Ghost in the Shell- Group 2

Overall, pretty good. The quality of questions was uneven, especially with the writing. Consider an overall editor for your next team assignment. 

 

GHOST IN THE SHELL GROUP PROJECT
Team 02

Image result for ghost in the shell anime pictures
I. Public Security Section 9 is an anti-terrorism arm of the government, operating on the edge, or sometimes beyond, the boundaries of the law. Citizens are kept in the dark of the activities, and even the existence, of section 9.
a. In its covert activities dealing with the Puppet Master, does section 9 go too far? Explain.

Section 9 is almost entirely kept secret from its people, which allows them easily to get away with things that would cause great concerns in the public and even in the bureaucracy. While these signs alone would already make it seem like section 9 needs to be shut down or at least reconstructed to a lesser degree of secrecy among the people, I (use 3rd person in most academic papers) don’t believe they went too far in dealing with the Puppet Master. When a country is facing something as serious as having a hacker that has the ability to hack into peoples mind people’s minds and make them do and believe anything they wish, then the country is in has big problems.
Facing something as big as this, section 9 should do as much as is needed in order to take the Puppet Master down. While the government should always take precautions in what is needed to be done to fix a problem, this one was extremely serious and caused great danger to the citizens. , that any measure should’ve been taken to take the Puppet Master down. Unless the country is in grave imminent danger, then these type of activities shouldn’t be happening. In dealing with terrorism like this one, I would approve of the type of measures that section 9 took.

b. Is a government ever justified in violating its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens? If not, why not? If so, what examples can you provide, either from the film or real life?

In this movie, the government violates a lot of its law in order to keep harmony and peace among its people. However, there comes a point where the government is doing more bad than good in doing this. Here in the US, our first amendment protects people’s right to freedom of expression. However the government has implemented its own rules as to what “expression” means. While the US Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech” there has been several cases where people have been detained and even arrested for saying certain things; like “i have a bomb” when on a plane or for making threats to the president. Other times they can do as much as force teams to fire their players if they take a knee during the national anthem in the NFL.
While in some cases, the government should violate the laws of our first amendment if it causing immediate danger to citizens, these violations should be very limited and extremely monitored so that the government doesn’t get too comfortable in violating its own laws. In general, if the government needs to violate its own laws to ensure safety then maybe those laws shouldn’t be installed in the first place since they are preventing safety.

c. Is a government ever justified in keeping secret its violations of the law? Explain and give an example.

The law should apply the same for both the government and its citizens, everyone should have the same rights and responsibilities. If these were all equal, everyone should have the right to keep secret some violations of the law, even if you are a citizen, in a situation where the secrecy is sought for the greater good of the community or society in general. Laws are meant to be followed, even by the government officials, and specially by them because they are the ones who make the laws, and the ones who penalize those who do not follows these rules and standards; by the government not following them, it is a display of hypocrisy, and it becomes harder to make the citizens follow the same rules.
If a government official or a regular citizen has to break a law for greater good, the rest of the people should be allowed to know it happened and why it happened to be aware of the situation, it should be justified and reasonable. Most likely is, people are going to feel safer by having this information, by knowing what the government is doing, since it is the rest of the citizens who put the people in power where they are, at least in the United States where democracy is employed.

II. The sophistication of many technologies in the film is futuristic; their existence is not. Bionics, the Internet, and artificial intelligence are today relatively commonplace. One of the most disturbing scenes in the film is the garbage man with false, implanted memories. This is not all that far-fetched. Studies show that even so simple a technological artifact as a photograph can be used to create false memories that people are certain are real.

a. How is information technology used in the world of Ghost in the Shell to influence and control behavior and perception?

Information technology is used in the world of Ghost in the Shell very much. Basically, this whole movie surrounds it. There are these “shells” which is technology gaining control of the body and giving them superpowers or editing their memories. It’s used to control perception and behavior because it’s useful to the person in control. In the case of the garbageman, it doesn’t help him to his advantage. The so-called “puppet master” uses this shell and alternate the garbage man’s memory to help him hack. Doing these he implements fake memories and fake stories to give the garbage man motivation. By doing this he has completely altered the man’s behavior and perception of things. Without him even knowing he’s been living this whole fake life up until the point he is captured and told that all he thinks he knows is false.

(https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.criticalcommons.org/Members/CTCS505/clips/Ghost%2520in%2520the%2520Shell_phil_trim.mov/embed_view?width%3D450&sa=D&ust=1537750166843000&usg=AFQjCNHtCVjfzAO5ANbF6TGiES7NbNbzkA)

3. In his essay, Deresiewicz argues “…that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”

a. How does Major Kusanagi utilize solitude? What insight does it give her?

Major Kusanagi is always connected to everyone she never has a moment for herself, except when she goes diving in the ocean. Since she is a full 100% cyborg, sometimes she has doubts about whether she has a ghost or if she is just a program. When she dives, she feels as though she is her own person, that she is really feeling emotions. Since she is mechanized she is far heavier than a normal person her diving seems insane since she puts herself in danger relying solely on the flotation devices. She uses the dive as a way to disconnect that she feels negative emotions like fear and loneliness but also among those there is a feeling of hope. Her dives allow her to evaluate herself without others, she is securing and exploring herself, to see if her ghost is really hers or not.

(https://www.google.com/url?q=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v%3DdryGV31YK3c&sa=D&ust=1537750166841000&usg=AFQjCNHLkxmcNzR4HSkc8Fnc-bOLa_qBoA)
b. Is Deresiewicz right when he says we are approaching a time when information technology makes solitude socially undesirable, or even impossible? Has that time already occurred in the world of the film? Explain your answer.

Deresiewicz is right because in our current society we all want to be connected with people, we want to know what is going on in their lives and we want our own life to be known. We are constantly sharing our pictures, our thoughts, our ideologies on social media, and most of the time we are interested on not only letting people know about them, we also want them, the people we know, our friends and family, to comment on our posts, we want them to get involved with us, and we want to be involved with what they have to say as well.
In the world of the film, it is impossible to be disconnected to the world, everyone has some sort of technology on them at all times, and as shown in the movie, this these technologies can be accessed by other people, giving access to not only to relatives but also strangers to their lives. Even in our world this is not strange, as we can see hacking devices is something common and we are working on technologies fighting to avoid this, on how to keep strangers and undesired individuals away from our private information.

4. The movie was based on a manga originally published in 1989.
a. Various forms of media (using McLuhan’s definition of a medium as “an extension of ourselves”) have had an impact on the way people use, create, store, access, and communicate information. Give 3 historical examples of such media and describe their impact.

b. Select the one medium that has appeared after 1989 which has had the greatest impact on the information landscape. Explain.

c. How might the technology in answer 4b, above, have affected the story

Part 4

A.) Since the integration of media into society, media has had a hand in shaping society in various ways, such as how information travels. The first form of media that has played a significant role in society is the invention of the telegraph. The first in the electric age. Other forms of media have existed for millennia.  With this invention the way in which society communicates was transformed, it allowed the simplification of long-distance communication as well as laying the groundwork for the telephone, which has a major impact on our society today. Good.  Prior to the invention of the telegraph however was the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg. During this time the invention of this device made it possible for the mass production of books and other forms of written media. Due to this invention it was also possible for people to acquire global news quicker and more accurately. Another form of media that has shaped our society would be smartphones. The smartphone combined the previous two forms of media into one handheld device, which is used to communicate information in seconds. Interesting point. Smartphones have changed the way humans do everything; whereas in the past people would wake up and read the morning paper, the common thing to do now is wake up and browse social media. Over time, technology has evolved, and new forms of media have come with its evolution.

