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Old 2013-02-15, 08:27   Link #221
zeando
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Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
I don't think episode 17 proved that the system is bad. In fact you could say it's the ultimate method of judgement and through adding more and more brains, it will achieve perfection.
the brain thing in fact is more scenic than anything, if they weren't brains in flasks they would be just a bunch of people secretly governing a nation(and selected with a specific method aimed to better their performance), something very far from being uncommon in the collective imagination and fictions
and them being a computer, flesh people or brains change nothing about their results, which are not perfect but also are far from being totally wrong

more than brains, they're more like a bunch of thermometers who measure the human stress, and except the exceptions like makishima and where people try to hack the system, they're quite correct, and continuosly try to better their results (again taking others brains is more scenic than needed, they could just do a brain scan to the people they can't understand to complete themselfes)
them, or some of them(we don't know if touma's god complex was common in the hivemind or just his way to see it), thinking to be overpowered/aboveothers would be bad if it influenced their results/performance, but since we didn't got showed cases like that, that's not the case for now

like makishima said, they're cogs of a system, they do their work
they/brains could be considered victims of the system themselfes
or the first ones to beneficiate from it, in a normal society where they would be shunned and isolated, as part of the sibyl they're having an use/meaning, they sort of complete each other, and even if the first thing someone mistreated would do is trying to hurt/taking revenge on society they're instead trying(with their means) to help it

the real fault of the sibyl is that it would not be needed if society was more accepting and peaceful, sibyl sort of remove/cover the problems while not resolving them (not like society would, it takes a lot fo time/work anyway)

an other possible problem is that sibyl is good as measurement tool, not so good as decision making structure
the ideal would be having sibyl as measurement tool, and someone like akane as decision making role
since a measurement tool can only measure what already happened, while a decision making role has do decide what is the best route to follow
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Old 2013-02-17, 12:47   Link #222
GoldenLand
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While I was looking at some info about psychopathy relating to the eo 17 thread, I ran into this other information which may be interesting in light of the Sybil system.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy#Moral_judgment
Quote:
Psychopaths have been considered notoriously amoral – an absence of, indifference towards, or disregard for moral beliefs. There are little firm data on patterns of moral judgment, however. Studies of developmental level (sophistication) of moral reasoning found all possible results – lower, higher or the same as non-psychopaths. Studies that compared judgments of personal moral transgressions versus judgments of breaking conventional rules or laws, found that psychopaths rated them as equally severe, whereas non-psychopaths rated the rule-breaking as less severe.

A study comparing judgments of whether personal or impersonal harm would be endorsed in order to achieve the rationally maximum (utilitarian) amount of welfare, found no significant differences between psychopaths and non-psychopaths. However, a further study using the same tests found that prisoners scoring high on the psychopathy checklist were more likely to endorse impersonal harm or rule violations than non-psychopaths were. Psychopaths who scored low in anxiety were also more willing to endorse personal harm on average.

Assessing accidents, where one person harmed another unintentionally, psychopaths judged such actions to be more morally permissible. This result is perhaps a reflection of psychopaths' failure to appreciate the emotional aspect of the victim's harmful experience, and furnishes direct evidence of abnormal moral judgment in psychopathy.
What do you think, did Urobuchi take this sort of thing into account when designing the Sybil system? The thing about psychopaths being harsher on rule violations than non-psychopaths could be relevant to the way Sybil seems to punish rule breakage (such as listening to non-approved music, etcetera) harshly. But then, on the very pertinent question of what level of harm is acceptable for maximum welfare overall, they're apparently more likely to approve of rule violations. Seems really unclear.
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Old 2013-02-17, 13:20   Link #223
zeando
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Psychopaths are not objective. They are extremely self centered and biased! They're thinking "me! me! me!" all the time. They're arrogant.
are you sure you're not mixing up being a psychopath with being selfish and selfcentered?
Yes. Are you claiming that psychopaths are caring, sharing individuals who think about others?
i'm not claiming that, being psycho and selfish aren't exclusive, but they're still different things
your describing them as "arrogant", or the "me me me" part looked to me more fit in describing a sane selfish/selfcentered person than a plain psycho, dunno, it gave me that impression (maybe it's part of my preconception of them lacking empathy both about others and about themselfes)

