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A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna…

A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines (edition 2007)

by Janna Levin

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4681822,128 (3.57)7
Title:A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines
Authors:Janna Levin
Info:Anchor (2007), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Godel, Turing

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A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines by Janna Levin


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A short introduction to the lives and thoughts of Kurt Godel and Alan Turing told in a novelistic style. Worth a read for those unfamiliar with these giants of 20th century thought, but the book is light on details and the prose weak. It seems to me that Levin tries a bit too hard with her imagery. ( )
1 vote ghefferon | Dec 15, 2012 |
A rather lovely tribute to two fascinating, brilliant, odd, and sad men. I was familiar with the intellectual work of both Gödel and Turing, but didn't know much about their lives (and deaths).

The most interesting aspect of the novel was the way Levin showed the parallels and intersections of the lives of two men who were aware of each other but never met.

One wonders how their respective work would have been different had each of them had different personalities and lives. And what an actual meeting between them would have been like. ( )
  LucindaLibri | Oct 13, 2012 |
A sort of quasi-biography that details the simultaneous lives of two great thinkers (but very strange guys), Alan Turing and Kurt Godol. Social misfits, for sure, but still pretty fascinating characters whose ideas still guide us today. ( )
  mojomomma | Sep 24, 2012 |
A novel? I didn't get it. ( )
  podocyte | Apr 16, 2012 |
Een leuk boekje over twee belangrijke denkers/wetenschappers, respecterivelijk Turing en Gödel, die met hun eigen demonen worstelden. Als wetenschappers behoorden ze tot de top in hun veld, maar op menselijk vlak verliep alles behalve vlekkeloos.
De beschrijving van de wetenschappelijke ideeën is te summier en de nadruk ligt vooral op het psychologische vlak. De paranoïde Gôdel en de homoseksuele Turing die het beiden zeer moeilijk hadden met sociale interactie.
Voor wie een beetje zicht wil krijgen in de leefwereld van Turing en Gôdel is het boekje een aanrader. ( )
  uhibb-l-kutub | Oct 4, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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"The narrator is a scientist herself, a physicist obsessed with Kurt Godel, the greatest logician of many centuries, and with Alan Turing, the extraordinary mathematician, breaker of the Enigma Code during World War II. "They are both brilliantly original and outsiders," the narrator tells us. "They are both besotted with mathematics. But for all their devotion, mathematics is indifferent, unaltered by any of their dramas ... Against indifference, I want to tell their stories." Which she does in a haunting, incantatory voice, the two lives unfolding in parallel narratives that overlap in the magnitude of each man's achievement and demise: Godel, delusional and paranoid, would starve himself to death; Turing, arrested for homosexual activities, would be driven to suicide. And they meet as well in the narrator's mind, where facts are interwoven with her desire and determination to find meaning in the maze of their stories: two men devoted to truth of the highest abstract nature, yet unable to grasp the mundane truths of their own lives." "A unique amalgam of luminous imagination and richly evoked historic character and event - A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines is a story about the pursuit of truth and its effect on the lives of two men. A story of genius and madness, incredible yet true."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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