Join 3,514 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


This is the title of this post.
January 24, 2008 9:36 AM   Subscribe

- This is the Title of this Story
- Self-reference in 'Self-reference in...'
- This is Not the Title of this Essay
- How I explained infodumps and saved humanity

Wonkier tangents:
- on quines (self-replication in computer programs)
- Peter Suber on self-reference in law.

Obligatory xkcd. Related previous posts: 1, 2.
posted by cortex (74 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fun stuff.
posted by papakwanz at 9:39 AM on January 24, 2008


This is NOT the comment where I claim this is old hat when actually I really liked the infodumps thing.
posted by DU at 9:47 AM on January 24, 2008


You are not currently reading a comment by Astro Zombie where he claims to hate this sort of thing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:49 AM on January 24, 2008


This is not a novel. Nor is this.
posted by tiny crocodile at 9:52 AM on January 24, 2008


Title of the Song
posted by bondcliff at 9:55 AM on January 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


In Which Our Humble Hero Posts a Comment Without Reading the Entirety of the Links First.

This is the first sentence where I state my hyperbolic opinion on the topic. This is the second more reasonable sentence, where I retreat from the extreme position staked out in the opening sentence. This is the first example I cite in support of my opinion, which also serves as a veiled and ultimately unsuccessful attempt at a derail.

This is my second paragraph, where I establish a rather reasonable position on the topic far from the extremes of the first paragraph. This is you realizing the first paragraph was just to hook you in. This is you hooked in, still reading.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:55 AM on January 24, 2008 [8 favorites]


Note to self: read all links before posting, some dumbass might have already posted that song in one of them.
posted by bondcliff at 9:57 AM on January 24, 2008


I like the contents of this post, but not its title.
posted by omegar at 9:57 AM on January 24, 2008


Anyone who bothers to post in this thread is a huge nerd.
posted by nanojath at 10:09 AM on January 24, 2008


I wrote a quine once. I can now use it for nerd points, but not much else.
posted by Plutor at 10:09 AM on January 24, 2008


That comment wasn't very self-referential, Plutor. Oh wait, neither is this one!
posted by DU at 10:13 AM on January 24, 2008


If I were to post a comment it would look something like this.
posted by milestogo at 10:20 AM on January 24, 2008


Someone help. Where's that hilarious trailer for a movie about the making of the trailer?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:23 AM on January 24, 2008


I love the "ouroboros" tag.

Does the set of sets that contain themselves contain the null set?
posted by Plutor at 10:25 AM on January 24, 2008


There was a previous self-reference post where I posted a comment that linked to itself. Mefi moves too fast now to be able to have a good chance of doing that now.

Instead, I assume we'll just get 100 more predictable comments that begin "This comment..."

Self-reference was kind of interesting in the 1980's after everyone had picked up Hofstadter's GEB where he made the tantalizing suggestion that consciousness itself may be a Strange Loop, a dragon that eats its own tail, an entity which can model itself. That is self-reference begets complexity.

I think though, that that has all been played out.
posted by vacapinta at 10:29 AM on January 24, 2008


What he said.
posted by bondcliff at 1:33 PM on January 24 [+] [!]


What he said.
posted by bondcliff at 10:33 AM on January 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Gregory Bateson used to write "metalogues," some of which were collected in the book Steps to an Ecology of Mind.

The rule for a metalogue was that the dialog itself had to be the topic of the dialog in some way. He had an interest in paradoxes and understanding them by using Russell's theory of logical types. This was part of his theory about double binds being part of the context for a schizophrenic upbringing, i.e., the person couldn't say something but also couldn't say that he couldn't say it.
posted by jasper411 at 10:34 AM on January 24, 2008


Does the set of sets that contain themselves contain the null set?

You know, I thought about working in an explicit Russell's Paradox angle, but I thought that might be overdoing it a bit.

posted by cortex at 10:35 AM on January 24, 2008


www.ThisInternetSite.com
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:36 AM on January 24, 2008


Is "heterological" heterological?
Is it possible to overdo a discussion about recursion?
posted by Plutor at 10:40 AM on January 24, 2008


This is not a love song.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:41 AM on January 24, 2008


That's what she said.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:41 AM on January 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


I know there's a "How To Read a Book", but I've always wanted to write a "How To Read this Book".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:49 AM on January 24, 2008


Is it possible to overdo a discussion about recursion?

