The Year of Mathemagical Thinking

Nerd icon Douglas Hofstadter crunches the numbers on who humans really are

Peter Rimbey

Carol and Douglas Hofstadler in a mutual nose touching, forming a (metaphorical) "strange loop" in July of 1987 in the Wallowa Mountains in Eastern Oregon.

When I was growing up, there was a book in our house that my brother and sister and I all read. It was a very odd book, a rattlebag of art, mathematics, music, philosophy, symbolic logic, computers, genetics, paradoxes, palindromes and Zen koans among many, many other things. Most of it went way over my head--my precocious older sister, who later became a mathematician, and even later a sculptor, was the real target audience--but it was playfully written and deeply weird and off-the-charts smart and generally just the thing for a household of pretentious, alienated adolescents to chew on. My siblings...

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