Title text: "This is the reference implementation of the self-referential joke."
Douglas Hofstadter is an American and to quote Wikipedia: "...an American academic whose research focuses on consciousness, analogy-making, artistic creation, literary translation, and discovery in mathematics and physics." In 2007, he wrote a book called I Am a Strange Loop in which he studied the properties of self-referential systems. In popular culture, self-reference is referred to as being meta.
So, the one line autobiography is meta because it is also an acronym which reads "IS META", thus finishing its own sentence.
In the title text, reference implementation is a reference to the standard implementation during a software development process.
- [A man sits at a desk, working on a laptop. A woman approaches the desk and picks up a tiny book.]
- Woman: What's this?
- Man: Douglas Hofstadter's six-word autobiography. After all those 700-page tomes, I guess he wanted to try for brevity.
- Woman: Huh. Let's see...
- [Close up of woman, reading the tiny book.]
- Book: I'm So Meta, Even This Acronym
- [Full shot of man and woman again. The woman looks down at the tiny book in her hand.]
- Woman: ...whoa.
- Man: I think he nailed it.