eloquently, is a natural extension of the body, not an isolatedcomputer sitting on your neck. True, but this "embodiment" plusvisceral and proprioceptive inputs can also be simulated. Second,what if the vat isn't well maintained? What if it falls down andcrashes? This could happen, but such an accident can also happento the real you. Third, the simulation of Einstein and Gates (andeveryone else) can never be exact. This might be true, but it's notrelevant. So what if the simulation is only 98% correct? Your ownbrain fluctuations from year to year are probably as great, if notgreater.If you think this scenario is farfetched just look at what's going onaround you in the world; Cell phones, iPods, Palm Pilots, theworldwide web, email, blogs, e-publishing, and virtual reality. We areall slowly and imperceptibly approaching the brain in the vat scenariowhere all functions will be literally at your fingertips as you becomedissolved in cyberspace.What about "culture"? I think of homo sapiens as "the cultured ape"because it is cultural diversity above all that defines us as a species.Through the emergence and further elaboration of a group of neuronscalled "mirror neurons" our brains have become symbiotic, or parasitic, with culture (a child raised in a cave would not berecognizably human.) Can we simulate cultural sophistication in thevat? Will the world in the 25th century be hundreds of warehouseswith thousands of brains in rows and rows of vats? They could evenall be identical to each other to save time and effort programming.Why not? No one brain would know it was the same as every other.Iaccomo Rizzolati and Vittorio Gallasse discovered mirror neurons.They found that neurons in the ventral premotor area of macaquemonkeys will fire anytime a monkey performs a complex action suchas reaching for a peanut, pulling a lever, pushing a door, etc.(different neurons fire for different actions). Most of these neuronscontrol motor skill (originally discovered by Vernon Mountcastle in the60's), but a subset of them, the Italians found, will fire even when themonkey watches another monkey perform the same action. Inessence, the neuron is part of a network that allows you to see theworld "from the other persons point of view," hence the name “mirror neuron."