This is incorrect - in fact there is a very reasonable explanation that the Matrix is three levels, and what looks like the real world is just another level of the matrix. This is why Neo's abilities bleed over into the real world.
That is the version that most closely aligns to Baudrillard's philosophy.
I preferred an alternative explanation, where The One actually comes in two parts, a program in the matrix, and a human in the real world with a direct neuro link to that program. Neo's powers are expressed in the real world because he still has a direct link to the machines.
I liked the sequels a lot better once I read that. They're still not genius cinema, but they're better.
I think Sati was really the One and inserting Neo's code into the Source rebooted it, effectively deleting her. This did NOT happen thanks to Neo not choosing the Source (and tge Oracle's tricks).
But the real world is still not real ;)
If that's the case, then, the Matrix is a good thing since it would let us understand in more depth the reality.
His powers don't work on the flesh-and-blood Bane/Smith. He can't swipe the knife away from Trinity's neck at a distance. He can't easily beat Bane/Smith in a fistfight. The best he gets is to see Smith's machine form after being blinded.
All of his powers shown in the real world are against machines, never flesh-and-blood humans.
No twist, no paradox, no confusion - there was an extra layer.
Instead the movie baked in religious overtones and went the supernatural route (basically invalidating everything they set up in the universe in the first place).
Interestingly, the Thirteenth Floor did a pretty good job of that overall premise (sims inside sims), but without the dystopian overtones.
But if I'm expecting cerebral sci-fi, I have high standards for everything being tight and thought out. With those expectations in mind, I found Inception pretty dumb. It makes me wish I'd seen it without hearing all the hype first.
But at least it was better than Looper.
I suspect the rarity of filmmakers with talent at the level of, say, Cocteau, drags down the standards of what people are able to comprehend as truly cerebral.
The masterpiece of The Dark Knight was the same thing, except that the emotion was horror: each of the Joker's little atrocities kept building up and building up until the last one was so large that he didn't even need to be on screen anymore.
That's Nolan's trade mark. He uses callbacks and repetition to mount emotion.
I really, really didn't get why so many people on the net didn't get it, or thought it was really complicated !
Well a dream is as real as things get.
The whole problem is really in describing reality. Ask any lucid dreamer and they will explain you than the key to lucid dreaming is to constantly question your current state(are your dreaming or not?).
And after some time it just doesn't matter. Because every thing is just a electrical impulse to your brain. If your brain is sent a signal to treat hot as cold. You will hold a hot iron in your hands and be perfectly OK with it. The reality of things 'hot being hot' doesn't change, nothing changes but your perception of things.
If you ponder deep enough when you dream this is what happens in a dream too. You are perceiving things. Whether they are real are not, is as useless argument because your knowledge of it is the way your brain is telling you about it and not what it actually is.
I've had inception like dream within dream, losing lucidity while dreaming inside the dream and there after. In stages like that its difficult to say what is reality and what isn't. The safest way is to not do any thing harmful or dangerous. In fact I didn't know of it until I woke, it was then during a usual dream recall that I got a surreal feeling that I had woke up from three levels of 'reality'.
After "waking up" into what I think is reality, I experienced a single difference between dreams and reality.
In every dream that I woke up, I could see myself from the top and then immediately when my dreaming self opened it's eyes I started seeing things through that perspective .
>> Is sleeping inside a dream possible? If not, that could be a trustable way to find out if one is a dream or not. Much more reliable than a ring ;)
I hope some day I dream at such deep levels.
It makes you really skeptic and a little more cautions, but also open to risk than you would usually be. Maybe a good attitude for an entrepreneur, but all your logic and fear induced by that logic mostly fades away at some times. That's when you think it could be a dream subconsciously, at that time you start doing things you never would. It's twisted, it could also make you overly cautious, because you start valuing real life as something more wonderful than you thought, a unique thing, something you are deadly afraid of losing control of. The worst is: "What if you understand your multi-level dream as bad as you understood Inception?" Just like some friend of yours who had trouble getting Matrix in example. Could that mean you see draw a pattern and believe reality is the 5th dream? Could that when you really wake up, make everything make appear surreal? Would you try to jump from a window or do something to find out if you're dreaming?
