PSYCHO PASS 09 — The Hunting Cyborg

Really interesting talk by this guy about becoming a cyborg. Again with this show’s platonist tendencies.

He made one especially interesting point:

I have to agree with him. People are already dependent on machines so much. In fact, they have been since before the dawn of recorded history. What is it that differentiates humans from all of the other animals? Basically, bigger brains and opposable thumbs. The reason that civilization has succeeded is because of mankind’s ability to use tools to supplement the capabilities of their own bodies. Without a winter coat and the ability to make fire in the winter, we would die. Without the ability to till the earth and reap grain, we would die. We fish with a rod and hook, we hunt with a bow or a spear, etc., etc., etc.

And now, in the modern day, we have computers, tools that help us to think. We are cyborgs who use tools to extend our bodies capabilities for everything. And what’s wrong with that?

The only difference in how we usually think of cyborgs is that cyborg body parts cannot be removed. But really, that’s a minor difference.

The hunter / cyborg’s discussion on cyborgs is fascinating, his discussion of hunting less so but still interesting, but what is the connection between the two? At the moment he seems like two separate people: a day personality and a night personality. I hope the show gets into what ties these two aspects of the man into one cohesive whole.

PSYCHO PASS is not Moe

PSYCHO PASS is not moe.

PSYCHO PASS is not moe.

PSYCHO PASS is not moe.

PSYCHO PASS is not moe.

Further Thoughts

Wow, talk about oblivious. No way in hell that’s gonna happen.

So now we know why the detective division of the police department is so incompetent at… you know… actually solving crimes. They actively chased out the people who knew what they were doing because it ruined their psycho pass. Something about this doesn’t strike me as right, though. I mean, actual detectives aren’t more likely to commit crimes than average people, are they? None of the enforcers seem like they’re going to commit a crime any time soon. Is it simply that the psycho pass is a very flawed measure?

 

I don’t know why I took this screenshot and I didn’t notice it at the time, but I like how this guy is stealing candy from the jelly bean jar. He looks so happy about it too…

 

That explains a lot. Now it makes sense why he’s so tight laced about everything. Also, I was impressed with how Akane actually stood up to him.

11 thoughts on “PSYCHO PASS 09 — The Hunting Cyborg

  1. The “everyone’s a cyborg” argument is so flawed it’s pretty much sophistry – it’s reminiscent of the “atheists are religious” one. It plays with definitions, without addressing the other side’s actual concerns – namely, loss of organic tissue and bodily wholeness, worries about personal identity and existential angst, etc. To a non-technophile, non-removable machine body parts are not a minor thing. A case can be made that ancient humans using bows were already cyborgs; that wouldn’t address the problem that nobody in the Psycho-Pass world has qualms about using a bow or an information terminal, while they’re still worried about cybernetics; that a bow-wielding ancient has no trouble with the bow either, but would maybe be worried about the information terminal telling him where to go.

    The system thing is presented in a worse light every episode – it’s illustrative of what is probably my greatest issue with dystopia portrayals; the massive strawmanning. Don’t present a future flawed from the outset; present one where you steelman and things still can go wrong. Give us an implementation that is perfect at-a-glance, then proceed to show the unintended consequences (I’d love to see some bizarre rituals people invented that are supposed to protect their Hues) – not a system that is both all-powerful and obviously buggy and how the hell did that thing even go through basic testing let alone get approved?!

    1. I guess I’m not entirely following you. I understand that you define a cyborg as someone who gives up their natural body for something mechanical, but I don’t think the line is nearly that clear.

      I think it comes down to dependency more than anything. Are humans dependent on technology? Without a doubt, we are. That isn’t an inherently bad thing, but when it comes down to it, we just aren’t “naturally” prepared to deal with the world. If this is the case, then aren’t cybernetic implants the next logical step?

      You do bring up some logical fallacies in the “everyone’s a cyborg” argument, but you never really refute the central point or even propose a counterargument. As humans using so many tools and technologies to supplement our natural abilities, couldn’t we be classified as cyborgs? The only difference would be, as Psycho-Pass states, a matter of degree.

