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View Poll Results: Psycho-Pass - Episode 13 Rating
Perfect 10 18 30.00%
9 out of 10 : Excellent 26 43.33%
8 out of 10 : Very Good 14 23.33%
7 out of 10 : Good 1 1.67%
6 out of 10 : Average 1 1.67%
5 out of 10 : Below Average 0 0%
4 out of 10 : Poor 0 0%
3 out of 10 : Bad 0 0%
2 out of 10 : Very Bad 0 0%
1 out of 10 : Painful 0 0%
Voters: 60. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 2013-01-21, 07:44   Link #121
Anh_Minh
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Originally Posted by karice67 View Post
You do realise that this would also happen in government agencies in the real world, right? There are different levels of security, and people are trusted with information that they are not to reveal, for whatever reason. Should this kind of information be revealed to the public, or should the agency try to deal with it themselves first? Perhaps there are scientists within the bureaucracy that are trying to address the issue with the Dominator - but is the existence of such research (if it does indeed exist) something that the director can reveal to Gino?
I realize that every organization has its secrets, often for good reasons. That wasn't my point.

I was answering the claim that "people prefer ignorance". They don't, they just aren't given the choice. Gino could have said that, since he wasn't entitled to know, he preferred not knowing. He didn't.
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Old 2013-01-21, 17:57   Link #122
Arya
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
But Sybil has done a great deal to benefit the people. It releases people from the burden of decision-making. It even takes away the burden of judging other human beings. With Sybil on the helm, citizens only need to worry about their own personal needs and their Psycho-Pass hues. Of course, this is all at the cost of basic human dignity, but in they're the ones that decide to give it up in the first place in exchange for convenience.
[...]
This. This is the point for me. But how would you call this? In my book this is what I call involution (as contrary of evolution). And this is what I find horrifying of the whole thing. At this point I don't care much of the means, but of the consequences of this process. What would we/they be without that thing that you call "burden"? Animals only worry about their own personal needs, so my question is, would we/they be still humans? The cost is not simply human dignity, but humanity (or part of it at least). More you think and more you will think, as much as less you think and less you will think. In PP world we are in the latter case.
Anyways, I'm not saying that they should discard the Sybil system as a whole, but, for instance, they could keep it only for crime prevention.
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Old 2013-01-21, 19:38   Link #123
Qilin
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I was answering the claim that "people prefer ignorance". They don't, they just aren't given the choice. Gino could have said that, since he wasn't entitled to know, he preferred not knowing. He didn't.
Let me frame this in another way: Would most people in this hypothetical society jump at the chance of learning some dark secret with the knowledge that it would significantly increase their Psycho-Pass level?

As Jean-Paul Sarte says: "Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does."

With that in mind, freedom is just as much of a burden as it is a blessing.

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Originally Posted by Arya View Post
This. This is the point for me. But how would you call this? In my book this is what I call involution (as contrary of evolution). And this is what I find horrifying of the whole thing. At this point I don't care much of the means, but of the consequences of this process. What would we/they be without that thing that you call "burden"? Animals only worry about their own personal needs, so my question is, would we/they be still humans? The cost is not simply human dignity, but humanity (or part of it at least). More you think and more you will think, as much as less you think and less you will think. In PP world we are in the latter case.
Perhaps you mean devolution? I don't disagree with you. From our elevated status as the audience, I'm sure that it's easy for us to pick at the faults of the system, but the thing is, very few people are aware of it. It has already melded perfectly into the normative conventions of the society in question. As such, people are already happy with it. It's a shallow, empty sort of happiness, but it is happiness nonetheless. Now, is it advisable to trample on that fragile happiness for the sake of imposing some arbitrary standard of "humanity" or "freedom"?

This is a common theme in dystopian settings. The setting of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is one where humanity has achieved common happiness, but at the expense of personal freedom. I don't like to stand on either side of the issue, so I like to represent both sides of the issue.
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Old 2013-01-21, 20:43   Link #124
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
Let me frame this in another way: Would most people in this hypothetical society jump at the chance of learning some dark secret with the knowledge that it would significantly increase their Psycho-Pass level?
Who in this show is more concerned over their Psycho-Pass level than Gino is? And yet he didn't even flinch over the Director giving him classified information that could be dark and troubling.


Quote:

As Jean-Paul Sarte says: "Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does."

With that in mind, freedom is just as much of a burden as it is a blessing.
It's the lack of freedom that's burdensome, not freedom itself.

Do you think that Kagari never feels burdened by what the Sybil system did to him? Do you think that Tomomi never feels burdened by what the Sybil system did to him and his family?

