This one was a weird one to write. My brain immediately latched onto the philosopher-dreaming-he’s-a-butterfly angle when I saw this clip, and that was the only way I even tried to approach writing the strip. In my first attempt , the butterfly had the identity crisis and the computer was a Vulcan-like voice of reason. This ended in a feeble jab at emulation software failing to properly capture the real “feel” of what it’s emulating due to speed differences and the lack of original peripherals (by way of USB flowers.) It was far more convoluted than funny. I flipped positions, made the butterfly a wiseass, and ended up with a long conversation with some funny moments but which I ultimately ended in yet another feeble jab at emulation software. I trimmed the crap out of it, replaced the ending with an ELIZA reference, and I’m pretty sure it sucks less now.
Incidentally, my first experience with ELIZA was at the Museum of Science and Technology in Ottawa, Ontario when I was probably 9-10 years old. I was blown away by the idea of a interacting with a computer conversationally, and over the years made many attempts to do something similar, with varying degrees of success (all quite low, though I did eventually write a couple of reasonably-amusing text adventures.) The day, years later, when I bought my first Sound Blaster and realized it had come with Dr. SBaitso was a day of much happy time-wasting reminiscence.