      On a side note, I completely agree with you about how the Sibyl system works. Its portrayal in the first few episodes was a bit more ambiguous, but overall, the system is incredibly illogical. There are so many blatant problems with it that any morale or ethical issues are completely overshadowed by just how stupid it all is. I’d like to think that humanity is smart enough to avoid something like this, but sometimes I do wonder.

      1. Oh, sure, implants are great. The issue is that the guy is trying to convince his audience to go cyborg; most people’s main worry in that direction seems to be the actual loss of organic tissue, existential worries etc. Obviously, if that is the problem and source of doubt, that’s what needs to be addressed. Saying that “everyone is a cyborg already” is skirting around the issue and hoping those he’s trying to convince don’t notice. For him, replacing a limb is the same as upgrading his handheld devices – merely a question of extent; for his audience, it’s an entirely different thing, and unless he crosses that inferential distance, he can’t communicate with them. Instead of doing that, he opts to use sophistry and pretend that redefining what “cyborg” means is supposed to change anything.

        1. Yeah, I agree that his argument is bunk. There’s a vast difference between permanently *replacing* your organic matter, which (presumably) can’t be reversed, and enhancing yourlife by*adding* devices that are easily removed, such as the ones mentioned (personal computing device, holo-clothes).

          Addition is not the same thing as replacement.

          1. Excellent discussion! I agree as well that external devices like smartphones (“tools”) are not quite comparable with implants which take away body tissue. Nonetheless I think we are today probably not that far away from a point where people might think about choosing body enhancements without a medical need. Witness e.g. the discussion about the paralympics protheses. Also, from what I understand it’s technically possible today to direct electronic devices via brain waves. Given how many people have no problems with contact lenses or breast implants I could well imagine that cyborg technology could become quite popular.

          2. But then you have things like pacemakers, prosthetic limbs and joints, and fillings. Do those make you a cyborg?

            Also I’m not sure about the holo-clothes, but I was under the impression they had some sort of implant for this?

          3. to jreding: yep, I saw a presentation on exoskeletions that were controlled via brain waves. Some pretty fascinating stuff, paraplegics are able to walk using these exoskeletons

        2. Sure, organic humans who are afraid of becoming cyborgs may not be convinced by his argument, but just because it doesn’t address their fears doesn’t mean his argument is bunk. He explains why he sees their reasoning as foolish perfectly well. To him, his audience’s fears of becoming cyborgs seem just as absurd as his critics see his own arguments. The two groups are working from fundamentally different assumptions of what a cyborg is. His description of what a cyborg is is not mere sophistry, but the fundamental difference of opinion.

          To draw a modern analogy, it’s kind of like the abortion argument. “Pro-choice” people see life as beginning closer to birth, and hence think that infringing on the mother’s choice is wrong. The “pro-life” camp sees life as beginning at conception, and hence see abortion as murder. Given each group’s definition of “life”, their own position is the only tenable one. So disagreement over the definition of life is not mere sophistry, but the absolute core of the argument. Likewise here the argument is centered around the definition of what it means to be human— is it a matter of degree, or a binary yes / no when you cross the 50% or some other threshold?

    2. Sure, there’s a difference between removable and non-removable body parts, but I still do think it’s a matter of degree rather than a binary cyborg / human distinction as the hunter guy said. People with artificial limbs, pacemakers and prosthetic knees would certainly be cyborgs by most people’s definition. And yet no one seems to worry that people with pacemakers are in any way less than human. What about people with fillings in their teeth? Doesn’t seem much different than a prosthetic knee to me. Now what about fake teeth? Serves the same function, but you can take it out. Does one make you somehow less human than the other? Same thing with a bow that you can put away and a cannon built into your arm.

      But I agree with regards to the portrayal of a dystopian future, Psycho Pass’s imagined future is just pretty dumb.

  2. Re Akane: I was impressed how she stood up to Ginoza, as well! She was on the verge of becoming too moe for my taste (at least in this show’s context) but now I hope we’ll see her further growing.

    The candy stealing pic is super cute!

    1. I don’t think that being moe and having some sort of spine are necessarily mutually exclusive. (and I don’t mind her being moe either, of course, just think it’s funny how this show is supposed to not have any moe)

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