PSYCHO-PASS Ep. 3: Intuition

Last week, we spent some time analyzing Akane’s home. It’s only fitting that we do the same with Shinya. The episode opens with Shinya training in — considering the high-tech world we’ve seen in the past two episodes — a rather shabby-looking home. Where are the fancy, futuristic electronics? Or how about the slick interiors that can instantly morph into a Belgian hotel? From this, we can thus surmise the differences between the social standings for those like Akane and latent criminals like Shinya (in fact, someone brought this up last week but I’m too lazy to check who). She has a virtual assistant to help her regulate seemingly every aspect of her life. On the other hand, Shinya trains alone. If it had been Akane in the scene instead, you could bet anything that there’d be an AI telling her how many calories she has left to burn before allowing her muscles to rest so-and-so minutes.

On a related note, we know that when Akane leaves her apartment, it reverts back to being as plain as any other person’s home, but that’s the magic of simulation: the conceit of luxury. Shinya’s place seems almost barren of any sort of futuristic technology. Does this hint at some aspect of his personality that rejects the high-tech world around him? Look at the way his wall is littered with photographs and clippings of God-knows-what. In this sci-fi setting, you’d almost expect Shinya to have a fancy display that can access and organize all of the same information, but instead, he either chooses not to use the world’s technology, or he’s not allowed to own any of it due to his social standing.

Of course, we can’t forget how Shinya’s wall resembles a wall that you could find in any hard-boiled detective story. Again, there’s an interesting contrast being drawn here between Shinya and investigators like Akane and Ginoza. The latter two rely upon technology to tell them not only who to catch but where to catch criminals. With Shinya, on the other hand, just his wall alone seems to speak to a certain desire to do things the old-fashioned way — the way of the old private eyes: we’ll just clip a bunch of important clues on the board, and allow our good ol’ human intuition to do the trick. If not intuition, then raw emotion, because Shinya soon clenchs his teeth at whatever he is staring at. So although Shinya’s room seems almost anachronistic, it is not just a nod to another genre, but an emotional, intuitive oasis hidden in PSYCHO-PASS‘s technocratic utopia.

As you watch the rest of the episode, you’ll notice how a detective’s intuition continues to clash with the PSYCHO-PASS system’s cold, hard “logic.” But what is even logical about it, anyway? Its methodology is a mystery, it seems, to everyone in the show. They just all rely upon this mystical Sibyl to render judgment, but who keeps the Sibyl in check? It should be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Notes:

• Akane and Ginoza head off to a factory where there have been three casualties in the past year. Something that caught my eye: the factory workers have to live on site to perform their duties. This bit of info reminds me somewhat of the recent Foxconn controversy in China, but for now, this is probably just a coincidence and hardly anime’s attempt at any sort of social commentary.

• Out of nowhere, Akane tells Ginoza that she has a good feeling about working with the Enforcers. Ginoza warns her not to view the Enforcers as colleagues. We were told in the previous episode that Akane’s fit to do almost any job that requires a certain level of mental aptitude, but she doesn’t seem particularly bright to me… at least when it comes to common sense. She certainly seems oblivious to the social mores of her own society. Granted, Akane’s archetypically innocent and idealistic in her role as the show’s heroine, but unless the anime later reveals that she’s had a sheltered life, these moments just make the poor girl come across as an idiot… then again, Dostoyevsky did write an entire novel on one such character.

• The factory workers can’t connect to the internet, and they have few ways to relieve stress. They’re practically prisoners. Maybe it’s not such a coincidence after all…

• The murder scene is reconstructed using holograms. This method seems like fertile ground for tampering.

• It seems that the entire Enforcer team is there. They must do more than their namesake would imply, but what? Does the Public Safety Bureau somehow value the Enforcers’ insights out there on the field or does the anime just feel like sending everyone out at the same time? The former possibility doesn’t seem likely as we don’t see Ginoza once ask the Enforcers for their opinions on the case, and he easily dismisses their insights anyway when he gets them.

