Thursday, May 9, 2013

Blog #64 - Inception Ideas

I've probably seen Inception a dozen times, and so to get a fresh perspective, I read chapters out of a book, Inception and Philosophy: Ideas to Die For

Here are a couple of ideas:
1. Philosopher Immanuel Kant says that both inception and extraction are immoral, despite your intentions, because because you (as the extractor) are violating the autonomy of the individual.  These actions disrespect humanity because your personal autonomy (or ability to control yourself, your thoughts, and actions) is a mark of your humanity, what makes you different than other animals in this world.  If someone has implanted an idea in your head, how can you be responsible for it or the actions that come from it? 

2. We've briefly discussed this idea before, but I'd like you to make the opposite case - I think that we've established that extraction of an idea from your mind, if at all possible like in the movie, was illegal or considered theft because it's your intellectual property.  But since this idea does not have a physical component, I'd say it's just an idea and not really real.  Therefore, there's no theft.  In order for an idea to have true value, it has to be implemented into action or manifested into something real in the physical world, not just the world of the mind.  Agree or disagree?  Why?

3. Ariadne acts like Cobb's therapist throughout the movie and helps him with the guilt that is sabotaging his dreams and memories.  In the first dream (Yusuf's, in the scene in the warehouse), Cobb tells her why he feels so guilty - because, after 50 years in Limbo, he had planted the idea in Mal's head that this world (Limbo) wasn't real and that they needed to kill themselves to get back to reality (being awake).  She brought this idea back with her into reality and flipped the idea around - her waking state was Limbo and that she needed to get back to reality (in her mind, Limbo).  My question for you is: is Ariadne practicing her own version of inception w/ Cobb by placing the ideas in his head that he needs to confront Mal's projection and rid himself of the guilt of her suicide (which he eventually succeeds in doing)?  Why or why not? 

4. Catharsis -- a concept first introduced to us by Aristotle (a purging or purification of the self or the transformation as a result of the catharsis), Cobb, Arthur and Eames have all talked about Fischer reaching a state of catharsis with his father so that their inception idea can take hold.  Reconciliation with positive emotion is much stronger, according to Cobb, than with a negative emotion.  So we see that Fischer is reconciled with his father at the end and decides to break up his company when he awakes from the kidnapping scene.  But, does Cobb reach his own catharsis when he finds that he's allowed into the United States and can finally see his children's faces again?  Throughout the movie, that's all he's ever wanted is to get back home to his kids, and the ending scene shows that reunion (with his children a couple of years older - I checked the credits - there are two different pairs of child actors).  But does this catharsis really happen because of the ending scene with the top?  Did the scene turn off before the top fell over? 
 - Cobb also has another scene of catharsis near the end in limbo when he says goodbye to Mal  "you're just a shade of my real wife..."
Here's a link to someone's interpretation of three different times when catharsis is used:

5. Movie - Making - Inception, as a film, is all a dream, but it's also an extended metaphor for filmmaker Christopher Nolan.  Like a dream, the movie is a shared dream for the audience and has its own rules and functions along those lines.  Some characters and scenes happen like dreams in which there seems to be no rhyme or reason: Mal comes out of a crowd and stabs Ariadne; the train in the first dream that blasts through downtown where there's no tracks; the elder Fischer's hospital bed in a huge vault inside of a mountain fortress; Cobb squeezing between an amazingly small gap of two buildings.   Mal even makes the case to Cobb at the end that he is in fact still stuck in a dream, with feelings of persecution (the authorities or Cobol's security forces), creeping doubts, and little remembrance of how he got there.   On another thought, the way the dream team works is similar to how a movie is made - they plan the scenes and sets down to the smallest details, always conscious of the audience (the dreamer's projections) and its reaction.  And, the way the movie ends with the cut scene of the top and then kicking into the music (Edith Piaf's haunting melody) as the credits roll is kind of like a dream because sometimes we are ripped out of a dream before its ending and we want to know how it ends.  Yet we can't go back.

