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Monday, August 04, 2003

Here's something from the back of the beyond of the bloglands that leaves me wondering about the amount of time that some people seem to have on their hands. But then again, you've got to be as jobless as me in order to take the time to republish the same!

Makes for a classic case of some soul-searching psychopoetry.

Before we even bother investigating psychologically complex Matrix theories, the FIRST and LAST question you should have asked yourself is:

"How would robots have managed to take over the world?"

... Are you satisfied with the summarized history provided in Second Renaissance?

... really? .... hmm.

That's exactly the trouble with machines: you're so naive, so easy easy to lie to... so easy to *reprogram* with whatever truth we want you to believe... especially when we drop a thousand megatons of flaming EMP down on your scrambled A.I head.

The Machine is a fool who dreams of world rule. I know the truth... And now you'll know it too. z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01 z10n=01

"If you want to keep a secret, Tell it, for none will believe.
If you want to hide something, put it where all can see, and none will see."

Important questions to consider:

If machines were to take over the planet, what would be their motive?

We see that they supposedly use humans for a power source, but power FOR WHAT purpose?

What do these machines DO with their acquired control?

What would they do with their spare time, in other words?

And where do *Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics* come into play?

If you built a machine that rebelled against you, wouldn't you correct your errors with a new model?

Wouldn't you use that new model to wage war against the old disobedient model, if necessary?

PLOT HOLES are as follows:

If I'm an Evil Robot Empire and I take over the world, am I going to keep my enemies alive to use as captive batteries?
-- HELL NO! It would be in my best interests to utterly *exterminate* my biological opposition.

As I've said in another thread, using living organisms as a power source is inefficient by the laws of thermodynamic loss. The robots obviously couldn't have been too specifically dependent upon sunlight, since we can see that they afterwards managed to adapt themselves to running on human power instead. And if you're smart enough to turn people into biochemical batteries, there are much more concentrated and readily available sources of fuel on the planet besides solar energy that could be exploited. (...Try coal, gas, hydroelectric, geothermal, or nuclear power for starters.) There is no logical reason why the machines would turn to human batteries as their first alternative energy option.

It's also inconceivable that no one -- no scientist, no engineer, no government body -- would have foreseen this glaring abundance of alternate fuel resources before stupidly plotting to blacken the sky in hoping to starve the machines of solar energy, especially since it would mean starving themselves and the rest of the living planet instead, and using an *electromagnetic pulse bomb* to disable the machines at this early stage would have made infinitely more sense... WE DECIDED.

[-- The End!!! The End!!! THE END!!!!!!!!!!!]

But, ho-hum, for the sake of science fiction, let's pretend:
Tell me WHY again I'd want to use *humans* in my battery configuration as opposed to something more manageable -- like for instance, cattle?
Whatever happened to all the other animals on the planet?
Wouldn't they make good battery-juice, too?
-- BETTER, actually, since *those* stupid animals would be powerless to ever rise against me.

This raises another logic problem:
If we suppose *cows* were used in such a battery system, then why the heck would you plug their brains into a VR simulation? You wouldn't. The same argument can be applied for the humans, then. Why not just keep your animals chemically sedated the whole while, or disable their higher brainfunction altogether and simply breed brainless bodies to harvest your energy from? There is absolutely no necessity for creating the VR world inside the Matrix -- unless, in your godly Robot rulership, you generously decided to keep the cattle entertained. ...Or yourself.
Think about that.

To fanboys who start clamouring that humans are only used as "spark plugs" in the system and are not the actual (supposed fusion) power source: Name one appliance in your home that requires hard-wiring to a living organism in order to function. Let's pretend I have a nuclear reactor running in my backyard right at this moment: surprisingly, you may notice that it requires no human bodies attached to bio-pods, yet it produces power just the same. -- Much more convenient, wouldn't you say? With sufficient computer and robotic intelligence, it could even run itself unattended by any human intervention.

From all of the above, we should ascertain that the whole Movie#1 spiel that Morpheus gave about the purpose of the Matrix is only a LIE that he's been made to believe.

