"Because without the Mercerism experience we just have your word that you feel this empathy business, this shared, group thing" (209-210).
After our 1/23 class when Dr. Rodrigo shared that one reason we are reading this book is to think about empathy as we study new media, I have found myself pondering this idea even more. When I first wrote about empathy, I was thinking about whether digital networks can ever replicate the empathy drawn from physical proximity that underlies non-digital social networks. Dick wrote (see above quote) that empathy will always be the divider between human and android -- which makes me think about whether humans can ever find full empathy through digital connections. Does the inherent lack of empathy in something digital create a barrier to the conveyance of human empathy across digital channels? Dick's empathy box does generate human empathy across its technology -- is this something possible outside of science fiction?