Anime Post: Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War

A goofy romantic comedy show about a couple of Student Council members at an elite High School. They’re popular and admired school-wide, and competent at almost every activity they set their minds to… except finding normal ways to simply admit they like each other.

Before the main characters are introduced, the general idea driving the show and its drama is explained. The viewer is informed that young love isn’t as simple as it seems. The usually innocent and tender rituals of early romance, and the relationship that follows, are actually a sweet looking facade for the harsh reality beneath it. According to the narrator, the truth is that a power dynamic exists in romantic relationships, and whoever breaks and admits their feelings first has surrendered, and thus is the weaker party in the pairing.

Within a high school for the children elite, the war between Kaguya Shinomiya and Miyuki Shirogane plays out, with the objectives of getting the other’s feelings out.

Just kiss already

Kaguya Shinomiya is the Vice President of the Student Council. Her family’s immense wealth and clout comes from their ownership of electronics manufacturing companies. Her dark hair and red eyes cause her to be seen as rather intimidating to her fellow students, and she publicly presents herself as poised and composed, with an air of nobility about her. Kaguya matches her outward bearings and her upper class background with a record of nigh-perfection in grades, school arts, and some other extracurricular courses.

Miyuki Shirogane is the President of the Student Council. He doesn’t come from a wealthy or powerful family. Yet, he gains recognition at the High School due to his focus on studies and his hard working nature, which enabled him to rise to his student council position. Miyuki’s confident and firm demeanor, along with his fierce-looking blue eyes and blond hair, has the added effect of making him appear to be a good mascot for the school, as well as the impression of being a smooth operator when it comes to women.

Because of their shared popularity and complementary personalities, it was rumored around the school that they were an item. And although they both apparently dismissed this idea out of their own senses of pride, it caused them to start thinking, “But what if the other one admitted it first?”

The general pattern of the show, and the campaign of psychological warfare between Kaguya and Miyuki establishes itself early and quickly:

-First, a situation arises in which either one realizes they could maneuver the other into making some confession of love.

-After that, they both get to scheming on how they could make it happen. Kaguya plays up an appearance of girlish innocence and naivete. Miyuki bluffs a posture of masculinity, either about using his powers as president or about his actual thoughts about Kaguya.

-And Then their well laid plans are totally derailed by Chika Fujiwara —

— their bubbly and energetic secretary, Kaguya’s longtime childhood friend, and the wild card who appears just when the other two are confident their strategies were going as intended, or find themselves at an impasse.

If love is truly war, then Chika is clearly the sudden discovery of the presence of landmines.

The opening credits kinda gave it away, really.

Now that all the players and pieces are on the field, and the tactics are revealed, the comedy of the show revolves around seeing which of those two will lose hardest (or cutest) in this courtship-based cold war analogy. Of course, whoever had gotten more and better outcomes out of any given scenario is said by the narrator to have “won the battle”. But the war rages on.

Theme or Analysis

The show’s framing of Kaguya and Miyuki’s interactions and psychological games against each other as battles, and the ridiculous and dramatic idea behind this show, thinly disguises a simple fact about the two. Much like the dignified public face they both put on, and even keep on to some degree for each other, its just covering the fact that these two are socially awkward dorks. Sure, in every other area of human interaction and socializing they’re pretty skilled and nimble. After all, being good communicators and personable or charming figures has plenty to do with why they are President and Vice President to start with. However, its the possibility of romantic affection between them that causes them to become rather abnormal. Though, as the show has it, whereas the main couple of the usual romance story would display their awkwardness by becoming physically clumsy, uncontrollably stammering, fidgeting, and blushing whenever they’re nearby their crush, those two apparent prodigies get to calculating their next move. Basically, they’re over-thinking this, except with coherent and determined results.

Although its not given much focus, throughout the anime, its shown that aspects of both of their family lives helped make them awkward about affection with the opposite sex.

Another element that fuels the barely hidden awkwardness, and a recurring theme between Kaguya and Miyuki’s relations and unnatural interactons, is their pride. While it drives them both to perfection and excellence in their activities and roles, and encourages them to keep up their appearance of maturity, it comes at the cost of their ability to be vulnerable with each other, be open with their feelings, and brings them to view their interactions as contests to begin with. This winds up creating a feedback loop. In which their pride leads to them being awkward, which leads to them generating some complex scheme to extract a love confession from the other, bouncing them back into more awkwardness, bringing them to cling harder to their pride, which leads to being totally derailed by Chika Fujiwara obliviously tripping into the situation again. Perhaps mercifully.

