Why the Matrix is stupid

Why the Matrix is stupid

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This is a discussion on Why the Matrix is stupid within the Book, Music, & Movie Reviews forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; So many people love the Matrix, and will go on about how amazing and thought provoking it is. And, on ...

  1. #1

    Why the Matrix is stupid

    So many people love the Matrix, and will go on about how amazing and thought provoking it is. And, on the latter point at least, they are right. However, the thought that it provoked was more about how utterly ridiculous the whole premise of the film was, more than any thoughts like "OMG, what if we'z in a computer?!?!".

    There a number of key points to the film that are simply so stupid as ruin the entire things for me (feel free to add any that I may miss).

    1. "We scorched the sky"
    What the hell kind of method could possibly be employed to achieve permanent solar-blocking cloud cover? I mean, mass detonation of nuclear weapons could cause a huge amount of airborne particles to block out a lot of light, but what was depicted in the film was clearly madly roiling clouds, that apparently covered the entire planet. Right.

    2. "They turned us into batteries! (to paraphrase)"
    Really? Batteries? How much electricity does a human body produce? Wouldn't there have been more efficient ways of generating electricity? I mean, after the magic cloud show started, the machines somehow managed to build huge structures covered with life support systems and electrical generation systems, not to mention the "fields" where humans were produced, before they ran out of power. Couldn't they have just covered North America in nuclear reactors and called it a day? Waste wouldn't even have been an issue, since they're not alive, I imagine they wouldn't mind, and they probably don't give a shit about ecology. They could have just wiped humans out, why go to such elaborate lengths to imprison billions simply to create a really inefficient power generation system, a huge amount of the power from which would go into maintaining the aforementioned imprisonment. Fuel for the reactors wouldn't necessarily be a problem, since space travel's prohibitive time-frames would be meaningless to unliving machine entities.

    3. What's this whole "the One" business?
    Seriously, this is, other than the battery thing, the other main part of the film's premise. It's just so... stupid. Why would the machines, after having invested so much effort in building this incredibly dumb system, would they allow weird glitches to potentially fuck it up. I know they came up with some sort of bollocks answer later on in the series, but I don't buy it. Oh no, there are intruders in the Matrix, let's send some agents in. Wrong. Just shut off the server for that part of the Matrix and fry the intruder's target in his tank. Intruder's are now vegetables, target is dead, and some story about an asteroid wiping out Sydney could be fed to the "media". Shit, they wouldn't even need to do that, just have an asteroid wipe out Sydney and fry all of the people in their tanks. It's not like they are a finite resource. And anyway, just where does the One's power come from? The Matrix is software (or maybe firmware... whatever, it's a whole lot of programming), so Neo must be using some kind of cracker application hard coded into him. But, the Matrix is this centuries old computer system, and the One phenomenon is old hat, surely that have some quality countermeasures by now.

    I think I may have had more than that, but that's really enough. The whole thing should have ended centuries before it begun, with humanity being wiped out and the earth being an irradiated ball of rock populated by inscrutable sentient machines. In fact, that's what the film should have been: a documentary about this future world, with alien machines scuttling around in the darkness screeching data at each other, going about their strange business. Who wouldn't want to watch 2 hours of that?
    sprinkles, Riy, Beyond_B and 6 others thanked this post.



  2. #2

    You gave three good reasons there.

    Anyway, the Matrix trilogy reminds me of Fight Club, in that people like to quote it / talk about it when they feel like being philosophical, which annoys me because the film's premise is ridiculous (Fight Club annoys me for a whole different reason).

    In fact, that's what the film should have been: a documentary about this future world, with alien machines scuttling around in the darkness screeching data at each other, going about their strange business. Who wouldn't want to watch 2 hours of that?
    Meh, I wouldn't.
    Lady O.W. Bro, MiriMiriAru and Noctis thanked this post.

  3. #3

    Smith made up for it, IMO.
    He's my favorite misanthrope.
    Kaisikudo thanked this post.

  4. #4

    Quote Originally Posted by Capsicum View Post
    You gave three good reasons there.

    Anyway, the Matrix trilogy reminds me of Fight Club, in that people like to quote it / talk about it when they feel like being philosophical, which annoys me because the film's premise is ridiculous (Fight Club annoys me for a whole different reason).
    Fight club bothered me too, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. When the "twist" was revealed, I was like "Oh, OK... that's... odd" and the rest of the film sort of felt kind of pointless.

