Last week I posted The most amazing “You Are Here” map you’ve ever seen, which featured a map that referred to itself. In the closing paragraph I referred to a book—Godel, Escher, Bach—on recursion. I’d read and reread the book in the 1980s and it stuck with me.
Not sure if anything would come of it, I wrote the author, Douglas Hofstadter, with a link. Beyond writing back that he appreciated the reference to self-reference, he noted the pattern in sending him a reference to him. Beyond that note, he included a diagram of the email noting the location of a red star in the email where the red star was.
I hope he doesn’t mind my quoting his email to me, in which I close with a diagram with a red star indicating the close of this post indicating the close of his email referring to the star on the map referring to a star in the real world that I wrote about in my last post.
I know I normally post on leadership, stewardship, fitness, and topics related to them, but I grew up geeking out to things like this and I’m indulging in phrases like “a diagram with a red star indicating the close of this post indicating the close of his email referring to the star on the map referring to a star in the real world that I wrote about in my last post.” even if no one else appreciates it.
And if you like it as much as I do, you’re welcome.
Dear Mr. Spodek — Thanks for thinking of me in your blog post with the map with the red star that represents itself — and for sending it along to me. It’s lovely! Somehow, sending the blog to the very person who’s mentioned in its concluding sentence seems reminiscent of the blog itself. It gives things an extra added self-referential twist! All the best from Bloomington, Indiana.
— Douglas Hofstadter.
P.S. — Here is a diagram of this email (disregarding the role of text in it):
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