 -- all of this is controlled by the master manipulator, the director, Christopher Nolan.  Everything in this movie is done for a reason.  Cobb is the director, Arthur is the producer who does the research, Ariadne the screenwriter when she acts as the architect, Eames is the actor and Yusuf is the technical guy that makes it all happen.  Saito is the money guy (also a producer) who finances the whole operation and Fischer is the audience who is taken for an exciting adventure by the director, Cobb.  Yet we are also the audience too, since this is a movie.  Arthur mentions continuously that they cannot mess with the dream too much, otherwise the dreamer knows something is wrong.  The same can be said for movies - when there's too much fakery or interference from the director, we as the audience snap out of the trance that the movie is weaving for us and see the movie for what it is.  We lose ourselves in well-made movies b/c we're not paying attention to the poor acting or screenwriting or plotholes or ridiculous scenes.  We care about the characters and want to see a satisfying resolution.   And so Cobb, as the director, makes an amazing movie, but also brings part of himself into the movie (Mal) which can influence the audience (she shoots Fischer in the 3rd dream).  Most of the jarring scenes in Inception include Mal.  And it's Mal who questions Cobb and raises doubt as to his true purpose. 

 - And since the movie is like a dream, it has planted the idea of itself in the mind of the movie audience as well - is this a movie or was the whole thing a dream?  This is where the movie becomes almost a meta-movie; it is Christopher Nolan dreaming about Cobb.

Pick two of these questions to answer by Monday, May 13 by class time. 
300 words minimum for your total answer. 


  1. 1. Like it was shown in Inception, an idea can manifest itself in a person’s mind to the point where they can no longer keep away from this idea. We saw this happen in the mind of Mal when Cobb went in and planted the idea that the world she was living in wasn’t actual reality. Initially, the plan worked and Cobb and Mal were able to escape limbo by killing themselves. Unfortunately, the idea never left her mind, and even in actual reality she felt as if she was once again in a dream. She killed herself in this world she believed to be real, but instead of waking up from another dream state, she was dead. Cobb blamed himself for this tragic event, and in my opinion he had every right to be upset with himself because he was to blame. He was the one who performed inception and Mal died as a result because she was unable to rid her mind of this constant horror that she wasn’t living in reality. I want to give another example to try and explain this. Imagine a person like John Hinckley Jr., who is infamous for his failed murder attempt of Ronald Reagan. For the sake of my argument, let’s just say that he was completely sane. Then one day, Cobb and his team went into his mind and planted the idea that the only way for him to impress Jodie Foster was to kill the president. He probably would have immediately though that this was a terrible idea, but if the idea was constantly attacking his mind, he was eventually bound to succumb to it. So even though Hinckley is the person who tries to kill Reagan, the real person responsible would have to be Cobb and his team. This idea may seem a bit radical, but it is just to highlight how much an idea can come to control an individual.
    2. In a formal court of law, theft of intellectual property is something that is taken extremely seriously. Even though it isn’t possible to steal ideas out of minds in real life, it is in Inception. In the movie, Inception is frowned upon, and I think it is also illegal. If Inception were to be possible in the real world, I think that it would have to be punishable. The reason is that if giant corporations were getting their new ideas from people who tried to develop them, there would be no place in society for the individual looking to strike it big in the inventing world. If you think about it, stealing the idea for a new phone is almost as bad as stealing a prototype, perhaps even worse, because in the case of extraction, the victims have no way of defending themselves if the case were to reach a trial.
    -Alex Lurz

  2. 2. I think it would be hard to prove that someone’s stolen something from you if the “property” solely exists in your mind. It’s hard enough for investigators to charge individuals with theft of intellectual property in real life, when something physical is taken because there’s technically no legal patent. Trying to determine whether or not an idea in someone’s brain has been stolen would be exceedingly difficult; in addition, such extensive investigation would change the concept of “intellectual property” as we define it. To accuse someone of extraction, we would need the kind of advanced equipment that Cobb and Arthur use in the movie “Inception,” which seems a bit beyond normal detective work. Extraction is, of course, illegal – the way that Cobb used it – but in order to charge someone with it, you need proof. What evidence is there of someone stealing your thoughts besides the fact that you no longer possess this so-called original idea? Such a crime simply cannot be proved, which would enable people like Cobb to continue to commit it.

