"It is a time when, even if nets were to guide all consciousness that had been converted to electrons and photons towards coalescing, standalone individuals have not yet been converted into data to the extent that they can form unique components of a larger complex."
Shirow Masamune, the author of the Ghost in the Shell series, which includes Ghost in the Shell, Human Error Processor, and Man/Machine Interface, wrote those words in 1985, years before the internet would be evolved to the point he was trying to describe, and yet he knew what was coming. Not much is known about the man himself, he is extraordinarily private, even the name "Shirow Masamune" is a pseudonym. He never allows himself to be photographed, not even as Masamune, and has never appeared in public, no book signings or other functions. What is known is the philosophy in his work, and his love of the future.
Shirows work consists primarily of his manga, or comic book series; Appleseed, Dominion, and Ghost in the Shell. He considers Appleseed to be his lifes work, but undoubtedly Ghost in the Shell has been far more influential. This series is centered around the Kyoan Kyuka or Public Security Section 9, a division of the Japanese Public Security Commission, led by the field operative Kusanagi Motoko, or "The Major". They are primarily concerned with intelligence, counter-intelligence, cyber espionage, and cyber terrorism. The story concerns a criminal known as "the Puppeteer" which turns out to be a sentient AI jumping from one cyborg body to another. The ultimate goal of its criminal actions are unknown until the end of the first book when it is made clear that its goal is the same as any humans: procreation. It explains "Entropy is a kind of stability, but in systems where there is little change and little flux there is an increase in the chance of catastrophe". What it was trying to say is that you could make a million copies of the strongest, healthiest man in the world, but if that...
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