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Would You Choose to Live in a Computer Simulation If It Will Make You a Lot Happier?

Autor:   •  February 1, 2019  •  Research Paper  •  3,038 Words (13 Pages)  •  287 Views

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Would you choose to live in a computer simulation if it will make you a lot happier?

“What is real? How do you define 'real'? If you're talking about what you can feel, what you can smell, what you can taste and see, and then 'real' are simply electrical signals interpreted by your brain.”                                                              - The Matrix

        So what is real? How do we know what is real? How do we know if we are dreaming or not? These are just some of the questions that we came up to question reality. Is it the real world we live in? Is this just an alternate universe? How can we prove if we are dreaming?

        In the movie “The Matrix”, Neo (a computer hacker) discovers that the world he believes he lives in isn’t what he believes. In fact, he is living in a dream world that was invented to keep the human mind stimulated for the machines to harvest human energy as the human has scorch the sky believing that these solar-powered machines will lose in the war against the humans. Although the plot and content of the movie is a work of friction, we can’t help but wonder if what we live in is in fact reality? What if the air we are breathing now is what the computer made us believe we are breathing?

        The book that inspired “The Matrix” is call “Simulacra and Simulation”, wrote by French postmodern philosopher Jean Baudrillard, argue that “in the late-twentieth-century, consumer culture is a world in which simulations or imitations of reality have become more real than reality itself, a condition he describes as the “hyper-real””. An example that Baudrillard: Walking and running are not nearly as important as they were in premodern societies, but jogging is a recreational pastime, replete with special shoes, clothes, books and other gear. Another example that Baudrillard mentioned is that we no longer live in communities where food is produced locally and whole grains are necessary dietary staple, but we have health food that enables us to replicate the experience of a peasant’s diet.

        Baudrillard said that the consumer culture has already changed from when we were surrounded by a representation of things that exists to a state where we believe that our lives are filled with simulations. We start to believe that the very thing we see, feel, and touch are nothing but a reality that we were forced to believe in. In a world created as a simulation, the simulations takes control of our mind, the dream world becomes the real world, and reality itself has been cast aside in our mind to a point where it is nothing but a barren wasteland. During the scene where Morpheus shows Neo the reality that he was living in the dream world, he also showed Neo what reality looked like and he phrased it as “the dessert of the real world”, this was a phrase that was taken out from Simulacra and Simulation. The Matrix uses the concept that Bandrillard’s book came up with by using the theory that in order for machines to harvest our bioelectricity, they kept us in a dream world, which The Matrix then uses the concept of an unreal consumer culture we live in to distract us from reality.


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