re ained.somewhere&&&.ialogue Aittle ?armonic Aabyrinth& <ertical descents are "pushes"R rises are "pops"! Notice the similarit) of this diagram to indentation pattern of the . if not stated e(!licitly in the :ialo ue. we should discuss somethin which is hinted at. not relieve it. until the tonic is reached& This is an e(a eration& There is a rain of truth to it. and each one is re!eated& Aet1s take . while others might not (at an e)elash! 3n the stor). Bach's musical la()rinth likewise was cut off too soonO (ut *chilles didn't e#en notice an)thing funn)! :nl) the Tortoise was aware of the more glo(al dangling tension! Stac.ust look at a cou!le in 0ach& 0ach wrote many !ieces in an -))00.ust like )chilles1 rescue from his !erilous !erch on the swin in lam!. when all the while you know he and the Tortoise are really awaitin their dire fates at the knife of /onsieur 6oodfortune& Since tension and resolution are the heart and soul of music. many e(am!les& 0ut let us . and feels a stron sense of -relief-& The listener can also distin uish 4unlike )chilles5 between a local easin of tension—for e(am!le a resolution into the !seudotonic—and a glo(al resolution& In fact. because it is a !iece of irony—. there are many.form—that is. where there are two halves. the true tonic key is held and also most immediate -!seudotonic.Hou have to have a conscious mental stack like this in order to kee! track of the recursion in the :ialo ue& 4See 'i & BD&5 73G5=E FJ! .armonic +a()rinth. that we maintain a mental stack of keys.iagram of the structure of the .4the key the com!oser is !retendin to be in5& In other words. and that each new modulation !ushes a new key onto the stack& The im!lication is further that we want to hear that sequence of keys retraced in reverse order—!o!!in the !ushed keys off the stack.

erkin us without warnin back into :. are told. could en ender& 0ut in normal s!oken 6erman. ramble on for an entire lecture. about which droll tales of absentminded !rofessors who would be in a sentence. which means that we !o! back into the tonic. we are in the key of :& In fact.erky. is amusin to ima ine. to be sure.um! back to the be innin . and lettin us return to 6 once more& The !sycholo ical effect of all this key shiftin —some . and lettin us return to 6 once more& Then that funny re!etition takes !lace. back to 6. thou h usually of a less s!ectacular nature than .the i ue from the 'rench Suite no& L. some smooth—is very difficult to describe& It is !art of the ma ic of music that we can automatically make sense of these shifts& Er !erha!s it is the ma ic of 0ach that he can write !ieces with this kind of structure which have such a natural race to them that we are not aware of e(actly what is ha!!enin & The ori inal +ittle . back to 6.um! back to the be innin . have a friend like )riadne who ives you a thread that allows you to retrace your ste!s& In this case. native s!eaker of 6erman often unconsciously violate certain conventions which force the verb to o to the end. the thread would be a written score& This !iece—another e(am!le is the Endlessly . is an e(cellent e(am!le of lin uistic !ushin and !o!!in & The confusion amon the audience out-of-order !o!!in from the stack onto which the !rofessor1s verbs been !ushed.erkin us without warnin back into :. . and rehear the same transition into :& 0ut then a stran e thin ha!!ens—we abru!tly . for whom the stack had lon since lost its coherence. would be totally non!lussed. . however. the difficulty of understandin a sentence increases shar!ly with the number of !ushes onto the stack& The !roverbial 6erman !henomenon of the -verb-at-the-end-.isin 7anon— oes to show that. as music listeners. which is quite ty!ical of the form& Its tonic key is 6. a modulation in the )-section leads to the closely related key of : 4the dominant5& 3hen the )-section ends. and then finish u! by rattlin off a strin of verbs by which their audience. and rehear the same transition into :& Then comes the 0-section& 3ith the inversion of the theme for our melody. in order to avoid the mental effort of kee!in track of the stack& Every lan ua e has constructions which involve stacks. thou h. and the 0-section ends !ro!erly& Then that funny re!etition takes !lace. unless you have !erfect !itch. and we hear a ay dancin melody which establishes the key of 6 stron ly& Soon. we don1t have very reliable dee! stacks& $ecursion in Language Eur mental stackin !ower is !erha!s sli htly stron er in lan ua e& The rammatical structure of all lan ua es involves settin u! quite elaborate !ush-down stacks. it sounds as if the !iece has ended in the key of :2 4Er at least it mi ht sound that way to )chilles&5 0ut then a stran e thin ha!!ens—we abru!tly . or like Theseus. such dee! stacks almost never occur—in fact.armonic +a()rinth is a !iece by 0ach in which he tries to lose you in a labyrinth of quick key chan es& Pretty soon you are so disoriented that you don1t have any sense of direction left—you don1t know where the true tonic is. we be in in : as if that had always been the tonic—but we modulate back to 6 after all.

then we create an A$TICLE. itself& It certainly looks as if somethin is bein defined in terms of itself& Is that what is ha!!enin .et'or. there are calls on three such !rocedures. or to . could itself be called from some other .C= .0&. or lines with arrows& The overall name for the . which tells how to construct a certain ty!e of En lish noun !hrase& 4See 'i & B$a&5 If we traverse 0$.T8—for instance an . -the sham!oo.TE. in com!uter science terminolo y& It means you tem!orarily ive control to a procedure 4here. called 0$.0&.T8 0$.0&. then we end& 'or instance.or -a thankless brunch-& 0ut the arcs show other !ossibilities such as ski!!in the article. comin out merely with -milk.CE from which it had been called& It is quite reminiscent of the way in which you resume where you left off nested tele!hone calls or nested news re!orts& ?owever. and the first and last nodes have the words (egin and end in them& )ll the other nodes contain either very short e(!licit directions to !erform.um! to the . . .0&. !urely hori<ontally. or little bo(es with words in them.ATE .ective& Thus we could construct -milk-.T8 named inside it. or not? ..T8.T8 such as the one in 'i ure B$b.T8 is written se!arately at the left.T8 called SE. we (egin.0&.0&.T8 is a dia ram showin various !aths which can be followed to accom!lish a !articular task& Each !ath consists of a number of nodes. des!ite callin this a -recursive transition network-.& )s you can see. you are askin the unknown black bo( called . you are to carry out the directions inside it.ATE . the =ecursi#e Transition Network 4.& 8ow the .or -bi red blue reen snee<es-& 0ut three of the !athways involve recursi#e calls on +A.ATE . and a . so there is no way to avoid ettin a noun of some sort or other& )nd it is !ossible to be no more ornate than that. or -bi red blue reen snee<es-.0&. involves a call on 0$.TE. A 3ECTI4E and .0&.C= . every !ossible !athway in +A.T85& )n .. A$TICLE.0&. and carry it out& Aet1s take a sam!le . we have not e(hibited any true recursion so far& Thin s et recursive—and seemin ly circular—when you o to an . etc& 3hen you hit the node . or else name other ..T81s& Each time you hit a node.0&.6erman& 0ut there are always of re!hrasin sentences so that the de!th of stackin is minimal& $ecursi"e Transition . for +A.0&.CE& In this case.oined by arcs. or re!eatin the ad. to fetch any noun for you from its storehouse of nouns& This is known as a procedure call.T8.and then return to the !lace inside SE.ATE ..5 which 4"5 does thin 4!roduces a noun5 and then 4B5 hands control back to you& In above . an A 3ECTI4E.ATE .C= .0&. would !roduce a !hrase such as -the silly sham!oo. 0$.0&.s The syntactical structure of sentences affords a ood !lace to !resent a of describin recursive structures and !rocesses.

CE.C= . and be an the new one as if nothin were unusual& So we shall do the same& 3e first write down in our stack the node we are at in the outer call on +A.C= .0&.& 8ow we must choose a !athway to take. so that we have a -return address-= then we .0&.$0. 0$.0&.0&.0&. 4E$B. So we s!it out an 0$.0&.ATE .C= .& 0ut we are in the middle of +A.ATE .um! to the be innin of +A...0&.0&. -that-= and now we are suddenly asked for a +A. in the !rocedure SE.CE.0&.! The answer is -yes. so we1ll know where to return to—then we transfer our attention to the !rocedure +A.0&.73G5=E FC! =ecursi#e Transition Networks for 0$. the stack5 the location of that node inside SE.C= .2 Hes.& Su!!ose we choose the lower of the u!!er !athways—the one whose callin sequence oes. $ELATI4E .0&...C= .TE..ATE . -the strange (agels-= a $ELATI4E ..C= . in order to enerate a +A. +A.0&.C= . and we hit that node& This means that we commit to memory 4vi<&. and +A.0&. but beni nly-& Su!!ose that.TE.C= .. there is a node which calls +A.C= . but remember our e(ecutive who was in the middle of one !hone call when he ot another one& ?e merely stored the old !hone call1s status on a stack.

but not itself& 'or e(am!le.0&. an infinite re ress of that sort will not ha!!en& (Bottoming 0ut( and /eterarchies This is the crucial fact which distin uishes recursive definitions from circular ones& There is always some !art of the definition which avoids reference.C= . we mi ht et . and once a ain.ust 0$. callin each other and themselves like cra<y& ) !ro ram which has such a structure in which there is no sin le -hi hest level-.the purple cow without horns-& En this level.ATE .C= .T81s which are all tan led u!. 'or e(am!le.T8 named CLA&SE.ect for a transitive verb. 4say -without-5..0&.horns-& 3e hit the node E. whenever it needs an ob.0&. is called a heterarchy 4as distin uished from a hierarchy5& The term is due.C= . let1s assume that this the !athway we take is the direct one— . could call $ELATI4E . which amounts to !o!!in out. cyclically—and so on& There can be a whole family of ..T81s than by selfcallin & There is the analo ue of Escher's . then a .TE. too.ATE . then we would never have otten finished. as we !o! for the last time& )s you see.C= . this findin ourselves in need of a 4E$B—so let1s choose -go((led-& This ends hi hest-level call on +A. to 3arren /c7ulloch.C= . and then CLA&SE whenever it wants a relative clause& This is an e(am!le of indirect recursion& It is reminiscent also of the two-ste! version of the E!imenides !arado(& 8eedless to say.C= . itself& Ef course. .never ot fully e(!anded& 0ut if the !athways are chosen at random.0&. 4say -the purple cow-5. as if nothin were unusual& 8ow we have to choose a !athway a ain& 'or variety1s sake.& That means we !roduce an 0$. the u!!er !ath of +A.0&.0&.0&.0&.rawing 4'i & "%L5. we hit E8:. and so we !o! u! once more. where each of two !rocedures calls the other.0&.ust as the acronym -6E:. one level u!—and so we resume there& This yields .0SITI0.T8 +A. we could have an . with the result that the !hrase "the strange (agels that the purple cow without horns go((led" will et !assed u!wards to the !atient SE.0&. in this call on +A. we didn1t et into any infinite re ress& The reason is that at least one !athway inside the . there can be a trio of !rocedures which call one another.ect which satisfies the definition will eventually -bottom out-& 8ow there are more oblique ways of achievin recursivity in . we hit the recursion& So we han onto our hats.0SITI0. and conversely.$E. we could have !erversely insisted on always choosin the bottom !athway inside +A. and so we o to our stack to find the return address& It tells us that we were in the middle of e(ecutin +A.$E.ATE .0&. one of the first cyberneticists.. and a reverent student of brains and minds& . 0$.0&.0&. and descend one more level& To avoid com!le(ity.0&.C= .C= .CE. +A.C= . so that the action of constructin an ob. .. does not involve recursive calls on +A. or -monitor-. which calls +A. let1s choose the lower !athway.$0. I believe..

E-!anding .0&. you -e(!and.T8 calls itself& E(!andin a node is a little like re!lacin a letter in an acronym by the word it stands for& The -6E:. =TN with one node recursi#el) e9panded! 3hen you !o! out of it.T81s& 0ut by e(!andin nodes only when you come across them. however. which means to re!lace it by a very small co!y of the .T8. it always has at least one !athway which avoids recursivity 4direct or indirect5 so that infinite re ress is not created& Even the most heterarchical !ro ram structure bottoms out—otherwise it couldn1t run2 It would .ust be constantly e(!andin node after node.T82 73G5=E FE! The +A.odes Ene ra!hic way of thinkin about . even when an .acronym is recursive but has the defect—or advanta e—that you must re!eatedly e(!and the 161= thus it never bottoms out& 3hen an . but never !erformin any action& . you are automatically in the ri ht !lace in the bi one& 3hile in the small one.that node.C= . you may wind u! constructin even more miniature .T81s is this& 3henever you are movin alon some !athway and you hit a node which calls on an .T8 it calls 4see 'i & B*5& Then you !roceed into the very small . you avoid the need to make an infinite dia ram.T8 is im!lemented as a real com!uter !ro ram.

which.&&& discovered around the year "B+B by Aeonardo of Pisa.for short& These numbers are best 73G5=E FI! a/ . une9panded! (/ . im!ossible-to-reali<e :ia ram 6 really looks like& In 'i ure %+ is shown a lar er !ortion of :ia ram 6. e9panded once . we replace them () the same diagram.iagram G and $ecursi"e Sequences Infinite eometrical structures can be defined in . B".unnin u! its ri ht-hand ed e is the famous sequence of 7i(onacci num(ers& ". we shall use an im!licit re!resentation& In two nodes.version of :ia ram ives us an inklin of what the final. *. let us define an infinite dia ram called -:ia ram 6-& To do so. we e(!and each of the two 61s—that is. %C. *#. B..iagram G.ust this way—that is by e(!andin node after node& 'or e(am!le. %. B%%. and from left to ri ht& Two e(tra nodes-numbers—" and B—have been inserted at the bottom This infinite tree has some very curious mathematical !ro!erties . only reduced in scale 4see 'i & B#b5& This -second-order. e9panded once! c/ . will stand for an entire co!y of :ia ram 6& In 'i ure B#a. son of 0onaccio.. "%.iagram .iagram G. LL.iagram . or -'ibonacci. L. ". er o -'ilius 0onacci-. where all the nodes have been numbered from the bottom u!. "CC. we shall write merely the letter 161. however. une9panded d/ . :ia ram 6 is !ortrayed im!licitly& 8ow if we wish to see :ia ram 6 more e(!licitly.

73G5=E HK! .T8 above& This recursive definition bottoms out when you hit 'I0E4"5 or 'I0E4B5 4which are iven e(!licitly5 after you have worked your way backwards throu h descendin values of n& It is sli htly awkward to work your way backwards.T8 4see 'i & %"5& for n a B 73G5=E HB! *n =TN for 7i(onacci num(ers! Thus you can calculate 'I0E4"L5 by a sequence of recursive calls on the !rocedure defined by the . . as follows.iagram G.ust as well work your way forwards. startin with 'I0E4l5 and 'I0E4B5 and always addin the most recent two values. when you could . until you reach 'I0E4"L5& That way you don1t need to kee! track of a stack& 8ow :ia ram 6 has some even more sur!risin !ro!erties than this& Its entire structure can be coded u! in a sin le recursive definition. further e9panded and with num(ered nodes! defined recursively by the !air of formulas 'I0E4n5 X 'I0E4n-"5 ^ 'I0E4n-B5 'I0E4l5 X 'I0E4B5 X " 8otice how new 'ibonacci numbers are defined in terms of !revious 'ibonacci numbers& 3e could re!resent this !air of formulas in an .

and /4+5 X + The ./4'4n-"55 /4n5 X n .T81s for these two functions call each other and themselves as well& The !roblem is sim!ly to discover the recursive structures of :ia ram '= and :ia ram /& They are quite ele ant and sim!le& A Chaotic Sequence Ene last e(am!le of recursion in number theory leads to a small mystery& 7onsider the followin recursive definition of a function. you recreate :ia ram 6& In fact."55 for n a + 64+5 X + ?ow does this function 64n5 code for the tree-structure? Muite sim!ly you construct a tree by !lacin 64n5 below n.functions."555 ?4+5 X + —then the associated -:ia ram ?. . for any de ree of nestin & There is a beautiful re ularity to the recursive eometrical structures. I conceived of dis!layin the values I already knew in a tree& To my sur!rise. the tree turned out to have this e(tremely orderly recursive eometrical descri!tion& 3hat is more wonderful is that if you make the analo ous tree function ?4n5 defined with one more nestin than 6— ?4n5 X n . su!!ose you fli! :ia ram 6 around as if in a mirror. and label the nodes of the new tree so they increase left to ri ht& 7an you find a recursive alge(raic definition for this -fli!-tree-? 3hat about for the -fli!.6464n.of the ?-tree? Etc&? )nother !leasin !roblem involves a !air of recursively intertwined functions '4n5 and /4n5—-married. for all values of n. which corres!onds !recisely to the recursive al ebraic definitions& ) !roblem for curious readers is.64n5 X n . '4n5 X n .?4?4?4n . and in tryin to calculate its values quickly. that is how I discovered :ia ram 6 in the !lace& I was investi atin the function 6.'4/4n-"55 for n a + b 'or n a + '4+5 X ". you mi ht say—defined this way.is defined im!licitly as shown in 'i ure B#c& The ri ht-hand trunk contains one more node= that is the difference& The first recursive e(!ansion of :ia ram ? is shown in 'i ure B#d& )nd so it oes.

ing $ecursi"e Gra!hs The marvels of recursion in mathematics are innumerable. %. move leftwards 4from the three dots5 res!ectively "+ and # terms= you will hit a L and a D. "+.&&& c c L ^ D X "" how far to mo#e to the left b To obtain the ne(t one. *. *. ". you . M4"*5& This is the stran e !rocess by which the list of known M-numbers is used to e(tend itself& The resultin sequence is.um!y. ". chaos !roduced in a very orderly manner& Ene is naturally led to wonder whether the a!!arent chaos conceals some subtle re ularity& Ef course. less and less curved& 8ow if you look closely at each such !iece. you are holdin a com!lete co!y of the whole ra!h—in fact. erratic& The further out you o. as you can see& It consists of an infinite number of curved !ieces. C.ust find I8T4(-n5. nested down infinitely dee!ly& If you !ick u! any !iece of the ra!h. %. the two immediately !revious values tell how far to count back to obtain the numbers to be added to make the new value2 The first "$ M-numbers run as follows. *. D.M4n5 X M4n-M4n-"55 ^ M4n-M4n-B55 for n a B M4"5 X M4B5 X "& It is reminiscent of the 'ibonacci definition in that each new value is a sum of two !revious values-but not of the immediatel) !revious two values& Instead. there are a cou!le of !articularly strikin e(am!les from my own e(!erience which I feel are worth !resentin & They are both ra!hs& Ene came u! in the course of some number-theoretical investi ations& The other came u! in the course of my Ph&:& thesis work. D. shown by the arrows& Their sum—""—yields the new value. D. no matter how small. by definition. infinitely many co!ies of it2 b new term . in solid state !hysics& 3hat is truly fascinatin is that the ra!hs are closely related& The first one 4'i & %B5 is a ra!h of a function which I call I8T4(5& It is !lotted here for ( between + and "& 'or ( between any other !air of inte ers n and n ^ ". you will find that it is actually a co!y of the full ra!h. a nonrecursive way& T'o Stri. merely curved2 The im!lications are wild& Ene of them is that the ra!h of I8T consists of nothin but co!ies of itself. which et smaller and smaller towards the corners—and incidentally. then add n back& The structure of the !lot is quite . but what is of interest is whether there is another way of characteri<in this sequence-and with luck. #. L. "+. to !ut it mildly. the less sense it seems to make& This is one of those very !eculiar cases where what seems to be a somewhat natural definition leads to e(tremely !u<<lin behavior. and it is not my !ur!ose to !resent them all& ?owever. B. there is re ularity. L.

B#.The fact that I8T consists of nothin but co!ies of itself mi ht make you think it is too e!hemeral to e(ist& Its definition sounds too circular& ?ow does it ever et off the round? That is a very interestin matter& The main thin to notice is that.&&& B# ^ C$ X $D the "(ottom" same recursi#e rule as for the 7i(onacci num(ers b . $.The other half of the story—the nonrecursive half—tells where those co!ies lie in the square. ". known as the Aucas sequence. %. "". C$. $D. the other to define the (ottom 4i&e&. -It consists of co!ies of itself&. relative to the full ra!h& Enly the combination of these two as!ects of I8T will s!ecify structure of I8T& It is e(actly as in the definition of 'ibonacci number where you need two lines—one to define the recursion. if make one of the bottom values % instead of ". the values at the be innin 5& To be very concrete. "*. and how they have been deformed. to describe I8T 73G5=E HF! Graph of the function 3NT 9/! There is a Mump discontinuit) at e#er) rational #alue of 9! to someone who hasn1t see it will not suffice merely to say. you will !roduce a com!letely different sequence. "B%. C.

ima ine kee!in the recursive !art of the definition of I8T. and therein lies the family tie& I should not kee! you too much in the dark about the ori in of these beautiful ra!hs& I8T-standin for -interchan e-—comes from a !roblem involvin -Etasequences-. but at all irrational values of (. usin the curved line inside it as a uide= 4B5 erase the containin bo( and its curved line& Ence this has been done for each bo( of the ori inal skeleton. for each bo( of the skeleton.skeletons in !lace of one bi one& 8e(t you re!eat the !rocess one level down. the electron behaves !eriodically in time& It turns out that when the two situations are combined. it is continuous& 6!lot comes from a hi hly ideali<ed version of the question. which I call Gplot 4'i & %C5& 4In fact. which are related to continued fractions& The basic idea behind I8T is that !lus and minus si ns are interchan ed in a certain kind of continued fraction& )s a consequence. thou h you never et there& 0y nestin the skeleton inside itself over and over a ain.of I8T& To construct I8T from its skeleton. you radually construct the ra!h of I8T -from out of nothin -& 0ut in fact the -nothin . the ratio of their two time !eriods is the key !arameter& In fact.This !roblem is interestin because it is a cross between two very sim!le and fundamental !hysical situations. you are left with many -baby.um! discontinuity. showin where the co!ies o. you do two o!erations. an electron in a !erfect crystal. so is I8T495& I do not know if this trend holds for hi her al ebraic de rees& )nother lovely feature of I8T is that at all rational values of 9. a ain with bo(es which et smaller and smaller as they trail off to the four corners& If you nest this second skeleton inside itself over and over a ain. that ratio holds all the information about the distribution of allowed electron ener ies— but it only ives u! its secret u!on bein e(!anded into a continued fraction& . and an electron in a homo eneous ma netic field& These two sim!ler !roblems are both well understood. you do the followin & 'irst. -3hat are the allowed ener ies of electrons in a crystal in a ma netic field?. because its skeleton is quite different from—and considerably more com!le( than—that of I8T& ?owever.was not nothin —it was a !icture& To see this even more dramatically. I8T4I8T4955 X 9& I8T has the !ro!erty that if 9 is rational. with all the baby skeletons& Then a ain. you will create the key ra!h from my Ph&:& thesis. the recursive !art of the definition is identical. and their characteristic solutions seem almost incom!atible with each other& Therefore. the skeleton& ) variant skeleton is shown in 'i ure %%b. it has a .3hat corres!onds to the (ottom in the definition of I8T is a !icture 4'i & %%a5 com!osed of many bo(es. the crystal without-ma netic-field situation and the ma netic-field-without-crystal situation do have one feature in common. some com!licated distortion of each co!y is needed as well-but nestin is the basic idea&5& 6!lot is thus a member of the I8T-family& It is a distant relative. 4"5 !ut a small curved co!y of the skeleton inside the bo(. so is I8T495= if 9 is quadratic. a ain. and how they are distorted& I call it the -skeleton. it is of quite some interest to see how nature mana es to reconcile the two& )s it ha!!ens. in each of them. and a ain&&& 3hat you a!!roach in the limit is an e(act ra!h of I8T. but chan in the initial !icture.

73G5=E HH a/ The skeleton from which 3NT can (e constructed () recursi#e su(stitutions! (/ The skeleton from which Gplot can (e constructed () recursi#e su(stitutions! .

in a never-endin loo!& . and at the to!  is unity& 3hen  is <ero. etc& . !rotons. and we have seen one way in which recursion enters the theory of solid state !hysics& 8ow we are oin to see yet another way in which the whole world is built out of recursion& This has to do with the structure of elementary !articles. which we can call .  is <ero. which I don1t think is blas!hemous at all& $ecursion at the Lo'est Le"el of Matter 3e have seen recursion in the rammars of lan ua es. it re!resents allowed values of ener y& The em!ty swaths traversin 6!lot on all different si<e scales are therefore re ions of forbidden ener y& Ene of the most startlin !ro!erties of 6!lot is that when  is rational 4say pV" in lowest terms5. 6!lot is !urely a contribution to theoretical !hysics. electrons. and the vertical a(is re!resents the above-mentioned ratio of time !eriods. two of them -kiss.in the middle5& )nd when  is irrational. and the tiny quanta of electroma netic radiation called -!hotons-& 3e are oin to see that !articles are—in a certain sense which can only be defined ri orously in relativistic quantum mechanics— nested inside each other in a way which can be described recursively.6!lot shows that distribution& The hori<ontal a(is re!resents ener y.ound and round. there are e(actly " such bands 4thou h when " is even.-& )t the bottom. whose definitions in turn de!end on the first !articles. not a hint to e(!erimentalists as to what to e(!ect to see2 )n a nostic friend of mine once was so struck by 6!lot1s infinitely many infinities that he called it -a !icture of 6od-. which is a doubtful !ro!osition5& Particles without interactions are called (are particles. there is no ma netic field& Each of the line se ments makin u! 6!lot is an -ener y band-—that is. and they are !urely hy!othetical creations= they don1t e(ist& 8ow when you -turn on. of which there are infinitely many.the interactions. the bands shrink to !oints. we have seen recursive eometrical trees which row u!wards forever. or married !eo!le are tan led to ether& These real !articles are said to be renormali@edOan u ly but intri uin term& 3hat ha!!ens is that no !article can even be defined without referrin to all other !articles. then !articles et tan led u! to ether in the way that functions ' and / are tan led to ether. very s!arsely distributed in a so-called -7antor set-—another recursively defined entity which s!rin s u! in to!olo y& Hou mi ht well wonder whether such an intricate structure would ever show u! in an e(!eriment& 'rankly. neutrons. I would be the most sur!rised !erson in the world if 6!lot came out of any e(!eriment& The !hysicality of 6!lot lies in the fact that it !oints the way to the !ro!er mathematical treatment of less ideali<ed !roblems of this sort& In other words. thin s would be incredibly sim!le& Physicists would like such a world because then they could calculate the behavior of all !articles easily 4if !hysicists in such a world e(isted.rammar-& 3e be in with the observation that if !articles didn1t interact with each other. !erha!s even by some sort of .

runs #erticall) from K to B! Energ) runs hori@ontall)! The hori@ontal line segments are (ands of allowed electron energies! . showing energ) (ands for electrons in an ideali@ed cr)stal in a magnetic field.  representing magnetic field strength.73G5=E HD! GplotR a recursi#e graph.

whereby electrons and !hotons interact& )lthou h there are no !hotons in the scene. The mathematical e(!ressions corres!ondin to these dia rams—called -'eynman dia rams-—are easy to write down. as if by ma ic.ectory& In !articular. as 9eno did in my Three%&art 3n#ention! ) !hysicist would draw a !icture like this. the positron& 4Photons are their own anti!articles&5 Ima ine first a dull world where a bare electron wishes to !ro!a ate from !oint ) to !oint 0. and. 8ow as our electron !ro!a ates. now& Aet1s limit ourselves to only two kinds of !articles.the electroma netic interaction. electrons and photons& 3e1ll also have to throw in the electron1s anti!article. but they are harder to calculate than that for the bare electron& 0ut what really com!licates matters is that a !hoton 4real or virtual5 can decay for a brief moment into an electron-!ositron !air& Then these two annihilate each other.ectory& 8ow let us -turn on. it may emit and reabsorb one !hoton after another. There is a mathematical e(!ression which corres!onds to this line and its end!oints. or it may even nest them.Aet us be a little more concrete. our electron now becomes ca!able of emittin and then reabsorbin #irtual photonsO!hotons which flicker in and out of e(istence before they can be seen& Aet us show one such !rocess. while the !ositron1s arrow !oints leftwards& . there will nevertheless be !rofound consequences even for this sim!le tra. a !hysicist can understand the behavior of the bare electron in this tra. the ori inal !hoton rea!!ears& This sort of !rocess is shown below. as shown below. and it is easy to write down& 3ith it. The electron has a ri ht-!ointin arrow.

the result is renormali@ed electrons and !hotons& Thus. these virtual !rocesses can be inside each other to arbitrary de!th& This can ive rise to some com!licated-lookin drawin s. like the rammars of human lan ua es. you can see how electron lines can et arbitrarily embellished. a sin le electron enters on the left at ).)s you mi ht have antici!ated.of the electroma netic interaction& 3hen bare electrons and bare !hotons are allowed to interact in these arbitrarily tan led ways.rammar. and so can the !hoton lines& This dia ram would be ferociously hard to calculate& 73G5=E HG! * 7e)nman diagram showing the propagation of a renormali@ed electron from * to B! 3n this diagram. in that it allows dee! nestin s of structures inside each other& It would be !ossible to draw a set of recursive transition networks definin the . in the segments where the electron's arrow points leftwards. this rammar has a recursive structure. such as the one in 'i ure %L& In that 'eynman dia ram. Hou mi ht say it is not a -well-formed. that only certain !ictures to be reali<ed in nature& 'or instance. the one below is im!ossible. the !hysicist has to be able to take a sort of avera e of all the infinitely many different !ossible drawin s which involve virtual !articles& This is 9eno with a ven eance2 . such as conservation of ener y. it is mo#ing "(ackwards in time"! * more intuiti#e wa) to sa) this is that an antielectron positron/ is mo#ing forwards in time! &hotons are their own antiparticlesR hence their lines ha#e no need of arrows! There is a sort of . !hysical electron !ro!a ates from ) to 0. and then a sin le electron emer es on the ri ht at 0& To an outsider who can1t see the inner mess. time increases to the right! Therefore. to understand how a real. it looks as if one electron !eacefully sailed from ) to 0& In the dia ram. and so on& )nd. does some an acrobatics.'eynman dia ram& The rammar is a result of basic laws of !hysics. conservation of electric char e.to these dia rams.rammar.

quarks—all the beasts in the subnuclear <oo—they all have bare and renormali<ed versions in !hysical theories& )nd from billions of these bubbles within bubbles are all the beasts and baubles of the world com!osed& Co!ies and Sameness Aet us now consider 6!lot once a ain& Hou will remember that in the Introduction. !hysicists have been able to !redict one value 4the socalled -factor of the muon5 to nine decimal !laces—correctly2 . the less im!ortant its contribution& There is no known way of summin u! all of the infinitely many !ossible dia rams. and more& The ma!!in s between the full 6!lot and the -co!iesof itself inside itself involve si<e chan es. which the eye can !ick u! with a bit of effort.of the entire fish—and so there is more than a rain of truth to the Escher !icture& . !i-mesons. reflections. sometimes backwards. to et an e(!ression for the behavior of a fully renormali<ed. a fish1s :8). his woodcut 7ishes and -cales 4'i & %D5& Ef course these fishes and scales are the same only when seen on a sufficiently abstract !lane& 8ow everyone knows that a fish1s scales aren1t really small co!ies of the fish= and a fish1s cells aren1t small co!ies of the fish= however. they use a!!ro(imations which ne lect all but fairly sim!le 'eynman dia rams& 'ortunately. or information-!reservin transformation& Sometimes the co!ies were u!side down.Thus the !oint is that a !hysical !article—a renormali<ed !article involves 4"5 a bare !article and 4B5 a hu e tan le of virtual !articles.ect itself and made it into a !rint. we s!oke of different varieties of canons& Each ty!e of canon e(!loited some manner of takin an ori inal theme and co!yin it by an isomor!hism. of course.ect1s !arts bein co!ies of the ob. sittin inside each and every one of the fish1s cells. the more com!le( a dia ram. ine(tricably wound to ether in a recursive mess& Every real !article1s e(istence therefore involves the e(istence of infinitely many other !articles. and in order to understand the behavior of electrons and !hotons. neutrinos. !hysicists use the ideas of renormali<ation to understand the !henomena& Thus !rotons and neutrons. !articularly after it has !racticed with I8T& Escher took the idea of an ob. skewin s. and more& )nd yet there remains a sort of skeletal identity. !hysical electron& 0ut by considerin rou hly the sim!lest hundred dia rams for certain !rocesses.enormali<ation takes !lace not only amon electrons and !hotons& 3henever any ty!es of !article interact to ether. also dra s alon its own virtual cloud. sometimes shrunken or e(!anded&&& In 6!lot we have all those ty!es of transformation. and so on ad infinitum& Particle !hysicists have found that this com!le(ity is too much to handle. contained in a virtual -cloud.which surrounds it as it !ro!a ates& )nd each of the virtual !articles in the cloud. is a very convoluted -co!y.

but totally i nore e(act line !ro!ortions. an les.about all butterflies? The ma!!in from one butterfly to another does not ma! cell onto cell= rather. it ma!s functional !art onto functional !art. and this may be !artially on a macrosco!ic scale.73G5=E HJ! 'ish and Scales.It would be quite ludicrous to attem!t to ma! them !iece by !iece onto each other& The ama<in thin is that even a tiny section of an Escher drawin or a 0ach !iece ives it away& Just as a fish1s :8) is contained inside every tiny bit of the fish. and so on& Takin this e(!loration of sameness to a yet hi her !lane of abstraction. BIGI/! 3hat is there that is the -same. we mi ht well ask. !artially on a microsco!ic scale& The e(act !ro!ortions of !arts are not !reserved= . which are all linked to each other by mathematical ma!!in s that carry functional !art onto functional !art.is contained inside every tiny section of his creations& 3e don1t know what to call it but -style-—a va ue and elusive word& . -3hat is there that is the 1same1 about all Escher drawin s?. so a creator1s -si nature. () '! 8! Escher woodcut.ust the functional relationshi!s between !arts& This is the ty!e of isomor!hism which links all butterflies in Escher1s wood en ravin Butterflies 4'i & %$5 to each other& The same oes for the more abstract butterflies of 6!lot.

73G5=E HC! 0utterflies. they are radically different from each other& . and 4B5 they involve the Tortoise and )chilles& Ether than that. and in the end. des!ite many ways in which they differ& 'or e(am!le.!lays a central role& . we find some invariant feature in them.armonic +a()rinth. for recursion is a domain where -sameness-in-differentness. 4"5 they are stories. all stories on different levels are quite unrelated—their -sameness.thin ha!!enin on several different levels at once& 0ut the events on different levels aren1t e(actly the same—rather. and the question 3hen are two thin s the same? It will recur over and over a ain in this book& 3e shall come at it from all sorts of skew an les.reside only two facts. we shall see how dee!ly this sim!le question is connected with the nature of intelli ence& That this issue arose in the 7ha!ter on recursion is no accident. BIGK/! 3e kee! on runnin u! a ainst -sameness-in-differentness-. in the +ittle . () '! 8! Escher wood%engra#ing.ecursion is based on the -same.

then %. and we shall devote an entire 7ha!ter to it. and in such activities as knittin or crochetin -in which very small loo!s are re!eated several times in lar er loo!s. which we have already discussed somewhat& The basic idea here is that a rou! of o!erations are . which tells the com!uter to !erform a fi(ed set of o!erations and then loo! back and !erform them a ain. !erha!s dis!laced in !itch each new time& 'or e(am!le. medium.rocedures Ene of the essential skills in com!uter !ro rammin is to !erceive when two !rocesses are the same in this e(tended sense."& If N has survived all these tests without be divisible. each other ste!& 8otice also that the number of ste!s varies with N—hence a loo! of fi(ed len th could never work as a eneral test !rimality& There are two criteria for -abortin .structure& Such !ro ram structures are ty!ical—in fact they are deemed to be ood !ro rammin style& This kind of nested loo! also occurs in assembly instructions for common!lace items. and abort the !rocess when s!ecific conditions are met& 8ow sometimes. the result of a hi h-level loo! mi ht be a substantial !ortion of a !iece of clothin & In music. the last movements of both the Prokofiev fifth !iano concerto and the . leavin the com!uter in a socalled -infinite loo!-& This distinction between (ounded loops and free loops is one the most im!ortant conce!ts in all of com!uter science. you . one can write a loo!." is reached as a test divisor and N survives.achmaninoff second sym!hony contain e(tended !assa es in which fast.the loo!. L. when a scale 4a small loo!5 is !layed several times in a row. which in turn are carried out re!eatedly&&& 3hile the result of a low-level loo! mi ht be no more than cou!le of stitches. etc& until N . the ma(imum number of ste!s in a loo! will be known in advance= other times. over and over. it1s !rime& 8otice that each ste! in the loo! is similar to. for that leads to modulari<ation—the breakin -u! of a task into natural subtasks& 'or instance. one mi ht want a sequence of many similar o!erations to be carried out one after another& Instead of writin them all out. to reat effect& The Prokofiev-scales o u!= the .. but not the same as. quit with answer -HES-& The eneral idea of loo!s.achmaninoff-scales. quit with answer -8E-= 4B5 if N . or !rocedure. down& Take your !ick& ) more eneral notion than loo! is that of subroutine. because criterion for abortion may never occur. -0looP and 'looP and 6looP-& 8ow loo!s may be nested inside each other& 'or instance. is this. until some condition is satisfied& 8ow the (od) of the loo!—the fi(ed set of instructions to re!eated—need not actually be com!letely fi(ed& It may vary in some !redictable way& )n e(am!le is the most sim!le-minded test for the !rimality of natural number N. 4"5 if so number divides N e(actly. and wait until it is aborted& The second ty!e of loo!—which I call a free loo!—is dan erous.ust be in. C. in which you be in by tryin to divide N by B.rogramming and $ecursion5 Modularity) Loo!s) . su!!ose that we wish to test all the numbers between " and L+++ for !rimality& 3e can write a second loo! which uses the above-described test over and over startin with N X " and finishin with N X L+++& So our !ro ram will have a -loo!-the-loo!. too. and slow scale-loo!s are !layed simultaneously by different rou!s of instruments. nested loo!s often occur—as. for instance. !erform some series of related ste!s over and over. then.

choosin the sequence of actions to carry out amounts to choosin which pathwa) to follow& )n . !retend you1ve made the move. !rocedures can call each other by name. he mentally runs throu h all !ossible moves and evaluates them from what he thinks is your !oint of view. of course. so that random . and thereby e(!ress very concisely sequences of o!erations which are to be carried out& This is the essence of modularity in !ro rammin & /odularity e(ists. human society—wherever there is hierarchical or ani<ation& /ore often than not.lum!ed to ether and considered a sin le unit with a name—such as the !rocedure 0$. furniture.enerator can !o! back u!wards and ive an evaluation at the to! level of each different move& Ene of the !arameters in the self-callin . the control of the center. such as sim!ly the number of !ieces on each side.T8 terminolo y.0&. in hi-fi systems.rograms ) classic e(am!le of a recursive !rocedure with !arameters is one for choosin the -bestmove in chess& The best move would seem to be the one which leaves your o!!onent in the tou hest situation& Therefore.T81s is in !roducin sensible—as distin uished from nonsensical—En lish sentences out of raw words. the number and ty!e of !ieces under attack. each time the !rocedure recursively calls itself. must tell how many moves to look ahead& The outermost call on the !rocedure will use some e(ternally set value for this !arameter& Thereafter. or it can be e(!licitly fed a list of !arameters which uide its choice of what actions to take& Sometimes both of these methods are used& In .T8 which has been sou!ed u! with !arameters and conditions that control the choice of !athways inside it is called an *ugmented Transition Network 4)T85& ) !lace where you mi ht !refer )T81s to . ho!in they will look bad to you& 0ut notice that we have now defined -best move. a test for oodness of a move is sim!ly this. it tries another move. one wants a !rocedure which will act variably. livin cells. he looks for his best move& That is.ATE . accordin to a rammar re!resented in a set of )T81s& The !arameters and conditions would allow you to insert various semantic constraints. and now evaluate the board from the !oint of view of your o!!onent& 0ut how does your o!!onent evaluate the !osition? 3ell.& )s we saw in . the recursive move.T81s. however& $ecursion in Chess . accordin to conte(t& Such a !rocedure can either be iven a way of !eerin out at what is stored in memory and selectin its actions accordin ly. sim!ly usin the ma(im that what is best for one side is worst for the other& The !rocedure which looks for the best move o!erates by tryin a move and then calling on itself in the role of opponent2 )s such. itself& This recursion can o several levels dee!—but it1s ot to bottom out somewhere2 ?ow do you evaluate a board !osition without lookin ahead? There are a number of useful criteria for this !ur!ose. then. it must decrease this look-ahead !arameter by "& That .recursively.would be !rohibited& /ore on this in 7ha!ter TGIII.u(ta!ositions like -a thankless brunch. and calls on itself in the role of its o!!onent1s o!!onent—that is. and so on& 0y usin this kind of evaluation at the bottom.

!eo!le—not com!uters—seem to e(cel at this art= it is known that to!-level !layers look ahead relatively little. counter-res!onses as subsidiary branches.way. It always takes lon er than you e(!ect. with the move itself as the trunk. it seemed that the day a com!uter would become world cham!ion was still more than ten years away&&& This is .ofstadter's +aw. de!ictin the start of a tic-tac-toe ame& There is an art to fi urin out how to avoid e(!lorin every branch of a look-ahead tree out to its ti!& In chess trees. each move investi ated causes the eneration of a so-called -look-ahead tree-. com!ared to most chess !ro rams—yet the !eo!le are far better2 In the early days of com!ute !eo!le used to estimate that it would be ten years until a com!uter 4or !ro ram5 was world cham!ion& 0ut after ten years had !assed.ust one more !iece of evidence for the rather recursive . and so on& In 'i ure %* I have shown a sim!le look-ahead tree. when the !arameter reaches <ero. the !rocedure will follow the alternate !athway— the non-recursive evaluation& In this kind of ame-!layin !ro ram. even when you take into account ?ofstadter1s Aaw& 73G5=E HE! The (ranching tree of mo#es and countermo#es at the start of a game of tic%tac%toe! . res!onses as main branches.

im!rovin them. the less !redictable they et& This kind of thou ht carried a little further su ests that suitably com!licated recursive systems mi ht be stron enou h to break out of any !redetermined !atterns& )nd isn1t this one of the definin !ro!erties of intelli ence? Instead of . the set rows and rows. and so on? This kind of -tan led recursion. each new element bein com!ounded somehow out of !revious elements.ecursive enumeration is a !rocess in which new thin s emer e from old thin s by fi(ed rules& There seem to be many sur!rises in such !rocesses—for e(am!le the un!redictability of the M-sequence& It mi ht seem that recursively defined sequences of that ty!e !ossess some sort of inherently increasin com!le(ity of behavior.!robably lies at the heart of intelli ence& . instead of e(!licitly& The 'ibonacci numbers and the Aucas numbers are !erfect e(am!les of r&e& sets—snowballin from two elements by a recursive rule into infinite sets& It is .$ecursion and &n!redictability 8ow what is the connection between the recursive !rocesses of this 7ha!ter.ust considerin !ro rams com!osed of !rocedures which can recursively call themselves. and the recursive sets of the !recedin 7ha!ter? The answer involves the notion of a recursi#el) enumera(le set& 'or a set to be r&e& means that it can be enerated from a set of startin !oints 4a(ioms5. and invent !ro rams which can modif) themselves—!ro rams which can act on !ro rams.ust a matter of convention to call an r&e& set whose com!lement is also r&e& -recursive-& . enerali<in them. fi(in them. e(tendin them. in a sort of -mathematical snowball-& 0ut this is the essence of recursion—somethin bein defined in terms of sim!ler versions of itself. why not et really so!histicated. so that the further out you o. by the re!eated a!!lication of rules of inference& Thus.

/eanin lies as much in the mind of the reader as in the haiku& Tortoise. /r& T& Tortoise.ust sit here and talk a little while? Tortoise. are you in a hurry to o. I1d love to talk while we drink our tea& 3aiter2 * waiter comes up!/ 7ould we have our bill. Please& Those little cookies look delicious& 4 &icks one up. as a fra rant !etal is. (ites into it and (egins to chew!5 ?ey2 3hat1s this funny thin inside? ) !iece of !a!er? Tortoise. Such com!ressed !oems with seventeen syllables can1t have much meanin &&& *chilles. waiter& 7are for more tea.oy your meal. I ou ht to& Ever since my youth. I have had a fondness for Eriental cuisine& )nd you—did you en. Hou wield a mean cho!stick. /r& T. )chilles? *chilles. )chilles& /any 7hinese restaurants ive out fortune cookies with their bills. at the (est 8hinese restaurant in town! *chilles. as a way of softenin the blow& If you frequent 7hinese restaurants. and some more tea? The waiter rushes off!/ *chilles. you seem to have swallowed some of your fortune& 3hat does the rest say? . which is evocative in the same way. Hou may know more about 7hinese cuisine than I do. Immensely& I1d not eaten 7hinese food before& This meal was a s!lendid introduction& )nd now. of five. and two fortune cookies!/ Thank you. you come to think of fortune cookies less as cookies than as messa e bearers Fnfortunately. ) haiku is a Ja!anese seventeen-syllable !oem—or mini!oem rather.Canon by Intervallic Au!mentation *chilles and the Tortoise ha#e Must finished a delicious 8hinese (an"uet for two. !erha!s. ?mm&&& That1s an evocative statement& The waiter arri#es with their (ill. or shall we . then five syllables& Tortoise. That1s your fortune. another pot of tea. )chilles? *chilles. then seven. but I1ll bet I know more about Ja!anese !oetry than you do& ?ave you ever read any haiku? Tortoise. !lease. or a lily !ond in a li ht dri<<le& It enerally consists of rou!s of. I1m afraid not& 3hat is a haiku? *chilles.

reads5. with no s!aces in between& Perha!s it needs decodin in some way? Eh. -E 8E3 ). of course. )chilles& It1s the kind of thin only you would have noticed& 3hat struck me more is what it says—which. thank you& 0y the way. Hou1re ri ht& Isn1t it astonishin that the !oem contains its own commentary2 Tortoise. shift all the s!aces one unit to the ri ht& *chilles. 7ertainly& Tortoise.ukebo(& *chilles. now I see& If you !ut the s!aces back in where they belon . Hour fortune is also a haiku. how is your friend the 7rab? I have been thinkin about him a lot since you told me of your !eculiar !hono ra!h-battle& Tortoise. so quaint and reminiscent of by one eras& Tortoise. a rare ty!e of . I can1t ima ine why it would be so lar e. unless it has an unusually lar e selection of records& Is that it? Tortoise. with their flashin colored li hts and silly son s. of which I ate the ma.E 3E-& That sounds like an insi htful commentary on the new art form of LI"$-haiku& *chilles. I uess it . 3hy. too. and he is quite ea er to meet you& ?e is ettin alon .ority of syllables& Tortoise. /r& Tortoise& Tortoise 4deftl) splitting open his cookie. so he had a shed s!ecially built in back for it& *chilles.ukebo( is too lar e to fit in his house. Hes.T 3EE ). /r& Tortoise—at least it1s ot seventeen syllables in the L-$-L form& Tortoise. for all the letters are run to ether. )ll I did was to shift the readin frame by one unit—that is. )chilles? *chilles. In that case. This . /ore tea. -'ortune lies as much in the hand of the eater as in the cookie&*chilles. )s a matter of fact.it. -E8E 3). it has e(actly one record& . when I -decode. it says.ust fine& In fact.*chilles. E. he recently made a new acquisition in the record !layer line. It1s a little stran e. Eh. would you tell me about it? I find . )chilles. it comes out com!letely different2 It1s not a LI"$-haiku at all& It is a si(-syllable messa e which says. is o!en to inter!retation& *chilles. 6lory be2 I would never have noticed that. then I1d say woe. I have told him about you. Aet1s see what your fortune says. woe are we&&& /ay I look at it? *chilles 4handing the Tortoise the small slip of paper5. E3E-& I can1t quite make head or tail of that& /aybe it was a haiku-like !oem.ust shows that each of us has his own characteristic way of inter!retin messa es which we run across&&& 3dl). T3E E). *chilles ga@es at the tea lea#es on the (ottom of his empt) teacup!/ Tortoise. your fortune is now a mere LI"$-haiku& )nd a curious ima e it evokes& If LI"$-haiku is a new art form.ukebo(es.

ukebo( is different. I su!!ose. what kind of a . that selects one of the record !layers& This tri ers an automatic mechanism that starts the record !layer squeakily rollin alon the rusty tracks& It ets shunted alon side the record—then it clicks into !layin !osition& *chilles. !lu ed itself into the vertical record. then? Is its sin le record i antic—twenty feet in diameter? Tortoise. )chilles& The one record sits vertically.ust a re ular . or another band on the same side& Tortoise. So !hono ra!h 0-" came slidin down the rail. if you have but one record to !lay can you et more than one son out of this cra<y contra!tion? Tortoise. from which han various record !layers& 3hen you !ush a !air of buttons. so that 7-% could be slid into !osition& *chilles.ukebo(-style record& *chilles. It did . E(actly& The music that came out was quite a reeable. I understand& It !layed the fli! side of the first son .ust at random& *chilles. This . )h. 8ot quite& The record stands still—it1s the record !layer which rotates& *chilles. and has only a sin le band& . I mi ht have known& 0ut how. This was record !layer 0-"& Then it finished. then 7-% then 0-"+—all . 8ow. the record has rooves only on one side. 8ow don1t tell me that 7-% !layed another son ? Tortoise.*chilles. 8o. stuffed it in the slot. it1s . based the famous old tune 0-)-7-?.ust that& *chilles. -Ene record. which I believe you remember& *chilles. such as 0-". 3ho said anythin about a sin le son .ukebo( so bi . Every . /r& Tortoise. 7ould I ever for et it? Tortoise. you must be . I myself asked the 7rab that question& ?e merely su ested I try it out& So I fished a quarter from my !ocket 4you et three !lays for a quarter5.ukebo( with only one record? That1s a contradiction in terms& 3hy is the . sus!ended. and behind it there is a small but elaborate network of overhead rails. )nd then the record be ins s!innin and music comes out—ri ht? Tortoise.ukebo( I1ve ever run into obeyed the fundamental . and be an s!innin ? Tortoise. 8o. 3hat? ) . one son -& Tortoise. )chilles? *chilles.ukebo( is it that has only a sin le son ? Tortoise. and hit buttons 0-".ukebo(-a(iom. and was slowly rolled back into its han in !osition.oshin me& )fter all.

E(actly& ?e has com!osed many celebrated !ieces. a threemovement !iece consistin of silences of different len ths& It1s wonderfully e(!ressive—if you like that sort of thin & *chilles. -%& It1s very much like the other one. another !lace where D'HH" would come in handy is the ?all of 0i 7ats. and that the various record !layers add their own inter!retations to that code? . )chilles. such as D'HH". I don1t understand that at all& Hou 7)81T !ull different son s out of the same record2 Tortoise. and takin the nearest whole number& *chilles.and -7)6E. )re you su estin that 7a e belon s in the <oo? 3ell. I uess that makes some sense& 0ut about the 7rab1s .ukebo(& *chilles. in this case.*chilles. isn1t it? Tortoise. now? *chilles. 3ell. Indeed it is& They have e(actly the same -skeleton-. Precisely& 3hat about 7-)-6-E. blow me down and !ick me u!2 So does that mean that only some sort of skeletal code is !resent in the rooves. )nd isn1t John 7a e a com!oser of modern music? I seem to remember readin about him in one of my books on haiku& Tortoise. Aet me see& 'irst it oes down one semitone. That1s what I thou ht until I saw /r& 7rab1s .ukebo(&&& I am baffled& ?ow could both -0)7?. ?ow did the second son o? Tortoise. ^%.ukebo(& It mi ht afford some relief2 Tortoise. 3ell.an lin silverware? 0y the way. it be ins by fallin three semitones. -%. to ?& That yields the !attern. Hou may notice that there is some relation between the two. -"& Tortoise.be coded inside a sin le record at once? Tortoise. .i ht—who wants to hear the racket of clinkin dishes and . -". at feedin time& *chilles. from 0 to ) 4where 0 is taken the 6erman way5= then it rises three semitones to 7= and finally it falls one semitone. and finally falls three more semitones& That means the !attern is. then rises ten semitones 4nearly an octave5. That1s a totally different melody2 Tortoise. if you ins!ect them carefully& Aet me !oint the way& 3hat do you et if you list the successive intervals in the melody 0-)-7-?? *chilles. ^"+. in a certain sense& Hou can make 7-)-6-E out of 0-)-7-? by multi!lyin all the intervals by %d. True& *chilles. I can see where if I were in a loud and brash cafe I mi ht ladly !ay to hear 7a e1s D'HH" on a . That1s the interestin thin &&& It was a son based on the melody 7-)-6-E& *chilles.

ust to slow the melody down& ?ere. -"+. the effect is to e(!and the melodic ran e in a curious way& *chilles. you et 0)7? back. -"+& It can be otten from the 7)6E !attern by yet another multi!lication by %d. The melody consisted of enormously wide intervals. ^%%. I don1t know. )ma<in & So all three melodies you tried were intervallic au mentations of one sin le underlyin roove-!attern in the record. where all the time values notes in a melody et multi!lied by some constant& There. ?ow did it o? Tortoise.Tortoise. the effect . as if 0)7? had an u!set stomach after !assin throu h the intermediate sta e of 7)6E& Tortoise. and roundin to whole numbers& *chilles. Ene could call it -intervallic au mentation-& It is similar to the canonic device of tem!oral au mentation. I find it curious that when you au ment 0)7? you et 7)6E and when you au ment 7)6E over a ain. for sure& The ca ey 7rab wouldn1t fill me in on the details& 0ut I did et to hear a third son . e(ce!t . Is there a name for this kind of interval multi!lication? Tortoise. That1s what I concluded& *chilles. when record !layer 0-" swiveled into !lace& *chilles. That sounds like an insi htful commentary on the new art form of 7a e& .umbled u! inside. and went 0-7-)-?& The interval !attern in semitones was. Tortoise.

records and convert the roove-!atterns into sounds& In other words. there are certain !ieces of information which can be !ulled out of it. -3hen is one thin not always the same?. in an interestin way. because of the e(istence of record !layers.are the theorems. while there are other !ieces of information which cannot be !ulled out of it& 0ut what does this !hrase -!ull out. the !ullin -out may involve such com!licated o!erations that it makes you feel you are !uttin in more information than you are !ullin out& .ective meanin . without. nor could it be said that a messa e has any universal. meanin could not said to be located in any sin le !lace.of a messa e will turn out to be related. and record !layers& 3e feel quite comfortable with the idea that a record contains the same information as a !iece of music.ot Al'ays the Same7 A)ST 7?)PTE.C/A. then. since each observer could brin its own meanin to each messa e& 0ut in the former case. to think of the record as an information%(earer. information-revealers5 sim!ly reveal information which is intrinsically inside the structures. and the -information-revealer. waitin to be -!ulled out-& This leads to the idea that for each structure. the -information-bearers. meanin would have both location and universality& In this 7ha!ter. and the record-!layer as an information%re#ealer& ) second e(am!le of these notions is iven by the !q-system& There.really mean? ?ow hard are you allowed to !ull? There are cases where by investin sufficient effort. music. 3E came u!on the question. meanin . to be sure.In this 7ha!ter. which can -read. the relationshi! between records. and the record !layer is a mechanism which !hysically reali<es that isomor!hism& It is natural. -3hen are two thin s the same?.is the inter!retation. or whether meanin is always manufactured by the interaction of a mind or a mechanism with a messa e—as in the !recedin :ialo ue& In the latter case. we will deal with the fli! side of that question. there is an isomor!hism between roove-!atterns and sounds.TE$ 4I The Location of Meaning >hen Is 0ne Thing . to the sim!licity with which intelli ence can be described& Information-Bearers and Information-$e"ealers I1ll be in with my favorite e(am!le.ective. you can !ull very recondite !ieces of information out of certain structures& In fact.The issue we are broachin is whether meanin can be said to be inherent in a messa e. or ob.. claimin it for all messa es& The idea of an -ob. I want to !resent the case for the universality of at least some messa es. which is so trans!arent that we don1t need any electrical machine to hel! us e(tract the information from !q-theorems& Ene ets the im!ression from these two e(am!les that isomor!hisms and decodin mechanisms 4i&e&.

and in 7ha!ter TGI we shall devote our full attention to it& E!i enesis is uided by a set of enormously com!le( cycles of chemical reactions and feedback loo!s& 0y the time the full or anism has been constructed. the re!lication of cells. it is standard !ractice to attribute the !hysical structure of or anism to the structure of its :8). this unrollin of !henoty!e from enoty!e epigenesisO is the most tan led of tan led recursions. and one could !in!oint it arbitrarily accurately. im!lies that those instructions must be coded somehow in the structure of the :8)& E-otic and . which is to say.which can be ma!!ed onto each other& Prosaic isomor!hisms. if you wanted to find some !iece of your :8) which accounts for the sha!e of your nose or the sha!e of your fin er!rint. you would have a very hard time& It would be a little like tryin to !in down the note in a !iece of music which is the carrier of the emotional meanin of the !iece& Ef course there is no such note. involvin the manufacture of !roteins. but such modifications will not be transmitted to later enerations& ?owever. of all the biolo ical molecules.in the !atterns etched into rooves. such -chunks. when :8) is modified.of the !iece. in turn. and overwhelmin corroborative evidence has since been amassed& )very1s e(!eriments showed that.henoty!e Take the case of the enetic information commonly said to reside in the double heli( of deo(yribonucleic acid 4:8)5& ) molecule of :8)—a genot)peOis converted into a !hysical or anism—a phenot)peOby a com!le( !rocess. would be ones in which the !arts of one structure are easily ma!!able onto the !arts of the other& )n e(am!le is the isomor!hism between a record and a !iece of music. carry some emotional meanin & .rosaic Isomor!hisms Therefore one seems forced into acce!tin the idea that the :8)1s structure contains the information of the !henoty!e1s structure. such as !roteins. taken to ether. all successive enerations inherit the modified :8)& Such e(!eriments show that the only way of chan in the instructions for buildin a new or anism is to chan e the :8)—and this. if the need arose& )nother !rosaic isomor!hism is that between 6!lot and any of its internal butterflies& The isomor!hism between :8) structure and !henoty!e structure is anythin but !rosaic. where one knows that to any sound in the !iece there e(ists an e(act -ima e. the re!lication the :8). and the mechanism which carries it out !hysically is awesomely com!licated& 'or instance. because the emotional meanin is carried on a very hi h level. only :8) transmits hereditary !ro!erties& Ene can modify other molecules in an or anism. there is not even the remotest similarity between its !hysical characteristics and its enoty!e& )nd yet. by contrast. by lar e -chunks. the radual differentiation of cell ty!es and so on& Incidentally. not by sin le notes& Incidentally.Genoty!e and . by which I mean that it is hi hly nontrivial to divide the !henoty!e and enoty!e into -!arts. the isomor!hism is an e(otic one.are not necessarily sets of conti uous notes= there may be disconnected sections which. the two are isomorphic& ?owever. and to that alone& The first evidence for this !oint of view came from e(!eriments conducted by Eswald )very in "#CD.

Similarly, - enetic meanin -—that is, information about !henoty!e structure—is s!read all throu h the small !arts of a molecule of :8), althou h nobody understands the lan ua e yet& 43arnin , Fnderstandin this -lan ua e- would not at all be the same as crackin the 6enetic 7ode, somethin which took !lace in the early "#D+1s& The 6enetic 7ode tells how to translate short !ortions of :8) into various amino acids& Thus, crackin the 6enetic 7ode is com!arable to fi urin out the !honetic values of the letters of a forei n al!habet, without fi urin out the rammar of the lan ua e or the meanin s of any of its words& The crackin of the 6enetic 7ode was a vital ste! on the way to e(tractin the meanin of :8) strands, but it was only the first on a lon !ath which is yet to be trodden&5

3u.ebo-es and Triggers
The enetic meanin contained in :8) is one of the best !ossible e(am!les of im!licit meanin & In order to convert enoty!e into !henoty!e, a set of mechanisms far more com!le( than the enoty!e must o!erate on the enoty!e& The various !arts of the enoty!e serve as triggers for those mechanisms& ) .ukebo( —the ordinary ty!e, not the 7rab ty!e2—!rovides a useful analo y here, a !air of buttons s!ecifies a very com!le( action to be taken by the mechanism, so that the !air of buttons could well be described as -tri erin - the son which is !layed& In the !rocess which converts enoty!e into !henoty!e, cellular .ukebo(es—if you will !ardon the notion2—acce!t -button-!ushin sfrom short e(cer!ts from a lon strand of :8), and the -son s- which they !lay are often !rime in redients in the creation of further -.ukebo(es-& It is as if the out!ut of real .ukebo(es, instead of bein love ballads, were son s whose lyrics told how to build more com!le( .ukebo(es&&& Portions of the :8) tri er the manufacture of !roteins= those !roteins tri er hundreds of new reactions= they in turn tri er the re!licatin -o!eration which, in several ste!s, co!ies the :8)—and on and on&&& This ives a sense of how recursive the whole !rocess is& The final result of these many-tri ered tri erin s is the !henoty!e—the individual& )nd one says that the !henoty!e is the revelation—the -!ullin -out-—-of the information that was !resent in the :8) to start with, latently& 4The term -revelation- in this conte(t is due to Jacques /onod, one of the dee!est and most ori inal of twentieth-century molecular biolo ists&5 8ow no one would say that a son comin out of the louds!eaker of .ukebo( constitutes a -revelation- of information inherent in the !air of buttons which were !ressed, for the !air of buttons seem to be mere triggers, whose !ur!ose is to activate information-bearin !ortions of the .ukebo( mechanism& En the other hand, it seems !erfectly reasonable to call the e(traction of music from a record a -revelation- of information inherent in the record, for several reasons, 4"5 the music does not seem to be concealed in the mechanism of the record !layer= 4B5 it is !ossible to match !ieces of the in!ut 4the record5 with !ieces of the out!ut 4the music5 to an arbitrary de ree of accuracy=

4%5 it is !ossible to !lay other records on the same record !layer and et other sounds out= 4C5 the record and the record !layer are easily se!arated from one another& It is another question alto ether whether the fra ments of a smashed record contain intrinsic meanin & The ed es of the se!arate !ieces fit to ether and in that way allow the information to be reconstituted—but somethin much more com!le( is oin on here& Then there is the question of the intrinsic meanin of a scrambled tele!hone call&&& There is a vast s!ectrum of de rees of inherency of meanin & It is interestin to try to !lace e!i enesis in this s!ectrum& )s develo!ment of an or anism takes !lace, can it be said that the information is bein -!ulled out- of its :8)? Is that where all of the information about the or anism1s structure resides?

