Tag Archives: The Matrix

Favorite Truth Altering Moments

Leo DiCaprio wins an Oscar...

Recently I have been thinking a lot about what it means to say something is true, which is a story for another time. In thinking about the idea of truth it made me think about the movies I have seen or stories that I have read where in the end truth seems to be a flexible idea. So here for your consideration are some of my favorite truth altering stories. Continue reading

Science Fiction and Religion – Prophecy, Part 2 (Science Fiction)

So recently I wrote a part 1 about prophecies in fiction – mainly in Fantasy. Prophecy is a frequent plot scheme in Fantasy, playing a big or small part, and generally about the main character and/or the main plot. The prophecies are generally old, and predate the plot itself – often causing the plot, as the villain takes action based on it (like Harry Potter), or else just pointing to our main character as a chosen one.

That all sounds a lot like the Bible, full of prophets and prophecies of the Messiah. And thinking of villains taking action based on the prophecy, I referenced that as well (via the Inhumans) – Herod, killing the babies to try to kill the Messiah. All of which to say is that these prophecies in Fantasy have a strong cultural connection to the Judeo-Christian tradition. We’re rarely following the action of the prophet themselves – which is some of what makes Dominic Deegan so much fun!

In Science Fiction, however, it seems like if there is prophecy – which is rare – you often get to meet the prophet as well. And here, prophecy is less supernatural, and more explained in science – in a quantum way, or a mathematical one. But when it comes to prophecy in Science Fiction, there’s one that stands well above the rest as an example – and which has a lot to say about religion as well. And that’s Dune.

Continue reading

New YouTube Find: Couch Tomato

Movies? Check. Comparative? Check. Short and funny? Check. All elements that make it so that we have been loving the videos from a recent YouTube channel find, Couch Tomato. I think that the channel was recommended by CinemaSins and that’s how we first found it.

I kind of think this one was deliberate…

Each video they give 24 reasons why two movies are the same. A simple enough conceit! It’s sometimes plot, sometimes characters, generally a lot of both. Some are stretches, or all in how you phrase things… but often that just makes you realize that it’s basically the same character just now slightly different.

And having done a bunch of these, there was also a recent one talking about how two movies that you might think were the same weren’t…

We’ve been enjoying Couch Tomato, so hopefully you will too! What do you think about some of the videos or comparisons?

Science Fiction Today – Knowledge

KThroughout history the way we acquire knowledge has grown and evolved. The invention of the printing press gave us the ability to spread knowledge far and wide, increasing how many people have access to knowledge exponentially. With all the new technologies available this access just keeps increasing. In many ways knowledge is power, but it can be used in such interesting ways. It is not just about the acquisition of knowledge, but also about whether knowledge is made available.

There are many times in science fiction stories where the key to a problem is knowledge either being withheld or disseminated. Sometimes the problem comes around because knowledge has been lost over time due to destruction or other world changing events. The loss of knowledge can have such a huge impact for what the future holds.

Access to Knowledge

One of the big things in the future is the potential for greater access to knowledge. With the Internet today we already have access to so much at our fingertips and as technology evolves that access will just increase. The Matrix is a great example of the acquisition of knowledge with ease. Just plug your brain into a machine and suddenly you have the knowledge of that thing. This is seen in other movies as well, but sometimes it comes at the cost of other memories that might already be stored. The idea with that is that there is only so much knowledge a brain can hold.

The other side of access to knowledge is the idea that those in power try to block access to knowledge. They limit what is actually available because they believe it is better for society. A lot of this is seen in tyrannical sort of societies where they limit the knowledge because by limiting knowledge you can hold the citizens down.

Lost Knowledge

The other side to this is what happens to the future when knowledge is lost? When something so catastrophic happens that we loose the knowledge that we have gained over history. Usually the futures presented in these stories are not that pleasant. The world has practically been destroyed and yet there are remnants of the past that can be found all over these worlds. At the same time they will find items or things that came from a time long past and no one has any idea what they are or what they are for. Often the reveal that it is the far future is a big spoiler, so I’ll avoid giving many examples.

One of the ways these stories play out is that someone from the past travels to the future and they think they are in an entirely different place, but then they find something that shows that they are actually far into the future, like in Planet of the Apes. At the same time the biggest thing that can be noticed with this loss is that we tend to repeat the mistakes of the past.

The greatest power that knowledge provides is that of a knowing choice.

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!

Science Fiction Today – Books

BBooks are still such an important part of not only how we get information, but how we get to experience all the various stories that people have to tell. At the same time the way that we read books has changed. The invention of the printing press made such a significant impact on just having access to reading and now we have the ability for anyone to have books.

This has made almost a different issue of the number of books that can be housed in one location. Libraries create a place to be able to borrow books instead of owning, but there is something about owning books that is really nice. Now we have all sorts of e-readers and tablets that can hold hundreds of books at one time and even add the ability to have interactive elements. This is already a huge step forward in how books are created and how we read. The question is how much further can and will this progress go?

No More Books

Now one option that is sometimes seen in science fiction is that there are no more books or at least books have become a rare commodity that only the rich have access to. Some of the problem with the physical books is that the use of paper does use a resource – and if we do not need to use paper to make and read books, then isn’t that better?

One option that you see is that the world begins to exist on a virtual plane. It is no longer about the physical presence, but plugging in and transporting yourself to a digital existence and that is where the books live. The other option is that somehow you can just upload the story into your mind and just know it, like in The Matrix. These all make the physical book an unnecessary luxury.

Digital Books

Now obviously we already have digital books, but that does not mean that this type of books will not have its own advancements. The option here is that maybe instead of a physical device that we carry, we have something under the skin or bracelets that allow us to act like we are holding a book even when we are not. There is no longer a physical screen, but some sort of a projection of a screen that we can see in some way, with Minority Report or Iron Man type interactive displays. Then add on the ability to search, scan, index, and be able to follow events between the various books and we can have a brand new experience for how to read a book.

The big thing is that the likely direction is that the number of physical books that exists in this world is going to be reduced – and more and more of the books will exist in a digital world.

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!