Matrix Shmatrix

Robin Hanson (
Fri, 09 Apr 1999 16:27:40 -0700

OK, all the buzz on this list about the movie "the Matrix" got me to see it. My review: ich.

On the positive side I guess you might say they take the ideas of virtual reality and artificial intelligence seriously. (Then again you might not.) And it had a lot of action & violence (no sex) for folks who like that sort of thing.


On the negative side, humans cloud the skys to take solar energy away from AIs, who then grow humans as energy sources, putting them in a virtual reality to distract them from being eaten?! Special humans born with an ability to hack the AI's operating system better than the AIs?! AIs who have to run and chase things in their virtual reality rather than just deleting the relevant files?! AIs too stupid to out guess spunky humans or to find the hidden human "city" on an Earth run by AIs? A fight for human freedom lead by an all-knowing "oracle" who gives orders and explains little? Pleeaase.

An engrossing cartoon perhaps, but hardly a fruitful basis for thinking about the future. Similar but better movies were Dark City and Total Recall.

Robin Hanson   
RWJF Health Policy Scholar             FAX: 510-643-8614 
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 510-643-1884 after 8/99: Assist. Prof. Economics, George Mason Univ.