Ghost in the Shell – Stand Alone Complex


This is the first TV Series based on the famous Ghost in the Shell of Masamune Shirow. It is a mind-bender. Too many stories and ideas to have a go at right now but, I will talk about that which, as a Librarian, hit me most. That is how information is acquired, processed and used. In this world there really is no privacy, everyone is wired and can be watched in many ways. They, the powers that be, either already know everything about you or quickly can acquire that information. In the name of security, mind you. There is simply no way to avoid being caught in this world’s electronic web/surveillance. Scary really.

You think the current web is fab, it is by the way, this world’s has to be at least two to three orders of magnitude greater in scope. Truly it is all out there, somewhere. Think of all the digital book initiatives happening now are done and continued to expand? Not beyond the realm of possibility, barring a planetary meltdown of catastrophic proportions these initiatives will only continue and become ever more comprehensive, here is UPenn’s listing of online books. Think of the variety of databases out there. These will only increase people. (No doubt I or folks like me will simply exist as people at the end of a video/chat reference interview, providing links and/or pertinent documents. Not a bad thing but face reality, human librarians are expensive creatures and I believe currently exist because traditional library users don’t want to do without, we’re part of a tradition and people like this tradition but money talks, sad but true. Let’s all enjoy while it lasts!!!)

Wow, I digress.

Add in pervasive cybernetics and the possibilities for hacking humans implicit in that tech and off you go. The politics of privacy, human augmentation, religion, economics and well, pick a topic out the news and this series and the follow-on second season touch on it. Really these series underline for me what an amazing world we could create with all our tech and just how dangerous that tech could be when used for good old human things like greed, power and the usual amusements. Think of how much more vicious our world could get as we create all this amazing tech that theoretically is there to make our lives more convenient but demands that we share more of our-selves and our private lives in order to gain access to these conveniences.

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