Friday, 12 January 2007


What is an android?

If you strip away the pseudo-scientific gobbledegook, and come to the realisation that androids not only don't exist, but have nothing to do with science, what are you left with?


Androids are a literary device - a personification (possibly the ultimate personification).

Which brings us to the question, what do they personify?

Dick seems to have taken the idea of a force, let us call it intellect - although I am not happy with that - and given it as the major component of android persona. Because it is a full personification and not a simple representation, the android needs to be given a much more rounded character - so cruelty is thrown in, and ambition; there is a lust for power and even sexual satisfaction.

But, as with all personification, it is an abstraction - anything more would take the android into full humanity.

The point of personification might be to bring similarities to the fore - but the device doesn't work unless there is a significant difference - we love to admire the cleverness of the authors wit in bringing the sweet and the sour together.

Interesting that the question, 'What makes us human?' comes to mind: Should we be asking, 'What stops the androids from breaking out of the mould of personification?'

(Sorry, double excess - espresso and leisure time.)

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