Still reading Hofstadter and Dennett’s “The Mind’s I” collection when I get free moments.
There are several extracts from the work of Stanislaw Lem, of whom I’d never previously heard, which actually pre-date Hofstadter’s own “Godel, Escher, Bach”. One “book”, “Non Serviam” taken from Lem’s 1971 work “A Perfect Vacuum – Perfect Reviews of Non-Existent Books“, is remarkably prescient concerning the evolution of consciousness. Practically blown away by it, I have annotations next to just about every paragraph.
In fact Dennett and Hofstadter’s own editorial reflections sum it up … Lem’s Non Serviam ” … is not just immensely sophisticated and accurate in its exploitation of themes from computer science, philosophy, and the theory of evolution; it is strikingly close to being a true account of aspects of current work …”. As true now in 2005 I reckon, as it was when they commented in 1981 on this 1971 work.