When I was in college a few of my buddies and I would periodically prose existential on the front porch drinking Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine out of dixie cups. We were relegated to the trashy wine because we had guzzled all our trashy beer earlier in the evening. As you might imagine, we were probably not in the best state of mind to be discussing philosophy.
I don’t know why back in 1988, during one of these discussions the concept of brains in vats stuck with me. I was floored by the idea and it now reminds me of that scene in Animal House where, after smoking much weed together, a young Tom Hulce says to his professor, played by Donald Sutherland, “Okay. That means that… our whole solar system… could be, like… one tiny atom in the fingernail of some other giant being. [Sutherland nods]
This is too much! That means… one tiny atom in my fingernail could be…
Sutherland: Could be one little… [pauses] … tiny universe.
Hulce: “can I buy some pot from you?”
I don’t think it necessarily takes smoking dope or getting polluted on alcohol to allow you to delve into concepts such as brains in vats (as made very popular in the Matrix trilogy) or tiny universes a la the Men in Black movies.
I guess I was just reminded of this from the posts I wrote about the dreams I had last week and the one where I wrote about letting my imagination run a little wild in thinking of the possibility I am in a coma.
[Deist takes a sip of beer, puts it down and thinks to himself, “nah… i don’t need this tonight”.]