-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Mon, 31 Jan 2000 20:05:41 -0800


At 20:13 1/30/2000 -0800, you wrote:
>
>>Same thing. The basis for all Man Vs Machine stories has no machine in it
>>at all. It's Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN. Man overreaches
>>himself and trespasses in the realm of God, only to be brought down by his
>>own creation, which carries the divine spark of life but not a soul.
>
>I dunno about that... what you see in Bladerunner definitely had plenty of
>soul to spare, yet they were man's creation and far from being Frankenstein.

In Blade Runner, it's Man Vs Himself, complicated by two questions:

What is Truth?

What is a Man that thou art mindful of him?

Philip K. Dick's stories always center on the philosophical question of
what we know and how we know it. Reality, he says, is subjective and
personal identity is a function of experience and memory. Of those two,
memory is the more important, because our perception and recollection
colors our experience. Two witnesses to the same event have two completely
different experiences of it and, over time, their memory of it changes
their perception of it.

Is Decker a human hunting Replicants or a Replicant, programmed to think
that he is human, set to hunt Replicants because he (of course) thinks they
same way that they do?

According to Dick, a machine that thinks like a man is, for all intents and
purposes, a man. And a man who thinks like a machine may indeed become one.

In old Manchuria lived a Prince
Who rested on a throne of gold,
And dreamt he was a butterfly
With silken wings both bright and bold,
That flew out over spring-green hills
Until at last it came to rest,
And dreamt it was a Manchu prince
Asleep beneath his golden crest,
Who dreamt he was a butterfly ... hai!
Which is truth and which is dreams?
Is Manchu man or butterfly
Or any semblance what it seems?

-Z-

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