    Meh, I wouldn't.
    I suppose I wouldn't either. But the idea of it being made is quite funny. For me anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    Smith made up for it, IMO.
    He's my favorite misanthrope.
    Agreed. For the first one at least.

    I felt that Hugo Weaving's acting got progressively more hammy as the series dragged on, not to mentioned the whole "I'll turn you into me" nonsense, until it reached the point where I wanted to fast forward any scene in which he appeared.
    sprinkles thanked this post.

  5. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombie Jesus View Post
    So many people love the Matrix, and will go on about how amazing and thought provoking it is. And, on the latter point at least, they are right. However, the thought that it provoked was more about how utterly ridiculous the whole premise of the film was, more than any thoughts like "OMG, what if we'z in a computer?!?!".

    There a number of key points to the film that are simply so stupid as ruin the entire things for me (feel free to add any that I may miss).

    1. "We scorched the sky"
    What the hell kind of method could possibly be employed to achieve permanent solar-blocking cloud cover? I mean, mass detonation of nuclear weapons could cause a huge amount of airborne particles to block out a lot of light, but what was depicted in the film was clearly madly roiling clouds, that apparently covered the entire planet. Right.

    2. "They turned us into batteries! (to paraphrase)"
    Really? Batteries? How much electricity does a human body produce? Wouldn't there have been more efficient ways of generating electricity? I mean, after the magic cloud show started, the machines somehow managed to build huge structures covered with life support systems and electrical generation systems, not to mention the "fields" where humans were produced, before they ran out of power. Couldn't they have just covered North America in nuclear reactors and called it a day? Waste wouldn't even have been an issue, since they're not alive, I imagine they wouldn't mind, and they probably don't give a shit about ecology. They could have just wiped humans out, why go to such elaborate lengths to imprison billions simply to create a really inefficient power generation system, a huge amount of the power from which would go into maintaining the aforementioned imprisonment. Fuel for the reactors wouldn't necessarily be a problem, since space travel's prohibitive time-frames would be meaningless to unliving machine entities.

    3. What's this whole "the One" business?
    Seriously, this is, other than the battery thing, the other main part of the film's premise. It's just so... stupid. Why would the machines, after having invested so much effort in building this incredibly dumb system, would they allow weird glitches to potentially fuck it up. I know they came up with some sort of bollocks answer later on in the series, but I don't buy it. Oh no, there are intruders in the Matrix, let's send some agents in. Wrong. Just shut off the server for that part of the Matrix and fry the intruder's target in his tank. Intruder's are now vegetables, target is dead, and some story about an asteroid wiping out Sydney could be fed to the "media". Shit, they wouldn't even need to do that, just have an asteroid wipe out Sydney and fry all of the people in their tanks. It's not like they are a finite resource. And anyway, just where does the One's power come from? The Matrix is software (or maybe firmware... whatever, it's a whole lot of programming), so Neo must be using some kind of cracker application hard coded into him. But, the Matrix is this centuries old computer system, and the One phenomenon is old hat, surely that have some quality countermeasures by now.

    I think I may have had more than that, but that's really enough. The whole thing should have ended centuries before it begun, with humanity being wiped out and the earth being an irradiated ball of rock populated by inscrutable sentient machines. In fact, that's what the film should have been: a documentary about this future world, with alien machines scuttling around in the darkness screeching data at each other, going about their strange business. Who wouldn't want to watch 2 hours of that?
    I'll attempt to break this down the best I can
    1) Depending the devastation caused by the nuclear fallout, you have to speculate how long it would really take to get the earth back to homeostasis. Could be hundreds of years, it could be thousands

    2) I'll side with you on this one in that using human beings to generate electricity seems very ineffective, but it may have to do with the fact that we use technology as a slave currently, all it would take is a sentient A.I. to realize that and bam you have one angry hoarde of vengeance seeking machines. Still doubtful since the three laws instilled into A.I. would most likely result in said entity doing anything in its power to meet these demands (think how animals are wired to reproduce) But all in all, probably the biggest inconsistency in the movie

    3) The Architect explained Neo in the second movie, he is a mathematical anomaly that just happened as a result of the matrix's programming. So to say, he was Hope incarnate, if that makes any sense
    Sporadic Aura and Aquamarine thanked this post.

  6. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by busyCHilD View Post
    I'll attempt to break this down the best I can
    1) Depending the devastation caused by the nuclear fallout, you have to speculate how long it would really take to get the earth back to homeostasis. Could be hundreds of years, it could be thousands
    True, but most descriptions of nuclear winter, while they involve airborne particles blocking solar radiation from reaching the surface, do not really suggest the sky would be blocked out completely on a global scale. The amount of explosive force needed to put that much material in the air would likely have ended the war, buy destroying both sides, and everything else besides.