Telegraph:

Printing Press:

Smartphone:

B.) Historically one medium that has impacted the information landscape the most since 1989 is the World Wide Web. The web was made available to the average consumer in 1991 and since then it has enabled individuals to access a plethora of information with ease (McGoogan). Based on the work of Marshall McLuhan it is safe to say that he would agree with the statement that the web has played a pivotal role in society. As well as proving his point about the media being the message, because the web is not pivotal because of the information it provides but because of the way in which it provides the information to a lot of people. Very good point.
C.) The impact that the web had on the storyline of the film can be seen throughout. For instance, the databases in which the cyborgs access throughout the film are similar to that of the web. Considering the ideas of this type of technology already exist it is not news that the notion to connect to a database in order to access and communicate information was prevalent in this movie. By inputting web into the film it could have changed the overall storyline. This is because it would have allowed information to be given to everyone and not exclusively to the cyborgs. Yes. This could have possibly changed the storyline, as it would have been harder for the government to keep the citizens ignorant to their activities. Overall the web did indeed play a part in the film as it shows the connection of technology with humanity is important.

Works Cited

Palermo, Elizabeth. “Who Invented the Printing Press?” LiveScience, Purch, 25 Feb. 2014, http://www.livescience.com/43639-who-invented-the-printing-press.html

“History of the Web.” World Wide Web Foundation,
http://www.webfoundation.org/about/vision/history-of-the-web/

McGoogan, Cara. “Internaut Day: The World’s First Public Website Went Online 25 Years Ago Today.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 6 Aug. 2016,
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/08/06/the-worlds-first-website-went-online-25-years-ago-today/.
Contributions:

#1 part A and B: Juliana Hontou
#2 part A and #3 part A: Nicole Nissing
#1 part C and #3 part B: Alejandro A.
#4 (all) part A, B, and C: Ana Rubiano

 

 

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Ghost in the Shell-Assignment 3

Hi Team 16! 

Excellent work! Great graphics and terrific analysis.  Very impressive writing.

 

Team 16

Part 1: Public Security Section 9 is an anti-terrorism arm of the government, operating on the edge, or sometimes beyond, the boundaries of the law. Citizens are kept in the dark of the activities, and even the existence, of section 9.

 

a. In its covert activities dealing with the Puppet Master, does section 9 go too far? Explain.

 

Being that Section 9 functions under public security, it’s job is to keep the people safe. Yes, capturing the Puppet Master would help to ensure public safety, but this is counterintuitive when the process of seizing Project 2501 or the Puppet Master involves wreaking havoc in, otherwise, peaceful streets. Once you are potentially harming society, then you are just as guilty as the Puppet Master itself. Section 9’s hunt for the Puppet Master is more personal than business, which is why Major Motoko Kusanagi and the rest of Section 9 show no mercy for those caught in the crossfire of the deadly pursuit of the Puppet Master. As long as Project 2501 is terminated, all is well in the world.

 

b. Is a government ever justified in violating its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens? If not, why not? If so, what examples can you provide, either from the film or real life?

A government that violates its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens is hypocritical and, therefore, just as bad as its enemy. A perfect example of a government violating its own laws to ensure public safety would be the enhanced interrogation techniques in black sites such as Guantanamo Bay. Under the Bush administration, CIA and DIA agents used systematic torture on detainees. Beatings, deafening noise, sleep deprivation to the point of hallucination, and other inhumane methods were used to get answers out of the detainees. This is not justified. Torturing the detainees is putting the U.S Government and the criminals on the same level. The government is supposed to function as an example and not as vengeance aimed at those who have done wrong by the law. Another example would be U.S. Intelligence agencies that violate federal surveillance laws. There have been over 200 violations from the NSA and the FBI with violations that include violating attorney-client privilege, conducting unlawful surveillance of Americans, and over-collecting data. After extensive research, it has been revealed that the government took a considerable amount of time to report such violations to the FISA Court, which authorizes and oversees the government’s surveillance powers. This is also a violation to the Constitution’s fourth amendment and an invasion of privacy on numerous Americans. Although the government has a duty to keep the U.S. safe, nobody can have the right to go against the The Constitution and spy on Americans under any circumstance.

c. Is a government ever justified in keeping secret its violations of the law? Explain and give an example.

The public should always be informed. A government that keeps secrets its violations of the law is corrupt. Leaving citizens in the dark about its actions only leads to mistrust and more defiance among society. To better support this claim, one can refer to the tortures at Guantanamo Bay. They most accurately expose how the government has tried to keep secrets from its citizens and how it has backfired on them. After these interrogations were leaked, citizens fought for basic human rights and the Detainee Treatment Act was passed. While some were compelled toward making positive change, others were leaning more toward rebellion against the government because of their lack of accountability toward its citizens.

Part 2The sophistication of many technologies in the film is futuristic; their existence is not. Bionics, the Internet, and artificial intelligence are today relatively commonplace. One of the most disturbing scenes in the film is the garbage man with false, implanted memories. This is not all that far-fetched. Studies show that even so simple a technological artifact as a photograph can be used to create false memories that people are certain are real.

 

a. How is information technology used in the world of Ghost in the Shell to influence and control behavior and perception?  

 

 In the world of the movie Ghost in the Shell, information technology is used to manipulate and abuse the actions of the people. This is evident in the way in which in their intelligent society, everyone is exchanging information with someone else and can actually search for things in their cyberbrain which has access to the Internet and other information. From the beginning of the movie, one can already realize that the people are are completely unaware and unable to distinguish real from fake. The garbage man held several memories of his daughter and wife in the form of photographs as proof of their existence. When he was asked several questions about them, however, he was not able to recollect anything about them. People watching this movie can conclude that these memories were just implanted into his brain to be able to control his behavior in society. As the film progresses, technology is not only displayed as an advancement, but an achievement as well. It begins to limit society and is basically stripping them of their human rights. Towards the end of the movie, the viewer is able to understand that information technology in the movie Ghost in the Shell combines both what is real and what is fake causing ultimate confusion in society just to be able to have control and power.

 

Part 3: In his essay, Deresiewicz argues “…that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”

a. How does Major Kusanagi utilize solitude? What insight does it give her?

Deresiewicz argues that people today cannot practice solitude because the effects of technology have made seclusion in to something that is uncomfortable or, in Major Kusanagi’s society, dangerous. We find comfort in the things that give us company, which is why something as simple as going out to run errands on your own is so hard to do without reaching for your phone at any sign of self-consciousness or “awkwardness”. Society is completely reliant on sharing on social media and scrolling through feeds as a cushion for self-consciousness. Technology has made alone time a scarce occurrence. In Ghost in the Shell, Major Kusanagi was diving at night when she sees her own reflection in the water. She, unlike others, uses her solitude to explore her ghost. She feels anxious and afraid when she’s diving. This gives her hope because if she can feel this, it means she is more than just a cyborg body and brain and, therefore, she has not completely sold herself to Section 9. Major Kusanagi ultimately uses solitude to gain a sense of individualism and emancipation from the high level maintenance in which she functions.  

b. Is Deresiewicz right when he says we are approaching a time when information technology makes solitude socially undesirable, or even impossible? Has that time already occurred in the world of the film? Explain your answer.

Deresiewicz is right. Today, people are one their information technology and solitude is not for the commoner. Everyone is infatuated with information technology because it connects them with everyone else in the world and provides company. How can we practice solitude when we live in the age of social media where we are connected with people halfway across the globe with just one swipe?  Information technology seeks to tie us together and solitude tries to cut that chord. Major Kusanagi said, “those who really want to seek solitude can do so,” but she is not like most and finds comfort in the fear and anxiety that solitude brings her. It is not impossible, but it takes a type of person to go against information technology and partake in isolation. In Ghost in the Shell, the existing information technology was different from ours. The information technology they refer to is not that of social media, but of the cyborg body and brain they use to help them function. However, this form of information technology makes all the individuals in society the same. The only difference between our society and the one in the film is that we, through information technology, choose to be connected, or lack solitude. The citizens in the film were born into sameness, resulting in a lack of isolation.