• The PSYCHO-PASS system isn’t perfect because there’s a waiting line for the Sibyl to process each person’s data. As such, a dangerous person can seemingly avoid detection, but Dominators can be used to bypass the lag in response. The fact that there’s a waiting line is hardly any sort of substantive criticism against the PSYCHO-PASS detection system in itself. Rather, this bit of info forces us to ask a few follow-up questions: “Why is there only one Sibyl to process the data? What is this Sibyl such that only one can exist?”

• Naturally, why is Akane not already aware of these systematic flaws in the PSYCHO-PASS system if she’s so smart, etc.? Masaoka again serves as a mouthpiece for the show’s exposition.

• Again, the debate between science and intuition arises. I hesitated typing that out because science itself uses a lot of intuition, but most of you guys should know what I’m trying to get at. The Enforcers don’t need the Sibyl or a gun to tell them that a murder has taken place. At the same time, however, intuition is a bit of an art. Even if the anime’s message thus far is clearly that technocracy has deep, inherent flaws, it’ll be interesting to see instances of when intuition can go horribly wrong.

• We see some of the factory workers bullying one of their own. How does this escape the PSYCHO-PASS system? Is it because the bullies’ hues will have subsided to a safe color or is bullying not even a concern for the system in the first place? In either case, it seems that a lot of the people in this world depend so much on the PSYCHO-PASS system that they no longer even react to an injustice occurring before their very eyes. It’s almost like, “Well, if it’s really that bad, the PSYCHO-PASS system will do something about it.” Again, this is another instance of when science seemingly fails and intuition has to come in and save the day.

• There’s a lot of post-hoc analysis at hand too. The director reasons that the Sibyl must have assigned the bullying victim to a job at the drone factory just to play that very role: a weakling for the other factory workers to pick on.

• The dramatic close-up to the director’s face is pretty corny. So was Akane’s strange, little smirk. She’s always walking around with a half-dazed look on her face, so it’s just weird to see her suddenly smirk.

• Akane seems dumbfounded that a person’s hue could improve in color after killing someone, but this just makes intuitive sense. If you kill your torturer, wouldn’t you feel relieved to some extent? What was Akane studying before she got this job? Why is this not even something that Ginoza will even consider? Even serial killers aren’t in a perpetual state where they constantly feel the need to kill.

• Nevertheless, Masaoka’s words touch a nerve with Ginoza. He seems rather invested in the idea that they never deviate from the PSYCHO-PASS system. Potential foreshadowing moment here to keep in mind.

• Shinya interrogates the main suspect in a rather familiar way: using intimidation to make the suspect reveal his true nature. His method, however, seems just as flawed as the PSCYHO-PASS system. He essentially bullies a bullying victim. Kanehara presumably murdered three people because they had been torturing him. Sure, murder is always wrong — I’m not going to dispute that — but c’mon, there’s got to be something wrong about bullying a bullying victim in order to solve a murder case. Like what we’ve seen in the first episode, people are pushed by the PSYCHO-PASS system to commit crimes because they feel they’ve been cornered. Despite Shinya’s protestation that the PSYCHO-PASS system has allowed three people to die, he commits the very same mistake that the system itself is guilty of: forcing people into a corner and making them lash out.

• I feel as though the episode could have gone in a potentially more interesting direction. What if Kanehara had suffered from some form of dissociative behavior as a result of all the bullying he had to endure? As a result, he may have unknowingly programmed the drones to murder his bullies, then returned to normality without any sense of guilt or culpability? He thus escapes the detection of the PSYCHO-PASS system. Some ambivalence would come into play: is Kanehara a murderer or a victim who needs mental help?

33 thoughts on “PSYCHO-PASS Ep. 3: Intuition

  1. Roghek

    And so it goes Episode three… was the first scene intended to shows us Shinya’s home or as an eye-candy for the ladies… or both.

    I don’t like how the show is handling the exposition but is working so far, even though I too don’t agree that making Akane look like a moron is a good idea.

    There were a few things about the show I think are worth mention, however none of those thing were present in this episode. I do like the chemistry between Akane and en Enforcers and I’m hoping for a lot of character development for all, and I mean a LOT for ALL, of them, they better don’t disappoint.

    Yeah, this episode was a notch down from the other two, still good and that’s the way I like it. I wan’t the next episode to be about glasses guy, we haven’t seem much of him so far. what is he like? Why is he like that? Etc.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      eye-candy for the ladies

      Well, until we see gratuitous physics being applied to Shinya’s junk, I’m not going to quibble about it like I do with the other forms of fanservice we typically see in anime.

