Spoilers, maybe.

My opinion is that people don’t recognize the full implications if the Matrix movies were true. I dunno, to me philosophy is just a game. You set up certain “rules”, or premises, and then you figure out what the implications are of those. It’s a game because you question things that are very likely impossible. Like saying, if teleportation were possible, does that mean it’s the same person or a different one? It’s a ridiculous question, because teleportation is quite possibly impossible. But you play the game to figure out what it might mean to be a person.

Why am I mentioning this? Oh yeah, because hun’s response to something I said bothered me. I really believe that if you take the premises of the Matrix, the natural conclusion is that humans and machine programs are fundamentally equivalent. Humans happen to have organic hosts, but that’s the only difference; both of us can be reduced to algorithms. Hun’s response was machines don’t have souls so they’re not on the same ontological level. And of course that’s true, but that’s irrelevant, it’s stepping outside the game. But I think he realized that.

So another thing I loved about Reloaded – it goes with this idea. Throughout the movie there are various characters whom you’re not sure are human or machine, or at least the line between them get blurred. I like that – it’s philosophically “right”, I think, and brings up interesting ideas and questions.

So the machines aren’t united. Makes sense. No reason why they should be, any more than humans are. Machines need purpose. Also an interesting idea. It all moves towards the idea that machines and humans are equivalent. Both algorithms. I think it’s interesting, and I think that’s where the movies are leading to.

Incidentally, that’s why I reject the machines are trying to learn about and become humans thing. It might be true, who knows. I just think the thrust of the movies are more of equivalence, and if that’s true, there’s no real reason for one to learn from the other.

So I loved the Merovingian. Seriously, I just thought he was so interesting. To me, he says/demonstrates 2 things. Again, men and machines are equivalent. So why shouldn’t there be machine programs that seek pleasure and power? I like that idea. For the same reason, I like that he’s married/dating/whatever. Why not? Why shouldn’t machine programs both feel pleasure and desire it? It’s an interesting idea that makes sense.

The other thing the Merovingian hits home is that there is no free will, which he pretty much explicitly says. Everything is cause and effect. Even our thinking that we have will. And like the Oracle, the interesting, maybe Calvinist idea that the point is to understand why we do things.

And interestingly he ties it together. I dunno, what I feel like is people intuitively reject the idea that machines could have desire or pleasure. So in a sense, desire is one thing that marks us as human. But again, in the Matrix world, there’s no philosophical reason why they shouldn’t, and the Merovingian shows they do.

What I find interesting about what the Merovingian says is the idea that desire actually brings us closer to or shows that we aren’t really free. Once desire or drive or whatever you want to call it kicks in, we’re compelled to do certain things. And at that point it doesn’t matter why we do what we’re doing, we just do it.

Hmm, I think I’m stretching things. I’ll come back. I dunno, I just found the Merovingian interesting because he challenges intuitive ideas we might have. That machines wouldn’t feel pleasure, but humans do. And that sentient machine programs (since they’re just algorithms) don’t have free will (they’re deterministic) but humans do. Merovingian points to humans and machines being equivalent. So, yes, machines can feel pleasure. Also, in a way, desire or drive is something that shows that humans aren’t fully in control, that we’re at least sometimes compelled to do things for reasons we don’t fully understand, and in that way we’re like deterministic algorithms.

I dunno, those are interesting ideas to me.

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