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Originally Posted by GoldenLand View Post
What do you think, did Urobuchi take this sort of thing into account when designing the Sybil system? The thing about psychopaths being harsher on rule violations than non-psychopaths could be relevant to the way Sybil seems to punish rule breakage (such as listening to non-approved music, etcetera) harshly. But then, on the very pertinent question of what level of harm is acceptable for maximum welfare overall, they're apparently more likely to approve of rule violations. Seems really unclear.
it's possible, doubt he just threw the psycho theme in with no previous research

about them being more likely to approve rule violations, that was about the "unintentionally harming another person" like in incidents, so:
they would judge harder willing violations of rules (any kind of rules they may be, moral or social)
while judjung less harder unwilling violations of rules

Last edited by zeando; 2013-02-17 at 13:33.
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Old 2013-02-17, 13:41   Link #224
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i'm not claiming that, being psycho and selfish aren't exclusive, but they're still different things
your describing them as "arrogant", or the "me me me" part looked to me more fit in describing a sane selfish/selfcentered person than a plain psycho, dunno, it gave me that impression (maybe it's part of my preconception of them lacking empathy both about others and about themselfes)
Pathological egocentricity and grandiose self-worth are parts of the lists of symptoms for psychopathy. What do you think psychopathy is?


Now that it's revealed what kind of brains they're using to guide the system, I have to wonder - are all the problems they've had because they picked the wrong brains to start with? Is that the lesson here, "if you're going to put your society in the hands of a computer - human brains chimera, pick the right kind of brains"? I mean, it's all very well that they're not emotional, but couldn't they have picked people who, in addition to not being emotional, also are interested in the welfare of society? The advancement of the human race? As opposed to sickos who torture and kill just because they can? I mean, it's one thing to be willing to ruthlessly sacrifice the one to save the many. But that's not the kind of people Touma or Makishima are.
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Old 2013-02-17, 13:57   Link #225
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
I mean, it's all very well that they're not emotional, but couldn't they have picked people who, in addition to not being emotional, also are interested in the welfare of society? The advancement of the human race?
That's where the political commentary comes in. It is well known that people who want political power the most badly, are often the very people you don't want to give power to. That those truly suitable for political roles are unwilling to get into leadership positions, or even reject them when offered.

That doesn't fit the scenario in this anime 100%. But I am sure it comes into play somewhere.

Fundamentally what we have in the anime, is an unacceptable political system that survives purely because the population is ignorant of what is ruling them. A government doesn't have to be right all the time; what is important is that mistakes are recognised. With Sybil it is the be-all and end-all. You get on the black list to even THINK the government is wrong.

Oversight, oversight, oversight. This is what Sybil does not have. They do whatever they want, and the assumption of "perfect" decision making is based on thin air.
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Old 2013-02-17, 15:08   Link #226
zeando
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Pathological egocentricity and grandiose self-worth are parts of the lists of symptoms for psychopathy. What do you think psychopathy is?
then clearly we weren't talking about the same thing..
ah, there it was, i was assuming goldenland(and some other posters) were talking about just "unempathic crazy people" not "compulsively violent unempathic crazy people"

but now this makes me wonder how did they reach the conclusion all the brains are "psychopaths" and not just unusual/crazy people
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Old 2013-02-17, 15:20   Link #227
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then clearly we weren't talking about the same thing..
ah, there it was, i was assuming goldenland(and some other posters) were talking about just "unempathic crazy people" not "compulsively violent unempathic crazy people"

but now this makes me wonder how did they reach the conclusion all the brains are "psychopaths" and not just unusual/crazy people
Look up the symptom list for psychopathy. You'll figure it out.

