Month: September 2015

Thinking, Hard and Soft

Image: Roy Batty, as played by Rutger Hauer after the “Tears in Rain” monologue in Blade Runner Excerpted from Thinking, Hard and Soft The 1982 film Blade Runner is set in 2019 and features an eclectic mix of hardware and software. The hardware is spectacular.  There are flying cars and spaceships and almost-perfect robots. Roy Batty, a renegade “replicant”, is a Nexus-6 model artificial human. He is a beautiful specimen, perfectly built, resistant to pain. But he has a software (or hardware?) problem. He is “built not to last”. Replicants are designed to perish after four years: an in-built timer as a fail-safe. So Roy is on a quest to meet his maker. He finds the man who designed his eyes, then a genetic designer who leads him to meet the man responsible for his existence. “What seems to be the problem”, the man inquires. “Death”, says Roy. He wants to be modified, he wants to be saved, but it can’t be done. In his final moments as his clock winds down, Roy launches into …