Androids and Gynoids and Ghosts, oh my!

Last night I finally watched Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence. As also with the first Ghost in the Shell movie, this one was packed with action, amazing animation, philosophical questions and quotations from the Bible. It is great to be able to watch such things and know I am doing research! The theme of the movie obviously ties in with my current work on artificial intelligence and religion. I’ve also read some of Philip K. Dick’s philosophical writings included in the volume The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick. At first I was somewhat disappointed with Dick’s affirmations about androids as by definition predictable – until I realized that, in Dick’s terminology, if an “android” is not merely a simulation of the human without the inner reality, then it is, in his view, actually human.

Here are a few of the many thought-provoking ideas and statements from Ghost in the Shell 2:
  • What the body creates is as much an expression of the DNA as the body itself.
  • Mechanical dolls haunt us, because they make us wonder whether we too are reducible to mechanical parts.
  • “We weep for the bird’s cry, but not for the blood of fish. Blessed are those who have voice”

On a related note, the new season of Battlestar Galactica will return next year, presumably around the same time as LOST, but there will be a special episode in November telling the back-story of the Pegasus between the start of the war and when they encountered Galactica. Here is the sneak peek that was on Sci-Fi last night.

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