For the last few days I’ve spent some time watching a handful of interviews with a couple of the authors we’ve recently been working with. I’ve picked out a few that I’d like to go over and mold together into a review. I find both the authors interviewed (William Gibson and Philip K Dick) to be extremely interesting. The interviews themselves I found to be entertaining regardless of relevance to our class, however, I think they may also shed some light on some of the things we’ve been discussing or perhaps just open some whole new topics of conversation.
This first interview is with PKD and about halfway through it takes a turn and starts to focus on Bladerunner, as the interview’s title would suggest, and what PKD thought of it. However, the beginning, in which Dick is talking about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, I found to be the best part. We’ve discussed in class the relationships between humans and androids within the novel and I was very interested in how Dick saw the androids that he created as real people. He didn’t envision the androids as technological progress running rampant. Rather, he used them as a metaphor for real humans that behaved in a non-human psychological way. His inspiration for this came from Nazis that he found to be so lacking of appropriate affect that he didn’t believe they could be classified as human.
I was also interested in the way Dick describes the bounty hunter’s job. I think we may have touched on this subject a bit in class, but Dick explicitly states here that he wanted to explore the effect that Deckard’s job would have on him. Does killing a bad person make you a bad person too? In an attempt to save the world from a population of wickedly inhuman individuals, is the wickedness passed on? Can you go through with this process without dehumanizing yourself?
That was a lot of questions that I threw around there so I’ll just give one more note on the PKD interview before I move on. As far as the actual talk on Bladerunner went I really liked how Dick focused on how much information is thrown at the viewer in the movie. This is precisely what we were talking about when likening Bladerunner to Neuromancer.
So this next interview is with Gibson and seems to align pretty well with some of the stuff that we’ve talked about in class. One of the things I liked most was his explanation concerning his coinage of “cyberspace.” He describes his inspiration coming from watching children playing video games. He saw a large structure with a tiny screen on it that kids stared at and he was fascinated by the way they were totally captivated by it. This led to his realization that they actually wanted to be on the other side; they wanted to be inside the game. This description makes me think of the way our society is becoming more and more intertwined with technology and the way we’re linking on various levels with cyberspace.
I was also fascinated with Gibson’s view on solitude. 30 years ago, he says, people were walking down the street and they were completely alone. Now, everybody walking down the street is talking or texting. They’re communicating with someone else, whether they are physically with them or not. Solitude does not exist in the same way that it did 30 years ago. I’m not sure what this means for society but I do find it very interesting, as I do with this entire interview as well.
This video is a little bonus to add on at the end of my main review. This is PKD describing us living in a false reality. He’s literally describing the matrix (with déjà vu signaling a change in the system and everything). The speech is a little choppy with the jumps it makes (not sure if there is a full one out there) but very interesting nonetheless.