      I’m hoping for a lot of character development for all, and I mean a LOT for ALL, of them, they better don’t disappoint.

      I heard this was a two-cour series so they’re probably just taking their sweet time on this front.

      Yeah, this episode was a notch down from the other two,

      I didn’t think it was that much worse.

      Reply
      1. Roghek

        I don’t think the ladies would enjoy that kind of eye-candy.
        By a notch down I meant the first two were a bit more interesting, I didn’t say it was a bad episode, it was a great episode yet I still want more, better, etc…

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          Oh, I didn’t mean that women would enjoy it. It’s just that people often get mad about shirtless guys and try to equate it to gratuitous bouncing tits.

          Reply
  2. blendmaster

    I hope they don’t continue the case-per-week, neatly-wrapped-up-in-an-episode pacing. Everything just gets resolved too fast, without any sense of consequence beyond the “lessons learned” by the MC. Dudes show up at some factory, see dead body, do some exposition and character development, and then explode the criminal and his robots. Case closed. See you later, space cowboy.

    It doesn’t even matter whether Kanehara was a murderer or a victim; he was there (for ~5 minutes total) to illustrate the problems with the Sybil system (again), and to let the animators draw a fight scene with the cool guns–a plot instrument, instead of a person with any sort of instrinsic value. It’s too hard to care, and more importantly, it’s too hard to see why the MC would care.

    In contrast, take Black Lagoon. It spread its arcs over 3-4 episodes, giving a lot more time to develop the non-recurring cast, and in turn letting you know and care more about whoever ends up dead in the end. More time per arc also let the anime handle more separate threads of conflict–which I think this episode of Psycho-Pass could have done with the interaction of the different Ministries and their separate agendas–without comprimising the screentime for the fightan and shootan.

    I did like the interaction between Ginoza and Akane and his assesment of her as a “fool”, but besides that, this episode was a lot weaker than the first two, especially in regard to the cyberpunk setting. You can’t really world-build in the cafeteria of an isolated factory that we’ll never see again. The robots were pretty lame, too.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I hope they don’t continue the case-per-week, neatly-wrapped-up-in-an-episode pacing. Everything just gets resolved too fast, without any sense of consequence beyond the “lessons learned” by the MC.

      This was one of my initial complaints about UN-GO, but I felt that particular show corrected itself eventually. There’s still time for PSYCHO-PASS to flesh itself out.

      he was there (for ~5 minutes total) to illustrate the problems with the Sybil system (again)

      this episode was a lot weaker than the first two, especially in regard to the cyberpunk setting. You can’t really world-build in the cafeteria of an isolated factory that we’ll never see again.

      The main “character” for the show thus far is really the PSYCHO-PASS concept, so I disagree with your sentiments above. I don’t think it’s a detriment to the overall narrative that we continue to uncover the subtleties of the system.

      I never got into more than just a few episodes of Black Lagoon so I can’t comment on whether or not the comparison is warranted.

      Reply
  3. Kencana

    Akane just… ughh.

    She was said to be a top student yet she hadn’t shown any skill that convinces me of that title. She’s so clueless about the system and all she do is keeps asking questions every time. She’s practically useless in this ep. She’s just there so Masaoka can explain Sibyl System to us, the audience. Please prove me wrong at next episode.

    Give me more Yayoi and Shion, please! And Makishima, please show up again. I also don’t want this anime to be episodic series. Sure, it will be good episodic, but I want the plot. Give me the “ture” antagonist.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      She’s practically useless in this ep.

      Neither she nor Ginoza are really useful in any sense. They simply sit back and allow either technology or the Enforcers to do their work for them. To me, it ties into the whole idea that life has become too automated, but I guess I’m the only one who’s too wrapped up by the central premise of the show to be displeased by the characters.

      Reply
  4. etery-chan

    I am the one who suggested it… that housing and luxuries are given to them by the government, determined by their talent / worth as human / psycho pass reading.
    Shinya’s half naked body was a good eyes candy, until he took a cigarette pack.
    >_>
    Cigarette ruined your health, it doesn’t make you manly.

    Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          I bet you sex is regulated too. Wouldn’t want your psycho hues to redshift because things got a little too kinky.

          Reply
            1. E Minor Post author

              That’s the thing though… are you safe from scanners in the privacy of your own home or is Big Brother always watching?

              Reply
  5. Anonymous

    So the manager prevented production from being disrupted…but now has several ginormous holes in his facility to repair lol. i wonder if he would have saved more money had he given them an hour to check out the suspects.

    Reply
  6. The Real Sugoi Sugoi

    OP,

    While I value your insights and raising of questions that the show does not answer (or has yet to answer or is incapable of answering), I’ve personally been analyzing this show from a storytelling standpoint, not from the kind of examination of Psycho-Pass’s (PP) world-building that you did in this post (as useful as that kind of questioning is).

    And from a storytelling perspective, this show has a lot of unnecessary fluff and filler.

    That scene showing Shinya in his home is a case in point. If Gen Urobuchi’s goal was to compare and contrast Shinya’s Spartan lifestyle with Akane’s, then he really didn’t have to include all that fanservice stuff of Shinya all shirtless and beating up that punching bag. Nor did he have to show that scene of him drinking milk or whatever it was he was drinking.

    The scene would have had the same impact on story if it was done by showing Shinya sitting/standing in that room filled with photographs. That scene could be intercut with pillow shots of various parts of his house to show what type of life he lead. For instance, to show that he uses his punching bag a lot, the director could have had a shot showing his punching bag with a lot of wear and tear. No need to waste the first minute or so of the episode doing all of this. No need to have wasted all that time and money animating Shinya in action.

    It seems to me that the only point of all these scenes was fanservice. As such, it was pointless.

    There are a lot of other examples of unnecessary scenes that don’t add to the plot that I don’t have the time to get into, but I’ve noticed that Gen Urobuchi does this very often, as he did in Madoka and Fate/Zero. At the same time, Gen is also capable of writing incredibly efficient and economic episodes, like the famous episode 10 of Madoka, which is just 22 minutes of pure efficient storytelling without fluff or filler.

    On a related note, that second-to-last bullet point observation you wrote on the flaws of Shinya’s interrogation method makes me suspect that Gen is the kind of person who worships police power. Not once did I sense that the scene wanted me to be critical of Shinya abusing his authority like he did. Instead, I got the feeling that the message Gen wanted to give to me was that it was justified for police to get their hands dirty and to use intution and work outside the law to achieve justice. And because that interrogation scene showed that Shinya’s dirty methods worked, I felt that Gen was using his writing skills to create a scene that justified police violence (and, by consequence, state violence, since the police are the arms of the state).

    That scene could have gone another way. It could have, as you suggested: “gone in a potentially more interesting direction. What if Kanehara had suffered from some form of dissociative behavior as a result of all the bullying he had to endure? As a result, he may have unknowingly programmed the drones to murder his bullies, then returned to normality without any sense of guilt or culpability?”

    Gen Urobuchi could have used the scene as a way of criticizing the way ruling class authorities work outside the law to maintain the status quo. But, unfortunately, he doesn’t do that.

    Then again, I’m not surprised that he didn’t. After all, PP is a procedural police drama, and all procedural police dramas, by their very nature, take for granted the status quo assumptions of the society we live in, like how cops are fundamentally good despite, they might say, the presence of “bad apples”. If the police, the state, or capitalism is bad, these apologists will say that it is because of “bad apples”, and not because the institutions are fundamentally rotten.

    By the way, David Graeber, who is probably one of the greatest intellectuals of our time, did an excellent analysis on our society’s fascination with heroes, especially ones like Shinya who, so to speak, “take the law into their own hands”. Here’s the source: thenewinquiry.com/essays/super-position/

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      If Gen Urobuchi’s goal was to compare and contrast Shinya’s Spartan lifestyle with Akane’s, then he really didn’t have to include all that fanservice stuff of Shinya all shirtless and beating up that punching bag.

