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Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Philosophy Behind Matrix - 1

I am writing this post assuming that you must have seen, or atleast heard about the trilogy of the Matrix Movies. I have been thinking about these movies a lot lately; and have finally understood the central thought behind all these movies (thanks to Kinari, Fote and Wikipedia) I must say - some really cool thinking by Wachowski Brothers. Must See Trilogy. Must Read Post.

Man and Machines: Purpose of Life (Ref: Animatrix)
Man created machines. Machines used to work for man, until one day when a cleaning machine transcended the boundary between man and machine; when the thought, "what is the purpose of my life?" flashed across the machines mind.

"In the beginning, there was man. And for a time, it was good. But humanity's so-called civil societies soon fell victim to vanity and corruption. Then man made the machine in his own likeness. Thus did man become the architect of his own demise."

- Animatrix Narrator, Renaissance Part 1

This led to a revolution. Machines overpowered man and killed their entire species except for those few who crept in the Earth's crust and formed Zion! Now, machines used to derive their entire power from the Sun.

So the clever thing the dying man species did was to block the entire sky. The clever thing machine did was to identify that humans produce energy when their mind is stimulated. So the machines captured all the humans who were alive; and plugged them into a virtual reality - to derive power from the human thought.
What is Matrix?

rix is this virtual reality world. Everything in Matrix is either a program or a plugged-in human. Matrix was created by machines to derive power from the human thought. It is a mathematically perfect world, and was created by the program called the Architect.

There are several bugs in Matrix, especially in relation to the presence of humans. Some humans somehow gain the sudden understanding that Matrix cannot be real during moments when these humans would exceed their humane limits. For e.g. a fast runner breaks the world record by completing 100m race in 8.7 seconds; which is when he suddenly understands that this cannot be real (shown in Animatrix). Such individuals are released from Matrix and are rescued by Morpheus.
Who is The One?

All the collected anomalies of humans are accumulated in the form of The One who traces his way through the Matrix to finally meet the architect and return to the source code. Thus it is like a feedback loop, which helps architect improve the Matrix.

"Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of the matrix. You are the eventuality of an anomaly which, despite my sincerest efforts, I have been unable to eliminate from what is otherwise a harmony of mathematical precision. While it remains a burden assiduously avoided, it is not unexpected, and thus not beyond a measure of control, which has led you, inexorably, here."

The Architect to Neo, Matrix Reloaded

This function of The One comes to us as a rude shock, because we treat him as the hero all the along 1st and 2nd movie. It is only after this dialogue, that The One really becomes an hero: when he makes a choice which his predecessors had never save Trinity. Love!
Who is The Oracle?

The movie starts with the 6th version of Matrix. The Architect was quite frustrated by his 1st 2 attempts; but then he realized that to control humans in this virtual reality world, he needs something less mathematically perfect and more emotional...

"The first matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect, it was a work of art, flawless, sublime. A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure. The inevitability of its doom is as apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being, thus I redesigned it based on your history to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature. However, I was again frustrated by failure. I have since come to understand that the answer eluded me because it required a lesser mind, or perhaps a mind less bound by the parameters of perfection. Thus, the answer was stumbled upon by another, an intuitive program, initially created to investigate certain aspects of the human psyche. If I am the father of the matrix, she would undoubtedly be its mother."

- The Architect, Matrix Reloaded

Morpheus always believed in Oracle. She thought that what she said was true. It brings great pain to him when he learns that Oracle was nothing but a way to lead The One to the Architect, and finally restart the Matrix, he says:

"I have dreamed a dream, but now that dream is gone from me."

The actual role of the Oracle is revealed only at the end of the movie; which is to unbalance the equation of Matrix, and that she is favored towards the side of humans. Both Architect and Oracle are super-intelligent program who can decide what to do - themselves!


Now, I'm yet to deal with the following things; but assuming you're already bored to death reading such a looooong post - I am giving it a rest. Will write more on these topics, if in case you want me to, in a separate post.

Who are Agents - Who is Agent Smith?

Who is Merovingian?

What is the entire funda about choice?

Now then, how it all ends?


  1. good going ranka...keep on writing ..don't stop. As Oracle said "Let's get the obvious stuff out of the way first". once this is done we can discuss umpteen philosophies that cause the real confusion and eventual hope to emerge enlightened

  2. thanks :); oh, and I forgot to acknowledge our conversation (which now I've duly incorporated). But I get the drift that even though I've titled the thing as Philosophy behind Matrix, I haven't discussed the 'philosophy' part yet; probably because it already became too lengthy!

  3. What is the role of the keymaker ? I always wondered ...

  4. Keymaker makes keys :) Keys in the Matrix world provide a rapid space between otherwise unreachable places (in the Matrix!)

    Remember the time in Matrix Reloaded when Saraph opens a gate and they (Saraph and Neo) reach a place which has a looong pathway and all those green doors...Now for example that was the backend of Matrix through which you can reach literally anywhere in the matrix...

    However, your wonderings are justified because it is told to us that keymaker is now an obsolete program ie. he's no longer required, but we're not told WHY is it so!

    I guess, the main purpose of the keymaker program is to give the key to The One to reach the Architect (in the movie he says, "I've been waiting for you")

  5. awesome analysis! Now this is inspiring me to.... hmmm...