Monday, May 23, 2005

Pondering Processing Processes

Inspired by reading a dialogue by Hofstadter in The Mind’s I, I began to try to think of myself as a process.

It is kinda odd, and a bit difficult, but it is interesting. We are so used to seeing ourselves as hard nouns (i.e, person, body, organism, thing) that to see one’s self as something less tangible, something more like “A series of actions, changes, or functions bringing about a result,” is a bit bizarre.

What result? Could be a number of things: consciousness, gene propagation, helping to move around molecules, or eventually the heat death of the universe. The key is to try to think about your self as part of something greater, but also as part of a something that does not have a goal, as there is no plan. Enjoy.

PS: I came across another wonderful tidbit. The background: The Mind’s I is series of collected essays and short works of fiction, with subsequent reflections by either Hofstadter or Dennett. After one of the essays, Hofstadter’s reflection was politely interrupted by Dennett, who said, ‘“If I were you, I’d mention how curious it would be to preface some advice with “If you were me, I’d…” but if you were me, would I suggest that you mention it?’


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