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Is Your Candidate Human?
In the film Bladerunner, organic androids called replicants have escaped onto the planet Earth. They are almost exactly the same as human beings.
Have you ever wondered whether or not your political candidates are really human? Well, in San Francisco they wonder about things like that. The Wave magazine recently ran an article purporting to be a field guide for testing to see if San Francisco mayoral candidates were human or not. The goal of the test - to answer this question:
Is a particular candidate human or an insidious replicant, possessed of physical strength and computational abilities far exceeding our own, but lacking empathy and possibly even bent on our destruction as a species?
Wisely, they chose the only test that can be applied to distinguish a replicant from a human being; namely, the Voight-Kampff empathy test.
(From Harrison Ford Gives The Test)
They asked the classic list of questions, each looking for an emotional reaction to the implied death of a living animal. My personal favorite candidate's answer to the question "It's your birthday. Someone gives you a calfskin wallet. How do you react?" His response: I'd look for money.
I'm not sure if they detected a replicant, but I'm pretty sure they detected a politician.
The film Bladerunner is of course based on Philip K. Dick's marvelous 1968 novel Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?; see the article at The Wave Magazine.
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