Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cyber Ninja Are Corny

When I was a kid, I used to have a periscope, one of those things that you could use to peak over a couch without bringing your eyes above the couch. I thought it was the coolest thing—I thought I was near invisible. Of course, there was a giant lens staring my brother right in the face and I was anything but invisible! But nowadays the technology is crazy. They’ve got worm cams and such. Everything is so tiny. A ninja could lie down flat on a building top, tucked up nicely against the ledge, and look into a lens and see all that he would see were his head actually exposed. Of course, a tiny, tiny camera rests on the ledge, but it’s no more noticeable than pigeon crap, and a lot less so than a peering black head with signature headband flowing behind.

My point is, there’s really no limit to what can be done these days in the realm of stealth. There are applications, I’m sure, that I can’t even fathom. Maybe there are mini cameras all over the city! Even filming the both of us right now! (I’m only joking.) And there’s a secret underground lair, deep in the subterranean (or an apartment if you prefer) where ninja sit in warmth munching sushi (or noodles or pizza or whatever haha) while they see all they need to see. How’s that for stealth!? It's damn effective, and I'm sure if it wasn't just a stupid example the ninja would take advantage without a bat of the eye--but I don't think I like it.

Technology corrupts and makes everything quick and cheap, ruining tradition and romance. It’s technological corruption! And it could apply to ninja as well, even though ninja don't give a damn for my romance. For example, if ninja wore invisible suits, sure they’d be greater at stealth but…I would no longer think ninja were as cool. And if they’re sitting in front of monitors, I’d think even less of them. Technology stinks. I’m sure ninja have incorporated new machinery into their operations—it’s only natural and necessary and it is their way—but I hope they they’ve kept the balance between the old ways and the new technological age, between the romantic and the electronic, at an even, if only because I hate the idea of a computer hacking ninja, especially when I compare it to my Western-er image of the picturesque ninja crouching atop a padoga with the moon at its back and a sword halfway drawn.

It is interesting to conjecture just how much technology the shinobi have incorporated into their ancient work, which is already something of an artistry. They have always been supple to change and have used whatever tools they found useful. Unlike their samurai enemy, ninja have never been pinned down by honor or tradition.

Knowing this, it makes sense that ninja would take advantage of any and all modern technology. Unless, perhaps, they don’t need to—perhaps their ancient skills continue to be as effective as they were centuries ago.

Night vision goggles, for example would only be a hindrance to their trained eye; it would muddle their visibility, eliminating the shadows they call home. But what tech would be useful to them? What new methods have they adopted into their legacy of deadly ingenuity? I wonder.

If you have any ideas, please let me hear in the comments page.

-- Manhattan Joe


  1. Hey love the blog. I must take issue with somethings tho,

    "Technology corrupts and makes everything quick and cheap, ruining tradition and romance"

    Ramance? Tradition? Ninjas were farmers. They did what they did to complete a goal. There was no honor in what they did. infact just the opposite. They hide and used guile to defeat the better trained/geared samuri. They had to. And in that there is honor.

    Just even using the words tradition and romance is an insult to those formentioned warrior's. They would use technology, any and all of it. They would do what it takes. No matter the cost to pride or ego.

    Anyways Like i said love the blog, sorry for English is not first language.

    And BTW I eat noddles not sushi.

  2. Hey thanks for reading and great points. You inspired a couple changes in the entry, check it out! I mentioned the ninja's disregard for tradtion and honor before, but, you're right, I wasn't clear enough about it. I didn't mean to imply that ninja wouldn't use new tech. I meant that, personally, I wish they wouldn't go overboard with it, just 'cause I'm a bit of a foolish romantic for the old times--which,as I've just added, the ninja are absolutely not, as far as history dictates. I also added in some other food that they could eat in their secret lair (haha) I didn't meant to offend, come on. Thanks for interest, spread the word--you own the first comment!