Image result for people connected

Part 4: The movie was based on a manga originally published in 1989.

a. Various forms of media (using McLuhan’s definition of a medium as “an extension of ourselves”) have had an impact on the way people use, create, store, access, and communicate information. Give 3 historical examples of such media and describe their impact.?

One major example of media being an “extension of ourselves” would be the common use of the telephone. This source of media allows us to communicate and get information from someone distances away. The telephone gives us a two-way communication that we cannot otherwise receive unless the person which you are talking to is standing right next to you. In Ghost in the Shell, there are several scenes where Motoko Kusanagi extends herself. communicating with others through her cyberbrain. Another example would be the use of finding out information through the Internet. We are at a current age and time period where information is literally at our fingertips. It only takes seconds to type something in to a search engine and be informed on a certain topic. This advancement is enhanced in Ghost in the Shell when trying to find the Puppet Master and any correlations towards him. Even finding a simple trash route within seconds exemplifies how quickly information is able to be retrieved for the benefit of a person. The final example would be social media. It is the way that way we interact and communicate with one another that builds who we are as people and how we portray ourselves into others. We are shaped by the things we like, the people who most inspire us on social media, and who we interact with behind a phone screen. In Ghost in the Shell, Kunasagi’s strong relationship with Togusa is enhanced because they both share similar characteristics. Although they are not using the same kind of information technology, they share common interests which is much like the way in which we typically use social media to connect with those which we find things in common with.

b. Select the one medium that has appeared after 1989 which has had the greatest impact on the information landscape. Explain.

The use of current social media has had the greatest impact on not only the information landscape and makes us question whether the information we’re given is trustworthy or not. Since information is so easily found due to the constant upload of new articles and new stories, it is hard to know what is the truth and what is not. During the 2016 election there were hundreds of false articles being dished out about each candidate to not only manipulate the ethos of said candidates, but to also entertain the internet community that find entertainment in these articles. While some found humor in them, there was a large community that did in fact believe these articles and what they told about the candidates. This bulk of information in which we are given such freedom to use, while it may be beneficial to society sometimes, also has a wide variety of consequences that most people are unaware of.

c. How might the technology in answer 4b, above, have affected the story?

If people are given so much informational freedom, any minor inconvenience with gathering or receiving wrong information would have sidetracked the entire mission of finding the Puppet Master. Technology is the main component that makes up Ghost in the Shell, but the use of information is part of technology. The way that they communicate with one another affects how well they execute the task of seizing the hacker.

 

Nicole Rodriguez – Part 1 A/B – Editor

Dimitri Harper- Part 1 C

Franco Ferrieros – Part 2

Uroosa Ullah – Part 3 – Media

Ming Yactacyo- Part 4

Ghost in the shell assignment

Wonderful work Team 14!  Excellent graphics and solid analysis of material.  (wellbeing should be well-being) (re-write should be rewrite) I enjoyed reading your post.

Team 14
I. Public Security Section 9 is an anti-terrorism arm of the government, operating on the edge, or sometimes beyond, the boundaries of the law. Citizens are kept in the dark of the activities, and even the existence, of section 9.

a. In its covert activities dealing with the Puppet Master, does section 9 go too far? Explain.

Yes, Section 9’s obsession with the puppet master leads them to do whatever it takes to find him/her, even if that means killing, breaking the law and lying to citizens. In the first scene of the movie, Section 9 killed a foreign power who was entitled to a diplomatic immunity because he was taking classified programmers outside of the country, this scene shows how section 9 can do whatever they want without the permission of the government. In another scene of the movie, Kusanagi and Batou are chasing an agent controlled by the puppet master. To escape from the scene the agent turned on a therm-optic camouflage to disguise and ran away. Batou in a desperate attempt to find the agent opened fire to every movement he perceived killing an innocent citizen who was passing by the area, batou did not check on the citizen instead he kept running behind the agent.

You can watch the video of the scene they chase the agent here:   https://youtu.be/OisFMN1BWvg

b. Is a government ever justified in violating its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens? If not, why not? If so, what examples can you provide, either from the film or in real life?

Yes, for example in the film the government has violated the law of transparency by keeping Section 9 and the Puppet Master as a secret to its citizens. The secrecy of Section 9 and the activities of the Puppet Master was to ensure that the major populations would not panic and hinder the departments’ investigations into tracking down the Puppet Master. This would result in Causing a massive hysteria by allowing the general public to know that some unknown criminal hacker had the power to infiltrate into their brains and re-write their memories, or permanently delete them, would cause massive problems to the manhunt by Section 9. Therefore, if it is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its citizens, the government is totally justified in violating its own laws, in regards to transparency and nothing else. So long as the rights of the citizens and their health are not at a complete jeopardy at all times.

Resultado de imagen para nixon denies role in coverup

c. Is a government ever justified in keeping secret its violations of the law? Explain and give an example.

The government is usually being justified in keeping secrets, in other words, the information exposed to the public eye isn’t always open in order to hide the truth. The government frequently uses claims of secrecy to avoid inspection and conceal damaging information. Secrecy can facilitate renegade in the power that is held within the government. We personally believe that although the public has the right to know the truth about most issues that are dealt with from day to day we also have the right to selectively choose our government. It is very controversial, but at times some information should be kept secret for the safety of our country. There are many things that have been kept away from the public, but one that was recently exposed was during the election when Hillary was accused of the email scandal. Allegations were made that she held top secret information that classified as to the highest level of information and received the most coverage of any topic.           

Resultado de imagen para hillary clinton emails

II. The sophistication of many technologies in the film is futuristic; their existence is not. Bionics, the Internet, and artificial intelligence are today relatively commonplace. One of the most disturbing scenes in the film is the garbage man with false, implanted memories. This is not all that far-fetched. Studies show that even so simple a technological artifact as a photograph can be used to create false memories that people are certain are real.

a. How is information technology used in the world of Ghost in the Shell to influence and control behavior and perception?   

Information technology is the main factor that controls the cyborgs, everything the cyborgs know is due to the technology. In the movie, it shows Kusanagi has four connection ports on the back of her neck in a square pattern which allows her to access stored data. The most prominent use of controlled behavior with the use of information technology is clearly evident near the start of the film with one of the two trash collectors. He was hacked by the Puppet Master and fed false memories about having a family, a wife, and child, which allowed the Puppet Master to essentially control every action of the man. The trash collector’s perception of reality became fragile after Section 9 interviewed him after their assault. He was devastated by the sudden realization that everything he thought he knew was false and that there would be no recovery from the hacking by the Puppet Master.

Video of the trash collector being interviewed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6JGmEKzqL8

III. In his essay, Deresiewicz argues “…that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”

a. How does Major Kusanagi utilize solitude? What insight does it give her?

Major Kusanagi is shown in the film to utilize solitude in two pivotal scenes to self-reflect on her own existence and what it means to be a cyborg with a human/ghost consciousness.  The first scene is when Major is waking up and staring out of her apartment window. The silhouette of her body against the skyline shows a stark contrast between the bustling future cityscape and her isolation even in a world that is clearly hyper-connected with each other physically, mentally, and mechanically. The second scene is when Major is floating underneath her boat for long periods of time to feel scared, cold, and isolated similarly to how she felt in the apartment. The insight she gets from doing these types of meditations is a deeper connection to who she is without any interference or influence from any external stimuli she would’ve had from being connected to the hyper-web or around others. Major becomes very existential about her own existence and what it would mean to be ‘alive’ in a world where most people are more machine than human.

Video of Major “meditating”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cAAvbe-ojQ

b. Is Deresiewicz right when he says we are approaching a time when information technology makes solitude socially undesirable, or even impossible? Has that time already occurred in the world of the film? Explain your answer.

