Why geeks love The Matrix

I think I've figured out why geeks love The Matrix so much. Sure, it has lots of cool special effects, and sure, it takes place in a computer (ala Tron) but I think there's a little more to the geek love that this movie garnered. I think a lot of geeks really got into the idea that reality (as it was presented by the computers that composed The Matrix) was hackable and those who knew that reality was hackable were able to do incredible things with that reality. What more powerful aphrodisiac is there for curious geeks out there than another system to tinker with? This thought occurred to me because of a personal productivity podcast by Steve Pavlina entitled Overcoming Fear. Fear, as Steve defines it, is a bug in our psyche, because there is no real reason why we fear what we fear; it generally hasn't happened yet, and we can become paralyzed by the thought of "what if". His solution is to try different "programming", and his program of choice was to try a Buddhist perspective, in which reality becomes more like a dream, and in that dreamlike reality one can be more curious about how to react to the situations at hand rather than be controlled by a feeling of inevitability. (I'm grossly oversimplifying the podcast and Buddhism here, so if you are curious, check out the podcast for more information). This struck me as the reason why I think The Matrix was so successful with the geek crowd; because of the curiousity of how far the world as presented by the computer could be hacked. This may have been obvious to some before, but it wasn't so obvious to me until I made the connection. Of course, this may also explain why so many (like myself) were pretty disappointed with the second and third film in the series, regardless of whether or not The Animatrix provided some key insight between the second and third film. Of course the part that REALLY struck me, and made me wish th technology was available today, was the ability to upload new skills directly into the brain. but that's another topic for another day.


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