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If the words on the cover interest you at all, this is well worth the time It is an excellent foray into the world of The Matrix While it is certainly a little dated, and it would be nice to see an updated version including the sequels, it remains a fantastic read which may teach you than you imagined Just for one example, included inside is one of the most concise and illuminating descriptions of Buddhism I ve ever read Some people discount The Matrix as Hollywood balderdash Well, there s an essay on that too Most views are represented here take a look The star rating is slightly biased as I am a big fan of The Matrix myself WARNING LOTS OF SPOILERS BELOW Here is a breakdown by essay, with a very brief summation and editorial 1 What is the Matrix Read Mercer Schuchardt Acts as a large introduction to the essays that follow and frequently references contemporary pop culture, Marshall McLuhan, William Gibson and other Matrix related thinkers and influences Really highlights some basic parallels between our world and the Matrix, focusing on the power of media and positing that technology controls us that The Matrix has us eg on pages 20 21 2 Was Cypher Right Part 1 Why We Stay in Our Matrix Robin Hanson Champions the selfish gene argument and posits that we are all slaves to our DNA A strong, often depressing argument for genes dominating us and the therefore even pronounced pointlessness of our existence3 Was Cypher Right Part 2 The Nature of Reality and Why it Matters Lyle Zynda This essay examines what the nature of reality is What is really real and how do we know Makes you wonder if we are in the Matrix right now Also analyzes Cypher s choice Would you stay in the Matrix Should you we Very thought provoking, like the previous essay.4 Artificial Intelligence, Science Fiction and The Matrix Robert J Sawyer This is an odd essay It mostly consists of rambling on about various science fiction ancestors of The Matrix, although the author s view of HAL from 2001 Space Odyssey completely messed with my mind Also attacks using humans as batteries and makes the case for literal cattle instead 5 The Reality Paradox in The Matrix James Gunn Not terribly great, rambling look at perceptions of reality in science fiction It s a skimmer.6 The Matrix Paradigm of Postmodernism or Intellectual Poseur Dino Felluga This essay explains how The Matrix relates to Baudrillard s theories and his book, Simulacra and Simulation This includes suggesting that we don t live in an artificial world, because we ve gone beyond the ability to even determine artificiality from reality Heavy stuff Posits postmodernist views that there is no escape from ideology because language itself is ideological One powerful quote Disneyland is presented as imaginary to make us believe the rest is real In this view, reality is finally encountered only while you are breathing your last and facing death itself Like I said, heavy stuff It also examines whether or not The Matrix was an attempt to wake people up, or just Hollywood BS, and if that is even possible 7 The Matrix Paradigm of Postmodernism or Intellectual Poseur, Part II Andrew Gordon In this essay, Gordon argues that Baudrillard s theories aren t even really relevant to The Matrix because they didn t consider computers and the internet age It then presents a weak list of popular culture films and elements which may have influenced The Matrix, examines it in the context of the standard Joseph Campbell hero mythology, and concludes, weakly, suggesting The Matrix s intellectual component is overshadowed by its special effects, which is obvious and did not require an essay to point out.8 Glitches in The Matrix and How to Fix Them Peter B Lloyd This is a fantastically interesting scientific essay which examines what appear to be blatant logical and scientific flaws in The Matrix and proves them to be both logical and scientifically possible at some point It is presented in a clear and unbiased fashion, pointing out other instances when The Matrix is indeed flawed in its science, such as using humans as a source of bio electricity instead of a logical parallel computing source Lloyd even presents a detailed and stimulating argument on the nature of consciousness in The Matrix, such as the classical can machines be conscious argument, although his conclusion on this subject is ha quite debatable and hurts for not considering, or being able to consider, events in The Matrix s sequels 9 Buddhism, Mythology and The Matrix James L Ford Ford begins his piece with a wonderful basic explanation of Buddhism one of the best I ve ever seen in fact as well as explanations for the sects of Buddhism most pertinent to The Matrix The ideas presented really gave me pause, and had me thinking like a Buddhist The second part of the article is less interesting, and or less lists perceived instances of Buddhism in The Matrix 10 Human Freedom and the Red Pill Peter J Boettke This is a sham of an essay Complete false advertising It begins with an interesting analysis of human freedom and the beautiful, classic, cave analogy of Plato in relation to The Matrix , before illogically descending into a Neo Liberal diatribe against liberals, communists, anarchists and everyone and thing not pro free market capitalism Compares the blue pill with socialism and the red pill with dog eat dog market corporatism While true in some sense, this is not the way the world needs to think Phooey, tripe and garbage EDIT Years later, and this argument may be persuasive to me 11 Finding God in the Matrix Paul Fontana This essay actually makes Christian comparisons in The Matrix relatively interesting It is well written and goes well beyond the obvious messiah neo comparison, but in the end, it is too nit picky theological and just too Christian for me Good effort though Theologists might like it.12 The Human Machine Merger Are we Headed for The Matrix Ray Kurzweil Very good essay by a very interesting futurist Kurzweil largely quotes his own books in this essay, while writing in the unique style of a mad inventor as that s what he kind of was He brings up relevant concepts such as Moore s Law, nano tubes, human minds as parallel computers, virtual reality and biomedical systems etc He takes a very positive outlook, and sees our