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Originally Posted by Vallen Chaos Valiant View Post
That's where the political commentary comes in. It is well known that people who want political power the most badly, are often the very people you don't want to give power to. That those truly suitable for political roles are unwilling to get into leadership positions, or even reject them when offered.

That doesn't fit the scenario in this anime 100%. But I am sure it comes into play somewhere.
But they didn't want power. Or at least, they didn't hustle for it - they were just thrust into it

Quote:
Fundamentally what we have in the anime, is an unacceptable political system that survives purely because the population is ignorant of what is ruling them. A government doesn't have to be right all the time; what is important is that mistakes are recognised. With Sybil it is the be-all and end-all. You get on the black list to even THINK the government is wrong.

Oversight, oversight, oversight. This is what Sybil does not have. They do whatever they want, and the assumption of "perfect" decision making is based on thin air.
Yes, but here's my problem: that would have been true even if they'd taken the brains I described. Even if they'd taken a random selection. Or even the most compassionate brains around.

So the aesop is undermined by the poor example. It's like saying "sodas are bad for you", and then pointing to a brand where it's mixed with rat poison because they aren't big on hygiene and safety. You don't end up with a cautionary tale against the ills of carbonated beverages, you end up with a cautionary tale against rat poison, and who needs that?
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Old 2013-02-17, 15:35   Link #228
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There are those who have argued that Makishima is a Nietschean Übermensch. Those same people have argued that this makes people like Makishima well-suited for leading society.

Perhaps Gen is critiquing the concept of the Nietschean Übermensch, and arguing that maybe it's not quite what it's cracked up to be. Maybe there's something to be said for those quaint ideas that there's some worth to people having basic moral values and caring about their fellow man. Maybe someone like Akane is better-suited to govern than someone like Makishima is.
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Old 2013-02-17, 16:15   Link #229
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Yes, but here's my problem: that would have been true even if they'd taken the brains I described. Even if they'd taken a random selection. Or even the most compassionate brains around.

So the aesop is undermined by the poor example. It's like saying "sodas are bad for you", and then pointing to a brand where it's mixed with rat poison because they aren't big on hygiene and safety. You don't end up with a cautionary tale against the ills of carbonated beverages, you end up with a cautionary tale against rat poison, and who needs that?
See, that's where the Japanese context comes in. The Japanese population believe in authority. If someone is arrested by a cop, the assumption is that that person is guilty even if they are acquitted. Their social life is destroyed because it is believed that cops arrested him for a reason. It is also why conviction rate there is 99%, and that they haven't figured out how to have true Juries yet. The trial juries just tried to follow whatever the judge wanted because he is the authority figure.

So as explained earlier, the aesop is to not follow authority blindly. Now this makes no sense to Westerners because here we distrust authority culturally. But as someone who immigrated from East to West, I have to say the change took a while for me.
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Old 2013-02-17, 16:22   Link #230
zeando
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Look up the symptom list for psychopathy. You'll figure it out.
yeah, i did read that before realizing i wasn't talking about that, how did you link those symptoms to the whole of the brains who are part of the sibyl?
to be complete, that only tells me touma and shouma are psychopaths, but i don't see how that connects to all the other brains
if one really wants to go further that can imply at most the sibyl is open to psychopaths, not how many of them actually are
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Old 2013-02-17, 16:23   Link #231
Anh_Minh
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So as explained earlier, the aesop is to not follow authority blindly.
But it's not. It may have been his intent, but here the aesop is "don't put psychopaths in position of absolute authority with zero oversight". If he'd put reasonable people inside Sibyl, and society still floundered (which would be quite possible), then yes, the aesop would be as you described. But here, well - I don't see the horror of totalitarianism. I can only wonder "what were those guys thinking?".
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Old 2013-02-18, 06:24   Link #232
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But it's not. It may have been his intent, but here the aesop is "don't put psychopaths in position of absolute authority with zero oversight". If he'd put reasonable people inside Sibyl, and society still floundered (which would be quite possible), then yes, the aesop would be as you described. But here, well - I don't see the horror of totalitarianism. I can only wonder "what were those guys thinking?".
The only reason psychopaths are in the job is because of the absolute trust.

