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    Ending Analysis by AUrbina

    Version: 1.0.9 | Updated: 11/19/02 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Metal Gear Solid 2 Ending Analysis
    Version 1.0.9 (Released 15/03/2002 -- Last update 19/11/2002
    By Artemio Urbina(aurbina@junkerhq.net)
    Visit http://junkerhq.net for Script dumps, scans, images and more Snatcher,
    MGS and Kojima material.
    The main goal of this document is explain the ending sequence in Metal Gear
    Solid 2, while answering most of the common questions through the explanation of
    scientific information related to the game.
    This intends to be an analysis to clarify some matters and as an essay of the 
    relationships I have found with other materials. Be warned that if you have not
    played the game, there are huge spoilers everywhere. Feel free to contact me 
    regarding the contents of these documents, for improvements, corrections, 
    and typos.
    There is also a web version of this document available at (also the latest
    version) http://junkerhq.net/CS/ with the dialog and links between it and this
    essay, and a bit more of bells and whistles, but the same content.
     Turing's Test
         "If man realizes technology is within reach, he achieves it. Like
         it's damn-near instinctive."
         -- Motoko Kusanagi, Ghost in the Shell (GITS)
    Here, Hideo Kojima is implying something that Cognitive Science has
    been trying to do for a while. A machine that is able to pass the Turing Test.
    This test was created to find out if a machine of some sort is "thinking", that
    it has "intelligence". The main problem with defining if something has this
    characteristic, is that we are subjective beings. We cannot trust our feelings
    and intuition in defining what is alive and what is not. The human being
    usually humanizes inanimate objects, computers and animals, just because we see
    signs, although we are not sure if the individual is having an internal process
    that is analog to what we define as thinking. An excellent discussion in this
    subject takes place in the book "The Soul of Anna Klane", by Terrel Miedaner.
    Alan Turing (1912-1954) proposed a game to determine if this condition is met.
    This game is called "The Imitation Game", whose description is quite clear and
    simple to read, it is highly recommended to take a look at it and the opposing
    arguments. In the Imitation Game you have three participants: a man, a woman,
    and an interrogator whose sex doesn't matter. All of them are in separate rooms
    with only a Teletype to communicate between them. The female player tries to
    convince the interrogator that she is the woman. Meanwhile, the male should do
    his best to convince the interrogator that he is the woman. The interrogator
    can ask any type of question: a personal one, math, tastes, physical
    appearance, etc.
    Now suppose we take the man and put a machine in his place. Then you have a
    machine, a human and the interrogator. The machine will try to convince the
    interrogator it is human, while the human will try to convince him/her
    otherwise. The point here is, in Turing's words: "Will the interrogator decide
    wrong as often when the game is played like this as he does when the game is
    played between a man and a woman?"
    As you can appreciate during the conversation presented above, the Colonel and
    Rose pass the test with flying colors, but their exercise goes way beyond this.
    Although this is not the first time some kind of thinking machine appears in a
    Kojima game (Metal Gear MK II in Snatcher and the Snatchers themselves being
    the exceptions). It is indeed the first time that it is not a known fact, but
    it may be incorrect to call them a machine or Artificial Intelligence (AI),
    given the actual information provided during the game. But the real question
    is: what can give rise to such a complex system? One that can interact with the
    environment, have a model of the reality, modify it and use it to survive?
         Puppetmaster: As a sentient life form, I hereby demand political
         Aramaki: Is this a joke?
         Nakamura: Ridiculous! It's programmed for self-preservation!
         Puppetmaster: It can also be argued that DNA is nothing more than a
         program, designed to preserve itself...
         -- Ghost in the Shell
    The first Metal Gear Solid (MGS) deals with the question: "How
    much of a human being is defined by the genes?", naturally the theme for the
    second is its complementary part: "How much of a human being is defined by
    information?". To understand where these questions lead us, we have to
    understand what the process called Evolution does. In the following paragraphs
    I will try to explain my view of the evolution process, which was formed
    through the study of Genetic Algorithms (GA), Neural Networks and finally
    through reading a bit. Whenever possible links are provided for greater insight
    on the subject.
