The Matrix And Technology Essay

1441 words - 6 pages

English 1101 B5 December 10, 2001 Final Paper In our lifetimes, if ever, it is hard to imagine anything approaching a consensus on technology's place in the world. Perhaps, it is because human beings fail to take into account technology's inherent unpredictability. There is one theorist, Bruno Latour, that captures technology's addictive nature. Another theorist, Leo Marx, illuminates its fateful nature, which is that technological progress is unstoppable, wondrous and destructive. Both seem to predict the future of the world as it seen in the movie, "The Matrix." Latour's view of technology is that it comes from a wish to do good and improve life. He uses the example of a door to demonstrate the concept of dependance of machines. The door is the "machine" that people marveled at, when it was introduced, not knowing that it brought problems. Who would close it? Who would open it? Would it be too heavy for certain people? Would the knob be too low or too high for certain people? All problems would be fixed with a groom - a man or boy that would do the service of opening and closing the door. However, what if the boy did not show up to work? Or, it was just raining too hard to go to work? Who would shut the door then? Another technological advance came along and the hydraulic system was introduced. People marveled at this invention. Nonetheless, it too had problems. It automatically shut and discriminated against those who could not get in quickly enough.The door serves as a use of delegation. The door is delegated a job and in return delegates authority over the humans who use it. It delegates authority in a form of rules. It causes people to behave a certain way. An example of its authority would be, having to move faster because the hydraulics will close the door without concern of any thing or body. The job delegated to the non-human is to "substitute for the unreliable humans." (Latour 231) The key point to Latour's work is that technology is addictive and carries a sense of human - like authority and characteristics. Humans refer to them in human like ways as well -- Anthropomorphisms. "The groom is on strike" is an example of granting human like characteristics to a non-human. Everyday that goes by, humans crave more and more technological advancement. As Latour put it, "You seem to need more and more of these figurated delegates, aligned in rows. It is the same with delegates as with drugs: you start with the soft ones and end up shooting up." Eventually, this is what happened in "The Matrix". When Morpheus describes how the world used to be, he acknowledges that the "humans glorified the arrival of the AI… they celebrated, they had given birth to a race of machines." Eventually, more and more machines were created and they started "spawning." ( Morpheus, Matrix) He recalls to Neo what happened when the machines started taking over. They were "uncontrollable." They "took over the world." "They engaged in war…. The machines...

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