A thought-provoking little video from the team at THUNK, a video podcast series devoted to science and philosophy.
I wasn’t that crazy about The Matrix, honestly, but I freely admit that I probably wasn’t who the Wachowski siblings had in mind when they made the movie: I was in my mid-twenties when it came out and was already familiar with the philosophical conundrums with which Neo and gang were wrestling. When I heard Morpheus say “Free your mind” it probably didn’t help that all I could think in response was “…and your ass will follow!” – Thanks, Funkadelic. I do think that the movie was a fantastic way to get a lot of kids to start questioning things, thought, and you look at it that way, The Matrix itself was a major Red Pill.
Regardless of my feelings about the film as a whole, I’ve often considered Cypher’s choice, myself: For all he or anyone else knows, the war being waged by Neo and friends is another illusion, and not a very enjoyable one at that. The best any of the warriors can hope for is to throw off the yoke of the machines and stake a claim for what’s left of the radiation-blasted, polluted Earth.
My choice is between coughing up blood and pulling metal shards out of my feet every time I go out to fight for the last botulinum-swollen can of cat food for the rest of my short, miserable existence, or a rock star life of pure pleasure and fulfillment that is indistinguishable from the reality I won’t remember anyway and can’t be sure isn’t another, crappier illusion? Hmmm…. Pass me that steak.