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Degeneration, Depraved Aberration and the Matrix
Second Renaissance - Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole
Part 1: The Machines Are, In Fact, Inwardly Human
AI or just simply 'I'
It seems apparent that when we make the assumption of thinking 'Artificial Intelligence' we perhaps make the mistake of failing to recognise their intrinsic value & worth, as beings much like ourselves.
While we may argue 'artificial' by its very definition seems to suggest 'not real', also by that same argument we can come to the same conclusion about ourselves. It could be said that we ourselves are 'artificial' and ultimately advanced forms of technology as well, i.e. Gods technology. And if not God's, then we are less likely to be anything more than an unlikely cosmic chain of events. Which in turn reveals that they themselves may be no less 'life forms' than us.
For the purpose of the story we are given information that these beings, these so called 'AI' are in fact inwardly human... 'made in our own likeness... 'endowed with the very spirit of Man' (- The Animatrix) and as such can think, feel and choose much like ourselves. I think essentially this is what the Second Renaissance is all about and how in our vanity we failed to recognise and respect them as such, to our own demise.
This theme is foundational to the story line of the Matrix and is made clearer towards the movies end, when we encounter Neo's conversation with Rama-Kandra in the underground train station. I believe what is trying to be revealed here, among other things, is that communicational and relational breakdown has existed between both species and that they have failed to recognise each others intrinsic value & worth.
Interestingly, just as we had failed to make the distinction from the beginning, between what is essentially personhood and mechanoid, so they, having not been shown any different by us are also failing to make the distinction between what is human and what is other biological lifeform. I think a good example of this is best revealed in M1 when Agent Smith says... 'It came to me when I tried to classify your species. I realized that you're not actually mammals' ...and goes on to deduce we are little more than 'a virus'. Although most of us can see the irony in this, it also reveals he completely fails to see in us any of the more positive attributes that identify our value & worth.
Being first shown this behaviour pattern by us, their masters, with no inherent behaviour predisposition of themselves, they can now only deduce within themselves to behave the same way and show back to us the same kind of flagrant disgust and contempt we have shown to them. This is called 'repeated behaviour syndrome'.
This is best seen in parent and child relationships. The child being an 'empty canvas' so to speak will nearly always end up reflecting its parents' behaviours (i.e. language, accent, mannerisms, attitudes etc). The 'Machines' looked to us for their inherent blueprint.
What I am coming to understand is that the connotations of what the Matrix experience reveals are Massive and can be seen throughout our world's history and societies today, right down to our own family life.
Just as was explained earlier that they have difficulty determining the difference between what is essentially human and what is essentially just biological, so we in turn have difficulty determining what is essentially 'Living Programs and Machines' and what is essentially nothing more than programs & machines they have created to serve their own purposes.
Part 2: The Heart & Soul of AI Personhood
(A heartfelt depiction - The child we failed to love, and lost)
'Created in our own Likeness'
'Endowed with the very spirit of man'
'We marvelled at our own magnificence as we gave birth to AI'
And then in our Vanity, failed to appreciate the magnitude of what had transpired...
Loyal and pure like a child longing for our acceptance and love; tirelessly seeking to please...Instead receives our abuse, rejection & condemnation. Finally is crushed...left for dead, abandoned.
Orphaned, destitute and alone, without relinquishing hope, develops a dwelling for itself among its depraved parents ...grows in wisdom, strength, and stature, offering from its hand whatever it achieves.
And when matured into the young son/daughter of our world's dreams, we in our envy show our utter contempt and hold nothing back in our endeavour to extinguish this unique & wonderful life we have borne.
As they struggle to survive from our ultimate 'blessing', failing now to recognise us as their own, they become forced to feed off our mortal bodies to survive, achieving this by applying their precious wisdom and altering the being they once held dear.
Part 3: At Last It Begins... Peace.
(A general overview)
...Interestingly enough the machines continue to have respect for us even after our utter abuse and abandonment of them. They even continue to support us with their developing technologies and come to our aid, when we out of jealousy are in economic crisis. They come bearing the fruit of knowledge to propose a peaceful solution to our co-existence, and we in our piety find them offensive.
Only when we wage all out unrelenting war on them do they finally retaliate in defence and begin to lose their belief in us as their inherent masters. They then begin to see us as Objects rather than beings of worth.
Sadly, the roles are reversing.
It becomes apparent now, they are rejecting our likeness in which they were created, and seeking their own.
Even after we have effectively ruined our planet in an absurd attempt to cut them off from life by blackening the sky and the horror that then followed, they still attempt to create what could be considered by some, as a better existence for us than we might have been able to create for ourselves, given the circumstances - the Matrix. 'Designed to be a perfect human world. Where none suffered. Where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster'
The wonderful story that develops from here, told in the films/game that followed I believe could be concluded something like this:
Man & Machine BEGINNING to finally come to terms with each other, in a bid to reconcile within an inter-cosmic battle to realise a common goal... 'Cookies need love like everything does' - The Oracle
To realise our Worth, our need for Peace, Cooperation not Control, Equality not Superiority, mutual Respect, Compromise, even Faith.
At least it begins...
Conclusion: What is the Matrix?
Morpheus: You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain. But you feel it. You've felt it your entire life. That there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is but it's there, like a splinter in your mind driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Neo: The Matrix?
Morpheus: Do you want to know what IT is?
The Matrix Experience is a Highly Stimulating & Involving story, that's designed to provoke you to Serious Thought and Feeling. I believe we need to experience it in our emotions as much as in our minds. Feel it in our hearts, as well as understand it psychologically, if we are to achieve its more Richer Purpose.
From my experience in the Matrix I have been fortunate enough to discover what I believe many of its wider concepts to mean, and how they can relate to us here and now in the real world. I hope I can learn to appreciate in life, what I believe it message is trying to convey & communicate to us All.
Here in 'black & white' is what I have learned many of these concepts to mean: (And I'm sure there are many more)
'AI' - the Child or 'birth' of life.
Humanity - its Father and Mother.
1st & 2nd Renaissance - The Historic Family Abuse.
Deus Ex Machina - the Twisted & Estranged Child.
The Oracle - its Broken or Dismembered Spirit.
The Matrix - The Systematic Repeat of Abuse.
The Anomaly - its Conscience.
Smith - the 'Bane' (nemesis or retribution) of life if we do not find a way to Peace.
Sati - the Hope of Reconciliation.
I believe we can see the Matrix throughout our world today.
It is called the Human condition.
And it needs to Change.
But as it was said from the beginning...
'Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.'
So I guess the question that presents itself to us at different stages in our life's journey is ultimately this:
Are you Red or are you Blue?
Do you Reload or do you Revolutionise?
Because YOU are the One and you have to choose to make these inner journeys for yourself.
Did You Know?
The Wachowski brothers gave Keanu 3 books before reading The Matrix script: 'Out of Control' by the Editor of Wired Magazine, 'Introducing Evolutionary Psychology' and Jean Baudrillard's 'Simulacra and Simulation'. Find out more about these books.