If they had ordinary people running the system, then there would be no justification to claim that the people's trust was misplaced. The only way the flaws of a government could be detected is when things go horribly wrong. And that's why the story sets the worst case scenario.

This is not about hating government; this is about keeping tabs on them.

Look at it another way; if you want to tell a story about how Monarchy is flawed, would you put a reasonable and kind king in that role, or would you put a mad lunatic on the throne?

Overthrowing the government is a big deal. You don't just change it because you feel like it. Sybil can only be overthrown when society decided it can't be tolerated. If you filled the boxes with mild mannered sane human brains, you would have no story to tell.

In the best case scenario, every government system would work. What judges the system is when you put the worst possible people in the job, and see what happens. In the case of an ideal democracy they get thrown out of office. And that's why it is the best we can come up with right now. In the case of Sybil the mad brains recruits more mad people, and it degenerates. You see its flaws clear as day.

Or to put it simply; This is Stress Testing. And Sybil snaps under pressure.
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Old 2013-02-18, 16:35   Link #233
Anh_Minh
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The only reason psychopaths are in the job is because of the absolute trust.
Absolute trust AND the fact that someone somewhen thought "the system lacks humanity. Let's put psychopaths in it!".

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If they had ordinary people running the system, then there would be no justification to claim that the people's trust was misplaced. The only way the flaws of a government could be detected is when things go horribly wrong. And that's why the story sets the worst case scenario.
That's where we differ. I think there'd be plenty of room to go wrong even if they'd put the brains of the best intentioned people.

Quote:
This is not about hating government; this is about keeping tabs on them.

Look at it another way; if you want to tell a story about how Monarchy is flawed, would you put a reasonable and kind king in that role, or would you put a mad lunatic on the throne?

Overthrowing the government is a big deal. You don't just change it because you feel like it. Sybil can only be overthrown when society decided it can't be tolerated. If you filled the boxes with mild mannered sane human brains, you would have no story to tell.

In the best case scenario, every government system would work. What judges the system is when you put the worst possible people in the job, and see what happens. In the case of an ideal democracy they get thrown out of office. And that's why it is the best we can come up with right now. In the case of Sybil the mad brains recruits more mad people, and it degenerates. You see its flaws clear as day.

Or to put it simply; This is Stress Testing. And Sybil snaps under pressure.
I think a system should also be judged on how it chooses its people.

In the case of the monarchy, for example: if I want to make the point that hereditary power is bad, then yes, I'll put a lunatic. Whose worst tendencies have been nurtured by his early knowledge he'd be absolute ruler as long as he outlived his old man. If I want to make the point that totalitarianism is bad, then no. I'll put a man with good intentions but show that the system conspires to distort them. Because he's disconnected from reality, surrounded by yes-men whose interest lie in keeping him happy rather than saying anything true.

The Sibyl system has the same problem of lack of feedback that would amplify whatever tendency they have to excess.

So I'd take people with good intentions, but the same philosophical bent, people who think that you have to sacrifice the few to protect the many, or rather, society as a whole. I'd show how they'd grow progressively more intolerant of people even thinking they (or rather, Sibyl) could be wrong, and how the "few" would grow and grow because they'd be unable to dissociate "the good of society" from "the good of Sibyl", and reality's failure to neatly fit inside their models. I'd show the system itself turning nice, idealistic (if pragmatic, because Sibyl is in principle pragmatic) people into monsters, one logical step at a time.

(Well, assuming I had the writing ability for it, which I don't.)

Last edited by Anh_Minh; 2013-02-18 at 18:23.
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Old 2013-02-18, 16:45   Link #234
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Originally Posted by Anh_Minh View Post
Absolute trust AND the fact that someone somewhen thought "the system lacks humanity. Let's put psychopaths in it!".
You know, something just occurred to me here.

I've read that Japan tends to view mental illness very differently than the west does. Perhaps "Psychopath" means less in Japan than it does in the west. In other words, due to Japan's view on mental illness, perhaps the term "Psychopath" (or whatever it's Japanese equivalent would be) is an uncommon word and a very rare way of viewing someone.

When the people who run Sibyl look at Makishima, perhaps they don't see "Psychopath" or "Sociopath". Perhaps they see "Extremely strong personality. Able to kill without flinching or remorse. Good judge of character. Ideal candidate to help determine Psycho-Pass Readings. He won't go soft on latent criminals but he also will make more objective decisions than many others would."


I think it's morally abhorrent, but it makes some logic.
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Old 2013-02-18, 17:06   Link #235
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You know, something just occurred to me here.

I've read that Japan tends to view mental illness very differently than the west does. Perhaps "Psychopath" means less in Japan than it does in the west. In other words, due to Japan's view on mental illness, perhaps the term "Psychopath" (or whatever it's Japanese equivalent would be) is an uncommon word and a very rare way of viewing someone.

When the people who run Sibyl look at Makishima, perhaps they don't see "Psychopath" or "Sociopath". Perhaps they see "Extremely strong personality. Able to kill without flinching or remorse. Good judge of character. Ideal candidate to help determine Psycho-Pass Readings. He won't go soft on latent criminals but he also will make more objective decisions than many others would."
"Kills random people to prove a point. Thinks an orderly, disciplined society is abominable".
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Old 2013-02-18, 18:31   Link #236
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is anyone going to try to answer me this?
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Look up the symptom list for psychopathy. You'll figure it out.
yeah, i did read that before realizing i wasn't talking about that, how did you link those symptoms to the whole of the brains who are part of the sibyl?
to be complete, that only tells me touma and shouma are psychopaths, but i don't see how that connects to all the other brains
if one really wants to go further that can imply at most the sibyl is open to psychopaths, not how many of them actually are
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Old 2013-02-19, 06:14   Link #237
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but now this makes me wonder how did they reach the conclusion all the brains are "psychopaths" and not just unusual/crazy people
Look up the symptom list for psychopathy. You'll figure it out.
yeah, i did read that before realizing i wasn't talking about that, how did you link those symptoms to the whole of the brains who are part of the sibyl?
to be complete, that only tells me touma and shouma are psychopaths, but i don't see how that connects to all the other brains
if one really wants to go further that can imply at most the sibyl is open to psychopaths, not how many of them actually are
is anyone going to try to answer me this?

RogerRambo quoted the relevant Touma dialogue over in the ep 17 thread:
Quote:
"The first qualification to be a constituent member of the Sibyl System is to have an irregular personality that doesn't fit in with mankind's conventional standards. Without aimlessly empathizing with others, without being lost to emotion, you should be able to oversee human actions from an outsider's viewpoint. Such talent is desired.

For example, like the way you and I are.

I'm a unique person to, whose Crime Coefficient can't be determined from his Psycho-Pass. Because of that, I've experienced a great deal of loneliness. A personality that cannot be measured even by Sibyl's collective intellect is called criminally asymptomatic. Those with this personality are distinguished from all citizens and have a new ideology and sense of values. By finding such valuable people and taking them in, the system has continued to expand its range of thinking and gained new possibilities as an intellectual form."
Looking at the latter paragraph only, it could be read in two ways. One being that all of the Sybil brains are criminally asymptomatic people, another being that they are simply some of them and are taken in to expand the thinking of the system.

But then, the first paragraph gives the first requirement for joining the Sybil system, which presumably goes for all of the brains recruited, and that is somebody who does not "aimlessly empathise" with others, and looks upon other people from the perspective of an "outsider" rather than as another human being. A lack of empathy and seeing oneself as superior and separate can both be symptoms of psychopathy. Sybil brains are also required to have "irregular personalities" and not fit in with mankinds "conventional standards". Added to Touma's later statements in the quote, that makes it sound as if Sybil really is made up primarily of psychopaths.

