All This Week: Minds That Make Us Swoon : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture This week many will buy chocolates, flowers and sappy cards for their loved ones in celebration of Valentine's Day. We here at 13.7, however, are marking the week in a different way. We'll be celebrating intellectual inspiration with posts each day on figures who have influenced our own views.
NPR logo All This Week: Minds That Make Us Swoon

All This Week: Minds That Make Us Swoon
An illustration of a brain as a series of cogs.

In honor of Valentine's Day, we're going to spend this week on 13.7 publishing love letters (really, chaste appreciations) to some of our biggest intellectual crushes.

These are the people our bloggers think you should know about, people who have had a significant influence on their lives and their thinking. As they're published, I'll keep a running list of the posts right here:

I'll kick things off with my own quick nod to a fictional character. She's the unreal combination of brains and brawn from the Ghost in the Shell oeuvre known as "The Major."

A cyborg with the "ghost" of the real human she used to be, The Major could have been just another empty, entertaining action figure, fighting for all that's right in a world full of wrong. What we get with this character, instead, is a guide to the question: What does it mean to be human?

Adventure and intrigue lurk just around every corner for The Major and her team, known as Public Security Section 9. But what makes both Ghost in the Shell and The Major so interesting is the constant questioning of what it means to be human in a world where it is possible to leave your natural body behind to live inside a machine, or even out on the network as an un-embodied ghost.

Let the action, the big guns and cliffhangers, the futuristic world, pull you into the vortex. Once you're there, join The Major as she dives ever deeper into the human question. The answers you find will be your own, but you wouldn't have gotten there without her guiding hand.

Wright Bryan edits 13.7 and is a member of NPR's Social Media Desk. You can keep up with more of what he is thinking on Twitter: @wrightbryan3