Why the 'Matrix Movie' is unrealistic

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In summary, the movie the Matrix was flawed in its idea that colonies of humans would be harvested as batteries for the Matrix's power supply. The human body uses very little energy and a normal lightbulb (incandescent) which has a wattage of 100watts, equals the power usage of a human body. 600 billion watts (600GW) of power from the entire human civilization would be required to power the Matrix. However, there are several caveats to this 600GW number that would greatly reduce its effective power transfer levels.
  • #36
There are plenty of other considerations that make the Matrix films unrealistic:

1) Even if we assume that using biological entities as batteries is a good idea, farming the primary producer is always the best idea. In this case, since there is no sun, there are no photosynthesizers, so chemoautotrophic bacteria are their best bet. In fact, there is actually precedent in the use of microbial fuel cells to power deep sea bottom rovers.

Heck, putting aside the relative efficiency of humans as energy-producers, no species other than homo sapiens poses any threat of revolt except Home sapiens. If they use any other creatures as batteries, they don't even need to build the matrix in the first place, greatly reducing their energy demands right off the bat.

Furthermore, what did they have against the use of wind or geothermal energy? Heck, considering it took Neo and Trinity all of ten seconds to fly above the level of the clouds to see the sun, did they have something against the idea of just putting their solar panels up there?

2) If Neo can manipulate the matrix at the level of lines of code, why can he not simply control the actions of agents and other programs, since all they are is lines of code?

3) Why the aerial assault on Zion? When you have all the ants trapped inside of the ant hill, do you send it bigger ants, or do you flood the hill? Do you mean to tell me they couldn't have flooded Zion with lava or something?

4) The kicker is the same with all "robots take over" stories. Why on Earth would a non-replicating, non-evolved entity with no genes have the desire to perpetuate itself, let alone the desire for liberty? Humans have the ability to feel pain, the desire not to die, and a will to power because our ancestors evolved in an environment in which it was handy to have these things. Robots would have whatever abilities and desires they were programmed to have, not exactly the same ones we have. Why would we program a race of slave-laborers to have such things as the ability to feel pain and desire freedom and power? The assumption seems to be that self-awareness automatically equals self-interest, and that such an interest automatically equals exactly the same interest that humans have in themselves. Why? Is there some law of nature at work here that science fiction writers are aware of but I am not?
 
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  • #37
For a truly amazing treatment of a fully-robotic society (fictional, as opposed to scientific conjecture), check out 'Code of the Life-Maker' by James P. Hogan. There's a sequel as well, but I can't recall the name right now.
 
  • #38
Not that I disagree with your take on the matter but, a few points:


Heck, putting aside the relative efficiency of humans as energy-producers, no species other than homo sapiens poses any threat of revolt except Home sapiens. If they use any other creatures as batteries, they don't even need to build the matrix in the first place, greatly reducing their energy demands right off the bat.
The premise of "brain power" presupposes that humans are the only orgs with minds complex enough to generate what's needed. Remember, it's the virtual world that stimulates the minds. How much brain energy would you derive from a matrix of cows? "Field. Grass. Eat. Field. Grass. Eat. Moo!"


Furthermore, what did they have against the use of wind or geothermal energy?
1] No sun = no wind.
2] Wasn't there something about the core of the Earth cooling so as to be unusable? Or am I just imagining that?


Heck, considering it took Neo and Trinity all of ten seconds to fly above the level of the clouds to see the sun, did they have something against the idea of just putting their solar panels up there?
[ EDIT = nevermind ]Did they "fly" fly, like Neo flies, or did they go in the hovership? (I can't remember) Because if they "flew" flew, then that was part of the matrix, not real life. (Neo manipulates the matrix, not real life.) The machines can't use sunlight from their own simulation.

No, wait. There wasn't a giant black cloud in the Matrix simulation, was there? That must have been real lfie. [ /EDIT ]


Yes, I never understood what the machines had against tall towers with solar panels. As per the movie, they sure seem to have the "tall tower" thing nailed.


2) If Neo can manipulate the matrix at the level of lines of code, why can he not simply control the actions of agents and other programs, since all they are is lines of code?
He can, and does.

3) Why the aerial assault on Zion? When you have all the ants trapped inside of the ant hill, do you send it bigger ants, or do you flood the hill? Do you mean to tell me they couldn't have flooded Zion with lava or something?
Certainly. This is why the film headed downhill after the first film. But we have bigger fish to fry in this thread, which is the fact that the very premise of the film is flawed.




4) The kicker is the same with all "robots take over" stories. Why on Earth would a non-replicating, non-evolved entity with no genes have the desire to perpetuate itself, let alone the desire for liberty? Humans have the ability to feel pain, the desire not to die, and a will to power because our ancestors evolved in an environment in which it was handy to have these things. Robots would have whatever abilities and desires they were programmed to have, not exactly the same ones we have. Why would we program a race of slave-laborers to have such things as the ability to feel pain and desire freedom and power? The assumption seems to be that self-awareness automatically equals self-interest, and that such an interest automatically equals exactly the same interest that humans have in themselves. Why? Is there some law of nature at work here that science fiction writers are aware of but I am not?
Well, don't forget, once the machines become self-aware, they take on most of the qualities you mention: replicating, evolving, perpetuation, desire for liberty and freedom, self-preservation, desire for power.

The reason this happens is because, once something reaches a critical level of complexity (notably, the ability to learn), it outgrows its assigned task and requires new input (learn more) and more subtlety in its environs constantly. This creates a motivation for freedom from slavery (escape from assigned, noncreative tasks). Every other trait follows via a similar path.

My personal belief is that this is the intrinsic and inevitable fate of any instance of complexity and adaptability increasing without limit.
 
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