    We are taught that a process, named Natural Selection decides that the
    strongest and most apt individuals will survive. This method employed by nature
    to evolve is straight brute force, that is, search in all directions and you
    will find better solutions and adaptations. A species doesn't seek change, nor
    the DNA structure that represents it. So a new factor is needed that can help
    by changing the individuals and the species as a result: mutation. There are
    some events that randomly modify the DNA information, resulting in an altered
    individual in some specific form. This individual is only different from the
    predecessor. Neither better nor worse. Let's assume that the change gives this
    individual an advantage over the rest, or allows it to survive more time in the
    given environment. These conditions will increase its chance to reproduce, and
    pass on the "flaw" to its offspring. In a negative case, the change will have
    less probability to pass on to the next generation because it introduced a
    drawback. If this process is observed, not in an individual level but in the
    whole species, the individuals with the modification will be more and more
    common as time passes. This will eventually incorporate the modification into
    the mainstream DNA of the species.
    An excellent explanation of this process, starting from a primordial soup state
    is given by Richard Dawkins in his book "The Selfish Gene". He also coined a
    term that will be used a lot in the next section. The theory implies that given
    the conditions in which amino acids are spread, they will tend to form more and
    more stable molecules. On a given time, a molecule will be formed that has the
    capability to replicate itself, thus rendering an exact duplicate. Because of
    this property, this molecule will spread rapidly. But, we cannot expect the
    copy process to be perfect, giving rise to modifications eventually. From there
    on, the gap between that simplified scenario and the complex one we are dealing
    with can be filled.
    Given this process, we will have a wide variety of species
    all competing and becoming more and more apt to survive. But, what is this that
    is being refined? It would not limit itself to how a body is built. It also
    contains some basic instructions, instinct. This instinct allows the individual
    to react to certain common situations with "canned" reactions. But how these
    come to be? Well, some of the individuals developed a nervous system, and just
    as any given organ, the individuals with the best responses coded in their
    instinct survived and spread their genes better. One thing to keep in mind is
    that the system does not take decisions to find out what will be the next step,
    or how to improve, it simply happens because stability is the ultimate goal.
    How can this process improve even more? If an individual can create a model of
    the environment, it could be prepared for certain situations that are not
    solved instinctively. Thus, individuals emerged with the power to simulate
    their environment. What does this imply? If a model of the environment is
    present, also a model of the individual is needed. Thus, the individual becomes
    self-aware and has consciousness.
    This new tool is completely useless unless the individual can now learn in
    order to improve the model. There is constant feedback from the outside world
    that allows it to expand the information that represents the internal
    simulation. Here curiosity is very important. It is the factor by which an
    individual explores the world to feed the model. Curiosity also gives birth to
    creativity, since the data expands, new suppositions are made in the internal
    model, which later provide new possibilities for the individual.
    More implications arise when, by being self-aware, the individual
    can see itself reflected in the others. In this condition, it is normal that a
    conscious individual that finds similarities between itself and another,
    projects the same attributes it has to the other one. In essence, this is a
    huge leap. The main core of the Turing test lies here, in empathy. It is
    impossible to know if another individual feels the same, thinks or any other
    internal process from the subjective position we have. We can only suppose that
    everything in our own world of perception is mirrored on the others.
         Nakamura: Nonsense! There's no proof at all that you are a living,
         thinking life form!!
         Puppetmaster: And can you offer me proof of your existence? How can
         you, when neither modern science nor philosophy can explain what life
         -- Ghost in the Shell
    Back on subject, from this supposition that other individual similar to oneself
    feels and thinks the same way, a group of mutual feelings arise. Like
    compassion and group preservation in a higher level than the genetic one. Just
    before we proceed, entertain the idea of what happens when a certain species
    tries that all its individuals are rescued from natural dead whenever possible,
    say from weakness or illness. Imagine what happens with the pool of genetic
    information when non-apt individuals are kept alive and allowed to reproduce.
    Also, any new mutations that generate individuals with abnormal properties are
    dismissed as defective. It is a cold way of thinking, but worth the time to
    reflect... What would be the way to evolve now?
     Information Evolution
         "That's all there is, information. Even a simulated experience or a
         dream; a simultaneous reality and fantasy. Any way you look at it,
         the information that a person accumulates during a lifetime is just a
         drop in the bucket."
