But what do I know? I'm just a twice clicken brown shirt teabaggin tjroll. Right? --PatP

Not now. There are dirty, swaying men at my door. They’re looking for Brian. I need to go deal with that. --Thor

If Joss Wedon was near me, I'd of kicked his ass. --PaulC

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Matrix?

I just finished watching The Matrix Trilogy. Wow. I forgot how badly it sucks. Lemme splain. First movie: awesome. I’ll watch it any time you want. Second movie: ditto. Adds some really interesting stuff to the story and makes it more interesting. Third movie: f*#$ing awful. Every bit as bad as Attack of the Clones, but for somewhat different reasons.

First, let’s begin with the premise of the entire series. Why does the Matrix even exist to begin with? Human beings don’t need to be awake to produce body heat and electricity, which is why the machines need us. So why not do what the Tleilaxu do to their axlotl tanks and chemically lobotomize them to keep them in a vegetative state? For that matter, why bother with human beings at all? Why not use moose? Or whales? Both bigger than humans and therefore produce more heat. Why bother with the crumbs when you can have the feast?

Okay. Setting aside the fact that the Matrix serves no purpose, let’s move on. Neo, as explained by the architect, is the inevitable result of the mathematical process that is the Matrix. That in itself necessitates that Neo is not a real person. He’s a mathematical quantity. He’s a computer program, just like Smith. Coupled with the fact that he retains his superpowers outside of the Matrix, the only logical explanation is: Matrix squared. Matrix within a Matrix.

Again setting aside the fact that the existence of the Matrix makes no sense whatsoever, let’s assume that the purpose of the Matrix is as explained: keep humanity docile. make us believe everything is as it should be. Wouldn’t it be absolutely essential to have a redundancy? Do you really suppose that a machine society would not deal with humanity under the basic principle of “shit happens”? Life is unpredictable, so you need to account for every possible eventuality, including the possibility that the humans you missed in the first place are going to mount a resistance. Or, in this case, since we didn’t miss any, that they will somehow discover what’s going on. So: let them escape. They’ll think they’ve won. Only they haven’t, because they’re still in the over-matrix.

If that’s not the case, how the hell does Neo have superpowers outside the Matrix?

Next: Neo kills Smith, and dies in the process. Exactly what motivates the machines to not destroy Zion? The fact that the made a deal?! Are you f*&%ing kidding me?! You don’t not destroy the one thing that could possibly destroy you because you made a deal with it. Well, maybe a person does, because a person understands things like honor and friendship. Computers don’t have friends. They have “others with whom they interact,” and they don’t do anything just because they said they would. That is completely and utterly ridiculous. They say what they need to say to get their adversaries to do what they want, then strike when they’re weak.

So… I dunno. I just felt the need to vent, and here’s as good a place as any.


  1. yes, the suckage got worse with each movie.

    1) computers need humans for heat to create electricity? I haven't seen the movies in a while, but I glossed over that and replaced it with "computers need human brain energy" for what ever reason. Super weak, but it was the only way that I could make the story work. :D

    2)wiping out the human city, or not. I am "ok" with computers living up to their word, some sort of 4th rule of robotics. Suspension of disbelief and all.

    3)I cant remember, do we end up finding out in the end that there is an uber matrix?

  2. 1) I'm okay with them using body heat for energy. But if that's all they need, why bother keeping us awake?

    2) These machines do not, by any stretch of imagination, follow Asimov's laws. There's a war on, man. They're slaughtering us by the hundreds. They're not there to serve mankind. And these aren't Cylons either. They're not trying to reconcile themselves with their Human creators. They hate us (again, flawed premise) because we refused to acknowledge their sovereignty. We wouldn't let the robot nation ("01") join the UN, and we "killed" their ambassadors to that club, so they declared war on humanity. I guess it's roughly analogous to Skynet. Although, in the strictest sense, Skynet took control of humanity to serve the zeroth law.

    3) No. I held out hope until the last moment, but no. Also, they never explain why Neo has superpowers outside the Matrix.

  3. 1) really? That part of the story bugged me. Wouldn't geothermal be more efficient? And why do we have to have active brains? As you say, we could be comatose and still generate heat.

    2) agreed. BUT, they ARE computers so I choose NOT to anthropomorphize them, just because humans have no honor doesn't mean that aliens and computers have no honor.

    3) Bummer.

  4. 2) I think exactly the opposite is true. Humans are capable of things like honor and mercy. Why would a machine choose to cripple itself with such things? There is only tactics and strategy. You are my enemy and I will do what I must to defeat you. If you deliver yourself into my hands, solve my other largest problem and say "please don't kill me now," I'm gonna f*#$ing kill you. Why would a machine choose mercy?

  5. I never said mercy (but I did say honor which is as bad :D )

    I am saying that "honor" and "mercy" are human emotions. Maybe the computer brain just doesn't lie. Why would it? Why not just say "I am going to kill you." and do it?

    One problem is the unsatisfactory ending. I *think* that there IS an uber matrix AND the computer at the end said "oh, ok, we wont kill you" just to keep Neo happy so that he wouldn't discover the uber matrix.

    Why say "I wont kill you"? What was the motivation? Really, I can't remember.

  6. Because that was the deal. Neo would take care of Smith and the machines wouldn't destroy Zion. Okay fine. But once Neo defeats Smith (dying in the process), what motivation do the machines have to hold up their end of the deal?

    I think you're right. I think there is an uber-matrix and it was just never explained as part of the story. It's the only way the story makes any sense. It's the only way neo can retain his superpowers outside the Matrix, and it's the best rationalization for why the machines stop short of destroying Zion.