Couple of (Deep) Matrix Questions

JUst watched the movie again, getting ready for the sequels.

  1. What is the point of the Matrix? Not the movie, but the program the machines have created for their human slaves. The humans are basically batteries, why do they need to feed them this false Universe? Did i miss some explanation about this?

  2. Is Cypher wrong or right? I actualy sympathize a lot with Cypher’s viewpoint, that what is reality, what difference does it make, ignorance is bliss etc. “Why the hell didn’t I take the red pill?”

You should download the Animatrix film shorts on which answer (or at least touch on) most of these questions. If not, do a quick search for both “matrix” and “animatrix” on the boards that’ll direct you to several dozen thread discussions we’ve had on this.

  1. Yes, humans produce the best/most power when they are relaxed (or something like that)

2). No definitive answer on that one…

No they don’t. If they really wanted to get power out of the humans, they’d be hooked up to hamster wheels.

The truth is that the whole premise is utterly ludicrous. It doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense when it’s examined. Just sticking to the OP, though, no, there’s no need for the Matrix. If I were setting their system up, I’d just sever the humans’ spinal cords, removing all voluntary muscle control. Then the humans could be awake, asleep, angry, happy, whatever, and they couldn’t do anything about it. Of course, that wouldn’t make a good movie. And before someone says that it’s the muscles that produce the power, I’ll just point out that Neo’s muscles were all atrophied when he was rescued.

Watch it for the groovy special effects, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it makes sense, or, worse, is deep and philosophical. The story is just an excuse for the pictures.

Smegs just pissed he got konked on the head trying to bullet dodge things thrown at him but he is right.

Take The Matrix with a grain o salt. Its not canon but then again, its just sci fi

The human “crops” die when their pseudo-reality isn’t what they expect (i.e., misery). That’s why Agent Smith mentions that entire crops were lost when they programmed a paradise for people. Dead people=no bio-batteries.

Or something.

There are several competing theories for the purpose of the matrix. My favorite is the one that says the human rebels have it all wrong. The machines aren’t using them for battery power in any kind of broad sense. If they are it is probably for local use. That is to say that the bodies power the pods or parts of the pods but energy collection is not the primary purpose of the whole setup. Not even close, actually.

The machines recognized the humans as a threat to themselves and the environment that they habitate. Deciding to defend themselves and the earth, they were faced with a decision: kill all of the humans or enslave them. They, being ultimately caring and REAL intelligent beings, decided not to kill them.

Still, humans can’t be running around free because they do things like bring nuclear winters about on the surface of habitable planets. So instead of killing em all, they enslave them and hook them up to a giant simulation. First, they try to give them a perceptual utopia. Considering the circumstances, the machines think this is the most humane thing to do. Turns out that humans HATE the utopia. They don’t believe it or want it. Humans, the silly creatures, crave violence and conflict. So the machines realize what the human’s want and create a new simulation to meet that need.

The bad guys in the Matrix films are actually the humans as the animatrix shorts tend to illustrate. We went about destroying sentient life because it was machine based and began to desire to protect their existence. That new butler that you got ends up not wanting to be destroyed when you get the newest model. The machines fought back and won. Instead of killing their primitive and violent creators / ancestors en masse, they contained them in the pods and delivered them a perceptive reality they seem to want. The machines (pocessing superior intellect) saved themselves and didn’t destroy humanity in the process.

Interestingly, current extropian/transhuman thought predicts the rise of AI which will quickly grow to surpass the intelect of humanity somewhere around the 2030’s. They call this moment in history - when artificial intelligence surpasses the abilities and scope of “natural” intelligence - as The Singularity. What a vastly superior intelligence will do is above our ability to predict. After all, how can a chimp know what a man will do? So all bets are off after the singularity. It becomes impossible to predict. The brightest hope is that they will use their superior intelligence to alleviate human pain, suffering, and death while providing us with a subjective paradise. The clincher is that in the world of the Matrix movies, the humans didn’t want to go willingly. So the humans are forced, but from the view of the machines it is for their own good, and for the good of all intelligent life for that matter.

DaLovin’ Dj

OK DJ, I’m trying to wrap my mind around this…

The Matrix = habitrail

So humans are basically pets - kept happy, but kept nonetheless.

And like the caged bird, humans are always trying to be free.

(OMG - Maya Angelou meets the Wachowski brothers… I gotta lie down.)

Pretty much, or so the theory goes. After all, the history of life is a direct chain. Without the humans the machines never would have existed. Humans are their original creators and therefore, in a way, their ancestors. The machines have feelings (anger, frustration, fear, self preservation at least) so it isn’t much of a stretch to assume that they would be sentimental as well.

Well, if you want your head to spin a little faster, it is possible that the humans wanting to struggle for freedom is a recognized trait. It is possible that the whole resistence and striving for freedom is just a part of the matrix, and when they break out of their pods it is all an illusion (still part of the simulation). The whole point of the simulation may be to allow humans to live out the fantasy of rising up and destroying the machines (which will probably happen in the next two films), over and over again. So they can live out their desires while the machines advance the spread of intelligence through the world and then the Universe. It may also be a test to determine if humanity ever gets to a point where they won’t try to destroy the machines if they were once again allowed to roam freely. Have any of the characters REALLY broken out of the matrix? One can’t be sure of the nature of reality, ever. That seems to be one of the main messages. There are plenty of others.

