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The meaning of Ghost in the Shell
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Spica



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:27 pm    Post subject: The meaning of Ghost in the Shell Reply with quote

From a philosopical point of view what do you think that Ghost in the Shell is about? What is its primary theme?

I think that GITS is about life and what it entails, being born, changing in order to survive, reproducing, and dieing. It is about birth in that it is about the birth of the combined Motoko-Puppetmaster being, and MMI is about the birth of a silicon life form that mirrors the human race in its quasi-biological capabilities (evolution and reproduction). It is about changing in order to survive in that the puppeteer merged with Motoko in order be able to adapt to incosistant circumstances (as well as to reproduce). It is about reproduction in that the puppeteer merged with Motoko not only to adapt but also so that they might create evoloving AI offspring that would be able to survive catastrophies in a way that altered copies could not. Finally it is about death in that death is the mirror in which we contemplate what life is, plus the treat of death keeps us on our toes, it is what prompts us to change in order to avoid it's grasp (so that we may live long enough to reproduce).
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Bringin It Down



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a nutshell, I believe Ghost in the Shell's main philosophy is thus: In a world where our entire bodies are replacable with mechanical byproducts, robotic limbs and synthetic materials for organs, what is it that makes us human?
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Motoko2030



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Bringin It Down that the main philosophy behind Ghost in the Shell is what exactly does make us human when in the Ghost in the Shell universe, humans can have prosthetic bodies, robotic limbs. Does having a soul and a conscious makes us human, like when the Tachikomas sacrificed their lives to save Batou from the armored suit.
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Bringin It Down



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Motoko2030 wrote:
I agree with Bringin It Down that the main philosophy behind Ghost in the Shell is what exactly does make us human when in the Ghost in the Shell universe, humans can have prosthetic bodies, robotic limbs. Does having a soul and a conscious makes us human, like when the Tachikomas sacrificed their lives to save Batou from the armored suit.
Quite possibly one of the saddest anime moments ever, might I add.
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jbruening



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2006 9:13 pm    Post subject: Philosophy Reply with quote

I agree as well but would like to add that while it is about what it means to be human, I think it also deals with the definition of life in general. It is brought up in the first movie on the boat, the second movie when they are batou and togusa are at the house looping, and in the series most notably though the tachikomas. Once it establishes that humanity is 'fuzzy' it then moves to almost ask, "Does it matter? What is life and do you need to be human to experience it? Is it more important to be something (percent human, human at all) or believe in something and stay true it it?"
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marto_motoko



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think overthinking this is easy to do, concidering how much the show offers us to think about. Perhaps we're no different than the puppet master said, and will forever be nothing more than lost within our sea of information, always trying to blindly reach toward that unknown light, that to us is like the sun. But there is a simple answer as to what we're always contemplating about when we think of Kokaku Kidotai.


Many moments of the movie (which is the standpoint that I personally will be looking at this from) revolve around one thing: scenery. The scenery is perhaps the most subtle way to express a rather omnicient view of the world. A more of an all-knowing, realization of the things we have created. Our grand child - the metropoli that now consume so much of our planet. Not much more simple is the essence of life. Creation. Yet, why so simplistic of an answer seem unsatisfiable? Because there is indeed more. People, each with in individual perspective, personality, and sense of self, always reach toward the more vast and complex. The newer field that is yet unknown. The fright of reaching a boundary always overshadowing our thoughs. Perhaps one of the main points of Ghost in the Shell is to explain to us, exactly how hard it is to contain something as supernatural, something so free as the ghost inside of a shell. How it's nonexistent shape can flow into this world like the mind and sight flows with everything around it. Perhaps the shell is nothing but entrapment, and the show's point is to give us a glimpse at this.