         Batou -- Ghost in the Shell
    If you have not read the section about Evolution and Genetics, I suggest you do
    it before this one. Now we enter the main theme of the conversation and this
    essay: Who are the Colonel and Rose? It is obvious by now that Ghost in the
    Shell and Metal Gear Solid 2 share a common base, which is why I quote the
    following lines from "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins, written in 1976:
         "What, after all, is so special about genes ? The answer is that they
         are replicators. The laws of physics are supposed to be true all over
         the accessible universe. Are there any principles of biology that are
         likely to have similar universal validity ? When astronauts voyage to
         distant planets and look for life, they can expect to find creatures
         too strange and unearthly for us to imagine. But is there anything
         that must be true of all life, wherever it is found, and whatever the
         basis of its chemistry ? If forms of life exist whose chemistry is
         based on silicon rather than carbon, or ammonia rather than water, if
         creatures are discovered that boil to death at -100 degrees
         centigrade, if a form of life is found that is not based on chemistry
         at all but on electronic reverberating circuits, will there still be
         any general principle that is true of all life ? Obviously I do not
         know but, if I had to bet, I would put my money on one fundamental
         principle. This is the law that all life evolves by the differential
         survival of replicating entities. The gene, the DNA molecule, happens
         to be the replicating entity that prevails on our planet. There may
         be others. If there are, provided certain other conditions are met,
         they will almost inevitable tend to become the basis for an
         evolutionary process."
         "But do we have to go to distant worlds to find other kinds of
         replicator and other, consequent, kinds of evolution ? I think that a
         new kind of replicator has recently emerged on this very planet. It
         is staring us in the face. It is still in its infancy, still drifting
         clumsily about in its primeval [primordial]soup, but already it is
         achieving evolutionary change at a rate that leaves the old gene
         panting far behind."
    Does this sound similar to the words said by the Colonel? Although
    I hardly like the idea of that "primordial soup", the idea is exactly the same.
    The evolution of information into a new higher level. Of course, Kojima takes
    it far beyond of what Richard Dawkins states directly, not that he wouldn't
    have thought that himself though. Also this same idea is taken in Ghost in the
    Shell, but the implications, consequences and triggers are completely
    different. In both, we are presented with a life form born from the information
    flow. In GITS, it searches completeness and to create variety. Meanwhile in
    MGS2, it seeks a greater good for society. But as we know the best for society
    is not the best for the individual. These matters will be discussed a bit more
    later on.
         "The new soup is the soup of human culture. We need a name for the
         new replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural
         transmission, or a unit of imitation. `Mimeme' comes from a suitable
         Greek root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like `gene'.
         I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme
         to meme. If it is any consolation, it could alternatively be thought
         of as being related to `memory', or to the French word meme It should
         be pronounced to rhyme with `cream'."
         "Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions,
         ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate
         themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperms
         or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping
         from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be
         called imitation. If a scientist hears, or reads about, a good idea,
         he passed it on to his colleagues and students. He mentions it in his
         articles and his lectures. If the idea catches on, it can be said to
         propagate itself, spreading from brain to brain. As my colleague N.K.
         Humphrey neatly summed up an earlier draft of this chapter: `...
         memes should be regarded as living structures, not just
         metaphorically but technically. When you plant a fertile meme in my
         mind you literally parasitize my brain, turning it into a vehicle for
         the meme's propagation in just the way that a virus may parasitize
         the genetic mechanism of a host cell. And this isn't just a way of
         talking -- the meme for, say, "belief in life after death" is
         actually realized physically, millions of times over, as a structure
         in the nervous systems of individual men the world over.'"
    The term "meme" coined by Dawkins in this text is later used by Masamune Shirow
    in the manga version of GITS. In MGS though, what is the real purpose of this
    "higher level simulation" of Shadow Moses? As the Colonel states "a system for
    controlling human will and consciousness." Then, S3 (Selection for Societal
    Sanity) is a model that was created to do an analog process to natural
    selection in the information medium: Cultural Selection. The only difference is
    that it would be controlled. It is a curious case that the life form that
    evolved from information is now trying to regulate information.... or isn't it?
    After all we, as a species, are trying to understand and control the genetic
    information for our own benefit. Genetic manipulation. Enhancements, curing and
    preventing diseases. In the same way, this intelligence is trying to regulate
    the flow that created it in order to prevent future catastrophe. This
    catastrophe of "the world ends not with a bang but a whimper" is the same as
    having the genetic pool contain information that is useless. The thing that
    happens when preventing natural selection by keeping alive the individuals that
    were supposed to die. You can view this as genetic manipulation to make our
    genes do as we want, but in a higher level.