TL;DR: Two elite students in love with each other, use mental games to play each other into simply stating the painfully obvioius.

Oh, yeah, sure, You can attempt to analyze the show from a “Class Perspective”. But what sort of monster would want to, though?

Poetry Attempt #4:

I’m tired

Physically

Once again, I fell asleep at 4am and woke up at 9 – or was it 10? So

I’m tired

I wish a fist of bright, white light would strike my eye

Awake

I’m tired

My mind is muddled, while my shoulders and eyelids are heavy

and my back

it aches

I’m tired

Anime entertain me

With cute girls, funny guys, and bright colors

With 24 frames per second

I’m tired

I’ve tried coffee

Except I’m tolerant, So now it doesn’t work

Ah, shoot

Its afternoon, and

I’m tired

I stayed up again till 4:30

After drinking coffee, watching anime, and PC video games

Then woke up at 9

-ish

Oh God why am I like this

I’m so tired

Anime Post: NieA Under 7

Left to Right:
Niea and Mayuko

A slice-of-life story, about the day to day life of a young woman and the alien in her closet.

In the show, sometime in the 21st century, the Aliens have made landfall on Earth and left their mother ship. They look mostly human, with the exception of a couple of features. Such as elf-like ears, and a singular natural antenna on their heads, which are a sign of their social ranks. The exceptions to this are the “Under Sevens”, the lowest class who lack such antenna. While the arrival of these aliens initially caused some excitement, over some time it became unremarkable and normal. So normal in fact, that when one character wished to explain away a damaged roof to a repairman, she considered it less embarrassing to say a rampaging elephant did it, instead of just telling him it was from the alien going about building UFO’s in the house. Society simply carries on with less disorder or chaos than expected, even if the parties involved aren’t completely integrated into the others culture, and neither group can always understand each other.

The very first character the viewer is introduced to is a young woman named Mayuko Chigasaki. She lives in a small town called Enohana, right by a bathhouse that employs her, works two other part time jobs to scrape together money for food, and is studying at a “Cram School”in order to pass a college entry exam. Yet, she still has little idea what she’ll do with her future. Occasionally, at the end of her day, Mayuko writes down the details and thoughts of her day, like the personal lessons she learned, and her feelings around trying to live along side Niea.

Niea is the alien, and she isn’t really easy to live with. Hardly a day seems to go by where she’s not demanding food from Mayuko (gourmet no less), or collecting random metal scraps and junk in order to cobble together UFO’s out of them, or being either lazy or unhelpful. In fact, one other character compares her to a cat, taking a slightly more light-hearted view of her habits. Niea would also like to let you know that you’re being discriminatory and racist should you point out her general unhelpfulness, or her low status as an “Under Seven”, and that you owe her compensation for harming her pride and fragile alien feelings. Speaking of fragile alien feelings, its implied that Niea hides hers behind the silly and lazy exterior. In general, Niea’s personality stands in contrast to Mayuko, and sometimes winds up costing her roommate more than usual.

But, in spite of the tensions and difficulties involved in living together, and not always being sure of whats on the other’s mind, they still care for each other. Even when they don’t always and immediately show it.

When it comes to the alien coexistence with humanity, The show itself is much like the universe within it, in that it doesn’t make much of the fact of the relationship between humans and aliens. While one could derive the theme of Multiculturalism from it, that plays a minor role to Mayuko and Niea’s mundane relationship.

The deepest the show ventures into that concept, is when a frustrated Mayuko demands to know from Niea, how is it even possible for the alien-girl to live in such a lax and careless way all the time. In response, Niea points out the simplicity with which Mayuko could do this, live as an Under Seven like her, seeing that she doesn’t have an antenna.

Which brings us to the character the show is named after. A possible answer to why Niea acts the way she does might be, in a sense, a sort of racism. Now, this answer doesn’t reflect my usual explanation of character motivations, but hear me out: Due to her low status among members of her own species, and the fact that she’s an alien in the first place, she’s basically an outsider to just about all of society. If she went missing, she would not appear in the government registry of aliens, unlike her higher status fellows. Basically, this gives her rather little to look forward to in life, other than the people and basic pleasures around her. However, this also gives her very little to lose, and so no better way to spend her time than to do so ridiculously. Its better than the alternative of just despairing over it.

