Monday, December 14, 2009

Mondays Can Be Disturbing

Cheap of me to do two linkblogs in a row, rather than blogging something that I've actually created myself, but this tickled me too much to resist.

See, lately I've been looking for someone* to fill a vacant room in my house, and the process of interviewing prospective housemates has reminded me just how difficult it is to get to know people from only brief conversations. You can absorb a lot of intuitive impressions, but it seems impossible to really find out what they'll be like; I think people usually don't relax enough to show their "true" colours until you've been living with them for weeks, at least.

Thus, there's been a running joke between me & my other (non-new) housemate about the absolute best way to interview a stranger: the Voight-Kampff test.

The Voight-Kampff test is the interview from Blade Runner (via Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?) that's supposed to test your empathy – empathy, of course, being the unique quality that sets humans apart from "non-humans" (e.g. animals, psychopaths, killer robots). I've always thought it would be great fun to spring the Voight-Kampff interview questions on somebody when they're not expecting it, but I've never had the guts to do it "for real" . . .

. . . unlike the journalists at San Francisco's The Wave magazine, who decided to give the Voight-Kampff test to all the upcoming SF mayoral candidates. If you don't know Blade Runner, you probably won't get it, but I thought it was freaking hilarious.

As one would expect, at least half the mayoral candidates are definitely not human.

*Subsequently found: hello, Sarah D—! She's moving in tomorrow, good luck to all involved . . .

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