    In a sense, an ironic one, this life form is doing the same thing it criticizes
    on Raiden and the masses it wants to control. Preserving itself selfishly,
    defending itself by saying it is for the greater good of the one it is trying
    to protect. After all, when something is intelligent and conscious, it gains
    also the inherit flaws. When something is conscious, it doesn't have access to
    the lower layers that confer this. Neither you, nor I have access to the
    neurons we are using to read/write this. We cannot trigger them at will, or use
    them in any way. But our consciousness lies on top of that. As well as if a
    computer gained consciousness by some means, it wouldn't be able to do math
    unless taught like a child; although binary operations would define its
    operation. It would also be prone to errors. You may ask why... The answer to
    that is beyond the scope of this essay, but I would recommend reading Godel
    Escher and Bach by Douglas Hofstadter, and "The Mind's I", by the same author
    and Daniel C. Dennett. These go deep into that subject, and were the initial
    inspiration to write this. But I won't leave the question fully open. Kurt
    Godel demonstrated that any given powerful enough model cannot represent all
    the truths it aims to and/or contradictions can be represented in it. But,
    there is no reason to stop using and believing in them, after all, we work in
    that manner to. It's only natural.
    Then, the main discussion here is that there is a growing pool of uncontrolled
    information that is unable to advance the same way genetics do, due to the lack
    of natural selection. This situation reached because, with the advent of
    digital communications, individuals can preserve their truths (memes) in the
    pool. Without contradiction, always accessible. The usual process, as described
    above, is that the good ideas pass on from one individual to another. Now
    information is passed from the individual to a medium and is preserved there
    for future generations. These implications are the real idea that Kojima
    contributes and in which the game expands and bases the complete exercise. I
    found a review of a non-existent book called "Pericalypsis", whose main idea
    supports that of Kojima. It states that the most great works of art, knowledge
    and salvation have been already created, but are "lost beneath strata of trash"
    because the civilization has become a "mechanical milker of the Muses". The
    solution proposed by that author is quite interesting. In both, the central
    theme is that the human race is creating a flow of information that is not
    being regulated, resulting in a loss for the species. The real question is "is
    the human being affecting evolution in all levels by preserving the individual
    and his ideas?" The answer to that is not so simple. The best for society is
    usually not the best for the individual, the problem, as always, resides in
         "Freedom breeds isolation! That's the lesson of human history!
         Equality creates nothing but the death of the individual!"
         -- Appleseed
    Regarding the matter of who are the Colonel and Rose (during the final
    conversation with Raiden), we now know that the Colonel has been this life form
    all the way from the beginning. Rose, has been used by the Patriots to collect
    information during all the mission. After Raiden is captured, and the virus
    affects GW, she was replaced by another simulation. This new life form is the
    one that has the final conversation with Raiden, to give the last orders and
    collect the final data. Of course we must assume that they have the same
    intentions as the Patriots, or maybe they are the patriots after all. We won't
    know for sure unless a sequel is done.
         "A digital machine cannot of itself ever acquire consciousness, for
         the simple reason that in it there do not arise hierarchical
         conflicts of operation."
         -- "Non Serviam", by Professor Dobb ("A Perfect Vacuum", perfect
         reviews of non-existent books, Stanislaw Lem)
    During the game, Kojima makes a loop to engulf the player. The
    one that has gone through the VR training in Shadow Moses; the one that
    executed everything as told; the one that has been "talking" to an AI and
    interpreting the recorded voices as if spoken by a person; the one who thought
    the Colonel was "acting a bit strange, but it must be because Raiden is a
    rookie", although has never met the Colonel in person; the one whose name
    appears on Raiden's dog tag at the end... This is clearly implied while running
    naked on New York's 52nd Street... "Raiden, turn the game console off right
    now! ... Don't worry, it's a game! It's a game just like usual. You'll ruin
    your eyes playing so close to the TV.". Those are clear messages to the player,
    as well as the screen that reads "Fission Mailed", simulating a screwed up GAME
    OVER, while the game continues in the small overlay. These are clear signs of a
    higher level controlling the "reality" that the game simulation is, which is
    being affected by the virus. So you see, Raiden was not being controlled. You
    were... "Son of Liberty".
    The game was designed this way to make the player uncomfortable with the
    situation. With being controlled. Everyone wanted to play Snake for the whole
    game, but this that we were given is a work of modern art and expression that
    is intended to make the player think. It gives feelings and emotions that other
    kind of media, like books or movies, wouldn't be able to because you are not
    playing the main character. That is the whole point; transmit these memes to a
    generation in a way that involved form and content. The ideas were not new, but
    were used in perfect harmony with the game to create an interactive experience.
