27/06/2016

The Matrix - Is It All Really That Bad?

Thoughts On: The Matrix Trilogy

Neo, The One, must be found and put to power to free the human race from robot enslavement.

    

This isn't a talk about specifics inside the universe of The Matrix. We're going to be looking at the trilogy as a whole and on a surface level. That means all we're really taking into account is this image:


This all started with a talk on Joe Rogan's podcast with Russell Brand on material ideas. (Link here). In summation, the two talk about the human need for things. A lot of the stuff we do are driven off of a hope for something we can hold in our hand and marvel at. A great and very obvious example would be money. We live lives where we work so we don't have to work so that we can go on living. A confusing sentence, but that's the point. What exactly are we doing? That is the question at hand here. To get into this, the simplest thing I can do is unpack these ideas...

  

  

  

What side are you on? Can money buy happiness? Does that matter? Is there a side? The truth here comes down to a fundamental question. The reason why there is seemingly a debate to be had here is because we are dealing with concepts that are displaced copies of a simpler question. What we have here is a concept of happiness vs. a concept of road to feeling better. What you really need to ask is, what does the brain want? When asking that you realise that both sides of the argument are dealing with the same problem. Why are our brains never satisfied?


This is the mind in respect to success. Success is like perfection. Perfection is an idea that is designed to be perpetual. What I'm talking about is an idea of infinity, of that GODDAMN STAIRCASE...


... whew... relax. Perfection and success in respect to humanity is that darkness at the top of the screen Mario sprints hopelessly for. It's the epitome of ambiguity. There's always going to be one more dollar to earn, one more foot to run, jump, climb, push, there's always going to be better. What does this mean?


In respect to infinity, in respect to infinity's manifestations such as perfection and absolute success, you have a scale. Infinite failure would be A. Infinite success would be C. You are always going to be B. No matter what you do, no matter how much money you make, how many girls you bang, how many fans you have, you could have infinitely more and infinitely less. You are always going to be a midpoint. That means that success is kind of redundant. That, at the same time, means it is truly the great equaliser. But, hold on. There's faults. How can you have -100 fans? Well, you could argue that 100 haters are minuses. But, how can you have an infinite amount of them? Well.. you can't. There's only seven billion odd of us on this planet. And here we come to the crux of the issue at hand. Reality. Our perception of the world is reliant on finite observations - money, people, possessions. However, we think in terms of infinite concepts - love, happiness, success. These concepts of quantification, numbers, perfection are there to act as incentive, to keep us going. But, only toward the epitomal ambiguity that is that darkness at the top of that very distracting GIF up above. It's the fact that you can stare at the GIF, or it can distract, disturb, annoy, fascinate you, that is the real and tangible problem in living with consciousness. It's the conflict between conceptual infinites and literal finites that kills us on a mental and emotional level as a species. The only hope is to...


Easier said than done though, right? In fact, despite my love for Disney and my respect for this message, it's... um... kinda not that helpful. What would help then? What would be the concrete solution to the conflict we have outlined? This is what brings us back to the very beginning of this essay and Joe Rogan's podcast. The end questions in the clip are all centred on - how do you live with a material want, yet emotional longing? How, in my words, do you combat finites and infinites? Well, the answer is simple and it's given to us with Elsa's Let It Go. The message here is for us to change. However, we don't want to do this. It's just too hard. So, instead, why don't we change reality? A great question and, um, yeah, we kind of already do...




What you have here is the evolution of man's imagination. Moreover, here we have the process by which we are materialising imagination. Creating our own realities. The main critique of all of these formats throughout history is that it disconnects people. I argue that this is the point of life. This is the future. To be happy we need to disconnect ourselves from reality, we need to relinquish our bodies from the oppressive idea of physics, of boundaries, of finites. How do we do this? Well, we create a computer simulation of our world without physics or boundaries. And that's where I get the: DING!!!! The Matrix! I have to do an essay on The Matrix!

But, hold on... the matrix is bad... why?

From the very first time I ever watched The Matrix I have loved it - the first one especially (obviously). But, at the same time, there's always been something deep within in me that sensed something is just a little off. There's always been something holding me back from completely loving this film. And it's recently, just before this essay, that I figured out what is wrong with The Matrix as a trilogy. It says there is a problem and it pretends to have the solution when it really doesn't. The true problem never discussed explicitly in The Matrix is what we have been going on about - about happiness, reality and fantasy. Now, science fiction writers always like to create amazing worlds that are in actual fact (under their interpretation) very problematic. This has always pissed me off just a little bit. It's a very pessimistic look at life and at society. The Matrix and Terminator have always been staples of this for me. What we have in both films is the solution to our problems. We have artificial intelligence and we have artificial reality. Both of these things, I believe, are in our future - and maybe closer than we think. Moreover, both of these things combined are how we create a utopia. A.I, an intelligence that exponentially and constantly gets better, updates itself, progresses at rates millions, trillions of times greater than humans could, should belong to reality. A.I should rule the Earth. What humans should create (with their help maybe) is a programme just like the matrix that is without physical law, without boundaries, without fault. We could all be The One. We could all even be given our own realities. We could all be given our own personal utopias. The perfect illusion. The scary aspect of this is the transition, is the fear of 'what if it went wrong?'. You know what? That fear is perfectly rational. But, should it stop us from trying?

Ok, so, let's bring this right back to the film and why it is fundamentally stupid. The machines that rule reality plug humans into their own realities with the condition that they be used to fuel their world. That doesn't sound like a bad deal, right? The real 'problem' here is that the fantasy that we are given is just a copy of our reality. So, the humans in The Matrix are given a non-profit deal. What they (Morpheus, Trinity, Neo) want is control over everything, when in reality people have no true free will. (More on this here). So, what does this come back to? MATERIAL IDEAS. Morpheus and so on fight for control over an incontrollable situation (reality) because... reasons. They do it to have that something tangible in their hand. And what exactly have they done? They put us right back into the shithole we live in now. This is why humans are the bad guys in the end. It's not even that the robots or even that Mr. Smith are the good guys. People are just stupid and irrational. We fuck ourselves in the ass because... reasons. This is the true mind-fuck of The Matrix. This is the true paradox. This is exactly why there are so many versions of the matrix. Everything starts over and over and over because people don't know what they want in this world. Actually, no, we do, I just told you. We want our own reality so there is no conflict between infinites and finites. WHY AREN'T WE WORKING TOWARDS THIS!?!?!?!?

... whew... deep breath... we are. Despite what The Matrix, what Terminator, what sci-fi writers and directors try to tell us, the internet is a thing, just like books, blogs, gaming, iPhones and a myriad of other things are. Our future is merely accepting this is where we are headed. We just have to...


... FUCK!!! That's the hardest thing of all to do, right? Sigh... the solution is never clear with us people, I'll tell you that. All I can hope is that letting it go can be made easier with a little bit of introspection, with the analysis of the problem at hand, the problem we just ran through. So, um, tell me... now you know, will you take the...


... red pill or blue pill? Oh... fuck... I just can't win today. We want to be in the matrix, not escape it. Fuck it. The truth is, that this is all a waiting game. The majority of us just have to sit back and wait for the revolution to happen. Those who are smarter than us will have already let it go, will create the A.I, hopefully won't fuck it up, and we'll all be in our utopia. In the mean while, I've reference it enough times, and I know you're probably humming it right now, so, just sit back, relax and listen...






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