Self and Cyborg

August 31, 2012 § 1 Comment

Sometimes, I love to daydream about what it means to be well…me.

Each person is unique not only in terms of appearance, but in personality and thought patterns. We each embody a set of memories that were produced from our own experiences, and we carry these memories throughout our lives.  I enjoy, however, mulling over the somewhat terrifying idea that science and technology may compromise this uniqueness that we treasure.

I remember taking a freshman writing seminar entitled “Self and Cyborg in Japanese Animation.” We watched one of the classics, Ghost in the Shell by director Mamoru Oishii, which tells a story of a cyborg cop chasing down a criminal hacker named the Puppet Master.  After seeing the spectacularly animated opening scene (see below), one of my favorite scenes seems somewhat trivial.   The main character and female cyborg cop, Motoko Kusanagi, rides on a barge in the middle of the city.  She looks up and catches a glimpse of another woman, sitting in a coffee shop.  The woman looks entirely identical to herself.  Because Kusanagi was so convincingly human, I almost forgot that the exact model of her body could be bought by almost anybody.  This one scene sends shivers down my spine, because I can feel all of Kusanagi’s fear and acceptance when they meet eyes.  There was a similar moment in Lester del Rey’s “Helen O’Loy,” when Dave mentions that he bought Helen’s body at Dillard’s.  I couldn’t help wondering how awful would it be if I found my face for sale at the Dollar Store.

I realize that we can’t exactly shed our skins, but technology has definitely made it possible for us to change our appearance.  Whether it is from plastic surgery or makeup, we can now choose to take on a completely different look.  Even our personalities can be altered through the use of therapeutic drugs for mental illnesses.   Technology has begun to commercialize humans.

Opening Sequence from Ghost in the Shell:

-Angela L.

Tagged: , , ,

§ One Response to Self and Cyborg

  • […] of the opening credits to Ghost in the Shell, the film that I touched upon in my first blog post, Self and Cyborg.  I loved the cinematography of Gattaca as well.  For example there were some great shots that […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Self and Cyborg at Science/Fiction.


%d bloggers like this: