Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mozart's prophecy

While feeding my sci-fi addiction, I came across this internal monologue in Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)

...he wondered if Mozart had had any intuition that the future did not exist, that he had already used up his little time...This rehearsal will end, the performance will end, the singers will die, eventually the last score of the music will be destroyed in one way or another; finally the name "Mozart" will vanish, the dust will have won.

Dick (1968), through bounty hunter Rick Deckard (2021), may underestimate recording technology's productivity, and surely the internet's storage potential (though I'm sure he predicted the internet); still, one has to agree with the prophecy in the end. I wonder when it will prove true, and if the process of destruction has already begun.


Matthew said...

Wow...this seems to be uncharacteristically pessimistic. I've never read _Electric Sheep_, been meaning to for years, though I've seen _Blade Runner_ a number of times.

I mean, it's basically the ultimate fatalism: no matter what one does, no matter what one thinks, eventually the entire universe will implode--so that not only will one's life be over and completely done with, but any traces of the possibility of *any* life will eventually be theoretically impossible...right?

Mr. Bacon said...

Well, if you agree with many physicists, yes, the entire universe will reverse its expansion and contract into another singularity, when time and matter will restart... I'm just wondering when Dick thinks this dust (which represents decay on Earth in his novel) will take over. To me it seems he thinks this decay will conclude long before another big bang. But maybe it's just a metaphor. I have to give to Ridley Scott - I think his film is much more compelling dystopia, but of course, he owes almost everything to Dick.