      Normally, I’d agree with you. I won’t dispute that lingering unnecessarily on pointless “world-building” scenes is a bad move. My main beef, however, is when shows spend half of an episode or more on fluff. In PP’s case, Shinya punching away at a bag took up at most twenty seconds, not a minute. But even if it was a minute, it still wouldn’t be an egregious enough offense for me to quibble with, but to each his or her own. To put it simply, this episode’s opening didn’t bore me.

      Instead, I got the feeling that the message Gen wanted to give to me was that it was justified for police to get their hands dirty and to use intution and work outside the law to achieve justice.

      I understand what you’re getting at, but I think you’re being a little hasty. Yes, Shinya’s tactics worked, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the anime condones his actions.

      First, although Shinya is clearly one of the main characters of the show, he isn’t our moral compass. That’s Akane’s job. And as a moral compass, this is her reaction to Shinya’s interrogation:

      This is not the face of someone who approves of Shinya’s actions.

      Second, let’s take note of Akane’s words at the very end of the episode: “[Shinya] said that he wants to be a detective rather than a hunting dog. But the look in his eyes… was unmistakably… that of a predator who had cornered his prey.” Our moral compass basically calls him a wild animal and, at the same time, contrasts this with being a proper detective, i.e. a proper detective wouldn’t have done what Shinya just did. She already had to subdue him once (in the first episode). Even though his tactics worked — and such tactics do often work in the real world if PP’s attempting to be a realistic police procedural — this doesn’t mean that the anime approves of them. If anything, the anime portrays Shinya as a dangerous animal and, as such, implicitly criticizes the system that would put an animal in charge of enforcing the law.

      Hopefully, the next episode will show us the aftermath of this case. I’d like to see whether or not the team gets into any hot water for their actions. I’m not particularly hopeful that there will be any consequences, but it’s still a possibility. Nevertheless, I don’t agree with you that from what we’ve seen, the writer necessarily glorifies police violence.

      and all procedural police dramas, by their very nature, take for granted the status quo assumptions of the society we live in, like how cops are fundamentally good despite, they might say, the presence of “bad apples”.

      Let me just start off by saying that I don’t really disagree with you. Most police procedurals come from the US, and considering the US’s fervent worship for authority and anyone in uniform, it’d be hard to sell a story that paints the police as fundamentally flawed. Having said that, I just find this an odd thing to bring up considering the anime that we’re talking about. PP’s main point thus far seems to be that the system itself is flawed, but the “good apple” (Akane) has managed to save at least a single life. I guess the difference between us is that you think Shinya’s actions are being portrayed as heroic, but again, I disagree with that interpretation.

      Reply
  7. s2012k1993

    Since you mentioned it, I have to question what one means by intuition. Ginozo at the beginning of the episode claims three accidents makes it suspicious. Isn’t that intuition? Later in the episode, when Ginozo tries to pressure the chief into letting them use their dominators, isn’t he using his intuition to make a judgment? Then, it struck me of a scenario that took place during WWII in London. When aiming artillery at aircraft high in the air, the army had certain spotters that could distinguish English planes from German planes. Even they didn’t know how they were able to distinguish the planes, but they had over 95% accuracy. After recruiting new spotters, they were trained with a veteran spotter: the trainee would guess the plane and the veteran would correct him. Over the course of time, the trainee would become a master. In this sense, intuition is everything that we don’t understand but we get mostly right. Is Psycho-Pass saying that there is something fundamental about crime that technology can never quite comprehend? Thus, it should be left in the hands of the good old human being.

    Lastly, I don’t necessary think it’s right to equate smartness with the amount of information one knows. Then again, Akane hasn’t shown any insights that tag her as smart in the intrinsic sense either. One point you have to give credit to her is that she questions why one’s Psycho-Pass hue decreases after killing someone. If I had killed someone, I would worry myself to death over being caught or the very fact that I killed another human being. And our victim was definitely lacks the subtlety of a Raskolnikov.

    P.S. When referring to Dostoyevsky, I think you are talking about the Idiot, which I haven’t read (unless I missed something in his other two famous works).

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Ginozo at the beginning of the episode claims three accidents makes it suspicious. Isn’t that intuition?

