So I am sorry I haven’t exactly been blogging about writing, but RL hit me hard and all writing went out the window, it happens. But now I am back to a place where I can contemplate writing again.
So as I said in a vlog – ages ago! I have been struggling with this space horror story, and while I am dead sure of the setting, I am not quite sure what the major plot points should be, but one thing I know is that it has to be about mass disappearances and androids.
This leads me to androids, they have fascinated me and creeped me out since I first time as kid watched Blade Runner. The idea that artificial intelligence, created by man, made of code and wires – can appear just as human as you and I… well is scary. Not rise of the machines scary, but something worth giving thought.
I wrote plenty fanfiction with androids, both some where they weren’t human and knew it and suffered as a result – much like Pinocchio who just wanted to be a real boy. And some where they weren’t aware until it’s revealed to them via science. So I spent plenty time digging into what makes us human, and is an android life? what if it has the ability to care, does caring make them human? is empathy solely reserved for mammals? If a machine looks at a painting, does it understand the emotion, or does it repeat what they are told about said painting?
In other words, does androids know how to feel, and if so would they know how to create and think outside the box? And if they know how to feel and create, how does their moral compass then fit into all this? Is it there because a human made the codes? so no matter if the android had emotions, it was because said emotions were coded – and nothing new could be taught which is outside the code.
And that takes us back to what does it mean to be human.
Humans can be devoid of emotions, humans can dissociate so much that what other people consider as norm, no longer applies to the individual. Take a psychopath for instance, they lack empathy and insight in other people. They use people for personal gain, though they can strike up friendships and partnerships, then it never goes deeper than the individuals personal needs. it’s what you represent or mean to them, or what you can do for them – not because they love you, they love the idea of you. Now sympathy is something completely different, a psychopath can have sympathy, they can feel bad for you if you break your leg, or lose your family fortune – but then again it comes from their ego, it springs from ‘if it was me, i would want X to do X’ – so not empathy or insight, but a personal need with the individual.
How is an android different, they would in theory be able to get you up if you fell down, and apply medical attention for example. they would recognize that you were in pain from a set of parameters, and seek to relieve that pain. So is it because they want to see you free of pain? Is it because it’s morally and ethically correct to aid someone in pain – perhaps.
There are many, many different takes on androids, and my favorite is like Rachel from Blade Runner, the android that doesn’t know what she is, and has been implanted with fake memories to make the illusion complete.
But the creepy, crazy android like David from Alien is absolutely amazing as well, the android that knows what he is, but has so much refined knowledge on the collective human pool of art and wisdom – but lacks the empathy to understand it, again a painting without emotion is just a painting, but with emotion it is an experience. I find it absolutely fascinating, the thought of an individual with that much intellect, but no emotion – which leads me back to the psychopath. Does it really differ that much?
And then there are androids like the Terminator, which just sets to the task it’s given and will never stop and never rest. These ones are creepy for other reasons, personally I never cared for the Terminator movies, but imagine for instance, that the world ended, and the androids kept going at making uhm.. cereal because that was the task given to them, they would continue their routine till they ran out – maybe even stopping to have human interaction because it was coded.