Deresiewicz is right, the time of information technology making solitude socially undesirable, has already come for more progressive countries that have higher standards of technology like the United States, China, Russia, etc. and is clearly evident by the populations use of social media. Most people nowadays have access to smartphones and the internet in general, making solitude and isolation from people quite undesirable because of how easy it is to connect with others around the globe. Currently, it is not impossible because the technology isn’t embedded within ourselves, yet, so we still have the option of completely disconnecting. In the world of the film, it is clearly shown that brain augmentations allow for a human to be embedded into the literal web of the internet. Thus, for this fictional world, solitude is not very common and is apparently undesirable for a large percentage of the human/cyborg population, besides the case for Major.

In this video, the cityscape is shown and just how interconnected everything is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AISkqoU11dc

IV. The movie was based on a manga originally published in 1989.

a. Various forms of media (using McLuhan’s definition of a medium as “an extension of ourselves”) have had an impact on the way people use, create, store, access, and communicate information. Give 3 historical examples of such media and describe their impact.

Print media, telephones, and internet are all historical examples that impacted society and the way we communicate and share information. Print media made it possible for people to become literate. The creation of newspapers, magazines, and books helped in the democratization of knowledge that led to better inventions. Telephones gave us the opportunity to communicate with people from far off distances through a device making socializing easier and faster. Lastly, the internet provided the access to information around the globe, the ability to stored and create content on the web allowed freedom of expression. The use of the internet has helped to increase economy and education.  it opened up the doors for people to share their thoughts in a creative manner through such a large platform. This technology has snowballed into something bigger throughout the ages and evolved into what we know today. We rely on this technology on a day to day basis to communicate effectively and efficiently.

Video on technology that shaped history:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u43zr_7Y0ts

b. Select the one medium that has appeared after 1989 which has had the greatest impact on the information landscape. Explain.

The World Wide Web has fundamentally altered the nature and function of information in our society. It has brought certain challenges and opportunities. It has undoubtedly altered how people interact with each other, how communities are formed, how opinions are shared. It has created a digital commodity, the web is available for almost anyone at any time and anywhere. The WWW refers to space on the internet where information, such as web pages and documents, is stored and made accessible. The influence and relevance of the web increase day by day, creating a new mindset. The web is whatever you want it to be – a tool to bring people together, create new businesses, disrupt entire industries, watch celebrities melt down, share links, create your own blog, check your emails, check the weather, “google”, watch a soccer game live, etc. It’s all things to all people. Its creation is a moment in history that those who have witnessed should feel privileged, and one that will be regarded as an evolution of mankind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvYQMwPn9l8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFr0KUwwUww

c. How might the technology in answer 4b, above, have affected the story?

The world wide web is a global communication medium in which users can read and write via computers connected to the internet. In the movie, Kusanagi and batou are this computers created by Section 9 that function with the web. Since the puppet master was a hacker, cyborgs were needed to provide any information they could find for Section 9. In one scene of the movie, it shows Kusanagi connects to the car and navigates through the web to find the location of the agent that was controlled by the puppet master. The web on the cyborgs allowed easy communication between them and Section 9 wherever they were. On another scene, the puppet master hacked into the mind of Kusanagi and batou while they were talking on a boat. Overall, the WWW was the cyborgs’ tool that made it easy for Section 9 to capture the puppet master.  

Resultado de imagen para ghost in the shell cyborgs

Credits

Agustina Tellez: Developed answer IV b.  

Amber Einhorn: Developed answers I b, II a, III a, and III b.

Ashley Rodriguez: Research and writer of question IV a.  

Maria Grijalva: Editor and writer of question I a and IVc.

Martina Moffatt: Writer of question I c.

Ghost in the Shell Assignment

Denise Gonzalez-Abreu
Adriana Cano
Ashley Sondon

Professor Pearson

Team 12

24 Sep 2018

 

Hi Team 12!  Excellent job, good writing, great graphics, enjoyed the read!  Keep up the good work!

Ghost in the Shell Assignment

  1. Public Security Section 9 is an anti-terrorism arm of the government, operating on the edge, or sometimes beyond, the boundaries of the law. Citizens are kept in the dark of the activities, and even the existence, of section 9.

a. In its covert activities dealing with the Puppet Master, does section 9 go too far? Explain.

In “Ghost in the Shell”, Public Security Section 9 operates independently from the government. They work similarly to how the FBI works with the American government. The difference is they are allowed to act with or without government consent since almost no one knows about their existence. They are the best when it comes to technology and the internet, this is why they are trying to eliminate cyberterrorism.

Dealing with the Puppet Master, Section 9 does not go too far. Since they are not directly related to the government, the actions are not perceived as a crime made by the authorities. They are only trying to find out what and who is the Puppet Master to be able to destroy it. Even though they do hurt people that have been hacked by the Puppet Master, Section 9 helps them by trying to recover their memory. They want to protect everyone from the cyber terrorism and all the harm it is doing. Even though Section 9 does harm citizens when trying to destroy him, they are not trying to kill or hurt people, only the Puppet Master.

At the end, when Section 9 finds out what and who is the Puppet Master, there is no need for any more killing because they come to an agreement.

b. Is a government ever justified in violating its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens? If not, why not? If so, what examples can you provide, either from the film or in real life?

No. The government should follow the same laws all citizens follow. Today, many secret acts of the government could be called as terroristic acts, but, since they are the government, it’s not viewed as such a negative action. It is not fair for citizens to follow laws and pay the price for their actions when the government is not committed to obeying those laws as well.

Even though Section 9 breaks the laws and keeps secrets from the government for a good cause, I do not think it is correct. The law applies to everyone, and it is created to be followed. Just because someone has a higher authority does not give them the right to break the law.

For example, a poor father that steals food for his children is considered a crime and could result in jail. Just because the father wants to feed his children does not give him the right to steal.  

c. Is a government ever justified in keeping secret its violations of the law? Explain and give an example.

All governments keep many things secret. They are the higher authority and would not want to lose their power or worry people when they break the law. But, in my opinion, they are citizens just as we all are. Keeping violations secret will just create a dishonest government that does not function the way it is theoretically supposed to function.

If the government thinks the law is needed to be broken then they should not rule the country. They are supposed to be the “model” of how the country is supposed to function, and by breaking the laws they are insinuating a behavior that would result in disaster, even when kept secret.

2. The sophistication of many technologies in the film is futuristic; their existence is not. Bionics, the Internet, and artificial intelligence are today relatively commonplace. One of the most disturbing scenes in the film is the garbage man with false, implanted memories. This is not all that far-fetched. Studies show that even so simple a technological artifact as a photograph can be used to create false memories that people are certain are real.

a. How is information technology used in the world of Ghost in the Shell to influence and control behavior and perception? 

In the world of Ghost in the Shell, information technology is used to hack into the memories of its citizens. The hacking distorts one’s perception of the real world, ultimately creating a false reality. This allows the government to have more control of its citizens and their decisions.

During the scene in which Major discusses the effects of quitting Section 9, she discusses her ghost. Major describes that what makes up her “shell” is an augmented brain and a cyborg body. Major’s mind, her thoughts and her perceptions are what make up her ghost. Her ghost, once human, was manipulated through information technology used by Section 9 for the purpose of total control.

Another example is that of the garbage man with false, implanted memories. The puppet master used information technology to hack into the mind of the garbage man. The puppet master was trying to have the garbage man “ghost hack” into government officials. The puppet master used information technology to hack into the minds of many citizens for the purpose of a government overthrow.

In the world of Ghost in the Shell, citizens have become puppets, easily manipulated and controlled through the influence of Information

3. In his essay, Deresiewicz argues “…that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”

a. How does Major Kusanagi utilize solitude? What insight does it give her?