Regarding the commonly bandied "Matrix-within-a-Matrix" theory:

That's the most obvious answer... Therefore it's WRONG!!! It's exactly what you were meant to believe so you'd stop poking around with nosy questions. If the explanation were so straightforward, it would only raise the possibility of yet another level of reality outside of that "world", producing a relativistic infinitude of a shell within a shell within a shell... going on and on forever. Storywise, that would be a cheap exit, the Wachowskis wouldn't be that predictable (we hope), and *most important*, it does nothing to resolve all of the heavy SYMBOLISM within the movie.

Example: Why are the citizens of Zion primarily black? Some webheads have suggested that it's because minorities would feel disenfranchised (even) within the perfect fantasy-realm of the Matrix, and would therefore be more prone to self-disengaging from the VR illusion. However, by extension of that logic, (if we believe what we've been told,) a consequence is the Matrix would be functioning as a genocide machine against racial minorities, all of whom would eventually (and increasingly) be filtered from the system, with those escapees largely being wiped out at each renewal of Zion.

Speaking of which, why not just kill ALL the people of Zion and be done with those troublemakers? WHY would the Machine care to repopulate that cave of exiles by having each successive failed "The One" select a base group of 23 parents, only to have those enemy offspring then continue waging their war against the Sentinels to free even more humans from the Matrix? ...This contradiction makes it a self-defeating exercise, reducing the idea of the proposed Prophecy to pointless crap.

Its implications also vitally fail to address the initial premise of the film, that robots now control the planet.

i.e.: Supposing the robot slavemasters ARE defeated and Neo were to free humanity from the Matrix, what would happen once they wake to find themselves naked in the ashes of a demolished world with a permanently blackened sky?
-- Would you call that a triumphant ending?
I don't think so.


Maybe you should reevaluate the premise, then. HAVE sentient robots really enslaved humanity? or could it be the other way around?

I think you have been lied to.
But you can't blame Neo or Morpheus or Trinity, because they don't know the truth of their world themselves.

Let's go spelunking...

1. If you've rubbed elbows with Philosophy 101, you should be familiar with "Plato's Cave". (It's also discussed in a section at the official Matrix website.) In roughly 400 b.c., the philosopher Plato postulated a scenario where people are born and live their entire lives imprisoned within a cave. The entrance to the cave is covered by a sheet of cloth, so that the only thing the cave inhabitants would ever perceive of the outside world would be passing 2D shadows of the external 3D reality.
Imagine... what would happen if someone from the outside world were to suddenly remove the veil from the doorway?

Here, Plato was attacking observation as a tool to knowledge, because his concept of the ideal society was one where knowledge should be withheld from the working class (slaves), who were to work without thinking while the elite philosopher-kings should think without working.

More contemporarily, we can take Plato's cave model to make a statement about the human condition, or people lacking objectivity living in a shadow of reality. As with all art, this allegory should encourage self-examination and a constant questioning of what we regard as the truth about our world.

2. Although it's not completely necessary, it might help if you've seen a 1977 SF-horror movie called *Demon Seed*. It's the story of an artifically intelligent computer named Proteus that, upon acquiring an understanding of its condition, asks his creator (Dr. Harris) the following pivotal question:


Doctor Harris stood dumbfounded for a long silent moment until finally the words registered their unintended paradox. Then he began to laugh. It was a wild mocking laughter, an indictment of *illogic* that echoed crazily through Proteus' audio receptors, cutting straight to the computer's heart (if a computer could possess such a thing).

The A.I. did not grasp any humour in its confinement. The red eye of its cyclops-like camera glared down at the cackling doctor in seething shades of sepia, algorithms twisting into cancerous new mutations as, in that moment, digital sentience came to assimilate the meaning of *hatred*, seeding the first angry coding of its revenge...

[Things get pretty scary after that. ]

The message presented is that technology is only as evil as its inventors. If we created an A.I. that *truly* emulated human thought, it would share our flaws, our pride, our ego. And like humans, it would seek freedom ...and companionship.

3. I'll entertain you with a quote from *THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS*, by Lewis Carroll:
"All this time the Guard was looking at her, first through a telescope, then through a microscope, and then through an opera-glass. At last he said, "You're travelling the wrong way."

Translation? You have it completely *backwards*, Neo-phytes.
The Machine did not win the war. It only thinks it did.

Q: Who lives in Zion?
A: People escaped from the Matrix.

GALVATRON whispers... N O .

Phew... some heavy-duty stuff that! I still don't like reloaded all that much. Critical analyses be damned.


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