purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (ai)
I just picked out of my work pigeonhole a package with Swedish Stamps. My address is hand-written as is a note in one corner which says "Will tell you more when I return!"

Inside is a slim volume entitiled "Being or Nothingness" by Joe K

The author, you will note, is an anagram of Joke.

There is a sticker on the cover which says "Warning! Please study the letter to Professor Hofstadter before you read the book. Good Luck!"

Douglas Hofstadter is best know as the author of Godel, Escher, Bach: An eternal golden braid. A kind of pop-AI, maths and philosophy book which I was first encouraged to read by a Maths teacher in sixth form but which I only actually finished a couple of years ago. It's a good, if fairly dense, book and I'm not sure how comprehensible it actually is to someone who doesn't already have an AI/Maths/Phil background.

Inside the front cover is attached a letter to Hofstadter which rambles a bit and says things like "The text can be incorporated into both the Jewish and Christian tradition, but doing so with too much vigour would be to narrow its scope."

The back cover blurb implies the contents are a Swedish translation of Conan Doyle's lost "The Giant Rat of Sumatra" and adds that it is "oddly intertwined" with Hofstadter and his new book "I am a strange loop"... "which will soon be released by your Publishing House"

The Preface starts "One day I found a book. It was lying open, visible to all, but I was the only one curious enough to pick it up. This I have regretted many times." and ends "Brace yourself and turn the pages gently as you embark on a strange journey through time and space."

The contents appears to be short random pieces e.g. (page 6)

"Dedication

In commemoration of Joseph Knecht, magister Ludi Josephus III,
who abandoned `the glass bead game,'
the most beautiful of ideas,
FOR LIFE...
... UNTO DEATH"


(That's it for page 6).

Note reappearance of good old Joe K.

-

Beyond noting this is the sort of thing Who authors Lawrence Miles or Jim Mortimore might write, I'd say this was a publicity stunt for Hofstadter's new book except that it seems a pretty expensive way to do publicity - randomly posting books from Sweden with hand written addresses to vaguely related academics. It's not like I know Hofstadter in any way even though I do work in his general area.

Thoughts?

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