I REALLY WANTED TO TALK ABOUT MY STANCE ON HOW INFORMATION (OR DATA IF THAT'S WHAT YOU ALL WANT TO CALL IT) IS PRESENTED IN THE MEDIA.I WANT TO FOCUS PRIMARILY ON HOW IT IS PRESENTED IN ANIME.I CAN HONESTLY SAY THAT I AM IN LOVE WITH ANIME.I EVEN TOOK AN ANIME COURSE AT MY COLLEGE, AND IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST CLASSES THAT I EVER TOOK.HERE IS AN ESSAY THAT I HAD TO WRITE FOR AN EXAM FOR THAT CLASS.I HAD ANALYZE HOW DATA IS TRANSFERRED AND EMBODIED IN A NEW MEDIA IN CERTAIN ANIME.I HOPE THAT YOU ALL HAVE AS MUCH FUN READING IT AS I DID WRITING IT!CRITIQUES ARE WELCOMED.THANK YOU!
What is information?Can we really say how information or data is supposed to be embodied?Information used to be held in the confines of our minds.Then, we moved our ideas (the information in our minds) into books.However, we did not stop at just that.Now we are using computers and databanks.We have moved the information into a new apparatus.One that is infinite and vast.We call it the World Wide Web (or for short terms, the Internet).Many authors, such as Katherine Hayles, believe that information is being separated from its original substrate (body) and that it no longer has a shape.Information has become so huge and vast that it can no longer be contained.However, this information is not lost.What if it's body is not lost, but it is just reconfigured into another shape which can contain it?Examples such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Akira, and Ghost in the Shell are all anime shows that demonstrate the reconfiguration of information (whether the information is presented as being electronic or even biological in a sense).
Neon Genesis Evangelion was an anime series that concentrated on the psychological turmoil or not just the main character, Shinji Ikari, but also other characters throughout the series.Shinji only relates to the EVA, because he believe it's what defines his personality and gives hime self-worth.It is possible that he is so attached to the EVA, because the "personalities" or "souls" of all the mothers of the 14-year old EVA pilots are implanted into the EVAs.Based on Susan Naplier's article, the pilots (Shinji, Asuka, and Ayanami) are bath in almost an amneotic-fluid that surrounds them in a type of womb inside of the EVA capsules.The personalities or souls of their mother's can be seen here as information downloaded and recreated in a new body (such as the EVAs which originate from organic and mechanical material).
In "Akira," information is reconfigured in a way that is presented in the story as psychokinetic powers that the three children, Testuo, and Akira display.The information is biologically stored in their bodies.In the final moments of the film, Tetsuo's power becomes so immense that his physical body cannot contain it.It expands into a mound of flesh that beings to devour anything it touches.Akira is awakened and helps re-embody the power of Tetsuo.The "information" that is pouring out of Tetsuo is used by Akira to create another universe (another Big Bang).
Finally, "Ghost in the Shell" explores the definition of life in the terms of the definition that biology uses today or as the aggregation of information that transforms into a consciousness.The character Motoko Kusanagi constantly questions if she is still a human or a copy of another human being's consciousness.On the other hand, the Puppet Master has a different perspective on the definition of life.He is able to redefine the meaning of life to suit his reason of existing.He believes that since he has gained a consciousness and create a new "offspring" with Motoko he is a living organism.When Motoko and the Puppet Master merge together, they form a new being that is a hybrid of the two.Their consciousness has been re-embodied into a new mass (i.e., their child).Like any organism the Puppet Master's main goal was to pass along his "genes" (information) to a new generation (the hybrid).
We can definitely say that information is expanding at an incredible rate.However, is it possible for us to have too much information?I personally don't think so.Although the amount of information is growing, we are constantly shaping the information into new forms.As stated previously, we have evolved from keeping information in our minds, to books, and now to data processing networks.Even in the media, we are showing how data can evolve and become reconfigured into a new shape.We shouldn't be asking whether the information will become too big.We should be asking whether the new shape, that information the will take on, will cause it to take a life of it on.All of the examples presented in this essay have shown how life can arise from information that is able to take on new forms.Should we be afraid of how information is constantly changing shapes, or should we embrace it a new organism coming to life?