    To give you an idea of what it would take, consider the Tsar Bomba (the largest nuclear device ever made), and Krakatoa. The latter's 1883 eruption is estimated to have been four times more powerful than the former, which was in turn ten times more powerful than the sum of all explosives detonated in WWII and whose seismic shock was still measurable on it bird passage around the earth. The eruption of Krakatoa caused a 1.2 drop in global temperatures for 5 years. It would take four Tsar Bomba's to achieve this. But this would still leave the sky visible. If it takes four 50 Mt nuclear weapons to achieve that, just what would it take to block out the sky for hundreds of years?

    2) I'll side with you on this one in that using human beings to generate electricity seems very ineffective, but it may have to do with the fact that we use technology as a slave currently, all it would take is a sentient A.I. to realize that and bam you have one angry hoarde of vengeance seeking machines. Still doubtful since the three laws instilled into A.I. would most likely result in said entity doing anything in its power to meet these demands (think how animals are wired to reproduce) But all in all, probably the biggest inconsistency in the movie
    Considering it's pretty much the whole point of the movie, it's a pretty fatal inconsistency. Also, considering that there was a war being conducted between the humans and machines, it would seem the three laws were not much in use.

    3) The Architect explained Neo in the second movie, he is a mathematical anomaly that just happened as a result of the matrix's programming. So to say, he was Hope incarnate, if that makes any sense
    Don't buy it. Neo is a human being, not a program. How can he be a programming anomaly? How can he be hope incarnate, incarnated within a computer simulation. That has to be one of the stupidest sounding things I've ever heard (not directed at you, but at the makers of this, what is increasingly apparent to be, piece of idiotic drivel). Really, this ties in with Smith's explanation of the Matrix, and a question that came to mind when I first watched it: why did the machines care if the humans rejected the matrix as reality? How does that help humans, to know? They're still trapped and powerless. Why make a simulation at all? Why not just keep them all in induced comas? Problem solved.
    busyCHilD thanked this post.

  7. #7

    The Movie answers all your questions

    Quote Originally Posted by MiriMiriAru View Post
    So many people love the Matrix, and will go on about how amazing and thought provoking it is. And, on the latter point at least, they are right. However, the thought that it provoked was more about how utterly ridiculous the whole premise of the film was, more than any thoughts like "OMG, what if we'z in a computer?!?!".

    There a number of key points to the film that are simply so stupid as ruin the entire things for me (feel free to add any that I may miss).

    1. "We scorched the sky"
    What the hell kind of method could possibly be employed to achieve permanent solar-blocking cloud cover? I mean, mass detonation of nuclear weapons could cause a huge amount of airborne particles to block out a lot of light, but what was depicted in the film was clearly madly roiling clouds, that apparently covered the entire planet. Right.

    2. "They turned us into batteries! (to paraphrase)"
    Really? Batteries? How much electricity does a human body produce? Wouldn't there have been more efficient ways of generating electricity? I mean, after the magic cloud show started, the machines somehow managed to build huge structures covered with life support systems and electrical generation systems, not to mention the "fields" where humans were produced, before they ran out of power. Couldn't they have just covered North America in nuclear reactors and called it a day? Waste wouldn't even have been an issue, since they're not alive, I imagine they wouldn't mind, and they probably don't give a shit about ecology. They could have just wiped humans out, why go to such elaborate lengths to imprison billions simply to create a really inefficient power generation system, a huge amount of the power from which would go into maintaining the aforementioned imprisonment. Fuel for the reactors wouldn't necessarily be a problem, since space travel's prohibitive time-frames would be meaningless to unliving machine entities.

    3. What's this whole "the One" business?
    Seriously, this is, other than the battery thing, the other main part of the film's premise. It's just so... stupid. Why would the machines, after having invested so much effort in building this incredibly dumb system, would they allow weird glitches to potentially fuck it up. I know they came up with some sort of bollocks answer later on in the series, but I don't buy it. Oh no, there are intruders in the Matrix, let's send some agents in. Wrong. Just shut off the server for that part of the Matrix and fry the intruder's target in his tank. Intruder's are now vegetables, target is dead, and some story about an asteroid wiping out Sydney could be fed to the "media". Shit, they wouldn't even need to do that, just have an asteroid wipe out Sydney and fry all of the people in their tanks. It's not like they are a finite resource. And anyway, just where does the One's power come from? The Matrix is software (or maybe firmware... whatever, it's a whole lot of programming), so Neo must be using some kind of cracker application hard coded into him. But, the Matrix is this centuries old computer system, and the One phenomenon is old hat, surely that have some quality countermeasures by now.