    3. It’s a fine line to walk when deciding between Cobb or Ariadne as the reason behind Cobb confronting and subsequently letting go of his deceased wife, Mal. The audience could argue that Cobb could have come up with this conclusion on his own, but it’s a little too convenient for that scenario to occur at the same time as all of Ariadne’s work as his therapist. I’m not entirely convinced that Cobb could have realized on his own that this Mal he’s interacting with is just a shade of his real wife because he was too attached to her. Though Cobb is a genius when it comes to inception and extraction, his mental defenses were undoubtedly more scattered due to his obsession with the dream Mal, so it’s very possible that Ariadne could have steered him in the mentally healthier direction. Being the one who orchestrates much of this tri-level dream, Ariadne definitely has the resources – and the drive, as Cobb’s “therapist” – to help him out without his realizing it. At the same time, however, his finally letting Mal go did happen in limbo, which isn’t really controlled by anybody, so it’s uncertain whether or not Ariadne’s idea could have still taken hold of him at this point.

    - Erin L.

  3. 1.) I believe that people are not always responsible for their actions. It seems that I am near constantly bringing up various things from AP Psychology. We watched a documentary chronicling a horrible string of events where a 20 year man slowly descended into schizophrenic hallucinations. This, coupled with his religious upbringing led him to believe that the world was ending and that he had to kill his mother and step-dad. That tragic story shows how a previously well adjusted person with no malicious intentions could do horrible things. Much in the same way, I don’t think that someone who had an idea planted in their head should be necessarily responsible for their actions. After all, our thoughts and ideas define us. If someone were to secretly change one’s thought processes, they would have altered the very core of one’s being to some degree.
    2.) All of our thought processes have a physical origin, because our thoughts are merely the mechanical operations of our brains. While an idea may not be a physical object, it is the result of physical processes. Arguing that stealing an idea isn’t wrong because it’s not a physical object is akin to justifying not paying someone for a service because that isn’t a physical object either. If you invade someone’s privacy and steal an idea that they were not intending to share, that is most definitely theft in my book.

    -Ben C

  4. 1.) I believe that if someone plants an idea into someone’s head then that person is no longer control of their actions even if they do have control over their mind again after the idea was planted. Just one idea can alter someone’s whole way of thinking. When Cobb and his team plant in the mind of Fisher that his dad wants him to break up the whole entire company that he built, Fisher does it. But prior to that idea planting incident or dream or whatever you want to call it, Fisher would never have shut down his father’s company because he knew his father and he knew with his knowledge that that would not be something that his father would have wanted. But because of this idea that was planted, Fisher not only shut down his father’s company but he also is changing his whole path of life to become a new self-made man that doesn’t have to rely on his father.
    2.) I disagree with the statement that taking an idea out of someone’s head is not stealing because it is not a physical thing yet. I still do think that it should be considered theft even if someone is only stealing an idea out of someone’s mind even though the idea isn’t physical yet. If someone went into a dream of Steve Jobs’ and stole the idea of the ipod then that is stealing. If taking an idea out of someone’s head is not stealing then it raises the questions if there is any completely private place in this world? Is every thought I make open for the whole world to take away from me? If that is the case then I do not like that world. Therefore if Inception does exist there needs to be rules set into place.

    Carly Yashinsky

  5. 1) I have difficulty wrapping my head around the idea that someone else is implanting an idea in my head because I feel my sub-conscious would attack the idea similar to the way the projections tried to eliminate Cobb and the others when they were trying inception of Yusif. I also feel that it would be VERY hard to implant a criminal-ish idea into someone's head because that would involve creating a scenario in which the conscious believes the criminal act is the RIGHT thing to do while the law-abiding act is the WRONG thing to do. Considering that a person is a normal do-gooder then this person's subconscious would ALWAYS reject the criminal act and therefore inception of a criminal mindset would be impossible. However, if you were to hypothetically incept an idea into a person's mind I do not believe it would be fair for the person to be held accountable because they are only acting as "their mind" tells them to act based off of the incepted idea. This does not necessarily mean the person is "mentally stable" and therefore this person should still be detained, but the person should go through a "detoxification" process in which the correct idea is once again incepted into their mind.
    3) I do not feel as though Ariadne is practicing her own version of inception because she does not have a definite control over whether Cobb chooses to accept the idea. As it was written in the blog, Ariadne acts as Cobb's therapist helping him try to succumb his guilt with Mal. As much as Ariadne can beg Cobb, she cannot release the guilt of Mal without Cobb's mind accepting that Mal is truly dead. I believe Ariadne is moreso a guide/religion for Cobb, as much as she preaches her ideas she cannot make Cobb believe them unless Cobb CHOOSES to believe her. I feel the same way about therapists, they are not miracle workers, but people who help other people straighten their lives back out and get them back on track.

