Saturday, July 19, 2003

matrix-metrics dept.

Well, you could argue that the appearance of the Matrix movies (and all the related merchandise, games, books, anime) is a watershed in the history of human consciousness. Before the matrix, skeptical thinking about the human condition (are we real? do we exist? what is existence? And is that real?) was restricted only to an elite number of gifted individuals. Individuals who could alienate themselves from their environment and speculate about these problems.

It is really impossible to appreciate the loneliness and heartache of the first human being who stared at the moon and said, "Is that real, or is it a construct devised to delude me?". Just think what estrangement and alienation this thought imposes on that human being. He can no longer trust any consciousness but his own. He has burned his bridges. And only the darkness of doubt surrounds him.

No wonder, then, that our first instinct, as we rose slowly through the haze of consciousness, was to create a higher order of intelligence above us, and entrust the answers and their consequences to Him.

And why is the Matrix a momentous occasion?

For the first time, in the history of humanity, its most basic problem (no, not food, not sex, not power) -- existence -- has been given centerstage. And it has been communicated in a language and a medium that is accessible to the wide majority of human beings.

The solitude and fear that went with skepticism has been destroyed.

I know I can't trust what I see, but I see so much that tries to explain this haziness, that it does not scare me away from thinking about it.

Just stating the obvious, but sometimes, the obvious needs to be explicitly stated.

No wonder the Matrix was banned in Egypt; it is dangerous, seditious, disruptive.

I can think of only one previous work of literature that provided such a lucid and accessible explanation for a really, really hard problem. It was called the Bible.