Reader arguments

Version: 1.0

Updated: 09 June 2003

[ Essays collection | Matrix: Reloaded Explained ]

As I mentioned on the "comments" page, the email I received fell into one of four basic categories:

The mail on this page includes some of the first-of-its-kind (friendly) arguments I had with readers -- about 99% of all arguments were repeats of the ones below. I won't have any of these arguments again, but I'm glad people are challenging what I have to say. I'm not that smart.

Astute readers will note that some of these are recycled from the old version of the "comments" page. I have rephrased them all to be more about my response than about the original message. This is my soapbox, after all.

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Matrix-in-Matrix (plus Cypher?)

[ BT: This is a very typical example of the two-Matrix arguments that I recieved a lot of. I will probably include more below, because I end up coming to some new realizations. ]

Subject: Re: Your Matrix reloaded thoughts.
From: Brian Takle <>
Date: Sat, 24 May 2003 09:54:57 -0700
To: Sejama Wintrawl (obfuscated)

Thanks for the questions. My answers below...

Sejama Wintrawl (obfuscated) wrote:

> In your next interation, if you reject the matrix in matrix concept. You
> never seem to say why you think its wrong....
I believe that theory is wrong because it requires that we disregard substantial portions of both the first and the second film. If the "lesson" of the second movie is that the real world isn't real -- that all the main characters are inside a second Matrix -- then the first movie was a complete phony. Not only was it a lie, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the story! Likewise, much of the second movie also had nothing to do with the story except. The only possible function of the first movie and the first 2/3 of the second movie would be the deceive the audience in a long, tedious fashion before the film-makers got to the telling of the actual story.

If it's all fake, what is the point of anything that happened before that scene in the ruined tunnels where Neo EMPs the sentinels?

> Explain why the machines know the exact number of people in zion, if they
> here in the "real world" they could not know that
Why couldn't the machines know how populous Zion is? I doubt the number of inhabitants is precisely 250,000. That's got to be a general number (I strongly suspect it is supposed to be similar to the number 240,000, which has Biblical significance in Revelations). But either way, the Architect accepts the existence of Zion as a place for people who "reject the Matrix" -- although the Architect doesn't really "get" this, and just thinks it's a compatibility problem. The Architect also likes to destroy Zion when it gets too big, and so it seems likely to me that he would design mechanisms to monitor its population. This doesn't require Zion to be in the Matrix.

> also the Arcitect asked
> neo to select people from Zion, to be saved to found the new Zion. How
> does he know that information without controlling zion?
Actually, he asks Neo to choose people from inside the Matrix. All of the inhabitants of Zion will be exterminated and 23 new Matrix denizens awoken to take their place.

> Is infact cypher an exile program wanting to get back into the matrix,
> explaining the wish to betray man kind?
Cypher is a human being. He was awakened from the Matrix by Morpheus. After spending some time in the real world, he decided it sucked, and he wanted to be plugged back into the Matrix. Symbolically, Cypher is supposed to make us think of Judas, and therefore highten the Neo = Christ imagery that is so prevalent in the first film. As a character, his motives are simply selfish -- he wants to be reassimilated, that's all, and he will do whatever it takes to get his wish.

The Architect says "Please"

[ Note: What became extremely common was for people to email me insisting Persephone was the Mother. I had this argument dozens of times. This is my definitive response. ]

Subject: Re: Regarding the Oracle
From: Brian Takle <>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 2003 22:48:01 -0700
To: Kacher Borja (obfuscated)

From a story perspective, the Architect's chamber is a place of revelation for Neo (and for the audience as well). If he is all confused and has the facts wrong, then it is not a place of revelation, and the entire scene is worthless. That's not Wachowski style. At worst, the Architect would have corrected Neo if the "right answer" was Persephone. Otherwise, we're not learning anything and neither is Neo. So I think it must be that the Oracle is the right answer, but the Architect is sneering at the fact that Neo calls her an "Oracle."


Kacher Borja (obfuscated) wrote:

> Well give me your feedback to why you think the Oracle?
> For some reason, I just don't like the way the architect reacts to Neo's
> suggestion of the Oracle (its a very sarcastic tone). And indeed...
> Persephone seems to me a program who was created to study 'love' if you
> will, this is why she asks Neo to kiss her because she wants to understand
> it.
> Though I think you enlightened me to the point that the revolution is going
> to be the coming of machine and man into one (neo and smith).

The Matrix-in-Matrix theory revisited

Subject: Re: matrix within matrix
From: Brian Takle <>
Date: Sun, 01 Jun 2003 10:29:32 -0700
To: Ernest van Erlichner (obfuscated)

Thanks for writing and challenging my arguments! Here's my counterargument:

If Zion is still in the Matrix, then there are problems with the story. Suppose it is in the Matrix. The function of the Matrix is to keep the human minds busy while their bodies generate electricity. Therefore, everyone in Zion is still fulfilling their function from the machines' perspective. So why do the machines fight the Zionites? Perhaps those combats were staged (i.e., fake) to keep the humans busy and give them something to believe in.

But here is an extremely basic problem: Why do the machines reveal themselves in the Zion program at all? The machines could have given the humans something else to do in Zion. It is extremely foolish for the machines to give the humans any information about reality at all. That leads me to believe (if Zion is in the Matrix) that the machines are also fake, and someone heretofore unseen is actually in control of the Matrix. This is why I call it the "liar" theory -- 100% of both movies so far have been false. From a textual criticism standpoint, however, this theory has to be rejected because there has been no evidence whatsoever that the machines are not in control of the Matrix. (That is, like science, if there's nothing to observe then you can't make a theory about it.)


Ernest van Erlichner (obfuscated) wrote:

> Hi,
> Just saw the matrix reloaded, and read your 'thesis'. How do you explain all previous
> Neo's look exactly the same? If they are 'real' how do the machines keep coming up with
> the same body (cloning?). Then there is Neo sensing the sentinels at the end, agent smith
> (bane) in Zion, and the overall timeframe. The only explanation I can think of is that
> Zion is still within the matrix

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