    ~Kenneth O'Hanlon

  6. 2. I agree with the idea statement. When looking at this question it immediately reminded me of The Social Network. In the film, Zuckerberg uses a chair analogy to explain why his actions for creating another site under the Winklevoss brother’s noses was just. He basically says that when someone builds a nice chair he doesn’t owe money to every other person that has built a chair. A thought has no physical property. It’s difficult to prove that someone is the only one who thought of a certain idea. Intellectual property theft to me seems like an excuse for someone to use when someone implements an idea better than them, or faster than them. Even if you might have thought of it first, it hasn’t been done yet, so it’s fair game to everyone else as well. The idea of having control and ownership over a specific thought seems ridiculous to me.

    4. I believe that Cobb does successfully go through catharsis by the end of the film. When looking at the differences between the dream world and the real world, the kids look different in the ending of the movie. Their clothing is different, and it obviously meant something to use different actors. The other reason why I believe that Cobb is still dreaming is because of the top at the ending. Although it does spin for a while, it does begin to start to fall over. It never did that in the dream. It never became wobbly at times like it did at the end of the film. I believe that he finally rid himself of Mal, and that in the end he is back in the real world. Cobb wasn’t able to see his kids faces in the dream world, but he could in the real world.


  7. I don’t believe that Ariadne is practicing her own version of inception. I believe that she is being a human being by wanting to help someone who has a problem. Also what would she have to gain from planting inception inside of Cobb’s mind? She could have also had a small crush on Cobb’s , but I think she was maybe helping Cobb in order to get closer to Arthur, especially after that kiss in the hotel lobby. She may also have a dislike for Fischer’s company, or maybe she wants a job as an architect for Fischer’s company. Also Cobb and Adrande have a lot of similarities as they both break the rules, and often don’t do what there told. Ariadne goes to the basement level of Cobb’s dream after he told her not to and Cobb has his wife trapped the basement of his dreams.
    If someone plants an idea in your head you shouldn’t be responsible for it, but you will be responsible. If you can prove that someone planted a idea in your head. The things that come from the idea can go other way because you have a little more control over what happens next. For an example in the movie Cobb and his team implanted the idea of Fischer starting his own company in his head. They didn’t say hat kind of business. HE will probably start a company similar to his father’s but for all we know he could start a an ice cream company or something. He has the idea to create a business but not who to hire, or where to build his office, or whether he wants his company should sell stock or not. All this choice could cause ripple effects that could have positive or negative effects, and Fischer would be directly responsible. But at the same time the blame could be directed toward Cobb and his team for igniting the spark that will grow to become Fischer Company.
    Eric Scott

  8. 1.) If someone implants an idea in your head, there is no instance in which you should ever be held accountable for the direct effect. This is because you would have never thought of acting on that thought without an outside factor. This is why I would classify inception as immoral. It’s basically like changing someone else’s fate. By planting an idea in someone’s mind, you dominate their thoughts; you choose what they think about. Now, thinking someone else’s thoughts may be beneficial, but it may also be very harmful to the person receiving the thoughts. No matter what, it molds other people to the shape of your liking and is therefore immoral, as it involves making someone’s decisions without their consent. Although there is nothing you can do to stop the direct effect of inception, you can be held, in my mind, responsible for the indirect effects of inception. When incepted, you gain an idea and you know that you want to act on it, however you haven’t thought about how to complete that idea yet. You as an individual make the decisions necessary to complete someone else’s thought; you decide what you need to do to get there. The person who plants the idea cannot be held responsible for the actions you take to complete that thought. For example, if someone plants the idea that you need to eat ice cream in your head, they can be responsible for you eating ice cream, but they can’t be responsible for how you got that ice cream. If you shoot someone while trying to eat ice cream, there would be no way for the planter to know that that would happen.
    2.) I disagree. I believe that even without a physical component, inception limits someone else’s thoughts and is theft. You don’t need a physical manifestation of the idea for it to be theft because you plant a thought and therefore change all of their other thoughts. You also may steal things from someone by preventing them from ever getting it