But why give such a simple message such a complex reasoning? Why expand on something that is easily nothing more than a mere fact - a person's mind is only connected to the body, no different than the moon to our earth. A basic gravitation - incapable of preventing it, and still holding no interest in the other. Our minds expand, and we teach our body how to adapt to the mind's desire. But here comes the second issue, and standpoint for riddling the audiences while viewing Ghost in the Shell: What happens once the thing which you have taught, and adapted with, the thing that is the first type of distinguishment in a human being - the body- become something other than your own. It becomes non-existant. In Ghost in the Shell the human race no longer holds much value in the meaning of the human body. But for the very few cyborgs who began realizing the disadvantages and emptiness of a cyborg body, constant doubt occured. Right now, the ones seeking and lusting for cybernetics within them are very few, and perhaps even though insane to extends. Cybernetics are but replacements for the original only in state of emergencies. But what happens when you grow older, and your body is concidered useless? When your children, or even you MUST be rid of the one thing which has always contained everything about you?

The ghost's final moments.
Your final thoughts, before you realize the manifestation of a new dream taking place inside people's minds. The need to evolutionize. And with an impatience to wait for time to evolve, humanity taking upon the new course of evolution - an evolutionary step taken through mechanics. Our creations, and 'servants', roughly said, now are in a sense the ones in control, with one simple rule - A merge is the only way to remain modern, by ridding yourself of yourself.

After you realize
In Motoko Kusanagi's case, she realized two things - one is the need for greater knowledge of what exactly sustains her humanity, beside the way that she is treated, looks, and most of all, the idea that her ghost is with her. The other, can a machine honestly be called human, if it cannot even feel pain? Outside of her emotional struggling, Motoko views her existance as no different as to how we view our appliances. Something which carries out its task. As no different than a home appliance, once useless, she would be discarted. The simple fact is - Motoko does not have any choice but to be what she was made to be. Something that us, as humans, are given the right to from day one that we step into this world. Without any clear reason why she should believe to be human, she desides that rather than accepting a mere theory which is the pain-subduing pill to her doubts, Motoko prefers to do what other would concider futile - think about the answer, without any lead. Her only connection, and glimpse of hope found within the one thing that caused for cybernetics to be advanced onto a nesessary level into humanity - the 'sea of information'. With no other choice, and no other path to take toward her goal, she follows it blindly, almost as if though completely sure that this strenuous thinking will lead her to her conclusive resolve to her questioning. Thus, there is the ultimate question - is she human?

Is she human?
The movies one, final point stated at the very end in her own speech, as confusing as it was, was 'Did Motoko Kusanagi become human?'

Oshii's film Ghost in the Shell asked that question, unknowing to audience wether or not an answer was allready present. The movie is about the human psyche, the ability of distinguishing everything within us, both mentally and physically. But most of all, our ability to recognize the one thing that is still nothing but the most vast, in not even infinately puzzling enigma even up to day, and probably for milleniums still:

Who are we, before anything else?


m.m.
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Spica



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2006 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I probably should have mentioned it initially, but my interpretation is based on the mangas (only the original incarnation will do for me).

It was also a major gaff on my part to leave out that Ghost in the Shell is about the qualification of life, or more precisely when is something considered to be conscious (in the metaphysical sense). The "problem of other minds" aside (I beleive that the technology that allows one to brain dive into the mind of others solves this problem), it is safe to assume that something that is genetically a human, has no major neural defects, and is still mostly organic is a conscious being. However, it is difficult to tell whether an AI is truely conscious or if it has just been very well programed to act like a truely conscious being. When it comes to an individual that has suffered brain damage and had that portion of the brain replaced by a computer, it is hard to know which brain regions can be replaced without affecting that individual's conscious experience. It would be safe to assume that one could replace the medula with a computerized replacement part, at least in a full body cyborg, without effecting conscious experience. The reson for this is because the medula controls the automatic, life support functions of the body such as heart rate, respiration and muscle tone, and in full body cyborg these functions are preformed by mechanical organs, and therefore could easily be controlled automaticly by software. The problem arises when a brain region such as the the prefrontal cortex, which controls planning (particularly of movement), logic, and a variety of our other highest level functions, is repalced (if such a thing could ever be done). In a situation such as this, one would have to ask "Is the computer really in control of this person?" and "Is the rest of the brain just along for the ride, collecting sensory information and creating memories as it goes?"

