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Disappearing Ghosts

 
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Freitag



Joined: 01 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:46 pm    Post subject: Disappearing Ghosts Reply with quote

Go re-read: http://www.neomythos.com/intheshell/philosophy.shtml

Concerning the proposition that treating machine like a person allows it to develop a ghost.

What if you treat a person like a machine? Can they eventually lose their ghost? Or at least have to struggle to maintain it.

While I'm not sure this is specifically covered in GitS I think there might be some foundation for the discussion.

The 3 instance that I can think of that might address this are:
1. Those kids that were being dubbed into the shells in the movie
2. The South American rebel that was repeatedly dubbed in the series
3. The kids being 'reset' in SSS.

First have I presented 3 good instances?
I think #1 is valid because the process eventually kills the kids.
I think the example in #2 is valid because they talk about how tough the guy was before he eventually died. Toughness measured by the number of copies that were made.
I think #3 might be the best example because obviously the kids started with one ghost, but were completely reset and re-educated by the SSS.

Are there more examples from the series?

Does PTSD count? Some new memory being dumped in and changing the person forever.
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gareth



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not so sure that, in the context of the film, ghost-dubbing causes a person to become 'less human' or 'machine-like', because the overall tone of the series seems to me more about redefining definitions of what it is to be human in an age when technology has advanced to the point that it can generate non-artificial intelligence in isolated situations. The fact that a distinction can still be made between - I hesitate to use the word 'humanity' - organic life and traditionally developed life becomes less defined as the process of developing consciousness within the 'sea of information', or the net, becomes more like it's original counterpart.

In Innocence, Togusa expresses angrily that children are not dolls when Dr. Haraway suggests that the simplest way for humans to develop a consciousness in their own image is through childbirth. Togusa's fear of the loss of whatever constitutes the essence of humanity seems understandable, but somewhat illogical when evaluated from an evolutionary perspective. The gynoids produced by Locus Solus are so popular because they are more human than soulless sex dolls, but the question of whether they contain an inferior dub of the original ghost is an interesting one. In the context of GITS, why does the major not seem to lose any of her essence when she dubs herself into a physical vessel? Perhaps it is the fact that from a very early age she has been contained in an artificial one, though this also raises the question of why she states in SSS that no other body will do. The notion of a ghost being intrinsically associated somehow with its vessel, to the extent that a departure from that vessel is detrimental to it, seems on first view to be an inconsistency between the first and second/third films, though I'm sure this is not the case. Any suggestions?

(I think this has gone miles off-topic - sorry)
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Freitag



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was the Major really dubbing herself into other shells? I got the idea that she was simply having more bodies. When that one servant collapses in SSS she even comments that she still can't control more then 2 bodies at one time.

Now in SSS I do think that she has dubbed at least once or perhaps her sub-conscious is still remotely piloting a 3rd shell?
I interpreted the programmer behind the SSS to be a splinter of the Majors mind that had gone off on it's own. And somehow left without her knowledge.
And she and Batou seemed thoroughly ghost hacked there at the end when they were going over the conclusion of the case. Only the Tachkoma remembered the conversation between the Major and the programmer.



That conversation with Haraway was a strange one. I almost think something got lost in translation.

I mean why would Togusa get so bent out of shape when a scientist tells him that having a kid is easier than developing a sentient AI?
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M4nu3l



Joined: 10 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting.

Having a kid is easier the developing an Ai would be true:

In essence, having a kid is easier in which you don't have to create a mental capacity, it comes with the child. While developing an Ai would require a complete and functional mental capacity created by the maker.

but vis'a'versa:

Having a kid is harder than developing an Ai would be true:

Only because you would know the parameters of the Ai, but have very little clue as to the limit of the human child's mental capacity.
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gareth



Joined: 30 Aug 2008
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Location: Chinewrde, UK

PostPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it was during an interview with Oshii on disc two of Innocence that he expressed his frustration with the inability of the English dubbing cast to express effectively the tone of the film, and so perhaps the anger in Togusa's voice in the dub was somehow unintentional. That whole scene with Haraway was one of the most surreal of the film for me though - the contrast of Batou and Haraway's ruthlessly objective assessment of life with Togusa's emotive response.

The sterility of Batou and Haraway's perspective of the situation seems presumptuous (they lack Togusa's experience of the production of life) and yet they are dealing with a situation based around it's replication. Perhaps they are qualified to deal with this particular case as it involves inferior ghost dubbing, or perhaps, as was proposed, life has become more mechanical.