I love this stuff.

DaLovin’ Dj

Sheesh, I didn’t mean that I believed it, I was answering the OP’s question “Did I miss some explanation…”

  1. Cipher is wrong. There’s more to life than being happy.

The Matrix exists for the good of all sentient beings.

However, Cypher is wrong: Ignorance is bliss only to someone who is happy living a lie.

The point of the matrix is to create a movie plot. Unfortunately, the movie makers asked a question they couldn’t answer, and instead of leaving it open they thought they were smart/clever enough to come up with a viable hypothesis. Intuitor discusses it at some length.

Basically, they’re wasting energy using humans for power since they’ll have to grow food and the vast majority of the energy that goes into growing the food isn’t absorbed by people. Additionally, by adding unnecessary steps they are wasting energy through heat loss.

The matrix itself is also useless: The computers would be much better served wiping out the later evolutionary parts of the brain and leaving the parts that just run the body. That would actually be pretty easy considering the technological sophistication hypothesised (sp?). A non-massive-lobotmy option would be to stimulate the pleasure centers directly. This can already be done, and is done in rats, for example, in experiments. There’s simply no need for the whole matrix exercise.

As a plot device, the matrix is very clever indeed. Much like the contents of Marcellus Wallace’s brief case. The movie would have been much better had they followed Quintentin’s lead and left the point of the matrix a mystery unresolved.

Basically, the movie makers had staked out some really interesting philosophical ground and completely dropped the ball. Instead of a thinking man’s sci-fi movie, they created an extrememly cheesy and poorly done action movie. On a personal note, it is unfortunate that sci-fi fans won’t let this abomination die and demand that it be redone properly.

Is he the guy who sold out his buddies to be let back into the matrix unaware of the outside world? This is a question worthy of some real exploration which the movie makers completely failed to address. Just asking a question doesn’t qualify as a deep discussion. Here’s a quote from Simon Blackburn’s Being Good

Obviously, there has been some heavy work done in this area which the movie makers, IIRC, completely ignore. Instead they leave us to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, so that we must slog through the basics ourselves instead of helping us engage in some enlightened thought.

To me The Matrix highlights very clearly the difference between eye candy and art. Were the movie makers artists, they would have provided the necessary ground work for our ‘around the water cooler discussions’, and they would have done so in a manner that was deft and light-handed. Instead they raise a thousands of years old question and leave it to hang as if they’re some sort of brainiacs for coming up with it. If anybody is wiser for watching that movie, it is purely by accident and not design.

#1) I have my own theory on why the matrix is needed. If the humans in the pods were completely in suspended animation there would be no brain waves, hence no electricty. So the matrix stimulatles there brain with a virtual world to produce electricty. True, there are better ways to produce electricty. However, I just see it as the machines way of getting back at the humans for mistreating them (referring to the first animatrix.)

#2) I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer on that, its purely an individual opinion.

js_africanus, and others who share the sentiment that The Matrix is “an abomination” - does one gaping plot hole really ruin a plot for you? If one aspect of a plot is flawed, does the rest of it come apart? I’m just curious. It’s not true for me, and I think The Matrix actually had a pretty good plot, overall.

Another theory about why the AIs need humans is that human brains are used to “run” the AI’s and their world. Perhaps the infrastructure needed to maintain living humans (wetware?) is sufficiently less complex than hardware.

The squiddies are definitely hardware based but they don’t seem too smart, just soldiers and gurads really. The real AI’s on whose behalf all this is done may be running as some kind of distributed program in X number of human host brains.

That way he humans have to be alive and have some consciousness remaining. Although there’s still no reason not to paralyse them from the neck down.

Batteries indeed…humbug I say.

Morpheus mentions that the machines use the humans’ bioelectricity, which, I suppose, is in scarce supply unless humans actually think. Thus the simulation.

I think he’s right. It wasn’t very nice of him to kill Switch, Apoc and Dozer, and cause the death of Mouse, but his general viewpoint is correct. What’s the point of breaking out of the Matrix? Why not just stay and be happier?

Morpheus is wrong. The machines have discovered a workable fusion and the human body is a relatively poor power source. The battery thing is delusional rebel rhetoric. The matrix is about containment of the human virus. The machines get their power from somewhere else and then graciously allow the humans to live in a world that they want. It may look like that to Morpheus, but it shows a pretty lacking view of science. I’m really hoping they play this angle in the next two films. The whole “nothing is as it seems” riff is going to get thick, I’m sure. Hopefully the rebels are revealed to not be so noble and are most likely working against the greater good.

Agent dalovindj indeed . . . Machine sympathizer.

DaLovin’ Dj

The full saying is: “Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise”

It’s implication is distinctly different from the simplistic, specious maxim: “Ignorance is Bliss”.

Just scritching my pet peeve behind the ears :slight_smile:

Since the plot hole was the basis of the plot, yes. But it was more than that, e.g. dropping the ball philosophically. The whole movie seemed more a vehicle for showing off special effects prowess than to tell a good story, which, IMO, it wasn’t. And while it was technically adroit, the action sequences were just cheesy. Except for setting a new FX benchmark (I don’t know much about FX stuff, so I don’t know if it even did that), I didn’t see anything in the movie to redeem it.

It could have been a good story, etc., but the film makers failed completely.