    Brendan Dwyer

  9. Philosopher Immanuel Kant is correct in his assertion that inception and extraction are immoral. Since someone is changing your thought process you cannot be held accountable for the actions that come from it (positive or negative). If someone implants an idea in your head the idea really isn’t yours. The only thing that is yours is your actions in response to it. But even though your actions are real you still can’t be held accountable for them because you probably never would have had those actions if someone hadn’t implanted an idea inside your head and altered your thought process. Altering someone’s thought process changes how he or she thinks and who he or she is on a simplistic level. This makes inception immoral. I think that extraction is theft. You had an idea and someone stole it from inside your mind. This is blatant plagiarism to the worst degree because not only has someone stolen something from you, they also went inside your mind to do it. Just because a thought isn’t a physical thing doesn’t make it unable to steal. Things don’t have to be material for theft to happen a thought isn’t material but it still can be stolen and used against you or to make a thief rich. People say your mind is the only place you are safe, but with the idea or extraction this saying becomes false because now you aren’t safe I your mind. You can be stolen from and have ideas planted into your head all inside your mind.
    -Allison R

  10. 1. After really thinking about, I concluded that not everyone is responsible for their own actions. People with disorders like schizophrenia can't help but be convinced that something or someone is out to get them. They might attack an innocent person because their mind is telling them that the person is out to get them. Traumatic event's can also cause someone to act a certain way. If a girl was kidnapped and abused she may live the rest of her life in fear and become psychotic. The person that kidnapped her caused her to change the way she thought, so she did things she normally wouldn't do. Then again, If a child was brought poorly and taught that things like rape and murder were okay, are they not responsible for their actions if they truly believe that it's not bad? Is it just their parents fault?
    There's different ways to look at it but I don't think people are responsible for their actions when mental disorders are involved.
    2. I disagree with the statement that there's no true value in an idea unless its manifested into something real in the physical world.
    Individuals were all born a certain way, some containing better characteristics than others. The only thing that we as humans are completely in control of is our minds. We can use them however we like and pick and choose which ideas to implement into action. For anyone to have the ability to steal from our minds would just not be right.

    -Christina L

  11. 1.) If an idea is planted in your head, without realizing it, I believe that you are not responsible for the actions that are a result of that idea. However, if an idea is planted in your head, and you are aware of that, then you are directly responsible for the actions that result from the idea. If an idea is planted into your self-conscience, unknowingly, then you would be unaware that anything damaging has occurred and you would think that you came up with this on your own. You would be responsible for the actions because they are your own, but they would have never occurred if the idea was never ‘planted’. How could someone be responsible for something they never had control over?
    2.) I believe that the dream planting and taking is theft. Although no damage is done physically (possibly Limbo-rare), you are taking things away from the person whose mind was infriltrated. Whole parts of the person’s life can be changed forever! For example, Fisher was planning on continuing his father’s legacy by creating an energy dominant empire, until Cobb placed the idea into his mind about living a different life. Although this was a good thing, think of all the things taken from Fisher by planting this idea. He likely would have been one of the most successful and richest people on the face of the planet, with a monopoly on energy. Maybe a family he could have had was taken from him because of this drastic change in his life. This brings me to the point that although the dream ‘theft’ doesn’t physically harm the person, it can, and most likely will, change their life drastically.

    1. This is my blog
      -Peter B

  12. 1.I think that what Kant does not take into account is that “inception” happens every day on a general basis. Most ideas that people have don’t just pop into existence – often, you are coaxed into a certain state of thought by influences from other people. That doesn’t require entering someone’s dreams; you can plant an idea in an individual’s head simply by talking to them. On this note, you should be held responsible for actions that come from the ideas in your head. Ideas are just that – intangible thoughts, and acting upon them is what results in consequences. Its nearly impossible to prove “ownership” of an idea – at the same time as you came up with the idea for a small business, 17 other people around the world are taking out loans for the same thing. I agree with Kant on the immorality of forced inception or extraction, but that does not change the responsibility of the individual for the actions they take based on their thoughts.

    2.Arguing the opposite side, as I stated above, it is really difficult to prove “ownership” of an idea, so in that case it is difficult to call it theft if no object was actually stolen. On a very superficial level, say you have an idea for a house-cleaning robot and you tell your friend of your idea. If said friend likes the idea, and works on it, inventing the robot before you and getting all of the credit, this is not theft – you did not own the idea of the robot, it was simply a manifestation in your mind and your friend was smart enough to come up with the physical being first. Even if you did not willingly tell the extractor the idea, you did not own it in the first place and it is your own fault that you did not form the idea into reality first. The only thing the “thief” could be charged with is breaking and entering – no *thing* was taken. If an idea exists but does not take root in the physical world, it is of no value to the rest of society. In order for it to be considered theft, it must have at least some value.

