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  #1  
Old 03-18-2002, 04:39 PM
Karallen Karallen is offline
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You think that's air you're breathing?

In the movieThe Matrix , when Morpheus and Neo are
kung-fu fighting (wah-ha!), Morpheus asks Neo
Quote:
You think that's air you're breathing?
. Now, according to the movie, when something happens to you in the Matrix (for example, getting shot, or injured), your "mind makes it real". Morpheus is trying to explain to Neo that the Matrix is nothing but computerized data, so therefore the "air" they are breathing is not real in existance. Does this mean that if the human mind believes that air exists, that a person can breathe in a normally non-breathable place?
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2002, 05:43 PM
Duckster Duckster is online now
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Pssssst!

(It's a movie!!)
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  #3  
Old 03-19-2002, 01:43 AM
Captain Amazing Captain Amazing is offline
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And, in the movie, Neo and Morpheus aren't really "there", either. They're computer constructs.
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Old 03-19-2002, 02:00 AM
Abe Abe is offline
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Re: You think that's air you're breathing?

Hm, maybe a cafe Society question?

Quote:
Originally posted by Karallen
Now, according to the movie, when something happens to you in the Matrix (for example, getting shot, or injured), your "mind makes it real". Morpheus is trying to explain to Neo that the Matrix is nothing but computerized data, so therefore the "air" they are breathing is not real in existance. Does this mean that if the human mind believes that air exists, that a person can breathe in a normally non-breathable place? [/B]
The Matrix is a stylish but flawed movie. One of the flaws is the ridiculous New Age notion (you can't seem to keep the New Age out of films for some reason) that "the mind makes it real", which is nothing more than a grossly inflated fairy placebo effect.

The key concept is that the Matrix is an illusion maintained by computers for humans. If you read one of the very first modern books on this topic, Neuromancer by William Gibson, you will remember it refers to Cyberspace and the Matrix as a "consensual hallucination". In other words it's virtual reality, a form of controlled imaging (dreaming) taken to a level that is well beyond our means to reproduce, which is why it's fiction and, at least in "The Matrix," not very tight fiction at all times.

What it means, to answer your question, is that the Matrix provides an environment for the mind modelled after the real world. Since the mind generates a "residual self image", since a movie without actors would probably not go very far, and since it was set up to work that way, the presence of human consciousness in the matrix is represented by full-fledged human beings. But we are made to understand that such is not the case at all: the rebels inside the Matrix look the way they think they look, and their powers come from recognizing that the matrix is an illusion (heavy religious/spiritual theme right there); it is the human mind that fits and forms patterns aorund itself based on the stimuli the matrix provides.

That's where the breathing comes in. It is normal and autonomic for a human being to breathe, so Neo's mind automatically makes his residual self image breathe inside the matrix, because he is not accustomed to other behaviour. He is not breathing anything at all, rather he thinks he is tired and out of breath because his mind is teling him that he ought to feel tired after physical exertion.

Think about it this way--when you dream that you are running away from some scary presence in a nightmare, and you are panting in exhaustion trying to draw enough breath to escape from the approaching evil while your feet seem to stick to the floor, do you really think that's air you're breathing?

And residual self image is one of the many concepts in the film that can be applied to dreams as well, since it is not uncommon for dreamers to see themselves the way they think they look (the matrix is a dream-world, the rebel leader is called Morpheus after the Greek god of dreams, and the entire movie deliberately smudges the boundaries between the real and the dream).

I said it was a flawed movie, but I think it's still a good movie. You can have a lot of fun with "The Matrix" because it contains a plethora of themes, from the religious to the oneiric. Such considerations as "you think that's air you're breathing" are placed very carefully, as are most other similar details, to make you ask such questions about the movie. At the same time, this is not an inscrutable what-the-heck-is-going-on movie like "Donnie Darko", it's actually a much simpler effort that contains lots of candy such as effects, spectacular fights, cool outfits, etc.
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  #5  
Old 03-19-2002, 08:44 AM
sghoul sghoul is offline
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What Morphius means is that the Neo in the matrix isn't breathing...or doesn't need to. Sure, his REAL body is breathing, and needs to. But the matrix neo doesn't. If Neo could get his mind around it, Neo could "survive" underwater, and would never get tired physically.

But, in theory, the human mind is so used to certain "rules" that it has a hard time getting around those things.
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  #6  
Old 03-20-2002, 11:42 AM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
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Yeah, there are many problems in The Matrix (Why would unplugging kill you? If I yank the cord from my modem I just lose connection. Why don't Agents eliminate most of the access points and posts guards at the few points they need? Knowing it's cyberspace, why don't Neo and the others program in Trek style personal force fields or phasers?) But, overall, I think it's a good film.

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You know guys, I don't trust this Karallen. I think he's just the agent of some strange force.
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  #7  
Old 03-20-2002, 01:13 PM
Whack-a-Mole Whack-a-Mole is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by DocCathode
Yeah, there are many problems in The Matrix (Why would unplugging kill you? If I yank the cord from my modem I just lose connection.
Ok, this is just a movie so some things you just have to go with and not examine too closely. If you do all sorts of stories go flying out the window (most science fiction for one). Still, some of this can be loosely explained...enough so that your mind doesn't have to stumble over a "NO WAY" and ruin the experience.

Unplugging your modem isn't the same as unplugging a person from the Matrix. Your 'mind' is inside the Matrix and has no way to get back to your body. "The body dies without the mind." A bit goofy maybe but not too far a stretch and can be believed within the context of the movie.

Quote:
Why don't Agents eliminate most of the access points and posts guards at the few points they need?
Neo, Morpheus and the rest create their own links into the Matrix. Essentially they hack their way in and do not use existing portals which the computer could indeed block. Except for its squid thingys the Matrix has no way to affect the outside world and cut the line. Still, right at the beginning of the movie the Matrix seems to clue in where the link is and nearly smashes Trinity with a grabage truck. All through the movie it seems to suggest that the Matrix can eventually track where their links are. They are constatntly calling back to the Nebuchanezer(sp?) asking for a link out and then are told by the operator where to go. This leads me to believe they only setup these lines in a very temporary fashion so the Matrix has little time to catch them.

Quote:
Knowing it's cyberspace, why don't Neo and the others program in Trek style personal force fields or phasers?).
This is really a central point to the whole movie. The people outside the Matrix are able to perform superhuman feats within the Matrix. However, the best most of them can do is to bend the 'rules' of ordinary life. The mind is just too locked into what is or is not possible to allow for too much variation. At the end, however, Neo does get it and gains complete control over his surroundings within the Matrix. Force field? Why bother...Neo stops bullets dead in their tracks (at this point Neo is effectively indestructible by anything residing within the Matrix...squid thingys on the outside, however, could still put a world of hurt on him). Phasers? He probably could make one but why bother...they'd have no more effect than bullets do and the Agents could still return every time you killed one. As a final indication of this at the very very end of the movie Neo flies which no one else was able to do.
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