As previously mentioned in question 2.a., Major’s ghost was once human. However, the memories, thoughts, and perceptions that belonged to that human have been erased through the “ghost hacking” of her mind that was done by Section 9.

Through her moments of solitude and reflection, Major has been able to maintain the slightest connection to the thoughts and perceptions that once governed her ghost. In the Ghost in the Shell, Major demonstrates her connection as a “whisper” she hears in her ghost.

The scene in which Major goes diving expresses her desire for solitude and the impact it has on her mind. Major is able to reflect on her feelings of confinement. ‘

Through utilizing solitude, Major gasps insight of the self. She is able to make the realization that what defines her is not her physical self. On the contrary, the things that define her as an individual are her own personal thoughts and feelings. She becomes aware that forever surrendering to Section 9’s manipulation of her ghost will never allow her to be an individual, a unique and true self.

Her solitude enables her to explore her thoughts and perceptions, as well as her desires to expand herself outside of boundaries.

b. Is Deresiewicz right when he says we are approaching a time when information technology makes solitude socially undesirable, or even impossible? Has that time already occurred in the world of the film? Explain your answer.

We have already entered the time when information technology makes solitude socially undesirable. As Deresiewicz stated in his essay, the revolution of the modern information technology “creates the aptitude for loneliness, the inability to be by yourself.”

The current generation spends the majority of their waking hours glued to their electronic devices. As a collective society, we are physically and emotionally attached to our smartphones, tablets, computers, etc. Every moment of every day is a constant feed of new information provided to keep us constantly connected to the happenings within our world.

We are all just a simple text, tweet, or post away from connecting with each other. We are constantly checking our social media platforms or posting about our mundane activities, desperately trying to escape the dreadful FOMO (fear of missing out).

Even the rare individual who refuses to be self-connected will maintain his connectivity through the individuals connected around him. He might choose to go on an Internet fast, but he will maintain his connection to the world through conversations with co-workers or family members who have maintained their connectivity.

It is impossible, in today’s day and age, to be alone. The notion of experiencing true solitude is inconceivable.

4. The movie was based on a manga originally published in 1989.

a. Various forms of media (using McLuhan’s definition of a medium as “an extension of ourselves”) have had an impact on the way people use, create, store, access, and communicate information. Give 3 historical examples of such media and describe their impact.

Print Media: Print media, specifically magazines, is an extension of how we see ourselves. We reflect on advertisements and the way they sell society’s idea of the ideal person. We have allowed magazines to define the standard of the physical body.

Internet: The Internet is an extension of our brain. This is where people reflect their thoughts and emotions, are able to search for information, and communicate. We allow the internet to manipulate our opinions and, ultimately, form who we are. It allows for a constant access of information from almost every part of the world instantly.

Related image

Cell phones: Cell phones are an extension of our hand. It is almost impossible to not be physically connected to our cell phones. With the passing years, we have become emotionally attached to our phones as an extension of who we are. This is why when we do not have them at arm’s reach, we worry so immensely.

b. Select the one medium that has appeared after 1989 which has had the greatest impact on the information landscape. Explain.

Out of our three examples, we believe that the internet has had the greatest impact on the information landscape. The reason is that the internet is one of the largest databases in the entire world. You can find a information on any subject, place or thing in the world. It has created a great change since the foundation of it, and with the amount of information it has, it has become a necessity for us to use it every day. The internet has left a major footprint in the world and changed the way we send quick information within seconds from separate places in the world.

c. How might the technology in answer 4b, above, have affected the story?

The internet affected the story in, “Ghost in the Shell” in the sense that the technology used by the government, Sections 6 and 9, and the Puppet Master were all internet or web-based. The computers that created their ghosts, the power they have to control people, and the whole problem with the cyber-terrorism started with the concept “ghost hacking”. Ghost hacking cannot be done without the use of the internet and the connectivity it provides. The internet if used correctly and without malice can be such an amazing creation. Otherwise, it can be manipulated and used as a weapon.

 

Ghost in the Shell

Image result for section 9 ghost in the shell

EXCELLENT WRITING, GREAT GRAPHICS! HATS OFF TO TEAM TEN.

 

 

I. Public Security Section 9 is an anti-terrorism arm of the government, operating on the edge, or sometimes beyond, the boundaries of the law. Citizens are kept in the dark of the activities, and even the existence, of section 9.

 

a. In its covert activities dealing with the Puppet Master, does section 9 go too far? Explain.

 

Ghost in the Shell by Masamune Shirow tells the story of a fictional anti-crime/counter-terrorist unit named Public Security Section 9 (which is also known as Section 9), that’s an intelligence department specializing in cyber-crimes. In this film, terrorism often takes the form of remote mind control or Cyber brain invasions or infections, due to computer viruses. The level of cyberization demonstrated by the different members of Section 9 can vary from minimal interfaces to complete brain replacement with cybernetic parts, turning them into cyborgs. The Section 9 team occurs as policing more than violent criminals and as a police force it gets locked in an arms race with an increasingly inhuman enemy but lost bits’ ability to serve the public trust and protect the innocent.

 

b. Is a government ever justified in violating its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens? If not, why not? If so, what examples can you provide, either from the film or real life?

 

A government should be justified from violating its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens. However, this should only be done so if it is absolutely necessary, for example, if a law is outdated, and has proven to be harmful compared to when it was passed, or if something is done for the greater good. Just following what is allowed does not mean that it is correct. It can be seen in real life with the “No-Fly Lists” that the U.S. made because of the events of 9/11, which ban certain people to fly either within or above the United States. This is a violation of the Fifth Amendment; however, it is to prevent terrorism and seems to be effective in ensuring security. Overall, if a violation is done by the government, as long as it is not for self-serving or selfish intentions then it would not be morally incorrect.

 

c. Is a government ever justified in keeping secret its violations of the law? Explain and give an example.

 

A government should ideally be transparent and clear with its people. When violating its own laws, which of course the government really should not do in the first place, it can be chaotic to announce to the public. However, secrets also do come out, and in turn, it could be worse for citizens to find out later. In reality, however, it would be justifiable if a government keeps their violations of the law in secret if it, for example, prevents a complete chaotic uprising or anything that would endanger the country itself more. Although, it would be wrong for the government to deny a violation in order to keep it secret, as it will basically come to life anyhow. It is clear with the Watergate Scandal for example that it is seen as wrong and unjustifiable by the public when the government keeps secrets of things or actions that were not done right, because in the end, all of the secrets got out, and that led to Nixon resigning before the Supreme Court would be able to impeach him.

 

 

 

Image result for ghost in shell false memories

II. The sophistication of many technologies in the film is futuristic; their existence is not. Bionics, the Internet, and artificial intelligence are today relatively commonplace. One of the most disturbing scenes in the film is the garbage man with false, implanted memories. This is not all that far-fetched. Studies show that even so simple a technological artifact as a photograph can be used to create false memories that people are certain are real.

 

Information technology is used in the world of Ghost in a Shell in a variety of ways. Often in the movie, a project who was more technologically advanced would basically hack into people’s mechanical brains not only to alter the existing memories that they may have had to cover for to projects that were occurring but also to get information that people had in their minds. The government had control over citizens since they were able to retrieve all information people had stored when they would connect themselves to the system. For instance, the specific scene with the garbage man depicted the overly controlled society. The man was used as a ghost hacker but had only a limited amount of recollection since all of his memories were changed to make him believe that he had a perfect life, which actually, ended up being the complete opposite. This demonstrates that even with remarkable technological advances, there are also advanced disadvantages.

 

 

Image result for major kusanagi water scene

III. In his essay, Deresiewicz argues “…that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”

 

a. How does Major Kusanagi utilize solitude? What insight does it give her?

