Blade Runner: first 5 chapters

pucefakeAI and Robotics

Nov 30, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Blade Runner: first 5 chapters


Chapter 1:


What does Deckard’s relationship with his wife
show us about his character?


How are humans’ relationships with animals
strange?


Does this relationship differ from that with
other humans?


How do empathy, the empathy box and
Mercerism figure into human relationships?


Chapter 2


What has happened to earth?


What is an andy? Organic? Robotic?


What is their social status?


What is a chickenhead? What is their social
status?

Chapter 4


What is the problem with the Voight
-
Kampf
test?


How are psychotics and androids similar?


In this respect, how does Rachel Rosen
point to an irony in Deckard’s personality?

Chapter 5


What do we find out about Rachel?


How is it presented as significant, by Mr.
Rosen?


What, if anything, does Deckard’s
interaction with the Rosens show us about
the Rosen Corporation?


(It’s like an entity, has a personality type,
according to Deckard,
which leads us to...
)

Wiener, cybernetics, and its
dangers


What is cybernetics?


(it’s the study of computing, robotics, and other
self
-
directing devices)


What are Wiener’s fears?


How does the opening of Dick’s novel
reflect those fears?

Chapter 6


What is kipple?


Who is Buster Friendly?


What do you think of Isidore’s interaction
with Priss?


Do either of them exhibit empathy?


Does Isidore seem mentally disabled?


Does Isidore’s discussion (p. 58) of the
empathy box reveal anything about “non
-
special” humans?

Chapter 7


What do we discover about Buster Friendly and
Mercer in this chapter?


Pp.’s 61, 64
-
65


What is notable about the cat and fake cat on pp.
68
-
69?


How does this relate to the issue chickenheads?


Aside from a childlike innocence, are there really
differences between chickenheads and normals?
(p.73)

Chapter 8


Rick says (p. 83) that nobody can handle the
new androids but him. Is this significant?


Think of the movie

Chapter 9


In what ways is Luba Luft different from other
androids?


Possible answers: Intelligence, will to live, ability
to undermine the Voight
-
Kampf, desire for
empathy (if not the power)


To what does Rick attribute the possibility that
Luba thinks she’s human?


Answer: To false memories. Why is this issue of
false memories important? Think of Deckard.

Chapter 10


What things are unusual about the police in
the Department that Phil Resch works in?


they’re androids; they work in a closed
system, which is fake.

Chapter 11


On the first page of the chapter, Garland says that
he had an “intuition” about Deckard: Does this
seem odd? Why?


Answer:Garland’s an android
--
they’re not
supposed to operate like that, are they?


What do we discover about Resch (via Garland)?


What about the idea that Polokov was an
advanced,
undetectable

andy? Does that have
broader implications for others?

Chapter 12


Why do you think Deckard buys the Munch
painting called
Puberty

for Luba?


Why do you think he burns it after she’s
dead, and then says he wants to quit (119)?


What do you make of Resch and Deckard’s
discussion of these things on pp. 120
-
21?

Chapter 12 (continued)


Phil Resch passes the Voight
-
Kampf; but
we never see the test? Do you think there’s
a reason Dick doesn’t show Deckard giving
it to Resch?


In this connection, what do you think of
Resch’s question: “Do you have your ideology
framed that would explain me as part of the
human race?”(123)? Also see 126.

(More)


Do you think this might have something to
do with what Rachel reveals on page 166?
That the corporation is working toward
making andys that are indistinguishable
from humans?


If this is so, if making another species of
human is implicitly sanctioned, why bother
killing androids at all? Or is it sanctioned?

Chapter 12 (more)


Could the Rosen Corp. itself be controlled
by androids? Or might it be, on the other
hand, as Deckard thinks in chapter 5, an
collective, hive
-
like life form? Or both?


See 174
-
75.

Chapter 13


Do you think there’s any significance to
Pris’s statement (131) that the andys left
Mars because it was lonely?

Chapter 14


Notice how Irmgard depicts bounty hunters
to himself (139)? How might this be
significant?

Chapter 15


note that Rick says he has gained empathy
for androids (152
-
53). Do you think this is
significant in any way?

Chapter 16


Notice that Rick’s thoughts reveal to us that
androids are programmed to lack empathy;
also that humans are, to some degree
programmed (162
-
63). So where do we
draw the line between “us” and “them”?


Are “they” just a reflection of what
“humans” are, but the difference is that (we)
humans are blind to our lack of humanity?
(See Rachel’s thoughts on bottom of 165.)

Chapter 17


Or is it that we must have an alternate, or
enemy “other” by which to identify
ourselves (a la Hegel)? See page 180.


In this connection, notice that the androids
treat the spider they find with similar
coldness to the way humans treat them.

End chapters


what do you make of the fact that after
Deckard has a “merging” with Mercer and
dreams of having rocks thrown at him, he
awakens to find that his cheek is bloody?


What about the exchange between his
secretary and him about the death of his
goat (both on 206)?