The character in this show that strikes me as the least burdened is Akane. And she's the one who arguably enjoys the greatest degree of freedom of all of the characters in this show.


Quote:
Perhaps you mean devolution? I don't disagree with you. From our elevated status as the audience, I'm sure that it's easy for us to pick at the faults of the system, but the thing is, very few people are aware of it. It has already melded perfectly into the normative conventions of the society in question.
I think that's putting it a bit too strongly. There's people in the world of Psycho-Pass that remember what the world was like before Sybil. Many of them likely preferred the world as it was before Sybil took over (there's little doubt that Tomomi did). So the melding hasn't been perfect. There's some cracks there.


Quote:
As such, people are already happy with it. It's a shallow, empty sort of happiness, but it is happiness nonetheless. Now, is it advisable to trample on that fragile happiness for the sake of imposing some arbitrary standard of "humanity" or "freedom"?
On what basis do you call it arbitrary? The standards of "humanity" and "freedom" outlined on this thread are based on ones that were well-articulated and well-argued for. Entire nations have been founded upon such principles. If you look at the US Constitution, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and other such constitutions around the world, you will see substantial overlap there.

People living in modern 1st world countries tend to have a pretty good idea of what it means to be free. It's not arbitrary. It's been very carefully thought out, developed, and argued for over hundreds of years.


Quote:
This is a common theme in dystopian settings. The setting of Brave New World by Aldous Huxley is one where humanity has achieved common happiness, but at the expense of personal freedom. I don't like to stand on either side of the issue, so I like to represent both sides of the issue.
It's quite possible to have a predominantly happy society that's also free. And the happiness of such a society is more real and meaningful because its a free society. People feel happiness over their own well-earned accomplishments and the outcomes of smart choices, not over what some machine directed them into. So speaking personally, I'm entirely comfortable taking sides on this issue.
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Old 2013-01-22, 04:46   Link #125
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Who in this show is more concerned over their Psycho-Pass level than Gino is? And yet he didn't even flinch over the Director giving him classified information that could be dark and troubling.
Take note that Gino is an Inspector, and most other characters are either psychopaths, Enforcers, or Akane. I think it's safe to say that most of them are already on the far side of the system. Gino has good reason to be concerned over his Psycho-Pass level, imo.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
It's the lack of freedom that's burdensome, not freedom itself.

Do you think that Kagari never feels burdened by what the Sybil system did to him? Do you think that Tomomi never feels burdened by what the Sybil system did to him and his family?

The character in this show that strikes me as the least burdened is Akane. And she's the one who arguably enjoys the greatest degree of freedom of all of the characters in this show.
Freedom is well and good, but it also entails full responsibility for the consequences of the choices it presents. This is the burden the comes with freedom that many are unable to bear.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
On what basis do you call it arbitrary? The standards of "humanity" and "freedom" outlined on this thread are based on ones that were well-articulated and well-argued for. Entire nations have been founded upon such principles. If you look at the US Constitution, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and other such constitutions around the world, you will see substantial overlap there.

People living in modern 1st world countries tend to have a pretty good idea of what it means to be free. It's not arbitrary. It's been very carefully thought out, developed, and argued for over hundreds of years.
Just the fact that it was indeed thought of and shared among a large number of societies already makes it arbitrary. It's still perfectly possible for a society to arise which value such ideals even less. In such a case, why should we judge such societies through our own culture's context?


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
It's quite possible to have a predominantly happy society that's also free. And the happiness of such a society is more real and meaningful because its a free society. People feel happiness over their own well-earned accomplishments and the outcomes of smart choices, not over what some machine directed them into. So speaking personally, I'm entirely comfortable taking sides on this issue.
It's impossible to create an entirely happy society while maintaining such standards of freedom. In fact, it would probably encourage inequality in the long run since a pyramid is probably the most stable economic model to encompass such a society. I'm not trying to say that it's worse, just that it has its own share of flaws as well.
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Old 2013-01-22, 05:58   Link #126
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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
Take note that Gino is an Inspector, and most other characters are either psychopaths, Enforcers, or Akane. I think it's safe to say that most of them are already on the far side of the system. Gino has good reason to be concerned over his Psycho-Pass level, imo.
I'm not sure if you're getting my point here. Yes, Gino has good reason to be concerned over his Psycho-Pass level... and that's why it says a lot that he never flinched over getting to hear classified information that might have been dark and troubling.

Humans are curious by nature. If someone offers to tell us some secret, our ears tend to perk up, even if the secret is something that we might later regret knowing about.


