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Mark (2), The Final Cut (2), philosophy (2), DC (2), comparison (2), memory (2), GitS2 (2), philsophy (2), Matt (2), weird (1), museum (1), tv (1), DVD (1), rental (1), chart (1), 3D (1), review (1), The Polar Express (1), Durian (1), Millenium of Music (1), Mom (1), Honestea (1), series (1), Steamboy (1), graphics (1), Bourne Supremacy (1), camera (1), Blender (1), CG (1), Earth (1), book (1), to watch (1), MOSF (1), environment (1), convention (1), WETA (1), Hotel Rwanda (1), ratings (1), Sintel (1), Landmark Theater (1),

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DVD, comparison, movie, rental (1), movie, weird (1), movie, ratings (1), DC, museum, science fiction (1), Earth, environment, movie (1), Landmark Theater, Steamboy, movie, review (1), science fiction, series, to watch, tv (1), CG, Mom, The Polar Express, movie (1), chart, graphics, movie (1), 3D, Blender, Durian, Sintel, movie (1), DC, MOSF, convention, science fiction (1), Hotel Rwanda, movie (1), Bourne Supremacy, Honestea, Millenium of Music, WETA, camera, movie (1), book, comparison, movie (1)

The Final Cut

Movie night has resumed. Last night, Michael, Laura, Matt, and i joined Celeste and Justing for The Final Cut. In this movie a eulogist-like person searches for a person from his childhood in order the release the guilt from a tragic experience.

In near future a biological implant is invented to record a person's sensory experience. People may at their discretion purchase this implant for their children. After the child grows old and dies, the recorded life provides material for a rememory at their funeral.

Although the movie doesn't discuss this point at length, an implant like this will alter a person's moral compass, since they assume their life will be reviewed. In this respect, The Final Cut is like Defending your Life.

On a more philosophical note, the movie demonstrates that our memories of an event may be different from empirical fact. It raises some interesting questions, like which one is right, the implant or our memory? Could both be wrong? Questions like these reminded me of a story i read in a philosophy class. Daniel Dennett in Quining Qualia tells a story about tasting coffee. (Search for "Intuition pump #7".)

Here's a rough recap. Chase and Sandborn are seasoned coffee tasters for Maxwell House. After many years Chase states he doesn't like the coffee any more; the taste has changed to him. Sandborn, surprised, agrees but for a different reason. He thinks the coffee probably has the same taste, but his tasting apparatus is deficient.

I won't try to summarize Dennett's view, since my memory the paper from reading it may not represent the actual content of the paper, but i assure you it's not about coffee. :)

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

Mark, Matt and i went downtown to see Ghost in the Shell: Innocence.

Here are my thoughts on the human machine.

I don't rememeber the first movie, but i need to see it again.

Innocence is spoken in Japanese and has English subtitles. I prefer spoken in English so i can watch the action. Like Titan A.E. this movie had a fine blend of hand animation and computer generated graphics.

Plot-wise, the story is about an investigation to discovery why some robots are killing the owners. What makes the story interesting is cyborg Batou's reflection on human existence.

Batou has undergone such bodily enhancements to almost obviate the body. The most interesting of these is the shared memory. Unfortunately this permits a new method of attack for enemies. In one scene he is tricked into believing he's under fire and almost kills a grocery store clerk. In another he and Togusa are tricked by Kim into believe they're part of reality, when in fact they're not.

This movie reminded me about spirituality. The question as i see it is: Is there more to being human, than the body? Or, is there more to the mind than the brain? My answer is no. There is nothing more to the universe than the matter, energy, and forces we observe. (However, the amount of this universe we have observed is extremely little.)

I believe there is nothing special about being human. If humans have an external soul, then so do slugs and rocks. Then what why do i perceive there is something different about us? It's simply because the human brain is tremendous in complexity; so complex we call it the mind. And within the mind we see phenomena called thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc.

Do i think humans are just machines? Yes, we're natural machines.

A strong theme in the story are dolls. Why do children feel comforted by having them? The movie suggests it our effort to immortalize our image in dolls. I don't know about dolls, but i'd say it's true for children. Pets, being animated but not human, are a better alternative as companions than dolls.