Marto's post got me thinking about how the body is almost like the host for the brain. The brain is very sequestered from the body. No blood flow actually enters the brain thanks to the blood brain barreir (though it does flow near it, which is why strokes and aneurisms can occur), instead nutrients and chemicals are selectively transported from the bloodstream to the neurons by cells called astrocytes. Also, the white blood cells do not maintain the health of the brain, instead cells called microglia preform the brain's immune functions. There are in fact disorders, such a multiple sclerosis, where the bodies immune system attacks the brain, destroying neurons and impairing normal function. Really the brain is just using the body for sensation, life support, and mobility, it could be accomidated by a machine just as well.
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sonic
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marto your take is really interesting; I can tell you've been growing a lot while you/we've been away.

I don't know, something about philosophy hasn't gelled well with me in the past year and a bit. It's an odd thing to say, but I don't think you can really find the answer to that question in philosophy- I think you have to go outside of it to what we'd tend to think of (on the surface) as more mundane things... It's really hard to explain in words, I just feel that philosophy becomes a bit of a trap and a game we play. I think that it's one that you do have to play, for the evolution that comes with conquering it by doing the work to find a workable personal answe for yourself, but once you have your answer you still have to live in the world. And there you have to find more to avoid becoing stale (a kind of death), like you said.

I think that being human, besides being as a personal journey to discover your philosophical truth; is at it's core to have an identity. The reason you couldn't rely on the philosophical answer alone is that the mind always shifts; it's changing. But an identy (who you are, what you associate with, want you do in your day to day life and the strengths or weaknesses you choose to cultivate), although it changes, is something that can have some kind of physical validation that works hand in hand with your mental state. It's proof of your existence. Other people react to it, adapt it, reflect it differently; but whatever indentity you live with, 'chosen' by you or given by others, it belongs to you. It grounds you better as a human being than straight on philosophy does because you can see it everywhere around you- you even see through it's eye, as everything is coloured by your identity and individuality. "I'm a member of a family, there is a place I inhabit-" I talk to my family once a week, I hear people's voices and stories of what they've done in the week, and there's my proof... An identity maintained even though I'm far away from the situation it belongs to.

I think that you need the traditionally philosophical aspect too to tie it all together, but the most important thing you need is a set of identities. I guess identities become "a set" (and thus a whole "you", a human being) when you find the logical grasp within you needed to tie them all together. People who don't tend to lose themselves or become confused... It is important not to live "vaguely", something that I only learnt by moving far away from my own world and gradually losing my sense of self in a confusing new society to which I had no real anchorage. Now I'm scratching in the ground, trying to find my real framework here anew and balance and mix half-new identities in with older ones. It ends up being a double-life loosely lived in any places it can be lived in... Maybe what is human is to make colonies of one's identity wherever one goes... In that case to me my home (or your own home, or something similar) and who I am there would be like the "city"-sized level of my identities, with it's many reminders and proofs of who I am and the ways in which I'm human, and any foreign place I try to establish my life in would be like the tiny "miniature settlements" of my identity, the places were I don't see a lot of evidence of who I am; fewer friends and close people, not my weather, not my architecture, not my level of allowance to express myself, my hard-set views that have to be quashed so as to avoid conflict, etcetera... I guess having only a tiny space in which my identity can breathe and live makes me feel less human and that I start to lose the feeling of being real, save for phonecalls back to my established reality, and the solid, tangible reality of childhood toys and so forth... [edit: although as evolving people we are capable, over time, of building established new and reformed identities in the transplanted places]

By the way, if all this sounds like... well... incomplete, abstract waffling or it sounds strange then please forgive me. It was meant to be suggestions and loose ideas to work with more than anything. I just wrote whatever came to mind very quickly, so it's more just half an hour's thinking out loud. Which is very, very human; and proof that your humanity exists if you d it "on paper" like this for others to read.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

P.S. Marto you should play Xenosaga Episode I... You'd probably like the themes in it a lot, and Kos-Mos is probably right up your street in terms of interesting philosophical issues of "self", "what is human" and "purpose". I absolutely adore that game, terrible flaws and all. The story of the Realians and the URTV's in the game also have a lot of depth in this area. Ziggy, my favourite character, has a lot of issues similar to what you were talking about- he is a cyborg who was a human who alledgedly comitted suicide and was brought back from the dead against his will... only as the property of a company. He wants to completely eradicate his humanity and essentially become a mahine, so that he will be "legally dead" and finally be allowed to rest in peace. He had a really interesting psychology, the way he himself actually -of his own free will- thought of himself as an object belonging to Ziggerut Industries, and not as a person. I really felt sorry for him, but at the same time I admired him and wanted to be like him because he was so strong! He's also voiced by the same person who voices Batou in the English language versions of GitS!