The question that reality is a dream is supported by the Simulated Reality Hypothesis and that is also factor that makes this film a great one. Because there is no answer to that question. You could wake up when you die, or you could die. Using stochastic maths and game theory would suggest to die, but that speaks against everything that makes a game, a dream or life out. Playing is winning. Not playing is losing.
First off, yes, our brain offers us an interpretation of the outside world, but no, that's not 'its' interpretation. We are it.
Second - dreaming is not as real as things get. Yes, our perception determines how we react to the world, but it does not actually change the world on its own. In a dream, our perception is expressed as actual physical changes to the structure of what's around us. In other words, in life, I can imagine a house on fire, but it's still standing - whereas in a dream, that bitch burns to the ground.
Third - whether or not I'm dreaming does matter (and the way you try to explain that doesn't really make a ton of sense). If I shoot myself in the face in a dream, I wake up. If I shoot myself in the face at my job during the day, it's a bit different outcome.
Fourth - I can ponder what is in a dream, and I can perceive what is in a dream. This does not carry the same weight as perceiving and pondering the world around me. At most, the dream perception is just fancy navel gazing, it's introspection at its finest (or worst depending on your view). Whereas perceiving and pondering the world around me can directly impact how much I have to eat today, whether or not I get hit by a car, or whether or not I'm on fire.
The argument that dreams are the same as reality because our brain offers interpretations of both has always, to me, seemed to be the 'whoa man, check out how big my hands are' type of stoner bullshit from college. Arguing that our dreams should carry as much weight as our interaction with the world around us has always come across as just a miserable person's way of saying that they're not happy with where they're at in life, but that's okay because it's all about how we interpret the world around us.
I didn't intend for that to be as hateful as it came across. I've read it three times and can't make it any less hateful. Take it for what it's worth.
You might simply be treating a level of wakefulness as real.
This is exactly what happens when you have dreams within dreams. You wake up to level, which you think is real. Until you wake to another level and so on.
The term 'real' isn't that hard to define. It consists of everything that exists when I cease to exist. It is everything around me that keeps going when I stop going.
Therefore, awake, asleep, on drugs, it doesn't matter. My perception of the world is just that, my perception. The world exists whether I'm here or not. To argue that reality is dependent on your own personal perception is one of the most egotistical and self-centered things I've ever heard.
Again, the 'everything and nothing is real' argument just comes across as sophomore existentialism, nothing more.
We all create ou own "reality" out off faulty perceptions and memorys.
"Playing a game" is a bad example because it is hardly compareable to the complex illusion we really ( ;) ) live in.
The dream world of inception however is as complex as as the "real" world (at least from a humans point of view).
Sorry but you are sailing into a philosphical ocean with only a inflateable animal as support.
Sanity is socially-defined. So is reality, at least human-eudaimonic reality. Basically, imagine we live in the Matrix, and you get out, but you're the only one who does get out or ever can get out. Do you live in reality?
In the scientific sense, yes: causal arrows run from your reality to ours.
In the social sense, no: you live in total isolation, have an utterly meaningless life due to lack of social relationships, and quickly go insane from the extreme solitude. (I mean that literally: solitary confinement of human beings causes measurable damage to mental and neurological health.)
Given multiple possible realities, the one that's going to make you sane and happy is the one where everyone else lives, or at least enough of a peer group to keep you sane. Thus, if you break out of the Matrix, you should focus on building Zion.
If we're talking about real-world, non-hypothetical real-life versus, say, World of Warcraft, it's pretty damn obvious that you can have better and more meaningful relationships with more people in real life, and that living almost entirely in real life does much more to support your physical and mental health than living in WoW. We can therefore obviously conclude you should stop playing WoW right now and go out in the healthy sunshine.
Just like your mom used to tell you, but way mind-screwier.
It's really metaphor for life.