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The Books: Matrix 'Inspirations'
The Matrix universe created by the Wachowskis is deeply influenced by a wide variety of philosophy, spiritualism, and art. The inspirations are many and varied, and identifying them provides a satisfying challenge to the fans who wish to go deeper into the ideas behind The Matrix. While there are likely countless books that inspired the Wachowskis, many of which we'll never know about, 3 books were mentioned by name in The Matrix Revisited. These three books were given to Keanu Reeves to read before he even got the script.
Written by The Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, Out of Control chronicles the dawn of a new era in which the machines and systems that drive our economy are so complex and autonomous as to be indistinguishable from living things. Kelly demonstrates quite convincingly how the technological is becoming more biological, and that nature is not particularly concerned about efficiency. Out of Control is an accessible and entertaining explanation of why the coming years will probably be the Age of Biology -- particularly evolution and ethology -- and what this will mean to most every aspect of our society.
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Not only was this philosophical text important before making the movie, it was also featured in the first film: this is the book where Neo hides the "product" that he sells to his customer, Choi, in the beginning of The Matrix. Focusing on the concepts of the simulacrum, the copy without an original, and simulation, Baudrillard addresses the concept of mass reproduction and reproducibility. A mass reproduction of something - now what would that have to do with The Matrix?
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Introducing Evolutionary Psychology
Paperback: 176 pages, illustrations
Written by Dylan Evans
Illustrated by Oscar Zarate
Drawing on insights of evolutionary biology and cognitive psychology, as well as anthropology, primatology, and archaeology, evolutionary psychologists are beginning to piece together the first truly scientific account of human nature. This book is an entertaining, accessible read that gives insight into why we behave the way we do, why we make the choices we do, and whether these reasons are buried in our unconscious minds or can be found elsewhere.
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Did You Know?
A reason for the 'sixth' One: In the TV show, 'The Prisoner', which contains similar themes to 'Matrix', the main character who seeks to be free from the hidden system of technological control which imprisons him is called 'No. 6'. But in the final episode, the ever-changing 'No. 2' who answers No. 6's repeated question, 'Who is No. 1?' puts the emphasis where it belongs for the first time: 'YOU ARE, No. 6.' (As opposed to 'You are No 6.') Indeed, No. 6 takes the monkey mask off the figure in the No. 1 chair and sees himself. Like Neo, the Prisoner's answer to his quest for freedom has always been within himself, as the Oracle so often tells Neo. Thus, Neo = No. 6, the sixth No. 1, but really, the first One.
- Suggested by Wes Howard-Brook