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marto_motoko



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our identity, as you said, can be many different 'us' split up, and when put together, each one from each circumstance forms the real us. But what about those of us who don't hold a value for more than our mere thoughts? I personally hold no real meaning for my physical self. To me, as long as my mind is here, I could careless. I have never held any fear of dying either.


To me, one' identity is distinguished by their opinion. Even if we are indeed all different in the way we look, and even though we're breathing, I cannot exactly say that most are alive in current day society. People, nowadays, crave similarity, hence, destroying diversion. The generation of the young dress alike, talk alike, are alike, and try to destroy the thing that in my opinion separates us from the models in stores ( Which is also my guess as to to why Oshii showed the models in Ghost City scene of Ghost in the Shell).
People always try and profile others by their outside appearance, and I guess I simply never could understand that. To me, the only thing to judge at first sight that I would ever allow myself to do, is a glance into someone's eyes, concidering my supersiticious belief that the eyes hide the soul of a man.


I think that being human has a lot to do with being capable of understanding what makes up you. And in my opinion, physical things hold no meaning to a person's true self. I know that perhaps that seems rather farfetched, but I simply cannot understand how a body can be the thing used to hold all of someone's individuality! Surely, we all look different, but the mind to me is something so much stronger, and so much more fascinating in distinguishing the person within us.

Sylphi, you said:"I am Sylphi. I swim, I am physically strong, I believe in strength-" I look at my legs, I feel my arms, and there's my proof. "I am Sylphi, who believes in compassion and feels kindness in the heart-" I do good deeds and help people, I feel the rightness of it and the gentleness I feel towards friends, and there is my proof again. "I am loved-" I have a great person near me who is always kind and walks with me, I see proof in their actions. "I am a daughter, and a little sister to many people, I'm actually the 'strange' member of that family-" I talk to my family once a week, I hear people's voices and stories of what they've done in the week, and there's my proof... An identity maintained even though I'm far away from the situation it belongs to. " All in all, that is who you are. And there's no phylosophy yet made for the feelings that the human soul can give. Chemicals, reactions, etc, all of it being nothing but small fragments, and diferent elements that fuse to create what we ultimately feel. Dormant in its state, the sense of realization, and ultimate self is what keeps the burning fire inside people. We look at ourselves, and subcosiously marvel at the beauty that we hold. No different than a tree, with thousands of branches spreading from it, each leaf moves differently, and no tree is ever the same as the other once it reaches age where the branches are so many, it becomes a complex matrix of difference. Just like children, the young trees are more similar. Harder to distinguish. But as time grows, people tend to grow more diverse, to give opinions far more diferent than the rest of the people around them. And common ideals become nothing more but a similarity of the way the wind swayed that certain leaf, if that makes any sence.

I am an artist. But in my opinion so is everyone else. But due to me distinguishing myself as one, I think I can say why I view myself as an artist realizing the artistic potential within him. It doesn't have to do with the way that I move my brush, or the way that I paint. Nor does it have to do with the comparison of my art to someone else's. I think people begin to call themselves artists when they realize the one thing that artists are far more capable of than the people around them - Their akin ability to sence the nature around them. Wether it be metropolitan, or wildlife, or anything else enviromentally surrounding them. They see everything as full of something. Something that others don't. And that's where another thought pops in. Artists would understand, or would have a much deeper meaning to Ghost in the Shell than most people. Why? Because of this:

When Motoko was walking through the city, she wasn't looking at a single person, with the exception of a woman with the same body as hers, and a model in a store that looked exactly like her. She kept on looking at the buildings, and surroundings. She saw everything as a creation in my opinio. A segment of what helped her, and was mainly responsible for her mind. But she went beyond its effect. The used those latters of self improvement to convey her own view on things. To see deeper than what was there. The world around her, being a marvel with everything it was full of. The answers to her questions exposed, and roaming freely in every atom surrounding, yet she couldn't understand it, because all in all, she knew well that until people have a perfect understanding of everything around them, and everything they are doing, there really isn't a way to reach the most complex of answers. I can't even be sure if she knew the exact question that she was ever so desperate to find the answer to. But none the less, she introduced us with as much as she herself was knowledged with, leaving us with a questioning state of mind when the newborn composed of what was her, and a program claiming to have been primerely alive walked away into the brand new world, not in landscape, but in ways of portraying it, and viewing it.

