Happy Birthday, Douglas Hofstadter, born 15 February 1945.
- It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a façade of order – and yet, deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order.
- You can imagine a soul as being a detailed, elaborate pattern that exists very clearly in one brain. When a person dies, the original is no longer around. But there are other versions of it in other people’s brains. It’s a less detailed copy, it’s coarse-grained.
- Meaning lies as much in the mind of the reader as in the Haiku.
- Sometimes it seems as though each new step towards AI, rather than producing something which everyone agrees is real intelligence, merely reveals what real intelligence is not.
- Irrationality is the square root of all evil.
- We create an image of who we are inside our self. The image then becomes very deeply entrenched, and it becomes the thing that we attribute responsibility to – we say “I”, “I” did this because “I” wanted to, because “I” am a good person or because “I” am a bad person. The loop is the fact that we represent our selves, our desires, hopes, dreads and dreams: it is the way in which we conceive of ourselves, rather than the way we conceive of Mount Everest or of a tree. And I say it exists entirely in the loop: the self is an hallucination hallucinated by an hallucination.
- The following sentence is false. The preceding sentence is true.
Douglas Hofstadter is an American professor of cognitive science. His book, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid won both the Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and a National Book Award for Science. His 2007 book I Am a Strange Loop won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology
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