Freeing everyone from The Matrix would be a logistical disaster

Originally published at: Freeing everyone from The Matrix would be a logistical disaster | Boing Boing


Using humans as batteries are a logistical disaster too. Surely the machines would have had the means to fix the sky, use space ladders to break through the atmosphere to install solar panels in space or even move to a new planet possibly even before the war reached the point of having the sky be destroyed.


They’re still in a simulation. They’re going to need a redder pill.


Until then, they could have easily mined and refined uranium for nuclear power.




Replace the pods of humans with battery pods of whatever other animals are left.

Machines: “Shit! Why didn’t we think of that?!”


When this idea was dropped on us in the first movie I burst out laughing in the theater, it was so absurd. Even if one accepts the idea of biological batteries being a thing (which I don’t!!!), what are the chances that humans are optimal, instead of shrews or whales?

At least they got that out of the way early on. Imagine if it had been a big reveal near the end of the movie!

I recently learned that this completely boneheaded idea wasn’t the Wachowskis’, but was pressed on them by the studio. My respect for them increased a great deal.


Crimson Pill? Vermillion Pill? Ultraviolet Pill?

Combine that with the machines being very much capable of winning that war very early on if they released nanites, pests and/or viruses to destroy cereal crops and livestock.


Yeah, I’ve always viewed that “humans as batteries” thing to be simply a mistaken belief that the humans have, not knowing any better. I’ve always simply believed that without some humans to interact with, the AIs lacked a creative impulse or a reason to exist, becoming just programs mechanistically interacting with each other in repeating and predictable patterns. Adding humans back into the mix gave them something they needed, even if they hid it or even denied it to themselves.


It wasn’t just about the energy - it was about the cruelty of it all. Revenge on the humans.

Though they would have to “feed” them too. I wonder what sort of paste they injected into feeding tubes.

It would take a huge task to free all the humans from the matrix. And a percentage would want to stay (I wrote a short story about this pre-matrix in HS about a power outage from an meteor strike freed a group of humans from a simulation, and when they tried to free the others they woke up, killed them, and went back to the simulation.)

But it could be done - just would take years and batches.

It is like the anti-immigration/refuge people who complain you can’t just open the borders. Ok, maybe not completely, but you definitely could have a higher intake and make it work. If Disney can make sure everyone gets a ride on the Tea Cups, we can process large quantities of humans and integrate them into existing systems.


In the first movie it is explained that they liquefy the dead and feed it to the living.

So not only a biological battery, but also a perpetual motion machine!


They said the same of New Jersey back in the 70’s, it all turned out pretty much kinda OK…


Yeah, but you can’t do that for too long unless you are inserting more energy into the humans to make more humans. And we don’t recreate fast enough to make that viable either. There needs to be an additional source.

I suspect it is insect based diet.

Granted, everything about this world isn’t super realistic, it is supposed to be a premise that the characters of the world have to navigate to overcome the obstacles. This is why, IMO, the movies go down hill the further they go. The first movie had a very basic overview of what was happening, and it satisfied our brains enough to enjoy the rest. But the more things were explained, the less sense they made. And the whole attack on Zion just baffled me, why you would create mechs with open cock pits that expose the pilot. And they were largely stationary, so why not just build armored, fortified turrets? And create and EMP grid to act as a shield.

Anyway - no need to rehash old criticisms. I do still ant to see the new movie. But keeping my expectations low.


I agree. My personal fan theory was that the machines were actually using the processing power of the captive humans’ brains. After all, you’ve got a bunch of pre-made neural networks. Might as well use them. A bunch of networked human brains could be a pretty impressive supercomputer, even if you did have to spend some of the processing power simulating the 1990s to keep them docile.


What’s clear is that if Zion does prevail, it won’t be because one sullen guy in a trenchcoat stopped some bullets with a hand gesture. It’ll be thanks to millions of ordinary people working together to build a better future.

We really need more fiction to acknowledge this fact.

Just needs a line or two…


I’ve always felt that anyone looking for the Matrix to be smart, must have seen a very different movie than I did. The first film is a hell of a lot of fun, but taking the whole thing too seriously is about how we ended up with the original sequels.

But I always tended to think along the lines of the machines would be using people as a sort of processor or main frame.

We still can’t properly map all the connection is the brain. None the less quantify or understand all the work it does. So if we run with the network aspects, and that “human creativity” angle. The machines need big centralized servers and basically render farms to run their collective aspects, and maybe a whole shit ton more processing power than they could build out of silicon (or SCIENCE METAL) to reproduce. You know only a human can code the AI sort of thing.

Then wiring up millions of human brains into their version of a data center makes a lot science-fictiony and thematic sense.

The Matrix becomes a sort of idle process, or analogue. Keeping the brains functional between being spooled up. Or “fooling” people into processing the data.

AAAAANNNNND you beat me to it.


It really takes being imprisoned by your own mind to the next level.


There’s a certain body horror aspect to being wired up and comatose in a tube I don’t think series did enough with.

It’s a very frightening idea.


So Neo and the other revolutionaries are basically like Mao during the “Great Leap Forward,” unintentionally killing millions as ideology and ignorance collide…

Yeah, it so obviously doesn’t even make sense, in a thermodynamic sense, since humans require more energy than they’re going to put out (and what they’re putting out is almost entirely heat, which makes them less useful than a thermal well). Watching the movie, it’s a big “are you really intending for us to take this seriously!?”

That was always the head-canon I immediately replaced their explanation with (and I always assumed was part of the original idea, explaining why humans connected to the matrix can alter it).

At least that part works if they’re willing to have the captive human population constantly and quickly decreasing…

They could always supplement their diet with processed captured “free” humans, but then that population would also be on a steep decline…