Sylphi, maybe my view on it isn't exactly the best, but for now, sadly, that's about as deep as my questioning, and theory can go. Thank you for the ideas and thoughts you offered, I truly found them inspirational, and very helpful in many ways!

M.M.
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simon's ghost



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Off-topic but this line just startled me:

marto_motoko wrote:
I have never held any fear of dying either.


I am guessing you've never been confronted to death, or have no memory of it. When you are facing a life threatening situation, programming takes over, it's in your DNA; your heart starts pounding, your mind races (that's if you're not already panicking), it's a physiological reaction in order to make you alert and stronger, more oblivious of pain in order to be physically apt to survive. When death comes calling, everyone is in fear at least for a few seconds. I can assure you that if someone you don't know with obvious behavior issues puts a knife at your throat, or if angry street gang members chase you with machetes, you will fear death. Try falling asleep at the wheel of your vehicle and waking up on the wrong side of the road with a 18-wheeler's headlights looking down at you, you will fear death. Try that split second before losing consciousness when you drown, you will fear death. I've been through all of these and found each one extremely unpleasant, not to mention the following minutes when you keep telling yourself "I almost just died".

Now the capacity to go into death when you know it's coming, that's another story, to me it's just a matter of accepting the inevitable. Not exactly the same as staying calm in the face of unexpected death, which only comes through rigorous training and even that fails often.

edit: I read this again and find the tone to be quite harsh, so don't think too much of it. Something's not right with me tonight, I guess. I'll come back when I'm better. Still under the "Old Boy" effect .
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sonic
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I think that your identity can simply be your mental identity too (focus on opinions and such). I did indeed used to believe that more than anything once, especially a few years ago; and I thought it out quite thoroughly in a philosophical way, as I'm sure some people remember.

What makes us human, in my opinion (and getting away from a deeply philosophical discussion about it, which I think is strangely the simpler way to go about it anyway), is our ability to have identities. It doesn't matter if they can change, go away and become something else or whatever; it doesn't matter if we hold more than one identity, or if different kinds of identites (i.e. your intellectual self, your superficial role in the outside world, the reality of what you are or have become physically) tend to fuse together to encompass all of you we believe we are, the point is we can have them in the first place and be aware of them, and change them as we might. That's what makes us human, and makes us real. Although you don't have to see it, confirmation from what you see or feel from yourself or others in the world around you does help to provide evidence of this fact.

[edit- does this make you real, or just make the existence of 'reality' a more acceptable concept? Being attached to 'identities' limits, doesn't it? What a paradoxical crutch; having identities keeps us recognisable as 'us' and thus able to be in our reality, but it also limits it. How difficult... And how GitS]

The fact is, since we are in the physical world and have bodies and such, there is no need to shun that part of life. Your body is your home even if it isn't who you think the real you is, so why not make the most of it and make it part of who you are as a human if you've got one? The same goes for relationships in the outside world, for physical locatons, jobs and stuff like that. Ultimately my thoughts will always be where the real me lies, but they just can't be seperated like I once thouht they could of what I "do" and "am" in the physical world. I think that a vital part of "being human" is to take those ideas and thoughts and to fuse them with whatever I have in the outside world, to be free and creative to work within the medium of the world, crafting "my self" out of what's in my head... While still being aware of course that there is an original underlying "you" beyond what you see, and understanding what you are doing. You're an artist Marto... Isn't your art part of what makes you human? And your collection of Motokos? Smile

[edit- is there really an 'original underlying me/you'? Where did I come up with that belief? Why- to what end? ...Stability? Perhaps there's no real objective 'original' self- we're just 'defined' loosely by a series of actions we take in life, and how we comprehend those actions. Argh- writing this is fun but baffling- what are we? What's our nature?]

