Re: Matrix Shmatrix

Scott Badger (
Tue, 13 Apr 1999 21:46:53 -0500

Mike Lorrey wrote:

"I just saw the movie tonite, just got back in fact. This movie is
powerful stuff, memetically. I left the movie with the most intense sense about the unreality of reality that I've ever had. I've always had this sense in the back of my mind that reality was thus, which would come to the fore after an intense meditation session, or after being on nitrous oxide for a long while at the dentist. Tonite upon the ending of the movie I have had the longest period of this sort of sensation I have ever had (don't worry, no flying happened ;D ). It's been an hour and it is only now starting to subside. No drugs, no stimulants, not even soda."

Tim Bates wrote:

" Rhetorical Question: how many of you tried to slide your hand through a
wall after viewing the movie. Tempting, no?"

Certainly part of the widespread appeal of this film is strongly related to what I suspect is a pervasive attitude across cultures that this reality is somehow a false one. As a child, and occasionally to this day, I also still get that sort of unreal sensation about reality. Of course religion has been spreading this meme for a long time and maybe that's the primary factor. Or is it possible that our dreams have provided us with an experiential basis for suspecting there's some other kind of world. Maybe living in these two worlds all our lives is at the root of it. Maybe that's what makes us so vulnerable to religious memes.

Interestingly enough, my sense of the unrealness of the world actually became heightened after I was exposed to the sciences and learned just how limited my sensory organs were
and how external stimuli were turned into electrical signals which were then interpreted by the brain into a virtual representation of reality. Long before I heard of Transhumanism, I was fascinated with the idea of augmenting my senses in order to get a better picture of what the *real* world looks like.

Now, neuro-scientists and philosophers are increasingly suggesting that the *self* is a sort of user-illusion. Great! Not only is what I'm sensing a distorted perception, but the *I* consciously experiencing the sensing is an illusion. No wonder reality feels a but unreal.