Old Brain Stuck in Infinite Loop

One of the journals I edit periodically receives letters from an old man in the country. They are written in an old-style hand with many quaint expressions of respect, and concern the price of subscription and back issues. The letters are clearly products of an old brain stuck in an infinite loop.

All are almost identically phrased and keep coming regardless of how we reply. It looks as though this gentleman uses a master copy of the letter to rattle off a new one every time he starts to feel the need for subscription information, but that he is unable to remember that he has already had that information from us repeatedly.

One might think that the existence of a master copy would alert him to the fact that this has been going on for years. But maybe there isn’t one. Maybe the full text of his letter has become burnt into his firmware, ready to be copied onto paper every time the “Must Subscribe to More Journals” neurons in his brain flicker on.

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  1. #1 Hans Persson
    January 18, 2007

    Or maybe he’s trying to tell you something really interesting, but the information is encoded in the differences between the different versions of the letter so that unauthorized readers won’t get at it. You have kept all previous versions of the letters, right?

  2. #2 Martin R
    January 18, 2007

    Or maybe each letter is a pulse in Morse code, and the important data is in the length of time between letters. So far he’s transmitted about four characters.

  3. #3 Henrik
    January 19, 2007

    10 years from now you will solve the pussle, one day you will break the code. In exacly these words, the message will be: “Jag hĺlds fĺngen av den stora Gnuff. Skicka mer Julmust!” (I’m held captive by the grat Gnuff. Please send more ‘Julmust’).
    Then, when you backtrace the letters you will find that each has been sent from a different mail office. Plot the locations of these mail offices on a map of sweden and connect the dots.

    ‘X’ marks the spot.

  4. #4 Martin R
    January 19, 2007

    Iä! Iä! Gnuff! The kransekage of the forest with a thousand přlser! Gnuuuff!

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