The future is closer than you think. I know this because I was in oil boom country in North Dakota last week. The activity there is crazy. This is the land of fracking after all.
I was driving one evening after dark down Broadway, the main road through Minot, when I stopped at a lighted intersection. Across the street up on a building was one of those electronic billboards that flash new ads every couple seconds.
When up pops a Halliburton ad. It was some guy in a red hard hat majestically surveying some landscape with rigs off in the distance. It oozed with the spirit of frontiersmanship. And adventure. And opportunity.
Blade Runner. That was the first thing to pop into my head. It reminded me of the floating advertising blimps in Blade Runner that had the Utopian-like ads for the Off World. I swear it was just like that.
In Blade Runner the Off World might be likened to immigration to America, where yes there was opportunity but yes there was also extreme hardship. The Blade Runner ads seem to skirt the hardship issue. Fortunately the Off World had Replicants to do a lot of the dangerous work. Very handy.
Unfortunately the North Dakota Oil Boom doesn’t have Replicants ( as far as I know). And I assure you working in the oil fields of the wind swept North Dakota tundra in the middle of January is probably akin to the Off World.
But Blade Runner is set in 2019. So Halliburton has a few years yet to develop Replicants. But will they? And actually, why would they when they will always have access to the world’s poor to play the role of the Replicant.
So someone else will have to develop the Replicant. Maybe it will be the companies that manufacture robotic vacuum cleaners. Vacuuming. Fracking. I mean someone has to go around cleaning up those oil spills. Rosie the Robot isn’t quite Roy the Replicant but it’s a start.