Way back in 1968, Philip K. Dick posed the question: “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” in his novel of the same name (upon which Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner was based). Even now, I don’t think we’re any closer to the answer, though androids lurk everywhere. Do you have one in your home? In your pocket? In your ear, whispering sweet robot nothings?
Some vlog viewers are vehemently against that sort of thing, as expressed by Jared Peters:
Android? KILL IT WITH FIRE!
As Roy “Rutger Hauer” Batty might retort:
I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.
Still, the guy never left us any confirmation (or denial, for that matter) on the subject of sleep, dreams, sheep, and how the android (or replicant, per Blade Runner parlance) processes such things.
Counting sheep jumping over a fence is a trick that some humans use to fall asleep; it’s similar to counting backwards from 10 when you’re about to go into surgery and the anesthetist needs to put you under. Why sheep, though? Maybe it’s the soft, wooly coat and compliant, non-threatening demeanor that makes sheep the most agreeable candidates for lulling the insomniac into quiet slumber. Counting lions might be a more stressful exercise as one’s thoughts can easily wander to the amount of time it would take for a lion that doesn’t quite feel like leaping over a fence to reach the throat of, say, someone who’s trying to sleep, for instance.
That being said, androids may or may not dream of electric sheep, but they definitely don’t dream of electric lions. That would be, as another famous science fiction character I need not name would say, “illogical.”
Are you an android who can settle the score, or are you a fellow curious human being? Please leave a comment and let us know, either way, how you manage to get to sleep. Goodness knows that I could use some advice!