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Freedom is well and good, but it also entails full responsibility for the consequences of the choices it presents. This is the burden the comes with freedom that many are unable to bear.
But even responsibility is not strictly a burden. Responsibility entails both "credit" (positive) and "blame" (negative). If you take responsibility for something, and you do a good job with it, you get "credit" for it. That's a good thing. It gives people a higher sense of self-esteem and personal self-worth.


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Just the fact that it was indeed thought of and shared among a large number of societies already makes it arbitrary.
Balderdash. Why, what you're describing is the very opposite of arbitrary! If a concept is carefully developed over time by a large number of societies, to the point that people largely agree upon it, it is not at all arbitrary.

"Arbitrary" is random, whimsical, and impulsive by nature. The modern world's understanding of "humanity" and "freedom" is not at all those things.


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It's still perfectly possible for a society to arise which value such ideals even less.
Sure, but that doesn't mean that the ideals themselves are arbitrary. The ideals have a generally agreed upon meaning that has been well-developed and articulated over hundreds of years of human civilization. They're not at all arbitrary. They're rather fairly concrete.


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In such a case, why should we judge such societies through our own culture's context?
"Freedom" is a concept that transcends any one culture. So when we critique a society for lacking freedom, it need not be through any one particular cultural context.


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It's impossible to create an entirely happy society while maintaining such standards of freedom.
No society is truly entirely happy.


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In fact, it would probably encourage inequality in the long run since a pyramid is probably the most stable economic model to encompass such a society.
There's more inequality in the world of Psycho-Pass than there is in our world. Psycho-Pass readings have added on a whole new measure of inequality in the world of Psycho-Pass. It's provided yet another way to categorize and stratify people. In fact, it's even created something of a caste system in the world of Psycho-Pass.

The society of Psycho-Pass runs contrary to both liberty and equality.
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Old 2013-01-22, 06:35   Link #127
Qilin
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I'm not sure if you're getting my point here. Yes, Gino has good reason to be concerned over his Psycho-Pass level... and that's why it says a lot that he never flinched over getting to hear classified information that might have been dark and troubling.

Humans are curious by nature. If someone offers to tell us some secret, our ears tend to perk up, even if the secret is something that we might later regret knowing about.
I mean to say that Gino isn't a good representative of an average citizen in this hypothetical society.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
But even responsibility is not strictly a burden. Responsibility entails both "credit" (positive) and "blame" (negative). If you take responsibility for something, and you do a good job with it, you get "credit" for it. That's a good thing. It gives people a higher sense of self-esteem and personal self-worth.
I'd argue that it is a burden. But a burden can be seen as a positive or a negative, I'm sure. What you say is true, but on the other side of the fence, it can also decrease that same sense of self worth depending on the situation. Freedom can be a good thing, but it is not an absolutely good thing as several generations of existentialist philosophy would contend.



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Balderdash. Why, what you're describing is the very opposite of arbitrary! If a concept is carefully developed over time by a large number of societies, to the point that people largely agree upon it, it is not at all arbitrary.

"Arbitrary" is random, whimsical, and impulsive by nature. The modern world's understanding of "humanity" and "freedom" is not at all those things.
I meant that it was arbitrary in the sense that it is, in essence, a human invention. The modern world's understanding of "humanity" and "freedom" is simply a dominant paradigm, a matter of consensus. Anything that is left to human judgment or value is, by definition, arbitrary. While you may disagree with me, I see human values and morals to be relative things. There may be factors that influence correlation and commonalities in the foundation of societies, they are by no means cultural absolutes.

For example, the society you describe is one that values the individual over the society as a whole. Why can't it go the other way around? What about societies that eschew the traditional laissez faire economic model and opt for moderate government intervention? What isn't arbitrary about that?
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Old 2013-01-22, 06:47   Link #128
karice67
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I realize that every organization has its secrets, often for good reasons. That wasn't my point.

I was answering the claim that "people prefer ignorance". They don't, they just aren't given the choice. Gino could have said that, since he wasn't entitled to know, he preferred not knowing. He didn't.
I probably should have quoted the end of your comment:
Quote:
by refusing to let the citizenry know that the system is imperfect, they're sacrificing long term growth for short term comfort.
rather than the start of it, since my point was really that there are (what some would say are) extremely good reasons for keeping the flaws of Sibyl under wraps, just as certain kinds of information in the real world are also kept under wraps.

-----

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Originally Posted by Qilin View Post
*snip*
It's impossible to create an entirely happy society while maintaining such standards of freedom. In fact, it would probably encourage inequality in the long run since a pyramid is probably the most stable economic model to encompass such a society. I'm not trying to say that it's worse, just that it has its own share of flaws as well.