    Katia Lev

  13. #4) Catharsis in Inception is one of the most basic themes in the film, especially since nearly everyone in the film is affected by it in some way. Cobb is affected by his own catharsis when he comes to terms with Mal and the fact that she is only a “shadow” of the person he knew down in limbo. He becomes transformed by the end of the film and comes to terms with himself. In a way, Cobb’s experiences with inception in Fischer’s mind helps drive the negative subconscious memory of Mal from his mind. I believe that the film ends with Cobb seeing his real children, and I don’t believe that the catharsis is actually real.

    #2) I don’t believe that the theft of an idea can be considered a crime because an idea is not something that can be measured in physical or realistic terms; therefore it doesn’t exist. Also, an idea that hasn’t been thought out or implemented isn’t actually anything more than a thought; I don’t believe that something as simple as a thought can be considered “property” that can be stolen. Lastly, thought-stealing can’t be proven in any way, therefore it isn’t a crime.

    -John D

  14. 1. After watching inception I now believe that there are cases where people cannot be held responsible for their own actions. Previously I thought that everyone can and should be held responsible for their own actions, but if someone plants an idea into someone’s head and they believe it to be true, then it really isn’t their fault for what they do after. I guess this could be comparable to brainwashing that I read about in George Orwell’s book, 1984. There were kids in the book who were very mad that they did not get to see the public hanging and viewed these public hangings as a good time and should happen more often. If these hangings were to happen in real life here then there would be an outrage. These kids have had ideas implanted in their brains like how Cobb implanted an idea into Mel's head. Mel cannot be held responsible for her actions the same way these kids cannot be held responsible for their own actions because they do by know any better or anything different.

    2. I disagree I think extraction should definitely be illegal. Ideas and thoughts are the only truly private and personal possessions we have and going in to our brains and taking our secrets should be considered theft. There are patents for these ideas so the ideas can be made into a property therefore they should be kept as property and protected by the law. If inception and extraction were possible in real life I think they should be protected by the law as theft is because it is pretty much the same as stealing so there is no reason it shouldn't be protected by the law. Every time someone has a great idea someone would try to steal it and then the people who can steal ideas would remain at the top with the little people having no way of getting to the top or even being successful.


  15. 2. I don't believe that the idea when it is in your head is an actual idea because it isn't actually real. There is no physical aspect to the idea or the dream because you are not cncious when you are experiencing the dream. When you are dreaming, you have no idea what you are thinking and it isn't actually a thing. You are just sleeping without any recollection of what is happening to you or what you are trying to accomplish. The dream isn't real and someone can have the same dream as you. Also, howdo you know that a person is telling the truth? They can easily say that the dream was theirs and that you had the idea before you did. I just don't see how stealing a dream could be considered bad, especially when everybody would be doing it. If I could steal someone's dream, I might. You never know...

  16. #1 I don’t think you can be responsible for an idea that is planted in your mind without having any control over it. Your actions could change significantly based on the type of idea planted in your mind. For example Cobb planted the idea in Mals head that Limbo wasn’t the real world and they needed to kill themselves in order to wake up in the real world. This idea destroyed Mal and made her think she could kill herself in the real world because it wasn’t the real world in order to wake up in Limbo. The only way you could have control over the idea planted in your mind is by telling your mind something else and getting the idea to stop controlling you, which would be a challenge.
    #2 I disagree with the idea that if you take an idea from someone eventhough it hasn’t been implemented into action it is not considered stealing because it still belongs to you it was created in your mind and even though you haven’t made something out of it yet you were going to and if someone takes it its no longer in your mind and they stole it from you. Even though it doesn’t have any importance in the actual world yet and isn’t considered real its still your idea it is something you thought of that is in your head. - Jami Laub

  17. 1) well, if someone put their idea into your subconscious, then you are not totally at fault now are you? the intent of the action is held by the one implanting the thought, along with all the responsibility of its effects. it is, in essence, possessing someone with your will, like a puppeteer, and causing their actions from behind. while the resulting effects are enacted by helpless victim, the one who would be at blame if the puppet were to hit someone would be the one who pulled the string connected to the fist and guided it at its target; as a swordsman guides the blade.

