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Androids by Thomas Talbot, Bryan Bergeron

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CHAPTER 6A Heartbeat Away

One of the rules for employees of the Disneyland theme parks is that character costumes stay on while the worker is on the set, no matter what. Apparently, the fear is that the sight of a human head protruding from the body of Pluto or Darth Vader would shatter the spell of the magic kingdom, plunging the enterprise into bankruptcy. Whether this is the case or not, there is something abhorrent about the scenes of StarTrek Next Generation in which Commander Data’s positronic brain is exposed by popping off a hairy head plate. Paradoxically, these scenes serve to remind the viewer that Data is an android and not to lapse into the illusion that he’s human. Ideally, diagnosing problems in an android would involve the same ...

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