Simon is wondering about intelligence itself. He wonders if there is some undeniable intelligence that is somehow independent of the individual brain, a sensibleness inherent in reality that can be accessed. The individual brain can argue intelligently about anything and can find logical streams of thought that suggest that it doesn’t even exist and nor does anything. If that argument is water-tight then the individual is stuck and can, Simon wonders, only find an exit by a reference to the fact that this argument is in itself not useful. To do that there is a zooming out of the argument to a sort of external intelligence that says the argument is unintelligent. Yet we know it is not unintelligent and that it has progressed with reason. Perhaps then, intelligence has a context behind it- when we are true to the context of continuing our survival, arguments about whether we exist are a threat to that very existence and must be degraded to unintelligence and cast out. When our context is related to the enjoyment of intellectual journeys we are more likely to arrive at a conclusion that we don’t exist and that conclusion will be deemed true. So if intelligence is so flexible is there such a thing as truth? or, rather more importantly, are hedgehogs capable of sarcasm?
Now, bear in mind that Simon had spent 3 years interacting with people whom he virtually hated. His job prospects had dwindled from van driving, semi-skilled labouring and occasional harvest help to temporary unskilled zero-contract work in either of the two chicken factories that were in walking distance. He had moved into a bedsit that mysteriously gathered a blanket of thick fog in the mornings, and he had no friends. After jogging round the neighbourhood each day he spent several solid hours on his bed in a state of intense wondering about his life, the story behind the inner story. On top of that was a gathering and unwelcome sense that he had no control over his experience, that perhaps he was just a character in a computer game, that there were invisible processes behind all apparent autonomous self-directed action. Finally, there was the disturbing issue of a hedgehog outside his window that seemed to be quietly judging him, so as an exasperated American movie star might plead, what say you cut him some slack, eh?