To me, that pretty much sums up the other side of this debate, the side that tends to be sidelined when the benefits of individualism and controlling one's own destiny are emphasised.

It is also explained very well in the following podcast (hxxp://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2012/12/sea_20121208_0805.mp3) of ABC Radio Australia with Alain de Bottom, on equality.

Basically, the podcast deals with the idea of equal opportunity - the idea of anyone can become what they want because everyone is given the same chance to achieve - and the effect that this idea has on people. The way that this has played out in many developed countries is that certain kinds of success are valued about others, ultimately translating to different levels of wealth and status. Furthermore, because of the emphasis on individual will and effort, success or failure becomes dependent on the individual.

I won't go into the effect of success, but the effect of failure can be a greater level of unhappiness due to the perception that one is 'not good enough' etc. Or, to put it another way, the responsibility for an individual's failure is placed squarely on his or her shoulders. Of course, one could say that the idea of what it means to 'fail' depends on what each individual values. However, more often than not, whether one has succeeded or not seems to be dependent on whether his/her society values what he/she has achieved, largely because it influences how the individual thinks. And because of the idea that there is 'equal opportunity', people might blame themselves for not achieving what others have, even if the difference is that there hasn't actually been equal opportunity.

This then connects to one of Qilin's main points. A society like the one in Psycho-Pass has arguably reduced the responsibility that many individuals feel about the choices they make in life because they take away the problem of failing to achieve what 'everyone can achieve' (unless one is unusual, like Akane or Makishima, for example). I.e., there is recognition from early on that some people can achieve more than others, so less unhappiness is derived from the failure to achieve the same thing.

There is, however, still the issue of whether each individual feels that his/her contribution is valued. In the podcast, Alain de Bottom postulates that what is needed is a society that places value on a greater range of things - perhaps even the ideal of people finding value in the work that they can do.

I'm not saying that the society in Psycho-Pass has done that - conversely, we have been shown a number of cases where it has not. Yet I do wonder about several things. First, might that ideal have been one of the intents of the creators of the Sibyl-based system (though it may well have been secondary to the aim of on efficiency, utilitarianism etc)? And second, have we been shown a skewed view of PP's world, restricted as we are to the experiences of its crime enforcement unit?

-----

edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
There's more inequality in the world of Psycho-Pass than there is in our world. Psycho-Pass readings have added on a whole new measure of inequality in the world of Psycho-Pass. It's provided yet another way to categorize and stratify people. In fact, it's even created something of a caste system in the world of Psycho-Pass.

The society of Psycho-Pass runs contrary to both liberty and equality.
Just a thought: what do you mean by 'inequality'? Inequality in terms of what?

One of the reasons I ask is that the podcast I mentioned earlier in this post raises an interesting distinction, about the difference between 'equality of opportunity' and 'equality of income' (IIRC).

I do not wish to put a value on either 'equality' that I've named here, nor claim that these are the only areas to consider. I'd just like to suggest that there are different kinds of 'equality' and 'inequality', and that different people (and societies) may place greater or lesser value on one or another of them, and that it is important for us to keep that in mind.

To play devil's advocate, the notion of 'caste' is also interesting to consider. How do we define that? Can we truly say that developed countries today do not have something similar to a caste system?
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Last edited by karice67; 2013-01-22 at 06:59.
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Old 2013-01-22, 06:59   Link #129
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I'd argue that it is a burden. But a burden can be seen as a positive or a negative, I'm sure.
No, not really. "Burden" has a strong negative connotation, so people will naturally tend to see it as "negative". "Arbitrary" also has a strong negative connotation.

Your choice of terms here is... eyebrow-raising to me. There are much better, much fairer terms you could use here for what I think you're trying to convey with "Burden" and "Arbitrary".


Quote:
What you say is true, but on the other side of the fence, it can also decrease that same sense of self worth depending on the situation. Freedom can be a good thing, but it is not an absolutely good thing as several generations of existentialist philosophy would contend.
Freedom should be tempered by reasonable laws, but the complete absence of freedom is an absolutely evil thing, imo. So I'm inclined to think that freedom is an absolutely good thing.

I would argue that the state farthest from freedom is slavery. And what do you think most people think of slavery?


Quote:
I meant that it was arbitrary in the sense that it is, in essence, a human invention.
Not everybody agrees with that. Are you familiar with the concept of "Natural rights"?


Quote:
While you may disagree with me, but I see human values and morals to be a relative thing.
There's a lot of room for debate when it comes to morals. But for all the shades of grey out there, there are at least a few things that I'm inclined to think are absolutely good (freedom) and absolutely evil (racism, for example).