Seeing Niea’s apparent lack of worry and stress, some of the other characters see her life as enviable in some way. Because, in a way, she is free… Amusingly, though, it might just be easy for them to say that. Since, unlike Mayuko, they don’t live with her.

TL;DR: A striving and conscientious human girl shares a living arrangement with a goofy and cheeky alien girl. Yet, things are not bad, really.

Note: If you ever manage to see this show, skip the opening song. Your ears and musical tastes might just thank you. Also, this show was created by the same guys who worked on Serial Experiments Lain.

Anime Post: Kyousougiga

Left to Right: Karuma, Yase, Lady Koto, Koto the Younger, Myoue “Inari”, and Yakushimaru.

A wild story about an unusual family.

The first scene of the show begins with a man reciting a poem to his daughter about a place from his memories, and gifting her with a strange and electric marble.

The focus and setting then shifts to a priest named Myoue, who was living his life in the medieval Japanese Capital Kyoto. He had the power to make drawings that came to life, an ability which his fellow townsmen found disturbing, made him the subject of rumors, and had earned him terrifying reputation. So eventually, he moved into the Japanese country-side to live alone with his dog. However, while he thought he was alone, he was being watched by a black rabbit that he drew one day, named Koto, who found herself admiring him.

One day, Myoue was surprised to find a woman in his house, even more surprised to learn that it was Koto turned human, and was completely baffled and stunned when her answers to his questions about this sudden change was her impassioned declaration of love.

Man, I just love this clip.

In time, the priest came to love her back. Soon after they welcomed three strange children to the strange family they formed: The inventor-monk Karuma, the monster sister Yase, and Yakushimaru the human boy. Later, the family had moved into a new and paradise-like home; a mirror image of Kyoto that was in a picture drawn by Myoue, who made it for Koto, and which was governed by them both. But, things couldn’t stay perfect forever. Bad dreams had convinced the parents that their continued presence in this mirror Kyoto was dangerous. As a result, they left the city, and their devastated children stayed behind in it.

Years later, after the children had all grown up and taken responsibilities in ruling Mirror Kyoto, a girl who might be their youngest sister had smashed into their reality, wielding a strange mallet, and claiming to be on the search for a black rabbit.

Themes

Kyousougiga is a show driven by the major theme of familial love and its complications. Other related themes, such as abandonment and self worth, as well the idea of obligation to family, play their part.

Within the setting of the show, Like in any family, however each odd member came into it, the affection thats had between each member is something that gradually and quietly establishes itself, as they simply get used to each other. It persists without some awe-inspiring symbolic token being necessary to continuing it. Its felt between the siblings for each other, between the children and parents, and between husband and wife, just for being there and spending time with each other, season after season. They are there together, with their different personalities, interests, and habits, and it simply is.

The show unfolds some of its plot by switching between the present and the past of some of the individual characters, in order to explain how the family bonds became complicated. And, the hard line which winds up dividing between the happy, simple, and bright old days, and the strained relationships of the current day is collective trauma. Trauma based off of what was basically parental abandonment.

The children naturally seek to cope with the unwelcome change of their parents exit. So they throw themselves into various schemes and activities, which relate to their interests and deepest wishes. Such as researching ways to cross dimensions, surrounding oneself with monster servants and hoarding nostalgic objects, and holding on to their father’s personal items, while holding out a hope of their parents return, which seems more improbable as time drags on. However, by this point, the differences between each other that each sibling would’ve been more likely to overlook when their parents were there, become sharper and more obvious now that they’re on their own. Making things more difficult, simply because they find dealing with each other irritating.

Their familial relationship, as it is, also seems to come with further downsides that make themselves known with their failures to cope. In that, to some minor degree, members of the family appear to take each other for granted at times. Do the characters — whether they be sibling or parent and child or husband and wife — do this because they hate their family, or think less or them? No, but because they’re family and expected to be there, they sometimes don’t afford full consideration to each other. Each of the characters, at one point or another, complains about the failure of some other in noticing that character’s emotional wounds and suffering. During the show, one sibling ignores the wishes of the other, without apology, in the name of accomplishing a greater good. They saddle another with their expectations and hopes, leaving the one being saddled with less of a chance to handle their own inner conflicts. Then theres some simple, but general, shifting of responsibility, which ends up burdening the other family member with a greater share of the problems of the day.

