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I Am a Strange Loop I Am a Strange Loop by Douglas R. Hofstadter
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I Am a Strange Loop Quotes (showing 1-18 of 18)
“In the end, we self-perceiving, self-inventing, locked-in mirages are little miracles of self-reference.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“A mirror mirroring a mirror”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“Saying that studying the brain is limited to the study of physical entities would be like saying that literary criticism must focus on paper and bookbinding, ink and its chemistry, page sizes and margin widths, typefaces and paragraph lengths, and so forth.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“Some of us, perhaps all of us, believe that it is legitimate to kill enemy soldiers in a war, as if war were a special circumstance that shrinks the sizes of enemy souls.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“We don't want to focus on the trees (or their leaves) at the expense of the forest.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“No, no - I think about thinking”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“Deep understanding of causality sometimes requires the understanding of very large patterns and their abstract relationships and interactions, not just the understanding of microscopic objects interacting in microscopic time intervals.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“We are all egocentric, and what is realest to each of us, in the end, is ourself.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“Concepts in the brains of humans acquired the property that they could get rolled together with other concepts into larger packets, and any such larger packet could then become a new concept in its own right. In other words, concepts could nest inside each other hierarchically, and such nesting could go on to arbitrary degrees.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“what happens on the lower level is responsible for what happens on the higher level, it is nonetheless irrelevant to the higher level. The higher level can blithely ignore the processes on the lower level.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“There are those who will immediately be drawn to the idea of pattern-seeking, and”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“What gives us word-users the right to make life-and-death decisions concerning other living creatures that have no words? Why do we find ourselves in positions of such anguish (at least for some of us)? In the final analysis, it is simply because might makes right, and we humans, thanks to the intelligence afforded us by the complexity of our brains and our embeddedness in rich languages and cultures, are indeed high and mighty, relative to the “lower” animals (and vegetables). By virtue of our might, we are forced to establish some sort of ranking of creatures, whether we do so as a result of long and careful personal reflections or simply go along with the compelling flow of the masses. Are cows just as comfortably killable as mosquitoes? Would you feel any less troubled by swatting a fly preening on a wall than by beheading a chicken quivering on a block?”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“We human beings are macroscopic structures in a universe whose laws reside at a microscopic level. As survival-seeking beings, we are driven to seek efficient explanations that make reference only to entities at our own level. We therefore draw conceptual boundaries around entities that we easily perceive, and in so doing we carve out what seems to us to be reality.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“if one keeps climbing upward in the chain of command within the brain, one finds at the very top those over-all organizational forces and dynamic properties of the large patterns of cerebral excitation that are correlated with mental states or psychic activity…. Near the apex of this command system in the brain…. we find ideas. Man over the chimpanzee has ideas and ideals. In the brain model proposed here, the causal potency of an idea, or an ideal, becomes just as real as that of a molecule, a cell, or a nerve impulse. Ideas cause ideas and help evolve new ideas. They interact with each other and with other mental forces in the same brain, in neighboring brains, and, thanks to global communication, in far distant, foreign brains. And they also interact with the external surroundings to produce in toto a burst-wise advance in evolution that is far beyond anything to hit the evolutionary scene yet, including the emergence of the living cell. Who”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“It is curious, how one often mistrusts one’s own opinions if they are stated by someone else.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“By the time we emerge from childhood, we have acquired a reflex-level intuition for where most of our everyday world’s loci of unpredictability lie, and the more unpredictable end of this spectrum simultaneously beckons to us and frightens us. We’re pulled by but fearful of risk-taking. That is the nature of life.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“And that is also the way the human mind works — by the compounding of old ideas into new structures that become new ideas that can themselves be used in compounds, and round and round endlessly, growing ever more remote from the basic earthbound imagery that is each language’s soil.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop
“Through many types of abstraction and analogy-making and inductive reasoning, and through many long and tortuous chains of citations of all sorts of authorities (which constitute an indispensable pillar supporting every adult’s belief system, despite the insistence of high-school teachers who year after year teach that “arguments by authority” are spurious and are convinced that they ought to be believed because they are, after all, authority figures), we build up an intricate, interlocked set of beliefs as to what exists “out there” — and then, once again, that set of beliefs folds back, inevitably and seamlessly, to apply to our own selves.”
Douglas R. Hofstadter, I Am a Strange Loop