Friday, July 27, 2012

I proved the Matrix was real once.

This was an actual paper. I wrote it for a real class.
The Morpheatic View Of Reality And How It Validates The Matrix

1. Is The Matrix Reality?

 Morpheus is a freedom fighter, the leader of a band of humans willing to re-enter the Matrix, to attack its programming, to fight and to die in the name of all humanity. They are champions of the right to Reality, the right of humans to live free of the machines. But are they correct in their definition of reality?

 Morpheus and his crew believe that the Matrix is not reality, because they know it to be based within a computer program, their experiences within it easily manufactured and manipulated.

 Neo, newly awakened from his brain-in-a-vat existence, learns to accept this position. Standing in the white space of the Construct, he runs his hands over the back of an old red leather chair and asks, “This... isn't real?”

 “What is real?” Morpheus responds. “How do you define real? If you're talking about your senses, what you feel, taste, smell or see, then all you're talking about are electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”

 Neo is apparently too overwhelmed to bring up the fact that Morpheus has not answered his question, and the message he receives is that no, the chair is not real. When he goes to visit the Oracle, the child in the waiting room tells him that there is no spoon, and by this time Neo believes this so readily that he is able to manipulate the programming of the Matrix in order bend the spoon. He never considers the implications of Morpheus' oblique response, but I think that those implications are important to consider.

 Is the Matrix reality? Are the experiences a person has within them real?

 That line is not drawn by Morpheus himself, but by one of his disciple-like crew, Trinity, when she is forced to beg Cypher for her life and the lives of her shipmates. “The Matrix isn't real!” she says.

 “Oh, I disagree, Trinity,” Cypher responds, neatly and immediately. “I think the Matrix can be more real than this world.” The murder he then commits in order to prove his point only underscores the weakness of Trinity's assertion, and touches upon what would seem to be the blank page in Morpheus' teachings: if the Matrix is not reality, and the Real World is, what makes them so?

 If, according to Morpheus, both places are experienced within the human mind as mere electrical signals, what makes the one reality, and the other only illusion?

 In the absence of a clear answer from Morpheus, I believe that both the Real World and the Matrix are realities, and this can be proved through the character of Agent Smith.

2. The Morpheatic Distinction Between The “Real World” And The Matrix.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Video Portrait of the English Major During the 90s

This video is a pure expression of yours truly's experience growing up in the 90s.

Extremely awkward. More than a little bizarre. And literally about not knowing the words to your own song.

Edit: According to my boss, "I think this video is in some type of strange prison – it’s like disco solitary, except there’s no metal toilet in the corner. People who think prison is cool should watch this video, it will straighten them out."

Friday, July 6, 2012

We are Borg.

I love TEDtalks. My favorite TEDtalk is this one, by Amber Case. I think she, in basic understandable terms that I would never be able to organize myself into, explains the concept of cyborg anthropology and how and why I think humans and technology are so freaking fascinating.

My brain is doing a lot of really fast leaping around lately - I did some training for work on different learning styles and designing classes in such a way that we can appeal to all of them, and it was really interesting to me because I live in this constant state of being really astounded that Stuff Is.

See, I pay attention to a lot of science, but I'm not a scientist. I'm a writer, and an English major, and what I see, hear, think and feel about factual information isn't concrete and data-driven but rather... metaphorical. Abstracted. I assimilate the data to the extent that I am able without a scientific background/really 100% understanding it, and then my brain grabs up the new baby BorgFact and runs, gleefully screaming, to the land of unicorns and dancing iced sugar cookies. "Look what just arrived! Wouldn't it look WONDERFUL with some glitter glue dabbed on all the edges?! Then EVERYONE will love it!"

The unicorns are constantly trying to remind me that not everyone shares my enthusiasm for glitter glue, just like not everyone has dancing iced sugar cookies around the peripheries of their brain. I ignore them. Unicorns don't exist.

So the thing about science and technology for me is that really, at the end of the day, I'm just astonished that things work. I mean, water molecules are bent at right(ish) angles, in such a way that gives water the ability to link up and basically enable all life to have ever even gotten started. What if they had not done that?! It is surely no skin off the universe's nose if life doesn't exist.

So anyways, back to the topic at hand, which is the fact that I don't think anyone - except apparently Amber Case - is thinking about technology the right way. Just because we're not physically grafted to our devices doesn't mean that we're not assimilating them just like the Borg. Anyone who thinks humans and modern technology are separate need only look at the difference between this upcoming generation and the one before them. Humans in the developed world are growing up surrounded by all of these new ways of interfacing with the environment and their own brains. When my mother calls me and asks me how to fix her computer, I'm forced to explain things to such a degree that I'm annoyed. It is not her fault. She doesn't interface like I do; she can't make the intuitive leaps I can, doesn't have the little minute steps totally ingrained and instinctive like I do. I AM a cyborg, because technology has facilitated these connections that would not otherwise exist. I may not literally have robotic parts, but the fact is that technology informs fundamental brain processes for me.

The whole point of this point is that Amber Case is really cool, and you should watch her TEDtalk. Here's the link to it again.

Edit: This post clearly needs a picture. Here is one of the internet.
The Whole Internet