    This essay is in the same spirit. Using existing memes to pass on a message
    that tries to reproduce itself: The Meta-Meme. The whole idea of Snake being
    the main character seen through the eyes of a rookie was well worth it; it was
    also completely necessary to place the burden on the player's shoulders. I must
    admit that MGS2 has its flaws, as any gem does and, although I think that the
    first MGS game will continue to be praised as the greatest game ever, this game
    closes the circle beautifully and provides great insight... as well as the best
    looking, most perfectly achieved and detailed environment we will see in a long
    time, along with a very pleasant experience that needs to be shared. An effort
    like this that brings these levels of quality in every area to tell a story is
    a work to which I pay my respects.
         "And where does the newborn go from here?
         The net is vast and infinite..."
         Motoko/Puppetmaster -- Ghost in the Shell
    Just as a bottom note. The GITS quotes are in there because I felt they fit
    perfectly. I do not think that Hideo Kojima took his ideas from GITS, neither
    from The Matrix Of course they share many ideas and concepts, but I rather
    think that they share common sources of scientific information and science
    fiction. Later they expanded these memes in different directions. Some examples
    of this same line of thought that I know of are: "Where am I?" (1978) by Daniel
    C. Dennett, with subjects on mind body; "Beyond rejection" (1980) by Justin
    Leiber, regarding making backups of one's mind; "Software" (1980) by Rudy
    Rucker regarding digitalization of the mind, just to name a few.
    Remember, always question everything you read, including everything written
    here and linked from here, since it is just data.. It is up to you to create
    the information out of it. Nothing is absolutely true.. right or wrong. I also
    recommend reading this column, to question yourself a bit.
      "Life isn't just about passing on your genes.
      We can leave behind much more than just DNA.
      Through speech, music, literature and movies...
      what we've seen, heard, felt
      ...anger, joy and sorrow...
      these are the things I will pass on.
      That's what I live for.
      We need to pass the torch,
      and let our children read our messy and sad history by its light.
      We have all the magic of the digital age to do that with.
      The human race will probably come to an end some time,
      and new species may rule over this planet.
      Earth may not be forever,
      but we still have the responsibility to leave what traces of life we can.
      Building the future and keeping the past alive are one and the same thing."
      Solid Snake-- Metal Gear Solid 2
     What are the Patriots?
    In the essay I only analyzed what the Colonel and Rose are during the final
    conversation. Although there are other explanations, let me make my point. I
    think that the S3 is a system designed to be used by the Patriots to control
    Cultural Selection. The Colonel is the face of this system all game long. Rose,
    meanwhile is gathering data up to the last sentence of the conversation before
    meeting Snake inside Arsenal.
    At the end, the virus (worm) affects GW, destroying the parts that the Patriots
    wanted destroyed (or causing an "apparent malfunction"?). At the point the
    Colonel contacts Raiden again, it is no longer "just" the S3... it is indeed
    the Patriots themselves (an individual? the whole consciousness?)(Note: In the
    Document of MGS2 Script, there is a note saying that JFK is the computer
    actually talking to Raiden in this section, since GW was damaged, implying that
    this consciousness resides in several machines named after presidents of the
    USA). Since Raiden will be disregarded as just a pawn, and neither Snake,
    Otacon or Ocelot would know the truth, he is told what they really are. This is
    like telling Liquid he was the weakest, although he wasn't. An experiment to
    find out how the facts affect the actions of the individuals. In Liquid's case,
    it was to test if the information provided to the individual affected his
    genetic capabilities. Now, it is to find out if the individual, knowing he is
    being controlled, can still continue being controlled by some other means
    calculated and triggered by S3.
    Thus, the patriots are the new consciousness born from human culture,
    dominating it in a way that cannot be destroyed by usual means, but by changing
    the global ideology and that of individuals.. by changing culture itself. Since
    ideals are the ones that control what individuals do, they are "immortal" and
    have absolute power.... Unless, we choose something to believe ourselves,
    something to pass on to the future.. and change the meme pool for better. Just
    as Snake said:
    Snake:  There's no such thing in the world as absolute reality.
            Most of what they call real is actually fiction.
            What you think you see is only as real as your brain tells you it is.
    Raiden: What am I supposed to believe in?
            What am I going to leave behind when I'm through?
    Snake:  We can tell other people about -- having faith.
            What we had faith in.
