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I don't think AI would turn reality into a Rube Goldberg machine, but rather that it would create so much complexity that we can't see through it.

The Matrix.

I always thought it would be interesting to have a prequel about the first person to escape. Office Space meets X Files, and the order of the complexity slowly becomes more apparent, until the movie turns into Playtime.

There was no first person to escape, there were people who survived the war with the machines and were never "in the matrix" to begin with. You should check out The Animatrix.

MORPHEUS: When the Matrix was first built there was a man born inside that had the ability to change what he wanted, to remake the Matrix as he saw fit. It was this man that freed the first of us and taught us the secret of the war; control the Matrix and you control the future.

At the end of the second movie we learn that this is a creation myth, that Zion is actually part of the larger system of machine control over humanity, and that it needs to be "restarted" periodically. The problem is choice.

I think people who never got captured didn't know that the matrix could be changed, so they just hid from the machines. Then someone figured out that the matrix could be controlled, and the fight to free all began. I think the "freed the first of us" means "freed to believe that the matrix could be defeated".

"man born on the inside"

i take that to mean someone who was born into the matrix, and over time was able to see through its facade, until its rules stopped mattering to him.

I am not sure the story suggests a first person escaped. More like there were always some people who never got captured and added to the matrix who freed others.

It's been implied that the machines might have built Zion on purpose. Including freeing first people to live in it in every iteration.

I thought that it was implied Zion was still part of the simulation, part of the equation to balance things out and give the illusion of choice. Like a nesting of VM containers or Inception dives.

Yes, but I think that is probably a backsplanation from later movies. I you only watch the first (xkcd:566) it felt more like there was a first person escaping.

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