The title of the excellent 1981 The Police album (of which I own a copy, *gloat*), featuring such classics as Every Little Thing She Does is Magic, Demolition Man and Too Much Information. The album tends to be dominated by reggae influences. Features some a fairly kewl cover artwork, and some socially relevant lyrics.

Rene Descartes' theory of the separation between soul and flesh.

Many fictions draw on this theme, especially in the cyberpunk genre. Blade Runner explored replicant robots that were gifted with memories and were otherwise indistinguishable from humans; Armitage III and Ghost in the Shell are two anime treatments of the same basic plot. The Matrix explores Descartes' hypothesis more closely; what if we're merely being subjected to an incredibly detailed simulation of "reality?"

Descartes thus asked himself, "How can I prove that I really exist, if everything may just be an artificial illusion around me?" His answer, "I think, therefore I am."

His point being, the soul is the identity; the body and its senses are irrelevant.

The X-files

Ghost in the Machine
Episode: 1X06
First aired: 10/29/93
Written by: Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon]
Directed by: Jerrold Freeman

Mulder and Scully investigate the electrocution of the chief executive at a high-tech firm
who was in charge of the COS project, or Central Operating System.

Jerry Lamana, Mulder's former partner, brings him the case. Lamana takes Mulder's profile
of the killer and pretends it is his own. Mulder is annoyed but doesn't do anything.

Mulder and Scully go to see Brad Wilczek who created the COS system but had left the firm over
a dispute with the late chief executive.

When Wilczek is proven to be the last person to speak to the electrocuted man, Lamana goes
to arrest him but plummets to his death in a falling elevator as Wilczek watches helplessly.

Mulder speaks to Deep Throat who tells him that the Defense Department is interested in
Wilczek because he created artificial intelligence that is now killing in self-preservation.

Mulder and Scully enter to building and the lights go out so that they can't get through
the electronic doors.
Scully is boosted into an airvent and is sucked towards the blades of a huge fan.

A man finds Mulder and opens the door and they find Wilczek. The man turns out to be a
Defense Department spy. Scully frees herself and Mulder is now able to introduce the virus.

We see the COS in parts being analyzed. Small lights start to flicker on.

Important quotes:
Scully (about Lamana) -- "How come you two went your separate ways?"
Mulder -- "I’m a pain in the ass to work with."
Scully -- "Seriously."
Mulder -- "I’m not a pain in the ass?"

This is the first episode in which Scully fires her gun (at the fan).

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A 1993 movie, directed by Rachel Talalay, starring Karen Allen and others (according to IMDB, and this stuff is sketchy because I didn't watch the movie that well =)

The plot is somewhat like this: A serial killer works in a computer shop. He steals his victim's address books, and kills people listed in them, one at time. Now, one lady forgets her address book to a computer shop - she bought a program called Paper Warrior that scans an address book and puts it into a digital form - handy, that.

Now, this serial killer guy wants ends up into a car accident and dies. Or, not really. He turns into an electronic entity that lives in the power grid and electronic devices. He takes the recently-scanned address book, and uses his mad skillz to kill people in various ways.

And in the end, <spoiler type=rot13>gur onq thl trgf genccrq va argjbex naq vf qevira vagb n yvarne nppryrengbe naq zntarg svryq qrfgeblf uvz.</spoiler>

BAD movie, pretty predictable and not great feats of acting... Even kids with bad grades in physics and computing stuff would groan at the absurdities of the movie. =) However, the concept of the movie is pretty interesting and it features some cool stuff of its era (old VR equipment, old Windows boxes in the computer shop, etc...)

Half-decent excuse to spend a night...

The actual expression "Ghost in the Machine" was coined by Gilbert Ryle in his seminal 1949 book The Concept of Mind, in which he demolished what he called the orthodox theory then current that there was a mind inside people, sitting inside their bodies and observing what their senses fed into the brain: that is, the cartesian dualist picture.

He also spoke of it as the horse inside the locomotive. The general idea is that the thing we can see apparently doing the work (the brain, the locomotive) is believed to be fundamentally insufficient to do what it seems to be doing, so something else is postulated inside it. Both of his expressions were intended to point up the absurdity of this.

Ryle's demolition of this idea was so thorough that it is almost impossible for any philosopher or scientist to be taken quite seriously if they still maintain the division.

Arthur Koestler boldly entitled a book The Ghost in the Machine, but that's rather the point, he was not a very good philosopher.

However, Sir Karl Popper and Sir John Eccles did maintain an overt form of dualism, and their joint book The Self and its Brain espoused this. Popper defended the logic of different categories of "world", while the physiologist Eccles tried to connect mind and brain in modern terms.

Today the main successor of Ryle in the strongly anti-cartesian line is Daniel Dennett, especially in his Consciousness Explained. Most of his opponents who hold that there exist some kinds of true mental fauna (often called qualia) would nevertheless agree that the mental is a property of the brain, not of a separate ghostly Mind sitting in a "cartesian theatre".

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