;A and the ;ecessity of Chemical Conte-t
In one sense, the answer seems to be yes, thanks to e(!eriments like )very1s& 0ut in another sense, the answer seems to be no, because so much of the !ullin -out !rocess de!ends on e(traordinarily com!licated cellular chemical !rocesses, which are not coded for in the :8) itself& The :8) relies on the fact that they will ha!!en, but does not seem to contain a code which brin s them about& Thus we have two conflictin views on the nature of the information in a enoty!e& Ene view says that so much of the information is outside the .N* that it is not reasonable to look u!on the :8) as anythin more than a very intricate set of tri ers, like a sequence of buttons to be !ushed on a .ukebo(= another view says that the information is all there, but in a very im!licit form& 8ow it mi ht seem that these are .ust two ways of sayin the same thin , but that is not necessarily so& Ene view says that the :8) is quite meanin less out of conte(t= the other says that even if it were taken out conte(t, a molecule of :8) from a livin bein has such a compelling inner logic to its structure that its messa e could be deduced anyway& To !ut it as succinctly as !ossible, one view says that in order for :8) to have meanin , chemical conte9t is necessary= the other view says that only intelligence is necessary to reveal the -intrinsic meanin - of a strand of :8)&

An &nli.ely &+0
3e can et some !ers!ective on this issue by considerin a stran e hy!othetical event& ) record of :avid Eistrakh and Aev Eborin !layin 0ach1s sonata in ' /inor for violin and clavier is sent u! in a satellite& 'rom the satellite it is then launched on a course which will carry it outside of the solar system, !erha!s out of the entire ala(y —.ust a thin !lastic !latter with a hole in the middle, swirlin its way throu h inter alactic s!ace& It has certainly lost its conte(t& ?ow much meanin does it carry? If an alien civili<ation were to encounter it, they would almost certainly be struck by its sha!e, and would !robably be very interested in it& Thus immediately its sha!e, actin as a tri er, has iven them some information, that it is an artifact, !erha!s an information-bearin artifact& This idea—communicated, or tri ered, by the record itself

—now creates a new conte(t in which the record will henceforth be !erceived& The ne(t ste!s in the decodin mi ht take considerably lon er—but that is very hard for us to assess& 3e can ima ine that if such a record had arrived on earth in 0ach1s time, no one would have known what to make of it, and very likely it would not have otten deci!hered& 0ut that does not diminish our conviction that the information was in !rinci!le there= we .ust know that human knowled e in those times was not very so!histicated with res!ect to the !ossibilities of stora e, transformation, and revelation of information&

Le"els of &nderstanding of a Message
8owadays, the idea of decodin is e(tremely wides!read= it is a si nificant !art of the activity of astronomers, lin uists, archaeolo ists, military s!ecialists, and so on& It is often su ested that we may be floatin in a sea of radio messa es from other civili<ations, messa es which we do not yet know how to deci!her& )nd much serious thou ht has been iven to the techniques of deci!herin such a messa e& Ene of the main !roblems—!erha!s the dee!est !roblem—is the question, -?ow will we reco ni<e the fact that there is a messa e at all? ?ow to identify a frame?- The sendin of a record seems to be a sim!le solution—its ross !hysical structure is very attention-drawin , and it is at least !lausible to us that it would tri er, in any sufficiently reat intelli ence, the idea of lookin for information hidden in it& ?owever, for technolo ical reasons, sendin of solid ob.ects to other star systems seems to be out of the question& Still, that does not !revent our thinkin about the idea& 8ow su!!ose that an alien civili<ation hit u!on the idea that the a!!ro!riate mechanism for translation of the record is a machine which converts the roove-!atterns into sounds& This would still be a far cry from a true deci!herin & 3hat, indeed, would constitute a successful deci!herin of such a record? Evidently, the civili<ation would have to be able to make sense out of the sounds& /ere !roduction of sounds is in itself hardly worthwhile, unless they have the desired tri erin effect in the brains 4if that is the word5 of the alien creatures& )nd what is that desired effect? It would be to activate structures in their brains which create emotional effects in them which are analo ous to the emotional effects which we e(!erience in hearin the !iece& In fact, the !roduction of sounds could even be by!assed, !rovided that they used the record in some other way et at the a!!ro!riate structures in their brains& 4If we humans had a way of tri erin the a!!ro!riate structures in our brains in sequential order, as music does, we mi ht be quite content to by!ass the sounds—but it seems e(traordinarily unlikely that there is any way to do that, other than via our ears& :eaf com!osers—0eethoven, :voefk, 'aurK—or musicians who can -hear- music by lookin at a score, do not ive the lie to this assertion, for such abilities are founded u!on !recedin decades of direct auditory e(!eriences&5 ?ere is where thin s become very unclear& 3ill bein s of an alien civili<ation have emotions? 3ill their emotions—su!!osin they have some—be ma!!able, in any sense, onto ours? If they do have emotions somewhat like ours, do the emotions cluster to ether in somewhat the same way as ours do? 3ill they understand such amal ams as

tra ic beauty or coura eous sufferin ? If it turns out that bein s throu hout the universe do share co nitive structures with us to the e(tent that even emotions overla!, then in some sense, the record can never be out of its natural conte(t= that conte(t is !art of the scheme of thin s, in nature& )nd if such is the case, then it is likely that a meanderin record, if not destroyed en route, would eventually et !icked u! by a bein or rou! of bein s, and et deci!hered in a way which we would consider successful&

(Imaginary S!acesca!e(
In askin about the meanin of a molecule of :8) above, I used the !hrase -com!ellin inner lo ic-= and I think this is a key notion& To illustrate this, let us sli htly modify our hy!othetical record-into-s!ace event by substitutin John 7a e1s -Ima inary Aandsca!e no& C- for the 0ach& This !iece is a classic of aleatoric, or chance, music— music whose structure is chosen by various random !rocesses, rather than by an attem!t to convey a !ersonal emotion& In this case, twenty-four !erformers attach themselves to the twenty-four knobs on twelve radios& 'or the duration the !iece they twiddle their knobs in aleatoric ways so that each radio randomly ets louder and softer, switchin stations all the while& The total sound !roduced is the !iece of music& 7a e1s attitude is e(!ressed in "C own words, -to let sounds be themselves, rather than vehicles for manmade theories or e(!ressions of human sentiments&8ow ima ine that this is the !iece on the record sent out into s!ace& It would be e(traordinarily unlikely—if not downri ht im!ossible—for an alien civili<ation to understand the nature of the artifact& They would !robably be very !u<<led by the contradiction between the frame messa e 4-I am a messa e= decode me-5, and the chaos of the inner structure& There are few -chunks- to sei<e onto in this 7a e !iece, few !atterns which could uide a deci!herer& En the other hand, there seems to be, in a 0ach !iece, much to sei<e onto—!atterns, !atterns of !atterns, and so on& 3e have no way of knowin whether such !atterns are universally a!!ealin & 3e do not know enou h about the nature of intelli ence, emotions, or music to say whether the inner lo ic of a !iece by 0ach is so universally com!ellin that its meanin could s!an ala(ies& ?owever, whether 0ach in !articular has enou h inner lo ic is not the issue here= the issue is whether any messa e has, !er se, enou h com!ellin inner lo ic that its conte(t will be restored automatically whenever intelli ence of a hi h enou h level comes in contact with it& If some messa e did have that conte(t-restorin !ro!erty, then it would seem reasonable to consider the meanin of the messa e as an inherent !ro!erty of the messa e&

The /eroic

eci!herers

)nother illuminatin e(am!le of these ideas is the deci!herment of ancient te(ts written in unknown lan ua es and unknown al!habets& The intuition feels that there is information inherent in such te(ts, whether or not we succeed in revealin it& It is as stron a feelin as the belief that there is meanin inherent in a news!a!er written in

7hinese, even if we are com!letely i norant of 7hinese& Ence the scri!t or lan ua e of a te(t has been broken, then no one questions where the meanin resides, clearly it resides in the te(t, not in the method of deci!herment .ust as music resides in a record, not inside a record !layer2 Ene of the ways that we identify decodin mechanisms is by the fact that they do not add any meanin to the si ns or ob.ects which they take as in!ut= they merely reveal the intrinsic meanin of those si ns or ob.ects& ) .ukebo( is not a decodin mechanism, for it does not reveal any meanin belon in to its in!ut symbols= on the contrary, it su!!lies meanin concealed inside itself&

73G5=E HI! The =osetta -tone Ucourtes) of the British 'useum!V

8ow the deci!herment of an ancient te(t may have involved decades of labor by several rival teams of scholars, drawin on knowled e stored in libraries all over the world&&& :oesn1t this !rocess add information, too? Just how intrinsic is the meanin of a te(t, when such mammoth efforts are required in order to find the decodin rules? ?as one !ut

meanin into the te(t, or was that meanin already there? /y intuition says that the meanin was always there, and that des!ite the arduousness of the !ullin -out !rocess, no meanin was !ulled out that wasn1t in the te(t to start with& This intuition comes mainly from one fact, I feel that the result was inevitable= that, had the te(t not been deci!hered by this rou! at this time, it would have been deci!hered by that rou! at that time —and it would have come out the same way& That is why the meanin is !art of the te(t itself= it acts u!on intelli ence in a !redictable way& 6enerally, we can say, meanin is !art of an ob.ect to the e(tent that it acts u!on intelli ence in a !redictable way& In 'i ure %# is shown the ;osetta stone, one of the most !recious of all historic discoveries& It was the key to the deci!herment of E y!tian hiero ly!hics, for it contains !arallel te(t in three ancient scri!ts, hiero ly!hic demotic characters, and 6reek& The inscri!tion on this basalt stele was first deci!hered in "*B" by Jean 'rancois 7ham!ollion, the -father of E y!tolo y-= it is a decree of !riests assembled at /em!his in favor of Ptolemy G E!i!hanes&

Three Layers of Any Message
In these e(am!les of deci!herment of out-of-conte(t messa es, we can se!arate out fairly clearly three levels of information, 4"5 the frame messa e= 4B5 the outer messa e= 4%5 the inner messa e& The one we are most familiar with is 4%5, the inner messa e= it is the messa e which is su!!osed to be transmitted, the emotional e(!eriences in music, the !henoty!e in enetics, the royalty and rites of ancient civili<ations in tablets, etc& To understand the inner messa e is to have e(tracted the meanin intended by the sender&&& The frame messa e is the messa e -I am a messa e= decode me if you can2-= and it is im!licitly conveyed by the ross structural as!ects of any information-bearer& To understand the frame messa e is to reco ni<e the need for a decodin -mechanism& If the frame messa e is reco ni<ed as such, then attention is switched to level 4B5, the outer messa e& This is information, im!licitly carried by symbol-!atterns and structures in the messa e, which tells how to decode the inner messa e& To understand the outer messa e is to build, or know how to build, the correct decodin mechanism for the inner messa e& This outer level is !erforce an im!licit messa e, in the sense that the sender cannot ensure that it will be understood& It would be a vain effort to send instructions which tell how to decode the outer messa e, for they would have to be !art of the inner messa e, which can only be understood once the decodin mechanism has been found& 'or this reason, the

outer messa e is necessarily a set of tri ers, rather than a messa e which can be revealed by a known decoder& The formulation of these three -layers- is only a rather crude be innin at analy<in how meanin is contained in messa es& There may be layers and layers of outer and inner messa es, rather than .ust one of each& Think, for instance, of how intricately tan led are the inner and outer messa es of the ;osetta stone& To decode a messa e fully, one would have to reconstruct the entire semantic structure which underlay its creation and thus to understand the sender in every dee! way& ?ence one could throw away the inner messa e, because if one truly understood all the finesses of the outer messa e, the inner messa e would be reconstructible& The book *fter Ba(el, by 6eor e Steiner, is a lon discussion of the interaction between inner and outer messa es 4thou h he never uses that terminolo y5& The tone of his book is iven by this quote,
3e normally use a shorthand beneath which there lies a wealth of subconscious, deliberately concealed or declared associations so e(tensive and intricate that they !robably equal the sum and uniqueness of our status as an individual !erson& "

Thou hts alon the same lines are e(!ressed by Aeonard 0& /eyer, in his book 'usic, the *rts, and 3deas:
The way of listenin to a com!osition by Elliott 7arter is radically different from the way of listenin a!!ro!riate to a work by John 7a e& Similarly, a novel by 0eckett must in a si nificant sense be read differently from one by 0ellow& ) !aintin by 3illem de @oonin and one by )ndy 3arhol require different !erce!tional-co nitive attitudes& B

Perha!s works of art are tryin to convey their style more than anythin else& In that case, if you could ever !lumb a style to its very bottom you could dis!ense with the creations in that style& -Style-, -outer messa e -decodin technique-—all ways of e(!ressin the same basic idea&

Schrodinger%s A!eriodic Crystals
3hat makes us see a frame messa e in certain ob.ects, but none in other= 3hy should an alien civili<ation sus!ect, if they interce!t an errant record, that a messa e lurks within? 3hat would make a record any different from a meteorite? 7learly its eometric sha!e is the first clue that -somethin funny is oin on-& The ne(t clue is that, on a more microsco!ic scale, it consists of a very lon a!eriodic sequence of !atterns, arran ed in a s!iral& If we were to unwra! the s!iral, we would have one hu e linear sequence 4around B+++ feet lon 5 of minuscule symbols& This is not so different from a :8) molecule, whose symbols, drawn from a mea er -al!habet- of four different chemical bases, are arrayed in a one-dimensional sequence, and then coiled u! into a heli(& 0efore )very had established the connection between enes and :8), the !hysicist Erwin Schr>din er !redicted, on !urely theoretical rounds, that enetic information would have to be stored in -a!eriodic crystals-, in his influential book >hat 3s +ife? In fact, books themselves are

a!eriodic crystals contained inside neat eometric forms& These e(am!les su est that, where an a!eriodic crystal is found -!acka ed- inside a very re ular eometric structure, there may lurk a inner messa e& 4I don1t claim this is a com!lete characteri<ation of frame messa es= however, it is a fact that many common messa es have frame messa es of this descri!tion& See 'i ure C+ for some ood e(am!les&5

Languages for the Three Le"els
The three levels are very clear in the case of a messa e found in a bottle washed u! on a beach& The first level, the frame messa e, is found when one !icks u! the bottle and sees that it is sealed, and contains a dry !iece of !a!er& Even without seein writin , one reco ni<es this ty!e of artifact as an information-bearer, and at this !oint it would take an e(traordinary—almost inhuman—lack of curiosity, to dro! the bottle and not look further&

73G5=E DK! * collage of scripts! 5ppermost on the left is an inscription in the undeciphered (oustrophedonic writing s)stem from Easter 3sland, in which e#er) second line is upside down! The characters are chiseled on a wooden ta(let, D inches () HG inches! 'o#ing clockwise, we encounter #erticall) written 'ongolian: a(o#e, present%da) 'ongolian, (elow, a document dating from BHBD! Then we come to a poem in Bengali () =a(indranath Tagore in the (ottom righthand corner! Ne9t to it is a newspaper headline in 'ala)alam >est ;erala, southern 3ndia/, a(o#e which is the elegant cur#ilinear language Tamil East ;erala/! The smallest entr) is part of a folk tale in Buginese 8ele(es 3sland, 3ndonesia/! 3n the center of the collage is a paragraph in the Thai language, and a(o#e it a manuscript in =unic dating from the fourteenth centur), containing a sample of the pro#incial law of -cania south -weden/! 7inall), wedged in on the left is a section of the laws of ,ammura(i, written in *ss)rian cuneiform! *s an outsider, 3 feel a deep sense of m)ster) as 3 wonder how meanin is cloaked in the strange cur#es and angles of each of these (eautiful aperiodic cr)stals! 3n form, there is content! U7rom ,am ?ensen, Si n, Symbol, and Scri!t New York: G! &utnam's -ons, BIJI/, pp! EI cuneiform/, HHJ Easter 3sland/, HEJ, DBC 'ongolian/, GGF =unic/R from ;eno ;at@ner, The Aan ua es of the 3orld New York: 7unk W >agnalls, BICG/, pp! BIK Bengali/, FHC Buginese/R from 3! *! =ichards and 8hristine Gi(son, En lish Throu h Pictures New York: >ashington -"uare &ress, BIJK/, pp! CH Tamil/, EF Thai5&

8e(t, one o!ens the bottle and e(amines the marks on the !a!er& Perha!s, they are in Ja!anese= this can be discovered without any of the inner messa e bein understood— it merely comes from a reco nition of the characters& The outer messa e can be stated as an En lish sentence, -I am in Ja!anese&- Ence this has been discovered, then one can !roceed to the inner messa e, which may be a call for hel!, a haiku !oem, a lover1s lament&&& It would be of no use to include in the inner messa e a translation of the sentence -This messa e is in Ja!anese-, since it would take someone who knew Ja!anese to read it& )nd before readin it, he would have to reco ni<e the fact that, as it is in Ja!anese, he can read it& Hou mi ht try to wri le out of this by includin translations of the statement -This messa e is in Ja!anese- into many different lan ua es& That would hel! in a !ractical sense, but in a theoretical sense the same difficulty is there& )n En lish-s!eakin !erson still has to reco ni<e the -En lishness- of the messa e= otherwise it does no ood& Thus one cannot avoid the !roblem that one has to find out how to deci!her the inner messa e from the outside= the inner messa e itself may !rovide clues and confirmations, but those are at best tri ers actin u!on the bottle finder 4or u!on the !eo!le whom he enlists to hel!5& Similar kinds of !roblem confront the shortwave radio listener& 'irst he has to decide whether the sounds he hears actually constitute a messa e, or are .ust static& The sounds in themselves do not ive the answer, not even in the unlikely case that the inner messa e is in the listener1s own native lan ua e, and is sayin , -These sounds actually constitute a messa e and are not .ust static2- If the listener reco ni<es a frame messa e in the sounds, then he tries to identify the lan ua e the broadcast is in —and clearly, he is still on the outside= he acce!ts triggers from the radio, but they cannot e(!licitly tell him the answer& It is in the nature of outer messa es that they are not conveyed in any e(!licit lan ua e& To find an e(!licit lan ua e in which to convey outer messa es would not be a breakthrou h—it would be a contradiction in terms2 It is always the listener1s burden to understand the outer messa e& Success lets him break throu h into the inside, at which !oint the ratio of tri ers to e(!licit meanin s shifts drastically towards the latter& 0y com!arison with the !revious sta es, understandin the inner messa e seems effortless& It is as if it .ust ets !um!ed in&

The (3u.ebo-( Theory of Meaning
These e(am!les may a!!ear to be evidence for the view!oint that no messa e has intrinsic meanin , for in order to understand any inner messa e, no matter how sim!le it is, one must first understand its frame messa e and its outer messa e, both of which are carried only by tri ers 4such as bein written in the Ja!anese al!habet, or havin s!iralin rooves, etc&5& It be ins to seem, then, that one cannot et away from a -.ukebo(- theory of meanin —the doctrine that no message contains inherent meaning, because, before any messa e can be understood, it has to be used as the in!ut to some -.ukebo(-, which means that information contained in the -.ukebo(- must be added to the messa e before it acquires meanin &

This ar ument is very similar to the tra! which the Tortoise cau ht )chilles in, in Aewis 7arroll1s :ialo ue& There, the tra! was the idea that before you can use any rule, you have to have a rule which tells you how to use that rule= in other words, there is an infinite hierarchy of levels of rules, which !revents any rule from ever ettin used& ?ere, the tra! is the idea that before you can understand any messa e, you have to have a messa e which tells you how to understand that messa e= in other words, there is an infinite hierarchy of levels of messa es, which !revents any messa e from ever ettin understood& ?owever, we all know that these !arado(es are invalid, for rules do et used, and messa es do et understood& ?ow come?

Against the 3u.ebo- Theory
This ha!!ens because our intelli ence is not disembodied, but is instantiated in !hysical ob.ects, our brains& Their structure is due to the lon !rocess of evolution, and their o!erations are overned by the laws of !hysics& Since they are !hysical entities, our (rains run without (eing told how to run & So it is at the level where thou hts are !roduced by !hysical law that 7arroll1s rule-!arado( breaks down= and likewise, it is at the level where a brain inter!rets incomin data as a messa e that the messa e-!arado( breaks down& It seems that brains come equi!!ed with -hardware- for reco ni<in that certain thin s are messa es, and for decodin those messa es& This minimal inborn ability to e(tract inner meanin is what allows the hi hly recursive, snowballin !rocess of lan ua e acquisition to take !lace& The inborn hardware is like a .ukebo(, it su!!lies the additional information which turns mere tri ers into com!lete messa es&

Meaning Is Intrinsic If Intelligence Is ;atural
8ow if different !eo!le1s -.ukebo(es- had different -son s- in them, and res!onded to iven tri ers in com!letely idiosyncratic ways, then we would have no inclination to attribute intrinsic meanin to those tri ers& ?owever, human brains are so constructed that one brain res!onds in much the same way to a iven tri er as does another brain, all other thin s bein equal& This is why a baby can learn any lan ua e= it res!onds to tri ers in the same way as any other baby& This uniformity of -human .ukebo(esestablishes a uniform -lan ua e- in which frame messa es and outer messa es can be communicated& If, furthermore, we believe human intelli ence is .ust one e(am!le of a eneral !henomenon in nature—the emer ence of intelli ent bein s in widely varyin conte(ts—then !resumably the -lan ua e- in which frame messa es and outer messa es are communicated amon humans is a -dialect- of a uni#ersal lan ua e by which intelli ences can communicate with each other& Thus, there would be certain kinds of tri ers which would have -universal tri erin !ower-, in that all intelli ent bein s would tend to res!ond to them in the same way as we do& This would allow us to shift our descri!tion of where meanin located& 3e could ascribe the meanin s 4frame, outer, and inner5 of a messa e to the messa e itself, because of the fact that deci!herin mechanisms are themselves universal—that is, they are fundamental forms of nature which arise in the same way in diverse conte(ts& To make it

concrete, su!!ose that -)-L- tri ered the same son in all .ukebo(es —and su!!ose moreover that .ukebo(es were not man-made artifacts, but widely occurrin natural ob.ects, like ala(ies or carbon atoms& Fnder such circumstances, we would !robably feel .ustified in callin the universal tri erin !ower of -)-L- its -inherent meanin -= also, -)-L- would merit the name of -messa e-, rather than -tri er-, and the son would indeed be a -revelation- of the inherent, thou h im!licit, meanin of -)-L-&

Earth Chau"inism
This ascribin of meanin to a messa e comes from the invariance of the !rocessin of the messa e by intelli ences distributed anywhere in the universe& In that sense, it bears some resemblance to the ascribin of mass to an ob.ect& To the ancients, it must have seemed that an ob.ect1s wei ht was an intrinsic !ro!erty of the ob.ect& 0ut as ravity became understood, it was reali<ed that wei ht varies with the ravitational field the ob.ect is immersed in& 8evertheless, there is a related quantity, the mass, which does not vary accordin to the ravitational field= and from this invariance came the conclusion that an ob.ect1s mass was an intrinsic !ro!erty of the ob.ect itself& If it turns out that mass is also a variable, accordin to conte(t, then we will backtrack and revise our o!inion that it is an intrinsic !ro!erty of an ob.ect& In the same way, we mi ht ima ine that there could e(ist other kinds of -.ukebo(es-—intelli ences—which communicate amon each other via messa es which we would never reco ni<e as messa es, and who also would never reco ni<e our messa es as messa es& If that were the case, then the claim that meanin is an intrinsic !ro!erty of a set of symbols would have to be reconsidered& En the other hand, how could we ever reali<e that such bein s e(isted? It is interestin to com!are this ar ument for the inherency of meanin with a !arallel ar ument for the inherency of wei ht& Su!!ose one defined an ob.ect1s wei ht as -the ma nitude of the downward force which the ob.ect e(erts when on the surface of the !lanet Earth-& Fnder this definition, the downward force which an ob.ect e(erts when on the surface of /ars would have to be iven another name than -wei ht-& This definition makes wei ht an inherent !ro!erty, but at the cost of eocentricity—-Earth chauvinism-& It would be like -6reenwich chauvinism-—refusin to acce!t local time anywhere on the lobe but in the 6/T time <one& It is an unnatural way to think of time& Perha!s we are unknowin ly burdened with a similar chauvinism with res!ect to intelli ence, and consequently with res!ect to meanin & In our chauvinism, we would call any bein with a brain sufficiently much like our own -intelli ent-, and refuse to reco ni<e other ty!es of ob.ects as intelli ent& To take an e(treme e(am!le, consider a meteorite which, instead of deci!herin the outer-s!ace 0ach record, !unctures it with colossal indifference, and continues in its merry orbit& It has interacted with the record in a way which we feel disre ards the record1s meanin & Therefore, we mi ht well feel tem!ted to call the meteorite -stu!id-& 0ut !erha!s we would thereby do the meteorite a disservice& Perha!s it has a -hi her intelli ence- which we in our Earth chauvinism cannot !erceive, and its interaction with the record was a manifestation of that hi her intelli ence& Perha!s, then, the record has a -hi her meanin - —totally different from that

which we attribute to it= !erha!s its meanin de!ends on the ty!e of intelli ence !erceivin it& Perha!s& It would be nice if we could define intelli ence in some other way than -that which ets the same meanin out of a sequence of symbols as we do-& 'or if we can only define it this one way, then our ar ument that meanin is an intrinsic !ro!erty is circular, hence content-free& 3e should try to formulate in some inde!endent way a set of characteristics which deserve the name -intelli ence-& Such characteristics would constitute the uniform core of intelli ence, shared by humans& )t this !oint in history we do not yet have a well-defined list of those characteristics& ?owever, it a!!ears likely that within the ne(t few decades there will be much !ro ress made in elucidatin what human intelli ence is& In !articular, !erha!s co nitive !sycholo ists, workers in )rtificial Intelli ence, and neuroscientists will be able to synthesi<e their understandin s, and come u! with a definition of intelli ence& It may still be human-chauvinistic= there is no way around that& 0ut to counterbalance that, there may be some ele ant and beautiful —and !erha!s even sim!le—abstract ways of characteri<in the essence of intelli ence& This would serve to lessen the feelin of havin formulated an anthro!ocentric conce!t& )nd of course, if contact were established with an alien civili<ation from another star system, we would feel su!!orted in our belief that our own ty!e of intelli ence is not .ust a fluke, but an e(am!le of a basic form which rea!!ears in nature in diverse conte(ts, like stars and uranium nuclei& This in turn would su!!ort the idea of meanin bein an inherent !ro!erty& To conclude this to!ic, let us consider some new and old e(am!les, and discuss the de ree of inherent meanin which they have, by !uttin ourselves, to the e(tent that we can, in the shoes of an alien civili<ation which interce!ts a weird ob.ect&&&

T'o ,laques in S!ace
7onsider a rectan ular !laque made of an indestructible metallic alloy, on which are en raved two dots, one immediately above the another, the !recedin colon shows a !icture& Thou h the overall form of the mi ht su est that it is an artifact, and therefore that it mi ht conceal some messa e, two dots are sim!ly not sufficient to convey anythin & 47an you, before readin on, hy!othesi<e what they are su!!osed to mean?5 0ut su!!ose that we made a second !laque, containin more dots, as follows&

. . .. ... ..... ........ ............... .......................... .......................................

8ow one of the most obvious thin s to do —so it mi ht seem to a terrestrial intelli ence at least—would be to count the dots in the successive rows& The sequence obtained is, ", ", B, %, L, *, "%, B", %C& ?ere there is evidence of a rule overnin the !ro ression from one line to the ne(t& In fact, the recursive !art of the definition of the 'ibonacci numbers can be inferred, with some confidence, from this list& Su!!ose we think of the initial !air of values 4","5 as a - enoty!e- from which the -!henoty!e-—the full 'ibonacci sequence—is !ulled out by a recursive rule& 0y sendin the enoty!e alone—namely the first version !laque—we fail to send the information which allows reconstitution !henoty!e& Thus, the enoty!e does not contain the full s!ecification of the !henoty!e& En the other hand, if we consider the second version of the !laque to be the enoty!e, then there is much better cause to su!!ose that the !henoty!e could actually be reconstituted& This new version of the enoty!e—a -lon enoty!e-—contains so much information that the mechanism () which phenot)pe is pulled out of genot)pe can (e inferred () intelligence from the genot)pe alone! Ence this mechanism is firmly established as the way to !ull !henoty!e from enoty!e, then we can o back to usin -short enoty!es-—like the first !laque& 'or instance, the -short enoty!e- 4",%5 would yield the !henoty!e ", %, C, $, "", "*, B#, C$,&&&

—the Aucas sequence& )nd for every set of two initial values —that is, for every short enoty!e—there will be a corres!ondin !henoty!e& 0ut the short enoty!es, unlike the lon ones, are only tri ers—buttons to be !ushed on the .ukebo(es into which the recursive rule has been built& The lon enoty!es are informative enou h that they tri er, in an intelli ent bein , the reco nition of what kind of -.ukebo(- to build& In that sense, the lon enoty!es contain the information of the !henoty!e, whereas the short enoty!es do not& In other words, the lon enoty!e transmits not only an inner messa e, but also an outer messa e, which enables the inner messa e to be read& It seems that the clarity of the outer messa e resides in the sheer len th of the messa e& This is not une(!ected= it !arallels !recisely what ha!!ens in deci!herin ancient te(ts& 7learly, one1s likelihood of success de!ends crucially on the amount of te(t available&

Bach #s! Cage Again
0ut .ust havin a lon te(t may not be enou h& Aet us take u! once more the difference between sendin a record of 0ach1s music into s!ace, and a record of John 7a e1s music& Incidentally, the latter, bein a 7om!osition of )leatorically 6enerated Elements, mi ht be handily called a -7)6E-, whereas the former, bein a 0eautiful )!eriodic 7rystal of ?armony, mi ht a!tly be dubbed a -0)7?-& 8ow let1s consider what the meanin of a

7a e !iece is to ourselves& ) 7a e !iece has to be taken in a lar e cultural settin —as a revolt a ainst certain kinds of traditions& Thus, if we want to transmit that meanin , we must not only send the notes of the !iece, but we must have earlier communicated an e(tensive history of 3estern culture& It is fair to say, then, that an isolated record of John 7a e1s music does not have an intrinsic meanin & ?owever, for a listener who is sufficiently well versed in 3estern and Eastern cultures, !articularly in the trends in 3estern music over the last few decades, it does carry meanin —but such a listener is like a .ukebo(, and the !iece is like a !air of buttons& The meanin is mostly contained inside the listener to be in with= the music serves only to tri er it& )nd this -.ukebo(-, unlike !ure intelli ence, is not at all universal= it is hi hly earthbound, de!endin on idiosyncratic sequences of events all over our lobe for lon !eriod of time& ?o!in that John 7a e1s music will be understood by another civili<ation is like ho!in that your favorite tune, on a .ukebo( on the moon, will have the same buttons as in a saloon in Saskatoon& En the other hand, to a!!reciate 0ach requires far less cultural knowled e& This may seem like hi h irony, for 0ach is so much more com!le( and or ani<ed, and 7a e is so devoid of intellectuality& 0ut there stran e reversal here, intelli ence loves !atterns and balks at randomness& 'or most !eo!le, the randomness in 7a e1s music requires much e(!lanation= and even after e(!lanations, they may feel they are missin the messa e—whereas with much of 0ach, words are su!erfluous& In sense, 0ach1s music is more self-contained than 7a e1s music& Still, it is not clear how much of the human condition is !resumed by 0ach& 'or instance, music has three ma.or dimensions of structure 4melody, harmony, rhythm5, each of which can be further divided into small-scale, intermediate, and overall as!ects& 8ow in each of these dimensions, there is a certain amount of com!le(ity which our minds can handle before bo lin = clearly a com!oser takes this into account, mostly unconsciously, when writin a !iece& These -levels of tolerable com!le(ity- alon different dimensions are !robably very de!endent on the !eculiar conditions of our evolution as a s!ecies, and another intelli ent s!ecies mi ht have develo!ed music with totally different levels of tolerable com!le(ity alon these many dimensions& Thus a 0ach !iece mi ht conceivably have to be accom!anied by a lot of information about the human s!ecies, which sim!ly could not be inferred from the music1s structure alone& If we equate the 0ach music with a enoty!e, and the emotions which it is su!!osed to evoke with the !henoty!e, then what we are interested in is whether the enoty!e contains all the information necessary for the revelation of the !henoty!e&

/o' &ni"ersal Is

;A%s Message7

The eneral question which we are facin , and which is very similar to the questions ins!ired by the two !laques, is this, -?ow much of the conte(t necessary for its own understandin is a messa e ca!able of restorin ?- 3e can now revert to the ori inal biolo ical meanin s of - enoty!e- and -!henoty!e-—:8) and a livin or anism—and ask similar questions& :oes :8) have universal tri erin !ower? Er does it need a -bio.ukebo(- to reveal its meanin ? 7an :8) evoke a !henoty!e without bein

but if one allows many millions of years for the e(!eriment. !erha!s the :8)1s meanin would finally emer e& En the other hand. they mi ht o on to try to deduce from its chemical structure what kind of chemical environment it seemed to want. the set of symbols would have no intrinsic meanin & Aest you think this all sounds ho!elessly abstract and !hiloso!hical. would tri er the !ro!er decodin mechanism which would enable the !henoty!e to be drawn out of the enoty!e& This would be a case of wra!!in an inner messa e in such an abstract outer messa e that the conte(t-restorin !ower of the outer messa e would be lost. the odds are virtually nil that this. or -im!lied-. not as a lon helical molecule. if the sequence of bases which com!ose a strand of :8) were sent as abstract symbols 4as in 'i & C"5. it is the issue of abortion& . consider that the e(act moment when !henoty!e can be said to be -available-. by enoty!e. if a molecule of :8) were set to seek its fortune in the universe. is a hi hly char ed issue in our day. as an outer messa e.embedded in the !ro!er chemical conte(t? To this question the answer is no —but a qualified no& 7ertainly a molecule of :8) in a vacuum will not create anythin at all& ?owever. and then su!!ly such an environment& Successively more refined attem!ts alon these lines mi ht eventually lead to a full restoration of the chemical conte(t necessary for the revelation of :8)1s !henoty!ical meanin & This may sound a little im!lausible. and so in a very !ra matic sense. as we ima ined the 0)7? and the 7)6E were. it mi ht be interce!ted by an intelli ent civili<ation& They mi ht first of all reco ni<e its frame messa e& 6iven that.

and a(out one million pages to show the (ase se"uence of the .73G5=E DB! This Giant *periodic 8r)stal is the (ase se"uence for the chromosome of (acteriophage fSBCD! 3t is the first complete genome e#er mapped out for an) organism! *(out F.KKK of these (oustrophedonic pages would (e needed to show the (ase se"uence of a single E! 8oli cell.N* of a single human cell! The (ook now in )our hands contains roughl) the same amount of information as a molecular (lueprint for one measl) E! 8oli cell! .

3icked tra!s? Eh. Thank you& I . it is reen& Tortoise. and as you know.ust tell me your shell was reen? Tortoise. the Tortoise is Must crawling out and shaking himself dr). Aet1s see&&& how shall I be in? ?mm&&& 3hat strikes you most about my shell. while I meandered throu h the meadows& They1re so reen at this time of year& Tortoise. humble observer of !henomena. when who (ut *chilles walks ()! Tortoise. )chilles? *chilles. I understand your ame& Hou1re hintin to me that what you say isn1t necessarily true= that Tortoises !lay with lan ua e= that your statements and reality don1t necessarily match= that— Tortoise. too. ?o there. )chilles& I was . it isn1t reen& *chilles. I never said such a thin = but I wish I had& *chilles. !lod alon and !uff my silly words into the air rather uns!ectacularly. /r& T& Tortoise. Hou think so? It reminds me of a thou ht I was ho!in to share with you& 3ould you like to hear it? *chilles.ust thinkin of you as I s!lashed around in the !ond& *chilles. Such a ood healthy reen shell.a#ing had a splendid dip in the pond. I am afraid& 0ut to reassure you about my intentions. those thin s have nothin —nothin whatsoever—to do with lo ic2 *chilles. in fact. botherin nobody and leadin a entle. It looks wonderfully clean2 Tortoise. I would be deli hted as lon you1re not oin to try to snare me in one of your wicked tra!s of lo ic.Chromatic "antasy# And "eud . 7ontradicts? 7ontradicts? I never contradict myself& It1s not !art of Tortoisenature& . I would be deli hted& That is. Eh. 8ot a bit& I re ret sayin it.ust went swimmin and washed off several layers of dirt which had accumulated last century& 8ow you can see how reen my shell is& *chilles. I was only !lannin to s!eak of my Tortoise-shell today. it1s nice to see it shinin in the sun& Tortoise. and that it is not reen also? Tortoise.ust thinkin of you. I certainly am not& Tortoises treat words as sacred& Tortoises revere accuracy& *chilles. didn1t you . /r& T& )nd. you do me wron & 3ould I do anythin wicked? I1m a !eaceful soul. Eh. That certainly contradicts what you said before2 Tortoise. Then. Isn1t that curious? I was . 8o. 3ell. Hour words :E reassure me. 6reen? It1s not reen& *chilles. my curiosity quite !iqued& I would certainly like to listen to what you have to say. and disa ree wholeheartedly with it& *chilles. herbivorous life& )nd my thou hts merely drift amon the oddities and quirks of how thin s are 4as I see them5& I. why did you say that your shell is reen. I did& *chilles. then. even if it is uns!ectacular& Tortoise. Hou would have liked to say that? Tortoise. 3ell. we a ree.

or somethin dee! and !rofound2 Tortoise. you didn1t ive E8E sentence& Hou ave T3E& *chilles. you would believe one com!ound sentence in which both were combined. what I actually meant is . wouldn1t you? . 3ell. It certainly is& Even you will a ree with it& The idea is that since you believed sentence " 4-/y shell is reen-5. )8: you believed sentence B 4-/y shell is not reen-5. you& 7au ht you in a fullfled ed contradiction& Tortoise. Hes—two sentences that contradict each other2 Tortoise. but you1re so tra!!ed in your own tan led web that you can1t see how inconsistent you1re bein & *chilles. I am very reassured& Thank you& 8ow I have had a moment to reflect. I am sad to see the tan led structure of your thou hts becomin so e(!osed. 6ood. 3hat an insultin su estion2 I1m oin to show you that you1re the contradictory one. an indis!utable one& *chilles. 0ut-but-but&&& Eh.*chilles. 3ell. your task ou ht to be cut out for you& 3hat could be easier than to !oint out a contradiction? 6o ahead—try it out& *chilles. it1s . s!eakin out of both sides of their mouth. )chilles& 'irst you told me that a contradiction is some thin which occurs in a sin le sentence& Then you told me that you found a contradiction in a !air of sentences I uttered& 'rankly.ust that somebody can say one thin and deny it all within one sin le sentence2 It doesn1t literally have to be in the same instant& Tortoise. 3ell. and then you went on to say that 4B5 your shell is not reen& 3hat more can I say? Tortoise.ust as I said& Hour own system of thou ht is so delusional that you mana e to avoid seein how inconsistent it is& 'rom the outside. There you o a ain2 8ow you1re contradictin yourself more and more2 Hou are so stee!ed in contradiction it1s im!ossible to ar ue with you2 Tortoise. Just kindly !oint out the contradiction& Muit beatin around the bush& *chilles. Tortoises don1t s!end their time on the !etty& ?ence it1s the latter& *chilles. 8ot really& I ar ue with myself without any trouble at all& Perha!s the !roblem is with you& I would venture a uess that maybe you1re the one who1s contradictory. I assure you. ood& I ho!e it1s an easy ste!. Sometimes I et so confused by your diversionary tactics that I can1t quite tell if we1re ar uin about somethin utterly !etty. and I see the necessary lo ical ste! to convince you that you contradicted yourself& Tortoise. ?mm&&& 8ow I hardly know where to be in& Eh&&& I know& Hou first said that 4"5 your shell is reen. now I be in to see& 4Sometimes I am so slow-witted25 It must be that you and I differ as to what constitutes a contradiction& That1s the trouble& 3ell. you sli!!ery fellow. a contradiction occurs when somebody says one thin and denies it at the same time& Tortoise. as it were& 0ut I1m not a ventriloquist& *chilles. I uess you did& *chilles. I1ve cau ht you this time. ) neat trick& I1d like to see it done& Probably ventriloquists would e(cel at contradictions. and there are no two ways about it& Tortoise. Hes. let me make myself very clear. however !lain as day& *chilles. 3ell. if it1s so.

and then I1ll have you2 The combination I !ro!ose is— Tortoise. is it? *chilles. why would you be tryin so bloody hard to et me to do it? Eh? *chilles. Hou1ve left me s!eechless& Hou make me feel like a villain. I should have& *chilles.is true. wouldn1t you? *chilles.Tortoise.ect to in the way I combined them? 3ould you have me do otherwise? *chilles. I1m used to the unreasonable ways of the folk about me& I en. Ef course& It would only be reasonable&&& !rovidin . )nd well you should& I know what you were tryin to set u!& Hour !lan was to make me acce!t sentence %. 8ow wait a minute&&& -Politicians lie in cast-iron sinks?. That1s what everyone believes of himself&&& *chilles. /r& Tortoise. I fear I am set in my ways. my eye2 3hat all2 This is certainly a !ernicious !lot to entra! a !oor. Then. )chilles& *chilles. even if your thinkin lacks clarity& *chilles. but— Tortoise. Eh. is it? *chilles. and will !robably continue to err and err a ain.means2 It1s harmless to combine true sentences with -and-2 Tortoise. isn1t it? *chilles. to wit. !uttin them to ether. where I really had only the most innocent of motivations& Tortoise. don1t !ut me throu h all this a ony& Hou know very well that that1s what -and. Hes. -7ast-iron sinks.ust that the manner of combination is universally acce!table& 0ut I1m sure we1ll a ree on that& *chilles. not -in-& Tortoise. Hou needn1t be sorry& /y feelin s aren1t hurt& )fter all. I should have? Hou mean. Eh. Silly? 3hat have you ot to ob. to use words to snare you in a selfcontradiction& I feel so rotten& Tortoise. 8o—it1s the AE6I7)A thin to do& It1s ot nothin to do with !ersonally& Tortoise. 3ho could deny it? Tortoise. Shame on me—tryin to outwit you. in my quest for Truth& Tortoise. innocent. you see.8o. when you resort to your Ao ic and its hi hsoundin Princi!les& 8one of that for me today. -/y shell is reen and my shell is not reen-& )nd such a blatant falsehood is re!ellent to the Ton ue of a Tortoise& *chilles. 0ut we must be careful in combinin sentences& 'or instance you1d rant that -Politicians lie. way. Hes&&& 3ell. 0ut you—you combined the two—in such a silly way2 Tortoise. )chilles. !lease& *chilles. /r& T& . Today1s e(chan e may have served a little to ri ht your course& 6ood day. 6ood day.is a valid utterance. This is where you always lose me. we et -Politicians lie in cast iron sinks-& 8ow that1s not the case. if HEF1: had HEF. -?armless-. 6ood& Aikewise. I1m so sorry I started all this& Tortoise. So. Hou should have used the word -and-. combinin two true sentences in one is not a !olicy.oy your com!any. Indubitably& Tortoise. bumblin Tortoise in a fatal contradiction& If it were so harmless.

ordinary way—or at least he refuses to do so when it is not to his advanta e to do so& ) way to think about the 7arroll !arado( was iven last 7ha!ter& In this 7ha!ter we are oin to make symbols do what )chilles couldn1t make the Tortoise do with his words& That is. not e(!lainin everythin at once.ust what )chilles wished the word 1and1 would do.ro!ositional Calculus I will !resent this new formal system.  ' ~ The first rule of this system that I will reveal is the followin . and they will all be !resented shortly—but first. and another of whose symbols will behave the way the words 'if!!! then!!!1 ou ht to behave& There are only two other words which we will attem!t to deal with.TE$ 4II The .easonin which de!ends only on correct usa e of these words is termed propositional reasoning& Al!habet and +irst $ule of the .FAE E' JEI8I86. the Tortoise refuses to use normal. like a !u<<le.C/A. 1or1 and 1not1& . when s!oken by the Tortoise. but lettin you thin s out to some e(tent& 3e be in with the list of symbols. . called the Pro!ositional 7alculus. it is im!ortant to define a subset of all strin s. ordinary words in the normal.E7E:I86 :I)AE6FE is reminiscent of the Two%&art 3n#ention by Aewis 7arroll& In both.ro!ositional Calculus >ords and Symbols T?E P. then so is the strin g 9) a& This rule takes two theorems and combines them into one& It should remind you of the :ialo ue& >ell-+ormed Strings There will be several other rules of inference. we are oin to make a formal system one of whose symbols will do . < 8  [ > $  ] . If 9 and ) are theorems of the system. namely the well%formed strin s& They will be defined in a recursive way& 3e be in with the .

h81 a hhg. 8-..111. 8. and $ are called atoms&& 8ew atoms are formed by a!!endin !rimes onto the ri ht of old atoms-thus.h81 aa atom by 4"5 by 4"5 atom by 4"5 by 4B5 by 4"5 by 4C5 by 4%5 The last one may look quite formidable. but it is built u! strai htforwardly from two com!onents—namely the two lines . hh. h.8a8h. . then the followin four strin s are also well-formed. etc& This ives an endless su!!ly of atoms& )ll atoms are well-formed& Then we have four recursive 'E.8$a g. atoms& Hou sim!ly run the formation rules backwards until you can no more& This !rocess is uaranteed to terminate.h81 a hg.)TE/S. If ( and y are well-formed.aa .8a gg.h81 ahhg. 81 h81 g.FAES. 4"5 4B5 4%5 4C5 4L5 g./)TIE8 .h81 a ghg. so that runnin it backwards always drives you towards atoms& This method of decom!osin strin s thus serves as a check on the wellformedness of any strin & It is a top%down decision procedure for well-formedness& Hou can test your understandin of this decision !rocedure by checkin which of the followin strin s are well-formed. 4"5 4B5 4%5 4C5 h9 g 9)a g 9)a g 9)a 'or e(am!le. $1. all of the followin are well-formed.a gh.ust above it& Each of them is in turn built u! from !revious lines&&& and so on& Every well-formed strin can in this way be traced back to its elementary constituent—that is. since each formation rule 4when run forwards5 is a lengthening rule.a g. . .

you mi ht wonder.8ag 8. or a theorem?.FAE E' SEP). and then -fantasi<e. :EF0AE-TIA:E .a 4)nswer. where is the real theorem? The real theorem is the strin . the symbols 1 9' and 1)1 are always to be understood as restricted to well formed strin s& . the first thin you do is to write down an well-formed strin ( you like.h. ->hat if strin ( were an a(iom. then& ?ow does everythin et started? The answer is that there is one rule which manufactures theorems from out of thin air—it doesn1t need an -old theorem. you let the system ive an answer& That is.as in!ut& 4The rest of the do require in!ut&5 This s!ecial rule is called the fantas) rule& The reason I call it that is quite sim!le& To use the fantasy rule. ) would be a theorem& Still. !rovided that the resultin strin is itself well-formed& The +antasy $ule 8ow a s!ecial feature of this system is that it has no a9iomsOonly rules& If you think back to the !revious formal systems we1ve seen.)nd then. you should have a !retty ood uess by now as to what conce!t the symbol 11 stands for& 4?int.a 4$5 gg. The strin 1hh1 can be deleted from any theorem& It can also be inserted into any theorem. it is the troublesome word from the !recedin :ialo ue&5 'rom the followin rule. then both 9 and ) are theorems& Incidentally. you may wonder how there can be any theorems. and y is its outcome& The ne(t ste! is to Mump out of the fantas).by askin . havin learned from it that If 9 were a theorem.)TIE8. you should be a fi ure out what conce!t the tilde 41h15 re!resents.h$1aa 4*5 g.4D5 g. If g 9)a is a theorem. Those whose numbers are 'ibonacci numbers are not formed& The rest are wellformed&5 More $ules of Inference 8ow we come to the rest of the rules by which theorems of this system constructed& ) few rules of inference follow& In all of them. you o ahead and make a derivation with ( as the o!enin line= let us su!!ose y is the last line& 4Ef course the derivation must strictly follow the rules of the system&5 Everythin from ( to y 4inclusive5 is the fantas)= ( is the premise of the fantasy.g8$aagh.FAE.

8a . should reveal to you the intended inter!retation of the symbol 11& ?ere is another derivation usin the fantasy rule. thrice-nested . whenever you see a left square bracket. hhh.this sentence of En lish 4the metalan ua e5 into the formal notation 4the ob. be one& 3e now -squee<e. res!ectively& Thus. -3hat if it were?-5 3e make the followin fantasy. here— !ush into fantasy !remise outcome 4by double tilde rule5 !o! out of fantasy V gg. 8 g8. g. you know you are -!o!!in . U g. were a theorem. is taken as a !remise& 4It so ha!!ens that . you know you are -!ushin . and the ne9t line will contain the fantasy1s premise& 3henever you see a ri ht square bracket.a !ush !remise se!aration se!aration .and -!o!-. and the preceding line was the outcome& It is hel!ful 4thou h not necessary5 to indent those lines of a derivation which take !lace in fantasies& ?ere is an illustration of the fantasy rule.oinin !o! fantasy rule enuine theorem. V The fantasy shows that.a& This. a fantasy.aa It is im!ortant to understand that only the last line is a everythin else is in the fantasy& $ecursion and the +antasy $ule )s you mi ht uess from the recursion terminolo y -!ush.hh.ect lan ua e5. but that is of no im!ort= we are merely inquirin .8ag8. U . the fantasy rule can be used recursively—thus.back out. one uses the square brackets 1U1 and 1V1. is not a theorem. and emer ence from. so would hh. our first theorem of the Pro!ositional 7alculus. in which the strin .g9)a 8otice the resemblance of this strin to the sentence !rinted above To si nal the entry into. there can be fantasies within fantasies. If .into a fantasy.

and then lift it out into the real world as a theorem&5 To show how carry-over works. im!lies 8-& . in movies& 0ut in the Pro!ositional 7alculus. Inside a fantasy. and. theorems inside fantasies cannot be e(!orted to the e(terior2 If it weren1t for this fact.8aa V g. into inner fantasy .FAE. the intended inter!retation for g. .oinin !o! out of inner fantasy. U . any theorem from the -reality level hi her can be brou ht in and used& It is as if a -8o Smokin . then ) is too-& To be s!ecific. then 8 equivalently. by re!etition of the same idea. . There is no carry-over in the reverse direction.fantasies. you could write anythin as the first line of a fantasy. you are in a -realer. the theorem g9)a which ets !roduced can be thou ht of as a re!resentation inside the system of the statement about the system -If 9 is a theorem.. there is a carry-over from the real world into the fantasies= there is even carry-over from a fantasy to fantasies inside it& This is formali<ed by the followin rule. we !resent the followin derivation.world than you had been.ust as in nested stories or movies& 3hen you !o! out of a movie-within-a-movie. to em!hasi<e the nature of these nested -levels of reality-& Ene to look at the fantasy rule is to say that an observation made a(out the system is inserted into the system& 8amely. U 8 . and so on& This means that there are all sorts of -levels of reality-. thou h you are still one level away from the to!& Similarly.8a V g8g. and the inner fantasy twice. you feel for a moment as if you had reached the real world. but you are still one level away from the to!& 8ow a -8o Smokin . -..g8g. 7).si n inside a movie theater does not a!!ly to the characters in the movie—there is no carry-over from the real world into the fantasy world. reach real world2 fantasy rule 8ote that I1ve indented the outer fantasy once. g. to anyone inside multi!ly nested movies2 43arnin .H-EGE. and to show how the fantasy rule can be used recursively. when you !o! out of a fantasy-within-a-fantasy.8a is -if .si n in a theater a!!lied not only to a movie oers. re ain outer fantasy fantasy rule !o! out of outer fantasy. but also to all the actors in the movie.8aaa !ush !remise of outer fantasy !ush a ain !remise of inner fantasy carry-over of .

for e(am!le. you have the freedom to insert !arentheses or to leave them out. !rovided that the 11strin it a theorem. and this mind is not 0uddha& 8ow let us look at each of the theorems so far derived. the well-formed strin g. )chilles had a lot of trouble in !ersuadin the Tortoise to acce!t the second clause of an -if-thenstatement.FAE E' :ET)7?/E8T. If 9 and g9)a are both theorems. then it is not the case that this mind is not 0uddha& 8ote how I rendered the double ne ation& It is awkward to re!eat a ne ation in any natural lan ua e. we have the followin inter!retation..of the rest of the symbols of our new system& In case it is not yet a!!arent.The Con"erse of the +antasy $ule 8ow Aewis 7arroll1s :ialo ue was all about -if-then. If this mind is 0uddha. this rule is often called -/odus Ponens-. and inter!ret them& The first one was g.state itself was acce!ted. everyday word 1and1& The symbol 1h1 re!resents the word 1not1—it is a formal sort of ne ation& The an le brackets 1g1 and 1a1 are rou!ers—their function bein very similar to that of !arentheses in ordinary al ebra& The main difference is that in al ebra. accordin to taste and style.hh. as well as its first clause& The ne(t rule allows you to infer the second -clause.is also a theorem& .of a 11-strin .a& If we kee! the same inter!retation for . then ) is a theorem& Incidentally. whereas in a formal system. so one ets around it by usin two different ways of e(!ressin .statements& In !articular.h. and that its first -clause. such anarchic freedom is not tolerated& The symbol 1 1 re!resents the word 1or1 41vel1 is a Aatin word for 1or15& The 1or1 that is meant is the so-called inclusi#e 1or1. the symbol 1)1 is meant to be actin isomor!hically to the normal.a could be inter!reted by the com!ound sentence This mind is 0uddha. and reveal the -meanin s. and the fantasy rule is often called the -:eduction Theorem-& The Intended Inter!retation of the Symbols 3e mi ht as well let the cat out of the ba at this !oint. even when the -if-then. which means that the inter!retation of g9)a is -either 9 or )Oor both-& The only symbols we have not inter!reted are the atoms& )n atom has no sin le inter!retation—it may be inter!reted by any sentence of En lish 4it must continue to be inter!reted by the same sentence if it occurs multi!ly within a strin or derivation5& Thus.

FAE. when inter!reted. any theorem from the -reality.ne ation& The second theorem we derived was gg .aa& If we let 8 be inter!reted by the sentence -This fla( wei hs three !ounds-. The strin 1hh1 can be deleted from any theorem& It can also be inserted into any theorem. If ) can be derived when 9 is assumed to be a theorem then g 9)a is a theorem& 7). !rovided that the result strin is itself well-formed& ')8T)SH .FAE.g8g. if this fla( wei hs three !ounds.ust as a !erson who is concerned with stayin dry will ste! carefully from one ste!!in -stone creek to the ne(t. . If this mind is 0uddha and this fla( wei hs three !ounds. then ) is a theorem& . then. even stu!idly& $ounding 0ut the List of $ules 3e have not yet stated all the rules of the Pro!ositional 7alculus& The com!lete set of rules is listed below.8aaa& This one oes into the followin nested -ifthen.FAE.FAE. carefully avoidin all falsities. includin the three new ones& JEI8I86 . then this fla( wei hs three !ounds and this mind is 0uddha& The third theorem was g. If 9 and ) are theorems.)TIE8 . ri idly. says somethin absolutely trivial and self-evident& 4Sometimes they are so self-evident that they sound vacuous and—!arado(ically enou h—confusin or even wron 25 This may not be very im!ressive.one level hi her can be brou ht in and used& .FAE E' :ET)7?/E8T.FAE. then both 9 and ) are theorems& :EF0AE-TIA:E . thou htlessly. If this mind is 0uddha. thinkin about the meaning of the strin s& It is all done mechanically. then this mind is 0uddha and this fla( wei hs three !ounds& Hou !robably have noticed that each theorem. .8ag8. then g9)a is a theorem& SEP).sentence.H-EGE. followin the layout of ste!!in -stones no matter I twisted and tricky it mi ht be& 3hat is im!ressive is that—in the Pro!ositional 7alculus—the whole thin is done !urely t)pographicall)& There is nobody down -in there-. Inside a fantasy. If g9)a is a theorem..ust remember there are !lenty of falsities out there which could have been !roduced—yet they weren1t& This system—the Pro!ositional 7alculus—ste!s neatly from truth to truth. but . then our theorem reads as follows. If 9 and g9)a are both theorems.

by a wistful 9en master rememberin a familiar lake which he can visuali<e mentally but cannot see& 8ow han on to your seat. accordin to /or an1s law. g9)a and gh)h9a are interchan eable :E /E. symboli<es -the fla is movin -. or the moonli ht is !enetratin the waves of the lake.)PESITIGE . the other form may be substituted. gh9h)a and hg 9)a are interchan eable& S3IT7?E. which. then the moonli ht is !enetratin the waves of the lake&.FAE. then you are far from the 3ay /eans the same thin as If you are close to the 3ay. then you are not studyin it& :e /or an1s rule can be illustrated by our familiar sentence -The fla is not movin and the wind is not movin -& If . then the com!ound sentence is symboli<ed by gh.FAE. for the Switcheroo rule tells us that this is interchan eable with the thou ht -If a cloud is not han in over the mountain.h8a.ustifications for them& Hou can !robably .. I su!!ose.6)81S .This may not be enli htenment. but it is the best the Pro!ositional 7alculus has to offer& . an )lbanian railroad en ineer who worked in lo ic on the sidin &5 0y -interchan eable. the -9entenceIf you are studyin it.FAE.7E8T.which mi ht be s!oken. let us look at some very short . consider the sentence -Either a cloud is han in over the mountain.8a& whose inter!retation would be -It is not true that either the fla or the wind is movin -& )nd no one could deny that it is a 9ensible conclusion to draw& 'or the Switcheroo rule. the followin is meant.in fore oin rules.EE . and the resultin strin will also be a theorem& It must be ke!t in mind that the symbols _(1 and _y1 always stand for well-formed strin s of the system& 3ustifying the $ules 0efore we see these rules used inside derivations. g9)a and gh9)a are interchan eable& 4The Switcheroo rule is named after M& q& Switcheroo. is interchan eable with hg .ustify them to yourself better than my e(am!les—which is why I only ive a cou!le& The contra!ositive rule e(!resses e(!licitly a way of turnin around conditional statements which we carry out unconsciously& 'or instance. and 8 symboli<es -the wind is movin -. If an e(!ression of one form occurs as either a theorem or !art of a theorem.

let us a!!ly these rules to a !revious theorem.~. the above semisentence still sounds true.a old theorem contra!ositive double-tilde switcheroo This new theorem. or this mind is not 0uddha Ence a ain. ghhh.a. the semiinter!retation of <. sayin -If you say a word. and see what we et.a.hh. 'or instance.> would be . I will also cut off your heads&-" . says.h. are seen to be -universally true semisentences-. the inter!reted theorem. is not a sentence. the resultin sentence will be true& )nd that is the key idea of the Pro!ositional 7alculus. or not . it !roduces theorems which. when inter!reted. to inter!ret everythin but the atoms& I call this semi-inter!retin & 'or e(am!le. when one reads theorems of the Pro!ositional 7alculus out loud.& :es!ite the fact that .a g.a.. -I have two monks who have been here for many years& 6o and e(amine them&. take the theorem g. Either this mind is 0uddha. when semi-inter!reted. g. by which is meant that no matter how you com!lete the inter!retation. because you can very easily ima ine stickin any sentence in for .h.6antR !icked u! an a( and went to the hut where the two monks were meditatin & ?e raised the a(. based on a 9en kRan called -6antR1s )(-& ?ere is how it be an& Ene day Tokusan told his student 6antR. gh.—and the form of the semiinter!reted theorem assures you that however you make your choice. the final result will be a true statement& Gantō%s A8ow we can do a more advanced e(ercise. thou h !erha!s less than mind bo true& lin . is at least Semi-Inter!retations It is natural.h.laying Around 'ith the System 8ow. I will cut off your heads= and if you do not say a word.hh.

a gh. gh8hh.8agh.a g.hh.oinin :e /or an !o! once fantasy rule contra!ositive !ush !remise 4also outcome5 !o! fantasy rule switcheroo detachment 4lines BB and "$5 !o! out The !ower of the Pro!ositional 7alculus is shown in this e(am!le& 3hy. gh.-TR<an may admit them.h.8agh. -but tell me. I shall dro! my resolve to cut the kRan off= it is a true 9en kRan. in but two do<en ste!s. that the heads will be cut off2 4Eminously.re!lied 6antR.h.aa gh.8aa& 3hat if this a( threat were an a(iom? ?ere is a fantasy to answer that question& 4"5 U 4B5 4%5 4C5 4L5 4D5 4$5 4*5 4#5 4"+5 4""5 4"B5 4"%5 4"C5 4"L5 4"D5 4"$5 4"*5 4"#5 4B+5 4B"5 4BB5 4B%5 4BC5 gg.a 8 V !ush 6antR1s a(iom se!aration contra!ositive se!aration contra!ositive !ush a ain !remise carry-over of line C detachment carry-over of line D detachment 4lines * and ""5 . and -I will cut off your heads.a V gh8hg.a h.?e returned to Tokusan and related the incident& -I see your side well. the rule last invoked was -detachment-&&&5 It mi ht seem su!erfluous to continue the kRan now. and if you do not say a word. after all& The rest of the incident is here related.8a gh8h. we have deduced M.a hh. -Hou are true 9en students&. I will also cut off this kRan—because I want you to translate some of it into our notation& Aet us symboli<e -you say a word.8aa g.a V h8 gh8h. 0oth monks continued their meditation as if he had not s!oken& 6antR dro!!ed the a( and said.If you say a word I will cut off this kRan.8a gh8hh.h.h.Tokusan a reed. how is their side?. -but they should not be admitted under Tokusan&-B .hh. V gh.a8a U h. since we know what must ensue&&& ?owever..by ..by 8& Then 6antR1s a( threat is symboli<ed by the strin gg.a gh.

we have only presumed that all theorems.!oints I will now !resent those two sides as I see them. and this throws a new kind of li ht onto the core truths of the universe.EGE it& That is the cautious. they can be !roduced by one set of ty!o ra!hical rules& To !ut it another way. or 1if-then1= and so on& Fnless you are like the Tortoise. look a ain at the rules of the system& Hou will find that each rule makes a symbol act e(actly as the word it re!resents ou ht to be used& 'or instance. they are not only fundamental. the . etc&5 merit bein called the -!assive meanin s. the Pro!ositional 7alculus mi ht seem to be a waste of time. !ersonifyin their holders as -Prudenceand -Im!rudence-& &rudence. you will reco ni<e in each rule a codification of a !attern you use in your own thou ht !atterns& So if you trust your own thou ht !atterns. if it is to stand for 1im!lies1.of the symbols& Ene can look at this issue from two very different !oints of view. that would tell us that the set of theorems of the Pro!ositional 7alculus is not only r&e&.rocedure for Theorems7 The Pro!ositional 7alculus ives us a set of rules for !roducin statements which would be true in all conceivable worlds& That is why all of its theorems sound so sim!le-minded= it seems that they have absolutely no content2 Aooked at this way. En the contrary& It is E0GIEFS that all theorems will come out true& If you doubt me. thou htful way to !roceed& 3mprudence. but also recursive& It turns out that there is an interestin decision !rocedure—the method of truth tables& It would take us a bit afield to !resent it here= you can find it in almost any standard book on lo ic& )nd what about 9en kRans? 7ould there conceivably be a mechanical decision !rocedure which distin uishes enuine 9en kRans from other thin s? o >e Kno' the System Is Consistent7 F! till now.ust another way of askin whether the intended inter!retations 41and1 for 1 1.and -im!rudent. when inter!reted as indicated.:o you see my side well? ?ow is the 9en side? Is There a ecision . then you ?)GE to believe that all theorems come out true2 That1s the way I see it& I don1t need any . are true statements& 0ut do we know that that is the case? 7ould we !rove it to be? This is . since what it tells us is absolutely trivial& En the other hand. which mi ht be called the -!rudent. it does it by s!ecifyin the form of statements that are universally true. does there e(ist any mechanical method to tell nontheorems from theorems? If so. but also regular. could they all be !roduced by one set of ty!o ra!hical rules? It is quite relevant here to brin u! the question of a decision !rocedure& That is.oinin rule makes the symbol _1 act as 1and1 ou ht to act= the rule of detachment makes 1 1 act as it ou ht to. they are all -cut from the same cloth-& Hou mi ht consider whether the same could be said about 9en kRans. 3e will only @8E3 that all theorems come out true under the intended inter!retation if we mana e to P.

