Gödel, Escher, Bach Typogenetics/DNA/RNA Flashcards
A way to remember what you have learned
Buried deep within the 700+ pages of Douglas Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid (GEB) is an excellent standalone introductory exposition of DNA and RNA (that is, basic molecular genetics) using a simplified system he calls Typogenetics. In our view, it’s a great way to learn about this topic for people with a background in computer science or mathematics, and does not require reading any of the earlier parts of the book. We want to raise this part of the book to people’s attention, so we made this website. This website provides digital flashcards for this portion of the book, which will help you better internalize and retain the material. Specifically, it covers Chapter XVI: Self-Ref and Self-Rep, pp. 504–532.
Because GEB is copyrighted, you will have to bring your own copy of the book. But assuming you have a copy, you can collect the cards on this website as you read along. Go to page 504 in GEB (starting at the section heading “Typogenetics”). Read one section at a time, and each time you finish a section, come to this site (or go to Anki, if you chose to download the deck) and review the cards corresponding to that section. In this way, you have a read → review loop that will help you to internalize the material better as you read it for the first time. And because these are flashcards plugged into a spaced repetition system, you will also be able to retain your knowledge long-term!
Created from experience
One of us (Issa) has about 5 years of serious Anki prompt-writing experience.
The cards follow current best practices for prompts as explained in e.g. Andy Matuschak’s prompt-writing guide.