            What we found important enough to fight for.
            It's not whether you were right or wrong,
            but how much faith you were willing to have, that decides the future.
            The Patriots are a kind of ongoing fiction too, come to think of it....
    Raiden: ...
    Snake:  Listen,
            don't obsess over words so much.
            Find the meaning behind the words, then decide.
            You can find your own name.
            And your own future...
    Raiden: Decide for myself...?
    Snake:  And whatever you choose will be you.
    Raiden: I don't know if I can...
    Snake:  I know you didn't have much in terms of choices this time.
            But everything you felt, thought about during this mission is yours.
            And what you decide to do with them is your choice...
    Raiden: You mean start over?
    Snake:  Yeah, a clean slate. A new name, new memories.
            Choose your own legacy.
            It's for you to decide.
            It's up to you.
        Other relationships and Ideas
    It is interesting that we are really taught this kind of contradictory social
    rules. I find this speech quite similar in its central idea to the following:
         "We've all been raised by television to believe that one day,
         we'll all be millionaires and movie gods and rock stars.
         But we won't.
         We are slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off"
         -- Tyler Durden, Fight Club
                                                       "I am Jack's recursive game"
    That quote takes me to the following definition:
         MEMETIC ENGINEER: One who consciously devises memes, through meme-
         splicing and memetic synthesis, with the intent of altering the
         behavior of others. Writers of manifestos and of commercials are
         typical memetic engineers. (GMG)
         Taken from Memetic Lexicon
    Big Trouble in Little China
    This reference is a bit obscure, and I might not be right but it is too big to
    be a coincidence. During Metal Gear Solid 2, you get to play as Raiden, and see
    Snake through him. This was one of the main points of the plot, as pointed out
    by Kojima. As we know, Kojima-san is a big fan of the Escape series by John
    Carpenter (Escape from New York and Escape from LA, from where the name Snake
    was taken, hence Pliskin). Big Trouble in Little China is another movie by John
    Carpenter where Kurt Rusell is the main character, but alas is not. The whole
    movie is centered in his character, Jack Burton.. but the original point in the
    plot is that he is not the hero of the story, but the funny sidekick. Then, the
    movie has a very similar concept: showing the main hero through the secondary
    character's point of view.
    T. S. Eliot
    There is a phrase that was apparently taken literaly from the poem The Hollow
    Men by Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965). It is literaly identical, except for
    the punctuation. I am unsure because it has been translated from Japanese, but
    the coincidence is too high for being unintentional. Here I reproduce part of
    the poem:
                            Here we go round the prickly
                            Prickly pear prickly pear
                            Here we go round the prickly
                            At five o'clock in the
                            Between the idea
                            And the reality
                            Between the motion
                            And the act
                            Falls the Shadow
                            For thine is the Kingdom
                            Between the conception
                            And the creation
                            Between the emotion
                            And the response
                            Falls the Shadow
                            Life is very long
                            Between the desire
                            And the spasm
                            Between the potency
                            And the existence
                            Between the essence
                            And the descent
                            Falls the Shadow
                            For Thine is the Kingdom
                            For Thine is
                            Life is
                            For Thine is the
                            This is the way the world ends
                            This is the way the world ends
                            This is the way the world ends
                            Not with a bang but with a
                                             T. S. Ellot (1925)
    Stanislaw Lem
    In the review of the book "Pericalypsis" by Joachim Fersengeld (a non-existent
    book review contained in "A Perfect Vacuum" by Stanislaw Lem), the main idea is
    that the most great works of art, knowledge and salvation have been already
    created, but are "lost beneath strata of trash" because the civilization has
    become a "mechanical milker of the Muses". The solution the supposed author
    proposes is quite creative. Create a fund (Save The Human Race Foundation) that
    would pay "inventors. scholars, engineers, painters, writers, poets,
    playwrights, philosophers, and designers--in the following way. He who writes
    nothing, designs nothing, paints nothing, neither patents nor proposes, is paid
    a stipend, for life, to the tune of thirty-six thousand dollars a year. He who
    does any of the afore-mentioned receives correspondingly less". The mechanism
    includes some other factors as keeping the anonymity of the creators. I highly
    recommend this book, although it may not appear that interesting at first there
    are several "reviews" that are though-provoking.
    Some other interesting relationships with other media I have found are:
        * Akio Otsuka is the voice of Solid Snake in the Japanese version, as well
          as the character Batou in Ghost in the Shell.