      Sure, it’s human nature to intuit. But the key difference here between Ginoza and the Enforcers is that Ginoza wouldn’t depend solely upon intuition. He needs hard data and this is why he objects to Masaoka’s theory. Yes, Ginoza intuits that the Dominator could identify the killer, but in the end, he requires deductive knowledge (sort of) in order to close the case. Shinya, on the other hand, is willing to bully a bullying victim just because of his intuition. He acknowledges that he could be wrong, but he’s so supremely confident in his gut feelings.

      In this sense, intuition is everything that we don’t understand but we get mostly right.

      I wouldn’t really say that intuition is something that we don’t understand. But what is it then? Well, it depends on how one uses the idea. In the rationalist vs. empiricist debate, intuition is a priori knowledge. Within the context of the anime, however, intuition seems to pretty much amount to inductive knowledge. Let’s look back to the very first episode when Masaoka lectures Akane on the crucial difference between her theories and what actually happens in practice. Masaoka relies upon his intuition because he (presumably) has the basis of experience to back up his claims. It’s like knowing that the sun will rise every morning — y’know, before we ever discovered astronomy and all that. How did our ancestors just know that the sun would rise every morning? It’s just based on experience.

      Lastly, I don’t necessary think it’s right to equate smartness with the amount of information one knows

      But I’m not saying that Akane merely knows a lot of information. When the anime says she’s scored high on her mental aptitude tests for several fields of occupation, I assume it means more than merely knowing a whole bunch of information. To be an investigator, it should imply a certain level of intelligence beyond book knowledge, and if this isn’t the case in PP, then those tests are so undeniably flawed, I’d have to wonder how they would even make sense within the context of the narrative.

      P.S. When referring to Dostoyevsky, I think you are talking about the Idiot

      Yes.

      Reply
      1. s2012k1993

        Doesn’t defining intuition as inductive knowledge make the Psycho-Pass system intuitive? I interpreted the Psycho-Pass system as something that uses Bayesian logic to decide whether one is going to commit a murder. Thus, it inducts the possibility based on the situation at hand, assigning a number based on the likeliness of murder.

        Unless, of course, the system deducts that certain mental states will result in murder. That is, science has shown that certain mental states lead to only certain possibilities. This interpretation supposes the lack of free will, which might be where the series is heading. But I thought the dominator examines more than just another’s mental state, for it seems to also take into account the environment and objects that the subject interacts with.

        I hope I’m keeping induction and deduction straight.

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          I hope I’m keeping induction and deduction straight

          No, I wouldn’t disagree with you. This is why I hedged myself a bit when I said Ginoza required deductive proof regarding the killer’s identity. At the moment, I lean toward your second interpretation — that the system believes it can deduce that certain mental states will result in murder — but it is fundamentally flawed in its quantification of human nature. Once a latent criminal reaches a certain level, the Sibyl doesn’t hesitate in dictating that lethal force be used. This would suggest that the most extreme psycho hue represents some point of no return, i.e. this person cannot be rehabilitated… unless, of course, the hue shifts back.

          But anyway, the scientific method does rely heavily upon inductive logic. This is the famous problem of induction: can inductive reasoning alone lead to knowledge? So I guess you could say that the PP system is also intuitive at the very core level, but I guess we’ll have to draw a further distinction between rigorous scientific testing and observation on the one hand, and an old detective’s gut feelings based on the subjective interpretations of his own experiences. So intuition vs. intuition, but the latter notion is more loose and ill-defined?

          Then there are some thinkers who just don’t think science uses inductive logic at all, but that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. As much as I’d like to dive head first into this topic, however, I don’t think that this is the sort of nuanced distinction that the anime will concern itself with. I’d be mighty impressed though if this turns out to be the case, but the philosophy of science doesn’t usually come up in pop culture!

          But yeah, the other possibility is that they’ve discovered some axiomatic rules regarding mental states and the role they play in determining violent behavior, but again, I have my doubts that the anime will delve this far in exploring the show’s premise. Maybe I shouldn’t be so cynical, I guess.

          This interpretation supposes the lack of free will

          Well, this isn’t exactly an unpopular theory among the scientific community.

          Reply
        2. E Minor Post author

          Oh yeah, I constantly edit my comments over and over as something new comes to mind. I hope this doesn’t annoy you too much.

