The Sensory Deception Book club discussion questions
Readers’ guide questions
1. How did you feel about the plight of the polar bear? (The original idea for The Sensory Deception came from a newspaper article about a polar bear who swim 200 miles from Greenland to Iceland and was then shot.) 2. The author insists that no technological breakthroughs would be necessary to develop the VR technology described in The Sensory Deception. What do you think would be the most difficult part of the technology to implement? 3. Why was Farley and his team so dead-set against developing mainstream video-game applications of their VR technology, what they called "Disney apps"? 4. What is sensory saturation and how does it put people in the realities of other animals? 5. Why was it necessary to record experiential data from the animals themselves? Could they have simulated the whole thing? 6. Farley, Chopper, and Ringo are environmentalists, how did they balance the need for data with respect for animal rights? 7. Why did Chopper believe that their VR technology required an extra pharmacological boost? Why didn't Chopper tell Farley what he was doing? 8. How would you feel about attaching equipment to a sperm whale? 9. Gloria believes venture capital can solve big societal problems. In what ways do you agree and disagree? 10. If you suffer migraine headaches, how does your experience compare with Chopper's? (yes, the author gets them, too). 11. Did the story of  Sayyid Hussein, a Somali "pirate," affect your opinion of the pirates who wreak terror along the Horn of Africa? 12. What would you have done in Sy's position? 13. At the end, Farley had to choose between Chopper and Gloria, or did he? 14. As a leader, Farley would agree that the results of every decision were ultimately his responsibility, what was Farley's greatest mistake? 15. Gloria believed that venture capital could solve the worlds problems by unleashing human genius. To what extent do you believe she is right/wrong? What makes her beliefs naïve? 16. Chopper thought human life had no value because, with 7 billion humans on the planet, they are far from endangered. Other than being a sociopath, does he have a point? On a planet experiencing mass extinctions, is human life sacred?
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