The worst example of this taking for granted involved one character and a severe failure to communicate, based on the assumption that the others wouldn’t understand what he wanted or grasp his problems. Yet, at important moments in the plot, he chose to profoundly affect the lives of everyone else. Simply expecting the rest of the family to play along for their seeming benefit, he tried to justify what appeared to be purely selfish and destructive behavior in the eyes of those who couldn’t have known what he really wanted or needed. Of course, This mixture of fostered misunderstanding and failure to actually account for others, resulted in his deeper personal troubles bringing pain upon the ones he claimed were “his world”.

However, some of the problems that affect the family didn’t emerge out of the trauma, but existed before the first blow against stability was even struck. Again, the theme of abandonment and lack of self-worth — with one feeding into the other — instigate large parts of the plot. Two characters in the show quiet simply only live out a sense of obligation, but otherwise feel no reason to live beyond that purpose. Afterwards, in fact, they desired to end their lives, since they believed it pretty much held no other meaning besides the responsibility they were given, or assumed they were given. Since they were so affected by their inability to see themselves as having value, what hadn’t occurred to the two was that the point of their lives with family wasn’t really to make good on some special end assigned to them, but to simply participate in it. Familial love was a simpler gesture than what they first believed it was, and existing for that was enough of a purpose to live for. As one character asks, while the other bemoans the thought that he’s useless, “Whats wrong with just being here?”

TL;DR: A broken family gets itself back together again, by slightly more careful thought about others perspective and feelings, accepting that ones life isn’t really worthless, and a realization that one doesn’t have to be that special to be appreciated by family.

Anime Post: Steins;Gate

Left to Right: Mayuri, a little sister figure and team “heart”. Okabe, the “leader” and self proclaimed Mad Scientist. Finally, Daru, the super-hacker.

A show about a little group of odd balls, LARPing as resistance fighters against a sinister organization called… CERN.

Said group of odd balls consist of the “Mad scientist” Okabe, his young best friend who pretends to be his “hostage” named Mayuri, a rather crude humored computer nerd nicknamed Daru. They call themselves Future Gadgets Lab. They’re soon joined by a girl named Kurisu, an American neuro-science researcher, who recently became interested in the possibility of time travel, and had her lecture disrupted by an attending, rowdy Okabe. They decide to focus on discovering time travel after encountering the Urban legend John Titor (look it up) in an online AMA (ask me anything) session. Somehow, Future Gadgets Lab pioneering attempt at time travel is accomplished using a microwave, a couple of cellphones, and a Banana. Of course they’ll use it to mess with time. This is a time travel story, so why not. And of course the consequences are awful. Again, This is a time travel story. Who doesn’t expect that to happen?

While they may not have known or expected it, Future Gadgets Lab temporal dalliances draws the attention of CERN, who turned out to be real and the sort of evil organization Okabe always pretended it was. The running theme at this point of the story and onward is pain. Since, Kurisu is more well read when it comes to time travel, she is able to help Okabe. Kurisu and Okabe get to know each other well enough that, even though she herself doesn’t remember much through different timelines, she is able to help, such that Okabe isn’t so helpless and alone in his maddening mission.

TL;DR: The Guy Who Texts Through Time With More Tragic Results. Love Helps Break The Cycle.

This used to be a dating sim. I totally never played it though…

Anime Post: Please Tell me, Galko-chan

Left to right: Galko, Otako, and Ojou

A short show about a trio high school girls, who each represent different cliques in manner and appearance, just being friends and high school girls with each other. Each of the 12 episode series is like 7 mins long. The episodes usually start with, or themed by, a rather crude or silly question, of the kind some young people might ask a friend when curious about anatomy or… intimate activity.

The series often features rather suggestive conversations and inquiries between the characters in almost every episode. However, since the main characters are girls, this “crudeness” can be occasionally excused as straight-forward talk. It may not be true that girls always talk about their menstrual cycles and related issues, but I have once or twice noticed it appearing in conversations between young women (don’t ask). But, that’s an aside. I wouldn’t post about this series if it didn’t have a redeeming quality.