For me, this makes Batou even more intriguing as a character - he values this objectivity, and yet is unable to see the Major in an objective light. Does this suggests that what he values is digital evolution (as represented by Kusanagi) rather than what he sees as stagnation?
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Wanderland



Joined: 15 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dubbing seems to be detrimental to the girls they’re taking copies from; the girl Batou rescues states that her friend is ‘Stage 5’ and has become unresponsive. The Major states that there’s not much room in the gynoid brains, so she has to dub only a fragment of herself. It’s true that she’s still unmistakeably ‘The Major’ whilst she’s inside the gynoid, but we don’t really see her for long enough to be able to judge her capabilities; our perception of the gynoid as The Major could arguably be said to be based only on her voice and memory of Batou.

I think it’s more that dubbing is in effect isolating a fraction of the original ghost. As long as the fractions can reassemble it should have no damaging effect, but in the case of the girls used for the Gynoids their ghost is separated permanently into so many different fractions that there is too small a fraction left to them for them to perform as a human (like the Stage 5 girl mentioned, or the South American rebel, as far as I can remember). We have to beware of comparing Motoko to regular people that have been dubbed because her merge with The Puppetmaster and the net itself effectively makes her ghost pretty vast, so she can separate herself into more, and more capable, fractions… or at least that’s how I see it.

I think Togusa is problematised a lot in Innocence. During the conversation with Haraway the shot of his face reminds me a lot of the ghosthacked garbage man in the first movie; I’m not sure whether it’s the photo ‘of his daughter’ I’m thinking of or whether there was another similar shot… but my incredibly unreliable memory is complemented by Batou’s later comment that he might not actually have a wife and kids. It seems safe to say he does, but the fact that this is questioned draws attention to the depiction of memory during the film as ultimately precarious. It also serves to problematise the ‘ownership’ type attitude that Togusa seems to display towards his kid. I can’t say I really know where I’m going with this but it seems important that the kid runs to him asking him first for a present (aside from that it’s a useful plot device to get that doll in there again as a nice little last summation) and that he’s required to be away from home a lot in Section 9, perhaps pointing to a more material relationship … maybe someone else could take the baton on this one?

Have to say I agree with the lost in translation theory you guys are going for with the Haraway conversation; the disparity between the subs and dub for the movie (at least the copy I’ve got) was insane. Even had Kim as saying diametrically opposite things at some point. Still, I think it’s a little unfair to say that Batou and Haraway are presumptuous for having not had kids. Batou has his substitute child (and maybe it’s also important that Gabriel himself is also represented as a doll on the music box during the film), and Haraway’s snappy tone when she predicts Togusa’s question seems indicative, perhaps, of a unfulfilled desire to have kids. It’s just as presumptuous for Togusa, or anyone who is a parent, to assume the moral high ground because of that. You could see Haraway as someone who’s been denied a chance of having kids through infertility; she mentions that she’s not registered at the ovum bank but it’s unclear if this is through choice. Also, she’s probably a little old for having kids when Togusa and Batou first meet her. Maybe it’s interesting, then, that they feel they have to sexualise her, although she’s clearly very resistant to it. They describe her as ‘not your average techie’ and then joke about being attracted to her. It’s unclear, to me at least, whether Togusa is deadpan or simply serious in his reply. What is clear is that they both seem uncomfortable with a woman who can’t or won’t ‘naturally’ reproduce.

Maybe Togusa is just getting angry because the comparison between children and gynoids strikes a deep taboo chord?
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Freitag



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always thought that Motoko used the Gynoid as a remote control puppet and didn't' insert a fragment of herself into it.

From an animation point - it is pretty impressive that they can establish the identity of the Major in the doll without saying a word!

Wasn't she totally silent? The only think I recall that even borders on communication is the passing of the warning message to Batou with the changing text on those dreidle toys.
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Wanderland



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure that she says to Batou that she can't fit much inside the gynoid; surely that indicates that she was fitting something in it? And we definitely heard her voice speaking to Batou, but she comments that she can't do much in the way of facial expression because the combat program's taking up too much space. She speaks in Locus Solus's place, she just doesn't move her lips, so from an animation point I don't really see it as impressive at all, it's more of a voice acting/sound production triumph, don't you think?
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