[ExI] FW: [tt] Identity thread again

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Fri Mar 13 15:18:51 UTC 2015

​The phrase "I see my identity as..." immediately plunges us into the
universe of self-referencing paradox, of which Hofstadter wrote so
eloquently in his Pulitzer Prize winning classic Eternal Golden Braid.  All
our logic is untrustworthy under that paradox.  The identity thread is the
tortoise's special phonograph records, the recursion and self-reference
special case which wrecks the rigid system of logic.


There is no such thing as an identity. (Identical to what?).  Our behavior
varies so much that we can be extremely different people in different
situations, with different people, in different states of consciousness
(starving, om church, with our boss, high on heroin or ????), at different
ages, etc.

We sometimes act in a way that startles us and makes us wonder just who or
what we are.  We say things like'that's not me', but it is - everything you
do, think, or say is YOU.  Maybe it's just you when you are drunk, but it's
still you.  We say one thing and do another and thousands of psychological
experiments show that what you do or say is easily manipulated.  Hypocrites
​Sure, there are commonalities:  introversion/extroversion, all the Big
Five in fact.  But mostly we are like the fable of the blind men and the
elephant - different things to different people - and to ourselves.​  There
is no one deus in your machina.

Bill W
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