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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Forget the red pill, go for the green drink

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C1790797128/E20090804133712

Summing up my thoughts on the Matirix films after a long email conversation

I guess I am in one of those philosopher moods I go through every once in a while. It beats being in a pure funk.

Anyway, I just finished an email conversation with someone looking for more information on technopaganism. There aren't as many websites as there used to be on the subject.

Given my chosen title of NeoWayland and the topic, part of the conversation turned to the Matrix trilogy of films.

Not that it should matter, but I was using the on-line handle of NeoWayland in the old Excite clubs (and later the MSN communities) long before the first film came out.

So what do I think of the films?

First, the character Neo never breaks out of his programing more than a little bit. It's not entirely his fault, he has bad information going into things. For example, that bit where Morpheus tells Neo that the machines use human bodies as batteries? Nonsense, even in the context of the story. Growing and maintaining a human body in a vat would take much more energy that could possibly be harvested. What's more, the energy utilization curve for the machines is far higher than can be accounted for. Flying? Armatures? Electroblasts? Even skipping the possibility of nuclear fuels, there are at least a half-dozen major sources of power revealed in the first film alone (wind, solar, lightning, etc).

That brings us to the second bit. Morpheus doesn't know what the blazes he's talking about. Again, not surprising, but the story plays tricks with us until the last part of the third film. But as long as we buy into Morpheus' explanation, we overlook the obvious.

It's not power that the machines are using, it's processing power. The Matrix runs on stolen dreams.

There's something else that machines need, something that they fear if unleashed. The films never tell us directly, but we can guess because it's the thing that the machines spend the most energy containing in nesting artificial realities. Something that can be "contained" if it breaks out from quarantine. Neo repeats his life again and again because he's the both the trigger and the failsafe.

Now this is just pure speculation on my part, sort of a "this is what I would do if I wrote the story."

Humanity has evolved to something beyond to what the machines can cope with on any level. Neo in body and mind is the last "pre-evolution" stage. He's something more than human as we understand it, but considerably less than what exists as human in that age. Everyone else is at least two steps back from Neo in development.

Even Neo would go through life "asleep," except events in the Matrix (inner artificial reality) and the Zion world (outer artificial reality) are designed to provoke his abilities. Still, Zion is supposed to contain Neo and prevent him from threatening the machines.

Only this time, something changed. That something was what the machines needed. Agent Smith, simultaneously the nemesis and savior of the machines.

The old order couldn't exist with Smith, that was the point. But his adaptive abilities taken from Neo were what the machines needed to rewrite their own reality. And without the threat of Smith, there is no way the machines would have opened themselves to infection by Neo.

Nesting worlds. Nesting stories. Nesting themes.

Still flawed, but all in all a good glimpse and a helluva ride.

Oh, and the green drink in the title of this post?

If Neo had really been awake, he wouldn't have needed the red pill…

Posted: Tue - August 4, 2009 at 01:37 PM

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A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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