    3) while it is true that Ariadne (sounds like the greek weaver of dreams, Arachne, doesn't it?) becomes his sort of therapist, she does not truly undergo the action of inception. she in fact acts as a guide, and as a 'cleaner' of sorts; guiding him to the conclusion he already knows but refuses to accept, and 'cleaning' the muck of barriers that Cobb placed in his way, to protect the projection of Mal and his own psyche, as his inability to cope with his guilt and pain caused the projection, to reduce his pain and to shield his mind. the process of acceptance and forgiveness that Ariadne guided him through was something that Cobb also had to do of his own free will, and all she did was show him the way.

    garrett m

  18. Inception Blog

    Question 1:
    If someone implants an idea in your head then you really can’t be responsible for it. The reason that people can be responsible for their own actions in the first place is only because the ideas for their actions come from their own consciousness and they made the action willingly. To make someone responsible for something they did unwillingly is just cruel. There is no way to justify punishing a person for something they never meant to do because it isn’t really them doing it. This is different from someone being punished for doing something on accident because then you know that it was their thoughts and actions that resulted in whatever happened. In this instance it was their recklessness rather than someone else’s malice that caused the problem.
    Question 2:
    I disagree. If someone has an idea in their mind then it is their intellectual property. To take something directly from their mind is pure theft. Just because an idea exists only in the mind does not mean that it is without value. It may not actively be doing anything while it only exists as an idea, but it does have the potential to result in really great things. All great things in the world had to start out as just the potential for greatness in the minds of great people. If Einstein and Newton had never had the incredible thoughts that they had, then their thoughts would have never made it on paper. It would have been incredibly immoral for someone to have gone in and taken their ideas only to publish them themselves. I see no reason why this should be considered any less horrible than just publishing a paper after these great men and completely ripping off their work. If you are not the creator and reason that an idea exists, then you have no right taking credit for it. Theft is theft, whether it is intellectual or physical.

    Denny Walsh

  19. #2
    Because one believes that ideas themselves are just what all things are just ideas, the act of extracting an idea from someones head is considered a crime because that's what
    I believe. Anyone that knows me is aware that I enjoy being around people that view things the same way I do because I'm always correct but In this case, the extraction of the ideas from the mind will be in the perspective of the individuals involved. If the people feel that it is stealing then it is stealing, if the people do not feel that it is stealing then it is not stealing because it is all in the perception. I believe that agreement makes fact. The thing that makes something true the act of everyone saying that it is what it is. I think that it is stealing because the non physical attribute of the thought should not mean that it is not possessed by people. I am a twin and sometimes I would think something and my brother will say it! He stole my thought I have no slip of paper that says that it is mine doesn't mean that it isn't. Stealing thoughts in extraction is definitely a crime because it is done intentionally.
    Ariadne is definitely practicing inception of her own. She was able to convince Cobb to rid himself of the guilt of Mal's death. The fact that Ariadne was able to come to the conclusion that Cobb needed to confront Mal's projection proves that she was mentally strong enough to conjure that whole situation up in her mind. I believe the ability to play mind games and use intelligent acrobatics is the very essence of inception.
    D.J. Terry


  20. 1. I don’t think that people can ‘implant’ ideas in our heads, but I do believe that being raised a certain way we can grow up thinking different things are right and wrong or normal and nor normal. An example of this would be the show Wife Swap, where they take polar opposite families and swap their wives. The entire energy is completely different in the kids because they’ve grown up only knowing one way of life. Not a common show, but came to my mind when I wrote about growing up. I think parents have the biggest influence on how people act and react to things, as they get older. But then, there are also things that can go wrong with the actual brain that can make people act certain ways. Or, if someone is brainwashed, they will act a way they’re not ‘responsible’ for. If people could implant ideas and thoughts in our minds, I think the over all effects of it is not the persons whose mind was broken into responsibility. It’s the extractor’s responsibility, because whatever happened wouldn’t have happened without them planting this idea.
    2. This idea of planting ideas and going into people’s minds is all so hard to comprehend. The movie was extremely confusing. I think Ariande helps Cobb just out of friendship, to help him get over this suffering and Mal torturing him in his dreams. I don’t think she planted the idea in his head to confront her, because Cobb and her had talked about it in reality. They discussed how Mal needed to be spoken to and dealt with, and all Cobbs anger and guilt and regret had to be dealt with and let go of. When she went to limbo with Cobb, it was mostly him talking, nothing of her convincing him to do or say what he did and say to Mal. So I don’t think Ariadne was practicing her own inception.

