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And, oh, what a master was Homer in that. We all know that part… but it is not known what the song of the sirens was really about. Some scholars implies sirens can tell all the story of a man by heart and see and know everything in the world. Did Odysseus already know how his story would end, then, bending the rules of his own linear timeline? We do believe that this kind of approach is a relatively modern one, but it is not.
We can say it is the way a very inspired story-teller will use if he is very brave or very good at playing with time and our perception of it. Speckles of events with a meaningful connection with a character are clustered in a single day, and those days fixed in different times, we could say different ages.
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There is no continuity in narration as there is no continuity in our memory, really. The memory works as a record player stylus, which is randomly flying on a spinning vinyl, engraved with our moments and missing any index. The circular movement it is only a suggestion. The process of placing and giving meaning to those memories is what makes the memory such a good place to enjoy. The whole concept of what times mean to us is reflected in the title of the novel, which is getting Shakespeare in the mix.
Is a quote from Macbeth, where the king drily decides that time means only to us because without it we are nothing and without us, nobody can tell if time is nothing itself: Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death.
Out, out, brief candle! Using an alien abduction as a plot device, the main character is now kicked out from the ordinary space and time continuum after being altered by them.
For him the whole concept of linear time is now devoid of any meaning. As a result, he stops to care about and slides into apathy, an acceptance of his fate. As the arrow of time loses its own direction, the human being is lost with it.
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The experiences are not important anymore, as they are not really part of the memory anymore — nothing but loose pieces, fragmented and scattered all around. Finding himself as a fresh recruit into the terrible wartime in Dresden is not important anymore to him, as he is there now, actually living it without realizing it is the past.
He cannot tell the importance the moment will have, as he cannot tell the future apart now. Thus, we know that the inability of the inner self of the present to index the memories of the past is the broken link that leaves us lost forever. The reader himself starts to lose interest in what is happening to the character in the present. He actually starts to realize, with the uttermost terror, that there is no present, not really.
Kurt Vonnegut mastery in dismissing any possible crave for information, to renounce to the plot twist or to any revelation, teaching an important lesson to any storyteller of today. The message is the story, not something inside it. This is the importance of time and memory: He makes a wide use of the non-linear narration, often revealing the fate of his characters long before the reader can start to figure it out, through clever fake quoting of self-invented pseudobiblia and accounts from minstrels and historians or more directly, via small chapters set in the future.
Andrzej often creates a large volume of tension by placing the characters in a dangerous situation, while momentarily breaking it giving us an insight of their future, sad or happy that it may be, then coming back at them in the present.
This is creating a strong bond through an artificially accelerated time frame, that makes us be close to them by knowing all the moments in life that matter to them and then, their ultimate fate. The case of Rusty, Shani and Iola is the most exemplary one. Rusty is the master surgeon and healer, who is using the young and unexperienced Shani and Iola to help him to keep the wounded soldiers alive in the medical camp of a huge and bloody battle.
The three of them start to know each other, winning their fears, the revulsion, the immense stress of saving or condemning a life, thus overcoming their own limitations and, sometime, finding a new purpose in life. Then we jump into the future, where Iola and Rusty die horribly because of a virulent pestilence they wanted to fight off in another city.
Then again, we jump in a further future to see what happened to the third of them, Shani. She is old, a dean of study in a major medical academy, revered by every healer in the country.
But oh, we do. To close the circle of the quote I used to open, we have some wisdom from Captain Jean-Luc Picard of Star Trek fame, who is applying so well to what the non-linear narration is trying to convey us by juggling with our very linear nature of human being: Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. What we leave behind is not as important as how we lived. This seems to be the real, emerging question through the whole idea that Philip K.
Because, of course, it was all about implanting ideas for him, to suggest feelings that creep under the skin, that lurk in the shadows and feed on our minds. They are the most powerful worms, those that excavate inside the thoughts, that create hives and nest into our ordinary reasonings.
What is to be a man? What a better way to answer than using a simulacra of a man, something that actually was man made? It is a matryoshka of Chinese boxes, through the imitation game — one that Dick loves so much: There is a convoy of other ideas and questions right inside the shell of this great story and this one, unmistakable doubt.
Most of the real questions we find us to ask ourselves following the hunt of the replicants are, however, unsettling and far from our initial idea of a straight science fiction story, noir vibes and police quest action. This is the realms of doubts and we are lost in it, without a real way to get out than the mirror and looking into ourselves. Nonetheless, he is the worst possible example of human being, defective in empathy maybe beyond help. He uses chemicals to shut down arguments with his wife or, simply put, to make those arguments to be not relevant anymore.
