Matrix Resurrected

The second movie that I was willing to risk my life for (year 0, A.C. After COVID) was this one:

The Matrix Resurrections – Sep 9, 2021

The Matrix Resurrections (2021)

I have seen all the previous Matrix movies many, many times:

I love them. I have them and the Animatrix on DVD on my shelf with the other old movies that I want to be able to rewatch again and again. There is little to say about this movie that won’t be a spoiler for the movie itself. I liked it. I felt like the ending of the original three films was a little too pat, the sacrifice of the two main characters at the end of the last movie a little too predictable.

That is what this movie is about. It’s great. Go see it. I’ll be buying this one as soon as it is available for purchase, to go alongside the other installments in the series.

The Matrix Trilogy

The Matrix (1999)

Rewatching this with my son. Such a great intense psychological mind trip. I first saw this with friends from Graeber, Simmons & Cowan, the architecture firm where I worked back when the movie premiered. The same crew that insisted I had to watch Fight Club before I panned it.

They were right about Fight Club and they were right to insist we see this film together as a team. The movie blew my mind. So many tropes were introduced in the movie that have been overused since that time; but when bullet time was first rolled out in this movie, it was something that had never been seen before. So too with other filming techniques that the brothers Wachowski invented while making this movie.

I was most reminded of James Cameron’s ability to recreate the art of filmmaking every time he rolls out a new film while watching the Matrix for the first time. I walked out of that theater a different person than when I went in, something that is only true of the best (or worst) films made. Your run of the mill three star film will not make you look at your batteries in a different light.


The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

I loved the architects speech, towards the end of the film. How he mechanically runs through the predictions of what Neo’s next word, next move will be. His willingness to break the mold and do something different than has been done previously before. Like most middle films, I can’t remember much about this movie aside from that one part that sticks out, and I’m afraid of reminiscing about the other little things that I remember for fear that I am misremembering which movie the scene in question happened in. I liked this movie, but I didn’t like it as much as the average viewer did, given it’s comparative rating on the various websites that rate movies. I also didn’t hate it the third movie as much as the average viewer did.

The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

I was psyched to see this, the last installment of the Matrix Trilogy, and I was not disappointed. I’m sure there will be many who will feel it is fashionable to pan this film with ever more clever zingers, but I am more than happy to accept this film for what it is. The concluding episode in a series of action flicks that happen to contain a message as well.

Revolution, as the word is used in the title of the film, was first used as a defense against charges of insurrection during the war for American independence. We were engaged in a turning or tuning of the rules between those who govern and the governed. A throwing off of an unwanted outside control in favor of self determination, not a simple rebellion. So too do these movies explore (albeit lightly) the nature of control, the meaning of reality, and the purpose of existence, within an action setting. They are not just action movies, mayhem for its own sake.

As action movies with a message, they fulfill their purpose wonderfully.


The Matrix: A (Sovereign) Exploration of Meaning

A friend of mine sent me a link to this. I hate to admit how long it sat languishing in my inbox. This is perhaps the most thought provoking interpretation of modern society and what the systems really mean to the average person that I’ve ever seen.

Stefan Molyneux – Statism is Dead: Part 3 – The Matrix – Nov 24, 2008

It says ‘part 3’ in the title; however, it stands alone quite well.


Stefan Molyneux got himself kicked off of Youtube. He probably deserved it. The video is still available from, if you really feel the need to watch it. It is probably also available directly from Molyneux’s website. I wouldn’t go there myself, Molyneux is part of the sovereign movement and is therefore no longer worthy of notice. I’ve given up on trying to reason with people like him.

I now find his interpretation of the Matrix laughable. The use of the coded word statism is really all you need to know to understand the direction that the host will take you while watching the video and the series of videos it is part of. He is an anarchist and will slam government in general as bad. What the narrative represents is the kind of rabbit hole you can go down when you mistake fiction for reality and then try to write parallels between the two.

While good fiction mimics reality, the two will never occupy the exact same space. 1984 remains a work of fiction no matter how many prescient pieces you can pull out of the book and apply to the here and now.

Want to reduce paranoia? Want to stop being alone and afraid in your mom’s basement? Turn off your computer and go outside. Talk to other people about these disturbing feelings you have. That would be a start.

The Cave Again; or, God is a Couchpotato Geek.

I’m a Matrix fan. If I’m trying to be more accurate I should probably say I was a Matrix fan. If the current re-hash of worn-out philosophical concepts keeps resurfacing I might not be one anymore. A good friend forwarded me a link to yet another philosopher, with yet another theory concerning the unknowability of the realness of life the other day, possibly because he knew of my fondness for the Matrix. There might have been another reason, but frankly I would prefer to think it was because of that.

