Books and Movies Reviews

Technological Determinism in the Matrix

Technological Determinism in The Matrix
Technological Determinism, a theory developed by Marshall McLuhan, is the belief that inventions in technology, especially communication inventions, has invariably caused cultural change.He believed that specific changes in modes of communication shaped human existence.The Matrix, a 1999 film by Andy and Larry Wachowski, does an excellent job of outlining the ideas behind McLuhan's theory.
The Matrix is about a computer hacker named Thomas Anderson, who goes by the alias, Neo, who with the help of a band of freed rebels, discovers that the life that he has known to be real is nothing more than the Matrix, computer-generated dream world created by humanity's own invention, cyber-intelligence.The purpose of this facade is to blind humans while their life essences are transformed into energy to feed the Matrix's campaign of domination of the "real" world.
The central concept behind The Matrix is that the world humans believe they live in is in actuality, not the "real" world.Humans are controlled and influenced by forces they do not easily see.As Morpheus, one of the freed rebels and a main character in the movie, states that the Matrix is "the world they have pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth."This idea in the movie is very reflective of McLuhan's claim that channels of communication are the "primary cause of cultural change."Family life, careers, schools, friendships, health care, recreation, religious activities, are all in someway affected by communication technology.McLuhan feels that humans are blinded by such technologies and begin to lose a sense of the real world, much like the humans in the Matrix who are lost in their fantasy facade that the cyber-intelligence has created for them.In the film, the humans are so locked in the false consciousness of the Matrix, that they completely forget …


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