While the three main characters look like stereotypes, the series is about them, and some others, not being exactly what they look like. For example theres Galko, who looks like a “Gyaru” or the Japanese equivalent of a valley girl or diva, and who most people expect to be, frankly, a “bimbo”. But in spite of the stereotypical appearance, she’s a generally thoughtful and helpful person, and her dream is to become a mother one day. Then theres Otako, whose name is a pun on Otaku, which is a term for a sort of “nerd” or obsessive, usually of anime and manga, although that can apply to other things. But shes more social and sarcastic than her geeky habits and diminutive physique suggest, and realizes that there things to be geeky about besides anime and manga. Last in the trio is Ojou, who’s name pretty much means “Young lady”, with connotations of nobility. Despite coming from a wealthy family and being an honor student, counter to being the haughty or calculating person as one might expect her to be, she rather sweetly naive and absentminded. And somehow, these personalities became friends.

TL;DR: Girls from different clique groups, who become unlikely friends. But only by not playing their cliches straight.

Racism Theories: Part 3: On the Jews

You’ve probably heard the accusation before laid by conspiracy theorists, that the Jews control the banks, the media, and parts of government. And that this  cabal of Jews frequently use these institutions and businesses for evil or self interested ends. Should one attempt to be skeptical by asserting that theres no proof of that, if not totally dismissing it as false, the theorists may have surprised one with the fact that numerous figures and members of these areas of society are Jewish, or have Jewish ancestry.

Here is an element of truth to what they say: There really is an unusual – that is, disproportionate to their population in a given place – number of Jewish people, or those with Jewish ancestry in (Western) government, banking, and media. However, the full story and truth behind that reality isn’t what the hostile or “Jewish Cabal” theorists would like for others to believe it is. Admittedly, though, it has some relationship with the rise of capitalism.

Some centuries back, Western and Central European government, economy, and society was Feudal and Catholic. Most people lived off the land and worked for their lords, or noble rulers, in villages or allotments. For the average person, most exchanges were local and barter based, so currency was often not much of a factor for such people. Cities were where more specialized work such as crafting, shop keeping, various services, accounting, and trading took place.  However, taxes, or tithe, and rents were everyone’s problem. Outside of most of that system, and under the special custody of the Catholic Church, were the Jews, Who were more literate than some other common groups. Conditions like this were a result of their contemporary religious practices, and a previous history that had destroyed their former specialized religious organization. Since Jews couldn’t really deal in land, because doing so involved pledges to Christian lords, they mostly stayed in the cities or some went into trading and traveling merchantry. For similar reasons, they were also prevented from being part of a majority of work groups and crafts (glassmaking was one out of a few exceptions). So there was little else for them to do except careers which were deemed either unusual, trivial, over specific, for-hire, or insecure.

Now, a curious fact exists about Abrahamic religious groups and obligations in  social and economic relationships. In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam it is often agreed that you cannot charge interests on loans to believing fellows. So, what does an entrepreneuring (or greedy) person do when their faith and relationships obligate them to not charge interests on loans to fellows? Get an outsider to do it with, of course. Christian nobles consequently tended to recruit Jews for things like lending, collecting, and handling money and goods owed to nobles. So there you have it: A rather literate group of urban-dwelling people are made to do tasks that few think are important or normal.

Of course, At some point in European history the Black plague had appeared. After the plague had destabilized and ravaged most of the Feudal society,  Capitalism had begun to develop from the ashes. Starting from the cities as the dominant economic center, it wound up undoing even more of the usual previous Feudal relationships. As a result, things like accounting, money-lending, and tax collecting became more important and beneficial than ever before, and the business of banking became ubiquitous. And Jewish people, who were in the right place at the right time, because they were forced to be there for most of their post-diaspora history in Europe, came to be more represented than average in these career areas, and later a few others. More resentment against Jews also followed these developments.

Something similar occurred in Uganda to Asian and Indian shop-keeps, with the arrival of Idi Amin, and his drive to revive a traditional society.

As for the conspiracy theories, Big businesses don’t need a Jewish Conspiracy animating them to enact deleterious, yet highly profitable, policies. Neither does government and media for that matter. No conspiracy theory of a Jewish  hidden agenda is really needed to understand why some powerful people might do the things they do. They can do bad on their own. In fact, they have.