There is nothing wrong with your family, your home, and your cool gym-body being a part of what gives you your identity and makes you human as well as your philosophical mind. And there's nothing less deep or unphilosophical about those things either... It is good and enlightening to cultivate all things like this. I think that a deep understanding of your emotions, your body, or the tangible things that you strive for is every bit as deeply philosophical as lofty ideas... Indeed, completing (thorough exploration of) every aspect of this; getting in touch with every aspect of this is, is what is necessary to make you a complete human. And I feel very much richer for having this knowledge (because you know originally I went for the straight, lofty philosophy and mind thing first, and I did it very well at that I think but that left me with a lot of other things that were interesting to explore to their full potential... and then I realised that there's more to the world than traditional super-deep idea subject matter, and that things slowly start to tie together).

Motoko is not "not human" because she doesn't have "her" body, and she isn't human only because of her mind either. The thing is, she still has all the tools necessary to create an identity/identities and exist in the world. She's just not sure what she wants to do with it in the anime, for lack of seeing any options with real appeal and perhaps no longer being satisfied with her current one (role, body, potential etcetera). She (like all of us) has to find what it is she wants to latch on to/become/etcetera, and she eventually finds it in the puppetmaster and the fusion, becoming a new entity entirely and existing in the "sea of information". In fact, I'd say by doing that you could even say that she was embracing her humanity (whether she realised it or not), rather than remaining imcomplete and being uncomitted to who she was (as she was becoming)... Although most cyberpunky (or otherwise) people would maybe tend to say that she was discarding her humanity by doing that.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that many of us are not afraid of death in a philosophical sense, you know as "a concept". We may be resolved to even put ourselves at risk for something that we place a great importance on. But as Simon said (and I imagine is quite true), fear of death really strikes hard 99% of the time when the threat of death comes unexpectedly.

I don't think Simon sounded harsh... It's just that when we say we don't fear death, I don't think we always clarify what we mean by that. I reckon that's what you were trying to say by differentiating between some things, right (the capacity to go into it when you know it's coming)?


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Gillsing



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2006 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't fear death either, but I do fear pain and damage, and both usually precede involuntary death. So it's the actual dying that I don't want to experience. When I'm unprepared for something I usually freeze, or at least I did that once, when I mishandled a piece of machinery and it started to shake and throw metal filings around. But I wouldn't attribute that to fear of death, but to fear of pain and damage, and possibly the noise and show of chaotic power of the machine. I also fear wasps somewhat, because they sting. Won't kill me though, but I'd have to live with the temporary pain. Ouchies. :x

Against thugs beating people up I'd recommend a camera with good enough resolution to capture their faces. If that doesn't send them scurrying under the nearest rock, it ought to at least distract them from their current target. Might not be a good idea against thugs with guns, but I doubt that working out helps a lot against bullets. Being female might help though, as I could imagine thugs not thinking that it's quite macho enough to shoot an unarmed woman. But maybe modern thugs aren't that old fashioned? :?

As for the topic of this thread, I don't have a set opinion of what GitS is about. One guess is that it is about how technology changes not only our world, but also ourselves. I don't think MMI is 'about' anything though. I think that it's mostly an extrapolation of the first manga, with more powerful people, prettier art and a more significant step towards digital life (Motoko isn't 'merely' merging with such life, she's creating it). Though I suppose that the ending is more about how the world is changed (and not just the people). Behold the strange and glorious future! Shocked
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Spica



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think that being a woman would most certainly be worse when you are being acousted by thugs. They would see you as being an easy target, someone not worthy of their fear and theirfore respect, they may even rape you. A tall, powerful looking man is much less likely to be mugged, and more likely to scare away muggers than any woman.

As for death, I myself am terrified of it. I'm a very strict materialist and I believe that there is no meaning without life. I have taken it as one of my personal goals in life to thwart death's icy grasp for as long as possible, no matter what the cost. An analogy would be Sonadei (I think I spelled that correctly) in Naruto. She can heal herself at the cost of aging, but its worth dieing earlier than usual from old age in order to avert death at this very moment.
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