He dreams to be ordinary, by being over the ordinary, craving a living animal instead of his artificial one, to be the one who is talked about in the neighborhood — to get a new social status. In order to reach this apparently futile goal, he hunts down man-made beings called androids, who seems to be well capable of being aware and feels like a human being feels.
He does it for money and against living and moral beings that potentially could have all he lacks in many regards as a man. The established world, however, asserts that those androids, made for hard physical labor, are not capable of empathy. Deckard discovers that, maybe, lacking empathy is not one of the traits that can be used above all doubts to discern humans from non-humans. One of his colleagues, Resch, is certain of being an android in disguise, because he ruthlessly kills other androids and lacks any remorse or other feeling tied to this gruesome activity.
Only that he is not an android at all, to his own scorn. Deckard, instead, feels down after hunting down and killing a well-known opera singer, an android called Luba Luft, who was an astounding performer. What does it mean to be a human, then? These are not the Asimov positronic type from the golden era. The word literally hints the nature of these beings: The definition of that is an idealized person, or thing — a specter, a phantom but even one aspect of reality, as most dictionaries are pointing out.
So, androids could be a different aspect of our reality too, other than simply a simulacra? The Nexus 6 series is a new set of androids, recently produced, capable of being very human-like in all aspects. The Rosen company uses them as a flagship of their production. They are so proud of creating artificial beings so perfect they are almost impossible to tell apart from real humans — so much that they are happy to make the work of police force and bounty hunters almost impossible.
It is a sign of their strive for perfection, maybe a corporate wish to create the definitive product, or simply a god-like pulse. Their ultimate goal, it seems, is to invalidate all the psychological tests like the Voigt-Kampff one created to expose the androids and tell them apart from human suspects without invasive surgery. The mentioned test is completely based on empathy. But who decides what is the correct way to prove feelings? The test is largely and curiously relying on the reaction about illegal situations with living animals involved.
The animals were almost completely wiped out by the pollution resulted from the Third World War, and they are now a very expensive privilege of few. It is very symbolical that Dick uses animals to make them decisive in uncovering artificial beings among humans. He emphasizes how people makes a living animal a powerful mean for a superior social status while, curiously, we still are debating about if they have emotions or even a soul nowadays.
Even animals, though, have their artificial counter parts… but artificial animals and artificial humans have different purposes. The former is an almost an everyday tool, like a car and it is needed for social rating and thus is functional for a human to be more important than another human. Or, better, sometimes it fakes that importance, by making the artificial animal be considered a living one, lying on its real nature — and again, a fake reality seems more important than the reality. The latter, instead, is needed to lift the humans from one of their main issues throughout the history: Why we need to have a thinking artificial being to do that is not known, but they do, they think and they think hard.
Androids crave survival, as they are programmed to be automatically shut down by an organism failure within few years. They are pushed by instinct, and, sometimes, is not very clear why they act as they do. The lack of empathy is not concerning them, as it is not certain why and when this applies if it does at all.
They simply want to keep existing. One of the two points, when an interaction between an android and a living animal is told, is when Rachel Rosen, former lover of Deckard and a before not-self-aware android, is pushing one to death.
She wants to hurt Deckard as he did when he killed the Nexus 6 pack of androids she cared for. Is it this one of the best examples of empathy shown in the book?
To kill for avenging a feeling, to amend a loss, to hurt someone, for rage or cold thinking? It is really emblematic that the second scene with an interaction between an android and a living animal is the one with Pris and the spider. She tortures the little animal, by cutting his legs one by one, just to see if he can cope with the loss and keep on going with his life. It is like the android is trying to see if she can still go on knowing that her own life is at stake, that her time is limited.
Is the life force so supreme?
How does it feel to crawl instead of walking through the path of life? This collaterally proves the validity of the Voigt-Kampff test, apparently showing the lack of importance that some androids can feel about living animals. Androids clearly do not care about social status, having being ripped from it by birthright. They simply do not see the importance of that, and thus this can change the meaning of the scene: Maybe, Dick is telling us that androids are really free of most of the restraints human beings love to apply to themselves.