    I think I may have had more than that, but that's really enough. The whole thing should have ended centuries before it begun, with humanity being wiped out and the earth being an irradiated ball of rock populated by inscrutable sentient machines. In fact, that's what the film should have been: a documentary about this future world, with alien machines scuttling around in the darkness screeching data at each other, going about their strange business. Who wouldn't want to watch 2 hours of that?

    1. the sky was scorched because the AI's main energy source was the sun, so by doing this the human though they would gain the upper hand.

    2 The human body generates more bio- electricity than a 120-volt battery and over 25000 B.T.U.'s of body heat. one of the major plots in the movie is humans vs machines so it would make sense that the machines would use humans even if the energy output is minimal. the field where humans were being produced came after not before. with an attitude like yours you could debunk just about every sifi movie or novel ever created why try to find logic in fiction.

    3. have you ever heard of hackers no program is 100% proofed in full there are always loop holes, and if there are glitches its just something the machines missed and again its very funny and odd that you would try to find real life logic in a sifi movie

  8. #8

    There's yet another reason that keeps bugging me.

    It's the fact that life is so much better IN the Matrix, than outside of it. Why do they want to leave? They're choosing between a fairly normal, boring, modern life... and some hellish existence fighting machines and eating gruel. Don't get me wrong, I think the guy who betrayed them later was a jerk... I mean, when you make a promise you should keep it. But I think that they should have stayed in the Matrix and lived their lives out. They could have been so much happier. I think a lot of us would LOVE to spend our time in a computer simulation half as good as the Matrix. Think about how many people enjoy video games or other forms of escapism (like Second Life) now... and imagine how many people would voluntarily join a Matrix like this.

    Also, I feel like Agent Smith is the only profound or interesting character in the whole film, and he's the bad guy. It's sad when the VILLAIN is the only person in the movie you can halfway respect. I mean, on a lot of other series, I love the heroes... but on this one, I can't respect them at all.

    "I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure."

    They never came up with a good response to this, which is a pretty harsh truth. They just kept struggling for their "right to live" on the basis of will and self-righteousness, more or less.
    Noctis thanked this post.

  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by delphi367 View Post
    There's yet another reason that keeps bugging me.

    It's the fact that life is so much better IN the Matrix, than outside of it. Why do they want to leave? They're choosing between a fairly normal, boring, modern life... and some hellish existence fighting machines and eating gruel. Don't get me wrong, I think the guy who betrayed them later was a jerk... I mean, when you make a promise you should keep it. But I think that they should have stayed in the Matrix and lived their lives out. They could have been so much happier. I think a lot of us would LOVE to spend our time in a computer simulation half as good as the Matrix. Think about how many people enjoy video games or other forms of escapism (like Second Life) now... and imagine how many people would voluntarily join a Matrix like this.
    The whole trilogy is a mediation on Free Will. How is our Free Will limited by our environment/perception? How is it limited by our natural abilities? How is it limited by the machinations of people who have gone before us?
    It turns out that Neo's whole adventure is predetermined, only for him to flip this on it's head right at the end.

    Also, I feel like Agent Smith is the only profound or interesting character in the whole film, and he's the bad guy. It's sad when the VILLAIN is the only person in the movie you can halfway respect. I mean, on a lot of other series, I love the heroes... but on this one, I can't respect them at all.

    "I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure."

    They never came up with a good response to this, which is a pretty harsh truth. They just kept struggling for their "right to live" on the basis of will and self-righteousness, more or less.
    It's an example of the appeal-to-nature fallacy. If you need more examples: just cruise the Debates section of this forum.
    Sporadic Aura, Matvey and letter_to_dana thanked this post.

  10. #10

    Apparently the film is based somewhat loosely on Plato's Cave.

    Allegory of the Cave - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The idea is that we're all prisoners chained to a wall (the Matrix) and we cannot see reality, only a projection of reality (shadows upon the wall/the Matrix). To know reality is to become free, which is why people choose to leave the Matrix. They free their mind when they realise their surroundings are not real, and are then able to fully see and recognize objects that are real.

    I imagine it's something to do with enlightenment and being able to see through the things that are designed to blind us and keep us captive. The rest of it is just Hollywood fodder to entertain the masses. :)

    This is just one theory. :)
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