Well.. It wasn’t that bad. But it really brought nothing new. In fact it reminded me of a lot of other good movies. “Surrogates” explores a variation of the “Brain in a vat” paradigm. In the movie people live their lives trough ‘surrogates’ ; robots that look and respond like them much like avatars in the internet world of ‘Second Life’. Like those who populate the internet now, the people in the movie prefer to stay inside, hooked up to their ‘stimchairs’ and tend to be much older, fatter and often of an entirely other gender than their pretty surrogates.
And this is pretty much the only ‘new’ idea in the entire movie. The ensuing dilemma’s have all been visited and revisited in movies like ‘Existenz’ , ‘I,robot’, ‘Ai’ and ‘The Matrix’ and more or less in Woody Allan’s ‘Sleeper’. Oh yeah, and in philosophy class. I remember the professor asking us: If you could be hooked up to an amazing machine that could make you experience life as you would wish it to be.You could program it with all your life’s whishes and ambitions complete with random good stuff that you want to experience, even some strife to make you appreciate the good stuff. Would you do it? You wouldn’t know you’re in a pod hooked up to the machine, and you’d live a perfect life. You’d even be allowed to try it out first. Would you do it?
There was a reluctant show of hands when he asked the class, and he’d shake his head. “You know, I’ve been asking this question for years now” he said “And every year there are more hands”
Which is interesting. Is our idea of reality and its value changing, or are we just so much more familiar with computers and virtual reality that we’re becoming less spooked by the concept? I mean, there are already people who seem to prefer their life online to the one in real time. There have even been murders over items that only exist in a virtual world.
So what is reality? Well, the folks at The Sun have lost all grip with it apparently..
(And then there’s this, how freaky is that?)