I Am a Strange Loop
I Am a Strange Loop argues that the key to understanding selves and consciousness is the “strange loop”—a special kind of abstract feedback loop inhabiting our brains. The most central and complex symbol in your brain is the one called “
I must suggest something blasphemously arrogant: Douglas Hofstadter has it wrong. My only justification for saying such an outrageous thing is that it doesn’t matter. Folk will go on taking Hofstadter seriously in any case. Nevertheless I have a valid objection which needs to be recorded. Enough, then, of self-referentiality.
Hofstadter’s teenage intuition got him started on the idea that there are degrees of souledness in the material world. Atoms (and presumably their constituent ...more
When I saw a copy of “I Am a Strange Loop” in a used-book store, and Hofstadter said in the intro it was his update of “Godel, Escher, Bach,” I figured this was my chance to rediscover the concepts in “Godel, Escher, Bach.”
Well, I did, but I can’t say I was happy with the result. Hofstadter’s ...more
He does so by describing the mind's process of something like ...more
It is so awesome that Hofstadter is celebrated for/is allowed to/has made a career out of following the conclusions of his passions, making previously unforeseen connections. Ultimately I think it's an empty meditation, but ...more
This isn't a bad book, apart from the constant use of reference to the "dear reader", it's just redundant because of ...more
the principle point is that though he purports to have some new big answer, this book merely retraces terrain he covered decades ...more
I read Hofstadter's "Metamagical Themas" many years ago and was fascinated by the author's vast area of expertise.
I read Hofstadter's "Le Ton Beau de Marot" a few years ago and was amazed by the author's enormous knowledge.
I just finished Hofstadter's "I Am a Strange Loop" and was thoroughly disappointed.
The author uses 300+ pages to say something that could just as ...more
After Godel the firm foundation of mathematics as an absolute truth about knowledge outside ...more
So why ...more
However, my hopes have been lowered within the first few pages when Hofstadter tells the reader that some living things have bigger souls/more valuable souls than others. In particular mosquitoes don't have much of a soul that you ...more
I skipped around the book a little and found this intriguing discussion on page 322 called 'Two Daves.' He presents a mental experiment of two universes, identical in every detail except that universe Q has the stuff of ...more
Basically an argument for the nature of consciousness that all but proves Descartes' proposition. But Hofstadter presents a pretty convincing argument for his theories on why I think I am I.
The one place where he ...more
But I found his numerous and lengthy discursions to be, for starters, only tangentially and vaguely associated with Godel incompleteness. In my ...more
He makes some bold claims about the nature of consciousness, but he doesn't use his terms and concepts rigorously enough to keep his arguments straight, and he doesn't do much work to back them up anyway.
It amounts to listening to some friend who got stoned and had an amazing idea. If that friend happens to be Douglas Hofstadter, it's probably worth your while to stick around for a ...more
The last hundred pages or so of the book annoyed ...more
Hofstadter is a profound thinker. Some of his explorations such as designing fonts seem just silly at first until you understand that he's exploring micro-puzzles that include deep challenges. His Fluid Analogy stuff contain good examples.
If I understand The Strange Loop properly, he's exploring the idea that consciousness if simply an illusion looking at an illusion. ...more
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Hofstadter is the son of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert Hofstadter. Douglas grew up on the campus of ...more