:oesn1t that bother you? &rudence. you reali<e that the only conceivable inter!retation for 1h1 is 1not1—and likewise. In other words. followin the rules. because MI and MI& are 8ET contradictory. etc& 3mprudence. Hou want a !roof& I uess that means that you want to be more convinced that the Pro!ositional 7alculus is consistent than you are convinced of your own sanity& )ny !roof I could think of would involve mental o!erations of a reater com!le(ity than anythin in the Pro!ositional 7alculus itself& So what would it !rove? Hour desire for a !roof of consistency of the Pro!ositional 7alculus makes me think of someone who is learnin En lish and insists on bein iven a dictionary which defines all the sim!le words in terms of com!licated ones&&& The Carroll ialogue Again This little debate shows the difficulty of tryin to use lo ic and reasonin to defend themselves& )t some !oint. or that 9 and h9 can never both be theorems& 3mprudence. also followin the rules. Ef course not& Hour e(am!le is ridiculous. come u! with a theorem—say 9& /eanwhile I. I can ima ine the followin kind of scenario& Hou. The rules themselves& 3hen you look at them. you are convinced that the rules ca!ture the meanin s of those words? &rudence. and I would wind u! in a total tan le& &rudence. then I would also have to consider whether my modes of analy<in the entire question are also wron . Ef course—in fact both MI and MI& are theorems& 3mprudence.E contradictory& 3mprudence.further !roof& If you think that some theorem comes out false. so I can1t !oint one out to you& Still. you reach rock bottom. )nd yet you are still willin to entertain the thou ht that both 9 and h9 could be theorems? 3hy not also entertain the notion that hed eho s are fro s. and you came u! with 9& 7an you force yourself to conceive of that? &rudence. and there is no defense e(ce!t loudly . 3ell.EE' that all theorems come out true. I came u! with a theorem (. Precisely& 3mprudence. yes—!rovided you wish to inter!ret 1h1 as 1not1& 0ut what would lead you to think that 1h1 should be inter!reted as 1not1? &rudence. then !resumably you think that some rule must be wron & Show me which one& &rudence. Hour ar uments are forceful&&& Het I would still like to see a P. the only conceivable inter!retation for 11 is 1and1. or that the moon is made of reen cheese? I for one am not !re!ared even to consider whether such basic in redients of my thou ht !rocesses are wron — because if I entertained that notion. whereas two strin s 9 and h9 in the Pro!ositional 7alculus ). come u! with another theorem —it ha!!ens to be h9& 7an1t you force yourself to conceive of that? 3mprudence. )ll ri ht= let1s su!!ose it ha!!ened& 3hy would it bother you? Er let me !ut it another way& Su!!ose that in !layin with the /IF-system. I1m not sure that there is any faulty rule. or that " equals B.

when unorthodo( !roofs are !ro!osed. rather. you may !ut the e inside several nested bo(es& ?owever. B.h. and the -!rovenresult will be seen not to be correct after all& 0ut that doesn1t mean that mathematicians and lo icians are constantly worryin that the whole edifice of mathematics mi ht be wron & En the other hand. if the strin g8h8a were needed at some !oint. which are not strictly !art of the system 'or instance. or e(tremely len thy !roofs. many !eo!le would !roceed as if g8h8a had been derived. a deri#ed rule. . It is !art of the knowled e which we have a(out the system& That this rule kee!s you within the s!ace of theorems needs !roof. one can never ive an ultimate. )chilles. or a !roof of a !roof of a !roof—but the validity of the outermost system always remains an un!roven assum!tion. one can ive a !roof of a !roof. the Tortoise immediately flattens into a mere strin of the system& If you use or letters A. then surely you have 2& Tortoise. don1t you? 4?int. and g. one quickly invents various ty!es of shortcut. no matter how many layers of bo(es you !ack your e in. of course —but such a !roof is not like a derivation inside the system& It is a !roof in the ordinary.shoutin . -I know I1m ri ht2. you will et a recursive !attern of lon er and strin s&5 Shortcuts and eri"ed $ules 3hen carryin out derivations in the Pro!ositional 7alculus.Ence a ain. Eh2 Hou mean. ggggABa2agABaa2a. we are u! a ainst the issue which Aewis 7arroll so shar!ly set forth in his :ialo ue. in that it always leads you to new theorems. or !roofs enerated by com!uters. since they know that its derivation is an e(act !arallel to that of g. and 2. you can1t o on defendin your !atterns of reasonin forever& There comes a !oint where faith takes over& ) system of reasonin can be com!ared to an e & )n e has a shell which !rotects its insides& If you want to shi! an e somewhere. thou h. absolute !roof that a !roof in some system is correct& Ef course. and code the various sta es of the debate into our notation—be innin with the ori inal bone of contention. acce!ted on faith& Ene can always ima ine that some unsus!ected subtlety will invalidate every sin le level of !roof down to the bottom. If you have ggABa2a. then !eo!le do sto! to think a bit about what they really mean by that quasi-sacred word -!roven-& )n e(cellent e(ercise for you at this !oint would be to o back 7arroll :ialo ue. but it is not a rule of the Pro!ositional 7alculus as we !resented it& It is. you don1t rely on the shell& Hou !ack the e in some sort of container.h. you can ima ine some cataclysm which could break the e & 0ut that doesn1t mean that you1ll never risk trans!ortin your e & Similarly. chosen accordin to how rou h you e(!ect the e 1s voya e to be& To be e(tra careful. 3hatever )chilles considers a rule of inference.a& The derived theorem is treated as a -theorem schema-— a mold for other theorems& This turns out to be a !erfect valid !rocedure. and you also have gABa.a had been derived earlier.

since derived rules are derived informally—outside the system& 8ow formal systems were !ro!osed as a way to e(hibit every ste! of a !roof e(!licitly. note the !eculiar ca!itali<ation in the !hrase -Theorems about theorems-& It is a consequence of our convention. there is a :e /or an1s . and thinkin a(out the system would be .inside itself& 3e will find that there are theories which can -think about themselves-& In fact. there is an alternative way out& 3hy not formali<e the metatheory.intuitive sense—a chain of reasonin carried out in the I-mode& The theory about the Pro!ositional 7alculus is a -metatheory-. outside the system. theorems of the formali<ed metatheory—which could then be used to s!eed u! the derivations of theorems of the Pro!ositional 7alculus& This is an interestin idea. it could s!eed u! many derivations considerably& 0ut if we pro#e that it is correct. isn1t that ood enou h? 7an1t we use it . !erceive it differently from the way it !erceives itself& So there still is a metatheory—a view from outside—even for a theory which can -think about itself. and so on& It is clear that no matter how many levels you formali<e. without our even intendin it2 )nd we will see what kinds of effects this !roduces& 0ut for our study of the Pro!ositional 7alculus.ule. or derived rules of inference& 'or instance. all levels would colla!se into one. but as soon as it is su ested. and results in it can be called -metatheorems-—Theorems about theorems& 4Incidentally. we will stick with the sim!lest ideas—no mi(in of levels& . metatheorems are Theorems 4!roven results5 concernin theorems 4derivable strin s5&5 In the Pro!ositional 7alculus. it mi ht seem. from then on? There is no reason to doubt the correctness of this !articular derived rule& 0ut once you start admittin derived rules as !art of your !rocedure in the Pro!ositional 7alculus.ust like a rule of inference. someone will eventually want to make shortcuts in the to! level& It mi ht even be su ested that a theory of reasonin could be identical to its own metatheory. if it were worked out carefully& Then. so that any mathematician could check another1s work mechanically& 0ut if you are willin to ste! outside of that framework at the dro! of a hat.um!s ahead to think of metametatheories. and it would be le itimate to look for shortcuts and derive them as theorems-that is. we will soon see a system in which this ha!!ens com!letely accidentally. too? That way. you mi ht as well never have created it at all& Therefore. one could discover many metatheorems. you have lost the formality of the system.ust one way of workin in the system2 0ut it is not that easy& Even if a system can -think about itself-. within one sin le. it still is not outside itself& Hou. there is a drawback to usin such shortcuts& +ormali:ing /igher Le"els En the other hand. gh9h)a and hg9)a are interchan eable& If this were a rule of the system. derived rules 4metatheorems5 would be theorems of a lar er formal system. ri id framework. one .

h. and its !ur!ose is to reach the same oal but via a lo ical structure whose methods are not only all e(!licit.in com!lementary senses of the word& The !roof is sim!le in that each ste! sounds ri ht-. one may wonder if they can be defended lo ically& That is really what formali<ation is for& ) deri#ation is an artificial counter!art of a !roof. where the Pro!ositional 7alculus is incor!orated lock. the version of the Pro!ositional 7alculus here !resented is related to one invented by 6& 6ent<en in the early "#%+1s& The other versions in which only one rule of inference is used—detachment usually—and in which there are several a(ioms. a(ioms or a(iom schemata and so on& 4Incidentally.roofs #s! eri"ations The Pro!ositional 7alculus is very much like reasonin in some ways. since g. it is a dan erous !ractice to assume that symbols can be sli!!ed back and forth between different levels—here. or a(iom schemata&5 The study of ways to carry out !ro!ositional reasonin in ele ant formal systems is an a!!ealin branch of !ure mathematics& 4B5 The Pro!ositional 7alculus can easily be e(tended to include other fundamental as!ects of reasonin & Some of this will be shown in the ne(t 7ha!ter. or h. and they are very sim!le. em!loyin different symbols. and. the lan ua e of the formal system and its metalan ua e 4En lish5& $eflections on the Strengths and >ea. must be a theorem& 0ut this is dead wron . for human consum!tion& )ll sorts of com!le( features of thou ht may be used in !roofs.nesses of the System Hou have now seen one e(am!le of a system with a !ur!ose—to re!resent !art of the architecture of lo ical thou ht& The conce!ts which this handles are very few in number.a 4whose semi-inter!retation is -either . it mi ht seem !erfectly reasonable to assume that. that is . e(actly as eometry studies sim!le. ri id sha!es& Gariants can be made on it. either . but one should not equate its rules with the rules of human thou ht& ) proof is somethin informal.ust too bad& It is the !rice one !ays for makin each ste! so sim!le& 3hat often ha!!ens is that a derivation and a !roof are -sim!le.'allacies can result if you fail to distin uish carefully between workin in the system 4the /-mode5 and thinkin about the system 4the I-mode5& 'or e(am!le.-5 is a theorem.!roof. stock and barrel into a much lar er and dee!er system in which so!histicated numbertheoretical reasonin can be done& . rules of inference. even thou h one may not know . and . thou h they may -feel ri ht-. written in a human lan ua e. or not .ust why= the derivation is sim!le in that each of its myriad ste!s is considered so trivial that it is beyond re!roach. neither one of the latter !air is a theorem& In eneral. but also very sim!le& If—and this is usually the case—it ha!!ens that a formal derivation is e(tremely len thy com!ared with the corres!ondin -natural. or in other words a !roduct of normal thou ht. !recise conce!ts& 0ut the sim!licity and !recision of the Pro!ositional 7alculus are e(actly the kinds of features which make it a!!ealin to mathematicians& There are two reasons for this& 4"5 It can be studied for its own !ro!erties.

h. have much fle(ibility or enerality& It is intended only for use in connection with mathematical conce!ts—which are themselves quite ri id& )s a rather interestin e(am!le of this.a gh. however. we can loosely take the theorem to say that -'rom a contradiction. to ether im!ly 8 Since 8 is inter!retable by any statement. which makes them almost im!ossible to ras!& Thus. however. it is their astronomical si<e.a& )t least its semi-inter!retation is !eculiar& The Pro!ositional 7alculus.h.8a 8 !ush !remise se!aration se!aration !ush !remise carry-over line % double-tilde !o! fantasy contra!ositive detachment 4Aines C. 4"5 4B5 4%5 4C5 4L5 4D5 4$5 4*5 4#5 4"+5 4""5 4"B5 4"%5 4"C5 U g. human lan ua e—and in the case of derivations. V gh8hh.ust mani!ulates strin s ty!o ra!hically— and ty!o ra!hically. the Pro!ositional 7alculus should be thou ht of as !art of a eneral method for synthesi<in artificial !roof-like structures& It does not.since the whole derivation consists .h. and not . there is really nothin !eculiar about this strin & ?ere is a fantasy with this strin as its !remise. hh. anythin follows-2 Thus. a8a 8ow this theorem has a very stran e semi-inter!retation. h.a .ust of such trivial ste!s it is su!!osedly error-free& Each ty!e of sim!licity. contradictions cannot be contained= they infect the whole system like an instantaneous lobal cancer& .""5 !o! fantasy V gg. let us make a derivation in which a very !eculiar strin is taken as a !remise in a fantasy. however. U h8 . g. does not think about semi-inter!retations= it . it is the com!le(ity of the underlyin system on which they rest—namely. . in systems based on the Pro!ositional 7alculus. brin s alon a characteristic ty!e of com!le(ity& In the case of !roofs.

dee!er theory about infinite series& ) more relevant e(am!le is the contradiction ri ht now confrontin us—namely the discre!ancy between the way we really think. and much creative effort has one into tryin to !atch u! the Pro!ositional 7alculus so that it would not act so stu!idly and infle(ibly& Ene attem!t.or source of clarification and !ro ress in all domains of life—and mathematics is no e(ce!tion& 3hen in times !ast. !ut forth in the book Entailment by )& . to .% involves -relevant im!lication-. and the way the Pro!ositional 7alculus imitates us& This has been a source of discomfort for many lo icians. which tries to make the symbol for -if-then. but in the end it would yield fruit& 'or instance.The /andling of Contradictions This does not sound much like human thou ht& If you found a contradiction in your own thou hts.reflect enuine causality. I uess that shows that I believe everythin now2. -relevant im!lication.h.aa gg.to equal +. and that would block the derivation of the gg.g8h.um! out of it.aa They. ". a8a . the value of the infinite series " Y " ^ " Y " ^ " -&&& was hotly dis!uted& It was -!roven. it1s very unlikely that your whole mentality would break down& Instead. i.& )nderson and 8& 0elna!. yes— but not seriously& Indeed.)s a . and to amend it& .a8a gg. it says that -somethin can only be derived from somethin else if they have to do with each other-& 'or e(am!le.ather than weakenin mathematics. in the /iddle ) es.h. or at least connect meanin s& 7onsider the followin theorems of the Pro!ositional 7alculus. and try to re!air them& Ene of the least likely thin s for you to do would be to throw u! your arms and cry. and !erha!s other values& Eut of such controversial findin s came a fuller. g. to the e(tent you could. to reason about it. and many others like them.aa g.!uts certain restrictions on the conte(ts in which the rules of inference can be a!!lied& Intuitively.g8. a contradiction in mathematics was found. all show that there need be no relationshi! at all between the first and second clauses of an if-then statement for it to be !rovable within the Pro!ositional 7alculus& In !rotest. the discovery and re!air of a contradiction would stren then it& This mi ht take time and a number of false starts. you would !robably be in to question the beliefs or modes of reasonin which you felt had led to the contradictory thou hts& In other words. you would ste! out of the systems inside you which you felt were res!onsible for the contradiction. contradiction is a ma. mathematicians would immediately seek to !in!oint the system res!onsible for it.8ag8. line "+ in the derivation iven above would not be allowed in such a system.oke. -3ell.

it !rovides valid !ro!ositional inferences—all that can be made& So if ever an incom!leteness or an inconsistency is uncovered. one can be sure that it will be the fault of the lar er system. then the Pro!ositional 7alculus does all that one could ho!e. and if one is sure that the lar er system contains no contradictions 4and we will be5./ore radical attem!ts abandon com!letely the quest for com!leteness or consistency. and not of its subsystem which is the Pro!ositional 7alculus& 73G5=E DF& -7rab 7anon-. and try to mimic human reasonin with all its inconsistencies& Such research no lon er has as its oal to !rovide a solid under!innin for mathematics. but !urely to study human thou ht !rocesses& :es!ite its quirks. () '! 8! Escher XBIJG/ . the Pro!ositional 7alculus has some features to recommend itself& If one embeds it into a lar er system 4as we will do ne(t 7ha!ter5.

if I1m a day& I mosey on u! to the cha!. /& 7& Escher. I would crab u! a storm.Crab Canon *chilles and the Tortoise happen upon each other in the park one da) while strolling! Tortoise. sayin . Tell me. Incidentally. That echoes my thou hts& Tortoise. smack in the eye2 3ere it in my nature. in this case& 0ut s!eakin of taste. )nd it1s a !erfect day for a walk& I think I1ll be walkin home soon& *chilles.ust idly loafin about the !ark when u! lumbers this iant fellow from 3arsaw—a colossal bear of a man— !layin a lute& ?e was three meters tall. 6ood day. Eh. not a wit—and PE32—he lets loose and belts me one. /r& )& *chilles. I disa ree.0ut wow2 he had no sense of humor—not a bit. -Pardon me. well. it1s all the same to me& *chilles. To be !recise. 8ot at all& ?ere. 'iddle& It makes a bi difference. don1t you !lay the uitar? *chilles. Eh. and I fully a!!reciate the beauty and in enuity with which he made one sin le theme mesh with itself oin both backwards and forwards& 0ut I am afraid I will always feel 0ach is su!erior to Escher& *chilles. wanders up e9citedl). we move backwards& It1s in our enes. sir. really? I uess there1s nothin better for you than walkin & Tortoise. this lum!? 6iven to me by a rum!& ?o2 )nd on such a fine day& Hou see. in a allery the other day. ?allo2 ?ulloo2 3hat1s u!? 3hat1s new? Hou see this bum!. I backed off& )fter all. what1s it like to be your a e? Is it true that one has no worries at all? *chilles. reach skyward and mana e to ta! him on the knee. pointing to a rather prominent (lack e)e!/ 8ra(. the :utch contributions are of markedly inferior taste. turnin round and round& That reminds me—I1ve always . you know& Tortoise. you are such a !hilistine& In this area. Thank you very much& Tortoise. That1s my ood friend& ?e often !lays. but in the time-honored tradition of my s!ecies. So nice to run into you& *chilles. you know. Say. the 8ra(. I finally saw that 7rab 7anon by your favorite artist. one has no frets& Tortoise. same to you& Tortoise. but you are Pole-lutin our !ark with your ma<urkas&. when we walk forwards.e gusti(us non est disputandum& Tortoise. don1t you think? Tortoise. the fool& 0ut I myself wouldn1t touch a uitar with a ten-foot !ole2 -uddenl). 3hy. I don1t know& 0ut one thin for certain is that I don1t worry about ar uments of taste& . Eh. appearing from out of nowhere. I was . I must say& *chilles. care for one of my ci ars? *chilles. you1re lookin in very fine fettle these days.

turning round and round! >hen the two . or the 6ene?. such segments of . 'iddle& It makes a bi difference. That1s my ood friend& ?e often !lays the fool& 0ut I myself wouldn1t touch a ten-foot Pole with a uitar2 *chilles. one has no frets& *chilles. don1t you !lay the uitar? Tortoise. you know& *chilles. after all& 3hen we walk backwards. -3hich came first—the 7rab. it1s all the same to me& Tortoise. onl) one goes forwards while the other goes (ackwards This is the defining propert) of the form called "cra( canon" in music! 3t is reminiscent of. we move forwards& )h me.ere is a short section one of the 8ra('s Genes. a palindrome.ialogue's structure! +ook carefull)A .for the life of a 7rab2 T)T)2 .Ele2 *nd he disappears as suddenl) as he arri#ed!/ Tortoise. Say.I1m always turnin thin s round and round.N* segment cra(%canonicalO(ut moreo#er its (ase se"uence codes for the .N* strands are unra#eled and laid out side () side. you know& It1s in our enes. or the 7rab?. since "cra( canon" would (e more accurate! Not onl) is this .isputandum non est de gusti(us! 73G5=E DH! . well. which is a sentence that reads the same (ackwards and forwards! 3n molecular (iolog). the) read this wa): &&& TTTTTTTTT76)))))))))&&& &&& )))))))67TTTTTTTTTT&&& Notice that the) are the same. Tell me. oh my2 I must lo!e alon on my merry way—so off I o on such a fine day& Sin -ho2.That is to say.wondered. what1s it like to be your a e? Is it true that one has no worries at all? Tortoise. though a little different from.N* are called "palindromes "Oa slight misnomer. -3hich came last the 6ene. I don1t know& 0ut one thin for certain is that I don1t worry about ar uments of taste& . Eh. To be !recise.

in a concert other day. )nd it1s a !erfect day for a walk& I think I1ll be walkin home soon& Tortoise. Eh. I finally heard that 8ra( 8anon by your favorite com!oser. care for one of my ci ars? Tortoise. and I fully a!!reciate the beauty and in enuity with which he made one sin le theme mesh with itself oin both backwards and forwards& 0ut I1m afraid I will always feel Escher is su!erior to 0ach& Tortoise. in this case& 0ut s!eakin of taste. 3hy. So nice to run into you& Tortoise. I must say& 73G5=E DH! 7rab 7anon from the /usical Efferin () ?! -! Bach! U'usic printed () . Incidentally. same to you& *chilles. I disa ree. don1t you think? *chilles. That echoes my thou hts& *chilles. you are such a !hilistine& In this area. 8ot at all& ?ere. 6ood day. the :utch contributions are of markedly inferior taste.*chilles. Eh. really? I uess there1s nothin better for you than walkin & *chilles.onald B)rd's program "-'5T"Y Tortoise. you1re lookin in very fine fettle these days. J& S& 0ach. Thank you very much& *chilles. /r& T& .

the form of strin s can be described in the formal system itself& Aet us acquaint ourselves with this stran e system with the ca!acity for wra!!in around& >hat >e >ant to Be Able to E-!ress in T. when used. but not on another& To see the self-reference. as well as the content.C/A.will refer only to !ro!erties of !ositive inte ers and <ero 4and sets of such inte ers5& These numbers are called the natural num(ers& 8e ative numbers !lay no role in this theory& Thus the word -number-. of strin s of the formal system we shall define in this 7ha!ter T)pographical Num(er Theor) 4T8T5& The une(!ected twist is that. the 7rab describes a biolo ical structure and that. of the :ialo ue& 6>del1s construction de!ends on describin the form. has the same !ro!erty& Ef course. the author. has the form of a crab canon& This would be understandin it on one level. quite accidentally. those creations ha!!en to have the same structure as the :ialo ue they1re in& 4Ima ine my sur!rise. noticed this25 )lso. 4"5 4B5 4%5 4C5 4L5 4D5 L is !rime& B is not a square& "$B# is a sum of two cubes& 8o sum of two !ositive cubes is itself a cube& There are infinitely many !rime numbers& D is even& . because of the subtle ma!!in which 6>del discovered. will mean e(clusively a natural number& )nd it is im!ortant—vital—for you to kee! se!arate in your mind the formal system 4T8T5 and the rather ill-defined but comfortable old branch of mathematics that is number theory itself= this I shall call -8-& Some ty!ical sentences of 8—number theory—are.EE ET)/PAES E' indirect self-reference are found in the 7rab 7anon& )chilles and the Tortoise both describe artistic creations they know—and. too. one could read the :ialo ue and understand it and somehow fail to notice that it.T 3e1ll be in by citin some ty!ical sentences belon in to number theory= then we will try to find a set of basic notions in terms of which all our sentences can be re!hrased& Those notions will then be iven individual symbols& Incidentally. as well as the content.umber Theory The 8ra( 8anon and Indirect Self-$eference T?. one has to look at the form. too. when I.TE$ 4III Ty!ogra!hical . it should be stated at the outset that the term -number theory.

& & /ost of these will be ranted individual symbols& )n e(ce!tion is . which can be further reduced& In fact. such that b equals c times d& 4D15 There e(ists a number e such that B times e equals D& This analysis has otten us a lon ways towards the basic elements of lan ua e of number theory& It is clear that a few !hrases rea!!ear over a over. such that b times b equals B& 4%15 There e(ist numbers b and c such that b times b times b. B. the sentence -a is reater than b.becomes there e(ists a number c. !lus c times c times c. reater than +. for all numbers b there e(ists a number b.or -cubeor -!ositive-—but those notions are really not !rimitive& Primeness. reater than a. which in turn has to do with multi!lication& 7ubeness as well is defined in terms of multi!lication& Aet us re!hrase the sentences. there e(ists a number b. both reater than ". with the !ro!erty that there do not e(ist numbers c and d. in terms of what seem to be more elementary notions& 4"15 There do not e(ist numbers a and b.8ow it may seem that we will need a symbol for each notion such as -!rime. such that reater than equals times !lus +. ". such that L equals a times b& 4B15 There does not e(ist a number b. equals "$B#& 4C15 'or all numbers b and c. then. there is no number a such that a times a times a equals b times b times b !lus c times c times c& 4L15 'or each number a. both reater than ".reater than-. for instance. such that a equals b !lus c& . has to do with the factors which a number has. not equal to +.

1 -—read -!rime-—is not to be confused with !rime numbers25 'or instance. for instance. and e. etc& The symbol S has an inter!retation—-the successor of-& ?ence.version of T8T—austere in the sense that it is a little harder to deci!her com!le( formulas& 0ut for now we1ll be lu(urious& 8ow what about addition and multi!lication? Gery sim!le. e d1 c11 b111 a1111 are all #aria(les& In a way it is a lu(ury to use the first five letters of the al!habet when we could et away with . Ef course the symbol . one. <ero. or variable.ust a and the !rime& Aater on. numbers& 'or that. two. d.. the inter!retation of SS? is literally -the successor of the successor of <ero-& Strin s of this form are called numerals! ? S? SS? SSS? 4ariables and Terms 7learly. we use the strin s . uniform way of ivin a com!ound symbol to each natural number—very much as we did in the !q-system& ?ere is notation for natural numbers. . b.umerals 3e will not have a distinct symbol for each natural number& Instead. we need a way of referrin to uns!ecified. c. we will have a very sim!le. we will use the ordinary symbols 1^1 and 1j1& ?owever. we will also introduce a !arenthesi<in requirement 4we are now slowly sli!!in into the rules which define well-formed strin s of T8T5& To write -b !lus c. three. e& 0ut five will not be enou h& 3e need an unlimited su!!ly of them.ust as we had of atoms in the Pro!ositional 7alculus& 3e will use a similar method for makin more variables. which will result in a sort of -austere. tackin on any number of !rimes& 48ote. d. we will use the letters a. I will actually dro! b. c.and -b times c-.

B !lus B is not equal to %. I distin uished between the everyday word and the formal term by ca!itali<in the formal term. The 1and1 in the !hrase -" and " make B. they unite !recisely two numbers. a PEI8T was the union of two ordinary !oints& ?ere. such as S?XSS? or 4S?jS?5 8ow. in elli!tical eometry. and they retain their inter!retations& The role of atoms will be !layed by strin s which. 4SS?^SSS?5XSSSS? h4SS?^SS?5XSSS? gS?X??XS?a The first of these strin s is an atom= the rest are com!ound formulas 43arnin . thus. and must be re!resented by 1^1 4and the requisite !arentheses5&5 . but it acts isomor!hically to %. addition and multi!lication are always to be thou ht of as (inar) o!erations —that is.4b^c5 4bjc5 There is no la(ness about such !arentheses= to violate the convention is to !roduce a nonwell-formed formula& 4-'ormula-? I use the term instead of -strin . never three or more& ?ence. one may blur the distinction between the familiar meanin and the strictly rule.ro!ositional Symbols )ll the symbols of the Pro!ositional 7alculus e(ce!t the letters used makin atoms 4 . then + equals ".is . easy le ibility& The disadvanta e is very much like the disadvanta e of usin the words -!oint. B !lus % equals C.in a formal treatment of eometry. when inter!reted. at least in the conte(t of additions& Similar remarks o for the strin SSS?& Atoms and . with reference to the !q-system. if you wish to translate -" !lus B !lus %-. unless one is very conscious and careful. and $5 will be used in T8T.because it is conventional to do so& ) formula is no more and no less than a strin of T8T&5 Incidentally. the strin --. 4S?^4SS?^SSS?55 44S?^SS?5^SSS?5 The ne(t notion we1ll symboli<e is e"uals& That is very sim!le. we use 1 X 1& The advanta e of takin over the standard symbol used in 8—nonformal number theory—is obvious. If " equals +. we have the equi!ment to do a fair amount of translation of sim!le sentences into the notation of T8T.and -line.is not the number %. you have to decide which of the followin two e(!ressions you want. there is no such distinction= hence mental effort is needed not to confuse a symbol with all of the associations it is laden with& )s I said earlier.. 8.ust another word for 1!lus1.overned behavior of the formal symbol& In discussin eometry. are statements of equality.

b !lus " equals B& 7learly this is false& 3e now introduce symbols for both of these "uantifiers& These sentences are translated into T8T-notation as follows. and the variable b is called a free #aria(le& Ene way of chan in an o!en formula into a closed formula. and the second one is a uni#ersal assertion& They would mean the same thin .4b^S?5XSS? 41Ǝ1 stands for 1e(ists1&5 "b. Ǝc.4bjb5XSS? 4o!en5 4closed= a sentence of T8T5 The first one e(!resses a propert) which mi ht be !ossessed by some natural number& Ef course. no natural number has that !ro!erty& )nd that is !recisely what is e(!ressed by . such as this one 4b^S?5XSS? Its inter!retation is -b !lus " equals B-& Since b is uns!ecified. however. there is way to assi n a truth value to the statement& It is like an out-of-conte(t statement with a !ronoun. you et the sentence 'or all numbers b. or the !hrase -for all numbers b-& In the first instance. or sentence.4b^S?5XSS? 41"1 stands for 1all1&5 It is very im!ortant to note that these statements are no lon er about uns!ecified numbers= the first one is an assertion of e(istence. 4bjb5XSS? ~Ǝb. such a formula is called open. you et the sentence There e(ists a number b such that b !lus " equals B& 7learly this is true& In the second instance.4c^S?5XSS? ) variable which is under the dominion of a quantifier is called a "uantified #aria(le& The followin two formulas illustrate the difference between free variables and quantified variables. is by !refi(in it with a "uantifierOeither the !hrase -there e(ists a number b such that&&& -. Ǝ b.+ree 4ariables and 8uantifiers )ll the well-formed formulas above have the !ro!erty that their inter!retations are sentences which are either true or false& There are. well-formed formulas which do not have that !ro!erty. even if written with c instead of b.4c^S?5XSS? "c. such as -she is clumsy-& It is neither true nor false= it is waitin for you to !ut it into a conte(t& 0ecause it is neither true nor false.

one would et a succession of forms most of which would e(!ress falsehoods& ?ere is another e(am!le of difference between o!en formulas and sentences. "b. and work their translations into T8T& 0y the way. which e(!resses a propert).ect 4or a sentence whose sub.ect is an out-of-conte(t !ronoun5& 'or instance. the commutativity of addition& En the other hand. 4S?^S?5Xb is like sayin -" !lus " equals so-and-so-& This is a !redicate in the variable b& It e(!resses a !ro!erty which the number b mi ht have& If one were to substitute various numerals for b.ect-. which e(!resses a truth or falsit)& The En lish translation of a formula with at least one free variable—an o!en formula—is called a predicate& It is a sentence without a sub. since b is free& It e(!resses a !ro!erty which uns!ecified number b mi ht or mi ht not have—namely of commutin with all numbers c& Translating 0ur Sam!le Sentences This com!letes the vocabulary with which we will e(!ress all number-theoretical statements2 It takes considerable !ractice to et the han of e(!ressin com!licated statements of 8 in this notation.4b^c5X4c^b5 The above formula is a sentence re!resentin ."c. and a strin where the variable is "uantified.ect-would be an anomaly-runs backwards and forwards simultaneously-im!rovised a si(-!art fu ue on demandare nonarithmetical !redicates& They e(!ress properties which s!ecific entities mi ht or mi ht not !ossess& Ene could as well stick on a -dummy sub. of course. and conversely of fi urin out the meanin of wellformed formulas& 'or this reason we return to the si( sam!le sentences iven at the be innin . such as -so-and-so-& ) strin with free variables is like a !redicate with -so-and-so.ect& 'or instance.as its sub.the second one& It is very crucial to understand this difference between a strin with a free #aria(le.4b^c5X4c^b5 is an o!en formula. "c. don1t think that the translations iven below are unique—far from it& There are many—infinitely many— ways to e(!ress each one& . -is a sentence without a sub.

since. they are conce!tually equivalent—but to T8T. the fact that --!-q--. Ǝe. -It is not the case that there e(ists a number b with the !ro!erty that b1s square is B-. not structural !ro!erties of formulas&5 3e can dis!ense with sentence B.are quite different strin s. ~Ǝb.Aet us be in with the last one. it is not the case that b1s square is B&. -"$B# is a sum of two cubes&.strin -!--q--. as humans. Ǝe.4SS?je5XSSSSSS? 8ote the necessity of the quantifier= it sim!ly would not do to write 4SS?je5XSSSSSS? alone& This strin 1s inter!retation is of course neither true nor false= it e(!resses a !ro!erty which the number e mi ht have& It is curious that. once a ain. one after the other.SSSSSS?X4SS?je5 8ow these three translations of -D is even. almost immediately. we almost automatically think about inter!retations.was a theorem& The equivalence lies in our minds. we mi ht have chosen to write the sides of the equation in the o!!osite order. while the second way says. since we know multi!lication is commutative mi ht easily have written Ǝe.4ejSS?5XSSSSSS? instead& Er.4bjb5XSS? ?owever. to us.Ence a ain.was a theorem had very little to do with the fact that its -equivalent. -D is even-& This we re!hrased in to of more !rimitive notions as -There e(ists a number e such that B times e equals D-& This one is easy. and it is by no means obvious that theoremhood of any one of them is tied to theoremhood of any of the others& 4Similarly.h4bjb5 XSS? The first way says. as follows. . -'or all numbers b. knowin that equality is a symmetrical relation. -B is not a square-.This one will involve two e(istential quantifiers. they are distinct strin s& Aet us !roceed to sentence %. we find an ambi uity& 3hat if we had chosen to write it this way? "b.

etc& ?owever.SSSSSSS&SSSS?X444bjb5jb5^44cjc5jc55 There are alternatives alore& . ~Ǝb. I !refer the followin two translations of the sentence. -8o sum of two !ositive cubes is itself a cube-& Su!!ose that we wished merely to state that $ is not a sum of two !ositive cubes& The easiest way to do this is by negating the formula which asserts that $ is a sum of two !ositive cubes& This will be . since the smallest value which either b or c can take on is <ero& ?ence the ri ht-hand side re!resents a sum of two !ositive cubes& Incidentally. as follows.444SSSSSSSSSS?jSSSSSSSSSS?5&SSSSSSSSSS?5^ 44SSSSSSSSS?jSSSSSSSSS?5jSSSSSSSSS?55X444bjb5jb5^44cjc5jc55 and Ǝb.Ǝc.oinin two quantifiers& 8ow that we have translated -$ is a sum of two !ositive cubes-. even thou h the desired !hrase runs -There do not e(ist numbers b and c such that&&&-&5 Thus we et.SSSSSSS?X444SbjSb5jSb5^44ScjSc5-Sc55 Hou see.Ǝc. does not involve the symbol 1 n1 which stands for _and1& That symbol is used for connectin entire well-formed strin s.everse the order of the quantifiers= switch the sides of the equation= chan e the variables to d and e= reverse the addition= write the multi!lications differently= etc&. we are cubin not b and c. Ǝb. but their successors.Ǝc. we wish to ne ate it& That sim!ly involves !refi(in the whole thin by a sin le tilde& 48ote.444SSSSSSSSSSSS?&SSSSSSSSSSSS?5&SSSSSSSSSSSS?5^ 44S?jS?5jS?55X444bjb5jb5^44cjc5jc55 :o you see why? 8ow let us tackle the related sentence C. !refi( variables with the symbol S. when translated.SSSSSSS?X444SbjSb@jSb5^44ScjSc5jSc55 b BCFI of them Tric.Ǝb.Ǝc. notice that the !hrase -there e(ist numbers b and c such thatS&&-. which must be !ositive. Ǝb. not for .ust like the !recedin sentence involvin "$B#.s of the Trade . you should not ne ate each quantifier. e(ce!t that we have to add in the !roviso of the cubes bein !ositive& 3e can do this with a trick.Ǝc.

but there is a shorter way to write it—namely.can be written SSc& 8ow.instead of c. and the formula would become. when au mented by B.Ǝc. Ǝb.SSSSS?X4SSbjSSc5 3ithout the initial tilde.Ǝc. -There do not e(ist numbers a and b such that L equals a !lus B. the most economical way would be to re!lace the numeral for L by the strin 4d+Se5.Ǝc. resultin in an assertion that L is !rime& If we wanted to assert that d !lus e !lus ". as follows.44aja5ja5X444SbjSb5jSb5^44Sc-Sc5-Sc55 )t this sta e. we are in !ossession of an open formula. such equals a times b-& 3e can sli htly modify it. have a !roduct equal to L& 3ith the tilde in front.Ǝb. let us re!lace the numeral SSSSSSS? by the 44aja5ja5. this is an adequate way to say the same thin & 8ow . we could use a1 instead of b.hƎb.ust !refi( the whole thin with a universal quantifier "a. that whole statement is denied. -L is !rime-? 3e had reworded it in this way -There do not e(ist numbers a and b. Ǝb. Ǝa1.44aja5ja5X444SbjSb5jSb5^44ScjSc5jSc55 In austere T8T. our translation is e(tremely concise. ~~Ǝa. Ǝc.44aja5ja5 X444Sa1jSa15jSa15 ^44Sa%%jSa%%5jSa%%55 3hat about sentence ".4d^Se5X4SSbjSSc5 . both reater than ".could be translated into 4b ^ SS?5. -c !lus B.8ow our ori inal oal was to assert this !ro!erty not of the number of all cubes& Therefore. rather than L. SSb& Aikewise. it would be an assertion that two natural numbers do e(ist. Ǝa-. ~~Ǝa. Ǝb. and a.44aja5ja5X444SbjSb5jSb5 ^44Sc-Sc5-Sc55 )n equally ood translation would be this.b !lus B. which is the translation of -a cubed-. is !rime. since a is still free& This formula e(!resses a !ro!erty which a number a mi ht or mi ht not have—and it is our !ur!ose to assert that all numbers do have that !ro!erty& That is sim!le—. times b !lus B-& This is another trick—since a and b are restricted to natural number values. which. Ǝc.

fi ure out what addin a sin le quantifier or a tilde does= then move leftwards. the way to tackle this e(ercise is to move leftwards& 'irst.h"c.hƎb. There e(ists a number which is reater than d and which is !rime& Ǝe.Ǝc. and do the same&5 h"c. Ǝb.4SS?jb5Xc Ǝb.u::les for =ou This com!letes the e(ercise of translatin all si( ty!ical number-theoretical sentences& ?owever. we will have a formula which asserts that. translate the atom= ne(t.4SS?jb5Xc "c.h4SS?jb5Xc hƎb. no matter what d is& The way to do that is to universally quantify over the variable d.Ence a ain.h"c. and which ones are false? 4?int. all we have left to do now is to assert that this !ro!erty actually obtains. it does not necessarily make you an e(!ert in the notation of T8T& There are still some tricky issues to be mastered& The followin si( well-formed formulas will test your understandin of T8T notation& 3hat do they mean? 3hich ones are true 4under inter!retation. addin another quantifier or tilde= then move leftwards a ain.4d^Se5X4SSbjSSc5 3ell. one whose inter!retation is neither a true nor a false sentence. or four false and two true&5 . d and e& 8otice that the number re!resented by the strin 4 d+Se5 is necessarily reater than d.4SS?jb5Xc Ǝb.4SS?jb5Xc "c. but . of course5. Ǝb. since one has added to d an uns!ecified but definitely !ositive amount& Therefore. if we e(istentially quantify over the variable e.Ǝc.4d^Se5X4SSbjSSc5 That1s the translation of sentence L2 Translation .hƎb. an o!en formula."c.Ǝe. Either four of them are true and two false. "d.hƎb.ust an assertion about two uns!ecified numbers.h4SS?jb5Xc 4Second hint.

/o' to istinguish True from +alse7 )t this . none of these five symbols is itself a symbol of T8T& 8F/E.uncture. and 1u' to stand for other kinds of T8T-strin s& 8eedless to say. and terms& Those three classes of strin s are in redients of well-formed formulas. I use 191 and 1)1 to stand for well-formed formulas.ules of 'ormation for well-formed formulas This is !rovided below& There are some !reliminary sta es. but no content& )nd this system would be like a sieve throu h which could !ass only desi ns with a s!ecial style—the -style of truth-& If you yourself have one throu h the si( formulas above. 1t'. definin numerals. workin over hundreds of years& Just think what a cou! it would be to have a ty!o ra!hical method which was uaranteed to !lace any formula on the !ro!er side of the border2 The $ules of >ell-+ormedness It is useful to have a table of . that could do the same thin —but ty!o ra!hically2 The boundary se!aratin the set of true statements from the set of false statements 4as written in the T8T-notation5 is anythin but strai ht= it is a boundary with many treacherous curves 4recall 'i & "*5. and 1 s1. in that they take as in!ut an item of a iven class and !roduce a lon er item of the class& In this table. a boundary of which mathematicians have delineated stretches.)AS& ? is a numeral& ) numeral !receded by S is also a numeral& E9amples: ? S? SS? SSS? SSSS? SSSSS? . but are not in themselves well-formed& The smallest well-formed formulas are the atoms= then there are ways of com!oundin atoms& /any of these rules are recursive len thenin rules. and have se!arated the true from the false by thinkin about meanin . you will a!!reciate the subtlety that any system would have to have. here and there. #aria(les. it is worthwhile !ausin for breath and contem!latin what it would mean to have a formal system that could sift out the true ones from the false ones& This system would treat all these strin s—which look like statements—as desi ns havin form.

9 and "u. so are b. and 9 is a well-formed formula in which u is free then the followin strin s are well-formed formulas. g (ya.4b^b5Xca The quantification status of a variable doesn1t chan e here& MF)8TI'I7)TIE8S& If u is a variable.G).4b^b5Xc hƎc.I)0AES& a is a variable& If we1re not bein austere. Ǝu.ScXd . then the followin are all well-formed formulas. g?X?h?X?a gbXbhƎc.cXba "c. "b.9& E9amples.hƎb.cXba gS?X?"c. hS?X? hƎb. c.hƎb. g (ya& E9amples.gbXbhƎc. ? b SSa1 4S?j4SS?^c55 S4Saj4SbjSc55 TE.d-1 e-TE. ? 4S?^S?5 SS44SS?jSS?5^4S?jS?55 4B5 I8:E'I8ITE terms& These contain variables& E9amples. b Sa 4b^S?5 444S?^S?5^S?5^e5 The above rules tell how to make parts of well-formed formulas= the remainin rules tell how to make complete well-formed formulas& )TE/S& If s and t are terms. and !rovided that no variable which is free in one is quantified in the other./S& )ll numerals and variables are terms& ) term !receded by S is also a term& If s and t are terms. d and e& ) variable followed by a !rime is also a variable& E9amples. then so are sPt/ and sZt/! E9amples.4b^b5XS? hg?X?S?X?a hbXS? The "uantification status of a variable 4which says whether the variable is free or quantified5 does not chan e under ne ation& 7E/PEF8:S& If ( and y are well-formed formulas. 4"5 :E'I8ITE terms& These contain no variables& E9amples. a b% c./S may be divided into two cate ories. g (ya. S?X? 4SS?^SS?5XSSSS? S4b^c5X44cjd5je5 If an atom contains a variable u. then u is free in it& Thus there are four free variables in the last e(am!le& 8E6)TIE8S& ) well-formed formula !receded by a tilde is well-formed& E9amples. then s Q t is an atom& E9amples.

/FA)S 4SE8TE87ES5 This com!letes the table of .inter!retations were for the !q-system1s symbols& Someone mi ht su est the followin way of constructin T8T. because 4B5 3e take as a(ioms all true statements of number theory 4as written in T8T-notation5& 3hat a sim!le !rescri!tion2 Fnfortunately it is as em!ty as instantaneous reaction says it is& Part 4B5 is. to test your understandin of the notation of T8T& Try to translate the first four of the followin 8-sentences into T8T-sentences. hcXc bXb g"b. then every number is odd& b is a !ower of B& The last one you may find a little tricky& 0ut it is nothin . of course. !articular inter!retations are no more .dX? Ǝc./FA)S contain at least one free variable& E9amples. b is a !ower of "+& Stran ely. 4"5 :o not have any rules of inference= they are unnecessary.ustify the inter!retations which we iven to the various symbols& Fntil we have done that.onty!ogra!hical System This concludes the e(!osition of the notation of T8T= however. and the last one into an o!en formed formula& )ll natural numbers are equal to C& There is no natural number which equals its own square& :ifferent natural numbers have different successors& If " equals +. a few !ractice e(ercises for you. S?X? h"d.EPE8 'E. however. this one takes reat cleverness to render in our notation& I would caution you to try it only if you are willin to s!end hours and hours on it—and if you know quite a bit of number theory2 A .ules of 'ormation for the well-formed formulas of T8T& A +e' More Translation E-ercises )nd now.g"b.bXbhcXca 7AESE: 'E.ustified than the -horse-a!!le ha!!y. not a ty!o ra!hical descri!tion of strin s& The whole !ur!ose of T8T is to fi ure out if and how it is !ossible to—characteri<e the true strin s ty!o ra!hically& . we are still left with the !roblem of makin T8T into the ambitious system which we have described& Success would .bXbhcXca contain no free variables& E9amples. com!ared to this one.

is the one which Peano was attem!tin to define. in "**#& In settin out his !ostulates. all of the rules of the &ropositional 8alculus are taken o#er into T8T& Therefore one theorem of T8T will be this one. use a1 instead of b&5 )ll of them are very sim!le to understand& )(iom " states a s!ecial fact about the number += )(ioms B and % are concerned with the nature of addition= )(ioms C and L are concerned with the nature of multi!lication. let us ive the five a9ioms of T8T.The +i"e A-ioms and +irst $ules of T.T Thus we will follow a more difficult route than the su estion above= we will have a(ioms and rules of inference& 'irstly. and thus it would be ood to show Peano1s five !ostulates& Since the notion of -natural number. but tried to ive a small set of !ro!erties of natural numbers from which everythin else could be derived by reasonin & Peano1s attem!t mi ht thus be considered -semiformal-& Peano1s work had a si nificant influence. he made no attem!t to formali<e the !rinci!les of reasonin .4a^Sb5XS4a^b5 )(iom C.inns& There are two other undefined terms.4aj?5X? )(iom L."b. "a. which is laden with connotation& 3e will re!lace it with the undefined term dMinn. "a. and in !articular with its relation to addition& The +i"e .eano .4a^?5Xa )(iom %. "a.hSaX? )(iom B. the inter!retation of )(iom "—-9ero is not the successor of any natural number-—is one of five famous !ro!erties of natural numbers first e(!licitly reco ni<ed by the mathematician and lo ician 6iuse!!e Peano.4ajSb5X44ajb5^a5 4In the austere versions. "a. Genie. "a. we will not use the familiar term -natural number-. gS?X?hS?X?a which can be derived in the same way as gP-Pa was derived& 0efore we ive more rules. )(iom ". . a word which comes fresh and free of connotations to our mind& Then Peano1s five !ostulates !lace five restrictions on d. as was !romised."b. Peano was followin the !ath of Euclid in this way.ostulates 0y the way.

we should name the set of all d. wherever it occurs. -6od made the natural numbers= all the rest is the work of man&Hou may reco ni<e Peano1s fifth !ostulate as the !rinci!le of mathematical induction—another term for a hereditary ar ument& Peano ho!ed that his five restrictions on the conce!ts -6enie-. and each d.armonic +a()rinth. you will see the influence of Peano in T8T. then all d.inn has a meta 4which is also a d. by one and the same term& 4=estriction. etc& Peano ho!ed to have !inned down the essence of natural numbers in his five !ostulates& /athematicians enerally rant that he succeeded.inns have different metas& 4L5 If 6enie has T. the two ima es would have com!letely isomor!hic structures& 'or e(am!le.and meta& I will let you fi ure out for yourself what usual conce!t each of them is su!!osed to re!resent& The five Peano !ostulates. and so are any strin s made from 9 by re!lacin u. mathematicians turned to totally formal systems. everybody1s ima e would include an infinite number of distinct d. as T8T& ?owever. archenemy of 6eor 7antor. .9 is a theorem.were so stron that if two different !eo!le formed ima es in their minds of the conce!ts. and -meta.inn coincides with its own meta. 4"5 6enie is a d.inn5& 4%5 6enie is not the meta of any d.e' $ules of T. or its meta1s meta.inns& )nd !resumably everybody would a ree that no d. -?ow is a true statement about natural numbers to be distin uished from a false one?.inn& 4C5 :ifferent d.inn relays T to its meta. and at the same time to chan e the internal strut of the strin which remains. -d. if we wish& ?ere is such a rule.inn& 4B5 Every d.!ro!erties of strin s than the rules of the Pro!ositional 7alculus. Su!!ose u is a variable which occurs inside strin 9& If the strin "u.)t answer this question.T5 S!ecification and Generali:ation 8ow we come to the new rules of T8T& /any of these rules will allow us to reach in and chan e the internal structure of the atoms of T8T& In that sense they deal with more -microsco!ic. because all of his !ostulates are incor!orated in T8T in one way or another& . it would be nice if we could e(tract the strin hS?X? from the first a(iom& To do this we would need a rule which !ermits us to dro! a universal quantifier.FAE E' SPE7I'I7)TIE8.inns -6E:-& This harks back to a celebrated statement by the 6erman mathematician and lo ician Aeo!old @ronecker.inns et T& In li ht of the lam!s of the +ittle . which treat atoms as indivisible units& 'or e(am!le. The term which re!laces u must not contain any variable that is quantified in 9&5 . then so is 9.inn-. but that does not lessen the im!ortance of the question.

"a.h and ~Ǝu. hSaX? hS?X? a(iom " s!ecification 8otice that the rule of s!ecification will allow some formulas which contain free variables 4i&e&.FAE E' I8TE. the rule of generali@ation.FAE E' 6E8E.)AI9)TIE8.9 is a theorem& 4=estriction.hS4c^SS?5X? 6enerali<ation undoes the action of s!ecification. in Euclid1s !roof about the infinitude of !rimes& )lready we can see how the symbolmani!ulatin rules are startin to a!!ro(imate the kind of reasonin which a mathematician uses& The E-istential 8uantifier These !ast two rules told how to take off universal quantifiers and !ut them back on= the ne(t two rules tell how to handle e(istential quantifiers& . for e(am!le. a variable. Su!!ose u is a variable& Then the strin s "u. which allows us to !ut back the universal quantifier on theorems which contain variables that became free as a result of usa e of s!ecification& )ctin on the lower strin . the followin strin s could also be derived from )(iom ". hSaX? hS4c^SS?5X? There is another rule.7?)86E. and vice versa& Fsually. . occurs free& Then "u. by s!ecification. enerali<ation is a!!lied after several intermediate ste!s have transformed the o!en formula in various ways& ?ere is the e(act statement of the rule. are interchan eable anywhere inside any theorem& 'or e(am!le.The rule of s!ecification allows the desired strin to be e(tracted )(iom "& It is a oneste! derivation. Su!!ose 9 is a theorem in which u. o!en formulas5 to become theorems& 'or e(am!le. enerali<ation would ive. . this enerali<ation is the same enerali<ation as was mentioned in 7ha!ter II. let us a!!ly this rule to )(iom ". 8o enerali<ation is allowed in a fantasy on any variable which a!!eared free in the fantasy1s !remise&5 The need for restrictions on these two rules will shortly be demonstrated e(!licitly& Incidentally. "c.

you mi ht notice that both these strin s are !erfectly natural renditions. r. then so is r X t& .hSaXb e(istence Hou mi ht now try to shunt symbols.hSaX? a(iom " Ǝb. in T8T. or multi!ly. "a.H.FAE E' ETISTE87E. ):: S. $ules of Equality and Successorshi! 3e have iven rules for mani!ulatin quantifiers.EP S. 4"5 4B5 "a. If Sr X St is a theorem. If r X t is a theorem.hSaX? hƎa. t all stand for arbitrary terms& . and the corres!ondin e(istential quantifier must be !laced in front& Aet us a!!ly the rule to—as usual—)(iom ".SaX? a(iom " interchan e 0y the way.to -There e(ists a !rime-& The name of this rule is self-e(!lanatory. s.FAES E' SF77ESSE. or all5 of the a!!earances of the term may be re!laced by a variable which otherwise does not occur in the theorem. "b.4S?^Sb5XS4S?^b5 a(iom % s!ecification 4S? for a5 . even more intuitive& It corres!onds to the very sim!le kind of inference we make when we o from -B is !rime. then so is s X r& T.FAES E' EMF)AITH. .S?IP. Su!!ose a term 4which may contain variables as lon as they are free5 a!!ears once. If r X s is a theorem.4a^Sb5XS4a^b5 "b."a. of the sentence -9ero is not the successor of any natural number-& Therefore it is ood that they can be turned into each other with ease& The ne(t rule is.)8SITIGITH. to !roduce the theorem ~"b: Ǝa:Sa=b. If r X s and s X t are theorems. then Sr X St is a theorem& :. the followin derivations yield theorems which are !retty fundamental. then r X t is a theorem& 8ow we are equi!!ed with rules that can ive us a fantastic variety of theorems& 'or e(am!le. but so far none for symbols 1X1 and 1S1& 3e rectify that situation now& In what follows. if anythin . SH//ET."a. in a theorem& Then any 4or several. accordin to rules so far iven.

4aj?5X? 4S?j?5X? 44S?j?5^?5X? S44S?j?5^?5XS? 44S?j?5^S?5XS? 4S?jS?5XS? Illegal Shortcuts 8ow here is an interestin question.4%5 4C5 4L5 4D5 4$5 4S?^S?5XS4S?^?5 "a.4a^?5Xa 44S?j?5^?5X4S?j?5 "a.D5 [ a(iom L s!ecification 4S? for a5 s!ecification 4? for b5 a(iom % s!ecification 44S?j?5 for a5 s!ecification 4? for b5 a(iom B s!ecification 44S?j?5 for a5 a(iom C s!ecification 4S? for a5 transitivity 4lines *.4S?jSb5X44S?jb5^S?5 4S?jS?5X44S?j?5^S?5 "a."+5 add S transitivity 4lines D."5 I ave this mini-e(ercise to !oint out one sim!le fact. and then to use s!ecification& So.4a^?5Xa 4S?^?5XS? S4S?^?5XSS? 4S?^S?5XSS? [ [ [ [ s!ecification 4? for b5 a(iom B s!ecification 4S? for a5 add S transitivity 4lines %.um! too fast in mani!ulatin symbols 4such as 1X15 which are familiar& Ene must follow the rules."B5 transitivity 4lines %. what about the followin -derivation.aXa a(iom B symmetry transitivity 4lines B. -?ow can we make a derivation for the strin ?X??It seems that the obvious route to o would be first to derive the strin "a."b. and not one1s knowled e of the !assive meanin s of the symbols& Ef course."b.aXa."%5 4"5 4B5 4%5 4C5 4L5 4D5 4$5 4*5 4#5 4"+5 4""5 4"B5 4"% 4"C5 "a.aXa&&& 3hat is wron with it? 7an you fi( it u!? 4"5 4B5 4%5 "a.4ajSb5X44ajb5^a5 "b.of "a.4a^?5Xa "a. that one should not . this latter ty!e of knowled e is invaluable in uidin the route of a derivation& .aX4a^?5 "a.4a^Sb5XS4a^b5 "b.44S?j?5^Sb5XS44S?j?5^b5 44S?j?5^S?5XS44S?j?5^?5 "a.

you will find that you can !roduce the followin p)ramidal famil) of theorems 4a set of strin s all cast from an identical mold. and then derive that strin as a theorem& Something Is Missing 8ow if you e(!eriment around for a while with the rules and a(ioms of T8T so far !resented. SS?. one of the restrictions is violated& Aook at the disastrous results they !roduce.bXSa "a.>hy S!ecification and Generali:ation Are $estricted 8ow let us see why there are restrictions necessary on both s!ecification and enerali<ation& ?ere are two derivations& In each of them.*5 This is the first disaster& The other one is via faulty s!ecification& 4"5 4B5 4%5 4C5 4L5 "a. differin from one another only in that the numerals ?.gaX?SaX?a g?X?S?X?a ?X? S?X? !ush !remise enerali<ation 4>rong25 s!ecification !o! fantasy rule enerali<ation s!ecification !revious theorem detachment 4lines #. Ǝb. 4?^?5X? 4?^S?5XS? 4?^SS?5XSS? 4?^SSS?5XSSS? 4?^SSSS?5XSSSS? . and s have been stuffed in5. 4"5 4B5 4%5 4C5 4L5 4D5 4$5 4*5 4#5 4"+5 U aX? "a.aX? SaX? V gaX?SaX?a "a.bXSb !revious theorem s!ecification e(istence enerali<ation s!ecification 4>rong25 So now you can see why those restrictions are needed& ?ere is a sim!le !u<<le. translate 4if you have not already done so5 Peano1s fourth !ostulate into T8T-notation.bXSa Ǝb.aXa SaXSa Ǝb. S?.

since we were in !recisely that situation with the !qsystem& ?owever. is not a theorem& Hou mi ht think that is not all that stran e. the !q-system had no !retensions about what it ou ht to be able to do= and in fact there was no way to e9press eneral statements about addition in its symbolism. each one tri erin the ne(t& 4These theorems are very reminiscent of the !q-theorems. and which summari<es the !assive meanin of them all. but the universally quantified summari<in strin is not a theorem& . taken to ether& That universally quantified summari@ing string is this. If all the strin s in a !yramidal family are theorems. each of the theorems in this family can be derived from the one directly above it. however.4?^a5Xa Het with the rules so far iven. in which we can ty!o ra!hically !roduce theorems about the addition of any specific numbers. and we have corres!ondin ly hi her e(!ectations of T8T than of the !q-system& If the strin above is not a theorem. this strin eludes !roduction& Try to !roduce it yourself if you don1t believe me& Hou may think that we should immediately remedy the situation with the followin 4P.FAE E' )AA. in only a cou!le of lines& Thus it is a sort of -cascade. let alone !rove them& The equi!ment sim!ly was not there. there is a name for systems with this kind of defect-they are called -incomplete& 4The !refi( 11-1ome a1. and it did not even occur to us to think that the system was defective& ?ere. then we will have ood reason to consider T8T to be defective& )s a matter of fact. which e(!resses a !ro!erty of addition in general. ) system is -incom!lete if all the strin s in a !yramidal family are theorems. the e(!ressive ca!ability is far stron er.comes from the fact that the totality of natural numbers is sometimes denoted by 11&5 ?ere is the e(act definition. then so is the universally quantified strin which summari<es them& The !roblem with this rule is that it cannot be used in the / -mode& Enly !eo!le who are thinkin a(out the system can ever know that an infinite set of strin s are all theorems& Thus this is not a rule that can be stuck inside any formal system& -Incom!lete Systems and &ndecidable Strings So we find ourselves in a stran e situation. but even a sim!le strin as the one above. where the middle and ri ht-hand rou!s of hy!hens rew simultaneously&5 8ow there is one strin which we can easily write down.of theorems. "a.etc& )s a matter of fact.EPESE:5 .

ca!able of only one meanin & .ibe with what we believe about addition& 0ut it is one !ossible e(tension of T8T.T 3e are now faced with a similar situation. to make !eo!le believe that those words were necessarily univalent. is iven the name of - .Incidentally.and -line. there is nothin mystical about undecidability within a iven system& It is only a si n that the system could be e(tended& 'or e(am!le. another& ?owever.ot the Same as Inconsistency This kind of inconsistency.u(ta!ose this -si(th a(iom. involvin T8T& 3e have ado!ted a notation which !re.on-Euclidean T. to yield non-Euclidean eometry& If you think back to eometry.udices us in certain ways& 'or instance. then we would say that it was decidable& )lthou h it may sound like a mystical term. to yield Euclidean eometry= or conversely. ~"a.about the known and familiar o!eration we call -addition-& Therefore it would run a ainst the rain to !ro!ose addin the followin -si(th a(iom-.tended. in the sense of not havin two theorems of the form 9 and -9& ?owever. you will !robably be bothered by a seemin inconsistency between the family and the new a(iom& 0ut this kind of inconsistency is not so dama in as the other kind 4where 9 and -9 are both theorems5& In fact.4?^a@Xa —is also a nontheorem of T8T& This means that the ori inal strin is undecida(le within the s)stem& If one or the other were a theorem. you will remember why this curious thin ha!!ens& It is because the four !ostulates of absolute eometry sim!ly do not !in down the meanin s of the terms -!oint. within absolute eometry. because there is a way of inter!retin the symbols so that everythin comes out all ri ht& -Inconsistency Is . created by the o!!osition of 4"5 a !yramidal family of theorems which collectively assert that all natural numbers have some !ro!erty. when you . the ne ation of the above summari<in strin — ~"a. Euclid1s fifth !ostulate is undecidable& It has to be added as an e(tra !ostulate of eometry.with the !yramidal family of theorems shown above. for two millennia. usa e of the symbol 1^1 tends to make us think that every theorem with a !lus si n in it ou ht to say somethin known and familiar and -sensible. it is not a true inconsistency. usin the !re-flavored words -!oint.and -line-. its ne ation can be added.4?^a5Xa It doesn1t . as we have so far formulated T8T& The system which uses this as its si(th a(iom is a consistent system. and 4B5 a sin le theorem which seems to assert that not all numbers have it. and there is room for different e9tensions of the notions& The !oints and lines of Euclidean eometry !rovide one kind of e(tension of the notions of -!ointand -line-= the PEI8Ts and AI8Es of non-Euclidean eometry.

we will not follow this e(tension now.ule of )ll. or would some of them still mean what we want them to mean? I will let you think about that& 3e will encounter a similar question in 7ha!ter TIG. unsus!ected numbers—let us not call them -natural-. to establish that the first line of the !yramid is a theorem& Then you know that 6E: will et the messa e2 In the !articular !yramid we were lookin at. but supernatural numbers—which have no numerals& Therefore. there is a !attern.iven above? 3ould all of the symbols become tainted. if we added the -si(th a(iom. is to find the pattern that causes the cascade.!assive meanin s.was that it required knowin that all lines of an infinite !yramidal family are theorems—too much for a finite bein & 0ut su!!ose that each line of the !yramid can be derived from its !redecessor in a patterned way& Then there would be a finite reason accountin for the fact that all the strin s in the !yramid are theorems& The trick then. but instead o on to try to re!air the -incom!leteness of T8T& The Last $ule The !roblem with the -. ca!tured by lines C-# of the derivation below& 4"5 4B5 4%5 4C5 4L5 4D5 4$5 4*5 4#5 "a. but it is a reasonable ima e. as so far !resented. and show that !attern is a theorem in itself& That is like !rovin that each d. do not fully !in down the inter!retations for the symbols of T8T& There is still room for variation in one1s mental model of the notions they stand for& Each of the various !ossible e(tensions would !in down some of the notions further= but in different ways& 3hich symbols would be in to take on -distasteful.inn !asses a messa e to its meta.4a^Sb5XS4a^b5 "b. a bein reater than any of the d. you have to ima ine that there are some -e(tra-. facts about them cannot be re!resented in the !yramidal family& 4This is a little bit like )chilles1 conce!tion of 6E:—as a sort of -su!erd. as in the children1s ame of -Tele!hone-& The other thin left to show is that 6enie starts the cascadin messa e—that is."b.inn& This was scoffed at by the 6enie. and discuss the matter then& In any case.4?^Sb5XS4?^b5 4?^Sb5XS4?^b5 U 4?^b5Xb S4?^b5XSb 4?^Sb5XS4?^b5 4?^Sb5XSb V a(iom % s!ecification s!ecification !ush !remise add S carry over line % transitivity !o! The !remise is 4?^b5Xb= the outcome is 4?^Sb5XSb& . and may hel! you to ima ine su!ernatural numbers&5 3hat this tells us is that the a(ioms and rules of T8T.inn-.inconsistenc)& )n -inconsistent system is more like the at-the-outset-distasteful-but-inthe-end-acce!table non-Euclidean eometry& In order to form a mental model of what is oin on.

Skub is also a theorem& This is about as close as we can come to !uttin Peano1s fifth !ostulate into T8T& 8ow let us use it to show that "a. we can state the last rule of T8T quite !recisely. 4 ?^a5Xa& Then SkSaIab would re!resent the strin 4?^Sa5XSa. we need a little notation& Aet us abbreviate a well-formed formula in which the variable a is free by the followin notation. fact of number theory& . then "u. and Skub is a well-formed formula in which u occurs free& If both "u. we can a!!ly the rule of induction. but that is irrelevant&5 Then the notation SkSaIab will stand for that strin but with every occurrence of a re!laced by Sa& Aikewise. which we have& Therefore.FAE E' I8:F7TIE8. so that you ca what one is like. to deduce what we wanted& "b. with each a!!earance of a re!laced by ?& ) s!ecific e(am!le would be to let Skab stand for the strin in question.g4?^b5Xb4?^Sb5XSba fantasy rule enerali<ation This is the first of the two in!ut theorems required by the induction The other requirement is the first line of the !yramid.4?^a5Xa is no lon er an undecidable strin of T8T& A Long eri"ation 8ow I wish to !resent one lon er derivation in T8T. too.g Skub SkSuIuba and Sk?Iub are theorems. to ive us 4"+5 4""5 g4?^b5Xb4?^Sb5XSba "b.4?^b5Xb S!ecification and enerali<ation will allow us to chan e the variable from b to a= thus "a. Sk?Iab would stand for the same strin .4?^a5Xa is indeed a theorem in T8T& Emer in from the fantasy in our derivation above. if sim!le. and also because it !roves a si nificant. Skab 4There may be other free variables. Su!!ose u is a variable. . This notation is not !art of T8T= it is for our convenience in talkin a(out T8T&5 3ith this new notation. and Sk?Iab would re!resent 4?^?5X?& 43arnin . we can a!!ly the fantasy rule.The first line of the !yramid is also a theorem= it follows directly from )(iom B& )ll we need now is a rule which lets us deduce that the strin which summari<es the entire !yramid is itself a theorem& Such a rule will he a formali<ed statement of the fifth Peano !ostulate& To e(!ress that rule.

4a^Sb5XS4a^b5 4B5 "b.g"d.4d^Sc5X4Sd^c5 4#5 4d^Sc5X4Sd^c5 4"+5 S4d^Sc5XS4Sd^c5 4""5 4d^SSc5XS4d^Sc5 4"B5 4d^SSc5XS4Sd^c5 4"%5 S4Sd^c5X4Sd^Sc5 4"C5 4d^SSc5X4Sd^Sc5 4"L5 "d.4c^Sb5XS4c^b5 4%+5 4c^Sd5XS4c^d5 4%"5 "b.B5 s!ecification 4line B+5 symmetry transitivity 4lines B%.4d^Sc5X4Sd^c5"d.4Sd^Sb5XS4Sd^b5 4L5 4Sd^Sc5XS4Sd^c5 D5 S4Sd^c5X4Sd^Sc5 4$5 U 4*5 "d.4d^SSc5X4Sd^Sc5a 4"*5 "c.4"5 "a."d.4d^Sc5X4Sd^c5 "d.4a^?5Xa 4B"5 4d^?5Xd 4BB5 S4d^?5XSd 4B%5 4d^S?5XSd 4BC5 4Sd^?5XSd 4BL5 SdX4Sd^?5 4BD5 4d^S?5X4Sd^?5 4B$5 "d.4d^Sb5XS4d^b5 4%5 4d^SSc5XS4d^Sc5 4C5 "b.4d^S?5X4Sd^?5 [ 4B*5 "c.4d^SSc5X4Sd^Sc5a [ 4"#5 4d^S?5XS4d^?5 4B+5 "a."b.4d^SSc5X4Sd^Sc5 4"D5 V 4"$5 g"d.4d^Sb5XS4d^b5 s!ecification 4line "5 s!ecification s!ecification 4line "5 .4d^Sc5X4Sd^c5 [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ a(iom % s!ecification s!ecification s!ecification 4line "5 s!ecification symmetry !ush !remise s!ecification add S carry over % transitivity carry over D transitivity enerali<ation !o! fantasy rule enerali<ation s!ecification 4line B5 a(iom " s!ecification add S transitivity 4lines "#.B$5 US can be sli!!ed back and forth in an additionV [ [ [ [ [ 4B#5 "b.BL5 enerali<ation induction 4lines "*.