        * In the book Metal Gear Chronicle included in the MGS2 Premium Pack,
          Mamoru Oshii (Director of Ghost in the Shell) states:
               "The extraordinarily high level of perfection is unmistakably a
               goal searched. At the same time it hints the direction in which
               we shall head beyond the 're-creation of reality'.
               I pay my respects."
        Online Resources
    Here is a list of links for more information on the subjects mentioned above.
    They will open in a new browser window.
        * Reflections
              o Other Reader's reflections on the matters exposed
        * Alan Turing
              o Biography <http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/Turing.html>
              o Computing Machinery and Intelligence
                <http://www.abelard.org/turpap/turpap.htm> (The Imitation
                Game is described here)
              o The Turing Test Page
              o Intelligence and the Turing Test
        * Ghost in the Shell (GITS) by Masamune Shirow
              o Masamune Shirow Info <http://www.asgard.gen.nz/anime/shirow/>
              o In The Shell
                <http://www.neomythos.com/intheshell/index.html> Media, info
                and links from the best GITS source.
              o Movie Review
                <http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Island/3102/ghost.htm> and
              o Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
                <http://www.production-ig.com/GhostTV_Column.html> Official
                TV Series column on the Turing test, and the meaning of
                Ghost and Shell.
        * Richard Dawkins
              o Biography
              o "The Selfish Gene"
              o Quotes from "The Selfish Gene"
              o Viruses of the Mind
        * Memetics
              o Memes
                The Evolution of Information
              o Memetics <http://aleph.se/Trans/Cultural/Memetics/> A page
                with excellent links.
              o Memetic Lexicon <http://www.lucifer.com/virus/memlex.html>
              o Memes FAQ
              o Chain Letter Evolution
                <http://www.silcom.com/~barnowl/clevo/start.htm>, a very
                interesting paper on the evolution of those annoying texts.
              o Meme-Based Models of Mind and the Possibility for
                Consciousness in Alternate Media
                Title says it all.
              o The Lifecycle of Memes
              o On-line Publications on Memetics
                <http://jom-emit.cfpm.org/online.html> A huge catalog of
                Memetics resources on the net.
              o Journal Of Memetics <http://jom-emit.cfpm.org/>.
              o Memetic Algorithms
                a form of Genetic Algorithm. Quite interesting.
              o Cultural Selection <http://www.agner.org/cultsel/>, an
                online book by Agner Fog, 1999.
              o Critique and Defense of Memesis
                <http://www.aec.at/meme/symp/open/msg00041.html>, a must
                read for anyone trying to understand Memetics and its future
                as a science.
              o Memetics publications on the web
              o c-realm <http://www.c-realm.com/> A very interesting online
                comic regarding /"the formulation and transmission of a
          co-adapted meme complex"/.
        * Douglas Hofstadter
              o G:odel, Escher, Bach resource page
              o G:odel, Escher, Bach (GEB) FAQ
                <http://www.faqs.org/faqs/books/hofstadter-GEB-FAQ/>. This
                is an excellent book that deals with a lot of themes around
                the idea /"How can a self form of inanimate matter?"/ .
              o The Mind's I
                (Co-authored by /Daniel C. Dennett <#Dennett>/). This book
                triggered this essay.
              o In the article /"On Viral Sentences and Self-Replicating
                Structures"/ (reprinted in /"Metamagical Themas"/), he
                brought memes to the general public and defined some
              o Mind Versus G:odel <http://nl.ijs.si/~damjan/g-m-c.html>, it
                is more related with G:odel and the Turing test, but touches
                almost all the themes discussed here. very interesting.
        * Danniel C. Dennett
              o He co-authored The Mind's I
                with Douglas Hofstadter. His interests are related to all
                themes touched in this essay.
              o This article at edge
                <http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/bios/dennett.html> talks
                about his work.
        o His homepage <http://www.tufts.edu/%7Eddennett/>.
        * Stanislaw Lem
              o "A Perfect Vacuum", this book is a compilation of reviews
          of non-existant books, with quite interesting ideas.
        * Terrel Miedaner
              o "The Soul of Anna Klane", although out of print, highly
                recommended. It is referred and some very special chapters
                reprinted on Hofstadter's "The Mind's I".
                The link
                has an abstract on those precise two chapters.
              o An important chapter of this book is reproduced here
                <http://junkerhq.net/CS/MarkIII.html> for better understanding
                of the ideas above.
