To a large degree, the cautions expressed by Bill Joy in Why the future doesn't need us and the less than subtle undertones of Philip Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep mirror one another. Joy presents the idea that humans cannot simply run with science, taking development as far as it will go without pausing to consider the possible consequences. Subsequently, Dick demonstrates what the future may become should Joy's words go unheeded. Thus, both writers emphasize the importance of maintaining responsibility and careful consideration of one's actions within the scientific community. To quote Joy:
"We can't simply do our science and not worry about these ethical issues." (8)
One must surely note the fact that one of Joy's examples of science out of control was the development of the atomic bomb. Following on the exact same note, in Dick's vision of humanity in the year 2021 the majority of the human race is leaving Earth behind since the very planet itself has been devastated by nuclear war. Even with this vast similarity, Dick is not content to let readers consider the possibility that events outside of the scientific community led to humanity's rape of its home world. Rather, he focuses on the responsibility, or lack thereof, that the greatest scientific minds of the world are willing to take for the results of their work. When confronted with the fact that their androids are fleeing their subservient role, taking on wills of their own, and posing a threat to humans, the members of the Rosen family are anything but willing to take responsibility for what they have done. Rachael Rosen instead tries to push the blame upon the police in a statement made all the more ironic by the fact that she herself is later revealed to be an android.
"... we'll have to withdraw all Nexus-6 types from the market. Because you police departments can't do an adequate job in the simple matter of detecting the minuscule number of Nexus-6s who balk-" (42)
Eldon Rosen takes a very similar path to dodging responsibility for what his family and their company have done. Rather than laying the blame upon the police, though, he puts the fault on the colonists leaving Earth.
"We produced what the colonists wanted. We followed the time-honored principle underlying every commercial venture. If our firm hadn't made these progressively more human types, other firms in the field would have." (52)
Eldon essentially leaves the matter up to fate, saying that it was destined to happen regardless, so he may as well be the one to profit from it, ethical issues be damned. Clearly, this exemplifies the warnings of Joy against simply moving through one's work without stopping to consider what falls into the realm of the potential results. The Rosen's worked to create increasingly more human androids. The result is that it is just shy of impossible to tell the androids apart from real humans. When these androids overcome their directives and acquire a will of their own, no one takes responsibility. Rather, policemen and bounty hunters are left to clean up the mess. In this manner, a cycle is formed because, since no one takes responsibility, no one has the power necessary to change what is happening. Had the caution Joy venerably preaches about been put into practice, some system of checks and balances could have possibly been implemented to put a stop to renegade androids.
For anyone doubting the very possibility of Joy's fears becoming reality, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep paints just such a picture. If caution is thrown to the wind in regard to scientific development, the idea that science could take precedence over the wellbeing of flesh and blood individuals may very well become a reality. In fact, when keeping Dick's work in mind, one of the closing remarks of Joy's essay takes on an almost chilling meaning. In Dick's work, Joy's words ring true in their utmost literal sense.
"The experiences of the atomic scientists clearly show the need to take personal responsibility, the danger that things will move too fast, and the way in which a process can take on a life of its own. (15) Italics added for emphasis.