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Sunday, 11 April 2010

The Philosophy Behind Matrix - 2

Before we begin - a classic example of rhetoric:
Roland: I thought we just saved the dock.

Lock: EMP knocked out every piece of hardware, and every APU. If I were the machines, I'd send every sentinel I had over here right now. "Saved the dock" Captain?, you just handed it to them on a silver platter!

- Matrix Revolutions

Who are Agents - Who is Agent Smith?

Though we never get a feel of this, Agents are actually there to protect Matrix. I guess this is because we naturally watch the movie from the perspective of humans!

In actuality, Agents are like antivirus programs, protecting the Matrix from Zionites and people who understand that the Matrix is a fake (ref: post 1). Apart from killing the Zionites they also have an important task to find and destroy the programs in Matrix which are no longer useful...

Agents are like super-stud programs: they can move really fast, and can copy themselves on any normal human/program in the Matrix; but are under controls of machines (remember the ear-plugs they wore!). It's literally impossible to destroy them because they can always copy themselves.

However, at the end of 1st movie when Neo realizes that he's The One and dismantles Agent Smith; Agent Smith somehow (I still haven't understood - how? Help needed!) is freed from the control of machines. Smith also gets the ability to copy himself onto literally anyone (including Zionites), through direct physical contact. He thus becomes a virus. By the end of 3rd movie, he copies himself on everyone in the Matrix world - humans and non-humans (including Oracle!)

After he's unplugged his power keeps growing in direct proportion to Neo. Simply put, if Neo's matter then Smith is the antimatter. Together, they balance the equation; and eventually they annihilate each other!

Who is Merovingian?

Merovingian is a program who keeps a track of all the programs running in the Matrix. You can loosely treat him as the windows task manager but o'course with a lot more powers.

"What do all men with power want? More power."

- Oracle, Matrix Reloaded (about Merovingian)

How programs work?

It must be understood that programs are programmed to do things in order to make Matrix as real as possible. For e.g. Merovingian's wife is programmed to crave love which she never gets. However, programs know the word, not the associated emotion: emotions are for humans to know. For e.g. Rama asks Neo that since he loves Trinity - what would he do to save her? Neo says, "anything". Rama says that I too would do just anything to save my daughter Sati from deletion (but because he's programmed to love which tells him that a father should do anything possible to save her daughter from being killed - not because he can feel love!)

Now then, how it all ends?
After The One reaches the Architect, he is given a choice to either return back to the source code; after which he can choose 23 people from the current Zion and rebuild it - or return back to the Matrix which will ultimately lead to the destruction of the entire humanity (as machines will destroy Zion!).

Architect tells Neo that Trinity is going to die irrespective of what Neo does.
Neo says that the machines can't destroy humans because they need them to generate power.

There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept. However, the relevant issue is whether or not you are ready to accept the responsibility for the death of every human being in this world."

- The Architect, Matrix Reloaded
All previous 5 versions of The One return back to the source code, but this time Neo makes an exception. Love! Neo, using his superhuman powers, saves Trinity.

The events now reach a cataclysmic point as the Machines penetrate Zion intending to completely destroy it. In the Matrix world, agent Smith frees himself from the control of machines and learns the ability to not only copy himself on anyone present in Matrix, but also to source himself in the humans.

With things reaching their ultimate end, Neo goes to the Machine world to negotiate.
In my view, this negotiating process has to be one of the inconceivable yet one of the most humane thing shown in the movie.
"The program Smith has grown beyond your control. Soon he will spread through this city, as he spread through the matrix. You cannot stop him. But I can."

- Neo,
Matrix Revolutions Machines agree, and in the ultimate fight -

Neo destroys Smith; and is himself killed. Then there is peace.

The trick was that Oracle allowed Smith to copy himself on her. Then she tricks Smith, giving him false vision that Neo will die on that rock (ref: pic); but when Neo gets up Smith becomes all worked up because he thought Neo was meant to die. Add to this the fact that Smith calls Neo, Neo (he has always called Neo, Mr. Anderson!)
"Wait. I've seen this. I stand here, right here, and I'm supposed to say something. I say, 'Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo.' " [pause] "What? What did I just say?"

- Agent Smith, Matrix Revolutions

Now I am a little confused how it eventually ends. Smith copies himself on to the Neo, but machines give Neo some kind of super charge which kills him. As a result of which Smith dies. My guess is that once Smith copied himself onto Neo - machines again had the access to the source code of Smith, and thus they deleted it. At the very end the Architect agrees that he will give allow those who want to get out of Matrix - to get out of it.

I would end by quoting my favorite lines from the entire movie:

"...the temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose. And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself, although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can't win. It's pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?"

- Smith, Matrix Revolutions

Because I choose to"

- Neo, Matrix Revolutions


  1. Awesome dude...awesome...!
    Exceptional thing is is posted in a blog that says keep life simple and stupid. Really likable.

  2. Ah, well :D. Even a simple and stupid life must have a purpose (and unlike Smith, I don't think that the purpose of the life is to end!)

  3. I dont think the machines have anything to do with Smith's death (this would give them too much power over a situation they are supposed to be afraid of). The bolt of light that seems to go into Neo is the very escence of Smith going into Neo's brain.
    It is much simpler than that, once Smith passes to the other side of the equation they cancel each other and equal 0.
    smith = neo
    0 = neo - smith
    0 = 0

  4. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the logic. But then according to this logic - why did Neo and Smith did not cancel each other when Neo first entered into Smith...?

  5. I think Rama did feel love. Sati is very important to the Oracle, and I believe it is because she recognises that the girl is a program created without prupose and out of love alone. The machines have themselves evolved and are worth saving too.

    The Oracle didn't trick Smith. He saw as far as she could see herself. The "sight" that she and Neo share (and Merv desperately wants) allows them to see the future but only as far as they can understand. The Oracle must have come to understanding a choice she made at that moment in the crater, showing Smith further forward and his own demise. That is why he suddenly becomes afraid.

  6. Neo and Smith did not cancel each other out in the original Matrix because when Neo entered Smith he and Smith were still two separate entities. Neo was able to enter him because he was starting to realize his power as the One. However, during this process, a portion of Neo's essence was copied onto Smith, giving him the power to separate himself from the machines. Essentially, Neo's essence in Smith made him the Anti-Neo. Therefore, in the second interchange they are no longer separate entities. Smith is now Neo's opposite (due to his perversion of Neo's essence in him) and when Smith enters Neo they cancel each other out.

  7. @Anonymous - Yes, I remember Oracle saying that she could see only as far as she can understand her choice. So your analogy seems to make more sense, but what about Smith calling Neo, Neo?

    @Fairprincess - Neo Smith opposites, antimatter annihilate each other; but what was up with the super charge? Did machine have any final role to play in their annihilation?

  8. I set up a huge website devoted to explaining the Matrix as best I could. You can get more answers from Enjoy!

  9. Those are my favourite lines too :)