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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
All This Week: Minds That Make Us Swoon
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 2:04 pm
In honor of Valentine's Day, we're going to spend this week on 13.7 publishing love letters (really, chaste appreciations) to some of our biggest intellectual crushes.
These are the people our bloggers think you should know about, people who have had a significant influence on their lives and their thinking. As they're published, I'll keep a running list of the posts right here:
- Stuart Kauffman on Conrad H. Waddington
- Tania Lombrozo on Edward C. Tolman
- Adam Frank on Karen Armstrong
- Marcelo Gleiser on Johannes Kepler
- Barbara J. King on Judy Van der Veer
- Alva Noë on Adolph Menzel
A cyborg with the "ghost" of the real human she used to be, The Major could have been just another empty, entertaining action figure, fighting for all that's right in a world full of wrong. What we get with this character, instead, is a guide to the question: What does it mean to be human?
Adventure and intrigue lurk just around every corner for The Major and her team, known as Public Security Section 9. But what makes both Ghost in the Shell and The Major so interesting is the constant questioning of what it means to be human in a world where it is possible to leave your natural body behind to live inside a machine, or even out on the network as an un-embodied ghost.
Let the action, the big guns and cliffhangers, the futuristic world, pull you into the vortex. Once you're there, join The Major as she dives ever deeper into the human question. The answers you find will be your own, but you wouldn't have gotten there without her guiding hand.
Wright Bryan edits 13.7 and is a member of NPR's Social Media Desk. You can keep up with more of what he is thinking on Twitter: @wrightbryan3