Ghost in the Machine: see it if you can

Steve Witham (
Thu, 26 Sep 1996 23:48:28 -0400

A quick search through my saved Extropian list collection doesn't find a
mention of "Ghost in the Shell."

"Ghost in the Shell" is a Japanese animated movie which has been making a
run in American theaters recently. If it comes to your town, SEE IT.

It is very well made,
it is real science fiction, although in an action movie format
(well, action with lots of intense dialog including some
philosophical and evolutionary pondering)
it is a movie for people who can think,
it is a Very Extropian Movie,
it includes a really funny/apt visual pun/metaphor featuring the Tree of Life,
it's kool.

A "ghost" in this movie is, loosely, a person's consciousness or personality.
The something-or-other that makes someone a person, whether it's still in
their biological brain or is in a computer at the moment. The
available technologies aren't all explained, more taken for granted, but
we know that some people have computers as well as brains in their heads.
A clarifying example is someone whose memories have been maliciously
hacked so badly that the person "no longer has a ghost."

A "shell" is a body.

If you're in the Boston area I've got a copy of the video. But I
definitely recommend seeing it in a movie theater. On video you spend
more time going "what's that?...oh," and miss things at the fast pace.
The bandwidth was a definite plus for this movie. It was nice to have
a movie showing me things for once instead of me wanting to give
the director a piece of *my*, so to speak.


"A man is real, not made of steel." --Devo