LL5 [ [ [ [ s!ecification 4line B+5 !revious theorem s!ecification symmetry transitivity 4lines L+.4c^d5X4d^c5 4%*5 4c^d5X4d^c5 4%#5 S4c^d5XS4d^c5 4C+5 4c^Sd5XS4c^d5 4C"5 4c^Sd5XS4d^c5 4CB5 S4d^c5X4d^Sc5 4C%5 4c^Sd5X4d^Sc5 4CC5 4d^Sc5X4Sd^c5 4CL5 4c^Sd5X4Sd^c5 4CD5 "c.4d^Sc5X4Sd^c5 4%L5 4d^Sc5X4Sd^c5 4%D5 U 4%$5 "c. then Sd does too&V [ 4L+5 4c^?5Xc 4L"5 "a."c.4c^d5X4d^c5 induction 4lines C#. it is im!ortant to reali<e that.L%5 enerali<ation UTherefore.4c^Sd5X4Sd^c5a 4C#5 "d.4c^d5X4d^c5 "c.ust a random walk that ha!!ens to have landed on the desired last .4c^d5X4d^c5 "c. like a !iece of music.4%B5 4d^Sc5XS4d^c5 4%%5 S4d^c5X4d^Sc5 4%C5 "d.T T8T has !roven the commutativity of addition& Even if you do not follow this derivation in detail.4c^?5X4?^c5 U? commutes with every c&V 4LD5 "d.4?^a5Xa 4LB5 4?^c5Xc 4L%5 cX4?^c5 4LC5 4c^?5X4?^c5 4LL5 "c. every d commutes with every c&V Tension and $esolution in T.4c^Sd5X4Sd^c5 4C$5 V 4C*5 g"e. it has its own natural -rhythm-& It is not .4c^Sd5X4Sd^c5a s!ecification symmetry s!ecification 4line B*5 s!ecification !ush !remise s!ecification add S carry over %+ transitivity carry over %% transitivity carry over %L transitivity enerali<ation !o! fantasy rule enerali<ation UIf d commutes with every c.g"c.

however. no one would claim that derivin theorems in T8T is the best way to do number theory& )nybody who felt that way would fall in the same class of !eo!le as those who think that the best way to know what "+++ ( "+++ is. and the distributivity of multi!lication over addition& These would ive a !owerful base to work from& )s it is now formulated. there seems to be no reflection of these tensions& In other words.to show some of the -!hrasin . we have to carry thin s throu h& Aine LL is inevitable. but it would !robably have doubled the len th of the book& 8ow after this theorem. somethin like the halfway !oint in an **BB ty!e of !iece. but also of informal !roofs& The mathematician1s sense of tension is intimately related to his sense of beauty. very much like the tension in a !iece of music caused by chord !ro ressions that let know what the tonality is. and count all the squares in it&&& 8o= after total formali<ation. a conte(t which enables new rules of . because of -almost-therefeelin which it induces& It would be e(tremely unsatisfactory to leave off there2 'rom there on. and is what makes mathematics worthwhile doin & 8otice.of this derivation& Aine B* in !articular is a turnin !oint in the derivation. -naturalness. is to draw a "+++ by "+++ rid. the commutativity and associativity of multi!lication. which are resolved by Aine LD& This is ty!ical of the structure not only of formal derivations.4!erha!s a stran e meta!hor to a!!ly to somethin called -T8T-5& It is of the same stren th as the system of &rincipia 'athematica= in T8T one can now !rove every theorem which you would find in a standard treatise on number theory& Ef course. T8T doesn1t formali<e the notions of tension and resolution. for all !ractical !ur!oses. it is almost !redictable how thin s must o& 0ut you wouldn1t want a !iece of music to quit on you . T8T has reached -critical mass. useless& Thus. without resolvin & )rrival at line B* would confirm the reader1s intuition and ive him a momentary feelin of satisfaction while at the same time stren thenin his drive to !ro ress towards what he !resumes is the true oal& 8ow line C# is a critically im!ortant tension-increaser. that in T8T itself. the only way to o is towards rela(ation of the formal system& Etherwise. and ettin a sense of where it is oin as he sees each new line& This would set u! an inner tension. and sets u! all the final tensions.line& I have inserted -breathin marks.and -inevitabilityany more than a !iece of music is a book about harmony and rhythm& 7ould one devise a much fancier ty!o ra!hical system which is aware of the tensions and oals inside derivations? +ormal $easoning "s1 Informal $easoning I would have !referred to show how to derive Euclid1s Theorem 4the infinitude of !rimes5 in T8T.ust when it had made the mode of resolution a!!arent& Hou don1t want to imagine the endin —you want to hear the endin & Aikewise here. even if not in the tonic key& Such im!ortant intermediate sta es are often called -lemmas-& It is easy to ima ine a reader startin at line " of this derivation i norant of where it is to end u!. where you resolve momentarily. the natural direction to o would be to !rove the associativity of addition. it is so enormously unwieldy as to be. oal and sub oal. it is im!ortant to embed T8T within a wider conte(t.

those informal !rocesses which we have tried to ca!ture in the formal rules of the system. you could make a decision !rocedure for all of number theory& The method would be easy. but rather. are themselves inconsistent2 It is of course not the kind of thin we e(!ect.oicin .ust too many rules of inference and some of them . and therefore to question the consistency of T8T is to question our own sanity& To some e(tent. de!endin on your !oint of view. if we don1t. since either S or not-S is true& 8ow be in systematically enumeratin all the theorems of T8T. in the way we did for the /IFsystem and !q-system& Hou must come to 9 or X9 after a while= and whichever one you hit tells you which of S and not-S is true& 4:id you follow this ar ument? It crucially de!ends on your bein able to hold se!arate in your mind the formal system T8T and its informal counter!art 8& /ake sure you understand it&5 Thus.is actually a coherent construct? Perha!s our own thou ht !rocesses. this ar ument still carries wei ht—but not quite so much wei ht as before& There are . whether !ossible to increase our faith in T8T. if you want to know if 8statement S is true or false. the more com!le( the sub. e(!ected that it is com!lete—that is. in a !urely mechanical way& )s it turns out. that each rule embodies a reasonin !rinci!le which we believe in.of T8T1s consistency as Im!rudence did in re ard to the Pro!ositional 7alculus namely. how do we know that this mental model we have of some abstract entities called -natural numbers.umber Theorists Go out of Business Su!!ose that you didn1t have advance knowled e that T8T will turn out to be incom!lete. or for mournin & /ilbert%s . this is im!ossible. which.ect matter . if not-T is true. is a cause either for re. im!roved version-—look more like doin conventional number theory& .ust make workin in T8T—or in each -new. none of these s!eedin u! tricks would make T8T any more powerful= they would sim!ly make it more usa(le& The sim!le fact is that we have !ut into T8T every mode of thou ht that number theorists rely on& Embeddin it in ever lar er conte(ts will not enlar e the s!ace of theorems= it will .ust mi ht be sli htly -off -& 'urthermore. so that derivations can be s!eeded u!& This would require formali<ation of the lan ua e in which rules of inference are e(!ressed—that is. number theorists would be !ut out of business any question in their field could be resolved. by pro#ing it to be consistent could make the same o!enin statement on the -obviousness. with sufficient time.inference to be derived. but it ets more and more conceivable that our thou hts mi ht lead us astray. the metalan ua e& )nd one could o considerably further& ?owever. if T8T were com!lete. com!leteness says that 9 is a theorem= and conversely. code it into T8T-sentence 9& 8ow if S is true. that every true statement e(!ressible in the T8T—notation is a theorem& In that case.rogram The final question which we will take u! in this 7ha!ter is whether should have as much faith in the consistency of T8T as we did consistency of the Pro!ositional 7alculus= and. in !rinci!le. then com!leteness says that X9 is a theorem& So either 9 or X9 must be a theorem.

and additionally some kinds of numerical reasonin & 0ut 6>del1s work showed that any effort to !ull the heavy ro!e of T8T1s consistency across the a! by usin the thin ro!e of finitistic methods is doomed to failure& 6>del showed that in order to !ull the heavy ro!e across the a!. as embodied in the Pro!ositional 7alculus.ect matter& Prudence1s cry for a proof of consistency has to be taken more seriously in this case& It1s not that we seriously doubt that T8T could be inconsistent but there is a little doubt. *n) s)stem that is strong enough to pro#e TNT's consistenc) is at least as strong as TNT itself! )nd so circularity is inevitable& .ets—and natural numbers are by no means a trivial sub. by usin means which are weaker than its own internal modes of reasonin & This is the ho!e which was held by an im!ortant school of mathematicians and lo icians in the early !art of this century.system to show that a system is consistent. if !ro!erties of inte ers are not used—or if only a few e(tremely sim!le ones are used—then we could achieve the oal of !rovin T8T consistent. then the heavy ro!e !ulled across the a!& If we can use a -li ht. we can say. and a !roof would hel! to dis!el that doubt& 0ut what means of !roof would we like to see used? Ence a ain. a limmer of a doubt in our minds. that no theorems of the form 9 and X9 ever occur& This is similar to tryin to show that /F is not a theorem of the /IFsystem& 0oth are statements about t)pographical !ro!erties of symbol-mani!ulation systems& The visions of a thin ro!e are based on the !resum!tion that facts a(out num(er theor) won't (e needed in !rovin that such a ty!o ra!hical !ro!erty holds& In other words. a flicker. then we shall have really accom!lished somethin & 8ow on first si ht one mi ht think there is a thin ro!e& Eur oal is to !rove that T8T has a certain ty!o ra!hical !ro!erty 4consistency5.ection2 Think of the way a heavy ro!e is !assed between shi!s 4or so I read when I was a kid5. but by usin a weaker system of reasonin than we will have beaten the circularity ob. first a li ht arrow is fired across the a!. !ullin behind it a thin ro!e& Ence a connection has been established between the two shi!s this way. what will we have accom!lished? If we could mana e to convince ourselves consistency of T8T.ust isn1t a stron enou h one& Aess meta!horically. faced with the recurrent question of circularity& If we use all the equi!ment in a !roof a(out our system as we have inserted into it. you can1t use a li hter ro!e= there .methods of reasonin & These would be the thin ro!e& Included amon finitistic methods are all of !ro!ositional reasonin . led by :avid ?ilbert& The oal was to !rove the consistency of formali<ations of number theory similar to T8T by em!loyin a very restricted set of !rinci!les of reasonin called -finitistic.

ust down your alley& 0ut me. always !aired u!.ust as adenine and thymine always are& Isn1t that a stran e symbolic ima e? Tortoise. I still was semi-aware of the words comin into my ears& Ene stran e ima e that floated u! from my lower levels was that 1)1 and 1T1. . with the 3 8hing. /r& T& Tortoise. /olecular biolo y is filled with !eculiar convoluted loo!s which I can1t quite understand. instead of for cytosine& I1m not sure about 161. :es!ite the fascinatin sub. -3hy not 9en too?. and are now drinking some tea at *chilles' home! *chilles. how did you come u!on that? *chilles. about 171 and 161? *chilles. sometimes I like to retreat from all this analytic thou ht any meditate a little. :id I never tell you that I am studyin 9en 0uddhism? Tortoise. ?ow do you mean? *chilles. 'ancy that& I wouldn1t have uessed that you were a meditator& *chilles. I have somethin terrible to confess. as an antidote& It clears my mind of all those confusin loo!s and incredible com!le(ities which we were hearin about toni ht& Tortoise. 3ell. Hou would. 8o. it is such a stran e netherworld that those molecular biolo ists are e(!lorin & Tortoise. can loo! back and mani!ulate the :8) which they came from. for that matter& Just think of the infinite re ress T?)T leads to2 Tortoise. I su!!ose 171 could stand for /r& 7rab. stood for my name and yours—and double-strands of :8) had tiny co!ies of me and you alon their backbones. 3hat is it. you1re wron & I was doin my best. !ossibly even destroyin it& Such stran e loo!s always confuse the dayli hts out of me& They1re eerie. it was amusin to ima ine my :8) bein with minuscule co!ies of you—as well as tiny co!ies of myself. /r& T2 . I drifted off to slee! a time or two& 0ut in my drowsy state. )chilles? *chilles. and whatnot& So one day I1m thinkin to myself. of course—they1re .A $u %fferin!" The Tortoise and *chilles ha#e Must (een to hear a lecture on the origins of the Genetic 8ode.)nd that1s how it all be an& Tortoise. now& Enli htenment is not the first ste! on the road to 9en= if anythin . such as the way that folded !roteins. Phooey2 3ho believes in that silly kind of stuff? )nyway. s!lendid& Then !erha!s I can finally become enli htened& *chilles. which are coded for in :8).and -thymine-. Eh. I have always had a yen for the yin and yan . instead of standin for -adenine. urus. only I had a hard time kee!in fancy se!arated from fact& )fter all. but I1m sure one could think of somethin & )nyway. I find them quite a!!ealin & *chilles. you know—the whole Eriental mysticism tri!. 3hoa. I can see you were not !ayin too much attention to the lecture& *chilles. in a way& Tortoise. it1s the last one2 Enli htenment is not for novices like you.ect matter of that lecture. ?eavens.

nothin 1s im!ossible& *chilles. 3ho is this Ekanisama. let me tell you somethin of the teachin s of my master& I have learned that in 9en. Hou could study with me under my master. would et mi(ed u! in this business& *chilles. Hou have to know the history of 9en to understand that& Tortoise. I1d be only too ha!!y to tell you what I know of 9en& Perha!s you mi ht even be tem!ted to become a student of it.ust is& I have also learned that a student of 9en is not su!!osed to -attach. why didn1t you say so? 3ell. that1s 9eno. ?mm&&& 8ow T?E. the closer you et to 9en& Tortoise. to study it ri orously? *chilles. I daresay you underestimate the value of 9en& Aisten . and motion are mere illusions of the senses& Tortoise. Eh. 3ell. of all !eo!le. I don1t know the answer to your question& Instead. 0ut tell me. one does not think about the world—one . like me& Tortoise. I hardly meant somethin so wei hty as is meant in 9en& )ll I meant is that I can !erha!s become enli htened as to what 9en is all about& *chilles. a mile away& 0ut how ever did he come to be tan led u! in 9en? Poor fellow2 *chilles. immutable. The si(th !atriarch was 9eno.I—the state of -8o-mind-& In this state.Tortoise. any absolute—not even this !hiloso!hy of nonattachment& Tortoise.ects intellectual activity. 8ow what in the world does that mean? *chilles. then? *chilles. and it took hold very well there& Since that time it has been one of the !rinci!al reli ions in Ja!an& Tortoise. it1s&&& 0ut that1s another matter& )nyway. you radually learn to stray from that !ath& The more you stray from the !ath. the -seventh !atriarch-? *chilles.ect or thou ht or !erson—which is to say. who left India and went to 7hina around the si(th century& 0odhidharma was the first !atriarch& The si(th one was Eno& 4I1ve finally ot it strai ht now25 Tortoise. ?e is my master. 'or Pete1s sake. or S)TE. That matter has troubled me quite a bit& 0ut I think I have finally worked out an answer& It seems to me that you may be in a!!roachin 9en throu h any !ath you know—even if it is com!letely antithetical to 9en& )s you a!!roach it. I had a hunch you1d et attached to it& Tortoise. and his teachin s descend directly from those of the si(th !atriarch& ?e has tau ht me that reality is one. 3haaat? I wouldn1t !ut it that way& If )8HE8E is tan led u!. and unchan in = all !lurality.E1S somethin I could like about 9en& *chilles. 3ould you tell me a little of the history of 9en.to any ob.ust a little more. it all be ins to sound so clear now& . if 9en re. 9en was brou ht to Ja!an. )n e(cellent idea& 9en is a kind of 0uddhism which was founded by a monk named 0odhidharma. Ekanisama—the seventh !atriarch& Tortoise. does it make sense to intellectuali<e about 9en. chan e. I see we have had a misunderstandin & 0y -enli htenment-. Sure enou h. eh? I find it stran e that he. and maybe you1ll come to a!!reciate it& )s I was sayin . about five hundred years later. one seeks enli htenment. or de!end on. he must not believe in.

written in heavy !hiloso!hical . -3hat is 0uddha?0aso said. ) kRan is a story about 9en masters and their students& Sometimes it is like a riddle= other times like a fable= and other times like nothin you1ve ever heard before& Tortoise. there was a 9en master named JRshl. or not?Tortoise.*chilles.the question& *chilles. my master has cautioned me that only one of them is enuine& )nd what is more. 3hat1s the matter? *chilles. a deli ht in kRans comes a million times closer to real 9en than readin volume after about 9en. -:oes a do have 0uddha-nature. yes& 8ow one day while JRshl and another monk were standin to ether in the monastery.ar on& Tortoise. there is one !roblem& )lthou h both are widely told kRans.oy kRans is to !ractice 9en? *chilles. he does not know which one is enuine. 7ra<y2 3hy don1t you tell them both to me and we can s!eculate to our hearts1 content2 *chilles. ?mm&&& -This mind is 0uddha-? Sometimes I don1t quite understand what these 9en !eo!le are ettin at& *chilles. 3hatever that is& So tell me—what did JRshl re!ly? *chilles. and which one is a fraud& Tortoise. 3hat is a kRan? *chilles. )chilles? I would like to hear some more& *chilles. 0y your standards. but 1/F1 is JRshl1s answer& 0y sayin 1/F1. Eh. ) mere youn ster2 *chilles. )nd I would like to tell you one—or a few& Perha!s be in with the most famous one of all& /any centuries a o. JRshl -unasked. I would like to hear a kRan or two& *chilles. sometimes& I uess I1m be innin to et the han of 9en& :o you know any other kRans. )ll ri ht& Ene of the alle ed kRans oes like this. 3ell. -This mind is 0uddha&- Tortoise. Hou mi ht !refer the other alle ed kRan then& . a do wandered by& The monk asked JRshl. who lived to be ""# years old& Tortoise. /y !leasure& I can tell you a !air of kRans which o to ether Enly&&& Tortoise. in my o!inion. E(actly2 Tortoise. /y favorite !ath to 9en is throu h the short. I doubt it& ?owever. fascinatin and weird 9en !arables called -kRans-& Tortoise. 1/F1& Tortoise. 1/F1? 3hat is this 1/F1? 3hat about the do ? 3hat about 0uddha-nature? 3hat1s the answer? *chilles. JRshl let the other monk know that only by not askin such questions can one know the answer to them& Tortoise. ) monk asked 0aso. Sounds rather intri uin & 3ould you say that to read and en. 1/F1 sounds like a handy thin to have around& I1d like to unask a question or two.

/y. () '! 8! Escher (lack and white chalk. I can1t ima ine what led him to such a belief& 0ut anyway. my2 If my shell isn1t reen and not reen2 I like that2 *chilles. my master believes only one of the two is enuine& Tortoise. Eh. 8ow. -This mind is not 0uddha&- Tortoise. /r& T—you1re not su!!osed to . It is a fairly com!le( ritual. Gery well. but there you are mistaken& /y master has shown us how to do it& Tortoise.)8SA)TE the kRan in question into a !iece of strin . BIHJ/! . Aike this. -3hat is 0uddha?0aso said.kRans& Tortoise. ) monk asked 0aso. folded all around in three dimensions& Tortoise. That1s a curious thin to do& )nd what is the second sta e? 73G5=E DG! Aa /e<quita. I su!!ose it1s all academic. then—I don1t like it& *chilles.ust -like. ?ow does it run? *chilles. you must T. Is that so? ) decision !rocedure for enuineness of kRans? I should very much like to hear about T?)T& *chilles. involvin two sta es& In the first sta e. That1s better& 8ow as I was sayin . since there1s no way to know if a kRan is enuine or !hony& *chilles.Tortoise.

and draws for the Tortoise these four figures5. and it works e(ceedin ly well& )nyway. if you can1t even tell whether a :E6 has 0uddhanature or not. Enly to the uninitiated& 8ow once you have made the messen er. beautiful re ularity emer es& Hou1ve reordered the same information by chan in your way of lookin at it& Tortoise. or not2 If it does. when folded u!& Tortoise. but if you translate it into a strin it mana es in some way to float to the surface? *chilles. I see& So !erha!s the enuineness of a kRan is concealed how very dee!ly inside it. 3hat do the eometric symbols look like? *chilles. ?old on2 8ot so fast2 ?ow do you do that? *chilles. tell me.ect5? They are rather different kinds of entities& *chilles. -transcri!tion. I don1t know. They are mysterious-lookin & *chilles. that1s easy—all you need to do is determine whether the strin has 0uddhanature. Then I would very much like to learn about the technique& 0ut first.)8S7. e(actly& 0ut it feels sort of luey. you rub your hands in some ribo. once you have some ribo on your hands. how can you turn a kRan 4a sequence of words5 into a folded strin 4a threedimensional ob. Hou be in with the strin entirely strai ht& Then you o to one end and start makin folds of various ty!es. They are made of he(a ons and !enta ons& ?ere is what they look like 4 picks up a near() napkin. which contains only four eometric symbols& This !honetic rendition of the kRan is called the /ESSE86E. 3ell. accordin to the eometric symbols in the messen er& . Some ribo? Is that a kind of ritual anointment? *chilles. 3hat is it made of? *chilles. and— Tortoise.I0I86 a kRan involves writin it in a !honetic al!habet.*chilles: Eh. That1s what my master has discovered& Tortoise. the kRan is a fraud& Tortoise: ?mm&&& It sounds as if all you1ve done is transfer the need for a decision !rocedure to another domain& 8ow it1s a decision !rocedure for 0uddha-nature that you need& 3hat ne(t? )fter all. Tortoise. how can you e(!ect to do so for every !ossible folded strin ? *chilles. in which from one direction no order is a!!arent.& Tortoise.and -translation-& T. 8ot e(actly& It is a s!ecial sticky !re!aration which makes the strin hold its sha!e. my master e(!lained to me that shiftin between domains can hel!& It1s like switchin your !oint of view& Thin s sometimes look com!licated from one an le.)8SA)TE the sequence of symbols in the messen er into certain kinds of folds in the strin & It1s as sim!le as that& Tortoise. That is one of the most mysterious thin s I have learned in 9en& There are two ste!s. then the kRan is enuine—if not. but sim!le from another& ?e ave the e(am!le of an orchard. but from s!ecial an les. you can T.

3hat is that? *chilles. Aittle is known of him. the strin will kee! its folded sha!e.ST sta e of enli htenment. foldin each little se ment of strin until you have e(hausted the messen er& If you have !ro!erly a!!lied some ribo. There is even re!uted to be a kRan which tells how the )rt of 9en Strin s be an& 0ut unfortunately. and is no doubt one forever& 3hich may be . let alone the— Tortoise. 8ot in isolation& Hou take them three at a time. that is *chilles. e(ce!t that he also invented the )rt of 9en Strin s& Tortoise. of course. 6ood ravy2 )s if one level of the stuff weren1t enou h& 0ut then there are luttons of every sort—why not luttons for enli htenment? *chilles. it1s rather doubtful that it stands for you. I would be fascinated& There is so much for novices like me to absorb2 *chilles. The !rocedure has a certain ele ance to it& Hou must et some wild-lookin strin s that way& *chilles. I mean the 6reat Tutor& *chilles.Tortoise. 'or you? 3hy would it stand for you? Hou haven1t even reached the 'I. you can1t translate a kRan into a strin & Tortoise. Hou never know. instead of one at a time& Hou be in at one end of the strin . :o you su!!ose that -Enli htenment 1Hond Enli htenment stands for -EHE-? Tortoise. Evidently not& 3hat is the ori in of the 6eometric 7ode *chilles. the 6reat Tutor? *chilles. That1s for sure& The lon er kRans translate into quite bi<arre sha!es& Tortoise. )chilles& Perha!s those who have learned the lowdown on enli htenment return to their state before enli htenment& I1ve always held that -twice enli htened is unenli htened&. Aet me tell you a kRan about an imitator& . all this has lon since been lost in the sands of time. I can ima ine& 0ut in order to carry out the translation of the messen er into the strin . and what you thereby !roduce is the translation of the kRan into a strin & Tortoise. you need to know what kind of fold each tri!let of eometric symbols in the messen er stands for& ?ow do you know this? :o you have a dictionary? *chilles. for otherwise there would be imitators who would take on the master1s name. and co!y him in other ways& Tortoise. It is an art on which the decision !rocedure for 0uddha-nature is based& I shall tell you about it& Tortoise. it stands for -/eta-Enli htenment-—-/E-.0ut let1s et back to the 6rand Tortue-uh. Hes—there is a venerated book which lists the -6eometric 7ode-& If you don1t have a co!y of this book.who my master says is the only one ever to attain the Enli htenment 1Hond Enli htenment& Tortoise. 0ut wouldn1t it be a ood thin if all students of 9en co!ied that most enli htened master of all. In my o!inion. So each of those eometric symbols stands for a different way to curl the strin u!? *chilles.ust as well. It came from an ancient master known as -6reat Tutor. )chilles& /ore likely. and one end of the messen er& 3hat to do with the first inch of the strin is determined by the first three eometric symbols& The ne(t three symbols tell you how to fold the second inch of strin & )nd so you inch your way alon the strin and simultaneously alon the messen er.

which is contained in this !icture 4 picks up a napkin and draws5. 3hat1s wron ? *chilles. 3hy did 0odhidharma come from India into 7hina? *chilles. you see. ?ow e(traordinary& I hadn1t the sli htest idea that the central aim of 9en was to find some shade& *chilles. Eh. 6utei called. I had no idea that I was ettin into such dee! waters& 0ut let1s come back to this curious ma!!in & I ather that any kRan can be turned into a folded strin by followin the method you outlined& 8ow what about the reverse !rocess? 7an any folded strin be read in such a way as to yield a kRan? *chilles. -That oak tree in the arden&Tortoise. /aybe there1s somethin to your Tortoise-9en& Tortoise.3hen the novice turned. now I find out that 6utei is in on the merriment too& ?e seems to have quite a sense of humor& *chilles. That kRan is very serious& I don1t know how you ot the idea that it is humorous& Tortoise. Perha!s 9en is instructive because it is humorous& I would uess that if you took all such stories entirely seriously. Eho2 Shall I tell you what JRshl said when he was asked that very question? Tortoise.ust what I would have said& E(ce!t that I would have said it in answer to a different question—namely. 7an you answer . ?e re!lied. no—you1ve misunderstood me entirely& I wasn1t referrin to T?)T question& I meant your question about why 0odhidharma came from India into 7hina& Tortoise. he sent for him and asked him if were true& The novice admitted it was so& 6utei asked him if he understood& In re!ly the novice held u! his inde( fin er& 6utei !rom!tly cut it off& The novice ran from the room. actually means. 3ithout knowin it. 3ell. howlin in !ain& )s he reached the threshold. -3hat is the basic !rinci!le of 9en?Tortoise. in a way& ?owever&&& Tortoise.ust not su!!osed to do it that way 1round& It would violate the 7entral :o ma of 9en strin s. Please do& *chilles. 3ell. you have inadvertently hit u!on one of the basic questions of all 9en& That question. -0oy2. Ef course= that1s . 6utei raised his inde( fin er& )t that instant the novice was enli htened& Tortoise. -3here can I find some shade from the midday sun?*chilles.9en master 6utei raised his fin er whenever he was asked a question about 9en& ) youn novice be an to imitate him in this way& 3hen 6utei was told about the novice1s imitation. kRan Þ transcription messen er Þ translation folded strin Hou1re not su!!osed to o a ainst the arrows—es!ecially not the second one& . what do you know2 Just when I thou ht 9en was all about JRshl and his shenani ans. you would miss the !oint as often as you would et it& *chilles. I see& 3ell.ust one question for me? I would like to know this. Hou1re . innocent thou h it sounds.

I uess& Tortoise. or not? 7ome to think of it. 0ut how do you do T?)T? *chilles. Eh. as the case may be. all of which have 0uddha-nature& Tortoise. or non-kRan. Isn1t that . So tell me. the first thin is to translate it into the dimensional strin & )ll that1s left is to find out if the strin has 0uddha-nature or not& Tortoise. I call those strin s which yield a!!arent kRans -well-formed. That1s what I was headin towards& 6iven the kRan. it mi ht be fraudulent. 3eirder than !roducin kRans? *chilles. 3hy would you want to do that? Tortoise.Tortoise. )chilles2 I had no idea you would do somethin so irreverent2 *chilles. 1Hond Enli htenment? Is there no other way to tell if a strin has 0uddha-nature? *chilles. I actually do o a ainst the arrows& I et sort of an illicit thrill out of it. when read out this way.ust lancin at a strin . 3hy don1t you tell me about the decision !rocedure which allows you to distin uish !hony kRans from the enuine article? *chilles. at least? *chilles. Just chalk it u! to my unenli htened state& 0ut o on& Tell me how to make a strin which :EES have 0uddha-nature& . I . once in a while. :o you always et stories. I think I1ll unask the question& Is that all ri ht? *chilles. does this :o ma have 0uddha-nature. what ha!!ens when you o a ainst the arrows in the 7entral :o ma? :oes that mean you be in with a strin and make a kRan? *chilles. Sometimes—but some weirder thin s can ha!!en& Tortoise. you et SE/ET?I86. Hes. 3ell. It only SEE/S to be one? *chilles. to tell if it had 0uddha-nature or not& Tortoise. only ive nonsense& Tortoise. Hes&&& 3hen you untranslate and untranscribe. of course& *chilles. Eh. you see& Tortoise. other times you et un rammatical sentences& 0ut once in a while you et what seems to be a kRan& Tortoise. by . my master has said that the 6reat Tutor was able. 0ut what if you have not reached the sta e of the Enli htenment. 8ot always—sometimes you et nonsense syllables. Hou clearly don1t have the true s!irit of 9en yet& Tortoise. 3ell.ust another name for kRans? *chilles. but not always a kRan& Some strin s. I am lad you unasked the question& 0ut—I1ll let you in on a secret& Promise you won1t tell anyone? Tortoise. 3hy. there is& )nd this is where the )rt of 9en Strin s comes in& It is a technique for makin innumerably many strin s. Hou don1t say2 )nd is there a corres!ondin way of makin strin s which :E81T have 0uddha-nature? *chilles. I1ve never confessed it to anyone before—not even Ekanisama& Tortoise. Tortoise1s honor& *chilles. Hou have the stran est taste& Ima ine2 0ein more interested in thin s that :E81T have 0uddha-nature than thin s that :E2 Tortoise.ust thou ht it mi ht be useful& *chilles.strin s& Tortoise. Tell me. 3ell.

a !o!ular tem!le su!!osed to ive wisdom to the one who worshi!s there& The old woman said. and consequently it must corres!ond to a enuine kRan& Tortoise. 3hy. you are allowed to modify your strin by doin certain basic motions of the hands& 'or instance. 3hy. 3ell. Ef course& *chilles.ules. -?e also is a common church. That1s ri ht& 8ow as you watch. -I have investi ated that old woman&- Tortoise. :o you know what the kRan is? *chilles. by which you can make more com!le( strin fi ures& In !articular.ust like makin cat1s-cradles and such strin fi ures2 *chilles.ules. accordin to what I1ve learned. if I followed the . it must& Since I made it accordin to the . you1ll see that some of these rules make the strin more com!le(= some sim!lify it& 0ut whichever way you o. as lon as you follow the Strin /ani!ulation . That is truly marvelous& 8ow what about the kRan concealed inside this strin you1ve . the strin must have 0uddha-nature. it1s a shame that JRshl never was hired by the '0I& 8ow tell me—what you did. every strin you !roduce will have 0uddhanature& Tortoise. until he has nearl) a napkinful!/ :one2 Tortoise. you must be in by dra!in a loo! of strin over your hands in one of five le al startin !ositions. )ll ri ht& ) travelin monk asked an old woman the road to Tai<an.oer&Someone told this incident to JRshl.ust made? 3ould it be enuine? *chilles. you nau hty fellow2 *nd with furrowed (row and code (ook in hand.The ne(t day he went and asked the same question. such as this one&&& 4 &icks up a string and drapes it in a simple loop (etween a finger on each hand!/ Tortoise. and the old woman ave the same answer& JRshl remarked. ri ht? . who said. *chilles points along the string inch () inch. -3ait until I investi ate&. )re you askin me to violate the 7entral :o ma? Eh. you can reach across like this—and !ull like this—and twist like this& 3ith each o!eration you are chan in the overall confi uration of the strin dra!ed over your hands& Tortoise. Terrific& 8ow let1s hear it& *chilles. Each one is a !osition considered to be a SEA'-EGI:E8T manner of !ickin u! a strin & Even novices often !ick u! strin s in those !ositions& )nd these five strin s all have 0uddha-nature& Tortoise. -6o strai ht ahead&.ules from the )rt of 9en Strin s. recording each fold () a triplet of geometric s)m(ols of the strange phonetic alpha(et for k[an.*chilles. Then there are some Strin /ani!ulation .)fter the monk had !roceeded a few ste!s. 3hy. I could also do. 3hat are the other four le al startin !ositions? *chilles.ules. it looks . with his flair for investi ations. she said to herself. and be an in one of the five self-evident !ositions.

ust so ha!!ens that once you know how to make strin s 3IT? 0uddha nature. any old order will do& Tortoise.ust wonderin about those two kRans—I mean the kRan and its un-kRan —the ones which say -This mind is 0uddha. . from JRshl1s 1/F1& I wonder&&& *chilles.ules& 0ut then later. ties a little teen) knot at one end of it. no matter in what order? *chilles. for e(am!le—I1ll make a strin which lacks 0uddha-nature && & .e picks up the string out of which the preceding k[an was "pulled". Gery illuminatin & )ll it takes is addin a knot? ?ow do you know that the new strin lacks 0uddha-nature? *chilles. then I would et a different strin . I hate to admit it. and then develo!in the strin accordin to the allowed . I1m . yes—back to thin s which lack 0uddha-nature& It . I athered as much.ules? *chilles.ules of 9en Strin s. I was . and consequently a different kRan& 8ow would I have to !erform the same 8F/0E. 8ow would I have to !erform the o!erations in . Ef course. when turned into strin s via the 6eometric 7ode? *chilles. I1d be lad to show you& . at least. as you did? *chilles.*chilles.ust the same E. 3ell. then only E8E of them can have 0uddha-nature& It1s a rule of thumb which my master tau ht me& Tortoise. you can also make strin s 3IT?EFT 0uddha-nature& That is somethin which my master drilled into me ri ht at the be innin & Tortoise. 3hat is it? Tortoise. 3onderful2 ?ow does it work? *chilles. of ste!s as you did? *chilles.i ht& Tortoise.and -This mind is not 0uddha-—what do they look like. but I am a little confused on this !oint myself& )t first my master ave the stron est im!ression that 0uddha-nature in a strin was :E'I8E: by startin in one of the five le al !ositions. 8o. it !ut some doubt in my mind as to whether this method hits )AA strin s with 0uddha-nature& To the best of my knowled e. he said somethin about somebody-or-other1s -Theorem-& I never ot it strai ht& /aybe I even misheard what he said& 0ut whatever he said. 0y no means& )ny number of ste!s is fine& Tortoise. pulling it tight with his thum( forefinger!/ This is it—no 0uddha-nature here& Tortoise.ust wonderin about somethin & )re there some strin s with 0uddha-nature which you 7)81T reach by followin the . then there are an infinite number of strin s with 0uddha nature—and consequently an infinite number of enuine kRans ?ow do you know there is any strin which 7)81T be made by your . it does& 0ut 0uddha-nature is a !retty elusive thin . 0ecause of this fundamental !ro!erty of 0uddha-nature= when two well-formed strin s are identical but for a knot at one end.:E. Easy& ?ere. you know& Tortoise. Eh.

)ll ri ht—no more questions& Instead. Hou mean. )ccordin to your rule of thumb. I ho!e it is well-formed& *chilles. 0y JRshl. certainly& ?ere you are& . 0ut that doesn1t tell which one is !hony& I1ve worked. with a few simple manipulations. it1s that one of them has a little knot on its end2 *chilles. I uess& 0ut I think you should not ask so many questions about 0uddha-nature& The 9en master /umon always warned his !u!ils of the dan er of too many questions& Tortoise. which he carefull) folds inch () inch. 3hat ha!!ened? . and suddenl) (oth knots disappearA/ *chilles. They are very similar. here is the difference& Tortoise. to wonder if either one has 0uddha-nature? Perha!s neither of them has 0uddha-nature—and neither kRan is enuine2 *chilles. Eh . at tryin to !roduce these two strin s by followin the Strin /ani!ulation .e passes one to the Tortoise!/ Tortoise. )T /EST E8E of such a !air can have 0uddhanature. following the triplets of s)m(ols written in the strange alpha(et! Then he places the finished strings side () side!/ Hou see. 3hy.ust a moment2 /ay I have it back? I want to do one thin to it& *chilles. and then pulls from his pocket a couple of pieces of string. which will follow no rules and will !robably wind u! bein com!letely undeci!herable& 4Grasps the loop (etween his feet and.e writes down the phonetic transcriptions.ules. Jee!ers cree!ers2 I1ll have to try out your method myself& I have never seen a strin like this2 Tortoise. 8ow you reali<e that I don1t have the sli htest idea what to do& 3e1ll . I see it1s ot a knot at one end& Tortoise. I never carried my thou hts as far as that—but you1re ri ht—it1s !ossible. Hou do? Tortoise.ust have to take !otluck with my awkward !roduction. That could be interestin & ?ere1s a !iece of strin & 4 . *chilles' face lights up!/ *chilles. creates a comple9 string which he proffers wordlessl) to *chilles! *t that moment. who ties another knot at the same end! Then the Tortoise gi#es a sharp tug. and so has my master.ands it (ack to the Tortoise. )ha2 8ow I understand why your master is sus!icious& *chilles. you1re ri ht& Tortoise. indeed& 3hy.. so you know ri ht away that one of the kRans must be !hony& *chilles. I have a sort of hankerin to make a strin myself& It would be amusin to see if what I come u! with is well-formed or not& *chilles. but to no avail& 8either one ever turns u!& It1s quite frustratin & Sometimes you be in to wonder&&& Tortoise. I do believe there is only one difference between them.

)ma<in & They must lie in a fairly accessible layer of Tumbolia if they can !o! into it and out of it so easily& Er is all of Tumbolia equally inaccessible? Tortoise. a lake. I1m willin if you1re willin & *chilles. of course& That1s the Aaw of :ouble 8odulation& -uddenl). Tum(olia!/ *chilles. and then 0ET? disa!!eared2 3here did they o? Tortoise. the two knots reappear from out of nowhereOthat is to sa). and a moonlit ni ht& Ene day. with a few sim!le mani!ulations. 0etween his feet? ?ow odd2 *chilles. you tied another one. once again. )ll ri ht& The 6rand Tortue ras!ed the loo! between his feet and. ah&&& you1ve ot a !oint there& 0ut !lease o on2 *chilles. 3ell. I couldn1t say& ?owever. the monk was enli htened& Tortoise. and asked the same question& In re!ly. he made strin after strin by Tortue1s method= and he !assed the method on to his own disci!les. )ll ri ht& It oes like this. !ersonally& *chilles.Tortoise. and carefull) Mots down the man) s)m(ol%triplets which correspond to the cur#) in#olutions of the Tortoise's stringR and when he is finished. I wanted to et rid of that knot& *chilles. Tumbolia. if you turn it back into !honetic symbols& *s he hands it (ack. the 6rand Tortue ras!ed the loo! between his feet and— Tortoise. 0ut instead of untyin it. Then it tells how to make the 6rand Tortue1s strin . who !assed it on to theirs& Tortoise. you could think of them as bein tra!!ed in a dee!er layer of Tumbolia& Perha!s there are layers and layers of Tumbolia& 0ut that1s neither here nor there& 3hat I would like to know is how my strin sounds. I always feel so uilty about violatin the 7entral :o ma&&& 4 Takes out his pen and code (ook. created a com!le( strin which he !roffered wordlessly to the monk& )t that moment. ) certain monk had a habit of !esterin the 6rand Tortue 4the only one who had ever reached the Enli htenment 1Hond Enli htenment5. the knots pop into o(li#ion!/ *chilles. if you be in with a strin dra!ed over your feet& I1ll ski! those borin details& It concludes this way. he brou ht to Tortue a !iece of strin .ects had 0uddha-nature or not& To such questions Tortue invariably sat silent& The monk had already asked about a bean. he clears his #oice&5 )hem& )re you ready to hear what you have wrou ht? Tortoise. by askin whether various ob. 3hy should HEF find that odd? Tortoise. Muite a yarn& It1s hard to believe it was really hidden inside my strin & . the monk did not bother Tortue& Instead. it does occur to me that burnin the strin would make it quite im!robable for the knots to come back& In such a case. I1d rather be twice-enli htened. 'rom then on.

I doubt it& Ene shouldn1t -attach. 9en is like a man han in in a tree by his teeth over a !reci!ice& ?is hands ras! no branch. strin . the best way I know to e(!lain it is to quote the words of another old 9en master. I1ll have to use my feet. and take u! molecular biolo y& . /r& T2 Er is it? Tortoise.ust a moment&&& Tortoise. It1s stran e. /r& Tortoise& Tortoise 4looking most pleased with himself and pa)ing no attention to *chilles 5. 7ertainly not& *chilles. too. 3ait . Eh. that you may have hit u!on that lon -lost kRan which describes the very ori in of the )rt of 9en Strin s2 Tortoise. cra<y thou h it sounds. Eh. Het it was& )stonishin ly. his feet rest on no limb. and I1m not sure I like it& Tortoise. I would be scared to ask such questions. how familiar it looks& Tortoise. here it is& Edd. @yo en& @yo en said. 0ut that means that the reat master—the only one who ever reached the mystical state of the Enli htenment 1Hond Enli htenment—was named -Tortue-. yes—indeed it is& 'ancy that& I wonder what that im!lies& *chilles. to say the least& Tortoise.*chilles. :o you su!!ose my kRan is enuine? *chilles. falls and loses his life& 8ow what shall he do? Tortoise. I1m sorry to hear it& I can1t ima ine what1s troublin you& *chilles. and under the tree another !erson asks him. before you took it back to tie an e(tra knot in it& Tortoise.e picks up the k[an and a piece of string.ust reali<ed? I think. this is HEF. he fails= and if he does answer. I could try&&& Ef course.to small details like that inside kRans& It1s the s!irit of the whole kRan that counts. Ef course not—it1s the strin which you first handed to me. I know2 3hy. Hes. Er that my strin has 0uddha-nature? *chilles. that would almost be too ood to have 0uddha-nature& *chilles. not -Tutor-& 3hat a droll name2 Tortoise. I1d su!!ose& *chilles. /r& T& There is somethin mi hty funny oin on here. since it1s described in terms of foot motions& That1s !retty unusual& 0ut I think I can mana e it& Aet me ive it a o& 4. you seem to have created a well-formed strin ri ht off the bat& Tortoise. 0ut what did the 6rand Tortue1s strin look like? That1s the main !oint of this kRan. Somethin about your strin is be innin & to trouble me. That1s clear= he should ive u! 9en.If the man in the tree does not answer. and for a few minutes twists and (ends the string in arcane wa)s until he has the finished product &5 3ell. isn1t that so? I wonder where I saw it before? *chilles. 3ell. not little !arts of it& Say. )nd what about Tortue1s strin ? :oes it have 0uddha nature? There are a host of questions to ask2 *chilles. -3hy did 0odhidharma come to 7hina from India?. do you know what I . I don1t a ree& I think it1s a handsome name& I still want to know how Tortue1s strin looked& 7an you !ossibly recreate it from the descri!tion iven in the kRan? *chilles.

I can et some of this cluster of reactions across to you& )nd then. verbal thou h they are& kRans are su!!osed to be -tri ers. thou h they do not contain enou h information in themselves to im!art enli htenment. com!iled forty-ei ht kRans. 'ibonacci from ""*+ to "BL+ in Italy& To those who would look to the /umonkan in ho!es of makin sense of. the /umonkan may come as a rude shock. 9en kRans are a central !art of 9en study. the kRans. and !robably I will never cease doin so& To me. refreshin . and clarity& I ho!e that in this 7ha!ter. darkness.C/A. that will lead us directly to 6>delian matters& Ene of the basic tenets of 9en 0uddhism is that there is no way to characteri<e what 9en is& 8o matter what verbal s!ace you try to enclose 9en in.which. 9en is intellectual quicksand—anarchy. the monk /umon 4-8o. I also think I can never understand it at all& Ever since my freshman En lish teacher in colle e read JRshl1s /F out loud to our class." . I think I understand it very well= but in a way. or at least that no words can ca!ture truth& 2en Master Mumon Possibly in order to !oint this out in an e(treme way. or -understandin -. it resists.E I know what 9en is& In a way. I have stru led with 9en as!ects of life. for e(am!le. /umon livin from ""*% to "BD+ in 7hina. followin each with a commentary and a small -!oem-& This work is called -The 6ateless 6ate.ate barrier-5& It is interestin to note that the lives of /umon and 'ibonacci coincided almost e(actly. meanin lessness. that all efforts to e(!lain 9en are com!lete wastes of time& 0ut that is not the attitude of 9en masters and students& 'or instance.ate-5. stran e thou h it may seem. may !ossibly be sufficient to unlock the mechanisms inside one1s mind that lead to enli htenment& 0ut in eneral. in the thirteenth century.TE$ I< Mumon and G#del >hat Is 2en7 I1/ 8ET SF.or the /umonkan 4-8o. then. for the comments and !oems are entirely as o!aque as the kRans which they are su!!osed to clarify& Take this. chaos& It is tantali<in and infuriatin & )nd yet it is humorous. enticin & 9en has its own s!ecial kind of meanin . and s!ills over& It mi ht seem. bri htness. the 9en attitude is that words and truth are incom!atible.

() '! 8! Escher lithograph. BIGG/ .73G5=E DJ! Three 3orlds.

he should turn back to his tail& 'umon's &oem: If the buffalo runs. there is this one. he will fall into the trench= If he returns. it is not thin s&- .[an: 6oso said. consider this.B . /umon1s comments can be taken on more than one level& 'or instance.[an: ) monk asked 8ansen. he can save all sentient bein s under him& 0ut if he cannot say such a word of 9en. Het the sky is not attuned to 9en& It is best to for et the reat sky )nd to retire from every wind& Er then a ain. observin the !hysical moment. -3hen a buffalo oes out of his enclosure to the ed e of the abyss. -The state of the first monk is ood.ect lan ua e 4the lan ua e of the kRan5& )ccordin to some. /umon1s comments are intentionally idiotic. -Hes. had not been rolled u!& ?e !ointed to it& Two monks arose wordlessly from the audience and rolled it u!& ?R en. said. which of those two monks ained and which lost? If any of you has one eye. but why can1t the tail also !ass?- 'umon's 8ommentar): If anyone can o!en one eye at this !oint and say a word of 9en. and. not only that.[an: ?R en of Seiryo monastery was about to lecture before dinner when he noticed that the bamboo screen. -Is there a teachin no master ever tau ht before?8ansen said. he is qualified to re!ay the four ratifications. there is&-3hat is it?.asked the monk& 8ansen re!lied. lowered for meditation.% . he will see the failure on the teacher1s !art& ?owever. his horns and his head and his hoofs all !ass throu h. !erha!s meant to show how useless it is to s!end one1s time in chatterin about 9en& ?owever. he will be butchered& That little tail Is a very stran e thin & I think you will have to admit that /umon does not e(actly clear everythin u!& Ene mi ht say that the metalan ua e 4in which /umon writes5 is not very different from the ob. it is not 0uddha. not that of the second&- 'umon's 8ommentar): I want to ask you. -It is not mind.. I am not discussin ain and loss& 'umon's &oem: 3hen the screen is rolled u! the reat sky o!ens.

of his answer matter at all? Er does correctness !lay any role in 9en? 3hat is the difference between correctness and truth. as well& 7oncernin /umon1s commentary. there is not any such teachin -? 3ould it have made any difference? 3ould his remark have been immortali<ed in a kRan? . but on its own ineffectiveness& This ty!e of !arado( is quite characteristic of 9en& It is an attem!t to -break the mind of lo ic-& Hou see this !arado( quality in the kRan. -8o. however. 3ords cannot o!en another1s mind& In this !oem /umon seems to be sayin somethin very central to 9en. not makin idiotic statements& 7uriously. words have no !ower& Even thou h the mountain becomes the sea. BIDE/! 'umon's 8ommentar): Eld 8ansen ave away his treasure-words& ?e must have been reatly u!set& 'umon's &oem: 8ansen was too kind and lost his treasure& Truly.73G5=E DC! :ewdro!. the !oem is referential. or is there any? 3hat if 8ansen had said. () '! 8! Escher me@@otint. do think that 8ansen was really so sure of his answer? Er did the -correctness. and thus it is a comment not only on 8ansen1s words.

-I cannot follow you& I cannot understand you&-I cannot understand myself. so how could I call them to ether or teach them?-Eh.. () '! 8! Escher wood%engra#ing. how can I lie to you?. -so how could the monks ather? I have no ton ue..asked the master& Then :oko said sadly.C The student :oko came to a 9en master. -I am seekin the truth& In what state of mind should I train myself.said the master. how can you lie like this?. and no truth to find. why do you have these monks ather before you every day to study 9en and train themselves for this study?-0ut I haven1t an inch of room here. and said. BIDC/! ?ere is another kRan which aims to break the mind of lo ic. -There is no mind. so you cannot !ut it in any state& There is no truth.said the master& .asked :oko& -0ut if I have no ton ue to talk to others.73G5=E DE! )nother 3orld. so you cannot train yourself for it&-If there is no mind to train. so as to find it?Said the master.

if one takes the kRans seriously& Therefore !erha!s it is wron to say that the enemy of enli htenment is lo ic= rather it is dualistic. into !arts. causin bewilderment is its !recise !ur!ose. and you thereby miss the 3ay& ?ere is a kRan which demonstrates the stru . for when one is in a bewildered state. you draw a line between it and the rest of the world= you divide the world. you o!!ose its reality& If you do not call it a short staff. and !erha!s thereby iven the im!ression that dualism could be overcome sim!ly by su!!ressin thou ht 4as if to su!!ress thinkin actually were sim!le25& 0ut the breakin of the world into cate ories takes !lace far below the u!!er strata of thou ht= in fact. human !erce!tion is by nature a dualistic !henomenon—which makes the quest for enli htenment an u!hill stru le. a conce!tual cate ory& Therefore.by the word -conce!tual-. are words—. so the theory oes. to say the least& )t the core of dualism. it is !erce!tion& )s soon as you !erceive an ob. since each word re!resents.ust !lain words& The use of words is inherently dualistic. one1s mind does be in to o!erate nonlo ically.L . dualism is . it is even more basic than that. you i nore the fact& 8ow. can one make the lea! to enli htenment& 0ut what is so bad about lo ic? 3hy does it !revent the lea! to enli htenment? 2en%s Struggle Against ualism To answer that.ust as much a !erce!tual division of the world into cate ories as it is a conce!tual division& In other words.ect. a ma. verbal thinkin & In fact. one needs to understand somethin about what enli htenment is& Perha!s the most concise summary of enli htenment would be.If any kRan serves to bewilder. to some e(tent& Enly by ste!!in outside of lo ic. this one does& )nd most likely.or !art of 9en is the fi ht a ainst reliance on words& To combat the use of words. -If you call this a short staff. where words are so dee!ly abused that one1s mind is !ractically left reelin . one of the devices is the kRan. artificially. what do you wish to call this?- le a ainst words. transcendin dualism& 8ow what is dualism? :ualism is the conce!tual division of the world into cate ories& Is it !ossible to transcend this natural tendency? 0y !refi(in the word -division. accordin to 9en. I may have made it seem that this is an intellectual or conscious effort. obviously.[an: Shu<an held out his short staff and said.

a formal system—no matter how !owerful—cannot lead to all truths& The dilemma of mathematicians is.73G5=E DI! :ay and 8i ht. () '! 8! Escher woodcut. you o!!ose its reality& If you do not call it a short staff. ?e ave an order of life or death& Positive and ne ative interwoven. BIHE/! 'umon's 8ommentar): If you call this a short staff.elyin on words to lead you to the truth is like relyin on an incom!lete formal system to lead you to the truth& ) formal system will ive you some truths. minuscule as it may be& Thus words lead to some truth—some falsehood. not to call it a staff is.refers to si( venerated founders of 9en 0uddhism. Even 0uddhas and !atriarchs cannot esca!e this attack& 4-Patriarchs. indeed. you i nore the fact& It cannot be e(!ressed with words and it cannot be e(!ressed without words& 8ow say quickly what it is& 'umon's &oem: ?oldin out the short staff. !erha!s. what else is there to rely on. to i nore that !articular fact. as well—but certainly not to all truth& . but as we shall soon see. of whom 0odhidharma is the first. whereas the surface has not even been scratched by such a statement& It could be com!ared to sayin -L is a !rime number-& There is so much more—an infinity of facts—that has been omitted& En the other hand. but formal systems? )nd . and EnR is the si(th&5 3hy is callin it a short staff o!!osin its reality? Probably because such a cate ori<ation ives the a!!earance of ca!turin reality.

-The more you study.D JRshl asked the teacher 8ansen. nor to thin s unseen& It does not belon to thin s known. -3hat is the true 3ay?8ansen answered. -Everyday way is the true 3ay&JRshl asked.ind. once a ain. BIGG/! . -It cannot be e(!ressed with words and it cannot be e(!ressed without words&?ere is 8ansen. -If I don1t study it. but words? /umon states the dilemma very clearly. what else is there to rely on. the further from the 3ay&JRshl asked. -The 3ay does not belon to thin s seen. -7an I study it?8ansen answered. o!en yourself wide as the sky&. nor to thin s unknown& :o not seek it. how can I know it?8ansen answered. or name it& To find yourself on it. study it.USee 'i & L+&V 73G5=E GK! .the dilemma of 9en !eo!le is. () '! 8! Escher wood%engra#ing.

dualistic thinkin —this is the essence of 9en. and thinkin is bad. to su!!ress lo ical.* Ene day Fnmon said to his disci!les. do you see it?-So lon as you see double. -This staff of mine has transformed itself into a dra on and has swallowed u! the universe2 Eh.said the master& -3hen there is neither 1I1 nor 1Hou1. -8o one can call it a wooden shoe&Isan. and to miss enli htenment& ) master was asked the question. can one see it?-3hen there is neither 1I1 nor 1Hou1. a way of bein without thinkin & The masters of ism are rocks. trees. -3hat is the 3ay?. who is the one that wants to see it?. he asked. may bristle with !arado(es& Ism) The &n-Mode) and &nmon If words are bad.$ ?yaku. -The chief monk loses&.)nd Isan became the master of the new monastery& To su!!ress !erce!tion. the essence of ism& This is the Fnmode—not Intelli ent. .ust -Fn-& JRshl was in the Fnmode. in maintainin that the world cannot be broken into !arts at all& To divide the world into !arts is to be deluded. and that is why his 1/F1 unasks the question& The Fnmode came naturally to 9en /aster Fnmon. not as sums of their !arts.un around the house three times without thinkin of the word 1wolf1&. verbal. and 1you do1. ism& Ism is an anti!hiloso!hy.9en is a !hiloso!hy which seems to have embraced the notion that the road to ultimate truth. the cookin monk. 9en oes one further. but we are makin no !retense of bein faithful to 9en in discussin 9en—so we can try to answer the question seriously& I have a name for what 9en strives for. to ask this is already horribly dualistic. sayin 1I don1t1.# .o smiled and said. ti!!ed over the vase with his foot and went out& ?yaku. not /echanical. carried to its lo ical e(treme& If holism claims that thin s can only be understood as wholes. -. and so on. what is ood? Ef course..by a curious monk& -It is ri ht before your eyes. -3ho can say what this is without callin its name?The chief monk said. without ever bein able to attain it fully& Still. your eyes are clouded. clams= but it is the fate of hi her animal s!ecies to have to strive for ism.. where are the rivers and mountains and the reat earth?- 9en is holism.said the master& -3hy do I not see it for myself?-0ecause you are thinkin of yourself&-3hat about you. one is occasionally ranted lim!ses of ism& Perha!s the followin kRan offers such a lim!se.o wished to send a monk to o!en a new monastery& ?e told his !u!ils that whoever answered a question most ably would be a!!ointed& Placin a water vase on the round.This curious statement seems to abound with !arado(& It is a little reminiscent of this surefire cure for hiccu!s. like the only surefire cure for hiccu!s.

-Hou monks should know there is an even hi her understandin in 0uddhism&. and will remain so& It floats in Tumbolia. its essence somehow still !resent. if not death? ?ow can a live human bein dissolve the borderlines between himself and the outside world? 2en and Tumbolia The 9en monk 0assui wrote a letter to one of his disci!les who was about to die.TR<an answered.ust as mathematicians have learned to reco ni<e the limitations of the a(iomatic method as a method for attainin truth& This does not mean that 9en has an answer to what lies beyond 9en any more than mathematicians have a clear understandin the forms of valid reasonin which lie outside of formali<ation& Ene of the clearest 9en statements about the borderlines of 9en is iven in the followin stran e kRan. 9en has com!any."+ TR<an said to his monks. a master!iece of -!ositive and ne ative interwoven.) monk ste!!ed forward and asked.)!!arently the master wants to et across the idea that an enli htened state is one where the borderlines between the self and the rest of universe are dissolved& This would truly be the end of dualism.The snowflake. and in it he said.a) and Night 4'i & C#5. -It is not 0uddha&- There is always further to o= enli htenment is not the end-all of 9en& )nd there is no reci!e which tells how to transcend 9en= the only thin one can rely on for sure is that 0uddha is not the way& 9en is a system and cannot be its own metasystem= there is always somethin outside of 9en. or are they really fields? Is it really ni ht. in the !erson of /& 7& Escher& 7onsider . or day?. alon hiccu!s that are not bein hiccu!!ed and characters in stories that are bein read&&& That is how I understand 0assui1s messa e& 9en reco ni<es its own limitations. is tryin to break the mind of lo ic& Escher also deli hts in settin u! contradictory !ictures. -Hour end which is endless is as a snowflake dissolvin in the !ure air&. which cannot be fully understood or described within 9en& Escher and 2en In questionin !erce!tion and !osin absurd answerless riddles. -)re those really birds. .Het we all know there is no !oint to such questions& The !icture. there is no system left which has any desire for !erce!tion& 0ut what is that state. such as *nother >orld 4'i & C*5— !ictures that !lay with reality and unreality the same way as 9en !lays with reality and unreality& Should one take Escher seriously? Should one take 9en seriously? . now dissolves into the lar er system which once held it& Thou h it is no lon er !resent as a distinct subsystem. like a 9en kRan. which was once very much a discernible subsystem of the universe. very much in the s!irit of 8ansen. -3hat the hi her 0uddhism?. for as he says.4in the words of /umon5& Ene mi ht ask.

-8o more water in the !ail.-I do not understand. and the bottom fell out of the !ail& )t that moment. haiku-like study of reflections in ."B ) monk asked 6antR. an Escher !icture 4'i & CD5.73G5=E GB! Puddle. BIGF/& There is a delicate. &uddle 4'i & L"5. -Pick u! the mountain and brin it to me& Then I will tell you&- .. no more moon in the water&- Three >orlds. she could not attain the fruits of meditation& )t last one moonlit ni ht she was carryin water in an old wooden !ail irded with bamboo& The bamboo broke. and the sub.ewdrop 4'i & C$5= and then there are two tranquil ima es of the moon reflected in still waters. what shall I do?."" 7hiyono studied 9en for many years under 0ukko of En aku& Still. she was set free& 7hiyono said.said the monk& 7anto said. () '! 8! Escher woodcut.6antR answered.ect of a 9en kRan. and =ippled -urface 4'i & LB5& The reflected moon is a theme which recurs in various kRans& ?ere is an e(am!le. -3hen the three worlds threaten me. -Sit down&.

in 6 /inor& )s one lides inward toward the center of <er(um. or % rou!s of B? This ambi uity has a name. or his Etude o!& BL./emiolia and Escher In <er(um 4'i & "C#5. hemiolia& 7ho!in was a master of hemiolia. which lows with brilliancy—!erha!s a symbol of enli htenment& Ironically.is the only word in the !icture& )nd 9en master TR<an once said. and fro s? Er si(fold unity made from the o!!osition of the evenness of B an oddness of %? In music. or the incredible 7inale of the first Sonata for unaccom!anied violin. back where we started2 Is this a reconciliation of the dichotomy of black and white? Er of the trichotomy of birds. -The com!lete Tri!itaka can be e(!ressed in one character&. -GE. fish. I wonder. si( notes of equal time value create a rhythmic ambi uity—are they B rou!s of %. not two. meanin -three baskets-. would it take to suck the three baskets out of one character? Perha!s one with two hemis!heres& 73G5=E GF! . refers to the com!lete te(ts of the ori inal 0uddhist writin s&5 3hat kind of decodin -mechanism. o!!ositions are made into unities on several levels& 6oin around we see radual transitions from black birds to white birds to black fish to white fish to black fro s to white fro s to black birds&&& )fter si( ste!s. the distinctions radually blur. no& B& In 0ach. but means -word-—not e(actly the most com!atible notion with 9en& En the hand. () '! 8! Escher lino%cut.4-Tri!itaka-. so that in the end there remains not three. see his 3alt< o!& CB. -verbumnot only is a word. there is the Tempo di 'enuetto from the keyboard Partita no& L. but one sin le essence. BIGK/! . -verbum.i!!led Surface.0F/-.

there are&&& 0ut then another ima e rises. one for each !erson& Each one would contain calls to many others. and be contained in. every crystal bead reflects not only the li ht from every other crystal in the net—but also every reflection of every reflection throu hout the universe& To my mind. who in turn are mirrored in yet others. BIDJ/! Indra%s . each one reflected in the minds of many others. !ions&&& = in every !ion. and the artist drawin it& The endless connections which all thin s have to each other is only hinted at here. and every individual is a crystal bead& The reat li ht of -)bsolute 0ein . in every electron. the hori<ontal threads runnin throu h s!ace. !rotons. there are virtual electrons. () '! 8! Escher lithograph. the s!heres reflect each other. consider Three -pheres 33 4'i & L%5. thus creatin a virtual cloud of )T81s around each )T8& . every other !art. in which every !art of the world seems to contain. that of !eo!le. this brin s forth an ima e of renormali<ed !articles. the writin table reflects the s!heres on to! of it. there are virtual !hotons. neutrons.et 'inally. and so on& 0oth of these ima es could be re!resented in a concise. yet the hint is enou h& The 0uddhist alle ory of -Indra1s 8et. the vertical ones throu h time& )t every crossin of threads is an individual. muons&&& = in every !hoton. neutrinos. !ositrons. ele ant way by usin )u mented Transition 8etworks& In the case of !articles.73G5=E GH! Three S!heres II.illuminates and !enetrates every crystal bead= moreover. as well as the writin table. there would be one network for each cate ory of !article= in the case of !eo!le. the drawin of them.tells of an endless net of threads throu hout the universe.

Just concentrate your whole ener y into this /F. or not? The answer to this question is not an evasive /F= rather. you will see JRshl face to face& Then you can work hand in hand with the whole line of !atriarchs& Is this not a !leasant thin to do? If you want to !ass this barrier. we will take advanta e of dualistic. -3hat is 1/F1?.This one word. ?as M& theorem-nature. filled with this question. the o!!osite of e(istence& If you really want to !ass this barrier. he will cut him down= if a !atriarch offers him any obstacle.ectivity and ob.7allin one would create calls on others.and carry it day and ni ht& :o not believe it is the common ne ative symbol meanin nothin & It is not nothin ness. whatever you do. throu h every !ore of your skin. is like a tan lin host& Hou may ask -3hat is a barrier of a !atriarch?. your sub. he will kill him= and he will be free in his way of birth and death& ?e can enter any world as if it were his own !lay round& I will tell you how to do this with this kRan. 1/F1. until it bottomed out& Mumon on M& Aet us conclude this brief e(cursion into 9en by returnin comment on JRshl1s /F."% to /umon& ?ere is his To reali<e 9en one has to !ass throu h the barrier of the !atriarchs& Enli htenment always comes after the road of thinkin is blocked& If you do not !ass the barrier of the !atriarchs or if your thinkin road is not blocked. whatever you think. it is a resoundin show this. and this !rocess mi ht cascade arbitrarily far. is it& This is the barrier of 9en& If you !ass throu h it. lo ical thinkin & 8E& In order to . we now descend to the !rivate lowlinesses of ?ofstadter1s M&&&& I know that you have already concentrated your whole ener y into this M& 4when you read 7ha!ter "5& So now I wish to answer the question which was !osed there. and do not allow any discontinuation& 3hen you enter this /F and there is no discontinuation—your attainment will be as a candle burnin and illuminatin the whole universe& +rom Mumon to the M&-!u::le 'rom the ethereal hei hts of JRshl1s /F. you should feel like drinkin a hot iron ball that you can neither swallow nor s!it out& Then your !revious lesser knowled e disa!!ears& )s a fruit ri!enin in season. you must work throu h every bone in your body.ectivity naturally become one& It is like a dumb man who has had a dream& ?e knows about it but he cannot tell it& 3hen he enters this condition his e o-shell is crushed and he can shake the heaven and move the earth& ?e is like a reat warrior with a shar! sword& If a 0uddha stands in his way.

III can be re!laced by && IG& && can be dro!!ed from any theorem& Mumon Sho's &s /o' to Sol"e the M&-!u::le )ccordin to the observations above.0ut why should it matter to have one eye? If you try countin the number of I1s contained in theorems. in short. here is a reca!itulation of the /IF-system. /. never creates a multi!le of % from scratch& It can only create one when it be an with one& The same holds for rule II. so is 9I&& II& If M9 is a theorem. the /F-!u<<le is merely a !u<<le about natural numbers in ty!o ra!hical dis uise& If we could only find a way to transfer it to the domain of number theory.3e made two crucial observations in 7ha!ter I. it seems that no matter how much len thenin and shortenin is involved.ule III. and how it chan ed mathematicians1 view of their own disci!line& 'or your ease of reference. F )TIE/. it diminishes the I-count by e(actly %& )fter an a!!lication of this rule. he will see the failure on the teacher1s !art&. then. the theory of numbers& 3e did not analy<e the /F-!u<<le in those terms very carefully in 7ha!ter I= we shall do so now& )nd we will see how the second observation 4when enerali<ed beyond the insi nificant /IF-system5 is one of the most fruitful reali<ations of all mathematics. the I-count of the out!ut mi ht conceivably be a multi!le of %—but only if the I-count of the in!ut was also& . 4"5 that the /F-!u<<le has de!th lar ely because it involves the inter!lay of len thenin and shortenin rules= 4B5 that ho!e nevertheless e(ists for crackin the !roblem by em!loyin a tool which is in some sense of adequate de!th to handle matters of that com!le(ity. notice that rules I and IG leave the I-count totally undisturbed& Therefore we need only think about rules II and III& )s far as rule III is concerned.FAES. which doubles the I-count& The . we can never work in such a way that all I1s are eliminated& Aet us call the number of I1s in any strin the I-count of that strin & 8ote that the I-count of the a(iom /I is "& 3e can do more than show that the I-count can1t be +—we can show that the I-count can never be any multi!le of %& To be in with. -If any of you has one eye. so is M99& III& In any theorem. you will soon notice that it seems never to be +& In other words. /I . I& If 9I is a theorem. SH/0EAS. I. we mi ht be able to solve it& Aet us !onder the words of /umon. who said.

number theory& 3e are oin to see that there is a way to embed all !roblems about any formal system. + is a forbidden value of the I-count& ?ence. in number theory& This can ha!!en thanks to the discovery. thanks to a sim!le number-theoretical ar ument. even as a !u<<le about I-counts. could decrease 4rule III5& Fntil we analy<ed the situation. 4"5 The I-count be ins at " 4not a multi!le of %5= 4B5 Two of the rules do not affect the I-count at all= 4%5 4%5 The two remainin rules which do affect the I-count do so in such a way as never to create a multi!le of % unless iven one initially& The conclusion—and a ty!ically hereditary one it is. with enou h switchin back and forth between the rules. M& is not a theorem of the '35%s)stem! 8otice that. M ÜÞ% I ÜÞ" &ÜÞ + The corres!ondence was chosen arbitrarily= the only rhyme or reason is that each symbol looks a little like the one it is ma!!ed onto& Each number is called the 6>del number of the corres!ondin letter& 8ow I am sure you can uess what the 6>del number of a multiletter strin will be. this !roblem was !la ued by the crossfire of len thenin and shortenin rules& 9ero became the oal= I-counts could increase 4rule II5. we know that this is im!ossible& G#del-.reason is that if % divides Bn. then—because % does not divide B—it must divide n 4a sim!le fact from the theory of numbers5& 8either rule II nor rule III can create a multi!le of % from scratch& 0ut this is the key to the /F-!u<<le2 ?ere is what we know. too—is that I-count can never become any multi!le of %& In !articular. by 6>del. of a s!ecial kind of isomor!hism& To illustrate it. and solved within. . we mi ht have thou ht that. we mi ht eventually hit +& 8ow.umbering the MI&-System 8ot all !roblems of the the ty!e which the /F-!u<<le symboli<es are so easy to solve as this one& 0ut we have seen that at least one such !u<<le could be embedded within. I will use /IFsystem& 3e be in by considerin the notation of the /IF-system& 3e ma! each symbol onto a new symbol.

IT?/ETI7)A . to be e(act& 3hen natural numbers are written in the decimal system. by a!!endin a 1+1 on the ri ht= on the other hand we could equally well view the transition as caused by an arithmetical o!eration—multi!lication by "+. too. can be multi!lied by "+& 8ow we could have stuck with a !urely ty!o ra!hical rule. could be thou ht of as havin been enerated by a similar set of ty!o ra!hical rules& Het the ri ht-hand column has a dual nature& Aet me e(!lain what this means& Seeing Things Both Ty!ogra!hically and Arithmetically 3e could say of the fifth strin 41%+"+15 that it was made from the fourth. ) number whose remainder when divided by "+ is ". ). such as the followin one. . 4"5 MI 4B5 MII 4%5 MIIII 4C5 M&I 4L5 M&I& 4D5 M&I&&I& 4$5 M&II& —— —— —— —— —— —— —— a(iom rule B rule B rule % rule " rule B rule C —— —— —— —— —— —— —— %" %"" %"""" %+" %+"+ %+"++"+ %+""+ The left-hand column is obtained by a!!lyin our four familiar ty!o ra!hical rules& The ri ht-hand column.M& Ü Þ %+ MII& Ü Þ %""+ etc& It is easy& 7learly this ma!!in between notations is an information-!reservin transformation= it is like !layin the same melody on two different instruments& Aet us now take a look at a ty!ical derivation in the /IF-system.FAE Ib.IT?/ETI7)A . ). ) number whose decimal e(!ansion ends on the ri ht in 1"1 can be multi!lied by "+& 3e can eliminate the reference to the symbols in the decimal e(!ansion by arithmetically describin the ri htmost di it. multi!lication by "+ and !uttin a 1+1 on the ri ht are indistin uishable o!erations& 3e can take advanta e of this to write an arithmetical rule which corres!onds to ty!o ra!hical rule I. written simultaneously in both notations.FAE Ia.