 

Major Kusanagi faces the conflict of emotion. There are times that she seems to show signs of feeling, but in the world, they live in, she’s a program, tasked with the job of targeting cyber terrorism and isn’t intended to channel emotions. While floating through the canals of the city Kusanagi notices a girl that looks like her, however, she shows no sense of it. This demonstrates that the Major is subconsciously living in constant loneliness.  As she is programmed to solitude and isn’t meant to know anything other than what she’s told. As sad as it seems, it facilitates her in finding the Puppet Master. Having Kusanagi’s mind locked in a body (or shell, as referred to in the film) is the main reason why she is able to find him. She has no further knowledge other than what her mind is programmed to do, enabling her to be drawn to the Puppet Master. Everything she is conflicted within the partial realization that she is a lifeform trapped in a shell is what the Puppet Master uses to conjoin their minds in order to reach his goal – to be above the intelligence of the world. Kusanagi’s solitude helped to focus on the task of finding the Puppet Master, when confronted with him, ironically, the slight emotion from being alone was her downfall.

 

b. Is Deresiewicz right when he says we are approaching a time when information technology makes solitude socially undesirable, or even impossible? Has that time already occurred in the world of the film? Explain your answer.

 

Analyzing Deresiewicz’s article on solitude, it’s clear that the advances in technology and uses of social media cause people to find solitude undesirable. Society has become obsessed with the number of followers one has on Instagram or the views one gets on YouTube and when it comes to being alone, people feel uncomfortable. If one were to ask current students if they could sit on a beach without technology, it is highly unlikely that many of them would say yes. People today send hundreds or maybe even thousands of messages, daily. In the film, Ghost in the Shell, it is apparent that the time has already been upon them where the advancement of technology has made being alone a foreign concept. The technology of planting people’s minds into a shell, (or “ghosts” as it is called in the movie) results in the ‘blindness’ of gender and memory loss of their prior lives. As Kusanagi doesn’t recognize her gender, she goes unbothered that she in the form of a female body is often nude in front of her male counterpart (Bartou). While Bartou isn’t a ghost, his uncomfortableness is noticeable when Kusanagi’s naked, especially in the diving scene, where Kusanagi is in the ocean recalling her creation.  The advancement of technology results in people becoming foreign to physical socialization and being dependent on technology (specifically for constant information). Which is symbolized in the relationship between Bartou and Major Kusanagi, with the implication that their relationship is comparable to the bonds of man and technology.

 

 

 

Image result for 1989 manga ghost in the shell

IV. The movie was based on a manga originally published in 1989.

 

a. Various forms of media (using McLuhan’s definition of a medium as “an extension of ourselves”) have had an impact on the way people use, create, store, access, and communicate information. Give 3 historical examples of such media and describe their impact.

 

Political influence: Trump-Russia Election Scandal (Facebook)

McLuhan’s idea of media as an extension of ourselves fits exactly in this case. The influence of social media ad campaigns and using our data to show exactly what we expect to win our votes. The impact of social media could not get better than this. The fact that another country altogether is involved in influencing elections in the United States of America is totally mind confusing and shows the huge impact that media has on us.

The Haiti Earthquake Relief (Twitter)

When the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, people were devastated. But more than that one could witness humanity in the form of aid. The record timing and collection of fund and resources to help the affected was nothing short of a miracle of the media. If not for Twitter and how we perceived the information, it could have been an even worse disaster.

Entertainment: Binge watching (YouTube)

All of us would remember that funny video “Charlie bit my finger” on YouTube. It had influenced people so much that people started coming up with TV shows focused on funny videos. Thousands of channels sprung up to provide funny content. It led to a great business and is the livelihood of many people today. If not for YouTube many people would be jobless today. Media’s impact is such that it is creating jobs as we’ve never seen before.

 

b. Select the one medium that has appeared after 1989 which has had the greatest impact on the information landscape. Explain.

 

The one form of medium that has largely impacted the information landscape has been the computer, due to the fact that it gives humanity the access to the internet, which is the modern main way of communication. The computer has the advantage of offering video and live coverage at a much faster pace, making a story come alive more vividly, it is also a faster-paced medium. A story will probably be flashier, more in-depth, and with more context than the same story covered on the television; therefore, people who get the majority of their news from the television may have a particular view of the world shaped not by the content of what they read but its medium. It may also, wrongfully portray certain areas as dangerous with everyone bearing guns and as if there were always shootings occurring. Which is a mirror of the way certain Americans see Iraqi’s as terrorists, when it is far from the truth, as comparatively, not every American is gun-crazed,

 

c. How might the technology in answer 4b, above, have affected the story?

 

The computer made it much easier for the Puppet Master to hack into the minds of cyborg-human hybrids cognitive mind and alter what they actually thought to be the reality. It caused the main character, Major Kusanagi to question her own identity and individuality. Making her wonder where her place was in a world where she was neither human nor machine. If Motoko exists as an individual, when there’s the chance that her thoughts and memories may not even be her own, along with the knowledge that they could be programmed artificially and restraining her from thinking freely…potentially even limiting the kinds of thought she can have. Or causing her to question what life might be like if she had more human traits. This also leads her to allow the Puppet Master to hack into her own mind. Just as she was allowed to gain a new body, in turn, she also lost some of herself when she allowed the puppet master to merge with her brain.

 

Resources / Works Cited

 

I.

IV.

 

 

 

 

Team 10

 

John Bukowski – III. a, III. b

Danna Gleizer – I. b, I. c, Editor, Works Cited for questions: I. b, I. c, found the images.

Helem Lorenzo – II. a

Rudolph Pierre – IV. b, IV. c

Laila Shoukry – I. a, IV. a, Works Cited for question IV. a.

 

 

The Ghost in the shell assignment

Excellent work, Team 9. Good content, good writing!

Kayla Serieux

Neigine Petit-Frere

Michael Gise

Steven Lopez

Group 9

9/24/18

 

  1. Public Security Section 9 is an anti-terrorism arm of the government, operating on the edge, or sometimes beyond, the boundaries of the law. Citizens are kept in the dark of the activities, and even the existence, of section 9.
  2. a. In its covert activities dealing with the Puppet Master, does section 9 go too far? Explain.

 

I do believe that section 9 goes too far. The public does not know that section 9 exists and because of this they hold much power and operate independently from the government’s acumen (they can operate with or without the government’s consent). In dealing with the puppet master, their operations surpass the boundaries of law ( Neigine Petit-Frere). These operations usually result in casualties that are never reprimanded, as they exceed any limitations without government consequence.  Another example of their carelessness was when Motoko Kusanagi assassinated a diplomat of a foreign country. This was in order to prevent a programer from deserting their home country. Towards the end of the movie, members of Section 9 murder the driver of the car which did not carry the body they were looking for, the one that contained the Puppet Master’s ghost. A member of the team named Togusa said himself, “You didn’t have to go that far.” Which displays the extremity of their behavior. (Kayla)

 

  1. b. Is a government ever justified in violating its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens? If not, why not? If so, what examples can you provide, either from the film or real life?  

 

—-The government is justified in violating its own laws. When section 9 broke numerous laws, it was because they had to take the extra step to ensure their country and their citizens were not completely destroyed (Neigine). An example of these actions was their pursuit of the ghost-hacked thug. Batou’s attempts to shoot him put the nearby citizens in harm’s way. Although he tried to handle the situation safely by telling them to get down, they weren’t safe from bullets—or Batou himself from shoving them—until he and the man were in a new location. However, if he and Kusanagi would not have capture the thug in the first place, he would have been used to continue his catastrophic actions which put citizens in danger. Therefore, the consequence of not violating the law would’ve been much greater than the consequence of violating a law against shooting a fleeing individual (Kayla). This also applies in real life, as it is necessary to exceed the speed limit when attempting to catch a speeding driver. Officers should always take any measures they see fit in order to catch a dangerous suspect. They are capable of hurting anyone and the government should always be justified if they are truly looking after the safety of their citizens (Steven).