Quote:
For example, the society you describe is one that values the individual over the society as a whole. Why can't it go the other way around? What about societies that eschew the traditional laissez faire economic model and opt for moderate government intervention? What isn't arbitrary about that?
Moderate government intervention? Now I raise eyebrows again. "Moderate" is not a term I would use to describe Sybil...


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Originally Posted by karice67 View Post
Just a thought: what do you mean by 'inequality'?
I would think that, in the context of Psycho-Pass, this is pretty self-evident.

"Latent criminals" are not equal to those that aren't latent criminals. Kagari does not enjoy the same rights and freedoms that Akane does.

Since this status is based on mere potentiality, and not as punishment for any actual harmful deed that a person has taken, it can only be considered institutionalized inequality, imo.

"Latent criminals" are basically a subclass in Psycho-Pass. In extreme cases, these people are even viewed as something less than human. The Sibyl system has dehumanized these people.

The farther we go into Psycho-Pass, the more I'm struck by how these "Latent Criminals" serving on the police force seem like reasonably well-adjusted, decent people. Sure, they might be a little rough around the edges at times, but they're not people I'd mind having as coworkers.

I really do question exactly what it is that these Psycho-Pass readings are measuring, and if too much importance has been given to whatever that is.
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Old 2013-01-22, 07:17   Link #130
Qilin
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
No, not really. "Burden" has a strong negative connotation, so people will naturally tend to see it as "negative". "Arbitrary" also has a strong negative connotation.

Your choice if terms here is... eyebrow-raising to me. There are much better, much fairer terms you could use here for what I think you're trying to convey with "Burden" and "Arbitrary".
I see both as neutral terms actually, but I guess not everyone shares my sentiments on that. Perhaps I should have used "relative" instead of arbitrary?

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Freedom should be tempered by reasonable laws, but the complete absence of freedom is an absolutely evil thing. So I'm inclined to think that freedom is an absolutely good thing.

I would argue that the state farthest from freedom is slavery. And what do you think most people think of slavery?
What did the Greeks think about slavery? What did the British, Spanish, Portuguese, etc. think when they colonized the "New World"?

Values change with the times. The only values I can think of that are relatively stable are the ones necessary for the sustenance of society.


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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Not everybody agrees with that. Are you familiar with the concept of "Natural rights"?
I have a general idea of it, but I'm more inclined to believe in the Social Contract Theory myself. I see society as an entity where individuals agree to sacrifice a portion of their freedom to permit the existence of a society.

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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
There's a lot of room for debate when it comes to morals. But for all the shades of grey out there, there are some things that I'm inclined to think are absolutely good (freedom) and absolutely evil (racism, for example).
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
Moderate government intervention? Now I raise eyebrows again. "Moderate" is not a term I would use to describe Sybil...
I was trying to use a realistic example to illustrate my point. Moderate government intervention to economic activity is rapidly becoming more prevalent as opposed to Adam Smith's traditional laissez faire paradigm (unrestricted free trade aka capitalism). Now would you say that such a move is a definite "evil"?
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Old 2013-01-22, 07:19   Link #131
karice67
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I would think that, in the context of Psycho-Pass, this is pretty self-evident.

"Latent criminals" are not equal to those that aren't latent criminals. Kagari does not enjoy the same rights and freedoms that Akane does.

Since this status is based on mere potentiality, and not as punishment for any actual harmful deed that a person has taken, it can only be considered institutionalized inequality, imo.

"Latent criminals" are basically a subclass in Psycho-Pass. In extreme cases, these people are even viewed as something less than human. The Sibyl system has dehumanized these people.

The farther we go into Psycho-Pass, the more I'm struck by how these "Latent Criminals" serving on the police force seem like reasonably well-adjusted, decent people. Sure, they might be a little rough around the edges at times, but they're not people I'd mind having as coworkers.

I really do question exactly what it is that these Psycho-Pass readings are measuring, and if too much importance has been given to whatever that is.
I can see your point, but I think you might have missed mine, which is:

Can we say that our own societies do not actually encode such inequality as well?

Or, if your emphasis in on the difference between a formally institutionalised form of inequality (stigmatisation by means of the Sibyl system) vs. one that is less obvious (stigmatisation because of norms encoded in society), here's another question:

Is a hidden/unacknowledged form of stigmatisation/inequality less controversial than a more obvious form?
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Old 2013-01-22, 07:35   Link #132
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I see both as neutral terms actually, but I guess not everyone shares my sentiments on that. Perhaps I should have used "relative" instead of arbitrary?
Yeah, "relative" might have worked better, imo. But it's no big deal at this point. I understand where you're coming from on "arbitrary" now.