6oin from line " to line B. someone introduced him the ma!!in between stories and strin s& 3hat a revelation2 The discovery of 6>del-numberin has been likened to the discovery. and k is %& . where both m and n equal "& . 3e can make %"& . of the isomor!hism between curves in a !lane and equations in two variables= incredibly sim!le. it can be viewed either as a series of ty!o ra!hical o!erations chan in one !attern of symbols into another. by a!!endin 1+1 to the ri ht of that 1"1& They would have the same effect& This is why the ri ht-hand column has a -dual nature-. !erha!s you would like to see a more com!lete renderin of this hi her level of the isomor!hism& It is a very ood e(ercise& The idea is to ive an arithmetical rule whose action is indistin uishable from that of each ty!o ra!hical rule of the /IF-system. let us !ostulate that. m and k are arbitrary natural numbers. by :escartes. 6oin from line C to line L& ?ere. it is as if somebody had been familiar with strin fi ures all his life. thou h. then we can make k W "+m^" ^ n& E9ample. and k X %+"& Aet us not for et our a(iom2 3ithout it we can o nowhere& Therefore.FAE %. but !urely visually—and then.FAE C. n X "+. all of a sudden. then we can make "+ W 4"+m ^ "5 E9ample.FAE B. If we have made k W "+m^B ^ n then we can make k W "+m ^ n E(am!le.FAE ". m X B. 6oin from line % to line C& ?ere. m X %+& . once you see it—and o!enin onto a vast new world 0efore we . someone introduced him to the ma!!in between sounds a musical scores& 3hat a rich. If we have made % W "+m ^ n. all of a sudden. m and n are ".um! to conclusions. ) solution is iven below& In the rules.THPE6. If we have made "+m ^ ". but !urely as strin fi ures devoid of meanin —and then. 6oin from line D to line $& ?ere. If we have made k W "+m^% ^ """ W "+m ^ n. then we can make "+m W 4% W "+m ^ n5 ^ n& E9ample.FAE I. or as a series of arithmetical o!erations chan in one ma nitude into another& 0ut there are !owerful reasons for bein more interested in the arithmetical version& Ste!!in out of one !urely ty!o ra!hical system into another isomor!hic ty!o ra!hical system is not a very e(citin thin to do= whereas ste!!in clear out of the ty!o ra!hical domain into an isomor!hic !art of number theory has some kind of une(!lored !otential& It is as if somebody had known musical scores all his life. 'rom any theorem whose ri htmost symbol is 1"1 a new theorem can be made.)P?I7)A . new world2 Then a ain. and n is any natural number which is less than "+m& .

kX%+"5 8otice once a ain that the len thenin and shortenin rules are ever with us in this -%"+system-= they have merely been trans!osed into the domain of numbers. nX"5 rule B 4mXB. subtractions. and it will have an absolutely shatterin effect& It tells us that once we have a 6>del numberin for any formal system. we can strai htaway form a set of arithmetical rules which com!lete the 6>del isomor!hism& The u!shot is that we can transfer the study of any formal system—in fact the study of all formal systems—into number theory& MI&-. and so forth& /ore briefly. de!endin on which rules are ado!ted& -Producible numbers. dro!!ed. so that the 6>del numbers o u! and down& If you look carefully at what is oin on. nX""5 rule % 4mX". nX"+5 rule C 4mXB. and so forth could be called /IF-produci(le numbers—an un ainly name.8ow the ri ht-hand column can be seen as a full-fled ed arithmetic !rocess. such numbers as %". %""". If there is a ty!o ra!hical rule which tells how certain di its are to be shifted. Ty!o ra!hical rules for mani!ulatin numerals are actually arithmetical rules for o!eratin on num(ers& This sim!le observation is at the heart of 6>del1s method. which mi ht be shortened to .are only !roducible relati#e to a s)stem of arithmetical rules& 'or e(am!le. %+"++"+. nX"+. then this rule can be re!resented equally well by an arithmetical counter!art which involves arithmetical o!erations with !owers of "+ as well as additions.EPESITIE8. 4"5 4B5 4%5 4C5 4L5 4D5 4$5 %" %"" %"""" %+" %+"+ %+"++"+ %+""+ iven rule B 4mX". nX".)A P.umbers Just as any set of ty!o ra!hical rules enerates a set of theorems. different numbers will be !roducible. a corres!ondin set of natural numbers will be enerated by re!eated a!!lications of arithmetical rules& These produci(le num(ers !lay the same role inside number theory as theorems do inside any formal system& Ef course. chan ed.roducible . kX%5 rule " 4mX%+5 rule B 4mX%. or inserted in any number re!resented decimally. you will discover that the rules are based on nothin more !rofound than the idea that shiftin di its to left and ri ht in decimal re!resentations of inte ers is related to multi!lications and divisions by !owers of "+& This sim!le observation finds its enerali<ation in the followin 7E8T. in a new arithmetical system which we mi ht call the HBK%s)stem.

such questions mi ht !rove too hard for us to resolve& 0ut if there is any ho!e for solvin such !roblems. I !ointed out in 7ha!ter GIII that even such a sim!le arithmetical !redicate as .into T8Tnotation.its rules. com!act system& Ans'ering 8uestions about .umbers by Consulting T. with some hard work. symboli<in the fact that those numbers are the ones that result when you transcribe the /IF-system into number theory. one can ask. in somewhat the same way as we fi ured out how to translate other numbertheoretical sentences into T8T-notation& I should immediately caution the reader that such a translation.ust a sin le formal system—T8T? It seems !lausible& Take.-7an we characteri<e non!roducible numbers in a recursively enumerable way?. it would have to reside in the usual kind of ste!-by-ste! reasonin as it a!!lies to natural numbers& )nd that.is a lot more com!licated than that2 Still. thou h it does e(ist. this question.T 7ould it be.b is a !ower of "+. a strin of T8T which s!eaks about the /F-!u<<le& Aet us .roducible . does& The set of !roducible numbers of any system is a recursi#el) enumera(le set& 3hat about its com!lement—the set of non!roducible numbers? Is that set always recursively enumerable? :o numbers which are non!roducible share some common arithmetical feature? This is the sort of issue which arises when you trans!ose the study of formal systems into number theory& 'or each system which is arithmeti<ed. is immensely com!le(& If you recall. we should e(!ect that. of course. we have rules tellin how to make more !roducible numbers& Thus. -7an we characteri<e !roducible numbers in a sim!le way?.is very tricky to code into T8T-notation—and the !redicate -b is a /IF-number. was !ut in its quintessential form in the !revious 7ha!ter& T8T seemed. that the means with which to answer any question about any formal system lies within . it can be found= and the numeral SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS? can be substituted for every b& This will result in a /E8strous strin of T8T. Is M& a theorem of the /IF-system? 'indin the answer is equivalent to determinin whether %+ is a /IF number or not& 0ecause it is a statement of number theory. or M-numbers.These are difficult questions of number theory& :e!endin on the system which has been arithmeti<ed. to have ca!tured all valid mathematical thinkin !rocesses in one sin le. we could fi ure out how to translate the sentence -%+ is a /IF-number. for instance. to all a!!earances. via 6>del-numberin & If we were to 6>del-number the !q-system and then -arithmeti<e. we could call the !roducible numbers -!q-numbers-—and so on& 8ote that the !roducible numbers 4in any iven system5 are defined by a recursive method. the class of numbers known to be !roducible is constantly e(tendin itself./IF-num(ers. iven numbers which are known to be !roducible. in much the same way that the list of 'ibonacci numbers. therefore.

we know that this statement is tied 4via isomor!hism5 to the statement M& is a theorem of the /IF-system& So we can le itimately quote this latter as the second !assive meanin of /F/E8& It may seem very stran e because. and a sim!le formal system 4the /IF-system5 by a com!licated one 4T8T5& It isn1t likely that the answer will be any more forthcomin even thou h the question has been resha!ed& In fact. of a section of :8). /F/E8 has two different !assive meanin s& 'irstly. after all. and of the dialo ue in which the sentence is embedded. this is an intri uin !oint.ust as -0)7?.about the /IF-system& The ual . it can& Just as a sin le musical line may serve as both harmony and melody in a sin le !iece= . we would have to seek the answer to a new question. %+ is a /IF-number& 0ut secondly. 'act "& Statements such as -M& is a theorem. !arentheses. T8T is now ca!able of s!eakin -in code. and so forth—symbols of T8T& ?ow can it !ossibly e(!ress any statement with other than arithmetical content? The fact is.therefore call that strin -/F/E8-& Throu h /F/E8 and strin s like it. Is /F/E8 a theorem of T8T? )ll we have done is re!lace one relatively short strin 4 M&5 by another 4the monstrous /F/E85. it has the one which was iven before. T8T has a full com!lement of both len thenin and shortenin rules. so /F/E8 can be taken in 4at least5 two entirely different ways& This state of affairs comes about because of two facts. /F/E8 can be looked at on more than one level& In fact.may be inter!reted as both a name and a melody= . In order to ain some benefit from this !eculiar transformation of the ori inal question.ust as a sin le sentence may be an accurate structural descri!tion of a !icture by Escher.can be coded into number theory via 6>del1s isomor!hism& 'act B& Statements of number theory can be translated into T8T& . and the reformulation of the question is likely to be far harder than the ori inal& Ene mi ht even say that lookin at M& via /F/E8 is an intentionally idiotic way of doin thin s& ?owever. /F/E8 contains nothin but !lus si ns. of a !iece by 0ach.ature of M&M0.

. !otential of 6>del1s isomor!hism& The natural trick would be to turn T8T1s ca!ability of mirrorin other . we are so !re. that to conceive of certain strin s of T8T as statements about the /IF-system is quite difficult& 0ut 6>del1s isomor!hism com!els us to reco ni<e this second level of meanin in certain strin s of T8T& :ecoded in the more familiar way. that meanin is an automatic by!roduct of our reco nition of any isomor!hism= therefore there are at least two !assive meanin s of /F/E8—maybe more2 The Boomerang5 G#del-.udiced by the symbols of T8T towards seein number-theoretical meanin 4and only number-theoretical meanin 5 in strin s of T8T.T Ef course thin s do not sto! here& 3e have only be un reali<in the. the messa e becomes trans!arent as water& 3hen a code is familiar enou h.ected here that a coded messa e. %+ is a /IF-number& This is a statement of number theory. we have in a sense broken a code in which messa es about the /IF-system are written in strin s of T8T& 6>del1s isomor!hism is a new information-revealer. . it ceases a!!earin like a code= one for ets that there is a decodin mechanism& The messa e is identified with its meanin & ?ere we have a case where the identification of messa e and meanin is so stron that it is hard for us to conceive of an alternate meanin residin in the same symbols& 8amely. otten by inter!retin each si n the conventional way& 0ut in discoverin 6>del-numberin and the whole isomor!hism built u!on it. /F/E8 bears the messa e.umbering T. by 'act B. /F/E8 bears the messa e M& is a theorem of the /IF-system& The moral of the story is one we have heard before. does not e(!ress anythin on its own—it requires knowled e of the code& 0ut in reality there is no such thin as an uncoded messa e& There are only messa es written in more familiar codes. and messa es written in less familiar codes& If the meanin of a messa e is to be revealed it must be !ulled out of the code by some sort of mechanism. unlike an uncoded messa e.ust as the deci!herments of ancient scri!ts were information-revealers& :ecoded by this new and less familiar mechanism. or isomor!hism& It may be difficult to discover the method by which the decodin should be done= but once that method has been discovered. where the symbols of the code are.It could be said that /F/E8 is. by 'act ". a coded messa e.ust symbols of T8T& Codes and Im!licit Meaning 8ow it could be ob.

c. &&&&& !unc& &&&&& ? S X ^ 8odon DDD "B% """ ""B B%D %DB %B% B"B B"% %"B %"% BDB "D% "D" D"D D%% BB% %%% DBD D%D D"" 'nemonic ?ustification 8umber of the 0east for the /ysterious 9ero successorshi!.ra!h. settin them off for -easy. is )(iom " in the two notations.of the sequence D-"-D 1 D -im!lies. for instance.ra!h. in 7ha!ter TIG& 8ow we can rewrite any strin or rule of T8T in the new arb& ?ere.formal systems back on itself. the standard convention of !uttin in a comma every third di it ha!!ens to coincide with our colons. two si(es s!ecial number. and then -arithmeti<e. in the new notation. #""5 b Each symbol of T8T is matched u! with a tri!let com!osed of the di its ". h S a X + 7onveniently. turned sideways "^"XB BW%XD ends in B ends in % ends in B these three pairs ends in % form a pattern ends in B ends in % o!!osite to " 4DBD5 "D% is !rime 11 is a .ra!h. %. we could make the followin corres!ondence. B. we will have to 6>del-number T8T itself. in some sense & B ^ B is not % 1Ǝ1 looks like 1%1 o!!osite to a= also a .BDB. &&&&& 4 &&&&& 5 &&&&& g &&&&& a &&&&& U &&&&& V &&&&& a &&&&& ' &&&&&  &&&&&  &&&&&  &&&&& ~ &&&&& Ǝ &&&&& " &&&&& .""". -!unctuation-.BB%. which you will find out about in 7ha!ter TGI& I will e(!lain the bottom entry. . and D. as on 0ell system 4C"".BDB. %.its rules of inference& The 6>del-numberin is easy to do& 'or instance. in a manner chosen for mnemonic value& I shall call each such tri!let of di its a Gödel codon.le ibility& ?ere is the .of the sequence "-D-" 11 is a . -)m(ol &&&&& &&&&& &&&&& &&&&& . or codon for short& 8otice that I have iven no codon for b. B.DDD " a .% and %.of D-B-D two dots. in destroyin itself& In order to do this. ". or e= we are usin austere T8T& There is a hidden motivation for this. and as his 6oblet 6 turned a ainst itself. the old below the new. visual resemblance.ust as we did the /IF-system.ule of :etachment. . d.D%D. DBD. as the Tortoise turned the 7rab1s !hono ra!hs a ainst themselves."B%.

here is an entire derivation taken from last 7ha!ter.BDB. 4 a ^ S a 1 5 X S 4 a ^ a 1 5 DBD.BDB.T-.DDD.FAE. so each rule is a condensed way of describin a messy arithmetical o!eration& Therefore.DDD. "B%.D%D.%DB."D%. %B%. DBD.""".umbers5 A $ecursi"ely Enumerable Set of ."B%. which can be carried out ty!o ra!hically& Just as a!!endin a 1+1 on the end is e(actly the same as multi!lyin by "+."D%.""B. which is.DDD.%B%."B%."B%.BDB.BDB.BDB.DDD."D%. each of which acts on one or more in!ut numbers.""". in a sense."B%."B%."B%."B%.%B%.DDD."B%.%DB.DDD transitivity 4 S ? ^ S ? 5 X S S ? 8otice that I chan ed the name of the -)dd S.DDD.DDD.BDB. distin uish well-formed formulas from ill-formed ones& 8aturally.DDD.""B. 4 S ? ^ S a 1 5 X S 4 S ? ^ a 1 5 %DB."B%.DDD. we do not even need to look for equivalent arithmetical rules."B%. to be more s!ecific. which have an arithmetical definition too& 8ow what about -arithmeti<in .""".DDD s!ecification 4 S ? ^ ? 5 X S ? "B%.."" ". you could read strin s it this notation as easily as you do T8T& Hou would be able to look and.D%D.%DB.""B.""B.BDB. " a 1 .%B%.DDD."D%. at a lance.DBD."B%. .D%D.%B% a(iom % " a ."B%. the !recedin derivation of the theorem -%DB. !ickin out well-formed formulas in this notation is !ickin out a s!ecial class of integers.DDD.%B%.is a sequence of hi hly convoluted number-theoretical transformations. since it is so visual.DDD."B%. called a produci(le number."B%.all the rules of inference? )s matters stand. iven in austere T8T and also transcribed into the new notation. 4 a ^ ? 5 X a %DB.DDD insert 1"B%1 S 4 S ? ^ ? 5 X S S ? %DB.%B% s!ecification 4 S ? ^ S ? 5 X S 4 S ? ^ ? 5 DBD."B%.""".""B.%DB.umbers Aooked at this way. to yield a new T8T-number= some take an old T8T-number a and decrease it= other rules take two T8T-numbers. a ty!o ra!hical rule is really equivalent to an arithmetical rule& Insertin and movin di its in decimally re!resented numbers is an arithmetical o!eration.""B.""".DDD."D%.BDB&"D%.%B% s!ecification " a 1 ."B%. o!erate on each of them some odd way. a T8Tnum(er& Some of the arithmetical rules take an old T8T-number and increase it in a !articular way.rule to -Insert 1"B%1 -. you would think of this as a ty!o ra!hical o!eration—but at the same time."B%. because all of the rules are alread) arithmetical2 T."B%. they are all still ty!o ra!hical rules& 0ut wait2 )ccordin to the 7entral Pro!osition.DDD.%DB."B%. as before.DDD.""B.""B.BDB.%B%.""B."B%. since that is the ty!o ra!hical o!eration which it now le itimi<es& This new notation has a !retty stran e feel to it& Hou lose all sense of meanin = but if you had been brou ht u! on it. then ) is a theorem& 'inally.""B. and yields an out!ut number. or.DDD.%DB."B%.""B.D%D.BDB."""."B%.%B%.%DB BDB.BDB a(iom B " a .""".%B%. If 9 and B"B9D%%)B"% are both theorems.

ust one known T8T-number. and to write out arithmetical equivalents e(!licitly would be a bi bother—and quite unenli htenin . only there are more rules and a(ioms. on the outside. and that strin would e(!ress the com!lementary notion a is not a T8T-number& 8ow if we re!laced all the occurrences of  in this second strin by the T8T-numeral for "B%.um!in children or bouncin balls= but a side effect of !roducin sounds—and an unavoidable one—is that they wra! .DDD. is ca!able of bein inter!reted on two levels& In the first !lace. S?X? is not a theorem of T8T& T."B%. """.%B%."B%.DDD. .DDD is not a T8T-number& 0ut because of the isomor!hism which links T8T-numbers to theorems of T8T. the metalan ua e in which we. of course& )rithmeti<ed T8T is actually e(tremely similar to the arithmeti<ed /IF-system. is at least !artially imitated inside T8T itself& )nd this is not an accidental feature of T8T= it ha!!ens because the architecture of any formal system can be mirrored inside 8 4number theory5& It is .DDD.DDD.""".ust like /F/E8.DDD is not a T8T-number& 8ow it occurs to us that this new number-theoretical !redicate is e9pressi(le by some strin of T8T with one free variable. we have fi#e initial T8T-numbers—one for each 4austere a(iom. while on the other hand. can s!eak about T8T. which is.DDD is a T8T-number."B%.""B.DDD.ust as inevitable a feature of T8T as are the vibrations induced in a record !layer when it !lays a record& It seems as if vibrations should come from the outside world—for instance.and then combine the results into a new T8T-number and so on and so forth& )nd instead of startin with .DDD S1s.""". that strin would say "B%.of T8T. there would be a second-level meanin of this strin . we know from the !recedin derivation that %DB. from . the !redicate a is a T8T-number& 'or e(am!le.DDD—a numeral which would contain e(actly "B%.DDD. there ou ht to be no doubt on your !art that it is quite analo ous here& There is a new number-theoretical !redicate brou ht into bein by this -6>deli<ation. !resumably "B%."B%. incidentally& If you followed how it was done for the /IF-system.""". say a& 3e could !ut a tilde in front.""". much too lon to write out—we would have a T8T-strin which.T Tries to S'allo' Itself This une(!ected double-entendre demonstrates that T8T contains strin s which talk about other strin s of T8T& In other words.

s about Itself in Code This much is intri uin yet it is only half the story& The rest of the story involves an intensification of the self-reference& 3e are now at the sta e where the Tortoise was when he reali<ed that a record could be made which would make the !hono ra!h !layin it break—but now the quest is. a strin of T8T has an inter!retation in 8= and a statement of 8 may have a second meanin as a statement about T8T& G5 A String >hich Tal.T%s Incom!leteness The in enious method of creatin 6. and some im!ortant conce!ts relatin to T8T. in the sense that one of its !assive meanin s is a sentence about 6& !articular the !assive meanin will turn out to be -6 is not a theorem of T8T&I should quickly add that 6 also has a !assive meanin which is a sta tement of num(er theor)= .around and shake the very mechanism which !roduces them& It is no accident= it is a side effect which cannot be hel!ed& It is in the nature of record !layers& )nd it is in the nature of any formali<ation of number theory that its metalan ua e is embedded within it& 3e can di nify this observation by callin it the 8entral .ust interestin to lance ahead. 6 may be a .ogma of 'athematical +ogic. 6 may not understand itself any better than a 9en master understands himself& Aike /F/E8. 6 may e(!ress a falsity& Aike /F. T8T Þ 8 Þ meta-T8T In words. or not? Aet us be sure to form our own o!inion on this matter.ust like /F/E8 it is susce!tible to bein construed in 4at least5 two different ways& The im!ortant thin is that each !assive meanin is valid and useful and doesn1t cast doubt on the other !assive meanin in any way& 4The fact that a !hono ra!h !layin a record can induce vibrations in itself and in the record does not diminish in any way the fact that those vibrations are musical sounds25 G%s E-istence Is >hat Causes T. rather than rely on 61s o!inion about itself& )fter all. and de!ictin it in a two-ste! dia ram. how do you actually fi ure out what to !ut on the record?. -6iven a record !layer. Is 6 a theorem of T8T. will be develo!ed in 7ha!ters TIII and TIG= for now it is .That is a tricky matter& 3e want to find a strin of T8T—which we1ll call 161—which is about itself. a bit su!erficially. at the consequences findin a self-referential !iece of T8T& 3ho knows? It mi ht blow u!2 In a sense it does& 3e focus down on the obvious question.

however you want to look at it5& Mumon /as the Last >ord /umon !enetrated into the /ystery of the Fndecidable anyone. however. in his concise !oem on JRshl1s /F. if we ask T8T whether the statement is true. 6 would have to be a falsity& . anythin which is a theorem of T8T e(!resses a truth& So if 6 were a theorem. -6 is not a theorem of T8T-. that T8T incor!orates valid methods of reasonin . with a lesser !roblem& @nowin that 6 is not a theorem. unambi uously. -I am not a theorem 4of T8T5&h6. let us think a moment about what h6 says& It must say the o!!osite of what 6 says& 6 says. -/y ne ation is a theorem 4of T8T5&It is h6 which is !arallel to the Tortoise1s strin . but also that the strin fails to be a theorem of T8T& )nd thus. we1d have to concede that 6 e(!resses a truth& ?ere is a situation in which T8T doesn1t live u! to our e(!ectations—we have found a strin which e(!resses a true statement yet the strin is not a theorem& )nd in our ama<ement.elyin on our assum!tion that T8T never has falsities for theorems. we shouldn1t lose track of the fact that 6 has an arithmetical inter!retation. namely. it would e(!ress a truth. a statement about certain arithmetical !ro!erties of natural numbers= moreover. so h6 must say -6 is a theorem-& 3e could re!hrase both 6 and h6 this way. we1d be forced to conclude that 6 is not a theorem& This is all ri ht= it leaves us. for that strin s!oke not about itself. and therefore that T8T never has falsities for theorems& In other words. ?as a do 0uddha-nature? This is the most serious question of all& If you say yes or no.nontheorem& 3e don1t need to believe every !ossible strin of T8T—only its theorems& 8ow let us use our !ower of reasonin to clarify the issue as best we can at this !oint& 3e will make our usual assum!tion. ) strin of T8T has been found= it e(!resses. by reasonin outside the system we can determine not only that the statement is a true one. Hou lose your own 0uddha-nature& . -6 is not a theorem-& The full force of its self-reference hits us& 0y bein a theorem. but about the strin which the Tortoise first !roffered to )chilles—which had an e(tra knot on it 4or one too few. 6. too—which allows us to summari<e our findin s this way. T8T says neither yes nor no& Is the Tortoise1s strin in the 'u :ffering the analo ue of 6? 8ot quite& The analo ue of the Tortoise1s strin is h6& 3hy is this so? 3ell.

A$T II ..

e(actly? *chilles. Surely& 0est wishes.oy it& *chilles hands the 8ra( an elegantl) wrapped present. a lawyer by vocation but a mathematician by avocation. s"uare and #er) thin! The 8ra( (egins unwrapping it!/ *nteater. I must hear about it& *chilles. then& 4&auses for a moment to sip his tea. /ay I? Eh. Just a token of our esteem& )chilles. would you like to ive it to /r& 7? *chilles. Gery well. the four of them settle down to tea! Tortoise. I1m not sure&&& It sounds stran ely familiar.Prelude *chilles and the Tortoise ha#e come to the residence of their friend the 8ra(. 3hen 0ach !layed it? 3hat do you mean. If you mean a !hono ra!h-breaker. then& &ulls out a small filing card. to make the ac"uaintance of one of his friends. when /r& T tells you what these records in fact are& Tortoise. /r& T? Tortoise. That1s most kind of you& 0ut you shouldn1t have& Tortoise. /y records derive from some !iece of mathematics? ?ow curious2 3ell. it1s never even been heard before—e(ce!t. when 0ach !layed it& 8ra(. had been readin in his co!y of the class te(t *rithmetica by :io!hantus. boy2 I1d better consult my notes. 3e1ll soon find out& 8ompletes the unwrapping. the *nteater! The introductions ha#ing (een made. I wonder what it could be& 8ra(. )chilles& *chilles. you are oin to be fabulously e(cited. and clears his #oice&5 )hem& 3ould you be interested in hearin about the remarkable new result in mathematics. to which your records owe their e(istence? 8ra(. Eh. and came across a !a e containin the equation aB^bBXcB . /r& 7rab& 8ra(. /r& 7rab. not this time& 0ut it is in fact a customrecorded item. the only one of its kind in the entire world& In fact. 3e have brou ht alon a little somethin for you. then resumes!/ ?ave you heard of 'ermat1s infamous -Aast Theorem-? *nteater. you o ahead and tell him. It1s a very sim!le idea& Pierre de 'ermat. of course. and yet I can1t quite !lace it& *chilles. and pulls out the gift/! Two records2 ?ow e(citin 2 0ut there1s no label& Fh-oh—is this another of your -s!ecials-. Eh. now that you1ve !rovoked my interest. /r& 7rab& I ho!e you en.

73G5=E GD! />bius Stri! II. () '! 8! Escher woodcut. BIJH/! .

EE' of 'ermat1s Theorem 4thus . c. horrors2 I1m most embarrassed2 7an you believe this? I left the values at home on a truly colossal !iece of !a!er& Fnfortunately it was too hu e to brin alon & I wish I had them here to show to you& If it1s of any hel! to you.ustifyin its name as well as vindicatin 'ermat= also a 7EF8TE. and n only when n X B 4and then there are infinitely many tri!lets a. all n u! to "BL. either to !rove 'ermat1s claim. c. that satisfy 'ermat1s equation? I1m es!ecially curious about the value of n& *chilles. Eh. /r& Tortoise has done so. a set of four inte ers a. c which satisfy the equation5= but there are no solutions for n a B& I have discovered a truly marvelous !roof of this statement. some three hundred years a o. by findin a countere(am!le. every attem!t in either direction had met with failure& To be sure. Strictly s!eakin . which. but tradition has ke!t it this way& 8ra(.ecture. thus showin that the ske!tics had ood intuition2 8ra(. and as usual. and thereby vindicate 'ermat1s re!utation. which satisfy the equation& Fntil very recently. b.+++& *nteater. althou h very hi h. Eh. what a shame that you don1t have them here& 0ut there reason to doubt what you have told us& .ET)/PAE. by a wi<ardly stroke& ?e has not only found a P.it1s never been iven a !ro!er !roof? *chilles. the Theorem has been !roven for many s!ecific values of n—in !articular.rather than a -Theorem. The equation an^bnXcn has solutions in !ositive inte ers a. and n. mathematicians have been vainly tryin to do one of two thin s. b. Shouldn1t it be called a -7on. you1re ri ht. b.?e immediately reali<ed that this equation has infinitely many solutions a. Eh my racious2 That is a revolutionary discovery& *nteater. Indeed2 In fact. has been somewhat tarnished by ske!tics who think he never really found the !roof he claimed to have found—or else to refute the claim. which. I do remember one thin —the value of n is the only !ositive inte er which does not occur anywhere in the continued fraction for m& 8ra(. 0ut !lease don1t leave us in sus!ense& 3hat ma ical inte er they. ?as someone at last mana ed to resolve this celebrated question? *chilles. c. and then wrote in the mar in the followin notorious comment. with n a B. this mar in is too small to contain& Ever since that day. b. unfortunately.

!lease acce!t my hearty felicitations. since I always thou ht number theory was the Mueen of /athematics—the !urest branch of mathematics—the one branch of mathematics which has 8E a!!lications2 Tortoise. on the occasion of your e!och-makin discovery2 Tortoise. /r& T. The name tells it all. Thank you& 0ut what I feel is more im!ortant than the result itself is the !ractical use to which my result immediately led& 8ra(. I am dyin to hear about it. but in fact it is quite im!ossible to make a blanket statement about when or how some branch—or even some individual Theorem—of !ure mathematics will have im!ortant re!ercussions outside of mathematics& It is quite un!redictable—and this case is a !erfect e(am!le of that !henomenon& *chilles. 8ot so& It is actually quite similar to what one1s brain does. /r& Tortoise1s double-barreled result has created a breakthrou h in the field of acoustico-retrieval2 *nteater. )nyway. it is the retrieval of acoustic information from e(tremely com!le( sources& ) ty!ical task of acoustico-retrieval is to reconstruct the sound which a rock made on !lummetin into a lake from the ri!!les which s!read out over the lake1s surface& 8ra(. 3hat is acoustico-retrieval? *chilles. who needs to see n written out decimally? )chilles has . when it reconstructs the sound made in the vocal cords of another !erson from the vibrations transmitted by the eardrum to the fibers in the cochlea& 8ra(. Hou1re not the only one with that belief. or what this all has to do with my new records& . that sounds ne(t to im!ossible2 *chilles. 3hy.73G5=E GG! &ierre de 7ermat! *nteater.ust told us how to find it& 3ell. I see& 0ut I still don1t see where number theory enters the !icture.

which. )ma<in 2 *nteater. you see. Thus think the naPve&&& 0ut /r& T has devoted many years to this !roblem. so the one led directly to the other& 8ra(. 3ell. simultaneously& )s it turns out. with n a B& Tortoise. in the mathematics of acoustico-retrieval. to my sur!rise it turned out to be the 'ermat equation& )n amusin accidental relationshi! between form and content& So when I found the countere(am!le. such a solution E. from calculations involvin the motions of all the molecules in the atmos!here at the !resent time& )nteater.)nd therefore. 3ell. a !roof that there are 8E solutions2. in careful fashion. and came to the reali<ation that the whole thin hin ed on the number of solutions to the equation an^bnXcn in !ositive inte ers. /r& T was able to carry out the acoustico-retrieval which he had so lon dreamed of& )nd /r& 7rab1s !resent here re!resents a !al!able reali<ation of all this abstract work& 8ra(. I1m sorry. which took !lace over two hundred years a o. It turned out that acoustico-retrieval theory !redicts that 0ach sounds can be retrieved from the motion of all the molecules in the atmos!here.)chilles. there arise many questions which have to do with the number of solutions of certain :io!hantine equations& 8ow /r& T has been for years tryin to find a way of reconstructin the sounds of 0ach !layin his har!sichord. ?ow could that be? Tortoise. it so ha!!ened. when you think about it& I can1t ima ine why no one had ever found the result before& *chilles.emarkably sim!le. there e(ists at least one solution to the equation— 8ra(. for that is indeed . set about workin at both ends of the !roblem. /r& T. )s a result of this unantici!atedly rich mathematical success. I was about to say. but I have to. :on1t tell me it1s a recordin of 0ach !layin his own works for har!sichord2 *chilles. 'antastic2 Tortoise. the discovery of the countere(am!le was the key in redient to findin the !roof. but I1m sure it would bore you& *chilles. I had shown that the structural layout of any !roof of 'ermat1s Aast Theorem—if one e(isted—could be described by an ele ant formula.ust what it is2 This is a set of two records of Johann Sebastian 0ach !layin all of his >ell%Tempered 8la#ier& Each . !rovided that EIT?E. 3ho would have thou ht2 *chilles. all I needed to do was to use those numbers as a blue!rint for constructin my !roof that there were no solutions to the equation& . one forever2 )chilles. of course. de!ended on the values of the solution to a certain equation& 3hen I found this second equation. I could e(!lain.ust how this equation arises. . -!rovided that there e(ists EIT?E. Surely that is im!ossible2 They are irretrievably one.

one days of my youth. alle ro. bindin them to ether very stron ly& Tortoise. Hou have already thanked us !lentifully. Hes& )lthou h it may be hard to !ut it into words. )nd there is somethin very dramatic about the few moments of silent sus!ense han in between !relude and fu ue—that moment where the the theme of the fu ue is about to rin out. and puts it on! The sound of an incredi(l) masterful harpsichordist fills the room. there is nevertheless always some intan ible abstract quality which underlies both of them. or CIC? 3ill it have three voices. I always wonder what the fu ue1s tem!o will be. yes. I know . with this delicious tea which you have !re!ared& The 8ra( slides one of the records out of its Macket. in the highest imagina(le fidelit)! :ne e#en hearsOor is it one's imagination$Othe soft sounds of Bach singing to himself as he pla)s!!!/ 8ra(. I would very much en. ?ere you are. 3ell. s!ecially illuminated by a teacher of mine who ha!!ens also to be an unusually fine calli ra!her& Tortoise. in sin le tones. or ada io? 3ill it be in DI*. and for me that fleetin interlude of silence is very e(citin = it1s a time when I try to second. 3ould any of you like to follow alon in the score? I ha!!en to have a unique edition of the >ell%Tempered 8la#ier. ?ave you ever noticed how in these !ieces the !relude always sets the mood !erfectly for the followin fu ue? 8ra(. e(quisite harmony& *chilles. filled with e(citement of their novelty and beauty and the many une(!ected sur!rises which they conceal& *chilles.record contains one of the two volumes of the >ell%Tempered 8la#ier= that is to say.uess old 0ach& 'or e(am!le. /r& Tortoise& I1ve never really otten to know all the beautiful illustrations in this edition& Perha!s your ift will !rovide the needed im!etus for me to do so& Tortoise. each record contains BC !reludes and fu ues—one in each ma. and then to . immediately2 )nd how can I ever thank the two of you? Tortoise. I do ho!e so& *nteater.oin with itself in ever-increasin ly com!le( levels of weird.oy that& The 8ra( goes to his elegant glass%enclosed wooden (ookcase. the first voice starts&&& Such an e(quisite moment& 8ra(. we must absolutely !ut one of these !riceless records on. opens the doors. well do I remember those lon . )nd now? Is that thrill all one? .or and minor key& 8ra(.ust what you mean& There are so many !reludes and fu ues which I haven1t yet otten to know.ect. or five—or four? )nd then. days when I thrilled to each new !relude and fu ue. )h. and draws out two large #olumes!/ 8ra(. there is always some subtle relation between the two& Even if the !relude and fu ue do not have a common melodic sub.

in some unknown way. Eccurrences of the theme which you had overlooked? 8ra(. E(actly& 8ra(.in which one can !erceive the bubbles& *chilles. without tryin to disentan le one from another& I have tried out both of these modes. Eh. you needn1t fear that your infatuation will totally die& Ene of the nice thin s about that sort of youthful thrill is that it can always resuscitated. thank you& Aet me come at the question from an an le& )re you familiar with the !rint called 8u(e with 'agic =i((ons.ust a novice at fu ue-listenin . and. but by yourself. That is intri uin & The thrill has remained dormant somewhere inside you. as thrills always will be& 0ut in that familiarity there is also a kind of de!th. really? Such as what? 8ra(. but I don1t have the !ower to summon it u! at will= I have to wait for chance circumstance to tri er it& *chilles. It1s been su!!lanted by familiarity. either to follow one individual voice at a time. but as I am .ust when you thou ht it was finally dead& It . Perha!s—es!ecially when it is inverted and hidden amon several other voices. or to listen to the total effect of all of them to ether. in the structure of my brain. Such as hearin it throu h the ears. which has its own com!ensations& 'or instance. Eh. I seem to have discovered two somewhat analo ous modes in which I can listen to a fu ue& The modes are these. as soon as you1ve decided that they are bum!s. I1d certainly like to offer my own mea er knowled e. and I can feel thrilled a ain& *chilles. I am very lad to hear that there is somethin to look forward to. after I have been throu h the first flush of infatuation with the >ell Tempered 8la#ierOalthou h it also makes me sad that this sta e could not last forever and ever& 8ra(. you aren1t able to fish it u! out of your subconscious& 8ra(. I have a question about fu ues which I feel a little embarrass about askin . of someone to whom it is a totally new e(!erience—someone such as you.ust takes the ri ht kind of tri erin from the outside& *chilles. Eh. I find that there are always new sur!rises which I hadn1t noticed before& *chilles. each one of them shuts out the other& It1s sim!ly not in my !ower to follow . and wonder how old 0ach dreamt them u!& *chilles. E(actly& The !otential of relivin the thrill is -coded-.8ra(. )chilles& Somehow the e(citement transmits itself. or where it seems to come rushin u! from the de!ths. . out of nowhere& 0ut there are also ama<in modulations which it is marvelous to listen to over and over a ain. by /& 7& Escher? Tortoise. de!endin on the direction that you a!!roach them from& There1s no way to see them simultaneously as concave )8: conve(— somehow one1s brain doesn1t allow that& There are two mutually e(clusive -modes. I remember that !icture& Those little bubbles always seem to fli! back and forth between bein concave and conve(. In which there are circular bands havin bubble-like distortions which. seem to turn it dents—and vice versa? *chilles. much to my frustration. so to s!eak. I was wonderin if !erha!s one of you seasoned fu ue-listeners mi ht hel! me in learnin &&& Tortoise. Just so& 3ell. if it mi ht !rove of some assistance& *chilles.

because you can1t quite make yourself function both ways at once& *nteater. eh? *chilles. () '! 8! Escher lithograph. and you can1t quite ras! all of it. BIGC5& the !aths of individual voices and at the same time to hear the whole effect& I find that I fli! back and forth between one mode and the other. more or less s!ontaneously and involuntarily& *nteater. that each of their voices is a !iece of music in itself= and thus a fu ue mi ht be thou ht of as a collection of several distinct !ieces of music. Hes& I was .73G5=E GJ! 7ube with /a ic . not at all. since you feel that the essence of the fu ue is flittin about you.ibbons. 'u ues have that interestin !ro!erty. 8o. and all !layed simultaneously& )nd it .ust wonderin &&& does my descri!tion of these two modes of fu uelistenin brand me unmistakably as a naPve. who couldn1t even be in to ras! the dee!er modes of !erce!tion which e(ist beyond his ken? Tortoise. /ost definitely& It1s quite a tantali<in !henomenon. but I to find myself shiftin back and forth from one mode to the other without e(ertin any conscious control over which mode should he dominant& I don1t know if our other com!anions here have also e(!erienced anythin similar& 8ra(. )chilles& I can only s!eak for myself. all based on one sin le theme. Just as when you look at the ma ic bands. ine(!erienced listener.

)bsolutely& *chilles. you would find that it seemed to make sense all by itself& It could stand alone. each one of which ives the illusion of havin been written for its own beauty. ) better way to state it mi ht be this. and returns to the Tortoise. Eh. Aisten carefully. as I listen to this fu ue. I will ain any more insi ht into the question. and hearin its com!onent voices. Eh. which a!!lies to many kinds of structures built u! from lower levels& *chilles. I wonder how that could be& I uess it has to do with alternatin between !erceivin somethin as a whole. if you listened to each on its own. that one from close up. and yet which when taken to ether forms a whole.ust have an unsystematic clashin of tones—and that is as far from the truth as could be& *nteater. in situations other than fu ue-listenin ? *nteater. otherwise when they were !ut to ether one would . is a !articular e(am!le of a very eneral dichotomy. who peers at it rather intentl)!/ *chilles.ust turned the !a e while followin the music.may have some eneral ty!e of a!!licability. really? Hou mean that my two -modes. Hou say that the !arts are -inde!endent-. or as a collection of inde!endent !arts. all of which harmoni<e& *chilles. 3ell. I uess the !relude is .ust about over& I wonder if. yet that can1t be literally true& There has to be some coordination between them. look at this2 I . to make a raceful totality& The art of writin a beautiful fu ue lies !recisely in this ability. and that is the sense in which I meant that it is inde!endent& 0ut you are quite ri ht in !ointin out that each of these individually meanin ful lines fuses with the others in a hi hly nonrandom way. which does not feel forced in any way& 8ow. my. e#er)one tipping his head this wa) and that in pu@@lement! 7inall) it has made the rounds. as a whole. -3hat is the ri ht way to listen to a fu ue. I have never seen that illustration before& 3hy don1t you !ass it 1round? The Tortoise passes the (ook around! Each of the foursome looks at it in a characteristic wa)Othis one from afar. and you will2 The prelude ends! There is a moment of silenceR and!!! U*TT*88*V . and !erceivin it as a collection of !arts& 0ut the only !lace I have ever run into that dichotomy is in listenin to fu ues& Tortoise. this dichotomy between hearin a fu ue as a whole. and came across this ma nificent illustration facin the first !a e of the fu ue& 8ra(. to manufacture several different lines.is u! to the listener 4or his subconscious5 to decide whether it should be !erceived as a unit. or as the sum of its !arts?Tortoise.

and a 0ach fu ue. and !roduce the other& Ene way in which this a! enters )rtificial Intelli ence is well illustrated by the !ro ress in knowled e about how to !ro ram a com!uter to !lay ood chess& It used to be thou ht—in the "#L+1s and on into the "#D+1s—that the trick to makin a machine !lay well was to make the machine look further ahead into the branchin network of !ossible sequences of !lay than any chess . a com!uter.and si! our coffee& 3e seem to have reconciled these two inconceivably different !ictures of ourselves sim!ly by disconnectin them from each other& 3e have almost no way to relate a microsco!ic descri!tion of ourselves to that which we feel ourselves to be.or !roblems of )rtificial Intelli ence research is to fi ure out how to brid e the a! between these two descri!tions= how to construe a system which can acce!t one level of descri!tion. we all know that we human bein s are com!osed of an enormous number of cells 4around twenty-five trillion5.ill Ene of the ma.enetic en ineerin . but that does not confuse us& 3e can . a do .of our minds& Seldom do we have to fli! back and forth between these two conce!ts of ourselves.C/A. but at sets of flickerin dots on a flat surface& 3e know it.ing and Chess S. and hence it is !ossible to store se!arate re!resentations of ourselves in quite se!arate -com!artments.I86 6. who looks at us on lower levels than we think of ourselves& 3e read about :8) and . but it is the furthest thin from our mind& 3e have these two wildly o!!osin re!resentations of what is on the screen. they both have the !ro!erty that they can be understood on different levels& 3e are all familiar with this kind of thin = and yet in some cases it confuses us.ust shut one out. we know that we are actually lookin not at a woman. and !ay attention to the other—which is what all of us do& 3hich one is -more real-? It de!ends on whether you1re a human.TE$ < Le"els of escri!tion) and Com!uter Systems Le"els of escri!tion 6n:EA1S ST. or a television set& Chun. while in others we handle it without any difficulty at all& 'or e(am!le. and therefore that everythin we do could in !rinci!le be described in terms of cells& Er it could even be described on the level of molecules& /ost of us acce!t this in a rather matter-of-fact way= we o to the doctor. wonderin -?ow can these two totally different thin s be the same me?Er take a sequence of ima es on a television screen which shows Shirley /acAaine lau hin & 3hen we watch that sequence.

ty!e of descri!tion. not at all the same& The clincher was to do the same e(!eriment but with !ieces randomly assi ned to the squares on the board.the !romisin !aths. after both of them had had five-second lances at the board& ?i hly revealin was the fact that masters1 mistakes involved !lacin whole groups of !ieces in the wron !lace. television screens. com!ared with the novice1s !loddin reconstruction of the !osition. and after su!erficial e(amination. as this oal radually became attained. but to a novice1s eyes. or !aintin s& . he . he literally does not see (ad mo#es when he looks at a chess situation—no more than chess amateurs see ille al moves when they look at a chess situation& )nyone who has !layed even a little chess has or ani<ed his !erce!tion so that dia onal rook-moves. decidin not to !ursue e(aminin it any further& The distinction can a!!ly . a master rarely looks ahead any further than a novice does—and moreover. and the master somehow !roduces such a mental ima e of the board& This was !roven by the hi h s!eed with which a master could re!roduce an actual !osition taken from a ame. a look-ahead !ro ram with enou h brute force will indeed overcome the best human !layers—but that will be a small intellectual ain. are never brou ht to mind& Similarly. his results im!ly that chess masters !erceive the distribution of !ieces in chunks& There is a hi her-level descri!tion of the board than the strai htforward -white !awn on @L. as less ifted !eo!le mi ht do= rather. and so forth. a human e(!ert can quite soundly and confidently trounce the best chess !ro rams of this day& The reason for this had actually been in !rint for many years& In the "#C+1s. doin mathematics& ) ifted mathematician doesn1t usually think u! and try out all sorts of false !athways to the desired theorem. !rinted !a es. black rook on MD. com!ared to the revelation that intelli ence de!ends crucially on the ability to create hi h-level descri!tions of com!le( such as chess boards. to most !eo!le& This mi ht be called implicit pruning of the iant branchin tree of !ossibilities& 0y contrast. and sur!ass human e(!erts& In fact. to them. e9plicit pruning would involve thinkin of a move. forward ca!tures by !awns.ust as well to other intellectual activities—for instance. the level of com!uter chess did not have any sudden s!urt. instead of co!ied from actual ames& The masters were found to be sim!ly no better than the novices in reconstructin such random boards& The conclusion is that in normal chess !lay. and takes them immediately& 7om!uter chess !ro rams which rely on lookin ahead have not been tau ht to think on a hi her level= the strate y has .ust been to use brute force look-ahead.ust -smells.master can& ?owever. bad moves are as unlikely to come to mind as ille al moves are. certain ty!es of situation recur— certain !atterns—and it is to those hi h-level !atterns that the master is sensitive& ?e thinks on a different le#el from the novice= his set of conce!ts is different& 8early everyone is sur!rised to find out that in actual !lay. master-level !layers have built u! hi her levels of or ani<ation in the way they see the board= consequently. a master usually e(amines only a handful of !ossible moves2 The trick is that his mode of !erceivin the board is like a filter. ho!in to crush all ty!es of o!!osition& 0ut it has not worked& Perha!s someday. the :utch !sycholo ist )driaan de 6root made studies of how chess novices and chess masters !erceive a chess situation& Put in their starkest terms. which left the ame strate ically almost the same.

is when a sin le system admits of two or more descri!tions on different levels which nevertheless resem(le each other in some way& Then we find it hard to avoid mi(in levels when we think about the system. the descri!tion can be so com!licated that it is like the dot-descri!tion of a television !icture& 'or some !ur!oses. not really. for love. they summari<e in ca!sule form a number of thin s which on lower levels are seen as se!arate& 4See 'i & L$&5 8ow before thin s become too abstract. for fame. we talk of -drives-—for se(. which makes all the descri!tions similar in some ways to each other—yet there are e(tremely im!ortant differences between the views one ets on the different levels& )t the lowest level. the descri!tion is iven in the lan ua e of com!uter science.Similar Le"els Fsually.are found& Since at this time we use !retty much the same kind of lan ua e for all mental levels. for !ower. thou h.ust maintained in se!arate mental com!artments& 3hat is confusin . be innin with a very quick skim of what a com!uter system is like on the lowest level& The lowest level? 3ell. for I am not oin to talk about elementary !articles— but it is the lowest level which we wish to think about& . as was mentioned earlier. and where all the levels are conce!tually quite close to one another& I am referrin to com!uter systems& 3hen a com!uter !ro ram is runnin . this makes for much levelmi(in and most certainly for hundreds of wron theories& 'or instance. and like the chunked descri!tion of the ima e on the screen. the different descri!tions a sin le system are usually so conce!tually distant from each other that. this is by far the im!ortant view& )t the hi hest level. there is no !roblem in maintainin them both= they are . it can be viewed on a number of levels& En each level. each theory based on some underlyin assum!tions about how far down in this set of levels various kinds of !sycholo ical -forces. the descri!tion is reatly chunked and takes on a com!letely different feel. let us !ass on to the concrete facts about com!uters. etc&. etc&—without knowin where these drives come from in the human mental structure& 3ithout belaborin the !oint. we are not required to hold more than one level of understandin of a situation in our minds at once& /oreover. and can easily et totally lost& Fndoubtedly this ha!!ens when we think about our !sycholo y—for instance. I sim!ly wish to say that our confusion about who we are is certainly related to the fact that we consist of a lar e set of levels. however. and we use overla!!in lan ua e to describe ourselves on all of those levels& Com!uter Systems There is another !lace where many levels of descri!tion coe(ist for a system. des!ite the fact that many of the same conce!ts a!!ear on the lowest and hi hest levels& The chunks on the hi h-level descri!tion are like the chess e(!ert1s chunks. when we try to understand !eo!le1s motivations for various actions& There are many levels in the human mental structure—certainly it is a system which we do not understand very well yet& 0ut there are hundreds of rival theories which tell why !eo!le act the way they do.

that can be in either of two !ositions& %%% a word of HJ (its %%% Hou could call the two !ositions -u!. a bit is . called words& 'or the sake of concreteness. to be sure. !lay more than one role—like a note in a canon& . and some in!ut-out!ut 4IIE5 devices& Aet us first describe the memory& It is divided u! into distinct !hysical !ieces. or -T. dee! down. we find a memory.and -E-. but it has the !ossibly misleadin effect of makin !eo!le think that a com!uter. of course. so a word in memory can serve many functions& Sometimes.and -+-&&& The third is the usual convention& It is !erfectly fine.and -down-. bein B to the "Dth !ower5& ) word is further divided into what we shall consider the atoms of com!uter science-bits& The number of bits in a ty!ical word mi ht be around thirty-si(& Physically. they may re!resent a few letters of te(t& ?ow a word in memory is to be thou ht of de!ends entirely on the role that this word !lays in the !ro ram which uses it& It may. those thirty-si( bits will indeed re!resent a number in binary notation& Ether times.73G5=E GC! The idea of "chunking": a group of items is repercei#ed as a single "chunk"! The chunk's (oundar) is a little like a cell mem(rane or a national (order: it esta(lishes a separate identit) for the cluster within! *ccording to conte9t. or -". one ma) wish to ignore the chunk's internal structure or to take it into account! )t the conce!tual rock-bottom of a com!uter. let us say there are DL.ust a ma netic -switch. a central !rocessin unit 47PF5. is storin numbers& This is not true& ) set of thirty-si( bits does not have to be thou ht of as a number any more than two bits has to be thou ht of as the !rice of an ice cream cone& Just as money can do various thin s de!endin on how you use it.L%D words of memory 4a ty!ical number. they may re!resent thirty-si( dots on a television screen& )nd other times.

sequentially. the 7PF will !ick u! the very ne(t word and inter!ret it as an instruction& In other words. to a re ister& 4In this case. but rather. but as a strin of letters&5 3&M.T the word !ointed to in the instruction. usually its first several bits—is inter!retable as the name of the instruction-ty!e which is to be carried 3hat do the rest of the bits in a word-inter!reted-as-instruction stand for? /ost often. the 7PF assumes that it should move down the -street.$I. the 7PF is bein told to inter!ret that !articular word as its ne(t instruction&5 Fnless the instruction e(!licitly dictates otherwise. the remainin bits constitute a pointer to some other word 4or words5 in memory& Every word in memory has a distinct location. or many -streets-—they are called -!a es-& So a iven word is addressed by its !a e number 4if memory is !a ed5 to ether with its !osition within the !a e& ?ence the -!ointer. stores the address of5 the ne(t word which is to be inter!reted as an instruction& The 7PF fetches that word from memory. the word !ointed to is obviously inter!reted as number&5 . but also the !ro ram to act on the data& There e(ists a limited re!ertoire of o!erations which can be carried out by the central !rocessin unit—the 7PF—and !art of a word. like a house on a street= and its location is called its address& /emory may have one -street-. so an instruction may even -!oint. instruction. inter!retin word after word as an instruction& 0ut this sequential order can be broken by such instructions as the 3&M. and others& .Instructions and ata There is one inter!retation of a word which I haven1t yet mentioned. so that when it is e(ecuted.!art of an instruction is the numerical address of some word4s5 in memory& There are no restrictions on the !ointer. that is as an instruction& The words of memory contain not only data to be acted on. it causes a chan e in itself to be made& ?ow does the com!uter know what instruction to e(ecute at any iven time? This is ke!t track of in the 7PF& The 7PF has a s!ecial !ointer which !oints at 4i&e&. and co!ies it electronically into a s!ecial word belon in to the 7PF itself& 43ords in the 7PF are usually not called -words-.at itself. the word is obviously inter!reted not as a number. registers&5 Then the 7PF e(ecutes that instruction& 8ow the instruction may call for any of a number of ty!es of o!erations to be carried out& Ty!ical ones include. they tell which other words in memory are to be acted u!on& In other words. like a mailman. A the word !ointed to in the instruction. to the word !ointed to in the instruction& 4In this case. as letters& 4In this case.

the hardware is built to -understand- . althou h conce!tually not much has been chan ed& . but .rograms Perha!s the central !oint about assembly lan ua e is not its differences from machine lan ua e.the individual machine lan ua e instructions. than that of machine lan ua e—namely. you sim!ly write A . connectin wires to each other. a !ro ram in assembly lan ua e is very much like a machine lan ua e !ro ram made le ible to humans& Hou mi ht com!are the machine lan ua e version of a !ro ram to a T8T-derivation done in the obscure 6>del-numbered notation. however. done in the ori inal T8Tnotation. which is much easier to understand& Er. atom by atom. showin the nucleotide sequence of a :8) molecule—and then if you consider that each nucleotide contains two do<en atoms or so—and if you ima ine tryin to write the :8). there is a one-to-one corres!ondence between assembly lan ua e instructions and machine lan ua e instructions& The idea of assembly lan ua e is to -chunk. and the assembly lan ua e version to the isomor!hic T8T-derivation. we can liken the difference between machine lan ua e and assembly lan ua e to the difference between !ainfully s!ecifyin each nucleotide. which are not that enormous. atom by atom. Assembly Language This is a very brief sketch of machine language& In this lan ua e.in& This is so ama<in ly !rimitive by modern standards that it is !ainful even to ima ine& Het undoubtedly the !eo!le who first did it e(!erienced as much e(hilaration as the !ioneers of modern com!uters ever do&&& 3e now wish to move to a hi her level of the hierarchy of levels of descri!tion of !ro rams& This is the assem(l) language level& There is not a i antic s!read between assembly lan ua e and machine lan ua e= indeed. 161. and s!ecifyin a nucleotide by sim!ly ivin its name 4i&e&.when you want an instruction which adds one number to another. no matter how lar e and com!le(.ust the key idea that !ro rams could be written on a different level at all2 Just think about it. you can refer to the word in memory by a name& Therefore. so that instead of writin the sequence of bits -+"+"""+++.Machine Language #s. the ste! is rather entle& In essence. that com!uter !ro rammin was ori inally done on an even lower level. oin back to the :8) ima e. if !ossible. and then instead of ivin the address in binary re!resentation.o!eration. or 1T15& There is a tremendous savin of labor in this very sim!le -chunkin . must be made out of com!ounds of these ty!es of instructions& Aookin at a !ro ram written in machine lan ua e is va uely com!arable to lookin at a :8) molecule atom by atom& If you lance back to 'i & C". 1)1. and what it is like to try to ras! what is oin on in a !ro ram if you have access only to its machine lan ua e descri!tion& It must be mentioned. so that the !ro!er o!erations were -hard-wired. the ty!es of o!erations which e(ist constitute a finite re!ertoire which cannot be e(tended& Thus all !ro rams. 171.rograms That Translate . for a small virus 4not to mention a human bein 25—then you will et a feelin for what it is like to write a com!le( !ro ram in machine lan ua e.