 

  1. c. Is a government ever justified in keeping secret its violations of the law? Explain and give an example.

Yes, the government is justified in keeping secrets. People would panic if they knew about the puppet master and everything that goes on in section 9, including all the casualties they cause. As per real life, the government has held many secrets such as the helicopter incident which became viral via wikileaks. The U.S. army ordered a helicopter strike in Iraq which killed many people and footage of the strike was released on the internet. Many Americans were unhappy upon release of the video and did not understand why such force had to be used when some Iraqi civilians were also killed in the process. This is why many times when the government violates the law (in favor of its citizens), it is justifiable. It is impossible for the government to make everyone happy under such intense circumstances. The picture on the bottom was taken directly from the wikileaks video and shows the Iraqi being looked down upon by the apache helicopter. (Steven)

 

  1. The sophistication of many technologies in the film is futuristic; their existence is not. Bionics, the Internet, and artificial intelligence are today relatively commonplace. One of the most disturbing scenes in the film is the garbage man with false, implanted memories. This is not all that far-fetched. Studies show that even so simple a technological artifact as a photograph can be used to create false memories that people are certain are real.

 

  1. How is information technology used in the world of Ghost in the Shell to influence and control behavior and perception?    

 

—-The majority of the population have “cyber brains,” that are placed in prosthetic bodies. The cyber brains are vulnerable to attacks from computer hackers ( the puppet master) and digital viruses, they can also be controlled by the government. Majority of the population has artificial memories, they as a whole are limited to the creators specifications, they would believe what their creators believe, and do what the creators want them to do. They are restrained from thinking freely, and their personal thoughts are limited. This controls their behavior and perception of  the world. Though they might feel human and believe that they have free will, they are not exactly human; however, they are subject to and can have a “human experience”. An example is when Motoko felt as if she herself was an individual because she had memories, but then Batou shuts down her argument telling her that she is just a self preserving program, and that she can and may be controlled. The information technology in the ghost shell is used to control the populations behavior and perception.(Neigine)

 

  1. In his essay, Deresiewicz argues “…that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”
  2. How does Major Kusanagi utilize solitude? What insight does it give her?

 

In her solitude, Major Kusanagi likes to dive. When she dives, “[she feels] fear, anxiety, isolation and darkness. Sometimes [she feels] hope…” These are emotions, human emotions: emotions a cyborg would only dream of having. She talks about the capabilities of humans—the ability to be free, and having original memories, a distinguishable face and voice—and compares them to the capabilities of cyborgs—amazing athletic skills and “the ability to access vast amounts of information from an infinite network.” The combination of the two is what makes Kusanagi her, except, she doesn’t have an original face, voice, or memories, nor is she free. She essentially belongs to the government; If she gives up her job, she gives up her parts. This is what makes her feel so powerful, yet “confined within boundaries.” She can try to grasp human capabilities, but in the end she’s unsure of her own identity and is trapped by government orders and her own dilema.  

When she dives, she imagines becoming someone else when she floats back. She pins this on the decompression, the experience when floating from the depths of water as the pressure is being reduced. This isn’t a typical experience for cyborg, but of a human diver. Another definition of decompression is the process of expanding computer data. Kusanagi is a computer who wants to expand her experiences, data, beyond her limitations. She wants human capabilities, and with her search for an identity, she wants to be something more, something new: someone else. With seeing the close similarities between her birth and the way she dives, it can be inferred that she wants to be reborn. (Kayla)

 

  1. b. Is Deresiewicz right when he says we are approaching a time when information technology makes solitude socially undesirable, or even impossible? Has that time already occurred in the world of the film? Explain your answer.

Yes, I believe that it is almost frowned upon to want to be alone. We have come upon a time where it is harder than ever to be fully alone, because at the touch of a button using our cell phones we can be connected to hundreds or thousands of people at once.(mike) The government and section 9 holds so much information and power, that solitude is in fact impossible. The population futuristically, as shown in the movie is controlled by technology. A majority of the population is programmed and everyone desires to be connected. Information technology is their livelihood, it is how their world functions, in the film everything is futuristic and computerized. No one is ever truly in solitude. (neigine) Everything is controlled by somebody and the fact that most people are partly robot makes it nearly impossible to not be controlled. (mike)

 

  1. The movie was based on a manga originally published in 1989.

 

  1. a. Various forms of media (using McLuhan’s definition of a medium as “an extension of ourselves”) have had an impact on the way people use, create, store, access, and communicate information. Give 3 historical examples of such media and describe their impact.

 

Speech, specifically human language, allowed for verbal communication between individuals. It is what enhanced social interactions, leading to cooperation, communities, and societies. It also allowed for expression outside of body language and gestures.

Writing, in one of the most simplistic forms: the pen and paper, gave speech a way to transform into something visual and tangible. Information, stories, etc, could be documented instead of having to rely on memorization (Kayla). Written work also allowed for people to send their writing much further than where speech was able to go. It is impossible for the documented work to change or be forgotten such as an oral story.

The radio impacted the way we communicated as a society and it was the first electronic device that came about with significance. It allowed for the first broadcasts which truly connected people from across the country and brought together households to listen to music and all types of programs (Steven).

  1. b. Select the one medium that has appeared after 1989 which has had the greatest impact on the information landscape. Explain.

The emergence of the internet has had a major impact on the information landscape. The ability at any point in time to have access to anything that is going on in the world was never even a thought many years ago. (mike) It has made us less connected to each other than we have ever been before, which is rather ironic because it was devised in order to bring us together. The creation of the internet has deteriorated human interaction, as it is so often to see people always connected to their phones and electronic devices. However, this connection has changed the way we receive information. Media outlets such as newspapers have almost been abolished by the internet, as the successful newspaper companies have had to make the change to online subscriptions. Many TV shows are being replaced by popular youtube channels because you can directly search what you want to see. A short ad or two on a youtube video is much less than the ten or fifteen minutes spent watching television commercials. (Steven)  

 

  1. c. How might the technology in answer 4b, above, have affected the story?

If the movie had this technology i feel as though section 9 would have never existed or lasted. The reason behind that being there has to be people who see the murders or killings that happened. It only takes one picture of them doing something bad in order to get stopped by the government, whoever their leader may be. This isn’t the only effect it would have however, because not only this stuff but if the communication and sharing of information was that easy to the public they would also be able to advertise and help get tips on the people they need help finding. The main downside would be the fact that it would also be so easy to get any of the information that people share so if they ever messed up and killed or took the wrong person and then that word got out they would be screwed. (mike)

Ghost in the Shell Team Assignment

Great work, Team 7. Good writing, content, graphics

 

Team 07:  Alberto L., Shantel S., Mariana G., Fernando P., Amanda B.

  1. Public Security Section 9 is an anti-terrorism arm of the government, operating on the edge, or sometimes beyond, the boundaries of the law. Citizens are kept in the dark of the activities, and even the existence, of section 9.

a. In its covert activities dealing with the Puppet Master, does section 9 go too far?

In “The Ghost in the Shell,” the government is willing to perform illegal activities to keep peace and to avoid chaos amongst the residents in the nation, the “super-class-A hackers” are able to take over people’s cyber-brains, to the extent that they can alter memories or “steal eyes”, altering the victim’s sensory input; this is done in order to acquire information on their thoughts so that there is nothing hidden nor personal about any individual. The US, has laws, just like in the movie, that push the boundaries of freedom in order to maintain safety, like the Patriot Act, which was passed as a response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. “The Act allows federal officials greater authority in tracking and intercepting communications, both for purposes of law enforcement and foreign intelligence gathering.” (http://www.olcu.org/PDFs/USPatriotAct_Summary.pdf)

b. Is a government ever justified in violating its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens? If not, why not? If so, what examples can you provide, either from the film or real life?

