Blood. More blood. And even more blood. There’s an air of eeriness surrounding Psycho-Pass. It was shockingly violent and unkind to gentle hearts. The very first episode literally shocked me into silence. I remember staring at my computer screen, trying to absorb what just happened, what kind of series had I just watched. Besides Chaos;Head, I cannot recall a series with such dark vibes.
Psycho-Pass shows us a community in a time not too far ahead from now, governed by Sibyl System, an application. It’s crazy right? As a developer by profession, one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind is the reliability of such a system. We developers were all, or at least I, was taught that there is no 100% bug-free, loophole-free software. Also, relying on a logical system to run a legal system that are subjected to multiple elements including empathy is absurd. It’s not the kind of place I’d wanna be in.
The series spent a good amount of time showing us how the society is controlled by non-living things, incapable of direct discernment. It’s a great insight to how a highly computerized, highly connected society operates. There’s clearly a radically redefined criminal justice – a person is being judged or sentenced not so much because of an action executed but thoughts drown in darkness. He or she can be held not because a crime committed. Personal freedom is being robbed due to these pre-emptive interventions for the greater good.
If such a system is implemented in hope to create a safe haven for the citizens, they need to think again. Crimes are still happening and the state of its citizens’ mental healths are questionable. It’s as if they’re living in constant fear. Fear of the justice system, not fear of violent criminals. Fear of themselves, instead of fear of others. There’s something very wrong with this picture.
Psycho-Pass feels a bit too real for comfort because of the events that had transpired. In our world, technology is advancing at lightning speed. Computers’ processing power is ever increasing and communication between networks is rarely an issue these days. It subtly reflects what the connected world we live in can affect our safety and mindset. A quick upload of a video, a mindless but violent tweet, whatever convenience Internet brings, can be exploited to something dangerous and potentially life-threatening. The society we live in relies heavily on social media. We’ve seen social, political and culture impact of the power of communication through such channels.
Thank goodness it’s not too long before the weaknesses of Sibyl system is brought to light. The flaws that highlight the unaccounted variables in the program and the blind trust the society has for hardcoded justice. Just as a human-operated legal system, a computer-governed version has weak points for others to take advantage of as well. It’s not surprising. We’ve seen technology enthusiasts consecutively trying to deter the efforts of IT companies in providing a secure digital ecosystem in our real world. Just as much as corruptions and injustice are prevalent in certain legal systems.
So in the end, neither system is superior over the other. However, I rather be judged by human beings capable of weighing decisions based on circumstances than machines that has no brains of their own. Hey, human beings are the one who wrote those thousands of codes to make them work remember?
But of course, for those who are watching Psycho-pass, we all know what Sibyl System really is, don’t we?