The Matrix predicted how we are trapped in the internet

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User Info: Bearprint

Bearprint
2 years ago#1
Just look at Facebook and various gaming forums... many of the people there have lost or at least weakened their ability to communicate in real life. We are so dependent on TVs and computers and internet and mobile phones and Twitter and whatnot that some are too scared to venture out into real life, I know I have that feeling sometimes. The machines have taken over a large part of our life, and I think it's troubling.

Do you agree?
The Final Fantasy-series (nr. 6-10) will forever hold a place in my heart.

User Info: conduit

conduit
2 years ago#2
Thats certainly one way of looking at it. That TV, videogames, mobile phone technology, internet and social media have had the effect of breaking down our face to face interractions thereby atomizing and dividing people thus making them easier to control. Many psychologists and psychiatrists have written about this phenomenon: a recent publication is 'The Village Effect, Why Face-to Face Matters', by Susan Pinker. She argues that something valuble is lost when interpersonal contact is broken down, that face to face contact is something we need as human beings for our cognitive development and social wellbeing. And of course for people who find it difficult to communicate face to face anyway social interraction is something that needs to be learned and practised often, otherwise social anxiety will increase.

But there is also an opposite effect to all of this, and on the flipside the world of internet and social media allows us to communicate globally with individuals and groups that we could not communicate with before. So it allows people to organise in ways that were not possible before thus creating new potential for the masses to mobilise and make a difference to their world, both locally and globally. We live in a more interconnected world than ever before, and have more information at our disposal than ever before. These can be considered positive tools for the empowernment of individuals.


To me though the Matrix was never literally about machines taking over and dictating our lives, rather the Matrix was a metaphor for our socio-political economy and consumerist societies in general. How the illusion of freedom can be created to keep people under control, how our political systems and belief systems, ideological systems etc, can be instituted to justify and rationalize the stats quo, while discouraging and even penalising those who chose to look beyond the system or try to create alternative modes of living.

In our world of trickle-up economics its fairly obvious now that the economy no longer serves the interest of people, rather people serve the interest of the economy. Corporations, banks and financial institutions have by and large become extractive "machines" (constituting a private economy) feeding off the real economy and the role of individuals is increasingly to generate profit for an elite minority. In this system people are dehumanized and consigned to the role of tools or mere cogs in a machine where their only societal function is generating profit for the interests of private corporations and institutions of power - the power is held by the private economy. And our governments and political leaders don't really have much power anymore, they are merely paid to divert and distract. In a word, the Matrix is about enslavement, and slavery takes many forms.
~we are a part of the process, not instigators of its progress~

User Info: Bearprint

Bearprint
2 years ago#3
Very, very clear and educational post. I guess the internet is both a blessing and a curse, but more of a curse as I see it.

I also think that (to continue your thoughts) it is interesting that you are penalised as a human being for thinking about new solutions to problems. For example, in my country, Denmark, we have a thing called Janteloven that is an unwritten law that tells people that they shouldn't say or show that they are better than others. We have sort of a flat hierarchy with democratic spirits flowing through every conversation and institution, and Danes don't want that broken by leaders, I think. But if we are not allowed to be proud of ourselves, then how can we develop ourselves as individuals and as a nation? How can be get new Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and James Cameron-genius-types if we are penalised for trying something different?

In Denmark, the general opinion is also that we are not allowed to talk about international culture, only Danish culture, and it is a taboo to discuss for example Japanese or American movies and video games, so people do that on the internet instead. That way the machines (internet) have taken over a lot of our need to express ourselves. And we create communities that sometimes get out of hand because it is impossible to control what you can't see. Like, people are never afraid to say something loving or hateful online, but they are in real life.

"People are such social beings that they would rather stand in a bad group than no group."

- Bearprint
The Final Fantasy-series (nr. 6-10) will forever hold a place in my heart.

User Info: lalala_la

lalala_la
2 years ago#4
If we wanted, we could shut these machines down.

User Info: conduit

conduit
2 years ago#5
as long as they don't have the power to shut us down.
~we are a part of the process, not instigators of its progress~
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