Friday, June 22, 2018

Don’t Date Androids

Summer Is Coming.

On the winter solstice, longest night of the year, we headed out to The Tasting Room for some dinner. I had the rack of lamb, which was good, and Nicola had a burger. A couple of glasses of Roaring Meg and The Ned rosé helped it all go down.

What were we doing out? Well, it being a Thursday, we were out at the theatre again. Keeping with the theme of futuristic stuff, tonight’s adventure at BATS theatre was Don’t Date Androids. Oddly enough, this is not a play warning about the dangers of dating androids. Instead, it’s a courtroom drama, which give the prosecution and defence of Zach, who is accused of murdering his android girlfriend. Set in the future (duh!) where androids are a part of society, and following the Android Protection Act, this is the first case to be brought where an android is assumed to have the same rights as a human being.

The facts of the case are clear, and they are not disputed: Zach strangled Ida. But was he acting in self-defence, or was it murder? Evidence is presented by both sides, and at the end of the play, the audience joins the brotherhood of the three obols, and vote on whether they thought Zach was guilty or not guilty.

It was quite good, but once you take the “is she human?” part out of the equation, it becomes a simple court case. Apart from some anti-android sentiment expressed by some of the witnesses, there wasn’t really any discussion of whether androids should be treated as humans, or are they machines which can be switched off? That part has already been addressed by the APA. That the rules are set by humans without android input, in a similar way to such issues as women’s suffrage and slavery were decided by the people who already had the vote, or freedom, wasn’t really discussed. I think they missed a trick there with the more philosophical aspects of the case.

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