Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Great Book, Now Presented In MIT OpenCourseWare Videos

I first read Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid around 1986. At the time, I knew Bach from cool music and Escher from cool art, but I was only vaguely aware that Gödel did something really important in mathematics, so I picked up the big book and started reading. It turned out to be one of the great (and one of the most challenging) books I have ever read. The book is about how consciousness and meaning might form from primitive, meaningless, building blocks.

I was just aware that MIT has a free course that you can view online teaching high school students about the contents of the book. This will be a great resource for a kid who understands English and is interested in questions about how consciousness might arise. It's much more interesting than what is normally discussed in normal classes.

I've been telling people around me that the current mainstream Thai education system is severely broken, producing mostly automatons optimized for stupid test scores, not for understanding. This is why I'm trying to collect links that might be useful for educating the next generation of children. (An example of such resources is Peteris Krumins' excellent collection of educational links I mentioned in a previous post.)

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