Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern
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BACK COVER #In this entertaining and provocative book named after his recent column in Scientific American, Douglas Hofstadter presents a dazzling array of observations and ideas about how we perceive and think. With profound insight and an irrepressible sense of fun, he explores such subjects as artificial intelligence; sexist language in Chinese; experiments with the Prisoner's Dilemma; genetic evolution and its software counterpart; beautiful mathematical shapes known as "strange attractors"; nuclear war; and even National Enquirer hoaxes. Balanced between art and science, magic and logic, humor and rigor, Metamagical Themas (a rearrangement of the letters in "mathematical games") probes the deepest paradoxes and mysteries of the human mind and heart.
BLURBS #"Enormously ambitious and hugely interesting...Hofstadter's display of information will capture the imagination."
-- The New York Times Book Review
"Douglas Hofstadter is a scientist with the inspired madness of a poet."
-- New Republic
"A rich and complex work...The closest thing imaginable to taking a voyage through a mind."
-- San Francisco Chronicle
"'Delight' is the operational word...Hofstadter, for all his brilliance and profundity, has fun with the world."
-- Chicago Tribune
"The incredible Dr. Hofstadter is back, in golden-braid form, with a collection of wide-ranging essays that swarm with extraordinary ideas, brilliant fables, deep philosophical questions, and Carrollian word play....Like his previous Godel, Escher, Bach, the new book glitters with Godelian self-reference jokes, Escherlike illustrations, and Bachlike fugues."
-- Martin Gardner
"Douglas Hoftadter has ushered in a new, more personal approach to science writing. Ideas matter; and so do the people that have them."
-- Washington Post Book World