Science and Technology
One of the goals of Dick's fiction is to show that the idea of technology as passive helpmate, slave, or fantastic mistress is unrealistic. Similarly, the opposite notion—that humanity can somehow return to a pastoral way of life and live in an agriculturally based paradise—is naive. These two beliefs, according to Dick, actually endanger the evolution of humankind: so long as humans are uneasy about their own tools, or regard them as in some way mysterious, those tools will be seen as having some innate power over mankind. In other words, regardless of technology's fallibility, if humans regard themselves as less smart or less able than their tools, then they will be at the mercy of their tools. Technology will advance, regardless of what the majority of humanity feels about that technology. Any struggle to remain the ruler or owner of new technology will surely fail. Dick believes the only solution to human uneasiness with technology is a wholesale acceptance of it.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? expresses Dick's ideas about technology in ways very similar to the story of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. That creature, animated from lifeless flesh, was its creator's scientific success. But the good doctor was so horrified by his creature's grotesque appearance that he ended up destroying it. In Dick's version, the trouble with scientifically...
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