July 17, 2008

No, you’re the one who’s missing the point. The key point, uncomfortable for you thought it will be, is that no one started out in that brain — no one at all. It was just as uninhabited as a swinging rope or a whirlpool. But unlike those physical systems, it could perceive and evolve in sophistication, and so, as weeks, months, and years passed, there gradually came to be someone in there. But that personal identity didn’t suddenly appear full-blown; rather, it slowly coalesced and came into focus, like a cloud in the sky or condensation on a window pane.

– Doug Hofstadter, from I am a Strange Loop


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