I am a Strange Loop

Hofstadter's books

I’d best start this blog with the most-neglected topic from my MSDN blog: artificial intelligence.

On the plane ride home from the MIX07 event in Las Vegas, I finished reading the new Douglas Hofstadter new book, I Am A Strange Loop. It’s a sequel to his Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, which alternates between prose and dialogues (“in the spirit of Lewis Carroll”) to weave together an improbable number of disciplines to ultimately propose how consciousness and a self of self could be implemented in wetware (or indeed, some day software).

I Am a Strange Loop is excellent – a perhaps less playful, more personal, succinct revisit of Hofstadter’s core thesis from Gödel, Escher, Bach about consciousness. Although I didn’t take too much new away from it, I was grateful for the chance to learn more about Hofstadter himself and revisit some of the main themes from GEB. When I get back to Dublin, there are some bits of GEB I want to re-read now (if I can pry it away from the missus, who’s just started into it!).

If you haven’t read either, GEB is almost certainly the place to start. If you’ve read GEB, I think you’ll enjoy this.