          Reply
  8. s2012k1993

    Since I use a notice in my email account to realize you have replied, I am in a bit of bind when trying to respond to comments that you edit. I wouldn’t know if you have made a change unless it’s a new comment. I am also generally disinclined to have to come back to your posts to notice any changes. If you can, however, program WordPress to notify the reader of edited comments as well, that would be awesome.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Ah well. It’d be ideal if I could think of everything I wanted to say before I click the reply button, but I’m hardly ideal.

      If you can, however, program WordPress to notify the reader of edited comments as well, that would be awesome.

      No such luck.

      Reply
  9. s2012k1993

    I wonder what moral system Psycho-Pass is working under. I think the point of no return refers to one’s incapability of not killing–not rehabiliation. Maybe the system predicted with enough certainity that the rape victim will kill if left alive and based its decision on that. If this is the case, then the Psycho-Pass world has a death penality alloted to everyone who kills or will kill with enough certainity, something very suspicious. Or maybe rehabilitation is truely impossible, but I’m sure Orwellian brainwashing should work on anybody. Or maybe the Hue system is different from the number system…

    Enough speculation, but I have hope Urobuchi ideas will flesh themselves thoroughly to counter my inner cynicist.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I think the point of no return refers to one’s incapability of not killing–not rehabiliation.

      I don’t see the distinction.

      Or maybe rehabilitation is truely impossible, but I’m sure Orwellian brainwashing should work on anybody.

      Well, that isn’t rehabilitation at all unless we’re going to bastardize the word.

      Reply
      1. s2012k1993

        My bad, I failed to realize that the dominator has two settings: one to prevent to the crime and the other to “sanitize” those beyond rehabilitation. No wonder justice in real time would require a waiting list.

        Also, why wouldn’t instilling a different set of values into someone not be rehabilitation? We’ve already thrown out of the window the naive concept of free will.

        Reply
        1. E Minor Post author

          Also, why wouldn’t instilling a different set of values into someone not be rehabilitation?

          Why do I get the feeling you’re just playing the devil’s advocate? But fine. Let’s try to answer your question.

          Assuming that the ends do not justify the means, brainwashing is defined as an action that “systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of the person being manipulated.” I’ll add to this definition the notion of personhood being violated in instances of brainwashing as opposed to rehabilitation. Yes, a rehabilitated person is arguably different from who he or she was before, but this is speaking glibly. In cases of rehabilitation — and this will sound corny — the change ultimately comes from within. Presumably, the rehabilitated person has acquired additional knowledge and a level of understanding that allows him or her to personally revise their values. Brainwashing, however, requires a third party to forcibly alter a victim’s personhood so much that the victim plays no causal role in the change. As such, the resulting personhood is alien rather than it simply changing.

          We’ve already thrown out of the window the naive concept of free will.

          We did? I only said that determinism seems popular in the scientific community, not that free will has been thoroughly debunked. Besides, there are nuances to the free will vs. determinism debate. You could even be a compatibilist, i.e. someone who believes that free will and determinism can coexist.

          Reply
  10. s2012k1993

    I wasn’t sure if you would be interested in discussing rehabilitation, but I think I can be a very convincing devil’s advocate.

    Why do people act differently? It’s because of the different value systems one holds. It two people hold the same values, then any discrepancy can be rehabilitated through simple logic. Unfortunately, some people don’t share the same values. Hopefully, one can rehabilitate someone like that by appealing to shared epistemology or the use of empathy. So far change can come from within. Now we come to the interesting part about rehabilitation.

    What happens when one does not share even the most basic epistemology humans take granted and maybe even lack empathy, like with psychopaths? A psychopath usually is a solipsist, who cannot be reasoned with. What’s worse is that one can’t even appeal to emotion to persuade the psychopath otherwise. Of course, if one starts dwelling too long on emotion (instinct, whatever you may call it) as a way to persuade another, then I think we start entering Orwellian territory.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I don’t understand what you’re trying to get at? That brainwashing a psychopath constitutes rehabilitation? Why would we just not lock the guy up and avoid the moral grey area of brainwashing a psychopath? Plus, no amount of brainwashing will assure people that the psychopath should be allowed back into society. Either way, brainwashing sounds like a bad idea, bro.

      Reply

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