Matrix – The Movie – The Question

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Matrix; I learned this word in one of the maths class. I do not remember which class was it; thanks to my short term memory. I learned the concept of rows and columns and whole lot of calculations in matrices. The relation with matrices remained during bachelors of engineering while learning MATLAB. During my masters when I was trying to learn Artificial Intelligence, I really needed it as I struggled with mine, one of the American professor gave seminars on matrix based hardware processors. Latest relation with matrices was through wolfram alpha, the matrix based computational engine. However, one Matrix which is really special, not just to me but to whole lot of others is Matrix (the movie).

Matrix is the probably one movie that I can watch any number of times. In fact I have already watched it a lot. The movie was a really a landmark in graphics technology in its time. At the same time it also challenged intellect of the viewer. I was doing bachelors when the movie was released. I remember watching in 2-3 times to understand what happened behind the mind blowing animations and fight scenes.

Recently, while I was just scrolling through my TV EPG (electronic programme guide), I found it in the schedule. I immediately put in the reminder and waited for it. I thought I could read my novel while matching the movie. However, as the movie started I realized that I did remember the parts which actually set the theme of the movie. All I remember was Morpheus teaching Neo in beginning,  Neo stopping bullets at the end and all the running and chasing in between.

Main concept of the movie, to me, was the illusion of reality. Is it real what we do and feel every day or just a dream. This was actually not new. In some eastern mythologies, it has mentioned that we all  are mere characters in the big play. No body knows who is the producer/director or script of this play; some preferred to call it God. Anyways, this is a big topic in itself. May be I will write about it some other day. But, this time when I watched the movie, I found myself asking why machines needed humans to generate the energy? Definition of Matrix. In the fight between Humans and machines, sky was covered and there was no way for sun rays to penetrate the earth. This created energy problem for machines. Machines realized that humans created a lot energy and found them useful as their power source. Thus they captured all humans and connected to Matrix system as power source. Humans were genetically engineered and no longer were born naturally. To keep the human brain busy they connected to virtual software side of matrix what humans started to believe as the real life. Like any other movie people always find some technical faults in a movie. Matrix was not an exception. However, I was thinking that machines were really powerful, they

  • created a software world where people and agents feels and acts like humans
  • created a way to connect humans to such a complex software
  • build a huge farmland where they put humans in chambers.
  • they developed technology to transform human energy into electric energy
  • they also found someway to supply food/nutrients to humans through those liquid filled chambers.
  • Agents which controls the matrix and ensure things are running fine.
  • They also managed to keep humans for their lifetime in chamber without the need of toilets. This one is really stuck with me. We should able to use this technology for the growing demands of 7 billion people.

With all that fictional stuff made possible, how is it that they could not create the required energy straight from the food/supplements they were giving to humans? If anyone has thought of it or has understood the movie better, please leave a comment. Coming back the main theme of illusion and reality, I do not know, if we will ever find out what is real and what is not. This gets complex when we extend the concept by adding layers of Matrices. e.g. what if the real world shown in movie is also Matrix but one level up. This concept kind of relates to the Hindu Mythological concept of time in relation to Devas and their level of life. Independent of the Real vs Matrix or the level of life in the Matrix, I believe we can still choose to smile and laugh. I am certain these are the attributes that exists in all planes and carry a positive force. Keep Smiling Arundeep

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  1. Sam

    Nice post and interesting observations. I remember my first experience with this movie – which was way after the release of the movie: Neo and Morpheus meeting the first time, in this shabby looking room with only two armchairs next to a small table serving to keep a glass of water – which eventually will not only help him to swallow the red pill to the mere truth, but could also be read as a last act of getting rid of a 'false truth' or 'reality of slavery', at least according to Morpheus. The scene was the most fascinating one for me. It did not only spot the most ancient philosophical questions of the western world (or more generally humankind), it also offered a kind of potential 'other' truth to it: Morpheus revealing the truth about their existence. Beside the questions of what is reality? who am I? Am I really self-determined (or why did I choose the red pill and not the blue one?), I also liked the line of the rabbit hole – just this for itself has a strong mythological meaning: you can picture this as a parallel, hidden universe in various forms; an endless repeating loop; a path into something new and unknown. Fairytales, scientific theories, psychedelic trips, philosophical endlessly discussed and reconsidered questions – the rabbit hole as a metaphor for Matrix is including all these ideas: is Neo entering an unknown universe (yes, according to Morpheus), is Neo about to learn the truth (raising the question whether he is going for a psychedelic trip? -yes, since he had to choose a pill that catapulted him either to the 'reality*' or to the 'reality reality*' / -no, since it was only a means of being able to see (experience?) the truth); scientific theories about other universes, and with this, other forms of live, respectively, are we really just the puppets in a much bigger play??; and finally the core questions of all: who am I? what is real? And last but not least: who is deciding on my existence – is it me, is it my environment, the system who puts me in a scheme and I have to function accordingly, or is it eventually all part of a bigger plan which I am not able to see (due to the blue pill?)

    You see, this movie touched me because of this scene. There is loads of more things to say about this, but I guess this will be an occasion at another time. I think the thought about 'reality' as a construct (and with this a multilayered concept in which multiple factors play their role) is quite 'realistic' and -at least to me- straight forward. In the end, "I do not know, if we will ever find out what is real and what is not" 🙂

    Link to the scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFhn_GUAhGU
    * / **: whatever you think is and was reality, is up to your own understanding of the movie (or of the world?)