Frequent readers of The Null Set probably have probably noticed that amount of new posts have slowed a bit. This isn’t due to real life concerns or a lack of desire to continue blogging or even a diminished desire to watch anime but because I have so many ideas for posts and they are all tugging me in different directions and I’m having trouble focusing on fully fleshing out any one post. So today, I just decided to pick one and start writing and hopefully, I’ll finally make some headway.
Watching Episode 6, I felt like the show has finally revealed an important, if not the most important, component to the overall structure of the show. And no, I didn’t mean the Lorena Bobbitt character but what the title is referring to and what Akira’s general idea of saving Japan is. It really shouldn’t be a surprise that Akira wants to address the NEET problem of Japan since it appears that he is one (in episode 1, the detective mentioned the person wanted in connection with the mass NEET disappearance was unemployed). In case you don’t know the terminology, NEET means “not in education, employment, or training”. This terminology isn’t used much in America but this problem is hardly a Japan-only problem; though, the way it manifests in Japan could be seen as a symptom of a problem that faces Japan today.
Saki’s trouble in getting a job is an example of one problem facing the young adults of Japan trying to enter the workforce and is the cause of some becoming NEETs. In an economy such as Japan’s right now (from what I’ve read) where the economy just continues to sputter along – never catching fire – companies do very little hiring and those within the company work to keep themselves employed. Therefore, it becomes nearly impossible to find a decent job and the young become NEETs while waiting to find gainful employment. Akira’s comment after learning of the results of Saki’s interview seem to echo this.
The possibilities of the Eden program that Saki’s group is developing are huge and could make it one of the most important inventions of the 21st century but I don’t totally understand how it’s going to help the NEETs of Japan. On one level, I think any new innovation of the internet and associated programs that empowers individual users to be able to do more helps. For example, how many people started small businesses that use eBay to conduct their business on? And it’s true that it’s hard to anticipate the uses of a new invention; one of uses Edison envisioned for the phonograph was to record the final words of a dying family member so they could be replayed later by the surviving family – he didn’t see it as a way to sell music but that is what it got primarily used for in the end.
If the Eden system not only was a visual search engine but was searchable by tags with the results being visual images then I could see how this could help NEETs. Need a tutor, find people tagged as tutors looking for work; looking to buy a specific item, search for the item tagged as for sale and find someone selling it as well as the asking price and a picture of the exact item in question. But the potential for abuse and potentially undesirable side-effects are huge. Employers could search the web to find where pictures of perspective employees turn up. A person could have mean or untrue tags associated with them that are left by bullies or past significant others. Police could have they’re own version and be able to check anyone’s criminal record by just looking at them or the government could keep track of people by attaching this system to their surveillance cameras.
One of the things that I’ve been pondering is Saki’s group and their need for funding. I think if you showed this technology to Google or Microsoft, they’d be falling all over themselves trying to get access to this technology. Not to mention what the various governments would do to get a hold of this technology.This leads me to think that this group does have some ideals outside of making money that it wishes to pursue. Now that Akira has agreed to back them, they shouldn’t have money troubles for awhile.
The mention of Careless Monday in episode 7 made me realize that I had been thinking of the event wrongly. For some reason I thought the attack was tied to the giving of the twelve their phones but in reality, the attack was the result of one of the twelve. Thinking about in this way, the attack does make sense – just look back in history. Seeing America pull together after Pearl Harbor and 9/11 to attack the foreign menace would make a tempting solution as to how to help fix Japan. The problem, as whichever of the twelve found out, was that creating a victimless attack with no bad guy isn’t going to do anything. After a short while, people will just go back to normal. This is why I think the latest attack killed people, the person behind these attacks is trying to evoke a response by the populous of Japan and it’s not happening yet.
This entry is starting to get long so I’ll close with a speculation I have about the show that I first made a couple of weeks ago that seems even more likely with each passing week. And that is that Juiz is an AI and a great hacker. To be able to do what Juiz does in the short amount of time between hearing the request and carrying it out makes me think that “she” has access to vast amounts of data and an absurdly fast ability to find shift through it to find the required solutions which would point to being an AI. Also, she never seems fazed by what’s asked of her or the actions of the different phone users; it seems almost unhuman.
Watching the end of episode 7 almost made me think that the true situation of the show is that everyone is actually hooked together like in the Matrix. How else could you explain a person growing wings and flying away but the phone entry seemed to infer that it was some sort of illusion created by some new piece of technology. Alas, I guess there’s no Matrix twist to the show, though I do wonder how you could remotely make a truck lose it’s tires.