Quote:

I have a general idea of it, but I'm more inclined to believe in the Social Contract Theory myself. I see society as an entity where individuals agree to sacrifice a portion of their freedom to permit the existence of a society.
I see your point. But with respect to freedom, I tend to view society as a mechanism for ensuring it. Many laws, for example, are designed to ensure that other people can't infringe on your rights.


Quote:
I was trying to use a realistic example to illustrate my point. Moderate government intervention to economic activity is rapidly becoming more prevalent as opposed to Adam Smith's traditional laissez faire paradigm (unrestricted free trade aka capitalism). Now would you say that such a move is a definite "evil"?
No, I wouldn't.

I probably should be clear here. I'm not saying that freedom is sufficient in and of itself. I view it as an unambiguously good thing, but yes, it does need to be tempered. The shift you mentioned can serve to "level the playing field", and shift society closer to equality of opportunity (this type of equality is compatible with freedom). The shift you mentioned can also serve to keep the economy stable, which is generally beneficial.

But the shift in Psycho-Pass goes beyond the economic realm, of course.


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I can see your point, but I think you might have missed mine, which is:

Can we say that our own societies do not actually encode such inequality as well?

Or, if your emphasis in on the difference between a formally institutionalised form of inequality (stigmatisation by means of the Sibyl system) vs. one that is less obvious (stigmatisation because of norms encoded in society), here's another question:

Is a hidden/unacknowledged form of stigmatisation/inequality less controversial than a more obvious form?
What I think you're talking about here are taboos. Am I correct?

If so, then the thing with taboos is that you can argue against them, and change them over time (and many taboos don't result in actual imprisonment). For example, there were things that were taboo in 1950s America that aren't taboo (or, at least, aren't as taboo) in modern America.

This goes back to why I value freedom of expression highly. Freedom of expression provides a means by which to combat inequality. But how do you express yourself from within a jail cell in the world of Psycho-Pass?

The institutionalized form of inequality is harder to combat than the taboo-based form, imo. So yes, I tend to view that institutionalized form in a more negative light.
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Old 2013-01-22, 08:02   Link #133
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no, I'm not talking about taboos. I'm talking about inequalities that are produced/encouraged by the way that a society is structured, but are ignored/sidelined because they are perceived as 'natural developments' resulting from that structure.

Things such as inequality of opportunity because of lack of funds, lack of connections, lack of support, for example.

I'm not trying to claim that people don't have a responsibility to take advantage of opportunity, but I submit that there is less equality of opportunity in certain societies than the people tend to recognise. Unlike the issue of latent criminals in Psycho-Pass then, these problems are perhaps not even perceived, which could mean that they are even less likely to be addressed. Hence, I would dispute the idea that institutionalised forms of inequality are necessarily harder to combat than other forms of inequality. I'm not saying that they are easier to address - what I'm challenging is the idea that it's as clear cut as has often been implied, and I argue that it is important for us to consider complexities that are sometimes/often ignored.

And I wonder if the society in the show has been influenced more by the negative consequences of such societies (which they'd have observed in their own world) than by their positives.
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Old 2013-01-22, 08:17   Link #134
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
I see your point. But with respect to freedom, I tend to view society as a mechanism for ensuring it. Many laws, for example, are designed to ensure that other people can't infringe on your rights.
I've always seen rights as a consequence of maintaining the Social Contract, but it could easily go the other way around by changing a few assumptions.

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No, I wouldn't.

I probably should be clear here. I'm not saying that freedom is sufficient in and of itself. I view it as an unambiguously good thing, but yes, it does need to be tempered. The shift you mentioned can serve to "level the playing field", and shift society closer to equality of opportunity (this type of equality is compatible with freedom). The shift you mentioned can also serve to keep the economy stable, which is generally beneficial.

But the shift in Psycho-Pass goes beyond the economic realm, of course.
I'm not going to argue this. Extremes are generally perceived to be bad. Total freedom leans too much towards individualism to the point threatening the stability of society. Absence of freedom leans too much towards collectivism and hive mentality. I guess it's all a trade off depending on what kind of society one prefers to create.
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Old 2013-01-22, 08:20   Link #135
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I really do question exactly what it is that these Psycho-Pass readings are measuring, and if too much importance has been given to whatever that is.
You know, I was just thinking about that myself and it occured to me. Terms like "Crime Coefficent", "Latent Criminal" and even the name of the show itself are minomers. In my opinion, what Psycho Pass readings measure are people's values and when people's values deviate too far from the majority, they're flagged as latent criminals.

