Tales from the life & times of an inconsequential arrangement of quarks
GHOST IN THE SHELL
Ghost In The Shell (GITS) is a Japanese media franchise by Masamune Shirow. The author was inspired by the Cartesian argument for Dualism as represented in the book The Ghost In The Machine by Arthur Koestler. GITS follows the fictional counter-cyberterrorist organization Public Security Section 9, field operations led by protagonist Major Motoko Kusanagi, in the mid 21st century.
Section 9 Ops Team
GITS is a stand out choice for a political science analysis because of its striking narrative of the near future impact of technology. While blurring the line between technology and life, GITS series also explores complex themes of identity, refugees, pacifism, militarism and nuclear deterrence.
Delving further into the story we find thought provoking antagonists like the “Puppet Master”, an A.I program that gains sentience and argues eloquently that it has a right to exist because of its self preservation instincts in its code similar to DNA in biological entities.
“The Laughing Man” arc shows a corporate terrorist hacker, who draws an interesting parallel to famous whistleblowers such as Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden. The Laughing Man is a fervid fan of the book The Catcher In the Rye by J.D Salinger, many of his references and mannerism are borrowed from the book. He discovers that several micromachine manufacturing corporations, in association with the Japanese government, suppressed information on an inexpensive cure to a debilitating cyberization disease in order to profit from the more expensive micromachine treatment which in most cases only prolongs a low quality of life. Medical councils with vested interests in large pharmaceutical corporations skew results of clinical trials and attempt to bury the information on the inexpensive cure to a disease that affects a significant percentage of population with cyberbrains. The Laughing Man begins to systematically leak information and run a public campaign on multiple media platforms intending to unveil the corruption in public institutions such as food and drug authorities.
Laughing Man Catchphrase
“Individual Eleven”, a terrorist group who want to suppress refugees into despair and show the Japanese government that they do not belong. This story arc vastly explores the political and social ramifications of the two world wars that took place prior to the series. About three million Asians became refugees and were invited into Japan as a source of cheap labor. These “invited refugees”, relocated to a specific refugee zone, soon became unemployed in the post-war peace period due to advances in robotic labour. While recognized with refugee status the living conditions are dismal and social unrest increases. Taking advantage of this the Individual Eleven attempt at creating a refugee revolt and antagonizing the general Japanese public against the refugees, methods not too different from contemporary terror groups such as ISIS or Daesh, Al Qaida etc. Individual Eleven recruitment and indoctrination mechanism within the GITS series is a combination of eleven essays which supposedly refers to the events surrounding the May 15 Incident, one of several events that led to the rise of Japanese militarism in GITS.