Hey, buddy, take it to metatalk.

posted by cortex at 10:49 AM on January 24, 2008


'ere
posted by Miko at 10:53 AM on January 24, 2008


This Is The Theme To Gary's Show.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:55 AM on January 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


This comment is a double.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:58 AM on January 24, 2008


[Too clever for my own good I guess. It won't let me post the second one.]

This comment is a double.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:00 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now this is what I'm talking about!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:04 AM on January 24, 2008


This comment is false.
posted by phatkitten at 11:04 AM on January 24, 2008


This is not a love song.

They should have put that on Album
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:06 AM on January 24, 2008


This is not an image search
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:10 AM on January 24, 2008


What I say.
posted by languagehat at 11:15 AM on January 24, 2008


generic mefi post (posted by me before I switched to use this username).
posted by marble at 11:19 AM on January 24, 2008


This is not a self-link
posted by cortex at 11:21 AM on January 24, 2008


If S was the set of all sets that don't contain ostriches, and then if S was kind of shaped like an ostrich, wouldn't that be trippy?
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:21 AM on January 24, 2008


This is not my beautiful wife.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:22 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


And incidentally, no word in English means what you think it does--so please favorite this post as it is actually a very good poem in iambic pentameter.
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:24 AM on January 24, 2008


Is this the sort of thing where you have to follow the links AND be a giant nerd in order to comment intelligently in thread?
posted by Mister_A at 11:28 AM on January 24, 2008


Self-reference was kind of interesting in the 1600s as far as literature goes, if not earlier still.

Sorry, cortex. Nice post.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:28 AM on January 24, 2008


A link to this post?
posted by kurumi at 11:31 AM on January 24, 2008


Dang, off by 2
posted by kurumi at 11:32 AM on January 24, 2008


obligatory
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:48 AM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Generic Uptempo Folk Song
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:00 PM on January 24, 2008


.
posted by trip and a half at 12:34 PM on January 24, 2008


This comment has 27 favorites.
posted by empath at 12:40 PM on January 24, 2008 [18 favorites]


Irritating.
posted by Jay Reimenschneider at 1:02 PM on January 24, 2008


Review of mailboxes leads to review of mailboxes
posted by scruss at 1:06 PM on January 24, 2008


The latter half of this comment is in
posted by Wolfdog at 1:07 PM on January 24, 2008


That Suber essay (this is the link to the entire thing) reminds me of a paper I wrote last year on self-reference as a normative basis for the law.

My take was haphazard by comparison (and I considered not writing it), but for some reason I felt that, while Suber and others do a good job of exploring the problem, no one has really managed to nail down the solution. (Probably not too surprising, all things considered.) I find his whole exploration of the topic kind of frustratingly incomplete. Self-amendment isn't a particularly rich source of material -- the problem he's really trying to address is regression.
posted by spiderwire at 1:09 PM on January 24, 2008


This MetaFilter comment has three a's, one b, two c's, twenty-six e's, nine f's, one g, six h's, twelve i's, three l's, four m's, fourteen n's, nine o's, nine r's, twenty-four s's, sixteen t's, five u's, five v's, five w's, four x's, & three y's.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:09 PM on January 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


A Cretan without any couth
He sentenced himself, and forsooth,
Epimenedes lied,
So he lived - therefore, died -
So... he must have been telling the truth.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:13 PM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


# “Does the set of sets that contain themselves contain the null set?”

Consider the set of sets that have never been considered…
posted by ijoshua at 1:17 PM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I ever selfrep and produce a mini-clone, I'll call him quine (pronounced quin-ey).

He'll be so cute with his little itty bitty cloven hooves.

But I won't let him be self referential. None of this "This is me doing this" crap. I'll knock those bad habits right the fuck out of him.