-. and other convenient abbreviations which a !ro rammer can remember easily. for hardware is always involved when any !ro ram runs—but it is also quite reasonable to think of the runnin !ro ram in terms of assembly lan ua e& 'or instance. -. or assembly lan ua e& Ty!ically. in machine lan ua e. instruction-. . certain fundamental !atterns which cro!!ed u! naturally when human bein s tried to formulate al orithms—e(act descri!tions of !rocesses they wanted carried out& In other words.ust as in chess. the 7PF is e(ecutin a 3&M. callin them by their usual names. a translation program& This !ro ram. the 7PF is e(ecutin a 1"""+"++++1 instruction-& ) !ianist who !lays the notes 6-E-0 E-6-0 is also !layin an ar!e io in the chord of E minor& There is no reason to be reluctant about describin thin s from a hi her-level !oint of view& So one can think of the assembly lan ua e !ro ram runnin concurrently with the machine lan ua e !ro ram& 3e have two modes of describin what the 7PF is doin & /igher-Le"el Languages) Com!ilers) and Inter!reters The ne(t level of the hierarchy carries much further the e(tremely !owerful idea of usin the com!uter itself to translate !ro rams from a hi h level into lower levels& )fter !eo!le had !ro rammed in assembly lan ua e for a number of years. and carries out the conversion into the monotonous but critical bit-sequences& )fter the assembly lan ua e !ro ram has been assem(led 4i&e&. and then to call them by name& This would build the chunkin o!eration ri ht into .i ht now. al orithms seemed to have certain hi her-level com!onents.machine lan ua e !ro rams—sequences of bits—but not letters and decimal numbers& 3hat ha!!ens when hardware is fed a !ro ram in assembly lan ua e? It is as if you tried to et a cell to acce!t a !iece of !a!er with the nucleotide sequence written out in letters of the al!habet. a hi h-level al orithm com!onent consists not of one or two machine lan ua e instructions. translated5. instead of sayin .and -!rocedures-& It was clear that a most !owerful addition to any !ro rammin lan ua e would be the ability to define new hi her-level entities in terms of !reviously known ones. -subroutines. instead of in chemicals& 3hat can a cell do with a !iece of !a!er? 3hat can a com!uter do with an assembly lan ua e !ro ram? )nd here is the vital !oint. in the early "#L+1s. decimal numbers. its machine lan ua e equivalent is run& 0ut this is a matter of terminolo y& 3hich level !ro ram is runnin ? Hou can never o wron if you say that the machine lan ua e !ro ram is runnin . called an assem(ler. not necessarily all conti uous in memory& Such a com!onent could be re!resented in a hi her-level lan ua e by a sin le item—a chunk& )side from standard chunks—the newly discovered com!onents out of which all al orithms can be built—!eo!le reali<ed that almost all !ro rams contain even lar er chunks—su!erchunks. you mi ht very well say. but of a whole collection of them. it is runOor rather. in terms of which they could be much more easily and esthetically s!ecified than in the very restricted machine lan ua e.i ht now. de!endin on the kinds of hi h-level tasks the !ro ram is su!!osed to carry out& 3e discussed su!erchunks in 7ha!ter G. someone can write. they reali<ed that there were a number of characteristic structures which ke!t rea!!earin in !ro ram after !ro ram& There seemed to be. acce!ts mnemonic instruction names. so to s!eak& These su!erchunks differ from !ro ram to !ro ram.

successful !ro rams called compilers were written whose function was to carry out the translation from com!iler lan ua es to machine lan ua e& )lso. an inter!reter is to a com!iler as a simultaneous inter!reter is to a translator of a written s!eech& Ene of the most im!ortant and fascinatin of all com!uter lan ua es is AISP 4standin for -Aist Processin -5. there is still a ty!e of ma!!in from )l ol into machine lan ua e. and certain 4machine lan ua e5 instructions inside it et e(ecuted& Precisely which ones et e(ecuted de!ends on the AISP statement itself. but it is far more -scrambled. -understandin .it. each with its own name. and test it out as he oes alon & Thus. e(!anded a little more& Each time a new line of AISP is ty!ed in.ust as if it had been a built-in feature of the lan ua e& Ef course. for -)l orithmic Aan ua e-& Fnlike the case with assembly lan ua e. backwards. and each one ets e(ecuted then and there& 0ut this doesn1t mean that each statement ets first translated. of course& There are many 3&M. inter!reters translate from hi hlevel lan ua es into machine lan ua e. each . there is no ettin away from the fact that down below. . for instance5 and !roduces out!ut 4a lon sequence of machine lan ua e instructions5& )t this !oint. so that the new line of AISP may cause control to move around in a com!le( way—forwards. and e(ecutin it are intertwined. etc& Thus. AISP has en.the lan ua e& Instead of there bein a determinate re!ertoire of instructions out of which all !ro rams had to be e(!licitly assembled. then e(ecuted. interpreters were invented& Aike com!ilers. the com!iler has done its duty& The out!ut is then iven to the com!uter to run& 0y contrast. for then an inter!reter would be nothin but a line-by-line com!iler& Instead.ou hly s!eakin . they read one line and1 e(ecute it immediately& This has the advanta e that a user need not have written a com!lete !ro ram to use an inter!reter& ?e may invent his !ro ram line by line. the o!erations of readin a new line. the !ro rammer could construct his own modules. on a machine lan ua e level. the inter!reter tries to !rocess it& This means that the inter!reter . instructions inside the inter!reter.than that between assembly lan ua e and machine lan ua e& . but that would not be e(!licitly visible to the hi h-level !ro rammer= it would be im!licit& The new lan ua es based on these ideas were called compiler languages& Ene of the earliest and most ele ant was called -)l ol-. they occur simultaneously& ?ere is the idea.olts into action. but instead of translatin all the statements first and then e(ecutin the machine code. an )l ol !ro ram is to its machine lan ua e translation as a word !roblem in an elementary al ebra te(t is to the equation it translates into& 4)ctually. in an inter!reter. the inter!reter is constantly runnin while the !ro rammer ty!es in one AISP statement after another. then forwards a ain. each usable anywhere inside the !ro ram.oyed reat !o!ularity with workers in )rtificial Intelli ence& There is one interestin difference between the way inter!reters work and com!ilers work& ) com!iler takes in!ut 4a finished )l ol !ro ram. everythin would still be com!osed of the same old machine lan ua e instructions. but it ives some inklin of the ty!es of -unscramblin that have to be carried out in translatin from a hi h-level lan ua e to a lower-level lan ua e&5 In the mid-"#L+1s. there is no strai htforward one-to-one corres!ondence between statements in )l ol and machine lan ua e instructions& To be sure. which was invented by John /c7arthy around the time )l ol was invented& Subsequently. ettin from a word !roblem to an equation is far more com!le(.

once a certain minimal core of a com!iler had been written. full-blown com!iler had been com!iled& This !rocess is affectionately known as -bootstra!!in -—for obvious reasons 4at least if your native lan ua e is En lish it is obvious5& It is not so different from the attainment by a child of a critical level of fluency in his native lan ua e.rograms 7om!iler lan ua es ty!ically do not reflect the structure of the machines which will run !ro rams written in them& This is one of their chief advanta es over the hi hly s!eciali<ed assembly and machine lan ua es& Ef course. since he can use lan ua e to acquire new lan ua e& Le"els on >hich to escribe $unning . !eo!le reali<ed that a !artially written com!iler could be used to com!ile e(tensions of itself& In other words. from which !oint on his vocabulary and fluency can row by lea!s and bounds.AISP statement ets converted into a -!athway. thus takin full advanta e of the already accom!lished first ste! u! from machine lan ua e& ) summary of these rather tricky conce!ts is !resented in 'i ure L*& 73G5=E GE! *ssem(lers and compilers are (oth translators into machine language! This is indicated () the solid lines! 'oreo#er. you et a different ima e of the relation between a !ro ram written in a hi her-level lan ua e and the machine which is e(ecutin it& Bootstra!!ing Ef course a com!iler. since the) are themsel#es programs. and the act of followin that !athway achieves the desired effect& Sometimes it is hel!ful to think of the AISP statements as mere !ieces of data which are fed sequentially to a constantly runnin machine lan ua e !ro ram 4the AISP inter!reter5& 3hen you think of thin s this way. has to be written in some lan ua e& The first com!ilers were written in assembly lan ua e. and an assem(ler in machine language! 8ow as so!histication increased. bein itself a !ro ram.inside the inter!reter. the resultin !ro ram is machine- . the) are originall) written in a language also! The wa#) lines indicate that a compiler can (e written in assem(l) language. then that minimal com!iler could translate bi er com!ilers into machine lan ua e—which in turn could translate yet bi er com!ilers. rather than machine lan ua e. when a com!iler lan ua e !ro ram is translated into machine lan ua e. until the final.

the machine is instructed to divide by <ero at some sta e.is manifest only to !eo!le on a hi h level—namely on the !henoty!e level. there are several other levels of the hierarchy& 'or instance. assemblers. descri!tions of the !roblem& It is an interestin reversal that when somethin oes wron in a enetic -!ro ram.which are available& Then the -hi her-level machine lan ua e. or its !a e number and !osition on the !a e 4!ublisher-de!endent5& )s lon as a !ro ram is runnin correctly. and other !ro rams to be used by many !eo!le5 is to fi ure out how to write error-detectin routines in such a way that the messa es which they feed to the user whose !ro ram has a -bu . because of their multilevel traceability& Micro!rogramming and 0!erating Systems In modern com!uter systems. for instance. /achine Aan ua e Aevel.instructions which he has desi ned may be burned into the circuitry and become hard-wired. inter!reters. the -bu . rather than low-level. it hardly matters how you describe it or think of its functionin & It is when somethin oes wron that it is im!ortant to be able to think on different levels& If. -E(ecution of the !ro ram sto!!ed in location """++"+"+"""+""")ssembly Aan ua e Aevel. -E(ecution of the !ro ram sto!!ed durin e(!ression 14) ^ 05I91 evaluation of the al ebraic Ene of the reatest !roblems for systems !ro rammers 4the !eo!le who write com!ilers. it will come to a halt and let the user know of this !roblem.4e& &. not the enoty!e level& )ctually.de!endent& Therefore one can describe a !ro ram which is bein e(ecuted in a machineinde!endent way or a machine-de!endent way& It is like referrin to a !ara ra!h in a book by its sub.!rovide hi h-level. by tellin where in the !ro ram the questionable event occurred& ?owever. the s!ecification is often iven on a lower level than that in which the !ro rammer wrote the !ro ram& ?ere are three !arallel descri!tions of a !ro ram rindin to a halt. althou h they need not be& Thus micro!ro rammin allows the user to ste! a little below the conventional machine lan ua e level& Ene of the consequences is that a com!uter of one manufacturer can be hard-wired 4via . a mutation5. -E(ecution of the !ro ram sto!!ed when the :IG 4divide5 instruction was hit7om!iler Aan ua e Aevel.ect matter 4!ublisher-inde!endent5. some systems—often the so-called -microcom!uters-—come with machine lan ua e instructions which are even more rudimentary than the instruction to add a number in memory to a number in a re ister& It is u! to the user to decide what kinds of ordinary machine-level instructions he would like to be able to !ro ram in= he -micro!ro ramsthese instructions in terms of the -micro-instructions. modern biolo y uses mutations as one of its !rinci!al windows onto enetic !rocesses.

which fits between the machine lan ua e !ro ram and whatever hi her level the user is !ro rammin in& The o!eratin system is itself a !ro ram which has the functions of shieldin the bare machine from access by users 4thus !rotectin the system5.the other com!uter& Then there is the level of the operating s)stem. and the !assen er sim!ly ets from one !lace to another& ?ere a ain.rotecting the System The many levels in a com!le( com!uter system have the combined effect of -cushionin the user.to the same 7PF at once. electronic com!utation2 7onsider now a modern tele!hone system& Hou have a choice of other tele!hones to connect to& 8ot only that. etc& The list is ama<in . and also of insulatin the !ro rammer from the many e(tremely intricate and messy !roblems of readin the !ro ram. on a conference call& Hou can have a call rerouted or traced& Hou can et a busy si nal& Hou can et a siren-like si nal that says that the number you dialed isn1t -wellformed-.micro!ro rammin 5 so as to have the same machine lan ua e instruction set as a com!uter of the same. !ersonto-!erson. and I shall only hint at them by the followin analo y& 7onsider the first tele!hone system& )le(ander 6raham 0ell could !hone his assistant in the ne(t room. runnin the translated !ro ram. manufacturer& The micro!ro rammed com!uter is said to be -emulatin . collect. throu h the o!erator. then the o!eratin system is the !ro ram that shifts attention from one to the other in some orderly fashion& The com!le(ities of o!eratin systems are formidable indeed. electronic transmission of a voice2 8ow that is like a bare com!uter minus o!eratin system. it is when somethin oes wron —such as his ba a e not arrivin —that the !assen er is made aware of the confusin system of levels underneath him& . or even another. !articularly in com!arison to the erstwhile miracle of a -bare. !reventin him from havin to think about the many lower-level oin s-on which are most likely totally irrelevant to him anyway& ) !assen er in an air!lane does not usually want to be aware of the levels of fuel in the tanks. directin the out!ut to the !ro!er channels at the !ro!er time. by credit card. callin a translator.tele!hone& 8ow so!histicated o!eratin systems carry out similar traffic-handlin and level-switchin o!erations with res!ect to users and their !ro rams& It is virtually certain that there are somewhat !arallel thin s which take !lace in the brain. when you think of how much fle(ibility there is. and !assin control to the ne(t user& If there are several users -talkin . or the wind s!eeds. or how many chicken dinners are to be served. or the status of the rest of the air traffic around the destination—this is all left to em!loyees on different levels of the airline1s hierarchy. but many different calls can be handled simultaneously& Hou can add a !refi( and dial into different areas& Hou can call direct.caused by emer encies or other une(!ected occurrences= and so on& Cushioning the &ser and . handlin of many stimuli at the same time= decisions of what should have !riority over what and for how lon = instantaneous -interru!ts. or that you have taken too in lon in dialin & Hou can install a local switchboard so that a rou! of !hones are all locally connected—etc&.

if a semicolon 4or whatever key word is used for terminatin a comment5 is used inside a comment. be an tryin to inter!ret all the remainin En lish as 'rench& 7om!ilers often et lost in such !athetic ways& 8'est la #ie! Perha!s this sounds condemnatory of com!uters. we interru!t each other. in the cushion underneath the !ro rammer. and then terminated by another key word 4e& &. we coin !hrases and distort meanin s—but our messa e still ets throu h. the hi h-level constructs in com!iler lan ua es are closer to the conce!ts which humans naturally think in. and havoc will ensue& If a !rocedure named I. than are lower-level constructs such as those in machine lan ua e& 0ut in this drive towards ease of communication. without the sli htest chance of ambi uity. while comfortable for the human. mostly& 3ith !ro rammin lan ua es. because the com!iler—not the !ro rammer — ot confused& Ima ine the chaos that would result if a simultaneous En lish-. and !roceed under that erroneous assum!tion& Then a lon series of error messa es will !e!!er the rest of the !ro ram.or oals of the drive to hi her levels has always been to make as natural as !ossible the task of communicatin to the com!uter what you want it to do& 7ertainly. we often !roduce meanin less sentence fra ments as we search for the best way to e(!ress somethin . C0MME.what the !ro rammer wants or means. thin s had to be that way& 3hen you sto! to think what most !eo!le use com!uters for. but it is not meant to be& In some sense.SIG/T has been defined and then called seventeen times in the !ro ram. we cou h in the middle of sentences.ussian inter!reter. a nonessential or irrelevant comment5 is allowed. woe to the !ro rammer& The com!iler will balk and !rint a ri idly unsym!athetic error messa e. a semicolon5& This small esture towards fle(ibility has its own little !itfall.synta(. u!on hearin one !hrase of 'rench in the En lish.T5.has been quite ne lected& That is the fact that interhuman communication is far less ri idly constrained than human-machine communication& 'or instance. it has not understood what the !ro rammer meant& In fact. the !rinted equivalent of cou hin 4i&e&.uess.Are Com!uters Su!er-+le-ible or Su!er-$igid7 Ene of the ma. but only !rovided it is si naled in advance by a key word 4e& &. you reali<e that it is to carry out very definite and !recise tasks. then it is necessary that it should understand. the com!iler tries to continue. ironically.SI/GT& Eften. when such an error is detected by a com!iler. the translatin !ro ram will inter!ret that semicolon as si nalin the end of the comment. what it is su!!osed to do& It is also necessary that it should do neither more nor less than it is e(!licitly instructed to do& If there is. it has enerally been the rule that there is a very strict synta( which has to be obeyed one hundred !er cent of the time= there are no ambi uous words or constructions& Interestin ly. a !ro ram whose !ur!ose is to . but because of its lack of insi ht.SI/GT. sayin that it has never heard of I. it may very well su!!ose that somethin entirely different was meant. we use ambi uous descri!tions and -im!ro!er. one as!ect of -naturalness. still should be unambi uous and !recise& . then it is quite conceivable that the !ro rammer could try to communicate his task and be totally misunderstood& So it is im!ortant that the hi h-level !ro ram. which are too com!le( for !eo!le to do& If the com!uter is to be reliable. and the ei hteenth time it is miss!elled as I.

so such a lan ua e is unsuitable for !ur!oses where com!uters are used mainly for their s!eed and reliability& 8ow there is actually a third alternative. the translator still a!!ears ri id and infle(ible. then he knows the bounds which he cannot overste!. then trans ressions of that ty!e are no lon er true trans ressions. but there are so many of them and they interact with each other in such a com!le( way that he cannot tell how his !ro rams will be inter!reted& This may well a!!ly to the !erson who wrote the translatin !ro ram= he certainly knows its insides as well as anyone could—but he still may not be able to antici!ate how it will react to a iven ty!e of unusual construction& Ene of the ma. and therefore. if the user is aware of all the fle(ibilities !ro rammed into the translator for his convenience. des!ite a!!earances& In other words. enerali<e from e(am!les. knowin that he is actually o!eratin within the ri id rules of the lan ua e. use En lish itself. to him. which did not incor!orate -automatic com!ensation for human error-& 3ith -rubbery. try to make sense of ambi uous descri!tions.uess the user by havin a !rimitive user model.lan ua es of that ty!e. 4"5 the user is aware of the built-in fle(ibilities of the lan ua e and its translator= 4B5 the user is unaware of them& In the first case. the trend to consolidate new ty!es of discoveries in new . althou h it may allow him much more freedom than early versions of the lan ua e. the -cushion. there would seem to be two alternatives. try to second. because they have been included inside the rules2 If a !ro rammer is aware that he may make certain ty!es of miss!ellin . etc& The ho!e is that one can walk the ti htro!e between reliability and fle(ibility& AI Ad"ances Are Language Ad"ances It is strikin how ti ht the connection is between !ro ress in com!uter science 4!articularly )rtificial Intelli ence5 and the develo!ment of new lan ua es& ) clear trend has emer ed in the last decade. because the !ro rammer can !redict how the com!uter will inter!ret the !ro rams he writes in the lan ua e& In the second case. which is concerned with the develo!ment of yet hi her-level lan ua es—lan ua es whose translators are so!histicated& in that they can do at least some of the followin im!ressive thin s.rogrammer 8ow it is !ossible to devise a !ro rammin lan ua e—and a !ro ram which translates it into the lower levels—which allows some sorts of im!recision& Ene way of !uttin it would be to say that a translator for such a !ro rammin lan ua e tries to make sense of thin s which are done -outside of the rules of the lan ua e-& 0ut if a lan ua e allows certain -trans ressions-. ask questions when thin s are unclear. 4%5 the user is aware of the built-in fle(ibilities of the lan ua e and its translator.or areas of research in )rtificial Intelli ence today is called automatic programming. then he may use this feature of the lan ua e deliberately.has hidden features which may do thin s that are un!redictable 4from the vanta e !oint of a user who doesn1t know the inner workin s of the translator5& This may result in ross misinter!retations of !ro rams.Second-Guessing the . correct some mis!rints or rammatical errors. the lan ua e is still usable for communicatin !ro rams !recisely.

in one key but are awkward in another& So you are channeled by your choice of key& In some ways. !articularly if you work at the keyboard& If you have learned or written !ieces in many keys. such as 7-shar! and :-flat. intelli ent !ro rams can he reached& 0etween the machine lan ua e level and the level where true intelli ence will be reached. and it re!resents a vision of )I shared by nearly all )I workers& )lthou h I a ree with the idea that )I must be stratified in some such way. but the lan ua e makes it easy for him to do certain kinds of thin s& Pro(imity to a conce!t.lan ua es& Ene key for the understandin and creation of intelli ence lies in the constant develo!ment and refinement of the lan ua es in terms of which !rocesses for symbol mani!ulation are describable& Today. certain kinds of fi urations -lie in the hand. are often all that is needed for a ma. but it would require a su!reme effort for a human= and the resultin !ro ram would be so lon that it would e(ceed the ras! of humans& It is not that each hi her level e(tends the !otential of the com!uter= the full !otential of the com!uter already e(ists in its machine lan ua e instruction set& It is that the new conce!ts in a hi h-level lan ua e su est directions and !ers!ectives by their very nature& The -s!ace. I do not think that. and a entle shove. even enharmonic keys. and -intelli ent !ro rams. each new layer buildin on and e(tendin the fle(ibilities of the layer below& 3hat they will be like we can hardly dream of now&&& . there are !robably three or four do<en e(!erimental lan ua es which have been develo!ed e(clusively for )rtificial Intelli ence research& It is im!ortant to reali<e that any !ro ram which can be written in one of these lan ua es is in !rinci!le !ro rammable in lower-level lan ua es. are quite distinct in feelin & This shows how a notational system can !lay a si nificant role in sha!in the final !roduct& ) -stratified.of all !ossible !ro rams is so hu e that no one can have a sense of what is !ossible& Each hi her-level lan ua e is naturally suited for e(!lorin certain re ions of -!ro ram s!ace-= thus the !ro rammer.or discovery—and that is the reason for the drive towards lan ua es of ever hi her levels& Pro rammin in different lan ua es is like com!osin !ieces in different keys. is channeled into those areas of !ro ram s!ace& ?e is not forced by the lan ua e into writin !ro rams of any !articular ty!e.on the to!& The !icture is taken from the book *rtificial 3ntelligence by Patrick ?enry 3inston. I am convinced there will lie !erha!s another do<en 4or even several do<en25 layers. each key will have its own s!ecial emotional aura& )lso.!icture of )I is shown in 'i ure L#. by usin that lan ua e. with machine com!onents such as transistors on the bottom. with so few layers.

.only of horse racin and bookies—not o!eratin systems and terminals and s!ecial control characters& 0ut to my friends. the res!onse time ot very slu ish—P).. and would be unseen by P)..H could know nothin about the o!eratin system it was runnin under was not clear to my friends& The idea that -you..to them in En lish2 Their question was not unlike askin a !erson.H is a rather infamous !ro ram which simulates a !aranoid in an e(tremely rudimentary way. -3hy are you overty!in what1s on the screen?. 'ass!: *ddison%>esle). remote. on a sin le terminal& )lthou h my friends1 naPvetK mi ht seem rather e(treme. amor!hous entity that res!onded to them when they ty!ed& )nd so it made !erfect sense when one of them blithely ty!ed.! >inston. so that one is spared the agon) of seeing e#er)thing onl) on the lowest le#el! . by s!ittin out canned !hrases in En lish chosen from a wide re!ertoire= its !lausibility is due to its ability to tell which of its stock !hrases mi ht sound reasonable in res!onse to En lish sentences ty!ed to it by a human& )t one !oint. onl) the top one (eing sufficientl) chunked that it is comprehensi(le to us! U*dapted from &! .73G5=E GI! To create intelligent programs.H& Ene of my friends !ushed the control character& In a flash. both P). it was intelli ent enou h that it could -talk.. it is a !ro ram with -knowled e. )rtificial Intelli ence =eading.H1s words on the screen& P). BICC/V The . some internal data about the o!eratin system1s status overwrote some of P). in En lish.on a terminal& P).The idea that P).escriptions of a single process on different le#els will sound #er( different from each other.is so familiar from interaction with !eo!le that it was natural to e(tend it to the com!uter—after all.ust -the com!uter-—a mysterious. -3hy are you makin so few red blood cells today?.aranoid and the 0!erating System The similarity of all levels in a com!uter system can lead to some stran e level-mi(in e(!eriences& I once watched a cou!le of friends—both com!uter novices—!layin with the !ro ram -P). even e(!erienced com!uter !eo!le often .H was takin very lon to re!ly—and I e(!lained to my friends that this was !robably because of the heavy load on the time-sharin system& I told them they could find out how many users were lo ed on..Peo!le do not know about that level —the -o!eratin system level-—of their bodies& The main cause of this level-confusion was that communication with all levels of the com!uter system was takin !lace on a sin le screen..character which would o directly to the o!eratin system.H and the o!eratin system were .. one needs to (uild up a series of le#els of hardware and software. by ty!in a s!ecial -control.H.H knew nothin of this.know all about -yourself.

and hardware as -anythin else-& ) !iano is hardware. and the difference is second nature to us& 3e are used to the ri idity of our !hysiolo y. we cannot rewire our . but not always so clearcut& 3e humans also have -software. such inter!retation would require the system to have a lot of common sense. !ractically as liquids can be !oured from one vessel into another& ) thin !a e can turn into a wide !a e.as!ects. and which is infle(ible& It may lie dee!ly hidden. then one may be annoyed that the !rinter cannot !rint in different colors of ink. and ty!e somethin which makes no sense at that level. and there may be so much fle(ibility on levels above it that few users feel the hardware limitations—but it is inevitably there& 3hat is this !roverbial distinction between software and hardware? It is the distinction between !ro rams and machines—between lon com!licated sequences of instructions. or that it cannot acce!t !a!er of all sha!es and si<es. or vice versa& 3ith such !ower. no !rinter should be so ri id as to have only one character set.our minds so that we o!erate in new conce!tual frameworks& The ama<in fle(ibility of our minds seems nearly irreconcilable with the notion that our brains must be made out of fi(ed-rule hardware. or even a finite re!ertoire of them—ty!efaces should be user-s!ecifiable2 0ut once that de ree of fle(ibility has been attained.ust a cou!le of sim!le e(am!les& 3e can. one ets s!oiled. or row hair of any color—to mention . as well as !erfect knowled e of the !ro rammer1s overall intent—both of which would require more artificial intelli ence than e(ists at the !resent time& The Border bet'een Soft'are and /ard'are Ene can also be confused by the fle(ibility of some levels and the ri idity of others& 'or instance. and the !hysical machines which carry them out& I like to think of software as -anythin which you could send over the tele!hone lines-.and -hardware. -re!ro ram. all this fle(ibility has to -bottom out-.they are talkin to. but !rinted music is software& ) tele!hone set is hardware. to use the !hrase from 7ha!ter G& There must be a hardware level which underlies it all. at will. cure ourselves of diseases. but a tele!hone number is software& 1The distinction is a useful one.from one format into another. on some com!uters there are marvelous te(t-editin systems which allow !ieces of te(t to be -!oured. or that it does not fi( itself when it breaks&&& The trouble is that somewhere. and thinks that everythin should be !ro rammable. which cannot be re!ro rammed& 3e cannot make our neurons fire faster or slower. however. althou h it would have made !erfect sense on another level& It mi ht seem desirable.make similar errors when several levels of a com!le( system are all !resent at once on the same screen& They for et -who. you mi ht e(!ect that it would be equally trivial to chan e from one font to another—say from roman to italics& Het there may be only a sin le font available on the screen. therefore. so that such chan es are im!ossible& Er it may be feasible on the screen but not !rintable by the !rinter—or the other way around& )fter dealin with com!uters for a lon time. to have the system itself sort out the levels—to inter!ret commands accordin to what -makes sense-& Fnfortunately. the fact that we cannot.

the . such as assembly lan ua e? 'or instance. and their time scale would be eolo ical& The Ice ) e would be a hi h-level weather event& The second question is. rather like lookin at a hu e. and describin . somehow behavin in concert so that lar e-scale trends emer e& This is a little like lookin at the weather in a com!iler lan ua e& Is there somethin analo ous to lookin at the weather in an intermediate-level lan ua e.ust no !ractical way of combinin knowled e of such kinds of !henomena to create a more com!rehensive e(!lanation of the weather? Two other questions come to my mind& The first is. hurricanes. namely. the or ani<ation of our brains& To su est ways of reconcilin the software of mind with the hardware of brain is a main oal of this book& Intermediate Le"els and the >eather 3e have seen that in com!uter systems. such as.brains. if !erceived. !ressures.et stream. but no matter5. -7ould it be that the weather !henomena which we !erceive on our scale—a tornado. rain. snow. a drou ht—are . com!licated !ro ram on the machine lan ua e level& Ebviously it is way beyond human com!rehension& 0ut we still have our own !eculiarly human ways of lookin at. but which. at most? Is a local ust of wind an intermediate-level chunk which !lays a role in creatin hi her-level weather !henomena? Er is there . trade winds. -)re there intermediate level weather !henomena which have so far esca!ed human !erce!tion.of our minds. we cannot redesi n the interior of a neuron. in terms of any one of which the o!eration of a runnin !ro ram can be described& Thus there is not merely a sin le low level and a sin le hi h level—there are all de rees of lowness and hi hness& Is the e(istence of intermediate levels a eneral feature of systems which have low and hi h levels? 7onsider. and so on& )ll of these !henomena involve astronomical numbers of molecules. whi!!in u! some dust in a swirlin column a few feet wide. seasons. fo . somethin like the small whirlwinds which one occasionally sees. we can control how we think& 0ut there are clearly as!ects of thou ht which are beyond our control& 3e cannot make ourselves smarter by an act of will= we cannot learn a new lan ua e as fast as we want= we cannot make ourselves think faster than we do= we cannot make ourselves think about several thin s at once= and so on& This is a kind of !rimordial self-knowled e which is so obvious that it is hard to see it at all= it is like bein conscious that the air is there& 3e never really bother to think about what mi ht cause these -defects. are there very small local -ministorms-. and whose -softwareis the weather& @ee!in track of the motions of all of the molecules simultaneously would be a very low-level way of -understandin . there are a number of rather shar!ly defined strata. then true hi h-level weather !henomena would be lobal. we cannot make any choices about the hardware—and yet. thunderstorms.is the earth1s atmos!here 4not very hard. slower !henomena?. cumulo-nimbus clouds. the system whose 1hardware.he weather. could ive reater insi ht into why the weather is as it is?- . for e(am!le.If so.ust intermediatelevel !henomena. cold fronts. !arts of vaster. inversion layers. weather !henomena& Eur chunked view of the weather is based on very hi hlevel !henomena.

which are themselves invisible& In !hysics. des!ite their bein internal to a com!osite ob. and lose some or all of their individuality& )n e(am!le of this is the nucleus of an atom.ect& Some systems studied in !hysics offer a contrast to the relatively strai htforward atom& Such systems involve e(tremely stron interactions.which fly off when the nucleus is s!lit? It is !erha!s not meanin ful to try to ive an answer to such a question& En the level of !article !hysics. when a team of football !layers assembles. the !layers chan e identity when they become !art of the lar er system. can be !ulled out and made visible& ?owever. contributes to the cohesive behavior of the whole system& The systems studied in !hysics are usually of this ty!e& 'or instance. an atom is seen as made of a nucleus whose !ositive char e ca!tures a number of electrons in -orbits-.form 4the form they have when outside a nucleus5& )nd in fact a nucleus acts in many ways as a sin le !article. so that in a minor way. in which their individuality is lost& Still—and this is im!ortant—some !rocesses are oin on in their brains which are evoked by the team-conte(t. which is usually described as bein -a collection of !rotons and neutrons-& 0ut the forces which !ull the com!onent !articles to ether are so stron that the com!onent !articles do not survive in anythin like their -free. each of which maintains its own !rivate identity throu hout the interaction but by becomin sli htly different from how it is when outside of the system. rather than as a collection of interactin !articles& 3hen a nucleus is s!lit.and storin actual sub!articles is not so clear& ) nucleus is thus one systems whose -!arts-. but also other !articles. !rotons and neutrons are often released. the team& This kind of system is called a nearl) decomposa(le s)stem 4the term comes from ?& )& Simon1s article -The )rchitecture of 7om!le(ity-= see the 0iblio ra!hy5& Such a system consists of weakly interactin modules.+rom Tornadoes to 8uar. such as !i-mesons and amma rays. but it is not all that far-fetched& 3e need only look to the hardest of the hard sciences—!hysics—to find !eculiar e(am!les of systems which are e(!lained in terms of interactin -!arts. the difference between storin the !otential to make -s!arks. or are they . as in any other disci!line. the individual !layers retain their se!arateness—they do not melt into some com!osite entity. and which would not o on otherwise. or bound states& The bound electrons are very much like free electrons. even thou h they are not visible while on the inside. the !arts retain their identities durin the interaction. a system is a rou! of interactin !arts& In most systems that we know. . there are more !atholo ical cases& such as the !roton and neutron seen as systems themselves& Each of them has been hy!othesi<ed to be constituted from a trio of -quarks-—hy!othetical !articles which can be combined in twos or threes to make many known fundamental !articles& ?owever.ust -s!arks. so that we still see the !arts inside the system& 'or e(am!le. the interaction between quarks is so stron that not only can they not be seen inside the !roton and neutron.s This last su estion may sound fanciful. are commonly !roduced& )re all those different !articles !hysically !resent inside a nucleus before it is s!lit. but they cannot even be !ulled out at all2 Thus. as a result of which the !arts are swallowed u! into the lar er system.

in that many e(!erimental results concernin the !articles which quarks su!!osedly com!ose can be accounted for quite well. and then. which are e(!lained by an understandin of the levels below& (Sealing-off( Similarly. the two o!!ositelys!innin !olarons which com!ose it. etc& etc& 3e can look at each level and !erceive !henomena there.arado-( of $enormali:ation In 7ha!ter G we discussed how renormali<ed !articles emer e from their bare cores.into 7oo!er !airs is the natural way to look at su!erconductivity& ?ere we have several levels of !article. by usin the -quark model-& Su!erconducti"ity5 A (. if anythin . the 7oo!er !air itself. this !airin comes about !recisely because electrons—the bare cores of the !aired !olarons— re!el each other electrically& In contrast to the electrons. and can actually become bound to ether in in a certain way& Fnder the !ro!er conditions& all the current-carryin !olarons will et !aired u!. two o!!ositely s!innin !olarons will be in to attract each other. and fortunately& one does not have to know all about quarks to understand many thin s about the !articles which they may com!ose& Thus. resistance-free flow of electrons in certain solids. each 7oo!er !air feels neither attracted to nor re!elled by another 7oo!er !air. the electrons and !honons which make u! the !olarons. a nuclear !hysicist can !roceed with theories of nuclei that are based on !rotons and neutrons. !hysically& Ene of the stran est and most dramatic consequences of this way of describin !articles is the e(!lanation it !rovides for the famous !henomenon of superconducti#it). or as the sin le lum! which it is. is -nearly indecom!osable-& Het what is curious is that a quark-based theory of !rotons and neutrons 4and other !articles5 has considerable e(!lanatory !ower. quantitatively. the virtual !hotons and !ositrons. within the electrons. by recursively com!ounded interactions with virtual !articles& ) renormali<ed !article can be seen either as this com!le( mathematical construct. at e(tremely low tem!eratures& It turns out that electrons in solids are renormali<ed by their interactions with stran e quanta of vibration called phonons 4themselves renormali<ed as well25& These renormali<ed electrons are called polarons& 7alculation shows that at very low tem!eratures. their own e(istence may !erha!s never be inde!endently established& ?ere we have the antithesis of a -nearly decom!osable system-—it is a system which. and consequently it can sli! freely throu h a metal as if the metal were a vacuum& If you convert the mathematical descri!tion of such a metal from one whose !rimitive units are !olarons into one whose !rimitive units are 7oo!er !airs& you et a considerably sim!lified set of equations& This mathematical sim!licity is the !hysicist1s way of knowin that -chunkin .althou h quarks hel! to ive a theoretical understandin of certain !ro!erties of !rotons and neutrons. and i nore quark theories and their rivals& The nuclear !hysicist has a chunked !icture of !rotons and neutrons—a descri!tion derived from lower-level theories but which does not require . formin 8ooper pairs& Ironically.

you don1t know in advance the consequences of what you tell a com!uter to do= therefore its behavior can be as bafflin and sur!risin and un!redictable to you as that of a !erson& Hou enerally know in . and s!ecifies !robabilities of its fallin in different !arts of that s!ace& (Com!uters Can 0nly o >hat =ou Tell Them to o( 8ow these ideas can be a!!lied as well to com!uter !ro rams as to com!osite !hysical systems& There is an old saw which says. who has an intuition for how small molecules han to ether. and so on& In short.This is ri ht in one sense. in usin chunked hi h-level models.oke. in some sense. !erha!s one si nificant ne ative feature of a chunked model.ing and eterminism There is. by closin the doors. the chemical bond. climb the nearest fla !ole& 49en masters mi ht well do the latter25 ) chunked model defines a -s!ace. the trouble can be !revented from s!readin . the methods of intercellular communication. or a biolo ist to i nore chemistry totally. the structure of !roteins. the structure of nuclei. but whose technical e(!ertise is in the field of e(tremely lar e molecules and how they interact& Then the cell biolo ist has a chunked !icture of the units which the molecular biolo ist !ores over. or not lau h—rather than.within which behavior is e(!ected to fall. such models are very realistic and successful& The Trade-off bet'een Chun.understandin the lower-level theories& Aikewise. -7om!uters can only do what you tell them to do&. or the com!le( interactions amon or ans& )ll that a !erson needs is a chunked model of how the hi hest level acts= and as we all know. and builds theories of small molecules. the !hysiolo y of the various or ans of the human body. but it misses the !oint. it usually does not have e(act !redictive !ower& That is. an atomic !hysicist has a chunked !icture of an atomic nucleus derived from nuclear theory& Then a chemist has a chunked !icture of the electrons and their orbits. recallin the way in which a submarine is built in com!artments. will react to what we say or do. however. and tries to use them to account for the ways that cells interact& The !oint is clear& Each level is.from the levels below it& This is another of Simon1s vivid terms.between the hierarchical levels of science. so that a chemist cannot afford to i nore lower-level !hysics totally. we sacrifice determinism for sim!licity& :es!ite not bein sure how !eo!le will react to a . the nature of electron orbits. so that if one !art is dama ed. thereby sealin off the dama ed com!artment from nei hborin com!artments& )lthou h there is always some -leaka e. we tell it with the e(!ectation at they will do somethin such as lau h. -sealed off. but of course such models only ive us !robabilistic estimates of how other !eo!le feel. and water be ins !ourin in. we save ourselves from the im!ossible task of seein !eo!le as collections of quarks 4or whatever is at the lowest level5 by usin chunked models. say. the or anelles in a cell. there is almost no leaka e from one level to a distant level& That is why !eo!le can have intuitive understandin s of other !eo!le without necessarily understandin the quark model. theories which can be taken over in a chunked way by the molecular biolo ist.

advance the s!ace in which the out!ut will fall. you know less and less !recisely what you1ve told the com!uter to do2 Aayers and layers of translation may se!arate the -front end. such as a !rinter. the value of every sin le bit in the !ro ram !lays a critical role in the out!ut that ets !rinted& If any bit were chan ed. you have a chunked model of the !ro ram1s behavior= but if you1d known the rest. and volume& Then there are systems where the effect of a sin le low-level event may et magnified into an enormous hi h-level consequence& Such a system is a !inball machine. but you don1t know details of where it will fall& 'or instance. !ressure.. where the e(act an le with which a ball strikes each !ost is crucial in determinin the rest of its descendin !athway& ) com!uter is an elaborate combination of these two ty!es of system& It contains subunits such as wires. chunked law which resembles the laws overnin ases in containers. is so !revalent and so connected with the notion that -com!uters cannot think. is a very calm. enerally. . they conduct electricity accordin to Ehm1s law.first !ro!ounded by Aady Aovelace in her famous memoir. you wouldn1t have written the !ro ram& There is another sense in which this old saw is rusty& This involves the fact that as you !ro ram in ever hi her-level lan ua es. because most anythin will yield similar hi h-level behavior& )n e(am!le of this kind of system is a container of as. this notion that -com!uters can only do what they are told to do. stable system with a certain tem!erature. your statements may resemble declaratives and su estions more than they resemble im!eratives or commands& )nd all the internal rumblin !rovoked by the in!ut of a hi h-level statement is invisible to you. where all the molecules bum! and ban a ainst each other in very com!le( microsco!ic ways= but the total outcome. a very !recise. in the case of most com!uter !ro rams. whose behavior is com!letely determined by delicate !atterns of currents& 3hat the !rinter !rints is not by any means created by a myriad of cancelin microsco!ic effects& In fact. since it de!ends on statistical effects in which billions of random effects cancel each other out. yieldin a !redictable overall behavior& ) com!uter also contains macrosco!ic subunits. the out!ut would also chan e drastically& . you mi ht write a !ro ram to calculate the first million di its of m& Hour !ro ram will s!ew forth di its of m much faster than you can—but there is no !arado( in the fact that the com!uter outracin its !ro rammer& Hou know in advance the s!ace in which the out!ut will lie—namely the s!ace of di its between + and #—which is to say. from a macrosco!ic !oint of view. which behave in a hi hly !redictable fashion.ust as when you eat a sandwich.of a com!le( !ro ram from the actual machine lan ua e instructions& )t the level you think and !ro ram.that we shall return to it in later 7ha!ters when our level of so!histication is reater& T'o Ty!es of System There is an im!ortant division between two ty!es of system built u! from many !arts& There are those systems in which the behavior of some !arts tends to cancel out the behavior of other !arts. you are s!ared conscious awareness of the di estive !rocesses it tri ers& In any case. with the result that it does not matter too much what ha!!ens on the low level.

if they were to discover this law& E!i!henomena In drawin this 7ha!ter to a close. and i nore its constituents& 'urthermore. obeys !recise. in that they deal with the as as a whole. on clocks to tell the time correctly. does the critical number—%L users—come from? The answer is. yet is inde!endent of. on sidewalks to o where they went yesterday. ettin so slow that you mi ht as well lo off and o home and wait until later& Jokin ly I said. which. where c is a constant—is a law which de!ends on. deterministic laws of !hysics& Such laws are chunked laws. is a reliable system because of many cancelin effects. moreover—which we cannot directly observe& Eur chunked model of such a system is necessarily in terms of the -s!ace. !ressure. the microsco!ic and macrosco!ic descri!tions of a as use entirely different terms& The former requires the s!ecification of the !osition and velocity of every sin le com!onent molecule= the latter requires only the s!ecification of three new quantities. tem!erature. the first two of which do not even have microsco!ic counter!arts& The sim!le mathematical relationshi! which elates these three !arameters— p< X cT.Systems which are made u! of -reliable. because they are !illars of stability& 3e can rely on walls not to fall down. as I already !ointed out. the other kind of system which !lays a very lar e role in our lives is a system that has variable behavior which de!ends on some internal microsco!ic !arameters—often a very lar e number of them. and so on& 7hunked models of such systems are virtually entirely deterministic& Ef course. of course. then. this law can be derived from the laws overnin the molecular level= in that sense it de!ends on the lower level& En the other hand. if you wish= in that sense it is inde!endent of the lower level& It is im!ortant to reali<e that the hi h-level law cannot be stated in the vocabulary of the low-level descri!tion& -Pressure.subsystems only—that is.ust find the !lace in the o!eratin system where the number 1%L1 is stored. and involves !robabilistic estimates of landin in different re ions of that s!ace& ) container of as.of o!eration. but at about thirty-five users or so. so that it is not ama<in that we should have found this law& 0ut creatures which knew ases only as theoretical mathematical constructs would have to have an ability to synthesi<e new conce!ts.are new terms which e(!erience with the low level alone cannot convey& 3e humans !erceive tem!erature and !ressure directly= that is how we are built.Everyone lau hed& The !oint is. the res!onse time all of a sudden shot u!. and chan e it to 1D+12. it is law which allows you to i nore the lower level com!letely. -3ell. that there is no such !lace& where. the lower-level !henomena& Aess !arado(ically. on the sun to shine. subsystems whose behavior can be reliably !redicted from chunked descri!tions—!lay inestimably im!ortant roles in our daily lives. and volume. I would like to relate a story about a com!le( system& I was talkin one day with two systems !ro rammers for the com!uter I was usin & They mentioned that the o!eratin system seemed to be able to handle u! to about thirty-five users with reat comfort. that1s sim!le to fi(—. 3t is a #isi(le conse"uence of the o#erall s)stem organi@ationOan -epiphenomenon"& .and -tem!erature.

it is not stored anywhere& ?is time is a result of how he is built.off of brain and trans!lanted into other systems? Er is it im!ossible to unravel thinkin !rocesses into neat and modular subsystems? Is the brain more like an atom. there is the feature that -two eyes live-& It is not built into the rules. a million factors all interactin when he runs& The time is quite re!roducible. there is ullibility& ?ow ullible are you? Is your ullibility located in some . -3here is the 1#&%1 stored. that makes him be able to run "++ yards in #&% seconds?.Ebviously. we shall e(amine whether the brain1s to! level—the mind—can be understood without understandin the lower levels on which it both de!ends and does not de!end& )re there laws of thinkin which are -sealed offfrom the lower laws that overn the microsco!ic activity in the cells of the brain? 7an mind be -skimmed.in your brain? 7ould a neurosur eon reach in and !erform some delicate o!eration to lower your ullibility. what his reaction time is.Similarly. must one o all the way down to the level of nerve cells? . you are !retty ullible. but it is a consequence of the rules& In the human brain. and should !erha!s consider such an o!eration& Mind #s& Brain In comin 7ha!ters. a renormali<ed electron.ullibility center. but it is not stored in his body anywhere& It is s!read around amon all the cells of his body and only manifests itself in the act of the s!rint itself& E!i!henomena abound& In the ame of -6o-. otherwise leavin you alone? If you believe this. you mi ht ask about a s!rinter. or a quark? Is consciousness an e!i!henomenon? To understand the mind. where we discuss the brain. a nucleus. a neutron.

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8ow hold on a minute& Hou must be seein thin s& It1s !lain as day that the messa e of this !icture is -/F-. but the answer to the question is starin us all in the face. I be your !ardon. but -/F. one () one.E:F7TIE8IS/-. I know the rest of you won1t believe this. -?EAIS/-= and the !iece on the ri ht is com!osed of many co!ies. of the same word& 3hy the letters are of different si<es in the two !arts. and that much is certain& *nteater. -. in smaller letters.E:F7TIE8IS/-= and the !iece on the ri ht is com!osed of one sin le co!y. but in your silly squabble. in the ri ht-hand !iece. -.E:F7TIE8IS/-& )nd in com!lementary fashion. not -.E:F7TIE8IS/-2 8ra(. and that each of them is a sin le letter? 8ra(.E:F7TIE8IS/-. but my eyesi ht is e(tremely ood& Please look a ain. the two of you have actually missed the forest for the trees& Hou see. Hou are ri ht about the two !ieces. or are com!osed of. not -. but the answer to the question is starin us all in the face. what ood is it to ar ue about . I know the rest of you won1t believe this. and what I see is . -?EAIS/-2 *chilles. but I know what I see. 8ow hold on a minute& Hou must be seein thin s& It1s !lain as day that the messa e of this !icture is -?EAIS/-. !lain as day& ?ow you see anythin else is beyond me& *nteater. other letters& In the left-hand !iece. hidden in the !icture& It is sim!ly one word—but what an im!ortant one. I don1t know. but the answer to the question is starin us all in the face.E:F7TIE8IS/-. )nother deluded one2 8ot -?EAIS/-.& Ant "u!ue & then. there are indeed three -?EAIS/-1s. but you are wron in your identification of what they are& The !iece on the left is entirely com!osed of three co!ies of one word. I know what is oin on here& Each of you has seen letters which com!ose.?EAIS/-. of the same word& 3hy the letters are of different si<es in the two !arts. but it is com!osed out of smaller co!ies of the word -?EAIS/-& 8ow this is all fine and ood. hidden in the !icture& It is sim!ly one word—but what an im!ortant one. and what I see is . but my eyesi ht is e(tremely clear& Please look a ain. not -?EAIS/-2 8ra(. -/F-2 8ra(. I know the rest of you won1t believe this. and then see if the !icture doesn1t say what I said it says& *chilles. but I know what I see. but you are wron in your identification of what they are& The !iece on the left is entirely com!osed of many co!ies of one word. but each one of them is com!osed out of smaller co!ies of the word -.. :on1t you see that the !icture is com!osed of two !ieces. and then tell me if the the !icture doesn1t say what I said it says2 *nteater.is the messa e of this !icture. there is indeed one -. I don1t know. !lain as day& ?ow you see anythin else is beyond me& *chilles.E:F7TIE8IS/-2 *chilles. the four #oices of the fugue chime in!/ *chilles. I be your !ardon. Hou are ri ht about the two !ieces. hidden in the !icture& It is sim!ly one word—but what an im!ortant one. in lar er letters.

)chilles. by tellin me the meanin of these stran e e(!ressions. I believe that my e(!lanation of -/F. it reveals a wider truth.E:F7TIE8IS/ is the most natural thin in the world to ras!& It1s sim!ly the belief that -a whole can be understood com!letely if you understand its !arts.ects the !remises of the question. which are that one or the other must be chosen& 0y unaskin the question. hidden in the !icture& It is sim!ly one word—but what an im!ortant one. Eh. )chilles.will hel! reatly& Hou see. the fourth #oice in the fugue (eing pla)ed enters. I re. no2 The last thin which I wanted to do was to !rovoke another ar ument& )nyway. by answerin -/F-. )bsurd2 Hour -/F. for instance.is as silly as a cow1s moo& I1ll have none of this 9en wishywashiness& 8ra(. -Should the world be understood via holism.ect holism& I challen e you to tell me.and -. but the answer to the question is starin us all in the face.here re. I will be lad to indul e both of you. that there is a lar er conte(t into which both holistic and reductionistic e(!lanations fit& *nteater. ?EAIS/ is the most natural thin in the world to ras!& It1s sim!ly the belief that -the whole is reater than the sum of its !arts-& 8o one in his ri ht mind could re.E:F7TIE8IS/.is as silly as a kitten1s mew& I1ll have none of this 9en washy-wishiness& *chilles. . Eh. F8)S@S the question& ?ere. I re.ect reductionism& 8ra(. e9actl) one octa#e (elow the first entr)!/ . now that I understand the controversy.E:F7TIE8IS/-& 8ra(. /r& Tortoise? It makes me very uneasy& Surely you must somehow be ca!able of hel!in strai hten out this mess? Tortoise. the question seems to be.or -. and their interrelationshi!s& )ny holistic e(!lanation of an ant colony will inevitably fall far short of e(!lainin where the consciousness e(!erienced by an ant colony arises from& *chilles. or via reductionism?. and the nature of their 1sum1-& 8o one in her left brain could re.is an ancient 9en answer which.)nd the answer of -/F. if you will first obli e me.ect reductionism& I challen e you to tell me. 8ra(. I know the rest of you won1t believe this. dear2 3e1re ettin nowhere fast& 3hy have you stayed so stran ely silent. for instance. . I now see the !icture as you have described it. how a holistic descri!tion of an ant colony sheds any more li ht on it than is shed by a descri!tion of the ants inside it. but I have no idea of what you mean by the stran e e(!ression -transcendin the question-& *nteater. and their roles. -/F-2 ?ust as he sa)s this. -?EAIS/.whether -?EAIS/.ect holism& *nteater. but I have no idea of what you mean by the stran e e(!ression -/F-& *chilles.is ri ht. when the !ro!er way to understand the matter is to transcend the question. I now see the !icture as you have described it.idiculous2 Hour -/F. how to understand a brain reductionistically& )ny reductionistic e(!lanation of a brain will inevitably fall far short of e(!lainin where the consciousness e(!erienced by a brain arises from& *nteater. when iven to a question. -/F.

/r& 7rab? 8ra(. when :r& )nteater and )unt ?illary were my house uests& I should have thou ht of havin you over then& *chilles. he is by !rofession somethin of an e(!ert on that sub. but my eyesi ht is e(tremely fine& Please look a ain. colonies which have to ro!e for words in everyday situations& It can be quite tra ic& I attem!t to remedy the situation by.of an ant colony? *nteater. )chilles —an octave lower 4fi uratively s!eakin 5& 0ut for now I doubt that we can settle the dis!ute in the abstract& I would like to see both the holistic and reductionistic !oints of view laid out more e(!licitly= then there may be more of a basis for a decision& I would very much like to hear a reductionistic descri!tion of an ant colony. Perha!s -/F. Since ant colonies don1t have that faculty. Eh. I can ima ine2 The !rofession of anteater would seem to be synonymous with bein an e(!ert on ant colonies2 *nteater. who always see the most dee!ly into thin s. Perha!s :r& )nteater will tell you somethin of his e(!eriences in that re ard& )fter all. for instance& 8ra(. but such a merry old soul& It1s a shame I didn1t have you over to meet her last week& . no.*chilles. I be your !ardon.is not my !rofession= it is my s!ecies& 0y !rofession. and of course years of study are required before one can !erform them& *chilles. /ost of my clients suffer from some sort of s!eech im!airment& Hou know. 0ut the !oor dear insists that everybody should call her that. )chilles. and then tell me if the !icture doesn1t say what I said it says& *chilles. I see& 0ut what do you mean by -nervous disorders. 0ut—isn1t it true that. one must have the faculty of s!eech? *nteater. from a reductionistic !oint of view? *nteater. I am a colony sur eon& I s!eciali<e in correctin nervous disorders of the colony by the technique of sur ical removal& *chilles. 6ladly& )s /r& 7rab mentioned to you. :r& )nteater& 7ould you tell us more about ant colonies. I be your !ardon& -)nteater. before one can suffer from s!eech im!airment. I uess I should feel !leased to have seen as far as /r& Tortoise.i ht& *chilles. Eh. would be able to resolve this dilemma—but a!!arently. for once& Tortoise. 0ut of course it does2 Hou have merely re!eated my own ori inal observation& Tortoise. you have seen no further than I myself saw& Eh.ust one of her many endearin quirks& 8ra(. Eh. I am a little confused& 8ra(. Is )unt ?illary your aunt.ect& Tortoise. even stran ers& It1s . . that you weren1t here last week. uhh—removin the defective !art of the colony& These o!erations are sometimes quite involved. my !rofession has led me quite a lon way into the understandin of ant colonies& *chilles. Hes. she1s not really anybody1s aunt& *nteater. I am sure that we have much to learn from you. )unt ?illary is quite eccentric.e(ists in this !icture on a dee!er level than you ima ine. It1s too bad. for once you have let me down& I was sure that you. well. /r& T.

Eh. ?ow is it !ossible that— Tortoise. —havin its branches !runed can do a tree any ood? *nteater.am& *nteater. )ctually.ust occurred in this 0ach fu ue& *chilles. not !atrons of antintellectualism2 *nteater. I can va uely see how it mi ht be !ossible for a limited and re ulated amount of ant consum!tion to im!rove the overall health of a colony—but what is far more !er!le(in is all this talk about havin conversations with ant colonies& That1s im!ossible& )n ant colony is sim!ly a bunch of individual ants runnin around at random lookin for food and makin a nest& *nteater. ?ow is it !ossible that— *chilles. I1m sorry= I thou ht you knew the term& It is where one theme re!eatedly enters in one voice after another. some trails contain information in coded form& If you know the system. 3ell. but in writin & Hou know how ants form trails leadin them hither and thither? *chilles. me. 3ithout any trouble at all& That1s how )unt ?illary and I have conversations for hours& I take a stick and draw trails in the moist round. ?ow is it !ossible that— Tortoise. not colonies—and that is ood for both !arties. a new trail starts ettin formed somewhere& I reatly en. —havin a haircut can do )chilles any ood? Tortoise. I antici!ate how they will continue 4and . you can read what they1re sayin . Eh. without their havin to be !ointed out& Tortoise. and hearin an ant colony answer back& *nteater. Probably the rest of you were too en rossed in the discussion to notice the lovely stretto which . )chilles& In fact. of course the two are not mutually inconsistent& I am on the best of terms with ant colonies& It1s . Silly fellow2 That1s not the way it ha!!ens& )nt colonies don1t converse out loud. at times includin the mastery of lan ua e& *chilles. I thou ht anteaters were devourers of ants. ?ow is it !ossible that— 8ra(. and watch the ants follow my trails& Presently. and the colony& *chilles. Pardon me. with very little delay between entries& *chilles. —havin a forest fire can do a forest any ood? *nteater.emarkable& )nd can you communicate back to them? *nteater. I find it hard to ima ine myself shoutin somethin out loud in the middle of the forest. Hou could !ut it that way if you want to insist on seein the trees but missin the forest. 3ell. .ust like a book& *chilles. my friends& I am sorry to have interru!ted& :r& )nteater was tryin to e(!lain how eatin ants is !erfectly consistent with bein a friend of an ant colony& *chilles.*nteater. soon I1ll know all of these thin s and will be able to !ick them out myself. She1s certainly one of the best-educated ant colonies I have ever had the ood fortune to know& The two of us have s!ent many a lon evenin in conversation on the widest ran e of to!ics& *chilles. with their own qualities. ant colonies.oy watchin trails develo!& )s they are formin . are quite well-defined units. —havin its ants eaten can do an ant colony any ood? 8ra(. 3hat is a stretto? Tortoise. yes—usually strai ht throu h the kitchen sink and into my !each .ust )8TS that I eat. seen as wholes. If I listen to enou h fu ues.

ant trails are a !erfect e(am!le of such a !henomenon& There. which can emer e from that chaos& *chilles. can amount to anythin coherent—es!ecially somethin so coherent as the brain behavior necessary for conversin & 8ra(. 0ut even so. in order to e(!lain the fact that a !erson can have an intelli ent conversation& *chilles. to brush a ainst each other. so here you must not take an ant for the colony& Hou see. Eh. Eh. and I in turn make my re!ly& *chilles. they are free to wander. there are nevertheless overall trends. seen as a whole. to work on trails. I know what )unt ?illary is thinkin . It seems to me that the situation is not unlike the com!osition of a human brain out of neurons& 7ertainly no one would insist that individual brain cells have to be intelli ent bein s on their own.ust act at random. within those limits they are still free. you have really quite un!redictable motion on the !art of any sin le ant—and yet. and with that freedom. that ant-system. I know what you mean& In fact. for they don1t have the mentality to ima ine anythin of the kind& Thus the ants are very reliable com!onents. I don1t see at all how their behavior. but you fail to reco ni<e one thin & )chilles—the re ularity of statistics& *chilles. which they are in& It would never occur to them. ?ow is that? *nteater. . and so on& 0ut they never ste! out of that small world. if )unt ?illary can entertain you for hours with witty banter& Tortoise. 'or e(am!le. )h. and they . all reinforcin each other this way. clearly not& 3ith brain cells. I think you are still havin some difficulty reali<in the difference in levels here& Just as you would never confuse an individual tree with a forest. It seems to me that the ants are free only within certain constraints& 'or e(am!le. I see your !oint com!letely& Enly&&& ants are a horse of another color& I mean. to !ick u! small items. where does the ability to converse come from? It must reside somewhere inside the colony2 I don1t understand how the ants can all be unintelli ent. all the ants in )unt ?illary are as dumb as can be& They couldn1t converse to save their little thora(es2 *chilles. chancin now and then u!on a morsel of food&&& They are free to do what they want to do. 3ell then. in the sense that you can de!end on them to !erform certain kinds of tasks in certain ways& *chilles. I1ll say that& *nteater. There must be some ama<in ly smart ants in that colony. runnin about incoherently without any re ard for the thou ht mechanisms of a hi her-level bein which :r& )nteater asserts they are merely com!onents of& *nteater.more often I am wron than ri ht5& 3hen the trail is com!leted. the trail itself seems to remain well-defined and stable& 7ertainly that must mean that the individual ants are not . to sustain any activity—such as trail-buildin —for any len th of time& 8ow my very ha<y understandin of the o!eration of brains leads me to believe that . com!letely randomly.ust runnin about totally at random& *nteater. even thou h ants as individuals wander about in what seems a random way. no.ust enou h to kee! them from wanderin off com!letely at random& 0y this minimal communication they can remind each other that they are not alone but are coo!eratin with teammates& It takes a lar e number of ants. )chilles& There is some de ree of communication amon the ants.ust roam about at will. involvin lar e numbers of ants. E(actly. ants .

somethin similar !ertains to the firin of neurons& Isn1t it true. order also emer es from chaos when molecules of a as bounce a ainst each other randomly—yet all that results there is an amor!hous mass with but three !arameters to characteri<e it. in sha!es stran er then the dash of a nat-hun ry swallow= every twist. for e(am!le—will take !lace only when a certain threshold number of ants et involved& If an effort is initiated. one of two thin s can ha!!en. that it takes a rou! of neurons firin in order to make another neuron fire? 8ra(. in an ant colony. and natural law& It makes what I consider my SEA' sound at best like a by-!roduct of an or anism overned by natural law. or it mi ht involve nestkee!in & :es!ite the e(treme sim!licity of this scheme on a small scale. so that it sounds as thou h -I. !erha!s at random.am . :efinitely& Take the neurons in )chilles1 brain. volume. brin in more and more ants into the !icture& In the latter case. E(actly& The other thin that can ha!!en is that a critical mass of ants is !resent. by a few ants in some locale. it can ive rise to very com!le( consequences on a lar er scale& *chilles. I think that I1/ in control of what I think—but the way you !ut it turns it all inside out. then that neuron will fire and send its own out!ut !ulse rushin off to other neurons. !ressure. /r& 7rab. and at worst. I knew there was somethin !arallel oin on in the two very different systems& 8ow I understand it much better& It seems that rou! !henomena which have coherence—trail-buildin . and if the sum total of in!uts at any moment e(ceeds a critical threshold. Hou1ll come to understand much better as we o alon & 0ut :r& )nteater—what do you make of this similarity? *nteater.ust what comes out of all this neural structure.ect& That !ro. or to talk about it2 *nteater. I can ras! the eneral idea of order emer in from chaos. but that still is a lon way from the ability to converse& )fter all. as you sketch it. if anythin & Tortoise. you can1t even be in to understand the activities of the colony unless you o throu h several layers of structure& . or food. an artificial notion !roduced by my distorted !ers!ective& In other words. That hi hli hts a very interestin difference between the e(!lanation of the behavior of an ant colony and the e(!lanation of the behavior of as inside a container& Ene can e(!lain the behavior of the as sim!ly by calculatin the statistical !ro!erties of the motions of its molecules& There is no need to discuss any hi her elements of structure than molecules. 3hen there aren1t enou h ants to kee! the thin rollin ? *nteater. you make me feel like I don1t know who or what—I am. a whole -team. e(ce!t the full as itself& En the other hand.atherin .is brou ht into bein which works on a sin le !ro. every turn foreordained by the neural structure in )chilles1 brain. until sensory in!ut messa es interfere& *chilles. and the thin will snowball. which may in turn fire—and on down the line it oes& The neural flash swoo!s relentlessly in its )chillean !ath.ect mi ht be trailmakin . either it will fi<<le out after a brief s!utterin start— *chilles. and tem!erature& 8ow that1s a far cry from the ability to understand the world. 8ormally. for e(am!le& Each neuron receives si nals from neurons attached to its in!ut lines.

Hes. Eh. they really aren1t soldiers at all& It1s the workers who are soldiers= the soldiers are . aren1t they? *nteater. one caste may be be very s!arse in some !laces and very dense in others& 8ra(.atherin . how dis raceful2 3hy. such as food. 3ell. )chilles& )n ant colony is quite communistic internally. in any small area of a colony. Gery well& There are all sorts of tasks which must be accom!lished in a colony. and individual ants develo! s!eciali<ations& Fsually an ant1s s!eciali<ation chan es as the ant a es& )nd of course it is also de!endent on the ant1s caste& )t any one moment. /r& 7rab= they are indeed based on somewhat communistic !rinci!les& 0ut about soldiers )chilles is somewhat naPve& In fact. if I were an ant.are hardly ade!t at fi htin at all& They are slow. the u!kee! of the nest. Is the density of a iven caste. ?mm&&& I hardly think that could be ri ht. I1d !ut some disci!line in their ranks2 I1d knock some sense into those fatheads2 Tortoise. and then— *chilles.aws.ust a random thin ? Er is there a reason why ants of one ty!e mi ht be more heavily concentrated in certain areas. about colonies you are ri ht.*chilles. It has to do with the e(istence of several different varieties of ants inside any colony& *chilles. over a lon !eriod of time. :r& )nteater? *nteater. there evolves. there are males. but are hardly to be lorified& )s in a true communistic state. 0ah& That is an absurd state of affairs& Soldiers who won1t fi ht2 *nteater. un ainly ants with iant heads. since it is of crucial im!ortance in understandin how a colony thinks& In fact. as I . yes& I think I have heard about that& They are called -castes-. and less heavily in others? *nteater. Eh. there are ants of all ty!es !resent& Ef course. who can sna! with their stron . or s!eciali<ation. so why would its soldiers fi ht a ainst communism? Er am I ri ht. .ust said. huntin . one . who do !ractically nothin towards. It would seem to me that the constant motion of ants to and fro would com!letely !revent the !ossibility of a very delicate distribution& )ny delicate . and nursin of the youn & It is even they who do most of the fi htin & *chilles.ust la<y fatheads& *chilles. That1s correct& )side from the queen.um! takes you from the lowest level— molecules—to the hi hest level—the full as& There are no intermediate levels of or ani<ation& 8ow how do intermediate levels of or ani<ed activity arise in an ant colony? *nteater. it is rather the workers who are to be lorified& It is they who do most of the chores. the so-called -soldiers. a very delicate distribution of castes inside a colony& )nd it is this distribution which allows the colony to have the com!le(ity which underlies the ability to converse with me& *chilles. If you were an ant? ?ow could you be an ant? There is no way to ma! your brain onto an ant brain. I1m lad you brou ht that u!. so it seems to me to be a !retty fruitless question to worry over& /ore reasonable would be the !ro!osition of ma!!in your brain onto an ant colony&&& 0ut let us not et sidetracked& Aet :r& )nteater continue with his most illuminatin descri!tion of castes and their role in the hi her levels of or ani<ation& *nteater. )nd of course there are soldiers—6lorious 'i hters ) ainst 7ommunism2 8ra(. I see what you mean& In a as.

0ut that1s understandable. of course. small rou!s of ants are constantly formin and unformin & Those which actually e(ist for a while are the teams.ust too microsco!ic a level. I1m quite feared by all the individual ants in the colony—but that1s another matter entirely& In any case. That1s clear& *nteater. o into a !anic—which means. it is . and it is !recisely the motion inside the colony which u!dates the caste distribution. ?ow can you refer to the distribution of different ty!es of ants inside a colony as a -!iece of knowled e-? *nteater. and the reason they don1t fall a!art is that there really is somethin for them to do& *chilles. you see that the ants1 action in res!onse to my arrival com!letely chan es the internal distribution of ants& *chilles. since you1re a dreaded enemy of the colony& *nteater. far from bein an enemy of the colony.ust e(actly the to-in and fro-in of ants inside the colony which ada!ts the caste distribution to varyin situations. what it comes down to is how you choose to describe the caste distribution& If you continue to think in terms of the lower levels—individual ants—then you miss the forest for the trees& That1s . I am )unt ?illary1s favorite com!anion& )nd )unt ?illary is my favorite aunt& I rant you. the real-world situation with which the colony is dealin . )nd that sort of thin is the u!datin which I s!oke of& The new distribution reflects my !resence& Ene can describe the chan e from old state to new as havin added a -!iece of knowled e. that they be in runnin around com!letely differently from the way they were before I arrived& *chilles. and thereby !reserves the delicate caste distribution& Hou see. . due to the random bombardment from all sides& *nteater. u!on sniffin my odor.distribution would be quickly destroyed by all the random motions of ants. 3ell. 6ladly& 3hen I. Eh. it must constantly be chan in so as to reflect. Earlier you said that a rou! will stick to ether if its si<e e(ceeds a certain threshold& 8ow you1re sayin that a rou! will stick to ether if there is somethin for it to do& . all the foolish ants. you1re bound to miss some lar e-scale features& Hou1ve ot to find the !ro!er hi h-level framework in which to describe the caste distribution—only then will it make sense how the caste distribution can encode many !ieces of knowled e& *chilles. )ll ri ht& Aet1s be in at the bottom& 3hen ants need to et somethin done. in some manner. so as to kee! it in line with the !resent circumstances facin the colony& Tortoise. and when you think microsco!ically. In an ant colony& the situation is quite the contrary& In fact. no& I must reiterate that. which stick to ether to !erform a chore& )s I mentioned earlier.to the colony& *chilles. an anteater. 7ould you ive an e(am!le? *nteater. the caste distribution cannot remain as one sin le ri id !attern= rather. arrive to !ay a visit to )unt ?illary. then? *nteater. 8ow there1s a vital !oint& It requires some elaboration& Hou see.ust as any delicate !attern amon molecules in a as would not survive for an instant. how :E you find the !ro!er-si<ed units in which to describe the !resent state of the colony. they form little -teams-.

In a way that1s analo ous. but whereas the water in the wave rolls back to the sea. ants& *chilles.ust where it is needed& )nd even if it oes in the ri ht direction. hi h and dry. wait& Either the behavior IS !ur!oseful. since the ants themselves com!ose it& Tortoise. Those are e(tremely im!ortant matters. one would be inclined to characteri<e the si nals1 behavior as bein oriented towards fillin a need. si nals—and below them. It sounds like a wave. the delicate caste distribution !lays a crucial role& It is what determines the motion of si nals throu h the colony. and to call it -!ur!oseful-& 0ut you can look at it otherwise& *chilles. I see& I assume that these -teams. since they involve e(!lainin the e(istence of !ur!oseful behavior—or what seems to be !ur!oseful behavior—on the !art of si nals& 'rom the descri!tion. 3hy do si nals deserve their su estive name? *nteater. Aet me e(!lain my way of seein thin s. on the shore& *nteater. but teams on lower levels& Eventually you reach the lowestlevel teams—which is to say. all the hi her entities are collections of si nals actin in concert& There are teams on hi her levels whose members are not ants. there is no analo ous carrier substance in the case of a si nal. They are equivalent statements& 'or instance. since the team does indeed de!osit somethin which it has carried from a distance. in food. how does it fi ure out where to decom!ose? ?ow does it know it has arrived? *nteater. and at some !oint it more or less disinte rates into its individual members. the number of ants who res!ond will be !ro!ortional to the si<e of the food sam!le—and an inconsequential amount will not attract enou h ants to sur!ass the threshold& 3hich is e(actly what I meant by sayin there is nothin to do—too little food ou ht to be i nored& *chilles. It comes from their function& The effect of si nals is to trans!ort ants of various s!eciali<ations to a!!ro!riate !arts of the colony& So the ty!ical story of a si nal is thus. there is no awareness on its !art that it should head off in any !articular direction& 0ut here. which I call a -si nal-—and all the hi her levels of structure are based on si nals& In fact. and then see if you a ree& Ence a si nal is formed. or it is 8ET& I don1t see how you can have it both ways& *nteater. if there is an inconsequential amount of food somewhere which ets discovered by some wanderin ant who then attem!ts to communicate its enthusiasm to other ants. and leavin them strewn. 8aturally& *chilles. it comes into e(istence by e(ceedin the threshold needed for survival. 8aturally? It1s not so obvious to /E that a si nal should always o .are one of the levels of structure fallin somewhere in between the sin le-ant level and the colony level& *nteater.atherin .ust at some s!ot in the colony where ants of that ty!e were needed in the first !lace& *nteater.*nteater. and also how lon a si nal will remain stable. )nd I su!!ose that a si nal loses its coherency . carryin sand dollars and seaweed from afar. then it mi rates for some distance throu h the colony. Precisely& There e(ists a s!ecial kind of team. Eh. leavin them on their own& *chilles. and where it will -dissolve-& .