It is at this point that I think that what happened to the Jews for the better part of a thousand years was basically an old, crude form of Identity Politics. Sure, Jews became important to these institutions and businesses and areas of industry, but not every Jewish person was lucky. Yet, all the Jews were all somehow considered evil people because of the achievements of some of their number. And, the base of such an idea is basically resentment.

Anime Post: Paranoia Agent


The show begins with a timid and quiet artist named Tsukiko Sagi. After the wild market success of her first creation, a pink plush-like dog character called Maromi, Tsukiko had come under deadline pressures from her publishers to create some new cute mascot. One night, on her way home from work, she’s physically assaulted. When she’s interviewed about it by investigators, Tsukiko tells them that the beating was done by a young boy on inline skates, who had struck her with a golden bat. After the assault on the well known artist and this description of her attacker had made national news, the delinquent suspect was given the nickname “Li’l Slugger”. What follows is madness, as similar incidents occur everywhere and grow in violent intensity. At the same time, a cute and soothing TV show involving the artist’s previous mascot, Maromi, experiences a strange and manic growth in demand. If that show-within-the-show’s message could be summed up, it would be, “Don’t worry about it!” 😃.

The general theme of Paranoia Agent is something like anti-escapism, or dealing with reality. Anime, and some of the culture around it (such as the adulation of Cute Things), has earned itself a bit of bad press as enabling people to not deal with reality or grow up. By extension, some see its popularity, and the kinds of content it has to offer, as a sign of a culture that refuses to grow up, such that they feel a need to soften reality by coating it with anime and cute things. Whatever that means, really. At least, this was the perspective supposedly attributable to Satoshi Kon, the shows creator. Some have taken to referring to the show as an “anti-anime” because of this core attitude of the show. That isn’t to say that the author thinks reality is necessarily nice or good. If anything, for most of the characters in Paranoia Agent, reality is rather awful. But it needs to be dealt with anyway, because the alternative is even less healthy. What closely follows a refusal to deal with reality or grow up, is a seeming refusal to take responsibility for their lives.

Tldr: A commercial artist inadvertently starts a hysteria.

Random Thought on… The Simulation Hypothesis

Okay, I might not a be physicist, and my degree in Philosophy might not reflect how much of the material I’ve retained, but I have a bit of a bone to pick with the idea that we’re in a simulation. According to some theorists, the only way to possibly prove and falsify the argument is to see if its possible to create equally realistic simulations within the context of this one. If its not possible to do so, then we likely exist in a lower tier of artificial reality, perhaps even the lowest one. But, If it is possible to create a simulated reality of equal quality to our own, then its supposedly a certainty that we live in a middle layer of the set of programs, if not genuine reality. How far we are from the very bottom layer of the total levels of simulations can possibly be determined by creating lower simulated universes, and probing deeper into those simulated realities nested in there, until the limit of processing capabilities is reached and can’t sustain better resolution or quality. After all, every computer or machine has finite power and material to work with.

Here’s the issue: This is hardly distinguishable from being the “Brain-In-A-Jar”. Also, definite solutions to the Hard Problem of Consciousness have yet to be generated, which implies that the matter of how we know that we are conscious is still rather unclear to us. Factual things may not require an argument to exist, but knowledge of them are hard to accept as true without proof or logical examination. As a result, its difficult to know if, of all things, other conscious beings exist to begin with, through whom its possible to confirm that reality is not subjective. Their being in a simulation implies being simulated and part of the program function, equally as much as you might be. So, within a simulated world, not only is ones reality is subject to control by a higher layer, but that control also extends to a simulated consciousness’s perception of reality. Should one attempt to investigate their position among layers of forged realities, it would probably not be necessary for the machine to actually maintain lower nested simulations, but merely give off that impression to the observer below them. Assuming you were that lower level observer, as far as you would be able to notice you’ll just keep looking scrolling down infinitely, and be none the wiser to the fact that the simulations deeper and further in are themselves part of your simulation. This operation doesn’t even have to go on forever, because over the course of your search and continual descent you’ll stop eventually. Perhaps the task could be left up to your fellows. However, as previously written, not only is it not certain that they’re conscious, its only apparent that they’re a participant in a reality that may or may not be non-artificial, and so merely part of the program. So theres little reason to rely on their answers as true, whether they claim theres a bottom reality or not. Under those conditions, one may as well be an isolated consciousness, who’s experiences and perceptions are provided to and foisted on them by some odd machinery. Which is the basic description of a Brain in a Jar.