The link was to a NY Times article, but for those of you who don’t have a login for NYT, you might try this link instead. I find most of these hypotheses so laughable it’s hard to even summon the willpower to counter them, but I think I’ll try, just this once, to summon the requisite energy and present the case that is quite obvious to me.

Always, always, always those philosophers who want to convince us that we cannot control our world or even our own lives will invent some way to explain away the helplessness that we all supposedly feel when faced with cold hard truth. Invariably they will offer up some variation on The Cave (a favorite amongst SF writers) and pretend that none of us can turn around to see the world that really exists; that we cannot know reality.

In this particular instance, Mr. Bostrom offers up the Matrix-like computer simulation as his variation of shadows on the cave wall; a simulation capable of mimicking an entire world of people, clueless as to their existence in a simulation, on some yet to be invented computer system 50 years or so into our future.

As far as predicting the future goes, I’m still waiting for my personal flying car that I was promised by the futurists back in the fifties. I’m not holding my breath, but it doesn’t stop me from wanting one. I don’t think we know what the future holds, can know what the future holds. So it is all fine and good to project current computer trends into the future and suggest that some day we’ll have the computing power to simulate the entire universe just for the purpose of simulating a universe.

This theory of Bostrom’s has quite a few holes in it, as unoriginal as the theory is. To start with, the simulation would not only have to include every person, but every visible bit of matter in the sky. As I said, you would have to simulate the entire universe. Why? It’s quite simple. For the simulation to be flawless, undetectable to the sim or sims residing in it, you would have to plan for every eventuality. Space based telescopes to view distant objects in the universe, for example. Or perhaps electron microscopes for examining the atom, at the other end of the spectrum. True, you could falsify the data for individual sims, but what would be the purpose of creating a sim that interacts with no one and exists only to be lied to about what is real? The satisfaction of deceiving your own creation? A serious investment of time to no real purpose. No, the purpose of running simulations (even in games like The Sims and Simcity) is to discover the results of complex interactions between sims and the effects of external stimuli; in other words, you would need to have several autonomous sims interacting in a world that would be indistinguishable from the real world, which places you squarely back at simulating the entire universe.

Yes, it might be possible some day to create such a complex simulation; but ask yourself, what purpose would it serve to simulate the entire universe? Better to program your sims not to question what lies beyond the window, or above the sky. This would save millions (probably even billions) of terabytes of data, and would radically simplify the simulation, making it potentially possible to program the simulation within a person’s lifespan. This is the other end of the problem that never gets addressed when these sorts of suggestions come up; who or what programs these simulations, and how long it would take. I daresay the programming time to accurately simulate the entire universe down to the individual atoms would roughly equate to the amount of time it has taken the universe to evolve in the first place.

All of that aside, clearly we can and do question what is outside the window, above the blue sky, what matter is made up of, etc.; so we are obviously not in a simulation. And if we are in a simulation programmed by a post-human that simulates the entire universe, how is that post-human distinguishable from god?

In other words, what Mr. Bostrom has created is an overly complex way of saying it’s God’s will. And it’s not much of an original thought when viewed from that perspective.

I think it bears pointing out that in The Cave, Plato allows one of the slaves to escape, because the allegory is an exploration of the interaction between the slave who has been free, and has a heightened understanding of what reality is, and the slaves still imprisoned in the cave. The purpose of the experiment is to explore the interaction between the different beliefs about what is real; and how easily deceived we are when it comes to the subject of belief. Even in the original allegory of the cave, no accommodation is made for the feeding and care of the slaves, or how this care takes place without the slaves becoming wise to the freedom of those who care for them; which would raise questions about the nature of the reality they were confined to. Again, curiosity and exploration would lead to questions that reveal the lie of the shadows; just as the Matrix is revealed to be nothing more than a sham to those willing to question it’s reality.

An allegory should not be taken literally. Plato’s cave questions the reliability of our natural senses, wondering what is hidden behind the limited visible spectrum; a question science has answered to a large extent today. The Matrix questions social interactions of the modern age, hypothesizing that there is a greater force than we realize at work behind the scenes. That the film goes on to literally find us plugged in to a simulation controlled by machines from which there is no escape is not the purpose behind the question. The purpose, in my interpretation, is for us to question what does govern our social interactions; what is the meaning of the endless wars, why is there a driving need to consume? Why should we lead meaningless, faceless lives that we do not believe in? Isn’t it better to throw off the chains and face the unknown, than to stare placidly at the cave wall and accept the musings of the equally clueless slave next to you?

My answer is obviously yes, face the unknown. I can’t speak for you, and your mileage may vary.