Saturday, September 3, 2011
THROUGH THE WORMHOLE and DOUGLAS HOFSTADTER
One of the few really good things about Direct TV, to people like us, has to be the Science Channel, and one of the best shows we've seen lately is Morgan Freeman's Through the Wormhole series. You can see some of the episodes at this link.
This last month we watched the episode on consciousness, which included a brief interview with Douglas R. Hofstadter, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, The Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self & Soul, Le Ton Beau De Marot: In Praise Of The Music Of Language, and I Am a Strange Loop, among others.
We especially like (and concur with) Hofstadter's theory that when two people love each other and closely share their hopes and aspirations over many years, a sort of mind meld takes place, where one sees through the eyes of the other, a condition that even transcends death. In Ton Beau De Marot, Hofstadter illustrates that theory with his own experiences and reflections after the death of his beloved wife, Carol.
Earlier this year, I read Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, and I was surprised to find Hofstadter and his works discussed in the author's opening chapter--innocently, I might add. Hofstadter deserved his Pulitzer Prize, and his books all have their permanent place on our most-beloved shelves.