This Blog would have been better if written in a language the reader doesn't speak.  

rm_TappyTibbins 40M
49 posts
5/19/2005 6:47 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

This Blog would have been better if written in a language the reader doesn't speak.


I just spent an hour writing a blog entry. Hated it. Deleted it. It had been a mournful wail bemoaning the lack of viewers of my blog, but the more I wrote, the more I realized that I don't mourn my lack of readers, but rather I genuinely appreciate the readers that I have. I tried to turn the entry into a love letter instead. It didn't work and now its gone.

Writing a blog about my blog, however, reminded me about a charming article by Douglas Hofstadter I once read about self-reference and recursivness in other domains. DNA is inherently recursive. Many computer programs are recursive. What if a law passed by Congress requiring a 6-to-3 majority in future Supreme Court decisions were declared unconstitutional by the Court by a majority of only 5 to 4 (an example which shows the inherent recursive and self-referential nature of paradoxes)?

"This sentence is false" is a famous example of a self referential sentence. In his article, Hofstadter presented several other examples of self-referential sentences, many of which I found delightful and surprising and I thought it might be fun to share some of them with you (ok, ok... I'm a nerd, I admit it). For all those that might be interested in further reading of Hofstadter, I highly recommend either "Goedel, Escher, Bach: The Eternal Golden Braid" or "Metamagical Themas," both of which are far more entertaining than I might ever have supposed.

Some examples of self-referential sentences (and feel free to construct your own, its surprisingly fun):

> This a self-referential sentence.
> Does this sentence remind you of Agatha Christie?
> This sentence no verb.
> This sentence contains exactly six words.
> This sentence contains exactly cabbage seven words.
> You can't have "your cake" and spell it "too." (while not truly self-referential, it still made me smile)
> This gubblick contains many nonsklarkish English flutzpahs, but the overall pluggandisp can be glorked from context.
> Thit sentence is not self-referential because "thit" is not a word.
> You are the subject of this sentence.

...and my personal favorite:
You have of course, just begun the sentence that you have just finished reading.

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Author's note: Looking back over this entry I think it is probably terminally silly. Perhaps tomorrow I'll write that blog about my lack of readers. After today's blog, tomorrow it may even be true.

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rm_FreeLove999 46F
16127 posts
5/20/2005 6:30 am

well life is terminal, so it might as well be terminally silly ... or no??



[blog freelove999]


rm_morefutility 37F
175 posts
5/20/2005 2:18 pm

To summon an overly used cliche: Its not quantity, but quality that counts.


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