Their struggle is a more primal one, the fight for their lives, while mankind is only striving for social approval. The Mercerism and the parallelism The religious issue is another important point of the novel. The Mercerism is a new religion, based on the figure of Wilbur Mercer, a modern prophet whose a recorded feat of climbing a hill while being hit by stones is the main and ultimate trial for every faithful one: It is not by any coincidence that the very Nexus 6 that Deckard hunts seems to be the responsible of exposing the truth behind the very well established religion.
Wilbur Mercer was an actor, and the hill ascension scene is a fake one, a studio reproduced environment. Again, another fake reality that became better than reality itself. Then, we suddenly shift from our original question. It is not anymore about human, and maybe a little bit less about reality. The real question Dick wants us to crave for, to have it implanted in our mind is… it is really important if it is not real?
Does the reality of things really matter? It is a leitmotiv of all of his novels and stories, mostly, and here is stronger than ever. What does Deckard learn in the end? He quits the job since the reality of things does not matter to him anymore. The humans in his life have not clearly and out of all doubts presented any evidence to tell them apart from androids, in an interesting turn of events and shift of positions.
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It is like it is up to them now to show their empathy capability, not anymore the opposite. He still believes in Mercer, at the point that he sees him in the last confrontation with the Nexus 6 and believes he saved him. He does not care of his real existence… he is real for him. Faith makes reality to be questionable, to shift the point of view and the arguments about it in a different plane, where the reality of things is not relevant and a different logic is applied.
It is very ironic that science constructs like the androids are exposing something like religion to his true essence, a philosophical matter, maybe hinting that feelings, like empathy and the mysteries of the human mind, are exactly like that — a non-quantifiable phenomenon.
There is no need to worry about the water either.
Drinkable UV treated, filtered water on tap is available throughout resort. The resort has a two-storey Deluxe Beachfront Villa with balcony that directly faces Muri Beach and lagoon, as well a row of single-level attached Lagoon View Villas that lead up to the beach and lagoon.
The remainder of the villas are Poolside Villas or Garden Villas. The Poolside Villas encircle and look onto the pool. The Garden Villas are set within the tropical gardens that are throughout the resort, a little further away from the pool and beach. Description of our villa: Our Lagoon View Villa Number 14 was open plan with a kitchen, dining area, bedroom double or queen size and single bed and separate bathroom, with a powerful shower and the surprising, pleasant addition of a Jacuzzi spa bath.
The kitchen was fully stocked with kettle, toaster, full sized fridge, microwave, gas stove, sink, as well as sufficient kitchen utensils to actually prepare food if you wanted to decent knives, chopping board, frypan, saucepans, bottle and can openers etcas well as supplies including tea, coffee, sugar, and an initial long life milk that could be replenished on request.
The bathroom was also fully stocked with guest supplies. Most importantly, our Lagoon View Villa was bright and spotlessly clean, with updated bathroom and kitchen fittings. Not even a minute walk. She really is fantastic and an absolute gem. We loved her immediately. Margaret and soon after, Sane in reception too, were our touchstones for anything and everything during our stay.
Sane is just lovely. She arranged and booked all our tours and activities. Our pre-departure research on Trip Adviser proved excellent in this regard, so we knew we wanted to do the following and that they were all wonderfully accessible from Muri Beach: Sane knew all about the discounts that were available with vouchers on various maps, and ensured we utilised all of these.
She prepared a daily itinerary that outlined details, cost, and dropped this off to us a little later, with further tips.
We were so lucky that Muri Beach Resort provides a complimentary shuttle on Saturdays to the markets and Sunday to church with the wonderful Margaret. Being right on Muri lagoon, the kayaks, paddles, snorkels, masks and reef shoes provided free of charge by Muri Beach Resort are perfectly suited to the location and all guests seemed to really appreciate this, ourselves included.
Everything was well looked after and put away well. Reef shoes really are required for swimming at Muri Beach and snorkelling around Muri lagoon because of the rocks and coral that exists. We had our own reef shoes they were new otherwise the ones at the resort would have been fine, there were plenty there. Likewise for snorkel masks. This is a safe and highly enjoyable experience even for smaller children because the lagoon is calm, never too deep and snorkelling around the islet there is coral, many tropical fish and even blue starfish to see.
In the evenings, small groups took stand up paddle boards out with lights under the boards that illuminated the lagoon and that looked like a stunning experience. We were happy enough to kayak and snorkel almost every day, right up until the gentle pink sunsets.