Found in 16 comments on Hacker News
formalsystem · 2019-08-18 · Original thread
There's so much more to CS theory than big O notation and you're in for a treat if you check out any of the below - happy to share more if people are interested.





jyriand · 2016-11-27 · Original thread
If this seems interesting to you, I would suggest reading: "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" [1]


jrs235 · 2015-06-07 · Original thread
"I want to find the absolutely crazy-to-grasp book of all times."

Gödel, Escher, Bach - An Eternal Golden Braid, by Douglas Hofstadter. Anytime I start reading a story which contains recursiveness my mind will feel warped and stuck in a loop at times. (affiliate link) (non affiliate link)

gipp · 2015-05-28 · Original thread
There's nothing about the idea of physical consciousness that says it has to be a continuum -- there could just be some critical mass or qualitative attribute of brains that puts us "over the threshold", so to speak. Nobody can give any kind of a definitive answer. For ideas about a "continuum" of consciousness, you might read Phi:

Or for other views, you might check out V.S Ramachandran (neuroscience):

Jeff Hawkins (computer science):

Hofstadter (mathematics, cognitive science):

Those are some of my favorite popular-press books on the subject.

brokentone · 2013-11-21 · Original thread
This reminds me of Godel's incompleteness theorem - which I'll poorly present as: Any system that is sufficiently complex and complete will contain legal assertions that will disprove or destroy the system. (Those that do not are not complete).'s_incompleteness_the...

thirsteh · 2011-08-18 · Original thread
Highly recommend Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter for those who are interested by this:
JonnieCache · 2010-12-20 · Original thread
If you enjoyed this article, and haven't read "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" by Doug Hofstadter yet, then stop reading HN immediately and order yourself a copy:

Having read this book would, in a fair world, be worth more on your CV/resumé than a large proportion of comp-sci degrees.

Even better, go out of your front door to a real bookshop and get them to order you one. Who knows, you might speak to someone! BONUS!

helwr · 2010-09-12 · Original thread
Well, there are some related topics on Quora: and

You can actually ask your question there as well in case this question gets unnoticed on HN; Quora people are very smart and pretty responsive

see, and do a search for Random Processes or Stochastic Processes on Amazon bookstore

Read about Entropy: A good book on Information theory can help you put it in context:

Check out GMP

If you're philosophically inclined read some existentialists, they deal a lot with irrationality and chaos:

If you're financially inclined read Random Walk Down Wall Street: and the Black Swan: you may want to check out his other book as well, it is rather non-technical:

To learn more on how Wall Street deals with the stock market randomness read some books on Time Series analysis and forecasting, e.g the classic

If you are a data scientist in heart read this great Q&A thread:

I wish I could help you with a link to a clear non-technical introductory article but this is all I've got. As random as it gets:)

Probably some good introductory book on science will fit the bill, science after all deals primarily with randomness. You may want to check out

devinj · 2010-06-14 · Original thread
Very much relevant to anybody who found this interesting:

I found it in a used bookstore for $5 once, totally by accident. It's probably the best nonfiction book I've ever started (I unfortunately never bothered to finish, which isn't so good. It's still in my backpack in case I ever get stuck anywhere...).

pook · 2010-05-08 · Original thread
MIT's OpenCourseWare is an excellent way for him to study CS on his own while in high school.

I would recommend, at 14, getting him utterly hooked on the mindset of CS and related subjects. Godel, Escher, Bach, etc. If you can get him fascinated with the field, he'll find all the information he needs on his own better than any list of required reading you'll get.

fara · 2010-03-29 · Original thread
Douglas R. Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
stcredzero · 2009-05-19 · Original thread
If you want a good feel for this stuff, try downloading and going through this course, "NAND to Tetris": (Link is not the course, but a talk about it.)

The book is only $26, last I looked. The course software is all Open Source.

You'll see how digital logic is used to construct components like logic units and memory, which is then used to construct a computer, for which you create a computer language, which you then use to write an operating system, and finally, you program games on it.

This will then give you the wherewithal to really understand Godel-Escher-Bach:

If you want, you can read the book first, but then go through the course and read it again. The 1st time you read it, much of it will be lost on you, but the 2nd time, you'll have many Ah-HA! moments.

One key is Automata Theory. Understand that, and you can understand what you are trying to ask about.

Fresh book recommendations delivered straight to your inbox every Thursday.