Essentially, the Sybil System is majority rule personified, taken to the extreme. It's creating a society where there IS no minority, where everyone has the same values. Everyone has the same values, people don't come into conflict, peace. Everyone wins, except those who don't.
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Old 2013-01-22, 22:50   Link #136
monir
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Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
One final note: On what basis is it claimed that Sybil has wiped out war or famine? Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't we seen nothing beyond Japan in the setting of this show? For all we know, there could be wars and/or famine all over Africa (for example) in the world of Psycho-Pass.

I'm pretty sure that real world Japan hasn't been touched by war for several decades now.
This is probably a logical fallacy on my part, but when I try to answer the question why such system would need to be invented, and what kind of circumstance would lead a society to build mass consensus to instill such system, I just can't think of anything from within the confinement of the conventional wisdom of our present world. In fact, it's even hard to imagine how such system would be allowed to go on for at least two decades without any significant outside interference. Heck, I'm even willing to say the nation state as we know is probably an obscure idea for that world too. May be there was a huge war to end all war before the idea of Sibyl System was conceived, or it could have been natural calamity that pushed humanity into brink of extinction and the proficiency of such system was needed to maximize the population count. I just feel that no nation state by itself in our present world will be able to instill a Sybil System without forming a massive coalition. And once such system is in place, others have no choice but to follow suit like a domino effect. Technological advancement in automation and robots as seen in this show also changes the dynamic of war. As the female boss hinted, under such system the robots can carry out most of the task of enforcing the Sibyl System. It's probably not too much of a stretch to say under this same line of thinking that initially all opposition to Sibyl System was dealt with automation/robots. And once a certain order was achieved under this system, people such as Ginoza's father was spared with the role of enforcer to inject that human element into the system. That's why I think such system, once in place, can strip away from humanity even the desire to wage war.
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Old 2013-01-23, 03:37   Link #137
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Well...if the person who creates it does not have a high Crime Coefficient, would it not be 'allowed to exist'? Same with the music - it was 'allowed to exist', was it not?
About the bolded...err no, I'm not sure it exists that way. It seems like they run the work through Sybil that somehow scans the work in question. Not just the creator. Otherwise, why would Rina not have been picked up by the Bureau before she started her riots?


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I agree with the idea that trying to stick to the status quo is detrimental. But, to play devil's advocate, with regards to the Confucian ideal being 'nice and fine' only 'until you are one of those made to do so'...is that your point of view, the point of view of the majority, or the point of view of a minority?

And to turn the example on its head, change has often required people to lay down and die for society's sake (whether they do it by choice or not, and I would say that both occur): so perhaps the lack of desire to lay down and die for society's sake is one of the reasons no change has occurred?
First part: It certainly is mine. My own experiences with the culture here made me think that way. That's why I later asked if you had any similar experiences. As for it being a majority or minority view....well, if it were an overwhelmingly majority view that would be strange wouldn't it? Usually, the people disadvantaged by any system would not be in the majority no? But as to whether the gap between that majority and minority is wide...from what I observe, it's closer than one would guess, I suppose that's why the social situation across East Asia is rather volatile one. Also there is the simple fact that while one would agree with me in principle, it doesn't mean one would still agree with me in the context of outside social economic cultural etc presures too. When the situation changes, one's words and allegiances to something magically change too. Humans are just like that after all.

Second part:

Yea, that is indeed true....in the end, it's quite a warped world we live in eh? No matter how much one would wish otherwise. It's always the frying pan or the fire one way or another...simply just a question of which is more preferable.

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Which is, in effect, my point. At this juncture, what do we know of how the system was born? Why don't we seek that answer before trying to tell them how they should change?
That's actually quite easy. Psycho Pass world is a reflection of our current world. Neuroscience may well be capable of what Sybil is within half a century or so. Honestly speaking, one could rather care less about the society in Psycho Pass since they literally asked for this fate but being a reflection of our world, how could one not make a stand? That's always one of the big dilemmas we bio science people or indeed any other science person faces....how to prevent science from being misused....aww who am I kidding. More like how to limit the damage from science being misued. The world of Psycho Pass coming true in our world 50 years from now...if we are still alive then, well imagine that nightmare. In that context, one can't help but speak out against it.

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I would say that I have, if being restricted and constrained by an annoyingly static bureaucracy counts. But I (and the people of at lease one place I've lived) have also been frustrated by the structures and beliefs that have shaped the so-called exceptionalism, privileges and overriding opinion of a certain Western government, just to give one broad example.