Just like I did to me back when I was first made.
posted by quin at 1:30 PM on January 24, 2008


This is not a pipe.
YOU have the pipe.
Please give me the pipe?
posted by Dizzy at 1:58 PM on January 24, 2008


This sentence no verb.
posted by QuietDesperation at 2:10 PM on January 24, 2008


:)
posted by caddis at 2:14 PM on January 24, 2008


The comment posted by silby at 6:06 EST is only self-referential if it appears in the thread about self-reference.
posted by silby at 3:06 PM on January 24, 2008


Hi! This is me, Meatbomb, typing a comment into the text box. There is a strange little story in the next paragraph, but don't worry, because although it might seem a little creepy at first it doesn't go anywhere at all, it is completely PG13.

So, imagine that you aren't at your computer reading this comment on the screen. Instead, imagine that you are under my desk, here in Kabul. There's plenty of space down there, but it is a little uncomfortable because there are a tonne of power cords, and I keep curtly demanding that you don't unplug anything. It's chilly and pitch dark - all you can see is my bady reflected in the glow of this thread on the screen of my computer. As I type this comment, I read it to you down there under the desk. I am a slow typer, so by this point it is getting really irritating for you. It seems so pointless - there are plenty of chairs in the room, and there doesn't seem to be any good reason you should be under the table.

In a moment I will hit the post button. With our job done, I help you out from under the desk, make you coffee, and then continue surfing the Internet.

We did it! Mission accomplished! Thanks for your help getting this comment posted.

posted by Meatbomb at 3:22 PM on January 24, 2008


Infinite loop. N. See "loop, infinite."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:50 PM on January 24, 2008


This is the post that I would have made, had I been the person with username cortex, instead of not being such.

The fact that I am not in no way invalidates the existence of cortex or the person that I in fact am.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 8:11 PM on January 24, 2008


Sorry, I don't have anything to add.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 8:25 PM on January 24, 2008


"AsYouKnow Bob", I mused to myself, "sounds so familiar..." Ah yes! I thought back to the early days of thread 68463, to the fourth link of the post. It was a short essay, in the form of an absurd dialogue between a professor and a student.

"It's a reference to the very infodump technique discussed in that essay," I exclaimed. "How prescient!"
posted by cortex at 8:45 PM on January 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Today's toothpaste for dinner.
posted by danb at 8:58 PM on January 24, 2008


Does the set of sets that contain themselves contain the null set?

No. Why would the null set contain a set?
posted by blasdelf at 9:12 PM on January 24, 2008


This may be the coolest flash game ever.
Although it's graphics are nothing to write home about, the game play (which I will wisely follow kotaku's example in not spoiling for you) is quite simply incredible. It's a unique and quick little work break for you via kotaku.

Seriously. It's awesome.

posted by not_on_display at 9:19 PM on January 24, 2008


Title of the Song

All-purpose Folk Song

Comment Consisting Entirely of Links
posted by eritain at 10:41 PM on January 24, 2008


Previously.
posted by No Mutant Enemy at 2:09 AM on January 25, 2008


irrelevant
posted by tawny at 7:23 AM on January 25, 2008


eritain: "Comment Consisting Entirely of Links"

That, right there, folks? Dedication.
posted by Plutor at 7:59 AM on January 25, 2008


If On A Winters Night A Traveller.
posted by blue shadows at 6:07 PM on January 25, 2008


This used to live in my profile:

This is a sentence beginning a paragraph about myself. Previous to this sentence, I began a paragraph about myself with a self-referential sentence rather than a me-referential sentence. This is that paragraph. The previous sentence is not really this paragraph; it is actually a sentence that is a part of the paragraph called "that paragraph" (which is this paragraph), whereas this sentence, arranged before the next three sentences and after the previous three sentences, consitutes the centerpiece of this paragraph. Without much to say about myself, this sentence is left to point out that the paragraph that contains it refers more to itself than myself. If this sentence were about me instead of about a part of this blurb about me it would be less self-referential and more me-referential. Too bad I am not more me-referential.
posted by carsonb at 6:58 PM on January 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think, therefore
posted by iamkimiam at 11:21 PM on January 27, 2008


See also Tom Johnson's Failing.
posted by danb at 11:16 AM on January 28, 2008


« Older Pride of Toledo - 2004 Contest Pictures of barbers...  |  What happens when oral sex lea... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments