teaching machines

Fixing Our Bugs

As a kid, I played many Japanese video games. In high school, I got a permanent release from study hall to teach myself Japanese in the computer lab. I chose the college I did because they offered Japanese courses. (At least they did at the time I applied. But they were cancelled before I got to campus.) In college, I was a conversation partner for a Japanese student. In my adult life, I’ve been auditing Japanese courses at my university.

Despite my interest in the Japanese language and culture, I am a fake for at least a couple of reasons. First, I have no interest in sushi. Second, I have watched very little anime.

I’ve been trying to rectify the anime situation. The modern stuff is fascinatingly different. But I’ve not been able to stomach the earlier classics like Akira. I don’t need dystopia and violence at this stage of my life. I’m trying to raise kids that haven’t lost all hope.

We just watched Ghost in the Shell this past weekend. I’m not better off having watched it. However, there’s one scene I haven’t been able to get out of my head. This one:

What I find most fascinating here is that the man is typing on a traditional keyboard. Instead of increasing human performance by improving the interface to technology, he has improved himself to adapt to the interface. 100% of the movie is an exploration of human augmentation, and I think this scene captures our myopic zeal to fix our “bugs” rather than the situation that manifests them.

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