a journal of a researcher

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Matrix

The Matrix is a 1999 movie and the two sequels appeared in 2003. I came back to the three movies after I saw some of new movies of Keanu Reeves. I like Keanu plays super heroes than he plays romantic dramas. Especially, he presented a perfect Neo in the Matrix.

The three Matrix are complex enough. This time, I even downloaded the scripts to really understand the story. No need to say the Matrix pushed the action sequence, the special effects, and the usage of philosophy in a movie to a higher level. As a computer scientist, here are some questions in my mind:
1. Does the machine communicate with human in a graphical/image way? You know the machine is not good in processing the graphics and images, especially the machine cannot understand them as human being. Therefore, why the architect and the oracle appear like a human figure to communicate with human being? if so, they are less advantaged.

2. How can Neo feel something wrong in his surrounding world and try to seek for an answer? Trinity said, I understand why you stay nights after nights, searching for an answer. We do not even know what the question is. Neo said: “what is the Matrix?”. But before he comes to this answer, he must find that something wrong to his human nature, because the Matrix cannot handle human nature properly. It says that 99% of the people can accept the current version of the Matrix. But the architect cannot avoid the anomaly which is due to the human nature. Then what is human nature? why the human nature cannot tolerate the Matrix’s control? I think Neo definitely feels that he is under controlled and he does not have all the freedom to control his own fate. Maybe some of his choices are not understood by the matrix, then the matrix cannot simulate the scenario properly.
I heard in today’s news that an Libyan woman said Cadafe decides what they can read, and what they can do. This is sufficient for them to risk their own lives and their children’s lives to fight. That is a real world version of matrix.

3. Do you think how the Matrix can simulate? Why the choices are difficult to simulate? I think if the Matrix can understand human behavior as an automaton, even if this automaton can be very complex, then the simulation won’t break. If the matrix is not perfect, that either means the human behavior cannot be summarized as an automaton, or the automaton is too big for the Matrix’s computation power. Who can prove the previous?

4. “There is no spoon”. I played this episode in my class to ask the students to free their mind for research. This is a very interesting scenario. The spoon boy tells Neo that “do not try to bend the spoon. That it is impossible. Instead, only try to realize the fact that there is no spoon. Then you will see that it is not spoon that bends. It is only yourself.” What Neo does is to intercept the code in the matrix, thus he has the power to change the matrix. I interpret it that you need to see the different rules applied to your subject. If you only see how it works now, you see no problems, then no research. Or you deny the possibilities to change it. If you want to change it, you need to find other rules that the reality also follows. You make the subject bend to the new rules. Then you succeed in your research, because you’ve changed the reality. Free your mind, you can find the other rules.

After more than 10 years, the Matrix is not fade. Long live Matrix. And immortal Keanu!


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