I fed the title question of my 2013 contribution to Economics of the Undead (Chapter 12: “Buy or bite?“) into ChatGPT and was told, “I’m sorry, I am not sure what you are asking. Could you please provide more context or clarify your question?” By way of clarification I then asked, Why are vampires portrayed as violent creatures? and received the following response:
Vampires are often portrayed as violent creatures in popular culture because they are typically associated with the act of drinking blood, which can be seen as a violent or aggressive act. Additionally, the vampire’s immortality and strength can be seen as a threat to humanity, leading to a violent response from humans or vampire hunters. In literature, movies and TV series, the vampire mythology also often includes a struggle for power and control, which can lead to violent conflicts. But it’s important to note that this is just a fictional representation, and it’s not based on any real-world evidence or scientific fact.
Finally, I fed the following hypothetical question into ChatGPT: Would vampires be as violent if the sale of blood were legal, i.e. the actual problem I analyzed in my 2013 vampire essay? Much to my surprise, the bot was willing to entertain this possibility! See her response to my third query below:
It’s difficult to say for certain how vampires would behave if the sale of blood were legal, as this is a fictional concept. However, it’s possible that if the sale of blood were legal, vampires may not need to resort to violent means to obtain it, and therefore may not be portrayed as violent creatures in popular culture. But again it’s just a fictional representation, and it’s not based on any real-world evidence or scientific fact.
Wow, I could not have said it better in so few words myself! Next up, I will ask ChatGPT about my beloved Puerto Rico.