8o. in the bubbles in boilin water—or do you? 8ra(. invisible on lower levels& Hou lose e(!lanatory !ower unless you take that hi her level into account& *nteater. it owes its e(istence to !rocesses on the molecular level.ust res!onded to a messa e which was written in the lan ua e of the caste distribution& 8ow from this !ers!ective. Precisely the !oint I wanted to make& 7olonies survive because their caste distribution has meanin . and you can for et about any -hi her-level laws-& The same oes for ant colonies and their teams& 0y lookin at thin s from the vast !ers!ective of evolution. it disinte rates. you can drain the whole colony of meanin and !ur!ose& They become su!erfluous notions& . of course—the emer ence of various mechanisms would be seen as natural res!onses to e(ternal !ressures. I see your side= but I believe you see thin s too narrowly& 8ra(. in search of nothin in !articular. So everythin de!ends on the caste distribution. but— *nteater. a si nal has 8E !ur!ose& The ty!ical ant in a si nal is . due to the meanin lessness of the caste distribution& 8ra(. eh? *nteater. it looks very much like !ur!oseful activity& 8ra(. or whatever& The si nal will remain lued to ether as lon as the local needs are different from what it can su!!ly= but if it 7)8 contribute. and at that moment the team unloads itself by crumblin a!art. or nursin . . the team has . with ants of the local nei hborhoods which it !asses throu h& The contacts and scents !rovide information about local matters of ur ency.i ht& Aet1s say a si nal is movin alon & )s it oes.ected to the ri ors of evolution for billions of years& ) few mechanisms were selected for. )nt colonies have been sub. leavin .*chilles. I1m be innin to see thin s from two different vanta e !oints& 'rom an ant1s-eye !oint of view. s!illin a fresh team of usable ants onto the scene& :o you see now how the caste distribution acts as an overall uide of the teams inside the colony? *chilles. to determine the !ro!er direction& 0ut from the 7EAE8H1S !oint of view. such as nest-buildin . either by direct contact or by e(chan e of scents. 7ertainly& 0ut the colony would not last lon . )nd do you see how this way of lookin at thin s requires attributin no sense of !ur!ose to the si nal? *chilles.ust its members but none of its coherency& 8o !lannin is required. and most were selected a ainst& The end result was a set of mechanisms which make ant colonies work as we have been describin & If you could watch the whole !rocess in a movie—runnin a billion or so times faster than life. . and that meanin is a holistic as!ect. 3hat would ha!!en if the caste distribution were entirely random? 3ould si nals still band and disband? *nteater. no lookin ahead= nor is any search required. ?ow so? *nteater.ust meanderin around the colony. 8ow that1s /H !oint& 8o matter how bi a bubble is.and -!ur!ose-.ust as bubbles in boilin water are natural res!onses to an e(ternal heat source& I don1t su!!ose you see -meanin . I do see that& *nteater. until it finds that it feels like sto!!in & Its teammates usually a ree. the ants which com!ose it interact. I think so& )ctually.

from its creation until its dissolution. the /E)8I86 of the caste distribution and the PF.ures u! in my mind& I can . too. )chilles& 0y the way. /r& 7rab— *chilles.of such an -ant fu ue-? I know how hard it is for me— Tortoise. 8ot for me. —to track a sin le voice— *nteater. for ettin about evolution and seein thin s in the here and now. Perha!s you could answer this. and drain all these systems of meanin . )s a matter of fact. if there are a few in the area& /ost often. I am not bein inconsistent. ) fu ue. si nals . !erha!s? *chilles.PESE'FA8ESS of si nals& This not only ha!!ens when I think of ant colonies. That1s an interestin thou ht.*chilles. :o you su!!ose one could se!arate out the different visual -voices. so I find it much easier to chan e !oints of view& 3hen I do so. all that talk of boilin water made me think of tea& 3ho would like some more? *chilles.ust ima ine ants movin in four different directions. —if it isn1t too much trouble& *chilles. Evolution certainly works some miracles& Hou never know the ne(t trick it will !ull out of its sleeve& 'or instance. always consist of the same set of ants? *nteater. I could do with another cu!. to ether formin an orderly !attern. )chilles& 0ut its unlikely that anyone could draw such a !icture in a convincin way *chilles. then. each one unaware that the other one is also a si nal= each one treatin the other as if it were . 3hy. thank you& *chilles. Three? *chilles. —are oin at once& 8ra(. it wouldn1t sur!rise me one bit if it were theoretically !ossible for two or more -si nals. —comin ri ht u!2 *nteater. the vocabulary of teleolo y comes back. Hes—that1s it2 )n ant fu ue2 8ra(. /r& 7& 8ra(. ?mm&&& 3hat a stran e ima e that con. with some effort I can always remember the other !oint of view if necessary. )chilles& Hou see.ust !art of the back round !o!ulation& *nteater. did you tell me that you talked with )unt ?illary? It now seems that you would deny that she can talk or think at all& *nteater. some black. That1s too bad& Tortoise. It is better than theoretically !ossible= in fact it ha!!ens routinely2 *chilles. )n interestin ima e. almost like—like— Tortoise. some white. but also when I think about my own brain and other brains& ?owever. :r& )nteater. I have as much difficulty as anyone else in seein thin s on such a randiose time scale. — in a musical fu ue— *nteater. :r& )nteater& :oes a si nal. the individuals in a si nal sometimes break off and et re!laced by others of the same caste. I1d like some. criss-crossin . Gery ood& *chilles. 8ot at all& 'our cu!s of tea— Tortoise.to !ass throu h each other. —when all of them— 8ra(. too& 8ra(.

and they are com!osed of lower-level active subsystems&&& They are therefore . Hes. this sense of the word has some si nificant differences from the usual sense& /y -symbols. we are comin to all that& I !refer to ive teams of a sufficiently hi h level the name of -symbols-& /ind you. as you said. 0ut what about those intermediate levels of structure? Hou were sayin that the caste distribution should best be !ictured not in terms of ants or si nals. () '! 8! Escher woodcut. :r& )nteater. but in terms of teams whose members were other teams.73G5=E JB! ")nt 'u ue-. and are doin so in res!onse to the internal needs of the colony—which in turn reflect the e(ternal situation which the colony is faced with& Therefore the caste distribution. and so on until you come down to the ant level& )nd you said that that was the key to understandin how it was !ossible to describe the caste distribution as encodin !ieces of information about the world& *nteater. whose members were other teams. I can see that the si nals are constantly affectin the caste distribution throu hout the colony. ets continually u!dated in a way which ultimately reflects the outer world& *chilles.are )7TIGE SF0SHSTE/S of a com!le( system. BIGH/! arrive at their disinte ration !oints with nary an ant in common with their startin lineu!& 8ra(.

you reach a level whose elements have e(act counter!arts in other systems of equal intellectual stren th—such as ant colonies& Tortoise. )chilles. onto an ant colony. what in my brain corres!onds to the low level teams which you call si nals? *nteater. for instance. at bottom. :r& )nteater. . such as letters of the al!habet or musical notes. such as a word on a !a e. symbols and si nals are )7TIGE& *chilles.quite different from P)SSIGE symbols. hardly& Hou took me a little too literally& The lowest level may be utterly different& Indeed. I but dabble in brains. which you raised. Hour inter!retation may very well be more accurate than mine. isn1t it? I . /r& 7rab& Thank you for brin in out that subtle !oint& *chilles.ust a cotton-!ickin minute& )re you insinuatin that my brain consists of. I a!!reciate the com!liment& 0ut how would such a ma!!in be carried out? 'or instance. Eh. which in themselves carry no meanin & This ives a ood idea of the difference between symbols and si nals& In fact it is a useful analo y. and that concerns the level at which one can have faith that the corres!ondence be ins& Hou seemed to think that a SI68)A mi ht have a direct counter!art in a brain= whereas I feel that it is only at the level of your )7TIGE SH/0EAS and above that it is likely that a corres!ondence must e(ist& *nteater. it1s quite remarkable& 0ut all these layers of structure are necessary for the stora e of the kinds of knowled e which enable an or anism to be -intelli ent. That is why it would be reasonable to think of ma!!in your brain. such as a !attern of neural firin s& 8ra(.ust a bunch of ants runnin around? *nteater. I1ll do so. desirable thou h it mi ht be? It seems to me that the main idea is that such a corres!ondence does e(ist. It is somethin like the difference between words and letters& 3ords. are com!osed of letters. Hes.ust had no idea that ant colonies had such an abstract structure& *nteater. Eh. waitin for an active system to !rocess them& *chilles. and therefore couldn1t set u! the ma! in its lorious detail& 0ut—and correct me if I1m wron . this is rather com!licated. even if we don1t know e(actly how to define it ri ht now& I would only question one !oint. I would tend to a ree& 0ut don1t you think that. are not com!osed of ants& 0ut when you o u! a level or two in a brain. The reason is that the meanin which you attribute to any !assive symbol.in any reasonable sense of the word& )ny system which has a mastery of lan ua e has essentially the same underlyin sets of levels& *chilles. actually derives from the meanin which is carried by . for the !ur!oses of our discussion. which sit there immobile. 8ow . but I1m not sure I understand why it is so vital to stress the difference between active and !assive entities& *nteater. the brains of anteaters. delineatin the e(act counter!art is not in itself crucial. but not onto the brain of a mere ant& *chilles. 3hat does a symbol do that a si nal couldn1t do? *nteater. e(ternal to the system. Eh. which are meanin -carryin entities. as lon as you kee! in mind the fact that words and letters are P)SSIGE. /r& 7rab—I would surmise that the brain counter!art to an ant colony1s si nal is the firin of a neuron= or !erha!s it is a lar erscale event.

were it not for them. )ll ri ht& 0ut what is it that endows a SH/0EA—an active one. Ef course. but somethin equivalent —a brain—can e(ist. the colony wouldn1t e(ist. the ants are dis!ensable& *chilles. and the su!!ly of various castes here and there& This e(tra com!lication is the !rice you !ay for the ri ht to summari<e& *chilles.under a common headin . or teams? *nteater. and all the interconnections. the ants are not the most im!ortant feature& )dmittedly. and so forth& *chilles. I1m sure no ant would embrace your theory with ea erness& *nteater. It is interestin to me to com!are the merits of the descri!tions at various levels& The hi hest-level descri!tion seems to carry the most e(!lanatory !ower. Gery well= let1s lum! -caste distribution. 3hat about a descri!tion on the level of si nals. you have to add e(tra thin s which were not !resent in the ant-by-ant descri!tion—such as the relationshi!s between teams. which is a !erfectly ood entity in its own ri ht. ant-free& So. ) descri!tion on that level would fall somewhere in between the low-level and symbol-level descri!tions& It would contain a reat deal of information about what is actually oin on in s!ecific locations throu hout the colony. and call them . you have to describe it omittin any mention of its fundamental buildin blocks& *nteater. it leaves out seemin ly the most im!ortant feature—the ants& *nteater. which is characteri<ed by its caste distribution& 8ra(. to be sure—with meanin . in order to ras! the whole structure. a descri!tion on a hi h level would involve s!ecifyin which symbols could be tri ered by which combinations of other symbols. althou h certainly less than an ant-by-ant descri!tion. The &ickwick &apers—will that do? . has none? *nteater. I never met an ant with a hi h-level !oint of view& 8ra(. when you say that a SI68)A.ust the -state-& 8ow the state can be described on a low level or on a hi h level& ) low-level descri!tion of the state of an ant colony would involve !ainfully s!ecifyin the location of each ant. 3hat a counterintuitive !icture you !aint. and other similar items& ) very detailed descri!tion. althou h stran ely enou h. in that it ives you the most intuitive !icture of the ant colony. and the threshold for firin of each neuron& *nteater. it does not do so in isolation& It is floatin about. if what you say is true. 0ut you see. 3ell. des!ite a!!earances. in a brain there is no such thin as a caste distribution. you describe the states of all the neurons. at least from a hi h-level !oint of view. its a e and caste. but the counter!art is the -brain state-& There.corres!ondin active symbols in your brain& So that the meanin of !assive symbols can only be !ro!erly understood when it is related to the meanin of active symbols& *chilles.and -brain state. indeed. in a medium. Perha!s I can make it a little clearer by an analo y& Ima ine you have before you a 7harles :ickens novel& *chilles. yieldin !ractically no lobal insi ht as to 3?H it is in that state& En the other hand. since teams consist of clum!s of ants& ) team-by-team descri!tion is like a summary of an ant-by-ant descri!tion& ?owever. :r& )nteater& It seems that. under what conditions. It all has to do with the way that symbols can cause other symbols to be tri ered& 3hen one symbol becomes active.

the 1h1-conce!t. therefore. for instance. that one day you were watchin )unt ?illary when I arrived to !ay a call& Hou could watch as carefully as you wanted. I have to think of three definite conce!ts. Hou would find that you could not do it in such a way that the tri erin of new si nals would make any sense& 8or could you succeed on any lower level—for e(am!le the ant level& Enly on the symbol level do the tri erin !atterns make sense& Ima ine. with no room for variation? *nteater. those which translate into the thou ht. )nd yet. there are active si nals instead of !assive letters. and the 1e1-conce!t—and every time. E(cellently2 )nd now ima ine tryin the followin ame. so that the entire &ickwick &apers makes sense when you read it letter by letter& *chilles. readin the hi her level instead of the lower level. and so forth& *nteater. Ef course not2 I1d describe the !lot and the characters. That sounds like what ha!!ened when the four of us all found different levels to read in the /F-!icture—or at least T?. ?mm&&& Hou mean that every time I hit a word such as -the-. here1s that charmin :r& )nteater a ain—how !leasant2-—or words to that effect& *chilles. -Eh.*nteater. and yet you would !robably !erceive nothin more than a rearran ement of ants& *chilles.ust coincidence? Tortoise. and the trend of our conversation& *chilles. it sounds like that would turn the e(!erience of -readin . )ll ri ht—but what about ant colonies? *nteater. 3hat an astonishin coincidence that there should be such a resemblance between that stran e !icture which I chanced u!on in the >ell%Tempered 8la#ier. and !arts of the real world& If you wanted to describe the book. all the way down to ants& . 3ell. one after another. E(actly& There is no natural ma!!in from the individual letters into the real world& The natural ma!!in occurs on a hi her level between words. and active symbols instead of !assive words—but the idea carries over& *chilles. :o you think it1s . those conce!ts are as they were the !recedin time& *chilles. I ho!e you can ras! now how the thou hts in )unt ?illary emer e from the mani!ulation of symbols com!osed of si nals com!osed of teams com!osed of lower-level teams. you must find a way of ma!!in letters onto ideas. 3ell. I would see several dormant symbols bein awakened. but not the messa e& *chilles. So there you are& Hou would omit all mention of the buildin blocks. even thou h the book e(ists thanks to them& They are the medium. ?ere. you would make no mention of the letter level& *chilles.The &ickwick &apers into an indescribably borin ni htmare& It would be an e(ercise in meanin lessness. :o you mean I couldn1t establish a ma!!in between si nals and thin s in the real world? *nteater.EE of us did && & Tortoise. E(actly& They are the 1t1-conce!t. Ef course& *nteater. I1m sure that1s accurate& *nteater. as I watched. no matter what conce!t I associated with each letter& *nteater.

!artially varyin system which is the a ent& Ene can ive a name to the full system& 'or e(am!le.ust tryin to !icture how it is !ossible to look at an ant colony and read it on the symbol level& I can certainly ima ine !erceivin it at the ant level= and with a little trouble. with conscious systems& They !erceive themselves on the symbol level only. )unt ?illary is the -who. )chilles& *chilles. 'amiliar to me? 3hat do you mean? I have never looked at an ant colony on anythin but the ant level& *nteater. but the activities which they follow are nevertheless not absolutely free& The activities of all symbols are strictly determined by the state of the full system in which they reside& Therefore. Ene only learns throu h lon !ractice& 0ut when one is at my sta e. one reads the to! level of an ant colony as easily as you yourself read the . always on the symbol level? *nteater. however& *nteater. there are active symbols which are constantly u!datin themselves so that they reflect the overall state of the brain itself. That1s quite a stran e characteri<ation of the notion of who I am& I1m not sure I can fully understand it. and only see the to!most level? *nteater.*chilles. 3hy do you call it -symbol mani!ulation-? 3ho does the mani!ulatin . . or u!dated& 0ut there are many features which remain over time& It is this !artially constant. This ets back to the question which you earlier raised about !ur!ose& Hou1re ri ht that symbols themselves are active. That1s the way it is. and have no awareness of the lower levels. )chilles& *chilles. I never thou ht of it that way& Hou mean that I by!ass all the lower levels. but I will ive it some thou ht& Tortoise. 3hat about your E38 brain? )ren1t you aware of your own thou hts? Isn1t that the essence of consciousness? 3hat else are you doin but readin your own brain directly at the symbol level? *chilles. 7ertainly& In any conscious system there are symbols which re!resent the brain state. if the symbols are themselves active? 3ho is the a ent? *nteater. That1s too com!licated for me& I have trouble enou h . I have never seen nor read any brain either. and they are themselves !art of the very brain state which they symboli<e& 'or consciousness requires a lar e de ree of self-consciousness& ./F. It would be quite interestin to follow the symbols in your brain as you do that thinkin about the symbols in your brain& *chilles. and so it is quite reasonable to s!eak of the full system as the -a ent-& )s the symbols o!erate. the full system is res!onsible for how its symbols tri er each other.in the /F!icture& *chilles.who can be said to mani!ulate her symbols= and you are similar. :oes it follow that in a brain. such as the si nal levels& *chilles. I can ima ine what it must be like to !erceive it at the si nal level= but what in the world can it be like to !erceive an ant colony at the symbol level? *nteater. In a way—but it is also one which is quite familiar to you. /aybe not= but ant colonies are no different from brains in many res!ects& *chilles. the state of the system ets slowly transformed.eally? That must be an ama<in e(!erience& *nteater.

Aet me take a look& 4&eers closel) at the '5%picture&5 I think there1s yet another level. which bears no relation whatever to the lower levels2 8ra(./F-. like a mantra—but what an im!ortant one. I don1t see any way to do so. 8o. no—that can1t be2 Aet me see& 4 +ooks #er) carefull)&5 I know the rest of you won1t believe this. That1s absolutely true& 4&icks up the '5%picture. 3e would never have noticed it if it hadn1t been for you. there are a cou!le of them comin u!. 0ut !recisely that sort of thin :I: ha!!en when you read -/F-. )lthou h we have been havin a lively discussion. re!eated over and over a ain. ?ow could one ever decide that? Tortoise. hidden in its de!ths& It is sim!ly one word. Hou1re ri ht—I by!assed the lower levels. 3ell. in . It certainly is& )nd now. )chilles& *nteater.and -. settles for a moment or two on a sin le note or chord. by readin only the symbol level& It1s too bad that the to! level doesn1t contain all the information about the bottom level. comes an or an !oint& *chilles.E:F7TIE8IS/-& *chilles.*chilles. I wonder if the coincidence of the hi hest and lowest levels ha!!ened by chance? Er was it a !ur!oseful act carried out by some creator? 8ra(. Eh. and saw only the to!& I wonder if I1m missin all sorts of meanin on lower levels of my brain as well. I have still mana ed to listen with a ood fraction of an ear to this very lon and com!le( four-voice fu ue& It is e(traordinarily beautiful& Tortoise. one also learns what the bottom level says& 0ut I uess it would be naPve to ho!e that the to! level encodes anythin from the bottom level—it !robably doesn1t !ercolate u!& The /F-!icture is the most strikin !ossible e(am!le of that. since we have no idea why that !articular !icture is in the 7rab1s edition of the >ell%Tempered 8la#ier& *nteater.ust a moment. :r& )nteater& *chilles. so that by readin the to!. to inspect it more closel)&5 ?mm&&& There1s somethin stran e about the smallest letters in this !icture= they1re very wi ly&&& *nteater. I uess I must have missed it& Tortoise. Isn1t an or an !oint what ha!!ens when a !iece of music slows down sli htly. That is a weird notion& It means that althou h there is frantic activity occurrin in my brain at all times. you1re thinkin of a -fermata-—a sort of musical semicolon& :id you notice there was one of those in the !relude? *chilles. without !erceivin the lower levels -?EAIS/. and then resumes at normal s!eed after a short silence? Tortoise. you have another chance comin u! to hear a fermata—in fact. but the messa e of this !icture is starin us all in the face. there. I am only ca!able of re isterin that activity in one way—on the symbol level= and I am com!letely insensitive to the lower levels& It is like bein able to read a :ickens novel by direct visual !erce!tion. the to!most level says only . without ever havin learned the letters of the al!habet& I can1t ima ine anythin as weird as that really ha!!enin & 8ra(. which all of us missed2 Tortoise. S!eak for yourself. -/F-2 3hat do you know2 It is the same as the to! level2 )nd none of us sus!ected it in the least& 8ra(. towards the end of this fu ue& .

to !reach communism and to live in a fancy estate& . I had never heard one before. 6ee2 That is an ama<in wra!around& They were com!letely unconscious of what they were !artici!atin in& Their acts could be seen as !art of a !attern on a hi her level. It . if it was so blatant? Tortoise. Fnfortunately for them. 3hat? ?as the or an !oint already occurred? ?ow can I not have noticed it. )n or an !oint is the sustainin of a sin le note by one of the voices in a !oly!honic !iece 4often the lowest voice5. while the other voices continue their own inde!endent lines& This or an !oint is on the note of 6& Aisten carefully. So I hel!ed myself to a few of the fattest ants which had been !arts of the hi her-level symbols which I had been readin & S!ecifically. Tell me. 6ee2 *nteater. :o tell us about it& *nteater. 0ut do tell me.ust ha!!ened that I had been watchin the symbols which were carryin out her thou hts. /r& T—that was a lovely or an !oint& *nteater.ibe with the communistic nature of ant colonies which you earlier described to us? It sounds quite inconsistent. There occurred an incident one day when I visited with )unt ?illary which reminds me of your su estion of observin the symbols in )chilles1 brain as they create thou hts which are about themselves& 8ra(. but that is rather a sad story& In any case. won1t you? Tortoise. to me. -?el! yourself to any of the ants which look a!!eti<in &*chilles. she owns a rather lar e !iece of !ro!erty& It used to belon to someone else. Perha!s you were so wra!!ed u! in what you were sayin that you were com!letely unaware of it& )h. If you like& *chilles. the symbols which they were !art of were the ones which had e(!ressed the thou ht. ?ow does that . 6ee2 *nteater. but of course they were com!letely unaware of that& )h. Eh. what is an or an !oint? Tortoise. the little bu s didn1t have the sli htest inklin of what they were collectively tellin me.*chilles. and was very ha!!y to have someone to talk to that day& So she ratefully told me to hel! myself to the .uiciest ants I could find& 4She1s always been most enerous with her ants&5 *chilles. because in them were some !articularly . on the symbol level& *chilles. what a !ity—a su!reme irony. and you1ll hear it& *nteater. Hou are ri ht. )unt ?illary had been feelin very lonely. but fortunately for me. 6ee2 *nteater. but that one was so cons!icuous that no one could miss it& Gery effective& *chilles. her estate is quite e(!ansive& She lives rather sum!tuously. ood& Hou1ll !oint them out in advance. what a !ity—a su!reme irony. 3ell. in fact—that you missed it& 8ra(. com!ared to many other colonies& *chilles. in fact—that they missed it& 8ra(. does )unt ?illary live in an anthill? *nteater.uicy-lookin ants& *chilles.

1r1. /ay I see it? 8ra(. laisse<-faire and all that& So it makes !erfect sense. The communism is on the ant level& In an ant colony all ants work for the common ood. you have utterly missed the bi !icture& In reality. there1s a most curious !icture facin this !a e& 8ra(. to me at least. I will& Tortoise. )chilles—what do you make of it? *chilles. bein somewhat squeamish creatures& )unt ?illary is also somewhat squeamish= she ets rather antsy whenever she starts to think about ants at all& So she avoids thinkin about them whenever !ossible& I truly doubt that she knows anythin about the communistic society which is built into her very structure& She herself is a staunch believer in libertarianism—you know. 171.ust a few bunches of letters& Aet1s see—there are various numbers of the letters 1J1. but for all I know. this rou! of letters is 1f1. 1?1. even to their own individual detriment at times& 8ow this is sim!ly a built-in as!ect of )unt ?illary1s structure. )h&&& -J& S& 0)7?-& Eh2 I understand now& It1s 0ach1s name2 . )nother one? 3hat ne(t? Tortoise. Aet me see& ?mm& 3ell.rawing () the author!V Tortoise. 101. she may not even be aware of this internal communism& /ost human bein s are not aware of anythin about their neurons= in fact they !robably are quite content not to know anythin about their brains. Eh.ust now. that she should live in a rather sum!tuous manor& 73G5=E JF! U. 3hy. )lso. I will. 1a1. 1m1. and 1t1& It1s stran e. while followin alon in this lovely edition of the 3ell-Tem!ered 7lavier. without any re!etitions& 'irst they et smaller. 1e1. )s I turned the !a e . See for yourself& &asses the score o#er to the 8ra(!/ 8ra(. :o they s!ell anythin ? *chilles. certainly& *nteater.*nteater. 1S1. then they et bi er& ?ere. and then the last three letters shrink a ain& *nteater. how the first three letters row. I see it as a set of u!!er-case letters which row as you move to the ri ht& Tortoise. )chilles& *chilles. by concentratin on details. 1)1. )ha2 It1s . I noticed that the first of the two fermatas is comin u! soon —so you mi ht listen for it.

what is the very sad story which you alluded to. there. especiall) drawing out the last few words! Then there is a (rief silence! -uddenl) he resumes as if nothing unusual had happened!/ —-fermat-& *chilles. to !ut !oor 'ermant to ether a ain& I faithfully !ut out su ar and cheese. and&&& s!ellin out&&& the name of&&& -lows down slightl). somethin very stran e then be an to take !lace. shrinkin as they move to the ri ht. one of the most creative ant colonies who ever lived& ?is name was Johant Sebastiant 'ermant. but a musiciant by avocation& *chilles. and built u! a new or ani<ation& )nd thus was )unt ?illary born& 8ra(. :o you mean everybody heard it but me? I1m be innin to feel stu!id& Tortoise. :r& )nteater. /r& Tortoise—I . which obviously would s!ell the end of !oor J& S& '& *nteater. when a freak thundershower—the kind that hits only once every hundred years or so—a!!eared from out of the blue. ?ow valiant of you2 I never knew )nteaters had such bi hearts& *nteater. There.emarkable2 )unt ?illary is com!osed of the very same ants as 'ermant was? . 0ut it was all to no avail& ?e was one. he was out soakin u! the warmth. beyond reconstitution& ?owever. I do believe& Hou see 'ermat1s Aast Theorem everywhere& *nteater. the ants which had been com!onents of J& S& '& slowly re rou!ed. Stran e that you should see it that way& I see it as a set of lower-case letters. ho!in a ainst ho!e that somehow 'ermant would rea!!ear&&& 4 &ulls out a handkerchief and wipes his e)es!/ *chilles.Tortoise. )ctually. he met with a most untimely demise& Ene day. :o you mean that all the ants drowned. So did I& *chilles. Hou were ri ht. and thorou hly drenched J& S '& Since the storm came utterly without warnin . all went down the drain in a matter of minutes& It was tra ic& *chilles. )chilles—don1t feel bad& I1m sure you won1t miss 'u ue1s Aast 'ermata 4which is comin u! quite soon5& 0ut. you1ve ot 'ermat on the brain. to return to our !revious to!ic. no& The ants mana ed to survive. Eh. there was no or ani<ation left& The caste distribution was utterly destroyed. every last one of them. )t the hei ht of his creative !owers. and the ants themselves had no ability to reconstruct what had once before been such a finely tuned or ani<ation& They were as hel!less as the !ieces of ?um!ty :um!ty in !uttin themselves back to ether a ain& I myself tried. . a very hot summer day. over the ne(t few months. by crawlin onto various sticks and lo s which floated above the ra in torrents& 0ut when the waters receded and left the ants back on their home rounds. The former owner was an e(traordinary individual.ust heard a charmin little fermata in the fu ue& 8ra(. the ants ot com!letely disoriented and confused& The intricate or ani<ation which had been so finely built u! over decades. concernin the former owner of )unt ?illary1s !ro!erty? *nteater. and he was a mathematiciant by vocation. ?ow very versantile of him2 *nteater. like all the kin 1s horses and all the kin 1s men.

ust settin u! one of his elaborate s!oofs& I know him !retty well by now& *nteater. then& &auses for a moment to sip his tea. yes& 0y now. and come u! with a new theorem& *nteater. I am very fond of number theory& 7ould you !ossibly relate to us somethin of the nature of Sebastiant1s contributions. I am reminded of J& S& '& a ain.E than the sum. he made some rather remarkable contributions to number theory& )unt ?illary. after all. from time to time. b.ust that !articular @I8: of sum& Tortoise.ust a new -sum. is so small that it would be well-ni h invisible if written in the mar in& . c. S!eakin of number theory. a mathematiciant by vocation but lawyer by avocation. often several distinct ways to rearran e a rou! of !arts to form a -sum-& )nd )unt ?illary was . where occasionally one will be able to take a!art a theorem into its com!onent symbols. had been readin in his co!y of the classic te(t *rithmetica by :i of )ntus. If I don1t say so myself& I sus!ect /r& T is . she has only a rather banal taste in music. rearran e them in a new order.of the old !arts& 8ot /E. mind you . Gery well. ori inally she was. is remarkably dullwitted in anythin that has even the remotest connection with mathematics& )lso. 3ell. 8or have I heard of it—and I am rather well versed in the field. c which satisfy the equation5= but there are no solutions for n a B& I have discovered a truly marvelous !roof of this statement. )nd can1t you reco ni<e some of J& S& '&1s old traits comin to the fore.*nteater. and n only when n X B 4and then there are infinitely many tri!lets a. S!eakin of sums. and been re!laced& 0ut there are still many holdovers from the J& S& '&-days& 8ra(. whereas Sebastiant was e(tremely ifted in music& *chilles. It1s a very sim!le idea& Aierre de 'ourmi. b. *nteater. on the other hand. as I see it& There are. for number theory is one of the domains in which he e(celled& In fact. althou h I confess to bein a total i noramus in the field& *chilles. which. The equation na^nbXnc has solutions in !ositive inte ers a. and yet I can1t quite !lace it& *nteater.ecture-? *chilles& I1m not sure&&& It sounds stran ely familiar. c. I am reminded of number theory. I1ve never heard of such a !henomenon. and came across a !a e containin the equation Ba^BbXBc ?e immediately reali<ed that this equation has infinitely many solutions a& b. and then wrote in the mar in the followin notorious comment. in )unt ?illary? *nteater. some of the older ants have died. unfortunately. then resumes!/ ?ave you heard of 'ourmi1s infamous -3ell-Tested 7on. 8ot a one& They have nothin in common& )nd there is no reason they should.

ecture-& *chilles. the workers of an Eciton burchelli colon) can (e seen linking their legs and. either to !rove 'ourmi1s claim. Shouldn1t it be called a -Theorem. b. a set of four inte ers a. Strictly s!eakin . every attem!t in either direction had met with failure& To be sure. and thereby vindicate 'ourmi1s re!utation. and n. with n a B. 3hat sort of music did Sebastiant do? *nteater. althou h very hi h. which satisfy the equation& Fntil very recently. c. hooking their tarsal claws together to form irregular s)stems of chains! * s)m(iotic sil#erfish. you1re ri ht. The Insect Societies 8am(ridge.+++& 0ut no one had succeeded in !rovin it for )AA n—no one.ecture-. the 7on. ?e had reat ifts for com!osition& Fnfortunately. but merely blustered about it& . BICB/. sayin that he !robably never worked it out at all. has been somewhat tarnished by ske!tics who think he never really found the !roof he claimed to have found—or else to refute the claim. some three hundred days a o. mathematiciants have been vainly tryin to do one of two thin s.uring emigrations arm) ants sometimes create li#ing (ridges of their own (odies! 3n this photograph of such a (ridge de 7ourmi +ierre/.E D%& . but tradition has ke!t it this way& Tortoise. along the top of the (ridge. is seen crossing the (ridge in the center! U7rom E! :! >ilson. if it1s finally been iven a !ro!er !roof? *nteater. p! JFV Ever since that year.rather than a -7on. his reatest work is shrouded in mystery. 'ass!: . by findin a countere(am!le. that is. for he never reached the !oint of !ublishin it& Some believe that he had it all in his mind= others are more unkind.'I6F. which. all n u! to "BL.ar#ard 5ni#ersit) &ress. until Johant Sebastiant 'ermant came u!on the scene& It was he who found the !roof that cleared 'ourmi1s name& It now oes under the name -Johant Sebastiant1s 3ell-Tested 7on. Trichatelura manni.ecture has been verified for many s!ecific values of n—in !articular.

I know the rest of you won1t believe this. I have added to ether the !ower of BC keys. this fu ue which we have been listenin to is nearly over& Towards the end. It was to be a iant !relude and fu ue= the fu ue was to have twenty-four voices.E:F7T?EAIS/-. because it1s not a word& Eh my.rawing () the authorV 8ra(. it1s . because it1s not a word& Eh me. 0ut all that we know of it is Sebastiant1s descri!tion of it. this mar in is too narrow to contain it& )nd the unreali<ed master!iece sim!ly oes by the name. I have com!osed a truly marvelous fu ue& In it.ects. one in each of the ma. written in small letters that first row and then shrink back to their ori inal si<e& 0ut that doesn1t make any sense. oh me2 &asses it to *chilles!/ *chilles. 3ell. It would certainly be hard to listen to a twenty-four-voice fu ue as a whole2 8ra(. what have we here? Eh. I see. which he wrote in the mar in of his co!y of 0u(tehude1s Preludes and 'u ues for Er an& The last words which he wrote before his tra ic demise were. oh my2 &asses it to the *nteater!/ *nteater.or and minor keys& *chilles. It1s -?EAIS/IE8IS/-. Eh. I see. 8ot to mention com!osin one2 *nteater. -'ermant1s Aast 'u ue-& *chilles. 3ell. and the !ower of BC themes= I came u! with a fu ue with the !ower of BC voices& Fnfortunately.. that is unbearably tra ic& Tortoise. what have we here? ) new illustration-how a!!ealin 2 -hows it to the 8ra(&5 73G5=E JD! U. what have we here? Eh. 3hat was the nature of this ma num o!us? *nteater. there occurs a stran e new twist on its theme& 7lips the page in the >ell%Tempered 8la#ier!/ 3ell. S!eakin of fu ues. with the letters continually shrinkin as they !roceed from left to ri ht& =eturns it to the Tortoise!/ . but in fact this !icture consists of the word -?EAIS/.written twice.*chilles. written in lar e letters that first shrink and then row back to their ori inal si<e& 0ut that doesn1t make any sense. and to involve twenty-four distinct sub.

written once. )t last—I heard the new twist on the theme this time2 I am so lad that you !ointed it out to me. with the letters continually rowin as they !roceed from left to ri ht& *chilles. I know the rest of you won1t believe this.Tortoise. I think I am be innin to ras! the art of listenin to fu ues& .E:F7TIE8IS/. /r& Tortoise& 'inally. but in fact this !icture consists of the word -.

o!erations. we will try to unite some insi hts leaned from attem!ts at com!uter intelli ence with some of the facts learned from in enious e(!eriments on livin animal brains. arose as a result of an isomor!hism which ma!s ty!o ra!hical symbols onto numbers. and witnessed bi<arre variations on the theme. then. active elements which can store information and transmit it and receive it from other active elements& Thus we have acti#e symbols.was to human thinkin as a slinky fli!!in end over end down a staircase is to human locomotion& )ll of a sudden the idiosyncrasies. we have acquired. and the rules are in our heads& It is im!ortant not to et the idea.Cha!ter <I Brains and Thoughts .ers!ecti"es on Thought IT 3)S E8AH with the advent of com!uters that !eo!le actually tried to create -thinkin machines. from the rather strict nature of all the formal systems we have seen. *nt 7ugue= now we develo! the ideas more dee!ly& Intensionality and E-tensionality Thou ht must de!end on representing realit) in the hardware of the (rain& In the !recedin 7ha!ters. the rules are mi(ed ri ht in with the symbols themselves. rather than !assive ty!o ra!hical symbols& In the brain. the symbols are static entities. and what it is not& /eanwhile. in the last twenty years or so. brain researchers have found out much about the small-scale and lar e-scale hardware of the brain& This a!!roach has not yet been able to shed much li ht on how the brain mani!ulates conce!ts. but it ives us some ideas about the biolo ical mechanisms on which thou ht mani!ulation rests& In the comin two 7ha!ters. in the !q-system and then in other more com!licated systems. whereas on !a!er. but we have somethin even better. and relations= and strin s of ty!o ra!hical symbols onto statements& 8ow in the brain we don1t have ty!o ra!hical symbols. that the isomor!hism between symbols and real thin s is a ri id. of thou ht& Pro rams were devised whose -thinkin . we have develo!ed formal systems which re!resent domains of mathematical reality in their symbolisms& To what e(tent is it reasonable to use such formal systems as models for how the brain mi ht mani!ulate ideas? 3e saw. as well as with results from research on human thou ht !rocesses done by co nitive !sycholo ists& The sta e has been set by the &relude. the va aries and vicissitudes of human thou ht were hinted at by the newfound ability to e(!eriment with alien. a new kind of !ers!ective on what thou ht is.e' . yet hand-tailored forms of thou ht—or a!!ro(imations of thou ht& )s a result. in a limited sense of the term. . the weaknesses and !owers. how meanin .

which means that descri!tions can -float. which need in no way be tied down to real events or thin s& . like the strin s which link a marionette and the hand uidin it& In T8T. and the memory will stay with you for a lon . 44SSSSSSS?jSSSSSSS?5^4S?jS?55 44SSSSS?jSSSSS?5^4SSSSS?jSSSSS?55 That these both re!resent the same number is not a !riori clear& Hou can mani!ulate each e(!ression inde!endently.can be e(!ressed in different symbolic ways= for e(am!le. which et !ro ressively more vivid as she adds details. the notion -fifty.ure u! a series of ima es in your mind. which should have been wi!ed out when you learned it was all untrue& 'antasy and fact intermin le very closely in our minds. -Eh—it1s that number2In your mind. you may even think of her as an unsafe driver because of the stren th of the first im!ression.ects& The intensionality of thou ht is connected to its fle(ibility= it ives us the ability to ima ine hy!othetical worlds. makin you e(claim. and both she and the car are fine2 In many ways that is irrelevant& The story and the ima es lose nothin of their vividness. unconnected& )t some !oint durin the evenin you may stumble across a to!ic of conversation which leads to the revelation that they desi nate the same !erson. to amal amate different descri!tions or cho! one descri!tion into se!arate !ieces. -Eh—you1re that !erson28ot all descri!tions of a !erson need be attached to some central symbol for that !erson. and so on& Su!!ose a friend who has borrowed your car tele!hones you to say that your car skidded off a wet mountain road. known ob. not one—and so on& This -calculus of descri!tions. you can also have different mental descri!tions for a sin le !erson= for e(am!le.oke. The !erson whose book I sent to a friend in Poland a while back& The stran er who started talkin with me and my friends toni ht in this coffee house& That they both re!resent the same !erson is not a !riori clear& 0oth descri!tions may sit in your mind. which stores the !erson1s name& :escri!tions can be manufactured and mani!ulated in themselves& 3e can invent none(istent !eo!le by makin descri!tions of them= we can mer e two descri!tions when we find they re!resent a sin le entity= we can s!lit one descri!tion into two when we find it re!resents two thin s. and at some !oint stumble cross a theorem which makes you e(claim. and this is because thinkin involves the manufacture and mani!ulation of com!le( descri!tions. and in the end you -see it all in your mind1s eye-& Then she tells you that it1s all been an )!ril 'ool1s .one-to-one ma!!in . and she narrowly esca!ed death& Hou con. careened a ainst a bank.is at the heart of thinkin & It is said to be intentional and not e(tensional. lon time& Aater.without bein anchored down to s!ecific. and overturned.

) fle(ible.ill. intensional re!resentation of the world is what thinkin is all about& 8ow how can a !hysiolo ical system such as the brain su!!ort such a system? The Brain%s (Ants( The most im!ortant cells in the brain are nerve cells. outnumberin the neurons by about ten to one are the lial cells. of which there are about ten billion& 47uriously. or lia& 6lia are believed to !lay more of a su!!ortin role to the neurons1 starrin role. BIJH/. movin ions& In between the entry !orts of a neuron and its out!ut channel is its cell body. where -decisions. p! J!V .! >ooldridge. The /achinery of the 0rain New York: 'cGraw%.are made& 73G5=E JG! -chematic drawing of a neuron! U*dapted 7rom . that is. and therefore we will not discuss them&5 Each neuron !ossesses a number of syna!ses 4-entry !orts-5 and one a(on 4-out!ut channel-5& The in!ut and out!ut are electrochemical flows. or neurons 4see 'i & DL5.

which cancel out !ositive in!uts comin from somewhere else& In any case. which eventually will cross over into the entry !orts of one or more other neurons. it needs a short recovery time before firin a ain= characteristically this is measured in milliseconds. only the rou hest ma!!in can at this time be made between such lar e-scale subor ans and the activities.+++ se!arate entry !orts to a neuron. a sin le neuron can res!ond only in a very !rimitive way—by firin . no& Some of the in!uts can be ne ative in!uts. or -si nals-? 3hat about -symbols-? 3e make the followin observation. there may be as many as B++. since the a(on branches alon which they travel may be of different len ths and have different resistivities& The im!ortant thin . here is one fact which com!licates the issue. they may encounter a bifurcation—or several& In such cases. a !ulse of ions streaks down the on towards its terminal end& 0efore the ions reach the end. whether or not to fire—that is. is that they all be an as one sin le !ulse. but the most naPve assum!tion—that there is a fi(ed rou! of neurons for each different conce!t—is almost certainly false& There are many anatomical !ortions of the brain which can be distin uished from each other. and by the time it has reached the end. which they are res!onsible for& 'or instance. or cerebral corte(& The amount of cerebral corte( is the ma. it is known that lan ua e is !rimarily handled in one of the two cerebral . such as the cerebrum. thou h. ergo am5& 8ow althou h the manner of makin the decision sounds very sim!le. movin away from the cell body& )fter a neuron fires. which handle conce!ts on a hi her level& This is undoubtedly true. between human brains and brains of less intelli ent s!ecies& 3e will not describe any of the brain1s subor ans in detail because. which means that u! to B++. in terms of anatomy. or not firin & This is a very small amount of information& 7ertainly for lar e amounts of information to be carried or !rocessed. com!osed from many neurons. yes= otherwise. it is sim!le addition which rules the lowest level of the mind& To !ara!hrase :escartes1 famous remark. so at a neuron may fire u! to about a thousand times !er second& Larger Structures in the Brain 8ow we have described the brain1s -ants-& 3hat about -teams-. to release ions down its a(on. -it.+++ se!arate summands may be involved in determinin the neuron1s ne(t ion& Ence the decision has been made. however. the sin le out!ut !ulse s!lits u! as it moves down the bifurcatin a(on. the hy!othalamus 4see 'i & DD5& The cerebrum is the lar est !art of the human brain.has become -they-—and they may reach their destinations at se!arate times. if the sum all in!uts e(ceeds a certain threshold. the cerebellum.The ty!e of decision which a neuron faces—and this can take !lace u! to a thousand times !er second—is this. as it turns out. therefore I sum. many neurons must be involved& )nd therefore one mi ht uess that lar er structures. -I think. des!ite the com!le(ity of its in!ut.or distin uishin feature.4from the Aatin 8ogito. would e(ist. thus causin them to make the same sort of decision& The decision is made in a very sim!le manner. mental or !hysical. and is divided into a left hemis!here and a ri ht hemis!here& The outer few millimeters of each cerebral hemis!here are coated with a layered -bark-.

if you look at animals on a low enou h level of the thinkin -hierarchy—the lowly earthworm. the corres!ondin cell in another earthworm of the same s!ecies&" . and then identify the same cell. seen from the left side! 3t is strange that the #isual area is in the (ack of the head! U7rom -te#en =ose. p! GK! V hemis!heres—in fact. The number of nerve cells in an animal like a worm would be measured. BIJJ/. The 7onscious 0rain. usually the left hemis!here& )lso. nor as anyone else does& 0ut we all have the same anatomical divisions in our brains& ?ow far does this identity of brains e(tend? :oes it o to the neural level? Hes. updated ed! New York: <intage. the cerebellum is the !lace where trains of im!ulses are sent off to muscles to control motor activity& 0ut how these areas carry out their functions is still lar ely a mystery& Ma!!ings bet'een Brains 8ow an e(tremely im!ortant question comes u! here& If thinkin does take !lace in the brain. for instance& The followin quote is from the neuro!hysiolo ist. then how are two brains different from each other? ?ow is my brain different from yours? 7ertainly you do not think e(actly as I do.73G5=E JJ! The human (rain. in the thousands& Ene very interestin thin is that we may !oint to a !articular individual cell in a !articular earthworm. :avid ?ubel. s!eakin at a conference on communication with e(traterrestrial intelli ence. I su!!ose.

tried to discover where in its brain a rat stores its knowled e about ma<e runnin & In his book The 8onscious Brain. roll. Aashley was attem!tin to identify the locus of memory within the corte(. and they would lim!. which a!!eared in "#L+. in the late "#C+1s& The neurosur eon 3ilder Penfield was e(aminin the reactions of !atients whose brains had been o!erated on. -There is only one earthworm&0ut such one-to-one ma!!ability between individuals1 brains disa!!ears very soon as you ascend in the thinkin -hierarchy and the number of neurons increases—confirmin one1s sus!icions that there is not . and. with all re ions of equal !ossible utility& Indeed. to do so. s!ecific ho!es.emovin corte( dama ed the motor and sensory ca!acities of the animals. s!ecific beliefs I have. ho!. by insertin electrodes into various !arts of their e(!osed brains. can knowled e and other as!ects of mental life likewise be traced to s!ecific locations inside the brain. and then usin small electrical !ulses to stimulate the neuron or neurons to which the electrodes been attached& These !ulses were similar to the !ulses which come other neurons& 3hat Penfield found was that stimulation of certain neurons would reliably create s!ecific ima es or sensations in the !atient& These artificially !rovoked im!ressions ran ed from stran e but indefinable fears to bu<<es and colors. Steven . the neurolo ist @arl Aashley. likes and dislikes I harbor? If mental e(!eriences can be attributed to the brain. or sta er.or subor ans of the brain& 3hat s this im!ly about how individual mental differences are re!resented in !hysical brain? If we looked at my neurons1 interconnections. Aashley concluded rather loomily in is last !a!er -In Search of the En ram-. and. such as a childhood birthday !arty& The set of locations which could tri er such s!ecific .ose describes Aashley1s trials and tribulations this way. and then removed various cortical re ions& ?e allowed the animals to recover and tested the retention of the ma<e-runnin skills& To his sur!rise it was not !ossible to find a !articular re ion corres!ondin to the ability to remember the way throu h a ma<e& Instead all the rats which had had corte( re ions removed suffered some kind of im!airment.rocesses5 An Enigma In an attem!t to answer this question. first trained rats to run ma<es.Earthworms have isomor!hic brains2 Ene could say. the corte( a!!eared to be equi!otential. that the only conclusion was that memory was not !ossible at all& B 7uriously. that is. in a series of e(!eriments be innin around "#B+ and runnin for many years. could we find various structures that could be identified as codin for s!ecific thin s I know. evidence for the o!!osite !oint of view was bein develo!ed in 7anada at rou hly the same time that Aashley was doin his last work.ust one human2 Het considerable !hysical similarity can be detected between different human brains when they are com!ared on a scale lar er than a sin le neuron but smaller than the ma. to entire successions of events recalled from some earlier time of life. most im!ressively of all. and the e(tent of the im!airment was rou hly !ro!ortional to the amount of corte( taken off& . but somehow they always mana ed to traverse the ma<e& So far as memory was concerned. fears. or to s!ecific !hysical subsystems of the brain? This will be a central question to which we will often return in this 7ha!ter and the ne(t& Locali:ation of Brain .

the way they act is this& Each retinal neuron is normally firin at a -cruisin s!eed-& 3hen its !ortion of the retina is struck by li ht. it may either fire faster or slow down and even sto! firin & ?owever. the contrast sensitivity seems to be . followin their connections towards the rear of the head. -on-center-. startin with the neurons in the retina. one can find a direct ma!!in of the retinal surface in the sense that there are lateral. the neuron will slow down in firin 4and vice versa5& Fniform illumination will leave both ty!es of retinal neuron unaffected= they will continue to fire at cruisin s!eed& 'rom the retina.ust connects u! two s!ecific !oints= in this sense any call is locali<able& S!ecificity in 4isual . but can be tri ered from local s!ots& This theory is based on the notion of modern tele!hone networks. at the very back of the brain& 'irst of all. and not a further !rocessor 4althou h to ive it its due. where the routin of a lon -distance call is not !redictable in advance. it is remarkable that there e(ist well defined neural !athways. and endin u! in the visual corte(. but over and over a ain in different areas of the corte(—a strate y !erha!s develo!ed in evolution as security a ainst !ossible loss of corte( in fi hts.eniculate neurons which are tri ered only by s!ecific stimuli fallin on s!ecific areas of the retina& In that sense. the eneral eniculate is disa!!ointin = it seems to be only a -relay station-.of the lateral eniculate. for it is selected at the time the call is !laced. after all& 3hat can one make of this? Ene !ossible e(!lanation could be that memories are coded locally.ust cause them to be routed around the dama ed area& In this sense any call is !otentially nonlocali<able& Het any call .rocessing Some of the most interestin and si nificant work on locali<ation of brain !rocesses has been done in the last fifteen years by :avid ?ubel and Torsten 3iesel. located somewhere towards the middle of the brain& There. and de!ends on the situation all over the whole country& :estroyin any local !art of the network would not block calls= it would . at ?arvard& They have ma!!ed out visual !athways in the brains of cats. the center is bri ht but the outskirts are dark= the off%center neurons are those which fire faster when there is darkness in the center and bri htness in the outer rin & If an on-center !attern is shown to an off-center neuron. !assin throu h the -relay station. it will do so only !rovided that the surroundin !art of the retina is less illuminated& So this means that there are two ty!es of neuron. in li ht of Aashley1s results& 0ut more remarkable are the !ro!erties of the neurons located at different sta es alon the !athway& It turns out that retinal neurons are !rimarily contrast sensors& /ore s!ecifically. or in e(!eriments conducted by neuro!hysiolo ists& )nother e(!lanation would be that memories can be reconstructed from dynamic !rocesses s!read over the whole brain.events was e(tremely small—basically centered u!on a sin le neuron& 8ow these results of Penfield dramatically o!!ose the conclusions of Aashley. and -off-center-& The on%center neurons are those whose firin rate increases whenever. since they seem to im!ly that local areas are res!onsible for s!ecific memories. in the small circular retinal area to which they are sensitive. si nals from these neurons !roceed via the o!tic nerve to the lateral eniculate.

and the very fine. there are so many further une(!lained sta es of vision that we should not be disa!!ointed but !leased by the fact that—to some e(tent—we have fi ured out this one sta e2 'rom the lateral eniculate.enhanced in the lateral eniculate5& The retinal ima e is coded a strai htforward way in the firin !atterns of the neurons in the lateral eniculate. com!le(. by contrast.which would fire if. and "# of the corte(& These areas are still universal. and only if.is not taken very seriously& ?owever. they res!ond to !oint-like li ht or dark s!ots with contrastin surrounds.randmother cell. the trail ets lost—a tantali<in ly unfinished story& 3e will return to this story shortly. in each of them. called areas "*. usually receive in!ut from a hundred or more other cells. des!ite the fact that the neurons there are not arran ed on a two-dimensional surface in the form of the retina. and human. in !articular re ions of the retina& 8omple9 cells. the si nals !roceed back to the visual corte(& ?ere.areas of corte( at the back of their brains where visual !rocessin is done. the .of which is somewhere between coarse and fine& ?ere is how that isomor!hism works& 'irst of all. but in a three-dimensional block& So two dimensions et ma!!ed onto three. bars.mi ht emer e from -si nal-.or ani<ation of the visual corte(& Per!endicular to the surface of . the visual corte(& Secondly. reachin the -columnar. all three s!ecies have -dedicated.rain. yet the formation is !reserved. sim!le.movin in s!ecific directions 4a ain see 'i & D$5& These latter cells are so hi hly s!eciali<ed at they are sometimes called -hi her-order hy!er-com!le( cells-& A (Grandmother Cell(7 0ecause of the discovery of cells in the visual corte( which can be tri ered by stimuli of ever-increasin com!le(ity. monkey. and they detect li ht or dark bars oriented at s!ecific an les on the retina 4see 'i & D$5& . which is not yet fully a!!reciated& In any case. an isomor!hism& There is !robably some dee! meanin to the chan e in the dimensionality of the re!resentation. you would have a . and hy!er-com!le(& Sim!le cells act very much like retinal cells or lateral eniculate cells. however. it is not obvious what alternative theory seems reasonable& Ene !ossibility is that lar er neural networks are e(cited collectively by sufficiently com!le( visual stimuli& Ef course. the visual corte( breaks u! into three subre ions. in the sense that they can be located in the brain of any normal individual in any of the three ties& 3ithin each area you can o still further. nobody knows& Just when we seem to be a!!roachin the threshold where -symbol. the tri erin of these lar er multineuron units would somehow have to come from inte ration of si nals emanatin from the many hy!er com!le( cells& ?ow this mi ht be done. neural-level isomor!hism which e(ists between earthworm brains& It is quite interestin that there is also an isomor!hism between the visual !rocessin a!!aratus of cat.rained.rained isomor!hism between all human brains which e(ists on a lar e anatomical scale.)per%comple9 cells res!ond to corners. and try to fill in some of it& Earlier I mentioned the coarse. your randmother came into view& This somewhat humorous e(am!le of a -su!erhy!ercom!le( cell. some !eo!le have wondered if thin s are not leadin in the direction of -one cell. one conce!t-—for e(am!le. or even -ton ues. some new ty!es of !rocessin occur& The cells of the visual corte( are divided into three cate ories.

or man has a com!letely unique !attern—somewhat like a fin er!rint or a si nature& Ene minor but !erha!s tellin difference between visual !rocessin in cats1 brains and monkeys1 brains has to do with the sta e at which information from the two eyes is inte rated to yield a sin le combined hi her-level si nal& It turns out that it takes !lace . for this particular neuron! (/ -howing how a h)per comple9 cell responds more selecti#el): here. there are layers in which sim!le neurons tend to be found. while the sim!le and com!le( ones are found mostly in area "$&5 It a!!ears that we run out of isomor!hisms at this level of detail& 'rom here down to the individual neuron level. and other layers in which com!le( neurons tend to be found& 4The hy!ercom!le( neurons tend to be found in areas "* and "# !redominately. movin radially inwards towards the inner brain. visual neurons are arran ed in -columns-—that is. monkey. within a column. onl) when the descending tongue is in the middle of the field! c/ The responses of a h)pothetical "grandmother cell" to #arious random stimuliR the reader ma) enMo) pondering how an "octopus cell" would respond to the same stimuli! the corte(. so that one can1t find -the same column-& 'inally. each individual cat. and not between columns& )nd each column ma!s onto a small.73G5=E JC! =esponses to patterns () certain sample neurons! a/ This edge%detecting neuron looks for #ertical edges with light on the left and dark on the right! The first column shows how the orientation of an edge is rele#ant to this neuron! The second column shows how the position of the edge within the field is irrele#ant. columnar direction. s!ecific retinal re ion& The number of columns is not same in each individual. almost all connections move alon the radial.

the collected res!onses of sim!le. which seems to be born with as much !ower of visual discrimination as it will ever have& It will shy away from !eo!le or do s.eural Modules ) !u<<lin thin about the discoveries so far made about the or ani<ation the brain is that few direct corres!ondences have been found between lar e-scale hardware and hi h-level software& The visual corte(. at the thin end of the -funnel-.of many low-level neural res!onses into fewer and fewer hi her-level ones. the more com!le( will the !roblems which its visual system will be called u!on to handle= and therefore si nals ou ht to !ass throu h more and more early !rocessin before receivin a final -label-& This is quite dramatically confirmed by observations of the visual abilities of a newborn calf. !oses the followin !roblem& Su!!ose you are lookin at a scene& It re isters its si nature on your visual corte(= but then how do you et from that si nature to a verbal descri!tion of the scene? 'or instance. and so on& Peo!le have looked for evidence of the -funnelin . say a few do<en. so dee!ly reliant on the corte(. all of which fire when 6ranny comes into view& )nd for each different reco ni<able ob. but rather in a more microsco!ic analysis& Ene !ossible alternative to the the randmother cell mi ht be a fi(ed set of neurons. as mentioned above& It is evident that this will not be found in some ross anatomical division of the brain.um! out at you& Presumably the si nature ets im!rinted on the visual corte( in the first fraction of a second—but the !icture is only understood after a few seconds& This is but one e(am!le of what is actually . culminatin in somethin such as the !roverbial randmother cell. instead of in a fi(ed manner& Such networks would be the -symbols. however. but not from other cattle& Probably its entire visual system is -hard-wired. rooms. involvin networks which can be e(cited in different manners. or some kind of multineuron network. often take a few seconds of scrutiny.ects has been locali<ed in the visual corte(& This means that no one knows where or how the out!ut from com!le( and hy!ercom!le( cells ets transformed into conscious reco nition of sha!es.ect. the !aintin s of Edouard Guillard.ect bein looked at is im!licitly identified by its -si nature.in the visual corte(—that is. a 'rench !ost-im!ressionist. and involves relatively little o!tical !rocessin & En the other hand. is a lar e-scale !iece of hardware. for instance. takes several years to reach maturity& +unneling into .in our brains& 0ut is such funnelin necessary? Perha!s an ob. which is entirely dedicated to a clear software !ur!ose—the !rocessin of visual information—yet all of the !rocessin so far discovered is still quite low-level& 8othin a!!roachin reco nition of ob. faces. since one would e(!ect that hi her a s!ecies lies in the intelli ence hierarchy.before birth. and then suddenly a human fi ure will . !ictures. a human1s visual system. com!le(.sli htly later in the monkey than in the cat. and hy!ercom!le( cells& Perha!s the brain does not need any further reco ni<er for a !articular form& This theory. which ives each se!arate eye1s si nal a sli htly lon er time to et !rocessed by itself& This is not too sur!risin . there would be a unique network and a funnelin !rocess that would focus down onto that network& There are more com!licated alternatives alon similar lines.

but chunks. and some evidence. fully linked structure& If one thinks of the early neural activities as inde!endent. each of which is associated with the conce!ts—the chunks—in the scene& Modules >hich Mediate Thought .of neurons.of the ty!e su ested earlier& ) !roblem with this theory—at least if it is taken naPvely—is that it would su est that one should be able to locate such modules somewhere within the brain& This has not yet been done. wearin a hat or not. after some !art of your intelli ence has had a chance to act on the retinal si nals& The crystalli<ation meta!hor yields a !retty ima e derived from statistical mechanics. such as the e(!eriments by Aashley. of a myriad microsco!ic and uncorrelated activities in a medium. your randmother. likewise it seems ridiculous to !ostulate that !erce!tion has taken !lace when a iant dot-like -si nature.So a funnelin !rocess must take !lace at some !oint after the rece!tion of the visual si nature and before the words are uttered& Ene could claim that this funnelin is not !art of the !erce!tion of 6ranny. chan in it from a chaotic assembly of inde!endent elements into one lar e.a common !henomenon—a sensation of somethin -crystalli<in . in a bri ht arden or a dark train station. 6ranny&. slowly !roducin local re ions of coherence which s!read and enlar e= in the end.has been created on the visual corte(& There must be some funnelin . the Escher !icture 8on#e9 and 8onca#e 4'i & B%5& Just as it seems obvious to us that we do not merely !erceive dots on a television screen. and so on& )ll these scenes !roduce e(tremely different si natures on the visual corte(= yet all of them could !rom!t you to say -?ello. since you don1t care about where shadows fall or how many buttons there are on her blouse. who may be smilin or frownin . the myriad small events will have !erformed a com!lete structural revam!in of their medium from the bottom u!.ect—for e(am!le. coherent. !oints a ainst locali<ation& ?owever. it is still too early to tell& There may be many co!ies of each module s!read around.seems quite a!t& )nother ar ument for funnelin is based on the fact that there are a myriad distinct scenes which can cause you to feel you have !erceived the same ob. or modules may overla! !hysically= both of these effects would tend to obscure any division of neurons into . and of the end result of their many inde!endent firin s as the tri erin of a well-defined lar e -module. seen from near or far. for you could internally use the formation that it is 6ranny without verbali<in it& It would be very unwieldy to handle all of the information in the entire visual corte(. but . whose end result is to tri er some s!ecific modules of neurons. when much of it could be thrown away. from side or front.rocesses Thus we are led to the conclusion that for each conce!t there is a fairly well-defined module which can be tri ered—a module that consists of a small rou! of neurons—a -neural com!le(.ust !art of verbali<ation& 0ut it seems quite unnatural to !artition the !rocess that way.in your mind at the moment of reco nition. but sometime later. etc& )nother difficulty with a non-funnelin theory is to e(!lain how there can be different inter!retations for a sin le si nature—for e(am!le. which takes !lace not when the li ht rays hit your retina. then the word -crystalli<ation.

!henomena—but this is somethin which we will discuss later There are many questions that come to mind concernin these hy!othesi<ed neural com!le(es& 'or instance. a randmother module—tell us? 3ould this ive us any insi ht into the !henomenon of our own consciousness? Er would it still leave us as much in the dark about what consciousness is. multineuron units—call them what you will. my feelin is that it would o a lon way towards ivin us an understandin of the !henomenon of consciousness& The crucial ste! that needs to be taken is from a low-level-neuron-by-neuron-descri!tion of the state of a brain. to a hi h-level-module-by-module-descri!tion of the same state of the same brain& Er. rattlesnakes.-!ackets-& Perha!s the com!le(es are like very thin !ancakes !acked in layers which occasionally !ass throu h each other= !erha!s they are like lon snakes which curl around each other. or awake 4activated5& )n active symbol is one which has been tri ered—that is. neural modules. such as the midbrain. one in which a threshold number of neurons have been caused to fire by stimuli comin from outside& Since a symbol can be tri ered in many different ways. the most im!ortant question of all is this. we want to shift the descri!tion of the brain state from the si nal level to the symbol level& Acti"e Symbols Aet us from now on refer to these hy!othetical neural com!le(es. snowflakes. rather than hardware. 3hat would the e(istence of modules—for instance. it can act in many different ways . neural networks. to revert to the su estive terminolo y of the *nt 7ugue. or even ri!!les on lakes—as symbols& ) descri!tion of a brain state in terms of symbols was alluded to in the :ialo ue& 3hat would such a descri!tion be like? 3hat kinds of conce!ts is it reasonable to think actually mi ht be -symboli<ed-? 3hat kinds of interrelations would symbols have? )nd what insi hts would this whole !icture !rovide into consciousness? The first thin to em!hasi<e is that symbols can be either dormant. etc&? 7an a sin le neuron belon to more than one such com!le(? To how many such com!le(es can a sin le neuron belon ? 0y how many neurons can such com!le(es overla!? )re these com!le(es !retty much the same for everybody? )re corres!ondin ones found in corres!ondin !laces in different !eo!le1s brains? :o they overla! in the same way in everybody1s brain? Philoso!hically. here and there flattenin out. :o they e(tend into the lower re ions of the brain. arden rakes. the hy!othalamus. neural !ackets. as does knowled e that a brain is built out of neurons and lia? )s you mi ht uess from readin the )nt 'u ue. like cobras1 heads= !erha!s they are like s!iderwebs= or !erha!s they are circuits in which si nals travel round and round in sha!es stran er than the dash of a nat-hun ry swallow& There is no tellin & It is even !ossible that these modules are software. whether they come in the form of !ancakes.