Does it alter the basic issue in each case? Probably not. But it should alter the way that one tries to address the basic issue. It's a question of 'how to seek change' rather than 'should it be changed or not'.
Like I said...I have never lived in the West so I wouldn't be qualified to give a view on that...

In any case, true, solutions differ with scenarios, quite obviously. But what if it's like Psycho Pass world? The whole population (virtually anyway) is in thrall to the system. What would you do? Me, I'd say let em rot, if I were an outsider. But applied to our world? Can I still say that if it has degenerated to that point? In the end, the scope of this problem is like a doctor performing desperate antibiotic therapy and surgery to stave off necrotizing fasciitis. In such cases, it's hard to slowly plan. Especially when the system is actively hunting you down.
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Old 2013-01-23, 20:36   Link #138
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This. This is the point for me. But how would you call this? In my book this is what I call involution (as contrary of evolution). And this is what I find horrifying of the whole thing. At this point I don't care much of the means, but of the consequences of this process. What would we/they be without that thing that you call "burden"? Animals only worry about their own personal needs, so my question is, would we/they be still humans? The cost is not simply human dignity, but humanity (or part of it at least). More you think and more you will think, as much as less you think and less you will think. In PP world we are in the latter case.
Anyways, I'm not saying that they should discard the Sybil system as a whole, but, for instance, they could keep it only for crime prevention.
Yes, but the cultural meme of "shut up and accept the way things are" has been around forever. Those who challenge it died and were marginalized, but change always happens because enough people wake up to challenge it. I don't know. We are pretty much watching an anime whose main characters find themselves on the wrong side of history.
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Old 2013-01-24, 02:38   Link #139
karice67
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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
About the bolded...err no, I'm not sure it exists that way. It seems like they run the work through Sybil that somehow scans the work in question. Not just the creator. Otherwise, why would Rina not have been picked up by the Bureau before she started her riots?
Personally, I'm under the impression that created works might be assessed for how they affect the Psycho-Pass hues of people who listen to them or attend their performances (or view them, in the case of art). The creators themselves aren't penalised as long as their own psycho-Pass readings remain normal, but their work might be censored if it raises the readings of others. At worst, they are prevented from spreading their work, just like the psychological expert from episode 9, Saiga Jouji.

At least, that's what I've assumed - I could be wrong.



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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
Also there is the simple fact that while one would agree with me in principle, it doesn't mean one would still agree with me in the context of outside social economic cultural etc presures too. When the situation changes, one's words and allegiances to something magically change too. Humans are just like that after all.
Agreed. Humans are complex creatures...though I venture that, as the ease of living increases, the less willing people are to challenge the status quo. Which, I guess, goes back to my second point - what a warped world we live in indeed! But that's arguably what most creatures are like...


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Originally Posted by Cosmic Eagle View Post
That's actually quite easy. Psycho Pass world is a reflection of our current world. Neuroscience may well be capable of what Sybil is within half a century or so. *snip*
That may be true, but even so, what might have happened within the half century before the introduction of the Sibyl system?

An interesting comparison, I feel, is the eugenics movement from the late 19th to early 20th century. (Small disclaimer: I'm a little rusty about the historical details, as it's been a fair few years since I studied it at uni.) Societies in both Europe and America began to place value in certain physical characteristics. Apparently, there were even awards given for titles akin to 'the fairest family' - or something like that - in town fairs across the U.S. It is highly likely that there were also discussions about and attempts to stratify society by such characteristics.

There were, even then, people who saw the horrors that such measures might bring. People like Aldous Huxley and Samuel Butler, to name a couple of dystopian writers. We have seen similar cautionary tales in more recent times, such as Gattaca. But was it these tales that steered us away from them, because people who read or saw them were horrified? Or was it simply that one particular political regime took eugenics to the extreme, resulting in one lesson that we hope the world never forgets? The thing is, it could have kept going the other way, for all we know. Or, alternatively, there could have been some great shock that had the opposite effect of propelling humanity towards such an extreme, unlikely though that may be.

Returning to Psycho-Pass, the story that is unfolding before us may be the great negative shock that will cause them to ditch the Sibyl system. But I am still interested in what might have happened in the history of the world that steered Japanese society in the direction it has taken.

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Like I said...I have never lived in the West so I wouldn't be qualified to give a view on that...
I should probably have clarified - the place I was talking about is Okinawa, the southern-most prefecture of Japan...
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Old 2013-01-24, 03:22   Link #140
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preview 14 video out (I posted in the thread "speculation and theories ..."
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