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We seem to have drifted away from a discussion of Godel, Escher, Bach into a more esoteric conversation of the meaning of life. Interesting as that is, I'd like to try and drag us back to GEB.

Another of my favorite dialogs in the book is "Contrafactus", in which the crab owns something called a "Subjunc-TV". They watch a sporting event and the TV shows subjunctive instant replays. Events that might have happened if there had been a slightly different set of parameters, but didn't quite. I thought this was a really entertaining dialogue, and it makes me wonder what else this TV might be good for. What would happen if you watched a soap opera on it? How about a news cast? Cartoons? Could you watch a channel with Steve Irwin, "the Crocodile Hunter", and tune into a universe where he gets eaten?

I guess in some way, wondering about different possibilities like I'm doing is part of the point. Actually, I think the importance of this chapter is that it raises two questions. First, is it possible to tweak parameters in this way and get to a different universe, or is historical fact the only reality? Second, is it the very nature of recognizing counterfactuals and alternative possibilities that defines intelligence?

I also quite like playing with the Bongard problems in the following chapter. Has anyone ever seen them outside of this book?
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