A very powerful scene from the movie that shows how the government violated its own laws to ensure the safety of its citizens, was the one where the police barges into an office where the Chief of Section 9 and his staff are located and is told that taking classified programmers out of the country compromises national security, and that he could also be charged with kidnapping. In response, he states that his country is in accordance with international law, to offer anyone protection and safe passage, as they have a signed affidavit. This scene clearly shows both sides because it demonstrates how the government was violating its own laws and the consequences that it may bring but it also shows how he’s doing it to provide safety. In a situation like the one in that scene, it is justifiable for the government to violate its own laws because that was the best way to keep its people safe, and that should be the only reason for the government to do this. There is a thin line between keeping citizens safe and invading their privacy to obtain control over them and for this reason the government should be very careful not to cross that line when violating their own rules. Therefore, if the government were to ever violate their own rules, it should be done only in a dire situation as a need, not as a want or as a regular measure as a means of “prevention” nor as a means of acquiring information for any other purpose or benefit.

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c. Is a government ever justified in keeping secret its violations of the law? Explain and give an example.

The government is not ever justified in keeping its violations of the law a secret because if the government wants to keep it a secret, it means that they are violating it for the wrong reasons, not to provide safety; if it were to provide safety, then there would be no issue with citizens finding out because the provision of safety benefits them all. However, often, the government keeps these violations a secret to not alarm the nation and to not cause fear and panic because it may lead to chaos. An example of this would be if there were a terrorist attack threat that could possibly kill many and destroy an entire nation and the government violates the law to find more information on where this threat could come from, they would hide the fact that the country even received a threat in the first place. As citizens, we deserve to know the truth when it comes to every situation, especially our safety. I understand that while the operation is happening, details cannot and should not be shared with the public, as it may interfere with their plan of action, however we should be made aware of the situation afterwards. Another reason the government might keep their violations of the law, a secret, is to not look bad and to not look as if they can’t do their job correctly. Since the public already views the government as a corrupt system, there is no doubt that the government will do all they can to keep their violations of the law away from the media/public.

2. The sophistication of many technologies in the film is futuristic; their existence is not. Bionics, the Internet, and artificial intelligence are today relatively commonplace. One of the most disturbing scenes in the film is the garbage man with false, implanted memories. This is not all that far-fetched. Studies show that even so simple a technological artifact as a photograph can be used to create false memories that people are certain are real.

a. How is information technology used in the world of Ghost in the Shell to influence and control behavior and perception?

In the world of Ghost in the Shell, technology has advanced to the point where computers have been integrated into the common man’s brain to connect them with the rest of the world. In this world, thoughts and memories are interpreted as data, data that can be rewritten to be something completely different. In a key scene of the film, a garbage man’s brain is hacked by the Puppet Master as a means of controlling him. When Section 9 arrests and questions him, they find that the memories of his wife and daughter were fabricated.  This is especially disturbing considering how important memories are in shaping our reality and for pushing us forward.

Memories, in reality, can also be molded through external suggestion and by seeing pictures that can trigger a false memory. Truth can be debatable when there is a lack of evidence. False memories can be dangerous when they are weaponized. The spread of fake news has been credited with influencing the public’s perception of reality for political gain.

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How censorship and propaganda can rewrite our memories of history.

  1. In his essay, Deresiewicz argues “…that solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.”

a. How does Major Kusanagi utilize solitude? What insight does it give her?

“Ghost in the Shell” introduces the notion of solitude very subtly, we can see Major Kusanagi reflecting in solitude at various points during the movie, she utilizes these moments alone to evaluate her sense of self and existence. Major Kusanagi is very insightful throughout the film, questioning herself mostly due to the fact that she wonders where she comes from and whether she is human, or just a synthetic being entirely created by a corporation to serve within their wishes. From these moments of solitude she gains insight into herself, and into what it means to be human (whether she is or not) and comes to value her consciousness, which is a major variable in the decision she makes at the end of the movie to become a higher form of existence.

b. Is Deresiewicz right when he says we are approaching a time when information technology makes solitude socially undesirable, or even impossible? Has that time already occurred in the world of the film? Explain your answer.

Deresiewicz is absolutely right when he says that information technology makes solitude socially undesirable, we have reached a point in society were if we are not sharing what we are doing with other people (mostly through the internet) or watching what other people are doing (again the internet) we feel left out of the loop. We feel lonely and the only way we feel validated in our actions and activities is when we share them and see the way other people react to them though likes, views, comments, etc. Is it impossible?  As of today no, it is not. There is plenty of ways to disconnect, and many people stay away from social media and the internet; However, when it comes to the film I believe that, yes that time has long arrived. These people can transfer their consciousness into robotic shells in the form of “ghosts” and can connect directly to the network form their shells. The entire plot of the movie is based on someone hacking into other people, this speaks to the level of connectivity they possess.

The Philosophy of Ghost in the Shell:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXTnl1FVFBw&t=406s

  1. The movie was based on a manga originally published in 1989

a. Various forms of media (using McLuhan’s definition of a medium as “an extension of ourselves”) have had an impact on the way people use, create, store, access, and communicate information. Give 3 historical examples of such media and describe their impact.

       Social media has impacted the way people use, create, store, access, and communicate information. Specifically, the use of Twitter has been especially impactful to a vast majority of online users. An example of a historical event affected by social media is the Presidential Election in 2008 where Twitter played a huge role in the campaign. Millions of people were able to express their political view on social media openly. Another historical example was the Hudson River Water Emergency Landing was one of the most famous accidents that were reported through Twitter. Janis Krums was the first to report the story by taking a photo and uploading it to TwitPic while on a ferry to rescue passengers. The Haiti Earthquake in 2010 impacted people around the world through the use of Twitter. Twitter feeds were full of graphic pictures and information regarding recent updates on the earthquake. The Twitter community brought together people who experienced the disaster and helped to bring together groups of people who wanted to help the people in Haiti. The online community helped organize relief efforts in which people could act immediately, for example, fundraising websites. 

b. Select the one medium that has appeared after 1989 which has had the greatest impact on the information landscape. Explain.

The one medium that had had the greatest impact on the information landscape is a truly unique one. After its heavy development in the 80s and the creation of the World Wide Web in 1989, the internet became a revolutionary way for humanity to communicate over a digital sphere. It is a primarily visual medium that allowed for instantaneous equal communications to people all over the world. It has served as a platform for several different mediums including writing, music, and video. After the internet developed as a community through the home computer, it eventually became accessible on portable, wireless devices. The internet has given rise to social networks that connect billions of people.

McLuhan’s idea of the global village can be seen in the internet. McLuhan described this village to be a place in the electronic age where we as a species would globally communicate and interact free from the geographic, socioeconomic barriers of reality. As McLuhan once said that humans are, “ involved in the total social process as never before; since with electricity we extend our central nervous system globally, instantly interrelating every human experience.”

c. How might the technology in answer 4b, above, have affected the story?

Our version of the internet would likely be relatively insignificant to the digital networking capabilities of the world of Ghost in the Shell. Digital communication exists in the film and is even more advanced than our form of the internet. People do not merely view the content of the internet, they instead get to experience it as a ghost in the network. In Ghost in the Shell, people experience the internet through their conscious and the line between man and machine is blurred. The concept of the internet is explored when the characters talk about the great vastness of the information on the network. The character, the Puppet Master, is born from the vast neural network. In the film, they explain that the amount of information is like a vast sea. The amount that users get to experience is but a drop in the bucket.

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Credits:

Shantel: main writer for unit 1.

Alberto: main writer for unit 2 and 4

Amanda: research and writer for unit 4a

Mariana: main writer for unit 2.

Fernando: main editor.