    Maddie A


  21. 1. I don’t think that people can ‘implant’ ideas in our heads, but I do believe that being raised a certain way we can grow up thinking different things are right and wrong or normal and nor normal. An example of this would be the show Wife Swap, where they take polar opposite families and swap their wives. The entire energy is completely different in the kids because they’ve grown up only knowing one way of life. Not a common show, but came to my mind when I wrote about growing up. I think parents have the biggest influence on how people act and react to things, as they get older. But then, there are also things that can go wrong with the actual brain that can make people act certain ways. Or, if someone is brainwashed, they will act a way they’re not ‘responsible’ for. If people could implant ideas and thoughts in our minds, I think the over all effects of it is not the persons whose mind was broken into responsibility. It’s the extractor’s responsibility, because whatever happened wouldn’t have happened without them planting this idea.
    2. This idea of planting ideas and going into people’s minds is all so hard to comprehend. The movie was extremely confusing. I think Ariande helps Cobb just out of friendship, to help him get over this suffering and Mal torturing him in his dreams. I don’t think she planted the idea in his head to confront her, because Cobb and her had talked about it in reality. They discussed how Mal needed to be spoken to and dealt with, and all Cobbs anger and guilt and regret had to be dealt with and let go of. When she went to limbo with Cobb, it was mostly him talking, nothing of her convincing him to do or say what he did and say to Mal. So I don’t think Ariadne was practicing her own inception.

    Maddie A

  22. Kelly Greer
    Ideas come and go in our minds perpetually every day, constantly following a cycle of popping up in our minds, and depending on the significance of the idea (based on our own opinion), they may either stick around for a while or vanish nearly instantly. Thus, it is clear that as humans, we all value some ideas more than others. Because we are individuals, we are drawn to find certain ideas valuable for many different reasons. Furthermore, it can be concluded that an idea has no finite value, because the value of the idea depends on the opinion of the person perceiving the idea. Furthermore, how can we be sure that ideas are “stolen” when we aren’t fully sure where ideas come from? Hence, if there is a force putting our ideas in our minds, then if we extract an idea it is not personal theft, but rather it is moving the idea from one mind to another, from a vast bank of ideas that can be placed in any mind by a greater power. (Use your imagination)
    If one implants an idea on my head, my responsibility for the idea and my actions caused by the idea are based on how I choose to use the idea and react to the knowledge of the idea. Because we are individuals, two people can have the same idea, but they may use that idea in two entirely different ways and act differently. Thus, if someone implants an idea in my head, I am still responsible for the actions because I choose how I react, not the person who implanted the idea. A person with a good sense of self-control would be able to resist any harmful action due to an implantation, but a person with poor self-control would react irrationally to said information and thus have to claim responsibility for their actions.

  23. 3. Cobb has spent years segregating his mind into things to think about and things not to. Then, he hid every bad memory of Mal, every thing he wished he'd done differently, and locked them away in a building to avoid his problems. This, however, is not a fool proof plan, as our brains have a mind of their own and bad thoughts we wish stay hidden have a way of weasling into places. Through the montserous effort Cobb put into hiding Mal and his family, that made it all the more easy for them to come and invade. You cannot hide from something that needs to be addressed. So, when Ariadne encourages Cobb to confront his fears and his wife, I do not blieve this is the first time he has thought of this. When something is that big of a problem, the person afflicted knows its there, so Ariadne was not "planting an idea" but merely encouraging one. Cobb needed that support, that extra psh to remind him that if he didn't address his past, nothing could ever be resolved.
    4. The spinning top at the end of the movie. It's like the most frustrating thing ever. However, it was genius. Firstly, to finish the movie featuring the top at all was brilliant, reminding you of the entore purpose of the movie. But then to leave it spinning? Phenominal. It wa smeant to be ambiguous, so you'd never actually know if its a dream or reality. The top spinning triggers the thought, the film makers own little inception, that perhaps Cobb was not, nor ever was, actually awake. The the whole movie was one big dream of all Cobb's fears and inner most longings.

    audrey l


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