civilization adopting a number of Matrix like technologies in the next 30 to 50 years give or take, with mostly happy results for mankind EDIT Years later, I know about Kurzweil and his vision of the technological singularity etc 13 Why the Future Doesn t Need Us Bill Joy Bill Joy, while agreeing with much of Kurzweil s theory and technology forecasts, takes a negative approach to the future, arguing that we are all doomed and that our technology will probably kill us Most of the essay is poorly written, rambling and amateurish, but the beginning contains a phenomenally thought provoking quote by Theodore Kacynski, which, on a tangent, gets the mind working in the psychological realm It also came as a surprise to me that Kacynski was a brilliant mathematician, and the eloquence and logic of his prose may shock you too.14 Are we Living in The Matrix Nick Bostom I couldn t really get into this essay, because the question was already examined by other authors in the book, Bostom writes like an old professor of philosophical logic, and there s no way to prove the answer one way or the other, which was than I could take by the end of the book. Some of these essays were very interesting and thought provoking, others grasping at straws I ve had the book for over 10 years and I m glad I finally read it but I won t be keeping it. I initially read, The Matrix and Philosophy Welcome to the Desert of the Real by William Irwin which excited me into reading on the issue of philosophy with regards to the matrix, leading me to this book specifically Essentially an accumulation of articles written from a variety of people scholars, science fiction writers, scientists, etc has multiple divergent views and ideologies on philosophy within The Matrix The question of, what is reality is brought up in several different articles is it theoretically possible to be living in a matrix as we cannot disprove this idea With that said, how is religion different from the idea of living within a matrix we are merely puppets to the puppet master of either a much complex AI or, God Is there a basis for things with no significant evidence that are simply not disproven There are many questions brought up and answered through multiple different ideologies giving the reader an array of outlooks on philosophy within The Matrix. I m classifying this as art because the subject matter, a film, may be so classified and because the essays about this film come from several disciplines.Uneven in quality, the Boettke article being pretty poor, this book presents a number of different takes on the first movie in The Matrix trilogy Having written a lengthy piece on the film myself posted here in Goodreads , I was happy to see that my analysis focusing on the gnostic Christian elements was not completely covered by these other authors I was also happy to discover a few details of symbolism which I d missed. Taking The Red Pill is a collection of essays inspired by The Matrix that are as varied in quality as they are in topic There are a few excellent essays on subjects such as the benefits and risks of nanotechnology, and humanity s thoughtless march toward weapons of devastating power, and then there are some essays that are ill informed and jump to conclusions with no attempt to back up the argument with logic let alone proof While there is a pretty good essay about the philosophical concepts present in The Matrix, if it is a thorough analysis of such concepts in the movie you are looking for, or an introduction to philosophy using The Matrix as a vehicule for discussion, then this is not the book for you.Oh and the glossary at the end of the book is weak to the point of being outright wrong 101 is binary for One Uhhnot last time I checked ok, which one would you choose reality ordream knowing the truth isn t always convenient and being fooled isn t always that bad |DOWNLOAD EBOOK ♘ Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in The Matrix ♎ This Thought Provoking Examination Of The Matrix Explores The Technological Challenges, Religious Symbolism Philosophical Dilemmas The Film Presents Essays By Scientists, Technologists, Philosophers, Scholars, Social Commentators Sf Authors Provide Engaging Perspectives Explored In Accessible Fashion Are Issues Such As The Future Of Artificial Intelligence Virtual Reality The Film S Symbolism Some Glitches Are RevealedWhat Is The Matrix Read Mercer SchuchardtWas Cypher Right Why We Stay In Our Matrix Robin HansonWas Cypher Right The Nature Of Reality Why It Matters Lyle ZyndaArtificial Intelligence, Science Fiction The Matrix Robert J SawyerThe Reality Paradox In The Matrix James GunnThe Matrix Paradigm Of Post Moderninsm Or Intellectual Poseur Dino FellugaThe Matrix Paradigm Of Post Moderninsm Or Intellectual Poseur Andrew GordonGlitches In The Matrix How To Fix Them Peter B LloydBuddhism, Mythology The Matrix James L FordHuman Freedom The Red Pill Peter J BoettkeFinding God In The Matrix Paul FontanaThe Human Machine Merger Are We Heading For The Matrix Ray KurzweilWhy The Future Doesn T Need Us Bill JoyAre We Living In The Matrix The Simulation Argument Nick BostromThe Matrix Glossary what i can say about it When you die, theres 7 seconds in which you are in a dream state You re unconsciously conscious However, while dreaming,we lose all perception of time A day could be a minute, a second could be a year So what if you ve been dead for 3 seconds and all of your life up till now has been a dream If you could grasp that concept, then you could enter a lucid dream state A state in which you can control your environment It would be as though you have entered the matrix magnifecent If ever a film generated a lot of discussion regarding special effects, philosophy, religion and fashion The Matrix was it.This collection is one of the better compilations looking at the film franchise as it went on to be.Intelligent, thought provoking and a really great accompanying read to watching the film series, if you like film, film studies and or cultural studies, not to be missed. The book overall was an interesting analysis of the film from various disciplines, especially the first few chapters, but I lost interest in the last 3 chapters, which made little reference to the film but attempted to extrapolate some concepts from the film into the real world.