More about The Matrix

A.M.

The image I posted shortly after midnight is from christianforums.com and will remind Matrix fans of the final scenes of The Matrix Revolutions. Portrayed is the archangel Michael, who cast Lucifer out of heaven.

I hasten to make clear that I am not a Christian, though I am very interested in spiritual matters. For me the word spiritual has little connection with the word religious. 

From a message I just sent to a few friends:

The site is almost three weeks old, and I've had a wonderful time adding to and changing it. Most of it remains the same, but I like to compose blogposts, and now that I've discovered how to insert images, videos, and audio files in my posts, I will probably be doing more of that. 
Most important, it has taught me many things. I reflect on it throughout the day, and like Neo in The Matrix, I find myself heading toward something important. I guess that thing is Some Perfect Future :-)

P.M.

I just read Ray Kurzweil's response to The Matrix Reloaded and found that I agree with a good portion of his criticism of the film. I too found the many protracted fight scenes tiresome and irrelevant, and the sex scene "gratuitous." And I agree that the story, so strong in The Matrix, languished in the sequel. The following statement by Kurzweil surprised me, though, because it expressed a feeling I had but didn't expect him to:

The Wachowski brothers’ notion of human celebration is also a bit weird as portrayed in the retro rave festivities on Zion to honor the return of the rebels.

That shots of gratuitous sex are interwoven with scenes of the "rave festivities" made me uncomfortable for the duration of the segment. The lovemaking of Neo and Trinity is paralleled by the rapture of the crowd, but neither seemed genuine enough to me to evoke anything but discomfort and bewilderment. Like the long fight scenes, they did not advance or illuminate the story. I am reminded of intimate scenes in two other science-fiction films: The Terminator and Cloud Atlas. In those cases, my reaction was quite different.

Though I agree with Kurzweil on several things and am impressed with his explication of the science in the film, I disagree strongly with his depiction of what he calls the dystopian, Luddite perspective. I find this offensive and, given the logic he prides himself on adhering to, quite illogical. In addition, I find his argument irresponsible to the degree that it simplifies interpretations and polarizes interpreters.

My responses:

  • Kurzweil is using dystopian and Luddite as categorical terms, creating and characterizing a group of people whose ideas and values conflict with his. By reducing their arguments and principles to these terms, he demeans them and turns them into straw men.
  • Morpheus and his comrades have a humanist perspective, and this humanism is their strength, not their weakness. They don't reject artificial intelligence and technology as tools of society. Rather, they reject choices that lead to corruption or erosion of the human spirit, which they regard as the building block of society. 

From New Oxford American Dictionary.