Are they all "criminally asymptomatic", and how do they find out? Well...in Makishima and Touma's cases, they know they're criminally asymptomatic because they do horrible things and get caught in the act, and yet their psycho-pass does not react to it. If they never do anything horrible, how can they be criminally asymptomatic? Perhaps Sybil is capable of identifying some psychopaths who do not commit crimes. They could, perhaps, look at statistics and seek out people whose hue is almost always in great condition (like Akane!) but what if there are a lot of non-psychopaths out there who are just chilled out and dopey all the time? There are already masses of people in Psycho-Pass world who are pretty much just dying of boredom and lethargy, like Ritsuko's father. They probably have clear hues.

It's possible that later on we'll get information to contradict this, but right now I think we're supposed to be inferring that Sybil is psychopathic. (And even the title of the series...Psycho-Pass = psychopaths. Very unsubtle!)

Last edited by GoldenLand; 2013-02-19 at 06:28.
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Old 2013-02-19, 06:42   Link #238
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Nice to see this thread revived.

We've come full circle. After Ep17, the Psycho-Pass universe (criminal brains!) has become a virtual analogue of the dystopia presented in The Minority Report (psychic brains!). I suppose it's inevitable that it would end up this way. I had hoped for something more mind-bendingly original but, oh well, beggars can't be choosers.

I'm far too out of the loop, and in any case too caught up with real-life issues, to jump back into the discussion now. I'll just say that an interesting tangent to explore would be the role of emotions in our concept of "morality", what is right, what is wrong, what is justice.

It has been sometimes argued, by some forum members in the past, that emotions are a liability. If only people were less emotional (the "ewww" factor on many matters of sexual morality, for example) and more logical, we wouldn't have to deal with so many intractable problems. Or so they say.

Well, as a thought experiment, why not try seeing how far that would go? What would a world devoid of troublesome emotions look like?
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Old 2013-02-19, 06:49   Link #239
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It has been sometimes argued, by some forum members in the past, that emotions are a liability. If only people were less emotional (the "ewww" factor on many matters of sexual morality, for example) and more logical, we wouldn't have to deal with so many intractable problems. Or so they say.

Well, as a thought experiment, why not try seeing how far that would go? What would a world devoid of troublesome emotions look like?
The question is what are you after? A perfect society with humans in it, or a perfect society period?

If you just want a perfect society, then you can just kill all humans and replace them with bioengineering creatures who are less chaotic.

But then, if you want a perfect society with human in it, then you had to build society around the pros and cons of the human race.

The second you contemplate changing humans, you are no longer trying to solve social issues. It is no different from trying to decrease crime in a city by dropping a nuclear weapon on it. Population zero = crime rate zero.
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Old 2013-02-19, 07:05   Link #240
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The question is what are you after? A perfect society with humans in it, or a perfect society period?

If you just want a perfect society, then you can just kill all humans and replace them with bioengineering creatures who are less chaotic.
Why is "less chaotic" automatically the same as "more perfect"?

A certain amount of "chaos" is good for society. It pushes society forward, and ensures that society doesn't stagnate. It can lead to positive social change, and technological advancements.

There was a Star Trek: TNG episode called "The Masterpiece Society". It was about a society that used eugenics to 'perfect the human race'. Their society is very orderly, and while their people don't lack emotions, they put a high premium on micromanaging and charting the course of human evolution. Nothing is left to chance, or chaos, in other words.

But this Star Trek episode showed how this Masterpiece Society actually led to a technological stagnation relative to the rest of humanity. And part of that is precisely because their society is so orderly. No chaos meant no major problems to solve, and no major problems to solve meant less technological advancement.


Even in a best-case scenario, I think that the human society here in Psycho-Pass will eventually suffer the same fate. When you put social harmony and stability above everything else, to the degree that you don't even try to achieve some sort of balance between that and potential for societal evolution, you run a serious risk of stagnation.
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