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on July 2, 2015
Funny, readable and containing deep truths about how "the self" is constructed and maintained.
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on June 22, 2015
Amazing book. Must read. Great condition. Awesome seller.
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on June 20, 2015
As far as I am concerned, this book is an extraordinary continuation of GEB. After decades, Hofstadter have thought deeper in his field.
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on May 30, 2015
Thoroughly entertaining popular read for the serious lay reader interested in just how we (I) are constructed and function as living beings - from simplest creatures to our own self-inflated human beings.
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on May 3, 2015
Here's a true statement that isn't self-referential: Cognitive science is not science. The latter makes well founded strides, however small, in the direction of increasing our understanding of nature and its phenomena, most difficult among those being intelligence and consciousness. Whereas, cognitive science is the practice of constructing arguments sufficiently florid or persuasive, exuberant or mysteriously hinting at truth behind the loquacious fog, so as to persuade the reader of a personal viewpoint. When such arguments reach a level of bloviation sufficient to secure a tenured professorship, that accomplishment clears the path toward endlessly continuing the same.

Readers should expect more. Or at least, we expect that blather should not masquerade behind waves of scientific terminology designed to fool the unwary reader into believing that they're reading a scientific text. Or, that the writer bears scientific credentials.

Hofstadter is famous for GEB, which I read as a student. GEB was a precocious and masterful piece of writing that hinted, from the mind of one unfocused student to another, at great truths. In my unstructured mind, it hinted and stimulated, but left me unsatisfied. Hofstadter himself writes in the preface to "Strange Loop" that while GEB was widely read, its central thesis seems not to have been apprehended. That's because it has no central thesis, and it relies upon the reader to take away a set of impressions that are as variable as the readers themselves. To remedy this, Hofstadter wrote "Strange Loop" in part to restate his central thesis more concisely and clearly. In this he has succeeded! It is even more clear than before that he has nothing to contribute to our understanding of mind, consciousness, intelligence, or the processes behind them.

Each individual chapter takes a small piece of a disjointed tale, and at face value each chapter seems to be an interesting tidbit of writing. Try weaving them together, and you will find that the fabric simply disintegrates. It's the kind of writing that can make one say "Cool man, that's awesome" provided the reader is sufficiently stoned, but that's about all it has.
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on April 28, 2015
Hofstadter is brilliant...I like his easy way of explaining complex ideas! The many ways he describes feedback loops to end at the marvel of human consciousness is way cool!!!
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on April 13, 2015
Easy to read. Nice motivation/illustration for the incompleteness theorem.
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on April 8, 2015
Great read! Very nice follow up to the original!
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on March 27, 2015
I'm not the brightest bulb in the apple tree but this made my head both spin and stand still at the same time.
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on March 16, 2015
I have never considered many of the ideas in this book and I truly am glad that I had the chance to see things this way.
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