-8eurons "*% throu h D"B e(cited neuron $L and caused it to fire-? This question was answered in the *nt 7ugue. we should. some fi(ed neural !rocess is re!eated. versatile. meanin arises here for the same reason as it did in the !q-system—isomor!hism= only here.of the symbol& It is tem!tin to assume that each time you think of. for it re!resents a low-level way of lookin at thin s. and has no way of selectively selectin a si nal now in one direction. -Symbols ) and 0 tri ered symbol 7.Ef course these messa es would be carried as streams of nerve im!ulses.ect in the real world& In his book The 3nsect -ocieties. it sim!ly does not have the kind of selective tri erin !ower which a symbol must have to act like an ob. would be. the tri erin of some symbol by other symbols bears a relation to events in the real world—or in an ima inary world& Symbols are related to each other by the messa es which they can send back and forth. and concentrate e(clusively on symbols& So a hi h-level descri!tion of what makes a symbol active. -/any of its neurons fire&.&&&. amon individual could not !ass to another&% rou!s. and we ho!e that we can et alon on !urely a hi h level& In other words. 8 are all active-= rather. delicate. -It sends out messa es. we mi ht refer to it as the -invariant core. other symbols&. but reliably occurrin & ?owever.0ut this no lon er interests us& The hi h-level descri!tion should eliminate all reference to neurons. it is not clear that this must be so& 8ow what does a symbol do.when awakened& This su ests that we should think of a symbol not as a fi(ed entity. 0. without doubt embellished in different ways de!endin on the conte(t. say. or tri er. or could ha!!en in a world similar to ours& In essence. as distin uished from dormant. It is better because symbols s)m(oli@e thin s. in such a way that their tri erin !atterns are very much like the lar e-scale events which do ha!!en in our world. E& E& 3ilson makes a similar !oint about how messa es !ro!a ate around inside ant colonies. or si nals. the requirement that symbols should be able to !ass so!histicated messa es to and fro is !robably sufficient to e(clude neurons themselves from !layin the role of symbols& Since a neuron has only a sin le way of sendin information out of itself. subtle. we would have to su!!ly in addition a set of !arameters for each active symbol. we ho!e that thou ht !rocesses can be thou ht of as bein sealed off from neural events in the same way that the behavior of a clock is sealed off from the laws of quantum mechanics. the isomor!hism is infinitely more com!le(. but as a variable entity& Therefore it would not suffice to describe a brain state by sayin -Symbols ). a waterfall. when awakened? ) low-level descri!tion would say. now in another. by neurons—but to the e(tent that we can avoid such !hraseolo y. characteri<in some as!ects of the symbol1s internal workin s& It is an interestin question whether in each symbol there are certain core neurons. and neurons don1t& Symbols are the hardware reali<ations of conce!ts& 3hereas a rou! of neurons tri erin another neuron corres!onds to no outer event. whose !ur!ose is to try to awaken. which invariably fire when the symbol is activated& If such a core set of neurons e(ists.than to say. of information that a sin le . or the biolo y of cells is sealed off from the laws of quarks& 0ut what is the advanta e of this hi h-level !icture? 3hy is it better to say. and intensional& Incidentally. U/ass communicationV is defined as the transfer.

or would there be different symbols for various s!ecific waterfalls? Er would both of these alternatives be reali<ed? )bout the -si<e.oke? Er is it more likely that there would only be symbols for conce!ts rou hly the si<e of words. would be re!resented by concurrent or sequential activation of various symbols? Aet us consider the issue of the si<e of conce!ts re!resented by symbols& /ost thou hts e(!ressed in sentences are made u! out of basic. and lon er idiomatic !hrases are all close to atomic& These are ty!ical elementary brush strokes which we use in !aintin !ortraits of more com!le( conce!ts. the verb -to catch u! with-. 3ould there be a symbol for an entire story? Er for a melody? Er a . the nature of consciousness. burnin 5 . rou hly—sometimes a little lon er. the flavor of a city. the !ro!er noun -8ia ara 'alls-.and -tokens-&5 It mi ht seem at first si ht that a iven symbol would inherently be either a symbol for a class or a symbol for an instance—but that is an oversim!lification& )ctually. look at the list below. the !ast-tense suffi( --ed-. would be a very com!licated sequence of activations of various symbols by other symbols& Classes and Instances There is a eneral distinction concernin thinkin . sometimes a little shorter& 'or instance. there are questions like this. the brain as an ant colony2 The ne(t question—and an e(tremely im!ortant one it is. or with which you associate a !ro!er name& )nd the re!resentation in the brain of a more com!le( idea. and therefore that symbols re!resent conce!ts of about this si<e& Thus a symbol would be rou hly somethin for which you know a word or stock !hrase. etc& Such com!le( ideas are not sin le brush strokes& It seems reasonable to think that the brush strokes of lan ua e are also brush strokes of thou ht. quasi-atomic com!onents which we do not usually analy<e further& These are of word si<e. such as a !roblem in a love affair. the noun -waterfall-. in my fire!lace.It is not such a bad ima e.of the conce!ts which are re!resented in the brain by sin le symbols& )bout the nature of symbols there are questions like this. such as the !lot of a movie. 4"5 a !ublication 4B5 a news!a!er 4%5 The San 'rancisco 7hronicle 4C5 the /ay "* edition of the 7hronicle 4L5 my co!y of the /ay "* edition of the 7hronicle 4D5 my co!y of the /ay "* edition of the 7hronicle as it was when I first !icked it u! 4as contrasted with my co!y as it was a few days later. de!endin on the conte(t of their activation& 'or e(am!le. that between cate ories and individuals. and that lar er ideas. 3ould there be a symbol for the eneral notion of waterfalls. too—concerns the nature and -si<e.of symbols. most symbols may !lay either role. or classes and instances& 4Two other terms sometimes used are -ty!es. such as !hrases or sentences.

or instances? )re there certain symbols which re!resent only classes. and line L is an instance of line C& Aine D is a s!ecial kind of instance of a class. which mi ht be called the protot)pe principle. line C is an instance of of the eneral class of line %.ect durin its life history are its manifestations& It is interestin to wonder if the cows on a farm !erceive the invariant individual underneath all the manifestations of the . activation would contain more detailed internal neural firin !atterns. and that a dee!er.activation of a symbol mi ht re!resent a class.in a sufficiently com!le( way. lines B to L all !lay both roles& Thus. this is cra<y. that finance symbols can e(ist side by side with class symbols.rinci!le The list above seems to be a hierarchy of enerality—the to! bein a very broad conce!tual cate ory. and are not . . or more com!le(. and hence would re!resent an instance& 0ut on second thou ht.rototy!e . there is the erm of a whole class of similar events& This idea that there is enerality in the s!ecific is of far-reachin im!ortance& 8ow it is natural to ask. the new instance symbol will have to lean rather heavily on your !ree(istin class symbol for -movie-& Fnconsciously. the bottom some very humble !articular thin located in s!ace and time& ?owever. instance symbols often inherit many of their !ro!erties from the classes to which those instances belon & If I tell you I went to see a movie.?ere. the idea that a -class. you would et the very com!le( symbol which re!resents a s!ecific news!a!er burnin in my fire!lace& )nd very other !ossible manifestation of every other !iece of !rinted matter would be re!resented internally by some manner of activatin the sin le symbol for -!ublication-& That seems much too heavy a burden to !lace on to sin le symbol -!ublication-& Ene must conclude. you will rely on a host of !resu!!ositions about at movie—for e(am!le. The most s!ecific event can serve as a eneral e(am!le of a class of events& Everyone knows that s!ecific events have a vividness which im!rints them so stron ly on the memory that they can later be used as models for other events which are like them in some way& Thus in each s!ecific event.a fresh new instance symbol for that !articular movie= but in the absence of more information. while other symbols re!resent only instances? Er can a sin le symbol serve duty either as a class symbol or instance symbol. :o the symbols in the brain re!resent classes. you will be in -mintin .must always be enormously broad and abstract is far too limited& The reason is that our thou ht makes use of an in enious !rinci!le. that by activatin the symbol for -!ublication.olly farmer who feeds them hay& The . for e(am!le.ust modes of activation of the latter& The S!litting-off of Instances from Classes En the other hand. a manifestation& The successive sta es of an ob. that it lasted between one and three hours. de!endin which !arts of it are activated? The latter theory seems a!!ealin = one mi ht think that a -li ht. it would im!ly. therefore.

teams& )t first you do not know the names of the !layers on either team& )ll you re ister. the child becomes a full-fled ed adult& In the same way. the child acquires its own idiosyncratic e(!eriences and inevitably be ins to s!lit away from the !arents& Eventually.is an instance symbol which can become active while its !arent class symbol 4football !layer5 remains dormant& Ence.or in colle e= you reco ni<e his face= and so on& )t this !oint. su!!ose that some Saturday afternoon you turn on your car radio. the default o!tions can easily be overridden. and Palindromi can stand on his own two feet& 8ow you know such thin s as his home town and his ma. and become a class. the Palindromi symbol was a satellite orbitin around its mother symbol. most of your ima e of Palindromi is su!!lied by your stereoty!e of a football !layer as contained in the -football !layer. !erha!s. where one symbol was more im!ortant than the other. and ha!!en to tune in on a football ame between two -random. and that brin s u! fourth down and si( to o.symbol& 0ut radually. and so on& These are built into the class symbol as e(!ected links to other symbols 4i&e&. like a child. and relies less and less on concurrent activation of its !arent class symbol& This may ha!!en in a few minutes. they will remain in the instance symbol. which is so much bi er and more massive& Then there came an intermediate sta e. as Palindromi makes a few ood !lays and stands out& ?is teammates may still all be re!resented by activations of the class symbol. the -Palindromi. and for . !erha!s after a few days. when you have read some articles in the s!orts section of your !a!er.ust !arrots them& 0ut radually. they !rovide some !reliminary basis for you to think about the new instance for e(am!le. the umbilical cord is broken. as more information comes to you.is that some !layer sto!!ed some other !layer& Thus it is a case of activation of the class symbol -football !layer-. the new symbol becomes quite autonomous= now it mi ht easily serve as a class symbol around which could start rotatin new satellites—symbols for other !eo!le who are less familiar but who have somethin in common with Palindromi. but unless this is e(!licitly done. -Palindromi made the sto! on the twentyseven yard line. a fresh instance can s!lit off from its !arent class over a !eriod of time. you be in buildin u! a fresh instance symbol for him in !articular. when the announcer says. that it told a story about some !eo!le. as it interacts more and more with the rest of the world.that it was shown in a local theater. Palindromi is no lon er conceived of merely as a football !layer. but as a human bein who ha!!ens also to be a football !layer& -Palindromi.symbol becomes more autonomous. but they could be seen as orbitin around each other—somethin like the Earth and the /oon& 'inally. usin his name. or !rototy!e. with some sort of coordinated activation of the symbol for tacklin & 0ut then as Palindromi fi ures in a few more key !lays. or class symbol& ) fresh and sim!le instance is like a child without its own ideas or e(!eriences—it relies entirely on its !arents1 e(!eriences and o!inions and . inherited from its class symbol& Fntil they are overridden. however& Eventually. on the class symbol for -football !layer-. as a focal !oint& This symbol is de!endent. and are called default options& In any freshly minted instance symbol. like an artificial satellite circlin the Earth. in its own ri ht& 'or a ra!hic illustration of such a s!littin -off !rocess. the movie I went to see—by usin the reasonable uesses which are su!!lied by the -stereoty!e-. !otential tri erin relations5..

we somehow . the Sun5= then it makes sense to consider that body as stationary. that we have ever seen& 3e let class symbols take care of such numerous items. by the sin le class symbol flittin back and forth between several different modes of activation 4one for each !erson5& 0etween the e(tremes. without mintin fresh instance symbols. ivin rise to symbols—and symbol or ani<ations—of varyin de rees of . com!ared to the other? If one can be activated inde!endently of the other. the Earth-/oon system& This is an a!!ro(imation. three do s in a teacu!? Er several !eo!le in an elevator? :o we be in with the class symbol for -do . there must be room for many sorts of intermediate cases& There may be a whole hierarchy of ways of creatin the class-instance distinction in the brain. unless we scrutini<e them carefully& En the other hand. and a -cluster-. -!erson-5 to timeshare itself amon all the different !eo!le& 7learly there must come into e(istence se!arate stance symbols for individual !eo!le& It would be ridiculous to ima ine that this feat could be accom!lished by 1. we cannot rely on a sin le class symbol 4e& &. with the other two rotatin about it. enablin the new symbols so to become autonomous& The ifficulty of isentangling Symbols from Each 0ther These sta es of rowth and eventual detachment of an instance from a class will be distin uishable from each other by the way in which the symbols involved are linked& Sometimes it will no doubt be very difficult to tell . then it would be quite sensible to call them autonomous& 3e have used an astronomy meta!hor above. even after several centuries of work& Ene situation in which it is !ossible to obtain ood a!!ro(imate solutions. however. and when we !ass !eo!le on the street who have mustaches. once we be in to distin uish individuals.ust where one symbol leaves off and the other one be ins& ?ow -active. on to! of this can finally be added the interaction between the two satellites& 0ut this a!!ro(imation de!ends on breakin u! the system into the Sun. and it is interestin that the !roblem of the motion of !lanets is an e(tremely com!le( one—in fact the eneral !roblem of three ravitationally interactin bodies 4such as the Earth.and -do -? 0y addin more or less detail to the scene bein ima ined.and then rub three -co!ies. /oon.the one symbol. rain of salt.as tem!late? Er do we . say.u lin -—that is. a human im!osition of structure on the universe? This !roblem of the -reality.class symbol.ointly activate the symbols -three. is when one body is much more massive than the other two 4here.whom he can serve as a tem!orary stereoty!e. and Sun5 is far from solved.ust activate the -mustache. do we manufacture three fresh instance symbols usin the class symbol -do . we certainly do not have a se!arate instance symbol for each nose. and to what e(tent is it a mental fabrication.of boundaries drawn between what are !erceived to be autonomous or semi-autonomous clusters will create endless trouble when we relate it to symbols in the brain& Ene reatly !u<<lin question is the sim!le issue of !lurals& ?ow do we visuali<e.off of it? That is. either theory becomes hard to maintain& 'or instance. until you acquire more information. but it enables the system to be understood quite dee!ly& So to what e(tent is this cluster a !art of reality. mustache. etc&.

it is reasonable to assume that the link between them will become stron enou h that they will act as a unit. 4L5 simultaneous activation of several instance symbols and several class symbols in some coordinated manner& This brin s us ri ht hack to the question. one would have to count all dormant symbols —all !ossible combinations and !ermutations of all ty!es of activations of all known symbols& This would even include those fantastic creatures of software that one1s brain invents when one is aslee!—the stran e mi(tures of ideas which wake u! when their host oes to slee!&&& The e(istence of these -!otential symbols. the :ialo ue 8ra( 8anon& In the invention of this :ialo ue. 4"5 various different modes or de!ths of activation of a sin le class symbol. -3hen is a symbol a distin uishable subsystem of the brain?.is the conce!t under consideration 4the symbols for -!iano. and a sin le new symbol is formed by the ti ht interaction of the two old symbols& If this ha!!ens. under the !ro!er conditions. when activated to ether in the !ro!er way& So two or more symbols can act as one. two e(istin symbols—that for -musical crab canon-.unction with activation of several class symbols. 4%5 activation of a sin le instance symbol. 4B5 simultaneous activation of several class symbols in some in some coordinated manner.'or instance. and that for -verbal dialo ue.s!ecificity& The followin different kinds of individual and . which means that the !roblem of enumeratin the number of symbols in the brain is trickier than one mi ht uess& Sometimes conditions can arise where two !reviously unlinked symbols et activated simultaneously and in a coordinated fashion& They may fit to ether so well that it seems like an inevitable union.and -sonata.had to be activated simultaneously and in some way forced to interact& Ence this was done. the rest was quite inevitable. a new symbol— a class symbol—was born from the interaction of these two. let us take a concrete e(am!le. then it must have also been a dormant symbol in the brain of every human who ever had its com!onent symbols.oint activation of symbols mi ht be res!onsible for mental ima es of various de rees of s!ecificity.bein at least two of the activated symbols5& 0ut if this !air of symbols ets activated in con. consider the second e(am!le—simultaneous activation of several class symbols in some coordinated manner& This could easily be what ha!!ens when -!iano sonata.shows that it is really a hu e oversim!lification to ima ine that the brain is a well-defined collection of symbols in well-defined states of activation& It is much harder than that to !in down a brain state on the symbol level& . 4C5 activation of a sin le instance symbol in con. would it be fair to say that the new symbol -always had been there but never had been activated-—or should one say that it has been -created-? In case this sounds too abstract.unction often enou h. and from then on it was able to be activated on its own& 8ow had it always been a dormant symbol in my brain? If so. even if it never was awakened in them& This would mean that to enumerate the symbols in anyone1s brain.

but also identifyin very !recise details of the timin of the firin of those neurons& That is. is our theory not more and more difficult to maintain. !artly software reali<ations of conce!ts& . overla!!in and com!letely tan led symbols are !robably the rule. which neuron !receded which other neuron.ust as easily be the case that each neuron is !art of every sin le symbol? If that were so. because if it is true.ust no more room for a new symbol& This would come about. then what sense would it make to s!eak of distinct symbols at all? 3hat would be the si nature of a iven symbol1s activation—that is.Symbols — Soft'are or /ard'are7 3ith the enormous and ever. far from bein a member of a unique symbol.B$L symbols2This is not a necessary feature of the symbol model of brain function. then mi ht it not . is that the former ives hardware reali<ations of conce!ts.rowin re!ertoire of symbols that e(ist in each brain. you mi ht wonder whether there eventually comes a !oint when the brain is saturated—when there is . they overla! considerably or totally& 7onsider the surface of a !ond. while the latter ives !artly hardware. so that each neuron. is !robably a functionin !art of hundreds of symbols& This ets a little disturbin . so that symbols would be like !eo!le ettin into an elevator& -3arnin . and by how much? ?ow many times a second was a !articular neuron firin ? Thus !erha!s several symbols can coe(ist in the same set of neurons by havin different characteristic neural firin !atterns& The difference between a theory havin !hysically distinct symbols.could at best be a reat oversim!lification& In fact. which can su!!ort many different ty!es of waves or ri!!les& The hardware namely the water itself—is the same in all cases. !resumably. if every symbol were made u! of the same com!onent neurons as every other symbol. however& In fact. but it !ossesses different !ossible modes of e(citation& Such software e(citations of the same hardware can all be distin uished from each other& 0y this analo y. if symbols never overla!!ed each other—if a iven neuron never served a double function. a !rocess must be carried out which involves not only locatin the neurons which are firin . I do not mean to o so far as to su est that all the different symbols are . This brain has a ma(imum ca!acity of %L+. and a theory havin overla!!in symbols which are distin uished from each other by modes of e(citation. how could the activation of symbol ) be distin uished from the activation of symbol 0? 3ouldn1t our whole theory o down the drain? )nd even if there is not a total overla! of symbols. the more that symbols do overla!? 4Ene !ossible way of !ortrayin overla!!in symbols is shown in 'i ure D*&5 There is a way to kee! a theory based on symbols even if !hysically.ust different kinds of -waves!ro!a atin throu h a uniform neural medium which admits of no meanin ful division into !hysically distinct symbols& 0ut it may be that in order to distin uish one symbol1s activation from that of another symbol. then there would be no locali<ability whatsoever of symbols—every symbol would be identified with the whole of the brain& This would account for results like Aashley1s corte( removal in rats—but it would also mean abandonment of our ori inal idea of breakin the brain u! into !hysically distinct subsystems& Eur earlier characteri<ation of symbols as -hardware reali<ations of conce!ts.

neurons are imagined as laid out as dots in one plane! Two o#erlapping neural pathwa)s are shown in different shades of gra)! 3t ma) happen that two independent "neural flashes" simultaneousl) race down these two pathwa)s. as they take !lace in the brain& Ene is to e(!lain how the low-level traffic of neuron firin s ives rise to the hi h-level traffic of symbol activations& The other is to e(!lain the hi h-level traffic of symbol activation in its own terms—to make a theory which does not talk about the low-level neural events& If this latter is !ossible—and it is a key assum!tion at the basis of all !resent research into )rtificial Intelli ence—then intelli ence can be reali<ed in other ty!es of hardware than brains& Then intelli ence will have been shown to be a !ro!erty that can be -lifted. BICK/. there is absolutely no way to .eality New York: -pringer <erlag. passing through one another like two ripples on a pond's surface as in 7ig! GF/! This is illustrati#e of the idea of two "acti#e s)m(ols" which share neurons and which ma) e#en (e simultaneousl) acti#ated! U7rom ?ohn 8! Eccles. yet are -liftable.73G5=E JE! 3n this schematic diagram. p!FB!V Liftability of Intelligence Thus we are left with two basic !roblems in the unravelin of thou ht !rocesses. they have their own hi h-level laws which de!end on.out of.ri ht out of the hardware in which it resides—or in other words. on the other hand. 'acin . the lower levels& If. intelli ence will be a software !ro!erty& This will mean that the !henomena of consciousness and intelli ence are indeed hi h-level in the same sense as most other com!le( !henomena of nature.

are now placing them at the growing ends of the columns! >hen a column reaches a certain height the termites. then. this will im!ly that intelli ence is a brain-bound !henomenon. p! FHKV reali<e symbol-tri erin !atterns without havin all the hardware of neurons 4or simulated neurons5.73G5=E JI! The construction of an arch () workers of the termite /acrotermes belosus! Each column is (uilt up () the addition of pellets of soil and e9crement! :n the outer part of the left column a worker is seen depositing a round fecal pellet! :ther workers. (egin to e9tend it at an angle in the direction of a neigh(oring column! * completed arch is shown in the (ackground! U. !onder where the information describin an arch such as is shown in 'i ure D# can be found& Somehow. in the caste distribution.+++ neurons of an ant brain almost certainly do not carry any information about nest structure& ?ow. the interaction between ants is determined . 'ass!: . which can build hu e and intricate nests. and much more difficult to unravel than one which owes its e(istence to a hierarchy of laws on several different levels& ?ere we come back to the mysterious collective behavior of ant colonies. The Insect Societies 8am(ridge. e#identl) guided () odor. it must be s!read about in the colony.ar#ard 5ni#ersit) &ress.olldo(lerR from E! K! >ilson. as by the information stored in their brain& 7ould there be an )rtificial )nt 7olony? . BICB/.rawing () Turid . ha#ing carried pellets in their mandi(les up the columns. des!ite the fact that the rou hly "++.ust as much by their si(-le edness and their si<e and so on. the a e distribution—and !robably lar ely in the !hysical !ro!erties of the ant-body itself& That is. does the nest et created? 3here does the information reside? In !articular.

if some symbols were finally identified in a brain. so symbols are always connected to a constellation of other symbols& This does not necessarily mean that symbols can never be disentan led from each other& To make a rather sim!le analo y. this would not mean that any one of them could be awakened in isolation& The fact that a symbol cannot be awakened in isolation does not diminish the se!arate identity of the symbol= in fact.ects. not confusable with that of any other of the )T81s& It is not such a bad ima e. males and females always arise in a s!ecies to ether. to inform other bees of the location of nectar& 3hile there may be in each bee a set of rudimentary symbols which are activated by such a dance. symbols. quite to the contrary.Can 0ne Symbol Be Isolated7 Is it !ossible that one sin le symbol could be awakened in isolation from all others? Probably not& Just as ob. their roles are com!letely intertwined. with all their multi!le links to each other. which aid in fi urin out which future !athway to choose& 'or instance. are meshed to ether and yet ou ht to be able to be teased a!art& This mi ht involve identifyin a neural network.T81s which call each other& 'rom this we can . as well as of the alternate universes which it considers 4and which are every bit as im!ortant for the individual1s survival in the real world as the real world is5& The Symbols of Insects Eur facility for makin instances out of classes and classes out of instances lies at the basis of our intelli ence.ects in the world always e(ist in a conte(t of other ob. the meshin is so inherent that no one )T8 could be activated in isolation= yet its activation may be com!letely distinctive. or ima ines hy!othetical worlds—variants on the world as it is. and yet this does not mean that a male cannot be distin uished from a female& Each is reflected in the other. and it is one of the reat differences between human thou ht and the thou ht !rocesses of other animals& 8ot that I have ever belon ed to another s!ecies and e(!erienced at first hand how it feels to think their way—but from the outside it is a!!arent that no other s!ecies forms eneral conce!ts as we do. if symbols are !art of reality.um! to a whole network of )T81s intertwined with each other—a heterarchy of interactin recursive !rocedures& ?ere. consider the celebrated -lan ua e of the bees-—information-laden dances which are !erformed by worker bees returnin to the hive. there is no reason to believe that a bee has an e(!andable vocabulary of symbols& 0ees and other insects do not seem to have the !ower . a network !lus a mode of e(citation—or !ossibly somethin of a com!letely different kind& In any case. the brain as an )T8colony2 Aikewise. a symbol1s identity lies !recisely in its ways of bein connected 4via !otential tri erin links5 to other symbols& The network by which symbols can !otentially tri er each other constitutes the brain1s workin model of the real universe. !resumably there e(ists a natural way to chart them out in a real brain& ?owever. as the beads in Indra1s net reflect each other& The recursive intertwinin of the functions '4n5 and /4n5 in 7ha!ter G does not !revent each function from havin its own characteristics& The intertwinin of ' and / could be mirrored in a !air of .

/echanical /an. you fill in more as!ects of this road.is a class. always with the same result& C This seems to be com!letely hard-wired behavior& 8ow in the was! brain. and then dra the cricket in& If the cricket is moved a few inches away while the was! is inside makin her !reliminary ins!ection. thou h you reali<e that it is most likely quite different from the actual road where the incident took !lace& 0ut that is not im!ortant= what matters is whether your symbol is sufficiently well suited for the story—that is. the was! S!he( builds a burrow for the !ur!ose and seeks out a cricket which she stin s in such a way as to !araly<e but not kill it& She dra s the cricket into the burrow. never to return& In due course. on emer in from the burrow. the was!.ects in a real situation. 3hen the time comes for e layin . the was!1s routine is to brin the !araly<ed cricket to the burrow. closes the burrow.ures u! a more s!ecific ima e. to develo! new class symbols from instances which we would !erceive as nearly identical& ) classic e(!eriment with solitary was!s is re!orted in :ean 3ooldrid e1s book. will brin the cricket back to the threshold.is a very eneral one. with !erha!s several stock sam!les which you can unconsciously !ull out of dormant memory when the occasion arises& -.oad. and may never be the case& Class Symbols and Imaginary >orlds Aet us reconsider the )!ril 'ool1s . althou h that situation may not be the case. but not inside. a !erson in a car& 8ow the conce!t -road. you quickly activate symbols which are instances with radually increasin s!ecificity& 'or instance. and will then re!eat the !re!aratory !rocedure of enterin the burrow to see that everythin is all ri ht& If a ain the cricket is removed a few inches while the was! is inside. such an elaborately or ani<ed and seemin ly !ur!oseful routine conveys a convincin flavor of lo ic and thou htfulness—until more details are e(amined& 'or e(am!le. whether the symbols which it can tri er are the ri ht kind& )s the story !ro resses.to enerali<e—that is. when you learn that the road was wet. or does it mean that you are settin some !arameters in your symbol for -road-& Fndoubtedly both& That is. o inside to see that all is well. -3hat if I did this—what would ensue in that hy!othetical world?.This ty!e of thou ht !rocess requires an ability to manufacture instances and to mani!ulate them as if they were symbols standin for ob. lays her e s alon side. a car. emer e. the network of neurons which re!resents -road. ca!able of tri erin each other= but there is nothin like the human ca!acity to see several instances as instances of an as-yet-unformed class. there is a hi h bank a ainst which a car could smash& 8ow does this mean that you are activatin the symbol for -bank-. which has not decayed.oke about the borrowed car. rather than an instance& )s you listen to the tale. then flies away. leave it on the threshold.has . you need to activate symbols which re!resent a road.ured u! in your mind durin the tele!hone call& To be in with. the e s hatch and the was! rubs feed off the !araly<ed cricket. and then to make the class symbol= nor is there anythin like the human ability to wonder. havin been ke!t in the was! equivalent of a dee!free<e& To the human mind. this con. from which I quote. there may be rudimentary symbols. and the ima es con. once a ain she will move the cricket u! to the threshold and reenter the burrow for a final check& The was! never thinks of !ullin the cricket strai ht in& En one occasion this !rocedure was re!eated forty times.

and -could not. you can create artificial universes. are dee!ly rounded in reality& Fsually symbols !lay isomor!hic roles to events which seem like they could ha!!en. you learn it was all untrue& The !ower of -rubbin offinstances from classes. tubas layin e s. but rather the intuitive. there is a ood deal of a reement amon !eo!le about which events could or could not ha!!en& This reflects the reat amount of mental structure which we all share—but there is a borderline area where the sub. and this is !robably instrumental in the !rocess of selectin the !arameters for& -road-. it is because I am somewhat straddlin levels of descri!tion—I am tryin to set u! an ima e of the symbols. while verbs and !re!ositions mi ht have symbols with many -tentacles. in that its neurons may send si nals to some of those in -road-—and vice versa& 4In case this seems a little confusin . from which all of this richness s!rin s.ha!!en& Thus the terms -could. in the way that one makes rubbin s from brasses in churches.ective& )ctually. which means that they may be !hysically somewhat differently or ani<ed& 'or instance. watches si<<lin . etc& The borderline between what could and what could not ha!!en is an e(tremely fu<<y one& )s we ima ine a hy!othetical event. etc. activate symbols. as well as of their com!onent neurons&5 8o less im!ortant than the nouns are the verbs.hysics 3hen the story has been com!letely told. in which there can ha!!en nonreal events with any amount of detail that you care to imbue them with& 0ut the class symbols themselves. nouns mi ht have fairly locali<ed symbols. chunked laws which all of us have to have in our minds in order to survive& . and you are selectin which subnetwork actually shall fire& )t the same time. the !hrase -!hysical law. !re!ositions.or -could not. too. which send messa es back and forth to each other& There are characteristic differences between the kinds of tri erin !atterns of symbols for verbs and symbols for nouns. and in this model all the ob. althou h sometimes symbols are activated which re!resent situations which could not ha!!en—for e(am!le.reachin all around the corte(= or any number of other !ossibilities& )fter the story is all over. of course. we say the event -could. you are activatin the symbol for -bank-.ects obey !hysical law& This means that !hysical law itself must be im!licitly !resent in the tri erin !atterns of the symbols& Ef course. They.here does not mean -the laws of !hysics as e(!ounded by a !hysicist-. you have built u! quite an elaborate mental model of a scene.are e(tremely sub. has enabled you to re!resent the situation. and has freed you from the need to remain faithful to the real world& The fact that symbols can act as tem!lates for other symbols ives you some mental inde!endence of reality.ective as!ect of what kinds of hy!othetical worlds we are willin to entertain is a!!arent& ) careful study of the kinds of ima inary events that !eo!le consider could and could not ha!!en would yield much insi ht into the tri erin !atterns of the symbols by which !eo!le think& Intuiti"e La's of . we brin certain symbols into active states—and de!endin on how well they interact 4which is !resumably reflected in our comfort in continuin the train of thou ht5.many different ways of firin .

then stretch it strai ht. so that a native s!eaker will often instruct a forei ner to say thin s he himself would never say. how such sequences of ima es are manufactured—indeed what any one visual ima e is—all of these are dee!ly cloaked mysteries—inaccessible !ieces of knowled e& 8eedless to say.on it& It is a lobal consequence of how the !ro ram works. a weaker declarative re!resentation of it& The two may easily be in conflict. and finally !roceed to !in!oint alon it the successively stored notes. so that not only the !ro rammer but also the !ro ram can -read. note by note? 7ould a sur eon e(tract a windin neural filament from your brain. if I but su est that you ima ine a scene with two cars a!!roachin each other and then !assin ri ht throu h each other. the !ro ram 1knows1 how to write En lish sentences-—but the !ro ram itself may have no e(!licit awareness of how it writes those sentences& 'or instance. there are all !ossible shades& 7onsider the recall of a melody& Is the melody stored in your brain. others of which re!resent rhythmic devices. then melodies are stored .) curious sideli ht is that one can voluntarily manufacture mental sequences of events which violate !hysical law. not s!read around& 0y contrast. if one so desires& 'or instance.it as if it were in an encyclo!edia or an almanac& This usually means that it is encoded locally.ects act. then melodies are stored declaratively& Er is the recall of a melody mediated by the interaction of a lar e number of symbols. almost as if it were a !iece of ma netic ta!e? If so. and so on? If so. some of which re!resent tonal relationshi!s. you won1t have any trouble doin so& The intuitive !hysical laws can be overridden by ima inary laws of !hysics= but how this overridin is done. -I see that because of these !rocedures here. !rocedural knowled e is not encoded as facts—only as !ro rams& ) !ro rammer may be able to !eer in and say.rocedural and eclarati"e Kno'ledge ) distinction which is made in )rtificial Intelli ence is that between !rocedural and declarative ty!es of knowled e& ) !iece of knowled e is said to be declarative if it is stored e(!licitly. its vocabulary may include none of the words -En lish-. but also of how !lants. alon with a !owerful !rocedural re!resentation of the rammar of their native lan ua e. but which a ree with the declarative -book learnin he acquired in school sometime& The intuitive or chunked laws of !hysics and other disci!lines mentioned earlier fall mainly on the !rocedural side= the knowled e that an octo!us has ei ht tentacles falls mainly on the declarative side& In between the declarative and !rocedural e(tremes. animals. and -write.at all2 Thus !rocedural knowled e is usually s!read around in !ieces. not a local detail& In other words. -sentence-. chunked laws of biolo y. determinism is sacrificed for sim!licity& Eur re!resentation of reality ends u! bein able only to !redict !robabilities of endin u! in certain !arts of abstract s!aces of behavior— not to !redict anythin with the !recision of !hysics& . we have in our brains chunked laws not only of how inanimate ob. others of which re!resent emotional qualities. !sycholo y. !eo!le and societies act—in other words. a !iece of !urely !rocedural knowled e is an e!i!henomenon& In most !eo!le there coe(ists. sociolo y. and so on& )ll of the internal re!resentations of such entities involve the inevitable feature of chunked models. or -key. and you can1t retrieve it.

there is !robably a mi(ture of these e(tremes in the way a melody is stored and recalled& It is interestin that.the melody. whereas others are e(tremely elusive& If it were . at some critical !oint. there may occur in your corte( a set of commands to !ick it u!. I mean the followin & If you ima ine an oran e.!rocedurally& In reality. rather than absolute tones. so that it is used without your even bein aware of how it is done& 4isual Imagery Ene of the most remarkable and difficult-to-describe qualities of consciousness is visual ima ery& ?ow do we create a visual ima e of our livin room? Ef a roarin mountain brook? Ef an oran e? Even more mysterious. the ima es may be more or less vivid and realseemin & )n er can cause us to ima ine quite vividly !ickin u! some ob. -6ee.?ere. !reventin them from actually bein carried out& :e!endin on how far down the line this -faucet. -3hat is the !o!ulation of 7hica o?. how would I o about countin them all?.in the key of 'shar! as in the key of 7& This indicates that tone relationshi!s. hardly ivin a thou ht as to how we should do it? @nowled e of how to do this is amon the most !rocedural of all. a -mental faucet. ivin them !ower and color and de!th? 'rom what store are they fetched? 3hat ma ic allows us to mesh two or three ima es. while the other one caused a !rocedural method of findin the answer to be invoked& This is one e(am!le where it is clear that you have knowled e about how you classify your own knowled e= and what is more.8ow su!!ose I ask you. most !eo!le do not discriminate as to key. the o!!osite ha!!ens—instead of tryin to dred e the answer out of a mental almanac. to smell it. any melody could be stored as easily as any other& The fact that some melodies are catchy and others are not seems to indicate that the brain has a certain re!ertoire of familiar !atterns which are activated as the melody is heard& So.Somehow the number five million s!rin s to mind.ect and throwin it.ust a matter of storin successive notes. some of that metaknowledge may itself be stored !rocedurally. .is situated. how do we manufacture ima es unconsciously. and so on& 7learly these commands cannot be carried out. rather than a sim!le linear sequence of declaratively stored notes or tone relationshi!s& ?ow does the brain know whether a !iece of knowled e is stored declaratively? 'or instance. are stored& 0ut there is no reason that tone relationshi!s could not be stored quite declaratively& En the other hand. until. to -!lay back. without your wonderin . su!!ose you are asked.is closed. to ins!ect it. in !ullin a melody out of memory. you immediately either o to the room and count the chairs. so that they are as likely to sin -?a!!y 0irthday. for we have almost no insi ht into what mental ima ery is& It may be that ima ery is based on our ability to su!!ress motor activity& 0y this. or you manufacture the room in your head and count the chairs in the ima e of the room& The questions were of a sin le ty!e—-how many?-—yet one of them caused a !iece of declarative knowled e to be fetched. because the oran e is not there& 0ut they can be sent alon the usual channels towards the cerebellum or other subor ans of the brain. those !atterns would have to be activated in the same order& This returns us to the conce!t of symbols tri erin one another. ima es which uide our thou hts. some melodies are very easy to memori<e. -?ow many chairs are there in your livin room?.

-si<e-. on )rtificial Intelli ence.to actually doin so& Probably the faucet catches the nerve im!ulses -at the last moment-& ?ere is another way in which visuali<ation !oints out the distinction between accessible and inaccessible knowled e& 7onsider how you visuali<ed the scene of the car skiddin on the mountain road& Fndoubtedly you ima ined the mountain as bein much lar er than the car& 8ow did this ha!!en because sometime lon a o you had occasion to note that -cars are not as bi as mountains-= then you committed this statement to rote memory. of many symbols—for e(am!le. you retrieved this fact. those for -com!are-. -mountain-. there are com!le( inaccessible !rocesses which mediate its comin to the state of bein ready to be said& 3e shall continue our e(!loration of the entities called -symbols. followed by the mutual interaction. we shall discuss some !ossible ways of im!lementin active symbols in !ro rams& )nd ne(t 7ha!ter. in a s!read-about manner.in different 7ha!ters& In 7ha!ters TGIII and TIT. others& This means that the knowled e is stored not e(!licitly. rather than merely retrieved& Therefore. most likely it is not stored in any sin le symbol in your brain. we shall discuss some of the insi hts that our symbol-based model of brain activity ive into the com!arison of brains& . and in ima inin the story. and made use of it in constructin your ima e? ) most unlikely theory& Er did it ha!!en instead as a consequence of some intros!ectively inaccessible interactions of the symbols which were activated in your brain? Ebviously the latter seems far more likely& This knowled e that cars are smaller than mountains is not a !iece of rote memori<ation. but a !iece of knowled e which can be created by deduction& Therefore.ects have to be assembled.or kickin somethin = yet we don1t actually do so& En the other hand. and !robably. even in the case of a verbally accessible !iece of knowled e. but im!licitly. but rather it can be !roduced as a result of the activation. -car-. rather than as a local -!acket of information-& Such sim!le facts as relative si<es of ob. we feel so -near.

'n!lish "rench (erman Suite 0y Aewis 7arroll"&&& &&& et 'rank A& 3arrinB&&& &&& und . les toves lubricilleu( Se yrent en vrillant dans le uave& EnmpmKs sont les ou ebosqueu( Et le momerade hors rave& Es brilli war& :ie schlichten Toven 3irrten and wimmelten in 3aben= Fnd aller-m`msi e 0ur oven :ie mohmen . the claws that catch2 0eware the Jub. Aon time the man(ome foe he sou ht So rested he by the Tumtum tree. vor 'rumi>sen 0anderschnNt<chen2s ?e took his vor!al sword in hand.obert Scott% 1Twas brilli . my son2 The .aws that bite. @rallen krat<en2 0ewahr1 vor Jub. Kvite Ae frumieu( 0and-r-!rend2s s0ewahre doch vor Jammerwoch2 :ie 9Nhne knirschen. and shun The frumious 0andersnatch2q6arde-toi du Jaseroque. mon fils2 Aa ueule qui mord= la riffe qui !rend2 6arde-toi de I1oiseau Jube. )nd stood awhile in thou ht& .Nth1 aus raben& -0eware the Jabberwock. and the slithy toves :id yre and imble in the wabe.ub bird.ub-Go el. )ll mimsy were the boro oves. )nd the mome raths out rabe& Il bril ue.

tout uffusK. it va T-r la recherche du fauve manscant= Puis arrivK r l1arbre TK-tK. two2 Ene.oy& .Son laive vor!al en main. with eyes of flame& 7ame whifflin throu h the tul ey wood. :a blieb es todt2 Er. 9wei2 Eins.ous day2 7allooh2 7allay2?e chortled in his . The Jabberwock. as in uffish thou ht he stood. :es Jammerwochen1s )u en-feuer :urch tur en 3ald mit 3iffek kam 'in burbelnd Fn eheuer2 Ene. Ae laive vor!al fait !at-r-!an2 Aa btte dKfaite. avec sa ttte. Gient siblant !ar le bois tulle eais. Ae Jaseroque. un deu(. a l1oeil flambant. and with its head ?e went alum!hin back& Fn deu(. my beamish boy2 E frab. Et burbule en venant& )ls stand er tief in )ndacht auf. Il rentre allom!hant& Eins. Il y reste. two2 )nd throu h and throu h The vor!al blade went snicker-snack2 ?e left it dead. !ar le milieu. )nd burbled as it came2 Pendant qu1il !ense. Er suchte lan das manchsam1 :in = :ann. Er an-<u-denken-fin & )nd. @o!f in ?and. rKflKchissant& Er riff sein vor!als Schwertchen <u. 6elNumfi <o <ur`ck& -)nd hast thou slain the Jabberwock? 7ome to my arms. 9wei2 Fnd durch and durch Sein vor!als Schwert <erschnifer-schn`ck. stehend unterm Tumtum 0aum.

and the slithy toves :id yre and imble in the wabe.q)s-tu tuK le Jaseroque? Giens r mon coeur.our frabbe.a den Jammerwoch? Fmarme mich.esinnt& 1Twas brilli . )ll mimsy were the boro oves.ais2 7alleau2 7allai2s Il cortule dans sa . )nd the mome raths out rabe& Il bril ue. fils rayonnais2 u .oie& sFnd schlu st :u .Nth1 aus raben& . les toves lubricilleu( Se yrent en vrillant dans le uave& EnmpmKs sont les ou ebosqueu( Et le momerade hors rave& Es brilli war& :ie schlichten Toven 3irrten and wimmelten in 3aben= Fnd aller-m`msi e 0ur oven :ie mohmen . mein 0>hm1sches @ind2 E 'reuden-Ta 2 E ?alloo-Schla 2q Er schortelt froh.

we may return to the matter of a !ossible isomor!hism. It is clear from the outset that such an isomor!hism does not e(ist between any !air of human bein s& If it did.TE$ <II Minds and Thoughts Can Minds Be Ma!!ed onto Each 0ther7 8E3 T?)T 3E have hy!othesi<ed the e(istence of very hi h-level active subsystems of the brain 4symbols5.and smile with amusement at the !erson you once were& 3hat is worse is when you do the same thin with somethin you wrote or said five minutes a o& 3hen this ha!!ens. a corres!ondence which not only ma!s symbols in one brain onto symbols in another brain. and 4B5 the tri erin !atterns of symbols& . the 'rench !oet of the "C++1s& )nother human bein . ca!tive in . of the isomor!hisms to other !eo!le. it is clear that some !eo!le think more alike than others do& It would seem an obvious conclusion that there is some sort of !artial software isomor!hism connectin the brains of !eo!le whose style of thinkin is similar—in !articular. we ask about the !ossibility of an isomor!hism between brains on the symbol level. or !artial isomor!hism. this ideal& ?ow about a sin le individual? 3hen you look back over thin s which you yourself wrote a few years a o. but on the other. we can dro! all ho!es of findin e(actly isomor!hic software in humans. it shows that you do not fully understand the !erson you were moments a o& The isomor!hism from your brain now to your brain then is im!erfect& 3hat. they would have to have com!letely indistin uishable memories. which would mean they would have to have led one and the same life& Even identical twins do not a!!roach. other s!ecies&&& The o!!osite side of the coin is shown by the !ower of the communication that arises between the unlikeliest !artners& Think of the barriers s!anned when you read lines of !oetry !enned in . on the one hand. they would be com!letely indistin uishable in their thou hts= but in order for that to be true. in another era. s!eakin another lan ua e&&& ?ow can you ever ho!e to have a sense of the connotations behind the facade of his words. a corres!ondence of 4"5 the re!ertoire of symbols. in the remotest de ree.C/A. or on the macrosco!ic subor an level 4which surely does e(ist but does not tell us very much5. translated into En lish? Het a wealth of meanin comes throu h& Thus.ail by 'ranvois Gillon. between two brains& Instead of askin about an isomor!hism on the neural level 4which surely does not e(ist5. but also ma!s tri erin !atterns onto tri erin !atterns& This means that corres!ondin symbols in the two brains are linked in corres!ondin ways& This would be a true functional isomor!hism—the same ty!e of isomor!hism as we s!oke of when tryin to characteri<e what it is that is invariant about all butterflies.ail. you think -?ow awful2. then.

73G5=E CK! * tin) portion of the author's "semantic network"! .

is shown in 'i ure $+& The !roblem is that re!resentin a com!le( interde!endency of many symbols cannot be carried out very easily with . su!!ose that issue had been solved& Su!!ose we now a ree that there are certain drawin s of nodes. it does not carry u!wards.or -off-& 3hile this is true of neurons. symbols are quite a bit more com!licated than neurons—as you mi ht e(!ect. !erha!s even an le by an le? This would be a futile effort& Two webs are never e(actly the same. without attention to detail& Thus. and different ones are relevant in different conte(ts& ) tiny !ortion of my own -semantic network. thereby settin u! an e(act ma! of one web onto the other. verte( by verte(. the overall sha!e of a s!iderweb is a lobal !ro!erty. whether they can be at all—is not clear& 0ut for the moment.s 0ut what is a partial isomor!hism? This is a most difficult question to answer& It is made even more difficult by the fact that no one has found an adequate way to re!resent the network of symbols and their tri erin !atterns& Sometimes a !icture of a small !art of such a network of symbols is drawn. connected by links 4let us say they come in various colors. -form-. let us consider an analo ous visual !roblem& ?ow would you try to determine whether two s!iderwebs had been s!un by s!iders belon in to the same s!ecies? 3ould you try to identify individual vertices which corres!ond e(actly. or nearly isomor!hic? Since we are dealin with a visual re!resentation of the network of symbols.et'or. that infallibly brands a iven s!ecies1 web& In any network-like structure. what-have-you. there are many different kinds of nearness. which ca!ture !recisely the way in which symbols tri er other symbols& Then under what conditions would we feel that two such drawin s were isomor!hic. lead some arcs& The lines re!resent tri erin relationshi!s—in some sense& Such fi ures attem!t to ca!ture somethin of the intuitively sensible notion of -conce!tual nearness-& ?owever. and out of which. where each symbol is re!resented as a node into which.oinin vertices& )nother !roblem with such a dia ram is that it is not accurate to think of a symbol as sim!ly -on. one can look at local !ro!erties and lobal !ro!erties& Aocal !ro!erties require only a very nearsi hted observer—for e(am!le an observer who can only see one verte( at a time= and lobal !ro!erties require only a swee!in vision. so that various ty!es of conce!tual nearness can be distin uished from each other5. such as a s!iderweb. yet there is still some sort of -style-. -I am now activated-& That is more like the neuron-level messa es& Each symbol can be activated in many different ways. to collections of them& In this res!ect.Com!aring ifferent Semantic .is that they should have been s!un by s!iders of the same s!ecies& Then it is interestin to ask which kind of observation—local or lobal— tends to be a more reliable uide in determinin whether two s!iderwebs are isomor!hic& .ust a few lines . fiber by fiber. and the ty!e of activation will be influential in determinin which other symbols it tries to activate& ?ow these intertwinin tri erin relationshi!s can be re!resented in a !ictorial manner—indeed. whereas the avera e number of lines meetin at a verte( is a local !ro!erty& Su!!ose we a ree that the most reasonable criterion for callin two s!iderwebs -isomor!hic. since they are made u! of many neurons& The messa es that are e(chan ed between symbols are more com!le( than the mere fact.

why did the Tumtum tree et chan ed into an -arbre TK-tK. since to each word or !hrase in the ori inal lan ua e. is weakly rendered in 6erman by -manchsam-. in the brain of a native s!eaker of En lish.in 'rench? 'i ure it out for yourself& The word -man(ome. what is nearby in one lan ua e may be remote in another& Thus. all of whom have e(cellent command of their res!ective native lan ua es.do the corres!ondin thin in the brain of a 'renchman? 3hat indeed would be -the corres!ondin thin -? 3ould it be to activate symbols which are the ordinary translations of those words? 3hat if there is no word. let us now return to the question of the closeness—or isomor!hicness. and 6erman. !erha!s5? )n interestin feature of the translation into 'rench is the trans!osition into the !resent tense& To kee! it in the !ast would make some unnatural turns of !hrase necessary.not make itself felt to a s!eaker of 'rench in the way that it would if it were an En lish word 4-lubricilious-. the !roblem of tryin to find -the same node. e(tremely nonisomor!hic& In ordinary lan ua e. the droll !hrase -er an-<u-denken-fin . many -words. in a !oem of this ty!e.in the ori inal. -lithe-. which will accom!lish that? Er what if a word does e(ist. rather than earthy and )n lo-Sa(on 4-slithy-5? Perha!s -huilasse. -slither-.imbues it with many rich overtones. or on a lobal level? Er is it meanin ful to ask such a question? The question becomes concrete when you look at the !recedin translations of Aewis 7arroll1s famous -Jabberwocky-& I chose this e(am!le because it demonstrates. on some level of analysis.!robably activates such symbols as -slimy-. 'rench. to varyin e(tents& :oes -lubricilleu(. if I may ha<ard a reverse translation& /ost likely this funny turnabout of words was ins!ired by the similar !layful reversal in the En lish of one line earlier. which hack-translates into . -So rested he by the Tumtum tree-& It corres!onds. whose -(.oy word!lay in their own lan ua e& 3ould their symbol networks be similar on a local level.occurs= it does not corres!ond to any En lish ori inal& It is a !layful reversal of words. if you will—of two symbol networks& Translations of (3abber'oc.would be better than -lubricilleu(-? Er does the Aatin ori in of the word -lubricilleu(. and -sly-. real or fabricated. -sli!!ery-. yet doesn1t corres!ond& Incidentally.3ithout answerin the question for s!iderwebs. there can usually be found a corres!ondin word or !hrase in the new lan ua e& 0y contrast. and the !resent tense has a much fresher flavor in 'rench than the !ast& The translator sensed that this would be -more a!!ro!riate-—in some ill-defined yet com!ellin sense—and made the switch& 3ho can say whether remainin faithful to the En lish tense would have been better? In the 6erman version. the task of translation is more strai htforward.y( Ima ine native s!eakers of En lish. and all of whom en. but is very intellectual-soundin and Aatinate 4-lubricilleu(-5.in two different networks which are. !erha!s better than an e(am!le in ordinary !rose.do not carry ordinary meanin . -slithy. but act !urely as e(citers of nearby symbols& ?owever. whose flavor va uely resembles that of the En lish !hrase -he out-to-!onder set-.

En lish as -maniful-& The 'rench -manscant. !erha!s. etc&.ivers are shown as blue lines. mountains.also lacks the manifold overtones of -man(ome-& There is no end to the interest of this kind of translation task& 3hen confronted with such an e(am!le. towns. and so on& 8ow you are told to convert it into a road atlas for a tri! which you will soon make& Hou must neatly fill in the names of all states. cam! rounds. you will be in by fillin in lar e cities and ma. lakes. their boundaries. in ways that will become clear at a later date. all freeways and hi hways and toll routes. if not its true eo ra!hy. wherever your travels have chanced to lead you. fake !o!ulations. cities. a sur!rise takes !lace& /a ically. or wherever you have !erused ma!s with interest. this fantasy is somewhat similar to a eo ra!hical analo y devised by /& /insky in his article on -frames-. which you know& )nd when you have e(hausted your factual knowled e of an area. !artly local. time <ones. air!orts. all state and national !arks. and so on& This arduous task will take months& To make thin s a little easier. with all natural eolo ical features !remarked—such as rivers. scenic areas. dams. you have a carto ra!her on hand to !rint everythin in neatly& The end !roduct will be your !ersonal ma! of the -)lternative Structure of the Fnion-—your own !ersonal -)SF-& Hour !ersonal )SF will be very much like the FS) in the area where you rew u!& 'urthermore. then all counties. fake roads. by makin u! fake town names. and you are trans!orted there& ) friendly committee !resents . mountains by color. or the whole of metro!olitan 8ew Hork. it will be to your advanta e to use your ima ination to hel! you re!roduce at least the flavor of that area. if there really is no isomor!hism between the brains of !eo!le who will read the different versions? The answer is that there is a kind of rou h isomor!hism. to make your ma! as true as you can& Ef course. which can be found in P& ?& 3inston1s book The &s)cholog) of 8omputer <ision&5 Ima ine that you are iven a stran e atlas of the FS). and so on—but with nary a !rinted word& . your )SF will have s!ots of strikin a reement with the FS). between the brains of all the readers of these three !oems& AS&%s )n amusin eo ra!hical fantasy will ive some intuition for this kind of quasiisomor!hism& 4Incidentally.or roads. fake !arks. there seems to be some rou h equivalence obtainable& 3hy is this so. mi ht be quite faithfully re!roduced in your )SF& A Sur!rise $e"ersal 3hen your )SF is done. a few small towns in 8orth :akota or /ontana. all county roads. one reali<es that it is utterly im!ossible to make an e(act translation& Het even in this !atholo ically difficult case of translation. the country you have desi ned comes into bein . and so on&&& )ll of this must be carried out down to the level that would a!!ear in a detailed road atlas& )nd it must be manufactured out of your own head& Hou are not allowed access to any information which would hel! you for the duration of your task& Hou are told that it will !ay off. !artly lobal.

and so on& 8otice that this cannot be characteri<ed either as a local or a lobal isomor!hism& Some corres!ondences do e(tend down to the very local level—for instance. 7hica o.oy an all-e(!ense-!aid tri!. if we be in com!arin my )SF with yours. do whatever you wish to do.or freeways. I can use the known a reement on bi cities to establish !oints of reference with which I can communicate the location of smaller cities in my )SF& )nd if I hy!othesi<e a voya e from @ankakee to 'ruto and you don1t know where those towns are. but their !o!ulation accordin to the atlas is wron by an order of ma nitude& Centrality and &ni"ersality 3hat makes an )SF and the FS). the main street may be 'ifth )venue. around the ood old )& S& of F& Hou may o wherever you want. 8ew Hork. and e(!lains that. absolute !oints of reference which will occur in nearly all )SF1s. as lon as you constantly kee! me oriented by describin your !osition with res!ect to nearby lar er towns which are found in my )SF as well as in yours& . there will be adventure in store for you& The locals will not reco ni<e any of the towns you1re lookin for. takin as lon as you wish—com!liments of the 6eo ra!hical Society of the )SF& )nd —to uide you around—here is a road atlas&. -)s a reward for your desi nin efforts.you with your favorite kind of automobile. and even then the routes to those cities will not be the same as are indicated on your ma!& It will ha!!en occasionally that some of the cities which are considered hu e by the locals are none(istent on your ma! of the FS)= or !erha!s they e(ist. in terms of economics. but a re ular road atlas of the FS)& 3hen you embark on your tri!. etc& The more vital the city is. in one of these ways. des!ite not havin towns by those names. you will !robably be able to cross the country without ross confusions& 0ut the moment you wander off into the byways of 8ew /e(ico or rural )rkansas. the more certain it will be to occur in both the )SF and the FS)& In this eo ra!hic analo y. I can refer to somethin we have in common. trans!ortation. which are so different in some ways. and thereby uide you& )nd if I talk about a voya e from )tlanta to /ilwaukee. you are iven not the atlas which you desi ned. I can !lot out what seems to me to be an analo ous tri! in my )SF. you may now en. all sorts of curious incidents will take !lace& ) road atlas is bein used to uide you throu h a country which it only !artially fits& )s lon as you stick to ma. nevertheless so similar? It is that their most im!ortant cities and routes of communication can be ma!!ed onto each other& The differences between them are found in the less frequently traveled routes.lobal distinction is not relevant here& 3hat is relevant is the centrality of the city. it may o alon different freeways or smaller roads.To your sur!rise. and so on& 'rom these it is then !ossible to orient oneself& In other words. one as!ect is very crucial. San 'rancisco. in both 8ew Horks. the cities of smaller si<e. nor will they know the roads you1re askin about& They will only know the lar e cities you name. at a leisurely !ace. that there are certain definite. communication. and there may be a Times Square in both as well—yet there may not be a sin le town that is found in both /ontanas& So the local. but the voya e itself can still be carried out in both countries& )nd if you start describin a tri! from ?orsemilk to Jan<o.

with our se!arate ma!s. as well as some une(!ected. the fact that cities are locali<ed entities should in no way be taken as indicative that symbols in a brain are small./y roads will not be e(actly the same as yours. which is almost unima inable& 'or instance. to which everyone can make reference without ambi uity& 4Incidentally. but. thanks to the e(ternal. or who is President. !redetermined eolo ical facts—mountain chains. and so forth. we return to the question of isomor!hisms between brains& Hou mi ht well wonder why this whole question of brain isomor!hisms has been stressed so much& 3hat does it matter if two brains are isomor!hic. we would have no !ossibility of reference !oints in common& 'or instance. streams. someone mi ht not know what an ele!hant is. or quasi-isomor!hic. they are still -the same. the 6reat Aakes.which can be added to it. etc&—facts which were available to us both as we worked on our ma!s& 3ithout those e(ternal features. we look beyond the standard overla! and enerally find some ma. additional overla!& Eccasionally. and then we had both filled them in in reat detail. almost !oint-like entities& They are merely symboli<ed in that manner in a network&5 The fact is that a lar e !ro!ortion of every human1s network of symbols is universal& 3e sim!ly take what is common to all of us so much for ranted that it is hard to see how much we have in common with other !eo!le& It takes the conscious effort of ima inin how much—or how little—we have in common with other ty!es of entities.ockies. the /ississi!!i . makin each one of us a unique embodiment of this abstract and mysterious quality called -intelli ence-& In our eo ra!hic analo y. to make evident the lar e amount of overla! that we have with randomly chosen !eo!le& 3hat we notice about another !erson immediately is not the standard overla!. while roads and hi hways were analo ous to !otential tri erin !aths& The fact that all )SF1s have some thin s in common. such as the East 7oast. or that the earth is round& In such cases. the 3est 7oast. and many ma. cars.or differences. cities and towns were the analo ues of symbols.iver. althou h other !eo!le differ from us in im!ortant ways. minimal core—as if 7hica o were missin from their )SF. their symbolic network is likely to . there would he no way to try to find -the same !lacein our fictitious lands& It is necessary to be in with identical e(ternal conditions— otherwise nothin will match& 8ow that we have carried our eo ra!hical analo y quite far. if you had been iven only a ma! of 'rance. we can each et from a !articular !art of the country to another& 3e can do this. or not isomor!hic at all? The answer is that we have an intuitive sense that. you find that another !erson is missin some of what you thou ht was the standard. restaurants. to construct certain class symbols and tri erin !aths in the same way& These core symbols are like the lar e cities. ants. the .as we are in some dee! and im!ortant ways& It would be instructive to be able to !in!oint what this invariant core of human intelli ence is. and then to be able to describe the kinds of -embellishments. such as stones. and I had been iven a ma! of 6ermany. because that is taken for ranted as soon as we reco ni<e the humanity of the other !erson= rather.or cities and roads is analo ous to the fact that we are all forced. by e(ternal realities.

to be able to s!eak modern ?ebrew absolutely fluently. novels. and the ma.et-. eo ra!hy. -quite.or routes between them. but the difference in culture 4or subculture5.4-chair. reli ion.and -fauteuil. des!ite the fact of different native lan ua es& 3e do not e(!ect to share hi hly s!eciali<ed networks with them. someone fluent in En lish uses most words at rou hly their re ular frequencies& ) non-native s!eaker will have !icked u! some words from dictionaries. technolo ical level.mi ht be !erceived by a s!eaker of 'rench as ob. we should not overstress the role of language in moldin thou hts& 'or instance.ects belon in to two distinct ty!es.and -armchair-5& Peo!le whose native lan ua e is 'rench are more aware of that difference than we are—but then !eo!le who row u! in a rural area are more aware of.be so fundamentally different from your own that si nificant communication will be difficult& En the other hand. but which are now far down in frequency—for e(am!le. because the lan ua e draws on a stock of biblical !hrases and their connotations& Such an association level !ermeates each lan ua e very dee!ly& Het there is room for all sorts of variety inside fluency—otherwise the only truly fluent s!eakers would be !eo!le whose thou hts were the most stereoty!ed !ossible2 )lthou h we should reco ni<e the de!th to which culture affects thou ht. either& The tri erin !atterns of !eo!le with other lan ua es will be somewhat different from our own. -chaise. there is an alien quality transmitted by the unusual choice of words& 0ut su!!ose that a forei ner learns to use all words at rou hly the normal frequencies& 3ill that make his s!eech truly fluent? Probably not& ?i her than the word level.instead of -very-.or class symbols. you need to know the 0ible quite well in ?ebrew. !erha!s this same !erson will share some s!eciali<ed kind of knowled e with you—such as e(!ertise in the ame of dominoes—so that you can communicate well in a limited domain& This would be like meetin someone who comes from the very same rural area of 8orth :akota as you do. or classes—words which at some time may have been !revalent or !referable. but still the ma. say. literature. there is an association level. but we do not e(!ect such sharin with a randomly chosen !erson who shares our native lan ua e. which is attached to the culture as a whole—its history. will be universally available. and a mere ability to communicate? 'irst of all. so that more minor routes can be described with reference to them& 8ow each of our three !eo!le may in addition have some command of the lan ua es of the other two& 3hat is it that marks the difference between true fluency. and so on& 'or instance. children1s stories. we can say that we e(!ect them to have the standard core of class symbols. -fetchinstead of . than a city dweller is& ) city dweller may call them both -trucks-& It is not the difference in native lan ua e. etc& Thou h the meanin usually comes throu h. so that your two )SF1s coincide in reat detail over a very small re ion. which allows you to describe how to et from one !lace to another very fluently& /o' Much o Language and Culture Channel Thought7 If we now o back to com!arin our own symbol network with those of a 'renchman and a 6erman. that ives rise to this !erce!tual difference& . what we mi ht call two -chairs. the difference between a !icku! and a truck.

which !lay quite a different role from random fancies.ossible) .otential) and . so that there are common !oints of reference all over the ma!& Tri!s and Itineraries in AS&%s 3ithout makin it e(!licit. as far as the core is concerned. beliefs. but it is quite stron & Ene !roblem with it is that when a thou ht recurs in someone1s mind sufficiently often.The relationshi!s between the symbols of !eo!le with different native lan ua es have every reason to be quite similar. then to a third.is in the )SFanalo y—namely. which can absorb or !roduce any thou ht whatsoever& 0ut we all know that that is not so& In fact.ath'ays There are some !athways—you can think of them as !athways either in an )SF or in a brain—which are taken routinely in oin from one !lace to another& There are other !athways which can only be followed if one is led throu h them by the hand& These !athways are -!otential !athways-. can be ima ined. you will find that there is less in common& It would he like com!arin rural areas in 3isconsin in )SF1s which had been made u! by !eo!le who had never lived in 3isconsin& This will be quite irrelevant. I have been im!lyin that a thought corres!onds to a trip& The towns which are !assed throu h re!resent the symbols which are e(cited& This is not a !erfect analo y. there are certain kinds of thou hts which we call knowledge.rass-.or routes. such as those for . in some stran e fashion. !assin thou hts. or humorously entertained absurdities& ?ow can we characteri<e the difference between dreams. however.or cities and ma. virtually any route leadin from one city to a second. as lon as one remembers that some intervenin cities are also !assed throu h& This would corres!ond to the activation of an ar(itrar) se"uence of s)m(ols. because everyone lives in the same world& 3hen you come down to more detailed as!ects of the tri erin !atterns. it can et chunked into a sin le conce!t& This would corres!ond to quite a stran e event in an )SF. a commonly taken tri! would become. one after another. but also symbols which et created as a result of the chunkin ability of a brain-symbols for such so!histicated conce!ts as -crab canon-. as lon as there is sufficient a reement on the ma. I have been usin an ima e of what a -thou ht. or -)SF-& 8ow if it is ranted that the notion of takin a tri! is a fair counter!art to the notion of havin a thou ht& then the followin difficult issue comes u!. or (eliefs. it is im!ortant to remember that the cities re!resent not only the elementar) symbols. -house-. and so on. makin allowance for some e(tra symbols—those which lie en route& 8ow if virtually any sequence of symbols can be activated in any desired order.re!osterous . a new town or city2 If one is to continue to use the )SF-meta!hor. -!alindrome-. and -car-. then. and !ieces of knowled e? . which would be followed only if s!ecial e(ternal circumstances arose& The !athways which one relies on over and over a ain are !athways which incor!orate knowled e—and here I mean not only knowled e of facts 4declarative . it may seem that a brain is an indiscriminate system.

8ew Hork 7ity to 8ewark via 0an or. similar !roblems of translation do occur& Su!!ose you are translatin a novel from . im!lication of this model is that all of the -aberrantkinds of thou hts listed above are com!osed. reliable !athways are what constitute knowled e& Pieces of knowled e mer e radually with beliefs. ho!!in from one state to another very quickly. and amusin . we have several translation !roblems.item in their culture—thus. on several different levels& .is like an unreal . com!letely out of beliefs or !ieces of knowled e& That is.ussian and then in a few different En lish translations& I ha!!ened to look at three different En lish !a!erback translations. so to s!eak. since it is quite reasonable that we should only be able to ima ine fictitious thin s that are somehow rounded in the realities we have e(!erienced. which are also re!resented by reliable !athways. but also knowled e of how%to's 4!rocedural knowled e5& These stable. at rock bottom. lies. a brid e oes out. rather than the !recise sequence of symbols which are tri ered. strai htforward symbolconnectin routes re!resent sim!le thou hts that one can rely on—beliefs and !ieces of knowled e& En reflection. but !erha!s ones which are more susce!tible to re!lacement if. or there is heavy fo & This leaves us with fancies. non-snaky direct stretches. and these short. but ones which are not likely to be stock routes. any weird and snaky indirect route breaks u! into a number of non-weird.o"els ) !oem like -Jabberwocky. yet not so realistically that !eo!le would take literally the addresses at which crimes and other events were su!!osed to have occurred& In any case.ourney around an )SF. take a look at the first sentence of :ostoevsky1s novel 8rime and &unishment in . this is hardly sur!risin . used in everyday voya es& ) curious. falsities.ust such random meanderin s about the )SF1s of our minds& Aocally. -She had a bowl of 7am!bell1s sou!&8ow if you think this is a silly e(a eration.ussian to En lish. althou h they do their best in that res!ect& In ordinary !rose.8ow !erha!s many of your readers will have no idea what borscht is& Hou could attem!t to re!lace it by the -corres!ondin . -She had a bowl of borscht&. no matter how wildly they deviate from them& :reams are !erha!s . however.4as transliterated5& 3hat is the meanin of this? ) careful reader of :ostoevsky1s work who knows Aenin rad 4which used to be called -St& Petersbur -—or should I say -Petro rad-?5 can discover by doin some careful checkin of the rest of the eo ra!hy in the book 4which incidentally is also iven only by its initials5 that the street must be -Stoliarny Pereulok-& :ostoevsky !robably wished to tell his story in a realistic way. followin very curious routes& The translations convey this as!ect of the !oem. they make sense-but lobally&&& ifferent Styles of Translating . Te(as& They are indeed !ossible !athways. we have a translation !roblem= or to be more !recise. /aine and Aubbock. and other variants& These would corres!ond to !eculiar routes such as. absurdities. and come across a sentence whose literal translation is. and found the followin curious situation& The first sentence em!loys the street name -S& Pereulok.knowled e5. such lea!s and bounds are not so common& ?owever. your translation mi ht run.

ty!e of blunder= but if you translate every idiomatic !hrase word by word. should we kee! the initial so as to re!roduce the aura of semi-mystery which a!!ears already in this first sentence of the book? 3e would et -S& Aane.ussian ori inal& Problems such as these ive one !ause in considerin such statements as this one. not Petro rad.ussian novels were very weird& 8ow we could be frank with the reader 4who. and in the midst of a situation invented by :ickens.3eaver1s remark sim!ly cannot be taken literally= it must rather be considered a !rovocative way of sayin that there is an ob. I say. !robably won1t have the sli htest idea whether the street is real or fictitious anyway25 and ive him the advanta e of our modern scholarshi!.means -car!enter. can you ima ine how it must o on in the rest of the book? 3hat about the !oint where a 6erman landlady be ins shoutin in her 6erman-style .ussian. one chose to write -S& Place-& The translation of 8rime and &unishment which I read in hi h school took a similar o!tion& I will never for et the disoriented feelin I e(!erienced when I be an readin the novel and encountered those streets with only letters for names& I had some sort of intan ible malaise about the be innin of the book= I was sure that I was missin somethin essential. to hi h-level translations of flavor& 8ow if this ha!!ens already in the first sentence. a sense—an artificial sense—of stran eness.ectival endin & So now we mi ht ima ine ourselves in Aondon.and -nyis an ad. which was not intended by the author. but it has been coded in some stran e symbols& I will now !roceed to decode&1 . if sufficiently well !ro rammed& . it may be assumed.ussian s!oken with a 6erman accent. -3hen I look at an article in . into En lish? Then one may also consider the !roblems of how to translate slan and colloquial modes of e(!ression& Should one search for an -analo ous.ussian? ?ow do you translate broken .ectively describable meanin hidden in the symbols.ective= therefore. in the late "#C+1s. 1This is really written in En lish. indeed? )fter all. or at least somethin !retty close to ob. with the . and yet I didn1t know what it was&&& I decided that all . one of the first advocates of translation by com!uter. since the . made by 3arren 3eaver. or should one settle for a word-by-word translation? If you search for an analo ous !hrase.ussian culture is an alien one to s!eakers of En lish& 0ut a s!eaker of En lish who reads such a translation will constantly be e(!eriencin . then you run the risk of committin a -7am!bell1s sou!. not :ostoevsky& Is that what we want? Perha!s we should .of the :ostoevsky novel—in fact.ustification that it is -the corres!ondin work in En lish-& 3hen viewed on a sufficiently hi h level.'irst of all. writin -Stoliarny Aane. it is a -translation. thanks to the unusual turns of !hrase.ust read a novel by :ickens instead. the best !ossible one2 3ho needs :ostoevsky? 3e have come all the way from attem!ts at reat literal fidelity to the author1s style. -stoliar. and which is not e(!erienced by readers of the .4-lanebein the standard translation of -!ereulok-5& 8one of the three translators took this tack& ?owever. who ave the translation as -Stoliarny Place-& 3hat about number %? This is the most interestin of all& This translation says -7ar!enter1s Aane-& )nd why not. then the En lish will sound alien& Perha!s this is desirable.4or -Place-5& This was the choice of translator number B.!hrase. there would be no reason to su!!ose a com!uter could not ferret it out.

more chunked view& 'rom this vanta e !oint. you are not com!arin software—you are com!arin -etherware-—the !ure conce!ts which lie back of the software& There is some sort of abstract -conce!tual skeleton. and many others& ?ow can you com!are a !ro ram written in )PA with one written in )l ol. or of two sentences in different natural lan ua es& 8ow this brin s us back to an earlier question which we asked about com!uters and brains. there are two com!uters. an ob. a conce!tual . 7ertainly not by matchin them u! line by line& Hou will a ain chunk these !ro rams in your mind. AISP. in any reasonable sense. away from machine lan ua e. towards a hi her. in such com!licated systems? In the case of a com!uter. while the other lacks them& The differences between the hardware of the two machines may make the two machine lan ua e !ro rams seem incom!arable—and yet we sus!ect they are !erformin the same task.rograms 3eaver1s statement is about translations between different natural lan ua es& Aet1s consider now the !roblem of translatin between two com!uter lan ua es& 'or instance. lookin for conce!tual. )l ol. functional units which corres!ond& Thus. tryin to understand what each minuscule !iece of memory re!resented& In essence. )PA. scale-that is. we ho!e we will be able to !erceive chunks of !ro ram which make each !ro ram seem rationally !lanned out on a lobal. chunks which fit to ether in a way that allows one to !erceive the oals of the !ro rammer& Aet us assume that both !ro rams were ori inally written in hi h-level lan ua es& Then some chunkin has already been done for us& 0ut we will run into other troubles& There is a !roliferation of such lan ua es. su!!ose two !eo!le have written !ro rams which run on different com!uters. a full dis!lay of the contents of memory—