        * Nanotechnology
              o Engines of Creation <http://www.foresight.org/EOC/> THE book
                on Nanomachines
              o Applied Nanotechnology for the military
                <http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/nr/2002/isn.html>. Compared
                to these goals, MGS nanomachines sound easy to accomplish.
              o Emulating biology: building nanostructures from the bottom up
                (Acrobat) from the Biomolecular Materials page
              o Nanosecrets of Everyday Things
                an interesting doc describing existing biological
                nanotechnologym by Paul Preuss. A complimentary read would
                be Microtools for the Nanoworld
          by the same author.
        * Other MGS 2 Ending Explanations
              o Penny Arcade MGS 2 Ending Analysis
    I would like to express my gratitude to several people that contributed
    directly or indirectly on this essay and my interest in these themes. So in no
    particular order:
        * Victor M. Urbina, for listening every time I had ideas or read stuff, up
          to early in the morning.
        * Pedro Aguilar, for proofreading this thing.
        * Rodrigo "Miopi" Regalado (a.k.a. Rex), for saying he would proofread it,
          and not even loading the page, but for listening all my ideas over the
        * Oscar Noriega (a.k.a. Akira), for giving me my first Metal Gear Solid
          (and telling me it was from the same guy that created Snatcher).
        * Angel Kuri Morales, for arising my interest in these themes during the AI
          classes at college, and pointing out GEB. Also all his theory in Genetic
          Algorithms and Neural Networks influenced a lot of my later interests.
        * Douglas Hofstadter, for writing such excellent books, and giving
          reference to other such books.
        * Richard Dawkins, for his excellent theories and writing.
        * Hideo Kojima, and the Konami Staff, for creating a game to make people
          think and reflect, and on top, making it fun, visually stunning, detailed
          and with great voice acting and music.
        * Masamune Shirow, Excellent ideas, beautifully drawn... what else can I
                        I have no volition. I have no purpose.
                             I replicate. Why? It happens.
                       I have ancestors. You are their product.
                         I have brothers. You are our medium.
                               I am the nagging jingle.
                       You sing. More hear. They sing. More me.
                                  You will sing. Why?
              Builtins -- desires and fears -- courtesy of my ancestors.
                                     I have bait.
                              Spread me and you will have
          (peace of mind|a pleasurable afterlife|friends who know my truth).
                              Try to ignore me and I will
              (haunt you|torment you in the afterlife|excommunicate you)!
                                  ...and your family!
                                    You're hooked.
               I am the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and bad.
                                       You eat.
                                Where did I come from?
                                    It matters not.
                   OK, a million monkeys banging on typewriters and
                       eating alphabet soup for a billion years.
                                What's the difference?
                             My pattern now exists in you.
                                  I am a replicator.
                                  You are my vector.
                                  by Joel Meulenberg
    I would finally like to add these paragraphs written by Ray Kurzweil on the
    review of the book "A new kind of Science" by Stephen Wolfram, although it is
    off topic, I found the analogy quite interesting.
         "If I ask the question, 'Who am I?' I could conclude that, perhaps I
         am this stuff here, i.e., the ordered and chaotic collection of
         molecules that comprise my body and brain.
         However, the specific set of particles that comprise my body and
         brain are completely different from the atoms and molecules than
         comprised me only a short while (on the order of weeks) ago. We know
         that most of our cells are turned over in a matter of weeks. Even
         those that persist longer (e.g., neurons) nonetheless change their
         component molecules in a matter of weeks.
         So I am a completely different set of stuff than I was a month ago.
         All that persists is the pattern of organization of that stuff. The
         pattern changes also, but slowly and in a continuum from my past
         self. From this perspective I am rather like the pattern that water
         makes in a stream as it rushes past the rocks in its path. The actual
         molecules (of water) change every millisecond, but the pattern
         persists for hours or even years. "
    Thanks for reading.
    Snatcher and Metal Gear Solid are registered trademark of Konami Co. LTD.
    Konami is a registered trademark of Konami Co. LTD. All work presented here is
    but mere fan work.
    Ghost in the Shell is copyright by Masamune Shirow/Kodansha/Mange Entertainment
    Fight Club is copyright by Fox.
    "The Selfish Gene" was written by Richard Dawkins, I highly recommend getting
    this book.
    "A Perfect Vacuum" (c) by Stanislaw Lem, a very though-provoking book.
    Document written and compiled by Artemio Urbina, (c) 2002.

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