Saturday, April 7, 2012

Do Sociopaths Dream They're Androids?

Submitted by Gary

Herewith are the ten questions asked while utilizing the Voight-Kampff machine on a subject. It’s from the film Blade Runner based on Philip K. Dick’s classic novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? A forewarning, like in the movie, things might not be what they seem -- and a tip of my hat to Jon Ronson’s book, The Psychopathic Test as well. I might have changed or added some to the questions Rick Deckard asks suspected androids who like a sociopaths, these replicants are said to lack the comprehension of empathy.

"I'm not a peace officer," Rick said. "I'm a bounty hunter." From his opened briefcase he fished out the Voight-Kampff apparatus, seated himself at a nearby rosewood coffee table, and began to assemble the rather simple polygraphic instruments...

"This" -- he held up the flat adhesive disk with its trailing wires -- "measures capillary dilation in the facial area. We know this to be a primary autonomic response...This records fluctuations of tension within the eye muscles.”

1. It’s your birthday. Someone gives you a calfskin wallet. But would you prefer rattlesnake skin?

2. You’ve got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar. What do you do?

3. You’re watching television. Suddenly you realize there’s a wasp crawling on your arm. Do you try to squash it or flick it away?

4. You’re in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, Tony, it’s crawling toward you. You reach down and flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can’t, not without your help. But you’re not helping. Why is that?

5. Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind about your mother.

6. In a magazine you come across a full-page photo of a nude girl. Are you envious or sad?

7. You show the picture to your significant other. They like it and hang it on the wall. The girl is lying on a bearskin rug. Are you angry?

8. You become pregnant by a man who runs off with your best friend. What do you do? Or what if you’re the man who ran off?

9. You're watching an old movie. It shows a banquet in progress, the guests are enjoying raw oysters. The entree consists of boiled dog stuffed with rice. The raw oysters are less acceptable to you than a dish of boiled dog.

10. What’s worse, a serial killer who takes individual lives or a Wall Street manipulator who destroys many jobs and livelihoods?


JJ said...

Gary, you're evil! This is the first list of questions I've ever encountered that might give me nightmares. Might also give me grist for material...

lil Gluckstern said...

I would love to see some of the responses to this test-it's gruesome.

Gary Phillips said...

Yeah, it is kind of sobering to think about your own answers to the Voight-Kampff test.