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When A Newspaper Gave Blade Runner's Replicant Test To Mayor Candidates

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What if your city elected a Replicant as mayor and you didn't know it? There's only way to guard against this situation, and that's by administering the Voight-Kampff test to every single candidate during the mayoral election. One newspaper in San Francisco did that back in 2003, and the results were amazing.

The Wave Magazine managed to get interviews with every single for mayor during San Francisco's hotly contested election, when some of the city's most indestructible politicians were competing to replace local icon Willie Brown. And The Wave didn't waste this chance — every single interview consisted of asking these politicians the Voight-Kampff questions.


The results? At least half the candidates were clearly Replicants, although one of them at least was an advanced model, at least a Nexus 7. Only one of the candidates recognized that the questions came from Blade Runner.

What about the candidate who actually won the election, Gavin Newsom? Here are his responses to the questions.

The Wave: Reaction time is a factor in this, so please pay attention. Now, answer as quickly as you can.

It’s your birthday. Someone gives you a calfskin wallet. How do you react?

Gavin Newsom: I don't have anything to put in it. I would thank them and move on.

TW: You've got a little boy. He shows you his butterfly collection plus the killing jar. What do you do?

GN: I would tell him to… You know what? I wouldn't know how to respond. How's that for an answer? Is this a psychological test? I'm worried…

TW: They're just questions, Gavin. In answer to your query, they're written down for me. It's a test, designed to provoke an emotional response.

GN: Oh, I got you.

TW: Shall we continue?

GN: Sure.

TW: You're watching television. Suddenly you realize there's a wasp crawling on your arm. How would you react?

GN: I would quietly sit and wait for the wasp to move to the next victim.

TW: You're in a desert walking along in the sand when all of the sudden you look down, and you see a tortoise, Gavin, it's crawling toward you. You reach down, you flip the tortoise over on its back, Gavin. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't, not without your help. But you're not helping. Why is that, Gavin?

GN: [Immediately] Not a chance. I would never flip the tortoise over in the first place.

TW: Describe in single words, only the good things that come into your mind. About your mother.

GN: Ethics. Commitment. Sacrifice.

CONCLUSION: Almost too close to call. Almost. Newsom displays a defensiveness when his empathy is questioned. He's aware that he's being probed for emotional responses, and even expresses concern about this. However, this concern is alleviated a little too easily by our crafty V-K interviewer. Newsom is definitely a replicant. Probably a Nexus 5.


So yes, San Francisco knowingly elected a Replicant mayor. You wouldn't believe the things he's seen. And where is Newsom now? He's become the Lieutenant Governor of California, of course. Given that we've already had a Terminator as Governor, it doesn't seem like too radical a step. Read the rest over at The Wave (on